Finance job

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Finance job

Postby Scannn » 04 Aug 2012, 14:17

Hey, I browsed and read some of the success stories of people succeeding in Taiwan landing a finance job. It would be great to get perspective from insiders on my story. I am looking for finance job in Taipei, I have experience in field totaling two years, have master degree, studied in London and Hong Kong, Cfa level I, interned in hedge fund in Shanghai for six months, understand global markets, financial statements, politics and capital markets history. My girlfriend is from Taipei and she wants to move back there.

I have no Chinese skills. I have full support from her and her family to learn Chinese (as opposed to some other forum members who surprisingly had no support from their Chinese speaking partners). I can afford learning Chinese full time for a year at NTU. I have strong learning capability and dedication.

Considering all these, how likely do you think it is to get a buy side research analyst job in Taipei?

A. Without learning Chinese
B. how long do you think it would take to learn satisfactory level of Chinese to get similar 'capital markets' job? For example would it be enough to get some sort of communication Mandarin skills in six to twelve months in handle chatting with non English speaking colleagues and get finance job?
C. Do you think is possible to learn quickly business chinese to read financial statements say in one year starting from 'ni hao' level or how long would it take considering full time studying with everyday speaking practice at home?

Is it sexy in any way to get foreigner in the office in Taipei? InShanghai, where I've worked, people love foreigners, but in Taipei it does not seem to be the case. I've been doing some research on the investment funds running in Taipei, there are at least twenty which specialize in foreign/global assets only. All their managers are Taiwanese unfortunately. Do you think they trust non Chinese speaking foreigners? Would they consider my understanding global markets and economics as an edge? I've read some fantastic stories of people 'who made it' here, but I understood they know Chinese or at least some Chinese ( could I cover that in 12 months?).

I've also read some comments on the working environment and hiring practices in Taiwan. I think it's not different from Shanghai, where in some cases it's crazy shit hell, but you can also find very decent jobs with great pay. Hong kong I don't know but as mentioned by other elsewhere you will have to work your ass off while getting average salary anywhere to get decent pay eventually.
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Re: Finance job

Postby Scannn » 21 Aug 2012, 19:17

So none of 198 readers of this post was not able to say boo? Interesting. No clue? Even about the language??
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Re: Finance job

Postby bigduke6 » 21 Aug 2012, 21:21

This type of question has been answered before.
Short answer no.

Just about every Taiwanese has got a masters, plenty from good foreign universities, and they are fluent in Chinese, as well as pretty fluent in English.
The salary a local will get paid is probably around 40k to 50k if they are lucky. Their is zero incentive to pay a foreigner more.

I know someone with a masters from one of the top ten universities in The world. Her salary is seen as high at 50k a month. She also works for a large multinational.

Unless you have a specialised skill set that is in demand here, you will not be seen as sexy enough to demand a higher salary than a local, and as before most companies would rather hire locally for a multitude of reasons.
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Re: Finance job

Postby Scannn » 22 Aug 2012, 00:03

Yea but I didnt say 40-50K is not enough for me. Or do you imply there is a catch with the law putting a floor for foreigners salaries, I've read sth about 50k? 50 would be still ok.

Btw is it really that hard in Taiwan? Ive seen some hardcore negative feedback recently here. There was a guy few years ago who claimed times and times again how its not that difficult to get a finance job (especially when you speak Mandarin) and work your way through. Why does chaps here seem they just never tried hard enough?
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Finance job

Postby headhonchoII » 22 Aug 2012, 06:15

If you can accept low pay then it will be possible I believe, getting started is half the battle.
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Re: Finance job

Postby bigduke6 » 22 Aug 2012, 07:52

My point about 50k, was that someone with a masters from one of the top universities in the world gets that.

Most others earn between 30 and 40k, with a masters, in my experience.

I will simplify. And this is not a negative statement.

There is no incentive to hire a foreigner over a local, unless you have extremely specialised skills.

Most companies do not even seen to want to do the paperwork necessary to hire a foreigner.

What can you offer that a local cannot.

You asked for feedback on a forum, don't get upset if the facts are negative.

Do some searches on the forum. This has been discussed before.
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Re: Finance job

Postby archylgp » 22 Aug 2012, 07:53

Scannn wrote:Hey, I browsed and read some of the success stories of people succeeding in Taiwan landing a finance job. It would be great to get perspective from insiders on my story. I am looking for finance job in Taipei, I have experience in field totaling two years, have master degree, studied in London and Hong Kong, Cfa level I, interned in hedge fund in Shanghai for six months, understand global markets, financial statements, politics and capital markets history. My girlfriend is from Taipei and she wants to move back there.

I have no Chinese skills. I have full support from her and her family to learn Chinese (as opposed to some other forum members who surprisingly had no support from their Chinese speaking partners). I can afford learning Chinese full time for a year at NTU. I have strong learning capability and dedication.

Considering all these, how likely do you think it is to get a buy side research analyst job in Taipei?

A. Without learning Chinese
B. how long do you think it would take to learn satisfactory level of Chinese to get similar 'capital markets' job? For example would it be enough to get some sort of communication Mandarin skills in six to twelve months in handle chatting with non English speaking colleagues and get finance job?
C. Do you think is possible to learn quickly business chinese to read financial statements say in one year starting from 'ni hao' level or how long would it take considering full time studying with everyday speaking practice at home?

Is it sexy in any way to get foreigner in the office in Taipei? InShanghai, where I've worked, people love foreigners, but in Taipei it does not seem to be the case. I've been doing some research on the investment funds running in Taipei, there are at least twenty which specialize in foreign/global assets only. All their managers are Taiwanese unfortunately. Do you think they trust non Chinese speaking foreigners? Would they consider my understanding global markets and economics as an edge? I've read some fantastic stories of people 'who made it' here, but I understood they know Chinese or at least some Chinese ( could I cover that in 12 months?).

I've also read some comments on the working environment and hiring practices in Taiwan. I think it's not different from Shanghai, where in some cases it's crazy shit hell, but you can also find very decent jobs with great pay. Hong kong I don't know but as mentioned by other elsewhere you will have to work your ass off while getting average salary anywhere to get decent pay eventually.


Why would they hire someone who can't speak Chinese? I would think your chances are bad, even for a 30k/mo. job, but I could be wrong. There's only one way to find out...
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Re: Finance job

Postby the chief » 22 Aug 2012, 09:28

You're also not even a native English speaker, are you?
That's really going to whittle away at your desirability.
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Re: Finance job

Postby Lo Pan » 22 Aug 2012, 09:48

Scannn wrote:Considering all these, how likely do you think it is to get a buy side research analyst job in Taipei?

A. Without learning Chinese
B. how long do you think it would take to learn satisfactory level of Chinese to get similar 'capital markets' job? For example would it be enough to get some sort of communication Mandarin skills in six to twelve months in handle chatting with non English speaking colleagues and get finance job?
C. Do you think is possible to learn quickly business chinese to read financial statements say in one year starting from 'ni hao' level or how long would it take considering full time studying with everyday speaking practice at home?

Is it sexy in any way to get foreigner in the office in Taipei? InShanghai, where I've worked, people love foreigners, but in Taipei it does not seem to be the case.


I work in the Taiwanese equity markets on the sell side for a large foreign bank, so I may be able to help answer some of these questions.

A) It is possible but you do not have enough industry experience to make it at all likely. Your educational background and internship might help but only if youre on the ground here already and have spent your time networking. If you cultivate a network within the industry here, it might work but you had better be studying Chinese very seriously at the time. The days of foreigners showing up and falling into a finance job with no Chinese ability are long past.

B) If you are a very serious student then sure, it is possible. I would suggest you do not judge 'serious' by what they call "full-time" at Taiwanese universities. Three hours a day of half-assed classes is not serious study. If youre going to one of the university programs here (3 hours/day), get at least 2 hours/day in additional private classes and study your ass off.

C) If you're up to the level of doing an analyst meeting and or reading financial statements in Chinese after one year, you'll be the only one I've ever heard of.

Being a forigner in the equities business here doesnt really get you anything. It is somewhat of a negative because foreigners (with no Chinese background or cultural understanding) dominated the business for so many years and now that locals are in positions of power there can be a real resentment toward foreigners and/or the assumption that you are just more of the same and cant possibly speak chinese/fit in. Most foreign shops are down to a handful of foreigners each these days. For every white guy that wants the job there is a line of ABC's with an American accent on the phone, better Mandarin and a Chinese face, so why would they hire the white guy? [answer: pre-existing relationship (see above point about networking)]

That being said, if you can get in and make it past the RA level, your earning power will be high even by global standards and exceptionally high by Taiwan standards. Dont worry about NT$50k/month that was mentioned... if you make it in, even as a junior/assistant, you'll make more than that. The hard part is getting in.

If you decide to come over, drop me a PM and we can meet up for a drink... get that network started.
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Re: Finance job

Postby Elegua » 22 Aug 2012, 09:49

The first job will suck. But if you survive that, things can get interesting.

Master degrees are plentiful. Relevant experience less so. Find the company that values it.

You're also not even a native English speaker, are you?
That's really going to whittle away at your desirability.

:lol:
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