Hedge Funds vs. Institutional Asset Management: Is a Billion Dollars Really Cooler Than a Million Dollars?

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Hedge Funds vs. Asset ManagementThis is a guest post from Mike Moran, CFA, a portfolio manager at a long-only asset management firm. He started Life on the Buy Side to teach you what it’s like working in asset management, hedge funds, and more.

Aspiring analysts often tell me that they want to work at a hedge fund one day. The most obvious reason is money.

Starting the next Facebook is way too risky if you want to make a billion dollars, so hedge funds seem like the next best alternative.

And since they’re limited to accredited investors – people with a net worth of at least $1 million or more than $200K of income – you’ve also got that air of exclusivity.

But beyond these points, few people understand the differences between hedge funds and traditional money management – how their investment strategies differ, what it takes to get in, what you do on the job, and what you do afterward.

So let’s dive right in and see whether a billion dollars really is cooler than a million dollars.

Mind-Boggling Money

Certain hedge fund managers make ridiculous amounts of money due to the 2 and 20 fee structure – they receive 2% of their assets under management in fees each year, as well as 20% of the investment returns they generate.

John Paulson made $3.7 billion betting on the collapse of the subprime crisis in 2007 – just compare that to Tiger Woods’ career earnings, which are estimated at only $1 billion.

Tiger would have to play another 40 years like his first 15 years just to match Paulson’s take-home pay in 2007 alone, and he’s arguably the greatest golfer ever.

In good years you’ll see multiple hedge fund managers earning $1 billion in cash – some hedge fund managers even create public profiles to gain a reputation and attract investors (think David Einhorn).

Boring Mutual Funds?

Compared to those paydays, the traditional mutual fund seems quite boring.

But top fund managers there can make a lot of money as well – you just don’t hear about it as much because they’re less public about it and because billion-dollar bonuses don’t happen.

And the flip-side of hedge funds is blowup risk – during the subprime crisis, thousands of hedge funds imploded and investors lost enormous sums of money.

One day you’d be cruising on a yacht and the next you were collecting unemployment.

There’s no way to make billions of dollars in one year without taking huge risks, working 24/7, or being incredibly lucky – and usually you need all 3.

Absolute Returns vs. Relative Returns

The main difference between hedge funds and traditional institutional asset management is that hedge funds focus on absolute returns, whereas money managers focus on relative returns.

It has little to do with investing styles – for example, you’ll see deep value investors at both types of firms.

Imagine you’re a traditional money manager who’s managing to the S&P 500 benchmark in 2008. That year, the S&P 500 fell 37%, but your fund was down “only” 33%. That would be a good year for you, since you’re focused on returns relative to that index.

But that same (33%) return would be awful for a hedge fund – potentially bad enough to shut down the entire fund depending on the leverage used and the assets under management.

Conversely, let’s say it’s 2009 when the S&P was up 26% and both your asset management firm and a hedge fund returned 20%.

That would be a terrible year for you as the relative manager since you’re down 6% against the index, but it would be a great year for the hedge fund manager – who gets 20% of that 20% return (assuming the fund is above its high-water mark).

Breaking Into Asset Management… and Hedge Funds

There are 2 different paths that people follow to work on the buy-side – the IB/PE route and the CFA route. The IB/PE route is more specialized, so let’s start there.

Breaking In from Investment Banking or Private Equity

Some hedge funds like to hire people from IB and PE even though they may not have prior public markets experience – that’s because of the absolute return mandate at hedge funds.

As a result, some funds operate more like PE firms – they just care about finding great stocks to invest in, regardless of what the broader market is doing.

And sometimes they’ll resort to activism if they believe the full value of the company is not being realized (e.g. Ackman with TGT or Lampert with SHLD).

If you want to break in from this background, your main obstacle will be convincing hedge funds (and money managers) that you’re actually interested in the markets.

The recruiting process is similar to breaking into private equity from banking: work at the firm with the best possible brand-name, go through headhunters, network aggressively, and tell a convincing story about how your interests shifted to the public markets over time.

The few ex-bankers I’ve worked with all ended up leaving institutional asset management because they were “deal” guys – they liked doing deals more than they liked following the stock markets, so there wasn’t a good fit.

If you haven’t entered IB/PE yet, but you’re thinking about going to a hedge fund or asset management firm and you’re more interested in the public markets than deals, you probably want to go the CFA route (see below) since that’s a more direct path.

One final note: hedge funds hire people from IB/PE, but traditional asset managers rarely do that for the reasons outlined above.

The CFA Route

Yes, Brian’s favorite topic once again – the CFA.

First, his views here on the CFA are absolutely correct – there’s no reason for a banker to care about the CFA designation because it has little to do with doing deals and selling entire companies.

But if you’re interested in the public markets and not doing deals – whether you want to be in asset management, work at a hedge fund, or go into equity research – then the CFA is almost a requirement.

There are almost 90,000 CFA charter holders worldwide, and the 2 biggest occupation categories are “Portfolio Manager” and “Research Analyst.”

You can even take advantage of networking opportunities within the program by joining local CFA societies – just get a professor to sponsor you and then you can attend society events.

As an undergraduate, joining and attending these events is the single most important thing you can do to break into both types of firms – hedge funds and institutional asset management firms – right out of school.

And yet very few students do it.

But that’s the “path” here – aim for Level 1 of the exam, make sure you network aggressively at those events, start with informal and even unpaid internships at local firms, and use those to work your way in without doing IB/PE first.

If that doesn’t work or you’re already out of school, another option is to go to business school – or even a Master’s in Finance program – after a few years of full-time work experience.

The good news, if you go the MBA route, is that you don’t necessarily need to go to a “target” school to land offers at these firms – that’s in sharp contrast to IB/PE recruiting, which are focused on the top 10-15 programs.

Recruiting – What They’re Looking For

So now you’ve done the networking and you have the experience to break in – how do you impress portfolio managers and land interviews?

Screening

Hedge funds often screen candidates according to who has prior banking or PE experience, but on the long-only asset management side it’s more about your credentials.

The most common requirement there is “MBA and/or CFA preferred.”

You can still get into either industry without these, but it’s tougher and you will have to focus on more specialized funds that match your background exactly.

Personality Traits

Aside from the initial screening, the personality traits required for both hedge funds and asset management are remarkably similar.

The two most important traits are passion for the markets / investing and being a team player.

Passion for the Markets and Investing

Your job as an analyst at either a hedge fund or an asset management firm is to drive investment performance by generating good investment ideas.

We’re not looking for data monkeys to enter data into spreadsheets – we need thinkers who can come up with ideas on their own without much guidance.

This is in sharp contrast to investment banking and private equity, where the bulk of your time is not spent on idea generation or winning clients, but rather on executing deals – at least until you reach more senior levels.

If you’re not passionate about investing, you’ll probably resort to surfing the Internet all day – and the stakes are too high for that to happen.

I hate to quote Wall Street yet again, but this exchange between Gordon Gekko and Bud Fox sums it up:

Gekko: You done good, but you gotta keep doing good. I showed you how the game works, now school’s out.

Bud: Mr. Gekko, I’m there for you 110%.

Gekko: No, no, no, no, you don’t understand. I want to be surprised. Astonish me, pal, new info, don’t care where or how you get it, just get it.

Obviously you want “new info” that is legal and not the material, non-public kind that Bud Fox obtained in the movie.

But just like the quote suggests, you must be a self-starter who can bring great ideas to the PMs – if they have to generate all the ideas themselves, why would they hire you?

Being a Team Player

This sounds so cliché that you’re probably wondering why I’ve even listed it.

In the context of investing, though, being a “team player” is an absolute requirement – teams are tiny, and both hedge funds and asset management firms have PMs with a handful of analysts covering the sector.

It’s not like a Fortune 500 company where there’s so much bureaucracy that getting along with others isn’t required – a person who only cares about himself causes the entire investment process to break down.

But when everyone plays for the same team, it lets HFs and AMs have flatter structures that result in better ideas – and higher payouts for everyone involved.

Do not go into an interview and think that acting like a BSD will get you a job in either one of these industries – this is not like banking where you have rainmakers that can bring in clients with strong solo performances.

Resumes

Your resume needs to demonstrate both of the points above – I often discard good resumes because I see no evidence that the person is interested in investing.

How do you show this?

  1. Take investing classes at your school.
  2. Participate in or start an investing club.
  3. Join your local CFA society and/or start the CFA program.
  4. All of the above.

Yes, all the usual criteria like having solid work experience/internships, good grades, and so on still apply but passion for investing is the most important point if you want to work in the public markets.

Interviews

As you might have already guessed, interviews tend to be more like sales & trading than investment banking.

Yes, I may still ask you accounting and valuation questions, but I’m not testing to see whether you’re a financial modeling wizard.

I want to see that you have great investment ideas and can pitch me on why a certain stock, company, or strategy is a smart move.

At hedge funds that operate more like PE firms, you’ll get case studies and modeling tests similar to the ones you see in private equity – but even there, they still care most about your passion for investing and your ideas.

See: more coverage of hedge fund case studies.

Saying that you’re “interested in business” and talking about companies or business models that you like might work for banking, but it’s a bad, or at least insufficient, way to approach HF and AM interviews – you need to have at least a few investment ideas that you can discuss in-depth.

A Day in the Life – Hedge Funds vs. Asset Management

Once you’re in, the average day is similar at both hedge funds and asset management firms.

You’ll create financial models and analyze financial statements, read sell-side equity research, and talk to management teams of companies – those tasks take up the bulk of your time.

The main difference is that hedge funds have a much, much broader array of investment opportunities than long-only asset management firms.

Asset managers stick to buying or selling stocks, whereas with hedge funds you will see everything from the plain vanilla strategies to more exotic ones involving derivatives, events and special situations, commodities, and so on.

Of course, that freedom also comes with much higher scrutiny on performance at hedge funds – if you screw up and lose a lot of money, you will hear about it and you might be out of a job if it’s bad enough.

As an analyst you’ll work 50-60 hours per week at both these types of firms, with occasional weekend work on top of it.

Another difference on the buy-side is that year-to-date performance impacts your hours – if you get a good start to the year, you’ll spend less time in the office the rest of the year; get in the hole early and you’ll be working much more later on.

In contrast to IB and PE where deals drive your hours, with HFs and AMs performance plays a bigger role.

M&I Note: I left in the 50-60 hours per week reference here, but your hours may be worse than this at the largest and most well-known hedge funds. Similar to PE mega-funds, the culture is more like banking there and you will work. A lot.

The Pay – Hedge Funds

Yes, John Paulson routinely makes billions of dollars each year, but he’s in a completely different league from the average hedge fund manager.

Once you start working at a hedge fund, the average pay might be in the low hundreds of thousands all-in; call it $200K-$400K depending on the fund size, their performance, and your standing there.

That’s a wide range because hedge fund pay is much less standardized than IB/PE pay.

Yes, some people do make over $1 million even at more junior levels but that’s the exception and not the norm – especially post-financial crisis.

You should not expect to make “serious” amounts of money – defined as tens or hundreds of millions in a given year – until you actually become a PM or start your own fund.

If you don’t believe these numbers, look at this hedge fund compensation report from Job Search Digest – over 20% of respondents there reported pay in the $300K – $500K range, with around 10% in the other ranges. The average was $326K.

Fewer than 5% reported pay over $1 million.

The Pay – Institutional Asset Management

While the ceiling at hedge funds is much higher and you see a few outliers each year, the average pay at the entry-level in asset management is not much different from the average entry-level pay at hedge funds.

Greenwich Associates publishes a report on investment management and hedge fund compensation pay each year, and average compensation is in the same range (the actual report is copyrighted, otherwise I would link to it here).

Pay depends more on your title and experience (Chief Investment Officers earn more than Portfolio Managers, who in turn earn more than Directors, Analysts, and Traders) and the fund size than it does on distinctions between different types of firms.

Exit Opportunities

For most people in investment management, “exit opportunities” don’t exist because becoming a Portfolio Manager is the end-game.

Sometimes analysts and PMs bounce around to better opportunities and leave for other funds, but other than that, the most lucrative exit opportunity is to start your own fund.

The key to doing that is getting seed money in the first place – if you’re new to the business, usually that initial investment comes from “friends and relatives” if you happen to have a wealthy family, or from existing PE firms and HFs.

Many PE firms and HFs provide seed money “to invest in start-ups” – Julian Robertson and the Tiger Cubs are the best-known example, but even Blackstone is now investing in start-up hedge funds.

To have a shot at starting your own fund, though, you need to have a great track record and years of high returns elsewhere – yes, “past performance is no guarantee of future results,” but that’s the way the game is played.

So if you’re a sophomore in college right now, don’t even think about this one until you can point to at least 5-10 years of solid returns at funds you’ve worked at.

A Billion Dollars?

A billion dollars is definitely cooler than a million dollars, but you won’t make anything close to that until you’ve been in the game for decades and have become one of the top PMs in the world.

The ceiling is much higher on the hedge fund side, so if the absolute size of your bank account is your top concern, you should go there.

Asset management has a much lower “Beta” but the pay ceiling is also lower – sometimes it’s nice to make a lot of money with much less risk, though.

But if you’re really set on that billion-dollar payday, you might be better off starting the next Facebook and hoping for the best – even if it doesn’t work out quite as well financially, you might at least get a hit movie out of it.

About the Author

is a Portfolio Manager at a long-only asset management firm. He started Life on the Buy Side to teach you what it’s like working in asset management, hedge funds, and more.

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260 Comments to “Hedge Funds vs. Institutional Asset Management: Is a Billion Dollars Really Cooler Than a Million Dollars?”

Comments

  1. ashcloak says

    Great article. I have just started reading about the finance world and I think this site is great for MBA students. I have a question that I think this article doesn’t address. What are the skills needed to be successful in managing a great hedge fund. Is it great quantitative aptitude, knowledge about sectors, or just lots of networking?
    Also you talked about transition from IB to fund management. How about the transition from fund management to IB?

    • says

      You have to be a great investor in order to be a great hedge fund manager, but don’t expect to come out of school managing a hedge fund. You’ll need to get in with a good shop and learn the business first.

    • says

      Fund management to IB is quite tough and according to what John told me, does not happen often. On the great HF manager question, it is less about networking and more about sector knowledge and knowing how to spot good investments (correct me if I’m wrong here). Networking tends to be more important in IB / PE where you need to know people to get a deal done.

      • says

        The fund management to IB path is just not very common. I can think of only two examples that I’ve witnessed – one buy side PM that was let go turned to the dark side (IB) and one sell side analyst that went to IB for a couple of years but decided it wasn’t for him and jumped back to the sell side.

  2. Sal says

    I alwayas thought that hedge funds do a lot (sometimes mostly) trading..Why is IB always considered a “better” career path and trading is never mentioned?

    • says

      IB isn’t necessarily “better” but it is sometimes considered more prestigious. Especially at bulge bracket banks, everyone will know the name but at smaller hedge fund there’s not nearly as much name recognition.

      So it gets more attention partially due to that and the prestige factor.

    • says

      Some hedge funds trade a lot (think HFT and quant funds) and some hardly trade at all (think the deep value guys). It all depends on the strategies that fund is running.

      A trading background is most useful if you want to go to a HF that is trader-centric. The IB background will give you more exit opps given the broader depth of skills acquired.

  3. alex says

    How prevalent are people with backgrounds at research houses? (morningstar, Off Wall Street) and I know you mention that the MBA you get doesn’t have specifically from a target.. is it safe to assume somewhere like Uchi, northwestern or UCLA be acceptable?

    • says

      Those schools should be fine (again, correct me if I’m wrong). Research to fund management is possible but is probably less common than IB/PE (for HFs) or starting out straight away in asset management.

      • says

        Those schools are all excellent. Think Top 50 and not just Top 5.

        Sell side equity research to hedge funds and asset management firms is quite common. It is much less common at non-”Wall Street” shops like Morningstar, S&P, etc.

  4. Nathan says

    Great article.

    Do you see cases of people going from BB S&T to Institutional AM or is the IBD skillset really what they’re looking for?

    Thanks.

    • says

      You don’t typically see that transition just because BB S&T is more sales-like and AM is more analytical.

      That said, I have seen it done before. In that case the person went from a sales and marketing role to sell side equity research. From there he’ll probably be able to jump to the buy side some day.

      • Adam says

        Just to add, yes it can be done. I know a guy that was a cash equity salesperson that jumped to an HF as an analyst. Rare to be sure, but impress the client with your analytical skills and they will consider you.

  5. Ross says

    What do you think is the best starting point for someone who wants to eventually become a portfolio manager–starting off in equity research, in other research (credit, fixed income, etc), starting in trading, doing IB, or simply starting off at a hedge fund out of undergrad?

    • says

      Starting off as an analyst in asset management or at a hedge fund is best since you are already there.

      Sell side research and IB would be next best since the most common exits are to HFs and/or AM.

      Trading would be the worst option because it is really a different field altogether.

      • Ross says

        How difficult is it to jump into a hedge fund straight out of undergrad?

        Also are there any down sides of doing this if I know I want to work in a hedge fund long term? I’m just thinking back to the M&I “Should You Start On The Buy Side” article.

  6. FJ says

    Finally the HF article, thanks Brian !!
    Jokes aside, great article, but I still got a couple of questions. There’s been a couple of questions about the S&T background, but I’m still not clear about it. You mentioned that it is more sales-like than analytical. What about prop trading, derivatives structuring and equity research groups, which are way more analytical? How easy/difficult would be to break in from these to a trading-like HF? Which of these groups would be best? Better than IB?
    I am also not clear about the time structure. I’m an undergrad student graduating in 2013, and I’ll be doing an internship at a BB bank in one of the trading groups mentioned above, even though I’m a sophomore (haven’t chosen yet, so perfect timing). How should I go about breaking in at a HF? Try to get an internship in a HF in my junior year? Do another trading internship and trying to get in full time after graduating? Or is it more like PE and I HAVE TO do trading for a couple of years after graduation and then going to headhunters? I’m sorry, about all the questions but I’m completely clueless about this.
    Thanks for your help!

    • says

      That’s more than a couple of questions, that was an onslaught of questions. I’ll try my best here …

      Prop trading or anything where you are running a book is useful for trading-centric HFs since the roles are very similar. Any of those group is better than IB if you want to be in trading (Brian to confirm, but I can’t imagine bankers exiting to trading).

      As far as breaking into HFs and your junior year strategy, it depends on what type of HF strategy you want to end up at. If trading is more your style, then focus on trading internships. If you want to be a stockpicker, then look for internships in asset management, sell side research, or even try IB.

      Since you are just a sophomore, don’t worry about figuring it all out now. Start with this summer, find out what you like doing and go from there.

    • says

      Just to add, in terms of breaking into a hedge fund it is easiest if you can start there right out of school. But if not, you could get in via either IB or trading or equity research or a number of others at a bank. You don’t have to trade for a couple of years to get in, sometimes people work for 1 and move over early. Headhunters are quite common for HFs as well but probably less important than they are for PE.

      • FJ says

        Thanks guys very insightful.
        I don’t see myself in IB, I just think it’s not a good fit for me and ultimately you need to perform first in order to get a good HF offer. About the rest, I think I’d like working at a Global Macro strategy funds best, so I thought that trading at a FX, Interest or commodity desk would be the way to go, but I also like researching so I’ll guess I’ll try to find something in research in those areas.
        One last question: in order to get to PM is it easier through a Research/stock picking role or a trading one? I know there’s no fixed path, just wondering which one gives biggest chances.

        About breaking in at directly, it’s a risk since you’d have to go to a small fund. If after a couple of years you don’t get an offer you’r advancement possibilities could be none, since small places are very arbitrary, whereas in a trading/ER role in a BB you could stay and keep “climbing the ladder” as a plan B so it would be safer should things go wrong. It’s a risk you need to evaluate. Just wanted to share that thought cos I saw another question related to this.

        • says

          PMs are stockpickers, so that’s the path you would take. Traders that run their own books are really a different animal.

          Do you want to be a trader or a stockpicker? Answer that and you will know the path you should take.

          • Sal says

            Can you write an article on the differences between traders and investment managers?Dont equities traders pick stocks??(with different time horizon and strategies of course)

          • says

            Thanks for the suggestion, will see what we can do. Traders are more focused on the mechanics of buying/selling and investment managers are more focused on picking the stocks in the first place.

          • FJ says

            I want to choose investments, but I thought that in global macro funds you invested in Bonds/Currencies/Commodities/… not stocks, so ER wouldn’t be applicable. Guess the place to be would be a research group related to those, or trading those, and if you want to work at another type of fund (L/S, event driven, deep value) then do ER (considering you don’t want to do banking).
            Thanks for everything, and sorry about the thousands of questions!

  7. Jon says

    Brian and John Q,

    Thank you very much for this great article! I will be starting my career in IB but know I want to work at a HF vs. PE long-term. I have 3 main questions:

    1. Generally speaking, what looks more favorable to HFs: An IB analyst from a bulge-bracket coverage group, or one from an elite boutique (Lazard, Greenhill, Evercore) with pure M&A advisory/Restructuring experience?

    2. Is PE (more often than not) a necessary requirement before breaking into a HF or is it in my better interest to try and jump straight to a HF after my 2-year analyst stint?

    3. How fast realistically can the CFA be completed? Can one expect to pass all 3 levels before the end of an IB analyst stint or do the more difficult levels (2 and 3) usually require buy-side experience to pass?

    Thanks for all the help! Keep up the great work!

    • says

      1) I think you might be splitting hairs on this one since both are good, but I’ll let Brian comment on any differences.

      2) PE is not necessarily required. The IB/PE route is an either/or but not necessarily both situation. Obviously, both are better together. Same with AM when you see “MBA or CFA preferred” – both are better but not required.

      3) The CFA program can be completed in 18 months (you still can’t get your charter until you have 4 years of experience, though) if you start with Level 1 in December and then do levels 2 and 3 the subsequent Junes. Level 2 is by far the hardest level. I can’t even imagine trying to do that at the same time as working in IB, though. That would be unimaginably awful.

    • says

      1. They’re the same, no difference.

      2. No, PE is not required and may actually hurt you. Best to just jump in directly.

      3. As John said the main obstacle is that it’s almost impossible to do the more difficult levels while in IB. You’re working 80-100 hours per week and have minimal free time for anything else.

        • says

          Because PE does not deal with public market investments and is therefore closer to IB and further away from most hedge funds and asset management, the further up you go the more specialized you get and the fewer options you have

  8. Ben says

    I would be interested to see what first-year analysts are earning at some of the big institutional asset management firms. My understanding is that going right from undergrad to a HF in a front-office role is pretty much unheard of.

    • says

      It’s rare, but definitely not unheard of as I’ve seen several people do it. You typically have to somehow find a really small, up-and-coming hedge fund that can’t afford to hire someone with more experience.

      On the asset management side, geography makes a big difference. A quick rule of thumb is to see what the starting salaries are for finance majors at the best nearby schools and assume the higher end of any ranges. Then assume bonus is going to be in the 25%-50% of base range.

      • Sal says

        So bonuses are not % of P/L like trading?Its seems like people on the buy side make far less money (according to this site IB bonuses are usually bigger than base salary and trading ones 5-15% of profits)..

        • says

          You are referring to prop trading where you are running your own book. Nobody is going to give you discretionary money to run right out of school.

          Bonuses are typically a little better for entry-level IB positions, but the buy side lifestyle is signifcantly better (at most shops, at least). As you gain experience on the buy side, your bonus rises quickly. After a few years your target bonus is usually equal to base. PM bonuses can be multiples of base.

    • says

      Yes it’s definitely not common but it is possible.

      I actually had a hedge fund offer right out of undergrad but decided to go with IB instead. Some HFs do recruit at the undergraduate level, especially at top schools.

      At the entry-level asset management pay isn’t much different from IB entry-level pay but might be a bit higher at larger firms.

  9. Michael says

    Hello John,

    I did a double major in school finance/accounting, and and currently finishing up my second year at a big 4 firm. I have a couple asset management clients and will try to use that to my advantage, but my question is this:

    Do most asset management/HF’s look for someone directly out of school? If so, is it better to think MBA or masters in Finance?

    Thanks – Also any opinion on Philadelphia schools, Temple, Villanova, Drexel?

    • says

      I wouldn’t say “most” look for someone directly out of school – they either want someone with previous AM experience or someone who has done IB/PE/ER and so on before. But an MBA might be a good idea if you can’t network your way in, not sure how helpful a Master’s in Finance would be. I think the schools you mentioned are fine at least for breaking into asset management.

      • says

        MSF is also good, just a little more specialized than an MBA – look for the CFA partner programs so you work toward the CFA at the same time.

  10. Couchy says

    Thank you for posting this. I’m so tired of highschoolers and dumb college students dreaming about making millions and billions in IBD,PE,HF. Hopefully they will read this and realize there’s no easy way to make big money.

  11. alex says

    Curious again, but what if someone wanted to target a deep value fund? I’m talking greenlight,baupost, fairholme style.. what kind of backgrounds do they look for?

    • says

      I don’t think it’s much different from what’s described here – still a focus on people from IB and to a lesser extent PE, and then the usual asset management and ER backgrounds. For the top places pedigree and brand name may matter more.

  12. mike says

    Coming out of college, is the location of one’s first job in finance (IB, ER, etc) important for breaking into a hedge fund or asset management? For example, would an analyst stint at a top energy Investment banking group in TX or tech in CA give you the same opportunities to jump over to the buyside as a standard NYC banking analyst job?

    I am curious to hear this answer both in terms of getting into buyside in NY and buyside in the regional place (TX, CA, etc).

    Thanks, great article.

    • says

      Yes location is important. It is logistically difficult to interview in other cities if you’re hours away from them and you need to take a whole day out to get there. So if you start in NY chances are you’ll stay there, same for the others. Some people do move but generally you get more specialized by location and function over time.

    • says

      Regarding regions, hedge funds are extremely concentrated in NYC. Asset management firms are much more geographically diverse, so there is more opportunity on that side of the business across the country.

  13. Chris says

    Coming out of school, is it better to work for a renowned investment bank in Equity Research/IBD or for a smaller Hedge Fund as a buy-side analyst? Essentially I’m asking what’s more important – being on the “right side” or prestige? Also, are foreign language skills valued at all? (I guess that depends on the investment style)

    • Chris says

      Another question, does financial blogging/being Seeking Alpha-certified help at all? It obviously shows a passion for the markets but do people ever get “tapped” based on solid blogging?

      • Sal says

        Having read Seeking Alpha,I think that being able to blog there would be very important.And you can prove it (its not always anonymus).But they require very thorough analysis,which I believe is impossible to be conducted by someone just out of school.Dont forget that you have to be accepted by them (by sending a couple of articles for review) to be able to post there.

    • says

      Foreign language skills are less important for trading / HFs because it’s global, they matter far more for IB/PE. But if it is more like a PE firm they could be valuable.

      If you want to stay in HFs long-term it’s probably better to start there, but if you’re not sure yet going to a bank would give you more options.

      Stock blogging would probably help but as Sal said it’s not the easiest thing in the world to get certified.

      • says

        Agree – start in hedge funds if that’s where you want to be. It’s always easier to network and advance your career from the inside than to try to break in from the outside.

  14. Gary says

    Hi John,

    I was wondering if you could give me some advice. I have just finished my Junior year at a known university in Canada, however I’m from the UK and was unable to land an AM internship for the summer in London, as I feel they have never heard of my university before. My GPA is a 3.5 so far (3.98 last year, but my first 2 years were terrible) and was wondering if I should get a masters in finance from a top UK university (Oxford, LSE, Warwick, Imperial) and then apply for jobs? Even though my GPA isn’t great I still can get in to those universities as my GMAT score was really good.
    What do you think is my best option to get into AM?

    Thanks

    • says

      That is generally a good idea, if your school is unknown then a top MSF program is a common way to get in. For AM pedigree may not matter as much but if it’s a true unknown university then you probably want to “upgrade.”

    • says

      Canadian schools aren’t known in London, eh?

      Getting an MSF from a top school can only help you. You could always run parallel tracks during your senior year – try to find a job but also apply for MSF programs.

  15. D says

    If someone has an accounting background and is at a top 5 MBA, is there a way to break into HF or top buy side firms? the IB path i assume would not be very effective as you would be starting as as associate and M&I is quite clear that associates have fewer exit opps. Is going to a HF or top AM firm possible and realistic in this case? what would you suggest is the best path to take in this situtation?

  16. says

    Top 5 MBA is going to get you into most places. Just focus on getting relevant investing experience – through class electives, internships, investment clubs, etc.

  17. Curios says

    I have a mock portfolio on Investopedia. I rank in the top 25. Is it a good idea to put this on your resume? Also do you need pre-MBA banking/consulting experience to get into HF/AM post-MBA? My background is in engineering and I have CFA L1 under my belt. I also have stock pitches ready. Would going to a top 10 b-school position me well for interviewing at HFs?

    • says

      You can add the Investopedia portfolio to your resume, but think of it as a good extracurricular activity. Use it to highlight and document your investing style.

      Engineering background + CFA progress + MBA are solid credentials.

  18. vanier says

    1, from your point of view, which company provides a better growth opportunity in the long run. Finance manager @Microsoft China or middle office associates @Citigroup Hongkong? (Same compensation, and since citi’s is a middle office job, do not think there will be a big bonus)

    2, as for the citi job, it is the Financial Management Associates program (FMA); it is a rotational middle office program. Associates will take 3 rotations among treasury, strategy, M&A (internal M&A), financial planning/ analysis, audit/risk control functions, and will become VP if they can graduate after 3 rotations(18 months).

    a. What are the chances of switch from this to front office jobs, like capital market after graduating from FMA?

    b. I am 35 years old, is it worthwhile to give up a leisure&stable job @Microsoft and work my ass off for a possible better future?

    • says

      Tough call on that one. You could trade leisure/stability for more pay, but harder work and more stress goes along with it.

      All I can say is follow your passion, whatever that may be.

      • vanier says

        Thank you very much! John.

        1. People told me that it is easier to switch from commercial/operational banking, such as Citigroup Asia Pacific in Hong Kong, to a finance job at a corporate. But it is hard to transfer from a corporate finance job to a banking job. Do you have any comments on that? Thanks.

        2. If I keep staying at the commercial/operational banking job@ Citigroup Hong Kong, Normally, what is the long term development opportunity and compensation growth comparing to the corporate finance job @Microsoft China?

        Thanks!

        • says

          I really don’t know as it depends on what exactly you would be doing, so would need more description. I am not sure we are using the same definitions for commercial/operational banking and corporate finance but it should not be that difficult to move over. I can’t really answer your last question as I just don’t know enough about Microsoft China or commercial banking to say – this site is really about investment banking and private equity and while I try to answer other questions when possible, sometimes I just don’t know enough.

  19. Tom says

    What backgrounds would be best for moving to a long-short hedge fund?
    What about a global macro fund?
    I’ve heard that some funds (like global macro) don’t even take IB analysts.

    • says

      See the post for traditional HF paths if you are looking to be a stockpicker.

      Global macro funds tend to be more trader oriented, which is why banking experience is not as applicable. There really isn’t stockpicking here as you are dealing with futures, commodities, etc.

  20. Marcos says

    Hello guys, great article! thanks a lot!

    I’m doing an intership at the market risk department at a mid/large bank in Brazil and I’m currently working with volatilities surfaces of interest rate and fx options. What do you guys think about the move from market risk to AM/HF?
    I mean, is it too dificult? What do you think about the prestige of market risk deparment? Do you think that I should look for jobs at other deparments?

    tks!

    • says

      I don’t think it’s terribly common but I suppose it can happen. You might be better getting into trading first and then using that to move over to AM/HF, though it would help more for hedge funds.

      • marcos says

        Brian, thanks for you advice.
        But what’s you opinion about the prestige that the financial market/bankers thinks about the market risk deparment?

        • says

          Don’t know what to tell you there because prestige is my least favorite topic in the world. I think it’s OK, better than true back office work but most bankers assume that everything outside of banking is inferior.

  21. Kenny says

    For trying to get into a mid- or large size hedge fund, would it be better to start at a small hedge fund (<$1 billion) or in bulge bracket asset management (JP Morgan, GSAM, etc)?

  22. Peter says

    Hey guys! Great informational article, as always. Just a quick question about breaking into Hedge Funds without having worked full time. Im currently about to go into my second year at uni at one of the top 5 in the UK, and i am extremely interested in finance. However, I would much rather work in a Hedge Fund rather than making the switch after 2 years if IB. Its not the working hours that put me off IB its just the fact i far prefer, and im more interested in the buyside. Could even doing a internship at an IB or HF, allow me to go straight to fulltime working at a HF. Thanks

      • Peter says

        Thanks for the reply Brian, your site is extremely useful and is defintely the most informative financial website on the net. However just one more quick question about HF internships, full time what would a new graduate be earning at a HF without any financial experience except an internship. I read on your posts that it may be slighlty less than IB but could you supply me with a ballpark figure. Thank you

        • says

          I don’t know, maybe $100K all-in? At really small firms though you may not get much more than your base salary, which can be closer to $50-60K with no experience.

  23. Anthony says

    Thanks for the article. Very informative.

    I know in the article and comments you have discussed breaking in to HF/AM through the IB/PE route vs. joining a fund right out school; but what are the possibilities of being able to break in after working for a few years in other industries such as Big 4 or consulting?

    • says

      Business school and/or CFA is your best option here. Business school is the quickest route given it takes less than two years and you get to tap the alumni network immediately.

    • says

      It’s possible but more difficult since there’s less overlap. People do get in from those backgrounds but it usually has to be a more specific fit (i.e. if you did turnaround consulting and the HF focuses on distressed investments).

  24. Mark says

    Thank you for the article. I’ve been working in asset management in Dallas for a few years and Im interested in going to get an MBA, and moving to a hedge fund. I went to a top 20 school (Rice), 3.8 GPA, 770 GMAT, and I feel like I can get into HBS/Stanford/Wharton. However, I want move back to Dallas after I get my MBA. It has been my experience that a lot of UTexas MBAs go to work in Dallas, although it is not nearly as hard to get into Texas as it is to get into Harvard.

    My question is—would I be better off going to an H/S/W school (do many Texas firms actually recruit out there / would coming from a top MBA program help differentiate me?) or am I better off going for a program like Texas which is less prestigious but has a ton of recruiting and connections in the Dallas-Ft Worth area?

    • says

      There are very few HFs in Dallas, so go straight to the source and see what type of grads they hire.

      That said, you might want to get out of Texas for a couple of years and try something new while you are still young.

      • Mark says

        Thanks. Yeah Dallas has about 100 hedge funds, as compared to NYC’s 800 or so. I wouldn’t mind living in NYC or California for a while, and certainly there would be a lot of NYC options available if I was at HBS, but do you think working in NYC the best move if my end goal is to settle down in Texas? (Friends, family, etc. are all there) Basically I’m wondering how easy it would be to transfer to another city out of New York…

        • says

          John pointed above that going to NY for a while might be good to get exposure elsewhere, but if you want to move back to Texas anyway then I don’t see the point in completing a degree on the east coast, working, and then attempting to move back. It’s not necessarily difficult (easier than the reverse from elsewhere to NY) but it’s more indirect.

    • says

      If you want to move back to Dallas then you should probably stay in Texas for your MBA – I don’t think many firms from there recruit at H/S/W.

  25. madman says

    Hey Brian,

    Great article.

    A bit off-topic. Hoping you can help me out.

    I might have a shot at a Summer Analyst position in one of the local boutique IBD firms in Mumbai. However, in case that doesnt pan out, I can intern at the top Mutual Fund in India. Would that be a smart move for FT IBD recruiting in 2012? Will i be able to learn much in terms of valuation techniques/investing and would it make for a “good story”?

    Thanks.

  26. hoggerjp says

    Hi Brian,

    I just landed an off-cycle IBD internship at a NY BB through a family friend who is connected to the senior management. I will be beginning the internship in September, and it will probably last for three months. I will be graduating from a target university with an economics major this month.

    While I said that I am interested in just an internship (My situation is not so typical – a foreign citizen, using my training visa for the next twelve months, possibility of going to a grad school next september), if I happen to like banking too much, I would like to pursue a full-time position in similar capacities. I have not met with the interviewers yet (I know this sounds crazy but I’m going into interviews knowing that I already have it), but what do think are my chances of landing a FT offer (compared to summers/ or if this is even a possibility), and how should I go about it? Of course in the interviews I will say that I plan to stay in the world of finance for a very long time. What have been other people’s experiences in off-cycle internships like?

    Thanks!

  27. Eric says

    Thanks for the great article. I will be doing an intern in fixed income at a large AM in London this summer. Haven’t seen the discussion on the transfer from AM to HF. Is it common? What kind of preparation I should make in order to achieve that?

    Regards,
    Eric

    • says

      It is common as many people end up on the HF side instead; just tell a story about how you wanted to make different types of investments and explore more exotic strategies. The other qualities required are similar so it’s just a matter of networking / the usual recruiting via headhunters and so on.

  28. Ken says

    First off, great read Mr.Buyside!I just have a quick question,I’m a recent graduate in a weird spot.I had mediocre grades in undergrad, but managed to get an internship for a start up AM firm. It’s unpaid(the company just launched),but would other AM firms even look at me considering I had one unpaid internship at a startup?

    • says

      It’s really hard to generalize, but getting the internship is a good first step. Getting the full-time position somewhere is going to involve taking your career to the next level, which means demonstrating your skills on the job and networking. Be active and find anyway you can to leverage your current internship.

  29. alex says

    Brian and John, probably asking the wrong source but is BIWS suitable for someone trying to get a head start ? (ie ahead of the curve for training)

    • says

      It is not really focused on HF / AM, it is more applicable to IB and PE. The accounting and valuation sections may still be helpful depending on the fund type.

  30. polishingg says

    Hi, Brian
    Thank you for your articles that really help me get some tele interviews from Alumni. However, it’s mid May now and many alumni in the BB IB I contact tell me that it’s too late for the recruitment of summer intern positions. I just reply that I hope them to refer me when they know somebody need interns. If you were in my shoes, do you have any other alternatives to get more chances?
    Thanks

  31. Andy says

    Good info, thanks to the writer.

    But advice for people aspiring to make a billion dollars? Really? :P

    • says

      Start your own company – that way you might actually do something good for the world and make a lot of money in the process.

  32. Mike says

    Alot of people get into front office roles in hedge funds but largely as research. You may find the odd person who did an internship at GS and then found a full time role as a trader at a HF out of school but thats v.rare.

    Grads at institutional AM firms usually get £36-40k salaries in London. Bonus it will vary depending on team/firm etc. You can’t make blanket statements because every firm is different.

  33. Nate says

    Thanks for the great article!

    Brian/Mr. Buyside: I’m 29, have 5 years expereince as a Mortgage Loan Officer on the retail side of a BB, and through tons of internal networking and a half-dozen NYC trips (not kidding), I’m actually getting some traction with our IB/AM — got another opportunity, not exactly IB/AM but in Treasury Securities Sales; if I ultimatley want to work in IB, is this a good place to “get in” or would I be better off in AM or forgoing all opportunties now, strapping in and getting my MBA @ a Top 10 and then going for Associate level IB in 2-3 years?

    • says

      You might be able to do that but I think it’s better to work in IB/AM directly as Treasury roles are pretty distant. So one of those or potentially an MBA if nothing else works out.

      • Nate says

        Talked to one of our MDs a few hours ago in Dubai (I can speak conversational Arabic and I had to stay up ’til 3am for our phone appt!) who is looking for Analysts and Associates for our BB (you prob can guess which one by now!) and he was really kind and gave me some good insight — but I got the same thing; “really need somebody who is plug and play ready with 1 or 2 years of deal experience.”

        So, I am going to enroll into your modeling course, rock that out, and blend it into my resume — because I’m sick and tired of hearing, “well, do you have any modeling expereince?” or, “We really need somebody right now who is plug and play — “somebody with at least 1 year of real deal experience” — so my question is, how do I leverage/present the modeling education I get to somewhat/somehow make it at least kinda sorta close to “deal experience?”

        Thanks again, words don’t match how thankful we ALL are for your insight.

        • Adam says

          Brian’s modeling course is a big step in the right direction, but not enough. The MD or whomever else you talk with will not consider a modeling course, no matter how good it is and how well you spin it, to be on par with on the job experience.

          What you should do is complete the M&I course and/or other courses until you feel VERY comfortable with modeling, then go back to the MD and ask for project work. Ask if he/she has any work that he/she doesn’t have manpower for; low priority pitch work is something you could try. The MD basically gets free labor and you a chance to show that you’re “plug and play ready”

          • Nate says

            This is an AWESOME idea — really, because THAT is exactly what I’m missing — outside the box thinking, I love it, thank you both very much!

            To modeling, and beyond!

          • Adam says

            Nate,

            The plan should work well with good execution and a bit of luck, but go into this with your eyes open. Asking for project work is risky. If you do well the MD will hire you or make great recommendations for you. If you don’t do well you really shoot yourself in the foot. Just make sure you’re really ready before you approach the MD.

          • Nate says

            Hey Guys, one more question:

            If things went perfectly, and I had to choose between two positions, should I take a MM Commerical Banking Analyst role, (still on the Ch*se/commercial side, i.e. not Asset Management/IB) or Institutional Sales Associate (advisory and sales) role in our Asset Management (JPM*rg*n side)?

  34. RT says

    John,

    Thanks for posting this article; definitely some of the best information I’ve come across.

    I currently practice securities law at a big international law firm and am interested in moving into asset management. I don’t really have any i-banking/finance background, although I did a consulting internship after finishing my BS in accounting which involved a lot of modelling. I have also taken some masters level finance classes. As such, it seems like my options are to (1) go back and finish the MSF, (2) transition into sell-side or equity research at an i-bank, then try to move to asset management or (3) apply directly to AM jobs.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    • says

      At this stage it is probably easiest to apply to AM jobs directly, going to equity research at a bank is indirect and may not even be easier than getting into AM. If you don’t have success doing that, consider the MSF.

  35. Takeshi says

    Hi Brian/John,
    I am currently working as a PWM intern and I am interested in getting a AM internship next summer. I have a lot of freedom to choose how I will spend my time this summer. Is there anything in particular that I can learn while I am at my PWM job now that will help my odds of landing the AM internship later? Thank you!

    • says

      Focus on the investing and analysis part and try not to get stuck cold calling constantly… they will test the quality of your investment ideas above all else for AM.

  36. Sam says

    This question applies to top tier hedge funds. I am currently applying to Columbia and Booth in an attempt to move careers from M&A advisory at an accounting firm (which I will have been at for two years) to leverage my way into a hedge fund. I have passed the first level of the CFA and will hopefully have the 2nd level out of the way before B-school. Will going to a school like these give me a legitimate chance to make it in with a a CFA if I have no prior asset management experience. Looking at these business school websites, their average salaries for graduates in hedge funds is around 115k, would I be able to expect these offers with my background? I know its a very subjective question, but assuming I do the things necessary to put myself in the situation…

  37. Lyubo says

    Hi Brian/John,

    First of all, thank you for this incredibly rich source of info on IB/PE/HF. I want to become a portfolio manager and I’ve registered for the CFA Level I in December. I come from an Eastern European EU country with a small and less developed capital market and I am graduating now from a Master in Finance program with 4.0 GPA at a Dutch non-target university. I couldn’t find an appropriate job in the Netherlands and I’m coming back to my home country. My goal is to work for a hedge fund in London, so I figured that I stand a chance only if I have completed a decent (Top 50 globally) MBA program and have acquired 3-4 years of work experience. What should I do to position myself best for a decent MBA and getting into a hedge fund afterwards – work in IB at the local office of a BB bank or work in asset management at an unknown internationally mutual fund? Do you think I really need the MBA to get into a London hedge fund and if yes, are the UK programs better than the IE business school or Esade in Spain? Thank you so much for your advice, I really appreciate it. Btw I scored in the top 1% of the Bloomberg Assessment Test, do you think I can get noticed from a London hedge fund?

    • says

      IB at large bank is probably better. MBA will help but isn’t necessary, UK programs are better, Bloomberg doesn’t matter

  38. Part-time Demi-god says

    Dear Brian & John. First of all, I take my hat off to you for doing such a sterling job demystifying the finance world. However, I find that the more I learn, the harder it is to make a career decision !

    I’m looking for advice. I want to be a billionaire with the inclusive models & bottles lifestyle. I also want a yacht. Thinking of naming it ‘La Dolce Vita’ – Is that a good name ?

    In all seriousness, I am stuck: I like the prospect of starting a business in the future, the ‘business’ like experience I would gain from IB (and the exit opps). However, a global macro / directional HF would be my ultimate goal.

    Do you suggest I try hitting 2 birds with 1 stone (Go for IB/Trading/asset mgt (which one of those?) -> get the experience for a few years -> move to a HF …. Or should I go straight into a HF internship, work there & then in the long future start my own HF & become the don of all dons (If so, could you suggest ‘brand Hf’s’ if they even exist ?)

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Actually I think I’ve seen a yacht with that name. Make sure you invite us when you sail in the deep blue sea ;)

      Trading wld be more relevant if you want a role at a HF

      Yes. I’d go straight into a HF internship.

      Top HFs? Bridgewater Associates, Paulson & Co., Brevan Howard, Och Ziff, DE Shaw..etc etc. Do a google search

  39. David says

    Hello, could you elaborate more on the sponsoring for CFA societies that you mentioned? I am a final year university student and I would like to ask my professor more about this.

    Thank you

  40. Dave says

    I’ve spent 2 years in Big 4 Transaction Advisory and need your advice. Long term goal was always to eventually be a PM at a Hedge Fund vehicle without getting an MBA. Now, I received an offer to be a research associate at a $10+ Billion investment manager, – it is a 4-5 star rated mutual fund platform, long-only. The catch is that it is about 1 hour 30 minutes minutes by car each way from my house- I would be receiving the same salary, and my wife isn’t really inclined to move now. I wanted to get your insight on the role from a relative standpoint, meaning is it an opportunity worth accepting and dealing with the commute for a few years? Will this open up my path in the buy-side from a long term perspective and allow me to move to hedge funds etc? . I want to make sure I’m not disillusioned with the word “buyside” and that going to a mutual fund as an equity research associate isn’t actually detrimental to my long-term path.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Regarding your second question, yes.

      Re your first question, its your call because I don’t know if you are willing to deal w 1.5 hrs commute back & forth. Can you negotiate a higher salary to compensate for your commute time? if they really want you, you might be able to negotiate that. Just a thought

      • Dave says

        Thanks for the response. Based on what you’ve seen people get from Big 4 TAS Valuation, is this opportunity at the top end?

        How does this rate with a BB IB/ER offer if I think I could get those?

  41. Ragas says

    Dear Brian and John,

    Great job at the article.
    I must have read this website for hours and hours – so many of my doubts get cleared over here!

    I am a Master in Management student at a target school with a Bachelor in Engineering prior to this from another target school. I am also a CFA level III candidate. I want to apply for HF or AM in BBs, full time position, but I’m hesitating as I had heard somewhere that they usually take people with some prior work ex? I just have 2-3 technical internships behind me. I would appreciate if you could clarify that, and whether I have any chance of getting in.

    Thanks in advance!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes they do prefer people w prior experience. However, if you truly have a passion for HF/AM then it will show in interviews so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Just apply and see how it goes. Re your chances, I can’t say cause it depends on numerous factors including luck. Hope this helps

      • Ragas says

        Thanks Nicole for a quick response! But I am still in a fix. I know I want to do AM but I don’t know which path to take – IB route or direct AM?

        The thing is most banks allow just one online application (either IB or AM) and I surely don’t wanna apply to something I won’t get.

        A little more help would be much appreciated, as I have to make a decision soon..

        • M&I - Nicole says

          If you want to do AM, then do AM. No point in trying to get into IB then AM. IB is probably harder to get in in my experience too.

  42. HFHD says

    What book would you suggest a student looking for internship on investment management to read? I am really new to finance and would love to learn as much as possible.

  43. APX says

    My aim is to enter a BB’s asset management in SIngapore as investment analyst. Through the tactics mention in this site, I had gotten some results from networking, but the role they offered are not directly related to my goal, for one, I was offered internship in hedge fund being marketing associate, and the other is internship as CNBC’s economic analyst.

    Does either get me closer to getting internship in BB Asset management? Which one should I choose to better my chances? Or should I reject both to maintain focus on my goal?

    Some extra information, I already had an asset management internship as investment analyst in one of the biggest fund house in Singapore.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      The former gets you closer to an offer at BB AM. Unless you have better offers on hand (and you really can’t stand this role), I’d suggest you to try out the HF marketing associate role. This role will give you some exposure to what being in AM is like!

      • APX says

        I gave your comments quite some thoughts, hedge fund marketing is back office role, from this site I understood the exit opp from these roles are really tough. With my previous experience as investment analyst, I wonder if this is actually a step backwards from my goal rather than towards it?

        • M&I - Nicole says

          I wouldn’t consider HF marketing back office because you are talking to investors. Exit opportunities for this role I think is pretty good; I don’t think the site had an article specifically addressing exit opps of HF marketing (correct me if I’m wrong). If you want to speak to investors & raise funds, I think HF marketing is the right role for you. I think this role is useful for BB AM too.
          Honestly, since you only have two offers on hand, I think the HF marketing role is more relevant than the other offer you have. Unless you are confident that you will land better offers, I don’t see why you can’t give HF marketing a try. I don’t understand how this marketing role will put you backwards. Anyway, the above is my opinion. I don’t think I have much left to say on this topic.

  44. Nick says

    Hi,

    I would like to know is an junior trading position (More focus on execution) in an large asset management firm (AUM >200B USD) is a good entry point ? Currently I am working as an analyst for vendor, would like to know what kind of route could i take. Thanks

    Nick

  45. Bob says

    Hi,

    I’m meeting someone to discuss a possible internship in asset management, and I’m wondering what kind of knowledge (would I need to know technicals?) I should have and how to prepare. I’m not quite sure in what direction the conversation is going to go. I do plan on preparing some questions I have, but what else should I do?

    Thanks

    • says

      Have 2-3 good stock investment ideas, understand what’s going on in each different asset class, and so on. You should know accounting and valuation well but anything beyond that isn’t as important for AM.

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