With the most recent FOMC meeting in the rear view mirror, we have a few short weeks of relative certainty. As Alpha Calling suggested in its previous post, an argument that favored a rate hike was a difficult one to articulate. The committee obviously agreed, voting 9 to 1 against raising the fed funds rate—for now.
However, uncertainty continues to loom large. Future FOMC meetings will be the grist for many a pundit’s word mill. Erudite arguments favoring and bemoaning an increase will abound in the media. All this adds layers of complexity to the life of traders, venture capitalists, CEOs, and others in the financial community.
Hedge fund managers also face these challenges, but they face these challenges with the added burden of expectation … an expectation to show gains regardless of rate increases, market corrections, inflation, deflation, bursting bubbles, currency devaluations and a host of other perils known and unknown.
Why Would Anyone Want This Job?
With the possible exception of heads of state, no other calling requires the vision, fortitude, cunning and timing that is required of a hedge fund manager. Unlike a head of state, hedge fund managers enjoy little in the way of popularity. Rather, hedge fund managers are a target for the political class and their regulatory bureaucracies.
Why anyone would make managing a hedge fund a career choice is a fair question. The answers are, no doubt, as many and varied as the number of hedge fund managers plying the craft. Certainly a common thread might be the financial rewards. After all, the hedge fund fee structure holds the promise of lucrative returns. But beyond the financial rewards which may or may not materialize, there must be something larger, something more enduring than financial gain.
For many, it is the challenge. For others, it is the prestige. Some thrive on stress and then there are those who find fulfillment in beating the odds. Regardless of the motivation, it must be a compelling one.
Take a Test Drive
Those of you wondering if you have the “right stuff” can take advantage of the opportunity Scutify is offering “wanna be” hedge fund managers. Scutify, a popular financial social network site, appeals to traders, investors and others with an interest in the financial markets.
This site allows you to create a virtual hedge fund, manage it and, compete with other virtual hedge fund managers on the site. Scutify is awarding $20,000 in cash and prizes to the top virtual performers.
Of course, success running a virtual hedge fund does not guarantee “real world” success any more than a winning iRacing experience qualifies you for the pole position in a NASCAR race.
That said, failing miserably might be interpreted as a sign that your calling lies elsewhere.
Hedge Fund Jobs
Competition for available hedge fund positions is intense. The preferred path to a hedge fund management position continues to be by way of internships and/or junior roles in related fields such as risk management, brokerages and hedge fund administration.
Continued speculation about the timing of a rate hike hinders robust employment prospects.