A rather lame article appeared in Forbes about getting a job at a hedge fund, filled with such trite advice as “get ready to be aggressive about networking” and “design your search strategy to fit the hyper pressurized, risk-taking culture” of hedge funds.
It is our contention here at HedgeFundDigest that to get a job at a hedge fund, first and foremost, you need to have a passion for investing. It doesn’t matter whether it’s stocks, futures, options, derivatives or some arcane combination. You need to have such a good understanding of the markets, or one particular market, that you have some very passionate opinions about what would make a pile of money in that market. And be ready to back it up with numbers that prove your point. In other words, an investment philosophy.
Barring that, maybe you have deep experience in an industry vertical, such as biotech or green energy. Or you’ve earned a Ph.D. in math and enjoy devising complex algorithms in your free time. One final saving grace: maybe you’re an awesome poker player (research has shown a correlation between good traders and good poker players).
If that doesn’t describe you, why are you pursuing hedge funds?
About the only suggestion that made sense in the Forbes article was perhaps to try to worm your way into a hedge fund after working for a prime brokerage (the firms that provide financing to hedge funds).
If you really want to know how to break into hedge funds, check out Hedge Fund Digest’s Hedge Fund Careers Guide. And get busy building your investment cred.
What’s your opinion? If you do the hiring at a hedge fund, what makes a candidate stand out in your mind? Add your comments below.