Hedge Fund Jobs

Here at Distressed Debt Investing, we get a lot of requests for advice on getting hedge fund jobs or better yet breaking into the hedge fund industry.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to try to walk our readers through the process that is getting a hedge fund job. As a primary caveat, I am not the definitive source. Some of the ads that I put up to the right (surprisingly) have decent information in them as well. So please do not use this post as the be-all end-all definitive guide to breaking into the the hedge fund industry and making a quadrillion dollars.

In general, there are two ways to become a hedge fund analyst:
  1. Use your network
  2. Get lucky
Now, when you read the above, you might say: "HA...That can't be possible." Unfortunately, that is the way the cookie crumbles. My first fund job came through a friend. My second, also through a friend. Again, generally speaking, knowing someone who knows someone will get you a long way in this world.

And I do not want to discourage anyone here. It is very easy to expand your network in the investment world if you can offer some kind of value. If you constantly are taking value, no one will respond to your emails or voice mails. I have a quote from Guy Spier on my desk. It reads:

"A few keys to effective networking are:
  1. First: Don't waste the other person's time - always demonstrate that you have respect for their goals in life and that you want to help them to further their goals.
  2. Second: Look for ways in which you can help them.
  3. Lastly: Get in touch with them when you have something for them that is tangible, desirable and relevant."
Those are some damn wise words.

I had drinks with a hedge fund manager that is starting up in a few weeks (I will post about him more soon). There was some press about his launch and he told me he had literally 300 people asking for a job. Now I know times are tough. But you know how many of those 300 people offered some kind of investment idea (i.e. the value add?): 2 did. And he called those 2 back promptly.

Let me tell you a quick story. I have a friend that was a damn fine analyst at a mutual fund company doing high yield. I mean probably one of the better buy side guys I know. So he is trying to make moves, and starts pinging his network to see if anyone he knows is hiring (he does this via phone, email, Link'd In).

After 3 moths, he catches a break: One of his old bosses knows a few guys that are starting up a fund. He interview, is obviously smart, and gets the job. Now, if he was just smart, and didn't have the connection...well he'd still be looking for that same job he just got offered.

You have to utilize your network. You have to ADD value to that network. You have to help XYZ person earn more on his capital than before, when he hadn't the foggiest clue who you were.

In the future, I am going to post on my new blog, Hedge Fund Jobs, as to focus the content and not dilute the distressd debt investing =]


Anonymous,  6/25/2009  

You have missed one important piece, which is “Negotiation” (unless you are newbie). Someone (name forgotten) told me this long time back.

“You don’t get what you deserve; you will always get what you negotiate”

Anonymous,  6/25/2009  

very good piece. look forward to the next post as a newbie who has little bit of skills and a few connections. thanks!

Anonymous,  6/25/2009  

One of the best concieved blogs on investing - whish others were so useful to me


Anonymous,  6/25/2009  

Agree that networking matters - A LOT.

Also, there is a good book on how to get a job at a hedge fund - what funds are looking for, sample resumes, right attitude, where to look, how to interview, salary levels, career prospects, etc. - "Hedge Me" by Claude Schwab.

I also find that alumni networks are very very useful.

+ you have to be very proactive, being just smart generally is not enough.


Anonymous,  7/04/2009  

Great post, this blog is really constructive... more insightful than almost any others



hunter [at] distressed-debt-investing [dot] com

About Me

I have spent the majority of my career as a value investor. For the past 8 years, I have worked on the buy side as a distressed debt and high yield investor.