Ask a preftigious HF principal anything

Mod Note (Andy): by homepaging this we're not endorsing that this user actually is a HF principal. Just read through it and thought some of the comments are worth a laugh or two, enjoy

Always wanted to do one of these.

My background
- Graduated summa from one of HYPSW
- Spent 2 years in a very preftigious group at GS/MS/BX
- Moved to my current fund sometime between 2005 and 2008
- Been at the fund since

Fund is well known and mentioned in all your "top HF / which HF would you work at" type threads.

Ask away.


Which Is More Prestigious: Modeling or Teaching?

As the financial services and consulting industries scale back their college recruitment efforts since the big crisis, it seems an unlikely organization is filling the void: Teach for America . By adopting the recruitment playbook of Wall Street -- that is, laser-focus on target schools and showering elite candidates with personalized attention -- Teach for America is climbing the prestige ladder.

"As Teach for America has been around longer and hired very smart people, it's gotten even better at how they recruit students, while the financial services industry has slowed down and experienced negative publicity in the media," Ms. Wilson said. Many regard earning a spot in Teach for America a "badge of success."

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Are You "IBD or Bust"?

As much as I love Wall Street Oasis, I can't help but raise an eyebrow at how narrow some of the mindsets on this website are. I'm specifically talking about in regards to careers; obviously, this is a finance community-targeted website, but it seems unbelievable how many students go beyond "IBD or bust." There's literally been folks who've talked about becoming psychologically depressed or even near suicidal because they didn't get a callback or subsequent offer from some target banks. Others are willing to make extremely illogical moves (like racking up six figure debt to go to a tiny business school in an attempt to gain entrance into the finance world instead of simply networking) to reach "their goals."


Death to the Death Star?

This week we've been witness to two ideas - both as silly as the prominence given to them - however, one of them, the issue of the Trillion Dollar Coin was supported by popular economists in the country and the other, I am hard-pressed to believe even the people that petitioned the construction of a Death Star really thought this was going to work.


Transitioning from IB to HF Series - Part 1: Getting the Interview

With headhunters likely beginning to reach out in December/January, I thought I'd put out a series of posts on making the transition from IB to HF. This one talks about getting that first interview.

If you're in a decent group, most--if not all--the major headhunters will reach out to you. The smaller ones are more sporadic/random in terms of who they reach out to and you'll need to proactively search for and contact these guys regardless of where you work. Most people who made the IB to HF transition got their first job through a headhunter, but there are also many opportunities available to those that are resourceful and proactively reach out to funds on their own.

Does pedigree matter?


Hedge funds vs. Mutual funds

Many people here on WSO are obsessed with hedge funds and look upon the mutual fund industry with disdain. However, I have seen a lot of misinformation out there on what mutual funds even do, so I wanted to layout the basics of both hedge funds and mutual funds and what makes them similar and what makes them different. Also, I want to layout what some of the incentives are for some of the managers of these funds and how those incentives either align or don't with the investors. I'm not a lawyer, so don't take this as legal advice. This is just a general outline.


Can I escape this back office trap?

Little background on myself. Mid 20s and got a degree in finance, MBA, and MS in Finance in 6 years consecutive from a generic public business school. Weak GPA of 3.12. As part of MS in Finance, I finished with a 4 month internship in regional wealth management capacity, which I loved and was asked to enlist in a lowly entry level position at the bank at the end of the internship. I made one of the worst decisions I've ever made by turning this down because of the small town location and figuring that I could find a better job.


Different City Advice

I've spent my whole life in the Northeast and am beginning to think if I don't switch things up soon that I will never leave. I'm an undergrad at a semi-target and recently I've started to think that it would be nice to try to do my best to get an analyst position in a new location (Houston, San Fran, Florida) but the majority of ocr and the alumni base is up here so I have found it difficult to reach out to people in these places.


Energy Trading 101: The Crack Spread

Good afternoon, monkeys.

Listen: A crude and natural gas midstream firm like MarkWest Energy Partners and an oil refinery in the middle of Alabama will have different price exposures, and thus require different hedges to protect themselves in the event of future uncertainty. While not everyone is interested in the energy markets, I figured I'd do a few pieces of some of the rudimentary energy lingo so you can impress your friends down in Houston.

What is the crack spread?


The Trillion Dollar Coin & 53% of Washington Post Readers Are Stupid

Hey Monkeys,

I realize that online polls aren't exactly the height of rigor when it comes to sampling, but this sort of result from Thursday makes me wonder. As you can see, the one I voted for (e.g. the correct answer) is in the minority.


Warren Strikes Again. What's Next, Mint the Coin Support?

At this point it wouldn't surprise me if he did come out and tout that as a solution to our issues. Regardless, there are times when I wonder how much of a shill Warren Buffet is. I can't argue his investing prowess and ability to use his power and size to make more and more money. I do however question his state of mind at this point and stuff like this just makes me wonder even more.


Why are you guys still interested in markets?

I don't really go on campuses anymore representing my banks at banking fairs, so for the last 2 years I have had little contact with undergrads etc...

I interviewed about 4 potential juniors recently, then decided against hiring someone without a client base. The only thing I really saw was that the guys 1) either just got laid off, or 2) could not find a single job; it was more a: "there is a job in banking, will try and get it even though i don't know about it". Brilliant people, with eye watering CVs; just an absolute shocker that they were still unemployed.

Given the massive hiring freeze, the over-bloated effectives in equities and fixed income, and the general beating banks have been taking. What makes you keep on going? The massive base salaries banks seem to pay? Or are you still hoping to get a nice bonus at some point? What's the carrot?

I'd be curious to know about people that are interested in markets strictly speaking, no bankers. Bankers are messed up in their own ways.