Frustrated macro HF analyst: Stay or go?
This is probably not relevant to most people here, but maybe some of you have been through a similar situation and have some light to shed.
I've been on the buy-side for several years as a macro HF analyst. I work at a top-tier single-manager fund within the space, however our performance has been pretty weak over the past few years. The trades I've originated for the fund have been PNL positive (I keep pretty close track of them, overall I am up solidly with pretty tight drawdowns), but this is vastly outweighed by the senior PM's trading losses. I am losing faith that our returns will turn around anytime soon.
My goal from day one (actually from freshman year of college when I started trading futures PA) has been to become a macro PM. At this point, I have no idea how to get there. I'm not sure if it makes sense to stick it out here for another year, at which point I could probably be granted a small book, but also face declining AUM, rough performance from the PM, business survival risk and declining reputational value. The other option is to try and leave and start fresh at another fund under a manager, but that would mean another ~2yrs of being an analyst before I could (maybe) get a book, if I could even find such an opportunity. I don't want to be a career-analyst. The third option is to just leave the industry entirely and try something totally different. Honestly, I think I could start from day one and generate solid PNL with good risk management; my dream job would be to find a seat with a $25-50mm risk allocation from day one along with fundamental analyst/idea generation duties for the senior guy, but I know those seats don't exist - you need to establish several years of trust before someone will grant you that.
This industry is incredibly frustrating. There are plenty of opportunities to make money in the current environment within macro, but I think many of the fund managers and PM's who control the $ have been conditioned to trade incorrectly by the 2002-2008 run, which is why performance has been so mixed across the space. The challenge for me is finding people to work for that are able to thrive in this environment; the more firms I work at, the more difficult if seems to find truly talented managers. I think I am good at this job and its something I love. I would LOVE nothing more than to eat what I kill, but I'm borderline ready to leave the industry because I don't think I'll be able to find a place where I can make money and build a track record.
Any advice would be helpful, particularly from people who have been in a similar position. I don't think going to a prop shop makes sense as they are too s-t focused (my trade lifecycle is typically 1mo, though I do trade around fundamental themes a lot during this period), but would love to hear any insights about that option or others. I'm sure I'm not alone in this position.