What are entry-level hedge fund jobs like?
Making the move to the buy-side is often a goal of investment banking analysts, as well as a dream for many undergraduate students. Because there are so many different types of hedge funds and jobs within those HFs, there is no "standard" day. Our goal at WSO is to give you as good of an idea as possible, so we will update this as we come upon more information.
Long/Short Equity - 2nd Year Equity Research Analyst (by WSO user KevinNYC)
market adjust to the new day while simultaneously watch our positions. Good start to the day, we have already made $70K!
Event Driven Strategies - 3rd+ year Analyst (by WSO Certified User Mr. Pink Money)
- 6:45am - Wake up
- 7:30am - In the office
- 7:30am to 8:30am - Breakfast, Check inbox/messages, Read paper/blogs/etc., morning meetings
- 8:30am to 1:30pm - Depending on the day, read transcripts/filings (30% of time), investment meetings/calls (20% of time), build models (40% of time), investment memos/emails (10% of time). This is a juggling act since I'm usually working on 1-2 new ideas and 2-3 portfolio positions during the week.
- 1:30pm - 2:30pm - Lunch/Pay Bills/ESPN
- 2:30pm - 8:30pm - Meet with PM (ranging from 30 minutes for brief updates to 3 hours for research findings) and more modeling/reading/conference calls rest of the day
- 8:30pm - Midnight - Go home, dinner, gym, read paper/blogs/etc., read more filings
- Sometime between Midnight - 1:00am - Bed
- First quarter of the year can be pretty busy as many funds tend to put more/new money to work and companies begin to hold analyst days, etc. Combine that with earnings season in late January and I easily end up putting in 12-16 hours over the weekend.
- Moving into middle of the year, things definitely slow down a bit over the summer and I only work mornings (8am to noon) as needed during the weekend.
- The end of the year is Jekyll and Hyde. Hours are usually manageable, but I've had some of my worst weekends in October/November.
I'm not lying when I tell people I am a professional footnote reader. A typical year as an investment professional:
Global Macro Trader - Partner (by WSO Certified User Bondarb)
- 545am Get to work, print up and read overnight research pieces both from internal analysts and from the sell-side. Check in with traders in London for color on the overnight session.
- 830am If its a Monday my group has a group meeting where we go over the calendar for the week, talk about new trade ideas, and discuss management of the positions we already have on. We also do meetings like this in front of big events such as central bank meetings and payroll reports to go over our thoughts and strategies ahead of these events.
- 930am-430p Read research, watch markets, do trades if appropriate, talk to sell-side analysts and traders, talk to coworkers about markets, go over charts, work on my own creations (model-type things). Sometimes go to meetings with economists and traders from sell-side who come into our office.
- 430p leave call levels with our internal nightdesk and go home.
- 5-9p Go do something social
- 9p log into my computer from home and check on overseas markets. chat online with our internal nightdesk and with sell-side guys in Australia, New Zealand, Tokyo, etc. This is what i'm doing now.
- 10p go to sleep
- 2am get call from nightdesk...something happened overseas and a position is running badly against me. Drag myself back to my computer, log in, and see whats happening. decide to do nothing. i can still get 2 hours of sleep if i go back to bed. This happens about 20% of nights.
- 545am do it again!
This is not to say you can't get a general idea of life for a hedge fund analyst from it. Certain types of funds will weigh heavier on certain areas. An equity research associate will probably spend more time on filings, an analyst at a quant fund will probably spend more time working on coding, and a global macro analyst may spend more time on current events.
WSO also offers an original guide to some of the careers on Wall Street, A Look Behind the Wall: An Overview of Six Wall Street Career Paths. This guide will give you a more in-depth view into the traits necessary for breaking into and maintaining a successful career in investment banking, private equity, venture capital, private wealth management, hedge funds, and management consulting. While this guide does not purport to have all the answers, each one of the contributors offers a unique, candid, and personal view of the lifestyles, compensation, and exit opportunities afforded by the careers they have had the opportunity to work in.
Related Discussions on Wall Street Oasis:
- Week in the life of a hedge fund analyst?
- A day in my life as a hedge fund equity research analyst
- Search WSO for: "hedge fund day in the life"
- Relevant WSO Forums: I-Banking Bullpen
- Relevant WSO Guides: A Look Behind the Wall: An Overview of Six Wall Street Career Paths and the Hedge Fund Career Guide
- Relevant WSO Services: Wall Street Mentors' Career Coaching and Mock Interviews