Breaking into global macro


I'm a sophomore at a HYPSM school studying computer science. I'm currently working at a long/short fund as an intern and really enjoy the work, but my personal interests have always been in Global macro. I did a lot of policy/govt work in the past (national security, tech within the govt, etc) and am also really interested in rates/FX. 

Beyond global macro, I don't really see myself being in finance--would rather start a startup or something. 

I'm wondering, given the state of the market and the general turbulence that will most likely affect the world in the coming decade, is Global macro going to make a resurgence? And if so, how can I break into a Global macro fund for an internship. I've looked pretty deeply into the investment strategies of big global macro funds in the past (soros, clarium), and am really fascinated by the work they did. Any funds I should look into now? Thanks!

Comments (8)

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MacroJunkie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Getting into macro is difficult nowadays because the main "path" that people used to take doesn't exist anymore (IB prop trading --> macro HF). Nowadays it's usually rates/fx traders or strategists going to the buyside after 2-4 years. 

The other problem is that it's a difficult skillset to pick up on your own, and most hedge funds don't have the infrastructure or the inclination to really train anybody. This means that you're basically on your own. 

With these two caveats in mind, it's not impossible to do out of undergrad (I did it myself, and so have a couple others that I know of). Quantitative skills (programming, statistics, "data science", etc.) will help, but won't be the end all be all. You'll also have to pick up a pretty decent macro intuition by reading and consuming a large amount of information. The best chance you have is to start putting together some interesting trade ideas and sending them out to traders and PMs at these funds and seeing if you can leverage that into a trading assistant or analyst position. 

I think the present time is the most interesting trading environment there's been in the last decade and traders and funds who can take advantage of that will do well. 

  • Intern in HF - Other

Thanks for the advice! I write a blog (mostly for myself) where I do writeups/trade ideas on macro topics (similar to Doomberg if you've read that) with a little bit of data science/ML baked in--I'll probably formulate a few of those into trade proposals. A few questions:

1. Which firms should I be sending these out too? Any recommendations on leading global macro funds would be super helpful.

2. Should I recruit for IB? I'm leaning towards no, but will having that background--even if its just for a summer--help with global macro at all? My main issue with IB/PE beyond its grueling hours and boring nature is the inherent "safety" of those jobs. While I'm young and my risk profile is low, I feel like I should do as many fun, high upside, high risk pursuits as I can.

3. Should I do more formal economics classes? I've taken mostly computer science (ML/AI particularly), history and philosophy classes, because these are my true passions and also will be super helpful should I choose to start a startup. Even though I haven't done too many econ courses, I've tried to develop strong relationships with academics in the econ, government, and computer science departments and try to keep myself in tune with the macroeconomic environment by reading the FRED blog and talking with professors as much as I can.

Thanks so much for the help!

MacroJunkie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

1. Most of the large multimanager firms (P72, Citadel, Millennium, Schonfeld, Exodus Point, etc.) have macro pods. There's also Brevan Howard, Rokos, Tudor, etc. If you literally just google "discretionary global macro" you should come up with a pretty good list of funds.

2. I don't think it would really help or hurt. Having a good brand name may give you a marginal boost, but I did IB and most people that I've talked to have been confused more than anything else. I've had to prove that I understand and can do the job more than a standard candidate.  A summer analyst position in S&T would probably help, especially in terms of proving that you understand and can do the job.

3. Take them as a signaling mechanism if you want to but understand they won't help that much. Econometrics will be useful, as will any upper-level econ/finance classes on derivatives (futures, swaps, etc.). 

  • Intern in S&T - FI

Hey do you want to connect? Also interested in macro, doing s&t next summer and interning at L/S right now! I'd love to come up w trade ideas with you and collaborate on the blog

jackwestjr, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Two potential options:

1) If you're a computer science major, look for roles as a quantitative analyst/developer on FX/Rates desks. You won't be trading macro from day 1, but it will put you on a path with a degree of latitude that could potentially be leveraged into a more Analyst type role.

2) Look for work as an economist and eventually transition to the buy-side. Downside here is you may need to get a graduate degree in Economics. 

  • Analyst 1 in HF - Macro

Interest Rate and FX Strategy roles at BB will get looks from HF/HH too. 

  • Intern in S&T - FI

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