Global Macro Hedge Fund is Paradise

Your lofi playlist suddenly stops playing and you are jolted awake.  Fuck.  It's 2 am EST on a Friday morning and Shanghai markets have yet to close.   You think of all the life choices you have made from being that smartass in AP economics back in 9th grade to being on a call with some senile economist on a Friday evening while the rest of your friends are having the time of their lives.  

The Very Beginning...

After following the Bloomberg and FT and reading about legends like Soros and Tepper since 5th grade, you decide you want to join the elite group of investors dedicated to predicting the direction of markets worldwide.  You decide to take AP Econ your freshman year so you can flex all your knowledge and raise your GPA along the way.   To demonstrate your passion to target schools you intern for some econ professor at a nearby university and proofread their emails.

It's spring of your senior year and you get some college acceptance letters.  Fuck.  You only got into IU Kelley and according to WSO - the premier forum for finance professionals including hedge fund stars - it's an absolute joke and only has hardos.  But you aren't one to give up easily.  YOU were the guy that talked about the yield curve during ice breakers on the first day of AP econ.  

During freshman year, you see your fellow finance classmates are gunning for the IB club.  Ha, what  peasants you think to yourself.   In contrast, you have an actual PASSION for economics.  After a few months of reading through every S&T post on WSO including the doubters from the passionless soulcrushing world of IB, you decide S&T is for you.  But you don't want to be mindless market maker.  You want to take on risk.  

Freshman summer you do a  "trading" internship at a local shop where you just sit next to a trader and get flipped off every 20 minutes by the trader because you apparently "ask too many questions."  What an idiot.  No wonder he's only been in the red for the past 10 years.  

You start ramping up on your reading of macro news and start practicing mental math.  When interviews start rolling around you are PUMPED.  You scoff at your IB-focused classmates who are memorizing what a DCF is.  Bet they can't even do 845.49 * 145 in their head.  They tell you S&T is dead and IB is the only evergreen field besides AM.  

The rise of your career

You learned from that freshman year trading internship and start to ask more intelligent questions.  Quality over quantity the wise 1st year S&T analysts on WSO tell you.  After rotating through different desks like the dead boomers from muni bonds and poker chads from derivatives, you decide you like the rates desk.  Interesting stuff and apparently you can exit into a macro fund.  Yes, an actual FUND. Where you can take risk and not be a layman market maker.  You get a return offer after impressing everyone throughout the internship including with your final presentation.  
 

The alarm set to 4:30 AM goes off and you are absolutely ready for this.  HR told you to be in by 7 AM but you don't trust such loosers.   You are on your desk by 5:00 AM and feel good about being one of the first to be in the office but the MD is already in.  Damn he must wake up by 2 AM.  

Fast forward a bit...

While the rest of the IB guys and gals in your Linkedin network cringeworthily announce their departures into private equity, you decide on waiting one more year.  On the same day, your VP gets fired for apparently underperforming consistently.  Reminds you of that trader you worked under your freshman summer.  Why does this industry even keep idiots like them?  

Your MD tells you you're doing well and encourages you to stay at the bank.  Maybe you are the star trader that will earn respect from everyone. But you also notice that a signficant chunk of your analyst class has exited already, and a descent amount have gone into hedge funds.  Is the MD just being honest or trying to retain me so he has another guy to yell at?  And also, when will you be able to take on risk?  

It's decided.  You're going into  a global macro fund.  You tap into your Linkedin network and start looking for opportunities.  Many traders must have left in the past few years because global macro is apparently dead.  Your sharp contrarian thinking kicks in and decide this is the right time to get into the industry.  

After receiving a few referrals from your connections, you begin to interview.  Damn, these questions are much harder than the S&T questions you got back in those BB interviews.  Doesn't matter.  The questions are no match for your knowledge and passion .  You accept an offer from a prestigious macro fund (according to WSO).

The real deal is here

You walk into your new office and admire the beautiful city views.  Nonetheless, you won't have time for staring outside the window  like you were at a BB being a mindless market maker.  Now you're a real RISK TAKER.   

Your boss is an absolute chad. He graduated from Oxford PPE (must be some public health program but nonetheless it's Oxford) and worked at a pod shop for a while.  The rest of your colleagues all graduated from top universities at top of their class.   A little bit of imposter syndrome starts to arise within you but you quickly brush it away realizing you DESERVED to be here.    

After a few months of getting to know the firm's process inside and out, you try to convince your boss about taking on risk. "ha, in your dreams analyst.  Start making some good pitches and we'll see about it."  You send some good pitches over and a trader actually implements them.  But it doesn't feel satisfying knowing that trader is gonna get the most credit for being a good "risk manager."  Must be a trader-run shop.  

Instead of being some analyst scum, you start to copy the baggy-eyed traders who stay up all night watching the Asian markets.  You write more detailed pitches and ask questions about risk management.  A balding French trader who claims he went to a grande ecole university (must be some non-target that feeds into Starbucks Paris but props to him for being a hustler.  You learn a shit ton under him and made sure to send him a Christmas card because you have no one else to send it too. 

Your boss is impressed by your pitches as they now have a focus on risk management and offers you a trading seat.  You gladly accept and delete  Tinder and Pornhub  from your phone.  It's go time.  

2022 turmoil...?

Comments (42)

Most Helpful
  • Investment Analyst in HF - Other
May 31, 2022 - 10:59pm

comment below if you want me to make an extension based on 2022 markets.  Decided to make this because I got some free time after being laid off 2 weeks ago.  I apologize for any grammatical errors because I made this late at night. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 1, 2022 - 9:30am

loved the digs at western european guys.  grande ecole does sound like french Starbucks cafe lol.

Jun 1, 2022 - 6:05pm
BigKahunaBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Once again, great, slightly shitpost-ish content. 8/10, thx

...and the Truth shall set you free
  • Investment Analyst in HF - Other
Jun 1, 2022 - 6:43pm

have you worked in macro before?  When I was making this post I was worried that it wouldn't really hit well because unlike iB is paradise or PE is paradise a lot of people can't relate (at least on this forum).  The other poster may have also done multiple rewrites before publishing while I winged it. 

  • Investment Analyst in HF - Other
Jun 1, 2022 - 9:33pm

Thanks.  Nothing really in my control but fund had highly-leveraged positions that moved against them after Russia-ukraine conflict.  I suspect it was more of an ego issue from the founder because he is usually a very risk manager and doesn't have too much attachment to any trade.  We eventually sold out but not before a few staff got laid off including the lower-hanging analysts such as me.  

Jun 2, 2022 - 12:49pm
maplesyrup334, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey man nice post. What's the point of laying you off? Presumably they would just hire someone else who is just as competent And smart. Or is it just for optics ? 

Jun 2, 2022 - 4:08pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Lol I caught that reference too.

Array

  • Prospect in RE - Comm
Jun 3, 2022 - 12:23am

It's spring of your senior year and you get some college acceptance letters.  Fuck.  You only got into IU Kelley and according to WSO - the premier forum for finance professionals including hedge fund stars - it's an absolute joke and only has hardos.

Fuck that's me

Jun 3, 2022 - 8:34am
CaoimheRoisin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

ha thanks.  I was poking fun at all the arrogant American macro guys I used to work with.  

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Jun 3, 2022 - 12:33pm
CaoimheRoisin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Because i can copy mind it you can also copy my comment i dont mind 

i ii i i iii i i i i i i
  • 1
Jun 5, 2022 - 8:20am
financy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What a great post. Man, it felt like watching a movie.

I think you will be a great finance novel or screen writer if you consider it. 

  • Investment Analyst in HF - Other
Jun 22, 2022 - 10:42am

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