How could I get you on the phone?

What would make you reply to my email (not a template), if we had nothing in common?

Background: non-target genuinely interested in the markets (I know it sounds like what everyone else says). I try to follow the markets through some websites/podcasts like Macro Voices and Macro Hive, as well as twitter accounts such as @AlessioUrban.

I have found that reaching out to people in the industry (previously done it in other industries) is really helpful as you can learn a lot that you couldn't figure out as an outsider. I don't do it with the sole intention of getting an internship (although I would one).

I have seen many posts about networking, which have been very helpful (this website is extremely helpful), but I'm unsure how applicable they are in the HF space.

Comments (41)

  • Prospect in AM - Other
Mar 14, 2022 - 4:49pm

If you saw my performance you would think I'm trying to replicate Archegos Capital's trades

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 25, 2022 - 2:47pm

tbf if you mean archegos' trades pre 2021 then you're GOATed

  • Prospect in AM - Other
Mar 14, 2022 - 7:28pm


For a stock pitch to be interesting should it be a not well known (at all) company (as long as my assumptions "make sense")?

  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Mar 17, 2022 - 9:26pm

something people haven't heard of is good or something they have heard of but a nuanced take on it. just something thoughtful. and short. 2-3 pages.

you don't have to do this but if the pitch is good, which is tough to do if you don't have a ton of experience, you will have more luck.

the nice thing about hedge funds is you can just do the job without having to have the job. you can do stock pitches for your PA 

Mar 16, 2022 - 9:17am
Matayo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge

interesting stock pitch and people will respond 

That is the dumbest idea possible. You're going to do a stock pitch in a cold email?

  • 7
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 16, 2022 - 5:25pm

This is how a friend of mine got into a top HF. He emailed a stock pitch to various places and some replied. He wouldn't have gone through with the standard HH process. I'm not applying to HF but this is what some headhunters told my friends too

  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Mar 17, 2022 - 9:23pm

You clearly do not work in the industry my guy. Vast majority of people at hedge funds only want to talk about stocks all the time so give them what the want and show them you're at least thoughtful 

Mar 14, 2022 - 11:22pm
mooyi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

tbh what I respond to has more to do with my workload than anything anyone writes. I pretty much agree to all coffee chat requests unless I'm swamped with work, in which case I'll just be radio silent. So generally, just reach out to a couple of folks, and someone who is less busy should reach back out to you :)

One thing I really like about some folks I have coffee chats with though is that they update me later when they find a job or something interesting happens! Always cool to learn what happened to them after rather than just have it be one convo.

  • Investment Analyst in HF - Other
Mar 14, 2022 - 11:35pm

Have some investment idea or something that you worked on solo attached to your email. Should be well thought and make sense, will boost hit rate.

Not that I did any of this when I was in undergrad though I should have (only realized that asking for an investment idea was a very common ask during MBA interviews; also, personally I wasn't that interested in the public markets side during undergrad, only to the extent of being involved with school's investment group, and so didn't bother).  

  • Prospect in AM - Other
Mar 15, 2022 - 9:04am

Never really done this. Should it also include my price target for the company or just explaining the investment idea is fine?

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Mar 15, 2022 - 9:16am

I respond to basically every email or LinkedIn message. How much I'll help (or whether I'll meet for a coffee chat) depends on the engagement over email, but I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. 

I don't expect much from the emails but I do expect basic research on the firm and roles you are interested in. If you reach out to me and tell me you (as a random example) want to work on quant strategies with a high frequency focus and ask me about doing that at my firm when we don't do any of that, I can't do much. I am happy to talk about all strategies but be targeted in what you ask and give context (I know you don't do this but think your perspective would be helpful, etc…). Or if you take time to ask basic questions that you can find online and aren't particularly useful (where is your office? How many employees do you have? Etc). If you are trying to get time with an employee, don't waste your time or theirs, for stuff like that I'll just reply over email because I'm not going to spend 30 mins answering questions like that. 

Last thing, surprisingly, people don't really reach out. I get reached out by recruiters more than I do from interested students or early career prospects. I imagine part of it is that IB is more popular than HF for students, but I think people network a lot less than they can. 

Mar 30, 2022 - 8:17pm
AnonymousMonke2, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Problem with shorting these airline stocks is they declined so much and have an implicit guarantee to not fail by the government. The US gov won't want those companies to fail as that could be really bad for the entire economy, similar to the banks.

Mar 15, 2022 - 12:44pm
Lester Diamond, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I can't add much value here since I'm in IB but do not refer to yourself as a "non-target" in the email. I've seen this kind of stuff on coffee chat requests and it's not necessary because I know where you went to school by looking at your resume. 

  • Prospect in AM - Other
Mar 16, 2022 - 10:08am

I know, I don't play the victim, it was just to give some background on myself (as people suggest to network with alumni, which would limit me a lot)

Most Helpful
Mar 15, 2022 - 1:45pm
traderguy123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Like networking? I'm at a prop shop right now with some pretty stressful hours, but I was 100% in the shoes of the undergraduates literally a year ago. I try to set aside time literally specifically to help people learn more about my role, my industry, and my company - I know that some undergraduates may believe this is not the norm, but I truly do try to help as many people as possible. 

I get a few LinkedIn connections/emails a week and here are the things that I will respond to or prioritize quicker:

1) Alumni from my school (sorry, but it's just true. I know my school specifically goes more-so into quantitative risk/sell-side seats so I really like learning more about the talent pool interested in prop).

2) Connections of friends or people who were referred to speak with me

3) Ambitious students/people who I think I'd get along with (if I see their LinkedIn)

If you're in one of those 3 I personally prioritize those in that order. Once I reach back out to set a time up to chat, I specifically don't like doing the tell me about yourself stuff or treat it like an interview, I treat it like a nice chat with a student looking to learn more about the field. Given that information I SPECIFICALLY ASK - "Hey X, please come with specific questions for me as well. You could read them off a list but use this as an opportunity to ask the questions that you genuinely are curious about, not things like "Hey I saw you guys are down on quarterly revenue at your firm what changes are you making, or how would you hedge this position of options".

Some of the questions I've gotten that I enjoy answering are "Why did you choose firm X over Y", "What got you interested in a career in Trading", "Your firm is getting involved in a lot of cryptocurrency initiatives, what products do you trade", "How many people are on your team - are you a more siloed culture or collaborative", "Are your coworkers your friends?". If you ask me a single technical question that sounds like you're just interested in flexing your knowledge you read from Natenberg or Youtube, I'm going to be seriously disappointed I took the call. If you ask me what resources I used to learn more, that's a better way of framing that you've gone through the typical Natenberg or Taleb and want some more esoteric resources for learning which I can often try and provide.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 25, 2022 - 2:49pm

how do you identify "ambitious students" you'd get along with on linkedin?

Mar 25, 2022 - 3:15pm
traderguy123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Great question, typically founder/co-founder/president of clubs I was involved in or interested in when I was in college. That or entrepreneurial accomplishments in high school or early college that are interesting to me. Someone was a grandmaster in chess and started a non-profit chess coaching/tutoring thing back in high school and that was a great conversation. The other typically stuff like founder or president of clubs I was interested or involved in is also pretty interesting to see how many people they manage or how they run their organizations. 

  • Prospect in AM - Other
Mar 16, 2022 - 10:10am

What are customer calls?

Mar 16, 2022 - 10:58pm
Anchor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Find customers or suppliers (who work at private companies) and tell them you're researching the industry for a school project or internship project or case study in connection with recruiting. For example, if you are researching a GOLF (Acushnet) you could drop by a few pro shops and ask about trends like 'how much were rounds played up last summer during lockdown? Are they back to normal? When do you expect them to be back to normal? Did you get a lot of first time golfers and how sticky have they been? Are people spending more or less on equipment in the pro shop? How has titleist been handling supply chain issues - can you get enough product to meet demand? How have decent price increases been received by customers? Do you think people are buying more balls online? Any meaningful changes in preferred brands?" You don't have to do calls like this, many people will be happy to talk to an eager student, but no matter how busy I am, I'm genuinely going to be interested in talking I'd you've been doing channel checks on stocks Im invested in. If you can nail the right questions and show you know "what matters" that would be more impressive than a good model or valuation or whatever. If you ask dumb questions and totally miss the mark, people will still probably appreciate the effort. None of this is necessary - but going back this is a high effort but probably high reply-rate option and when I was in your shoes it was always worth the time. You'll get some practice and learn something, get quality feedback on your work, make a connection and best of all you'll offer something of value in return. Ultimately your valuation/model won't really be useful as a student and your pitch will probably be not actionable, but channel checks/customer calls are never 0 value. Again, this is a lot of work and not necessary, rather - when you're doing a pitch ANYWAY pick something that is in some 13Fs of funds your interested in and incorporate this piece for better practice and a high likelihood of getting a response. Generally I answer anyone anyway, unless I'm very busy and can tell from their email they didn't spend 1 minute googling what the firm does. 

Mar 24, 2022 - 6:45pm
Telemachus, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I find there's two important parts of networking:

1) The way you reach out - polished email, commonalities highlighted, specific reason for outreach, etc... I tend to reply to all ppl who reach out, but if you're a sophomore with an email that says you're reaching out to "learn about the industry," you shouldn't be reaching out to anyone until you learn the basics (and to not write that). These super general questions in emails just shows you didn't do your homework and are going to waste both of our time. The best way to reach out is coming with specifics about where/what I do and why you're reaching out. Successful example - I once had an NYU undergrad reach out citing a few highly topical names in the space I traffic in. I wanted to hire this guy before I even met him! He did his homework and understood the fund he was targeting.    

2) The follow through. When we communicate via email or the phone, if the person has well thought out investment ideas it's a big win. When the person has none, it's a disaster. You want to run money, you need to live this stuff and can't say you've been too busy in class to have zero relevant topical ideas. There are a ton of finance clubs for both undergrads/grads, at least know what's going on in the mkt and some topical names. I've run internship programs at several funds and love recruiting MBAs at CBS/W because all those students go into interviews with pitches to hand over and defend. There's nothing like sitting down, going over someone's CV and then having them hand over a few highly polished pitches to discuss. 

It's all hard, we all get it.  Crafting a well written outreach email and including a few topical names you follow that correspond to the fund's mandate isn't easy at all. This is an industry where all ppl do is talk their book, if you want commonalities, that's your best bet. 

Best of luck with your outreach! 

May 13, 2022 - 5:00pm
adamsgood, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jun 14, 2022 - 11:54am
luckyjack, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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