How to proceed?

I'm a first year college student studying computer science. In the past year I've made immense returns in the options market. I typically use R for statistical analysis to inform my trades. My positions don't usually last for more than a week. But, I'm attending a mid tier school and my true passion lies in finance . How do I proceed? Is getting a finance degree worthless if your not at a top tier school? This is a very confusing time in my life and any guidance would be much appreciated. 

Comments (6)

Jan 22, 2022 - 12:59am
Hölder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you are already making immense returns then fuck a finance degree. Fuck your CS degree too for that matter. If you are going to a mid-tier school you'll never get by on prestige but if you are actually building a track-record just package it up nicely and apply to quant funds. I mean, if you are already making money why do you even care about a degree? 

Jan 22, 2022 - 1:03am
urscheldean537, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My parents have always wanted me to get a degree but I see your point. I will apply to some quant funds, that's an excellent idea. I wasn't aware that was an option.

Most Helpful
Jan 22, 2022 - 1:23am
Hölder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It is an option and you should attempt it however one important detail is that you are not a traditional candidate. If whoever is in HR has a mandate to find graduates they may throw your resume away. Therefore I'll give you these tips about how you may go around that:

  1. Build up a really clean document that certifies your trades. I'm not talking just a download .csv. I would rather have direct screenshots from your broker's platform showing trades and PnL. You should also do a write-up of the ideas/indicators that went into some particular trades. I'd maybe talk about 3 good trades and 1 bad trade which should include what you learned and how you tweaked your models after said bad thread.
  2. It is a pain but in your case you will want to write a cover letter. Start with a short paragraph about your trades and then link to the document you made in point 1). This is hopefully so that HR will forward your trade data to an actual quant instead of just tossing your resume when they find don't yet have 3 PhDs.
  3. In point 2) we are trusting that HR people have intelligence which is a bad bet so to hedge against this try to simultaneously reach out directly to people within the funds you want to get in. Again, always lead with your trades first. Cold LinkedIn messages, cold emails, whatever you can get. 

Beyond that, I am not advicing you to not get your degree. You should continue your degree while you don't yet have a job and even when you get an offer you should still figure out a way to finish it. This is just to round yourself up as a candidate. You have to imagine the scenario in which you do get an offer but you then fuck up and get fired. You'd rather have a degree at that point than not in case you need to think of alternatives. But well, other than that I'm sure you are smart and can figure out the details on your own. At the end of the day funds just want to make money and they'll hire anyone capable of doing that. You will definitely find more people with odd backgrounds in these kinds of places than IB for example and it is really because you can have all the MBAs in the world and they still wouldn't know how to make money even in a bull-run (see most hedge funds in 2021 for examples).

Jan 22, 2022 - 1:30am
urscheldean537, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I appreciate your advice, you've given me some clarity. I've been meaning to write up some sort of white paper on my trading strategy for a while now. You have given me the motivation to do that. This process clearly involves a lot of risk and work but I can't see myself in a cubicle writing software or settling for a mediocre job. So, I will set out on this journey. Maybe I'll lose millions of dollars and maybe I'll make millions of dollars. Either way it will have been worth it to try. Thank you sir for helping me.

Jan 22, 2022 - 11:47am
AnalyzeANDchill, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well if you are talking about a hedge fund than its going to be super tuff but you can do it. I live down south, went to a nothing school and met a hedge fund guy in the hot tub after a workout so never know what's going to happen. I didn't ask for a job because i am not there yet but I made a connection where I can in the future.

My current situation is Senior Credit Analyst earning about 85k , based on what my boss said i am going to be promoted to a portfolio manager and I have been here under a year. I am in touch with some bankers I reached out to at JPM for a leveraged finance team and they said we should talk once I am ready to transition to IB and that they think I can be a possible fit. To be exact graduated nothing school got a 2.9 GPA started work at bank recently and I am getting a online  MBA from a nothing school with a 3.68 GPA so Id say anything is possible if you want it bad enough.

All I did was network and then once we met show them I am not stupid and be likeable. If you reach out and don't have a stellar resume get them on the phone and make yourself stand out. 

Jan 22, 2022 - 12:42pm
urscheldean537, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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