8 figures for late 20s/early 30s HF employees

How often do late 20s/early 30s analysts or PMs make low 8 figures in the HF industry? Obviously 2020 was an outlier with strong performance, but is this something that happens reasonably often in the industry (either MM or very large AUM SM)? This is assuming strong performance for both the analyst and the fund of course 

Hedge Fund Interview Course

  • 814 questions across 165 hedge funds. Crowdsourced from over 500,000 members.
  • 11 Detailed Sample Pitches and 10+ hours of video.
  • Trusted by over 1,000 aspiring hedge fund professionals just like you.

Comments (89)

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Feb 17, 2021 - 1:03am

Right combo of big enough trade plus fund large enough to really move P&L it's possible. Say you're at a single manager single PM type shop with $10b+ AUM. If you originate a $500m+ trade that triples in a year, I could see them allocating 8 figs to you. But like posters above me said, very few and very far between. 

Funniest
Feb 17, 2021 - 10:08am

It happens frequently and if you are joining a HF you should count on it 

  • 19
Feb 17, 2021 - 12:45pm

Have heard this has happened a few times at funds like Pershing Square, Viking, Coatue etc. Those types of funds have insane economics in terms of money per head but it also mean you have a less than 5 percent chance of getting an interview at one of those funds let alone an offer. Those really good activist funds/tiger funds are the only place IMO where eight figures is possible by late 20s/early 30s.

  • PM in HF - Other
Mar 26, 2021 - 5:29am

Troll question, but I'll bite.  It is significantly harder to make 8 figures by early 30s at a fund than in the NBA or some tech startup.  Finance is especially bad for this numbers wise.  The joke behind hedge funds is every little monkey thinks the exception is going to be them.

I have heard of 2 in the past 5 years who have done this at SM in very exceptional circumstances and not consistent.  Viking/Pershing - both were 20-30mm range.

At MM, there are a few super star traders who can do this, but we are talking less than 5 across the whole street.  I know of 4 here and two almost hit 9 figures once in early 30s - usually in macro products not in l/s - blowout type years like 2020

To put numbers around it at an MM, you need to put up north of 50mm in PNL, which means you are running a book of 500MM+ AUM and have a (2 Sharpe @ 500mm, 1 Sharpe @ 1bn, etc) due to drawdowns.

How many early 30s could raise a 500mm+ fund and your have your answer

Most Helpful
  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Mar 26, 2021 - 8:11am

Associate 2 in PE - LBOs

How often do late 20s/early 30s analysts or PMs make low 8 figures in the HF industry? Obviously 2020 was an outlier with strong performance, but is this something that happens reasonably often in the industry (either MM or very large AUM SM)? This is assuming strong performance for both the analyst and the fund of course 

No, this doesn't happen frequently enough to bet on it being a likely outcome. The rule of thumb I've heard is that a primo track is if you can secure a stable long-term seat where your baseline comp is 1-2m, and you can play for 1-2 blow out years along the course of your career where you can have a 5-10m payday.

Age is irrelevant in the HF business. There's this notion of making 1-2m at a HF by the time youre 28, as if that has some inference on where you go from there. It doesn't. Whereas in banking/PE the understanding is that your comp will continually grind higher as you progress through your career.

The big mistake people make in going to the public side is they hear an anecdotal tail outcome, and because of the way these tall tales and rumors are passed around, it's presented to be a likely outcome. And so people make real life decisions off that highly flawed construct. Then they get to a HF and realize the path to making real money is about as likely as becoming a pro football player, and staying healthy long enough to have a long career, and performing, and being on a solid team that gets to a few Super Bowls, and winning a few of those Super Bowls.

Apr 14, 2021 - 3:34am

Age is not completely irrelevant. In the HF industry, tails generally fatten up over time. The top 40 year old PM is going to make way more than the top 30 year old one, as it takes time to accrue AUM, alpha, etc. Whereas in the sports world you generally lose athletic ability as you age. Both are very competitive, somewhat zero-sum industries where skill is linked directly with profits. 

Of course, a downside to trading is that it doesn't come with any of the social benefits of being an athlete. 

  • Analyst 3+ in HF - EquityHedge
Mar 26, 2021 - 11:28am

My PM crushed it our first year and he fit this age range. Think he made a shade over $10M. From my limited experience, that type of performance is pretty unusual and even more so at such a young age. Like others have said, it's similar to being an all star professional athlete. In other words, don't bank on it. 

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Apr 11, 2021 - 4:04pm

315benchfor5reps

Let's look at a place like Elliott for example. They put up 13% last year. How much do you think an analyst (say late 20s, early 30s) or PM (maybe early to mid 30s) made? Over $10mm? 

Elliott is notoriously stingy and underpays.

Separately, just because there's a lot of money to go around, doesn't mean it goes around. This is Wall Street, not a Swedish teachers union. If you contribute directly to an outcome, you get paid for it. You don't get paid 8-digits just for showing up because the firm had a good year. There is no $10mm participation ribbon. Not at Elliott, not at ThirdPoint, not at Viking Global.

Apr 13, 2021 - 8:03am

Makes sense. I assume your'e paid on like a personal performance basis; if you put on a $500mm - $1bn position that nets the firm maybe $300-500mm, then I would imagine you get paid like $15-20mm -- that implies like a  3-6% cut. But activism seems hard and putting on a position that successful seems hard

In an average year, how much do you think analysts, APMs, and PMs at Elliott pull in? And would you agree with the work above?

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Apr 2, 2021 - 5:13pm

Break down the math for a fund like Tiger Global. $41bn AUM, 48% in 2020 (I think around there), 2 & 20 fee structure. $41bn * 48% * 20% = $3.94bn GP Share

If you are a partner at Tiger Global (there are guys in their late 20s/early 30s that are partners there), you're gonna make a lot. Tiger Global runs super lean, but let's be conservative with the carry. Say a first year partner gets like 50 bps of carry...that's 20 bucks. 75 bps is 30 bucks...

50 and 75 bps aren't a lot, but because of how lean Tiger Global runs, it amounts to a heck of a lot. I have absolutely no idea, maybe a partner gets 100bps or more. Guys, I don't really have any actual stats on this stuff, so if anyone could verify this or gimme some feedback I'd really appreciate it. Because of what it means to be a "partner" and how lean Tiger Global is, I assume that this math checks out, but the numbers are still mind-boggling. But maybe that's just because were talking about a 50% year at the most elite shop out there. Who knows. Look at guys like Kimball and Schneider (who left for Addition recently) who are/were partners at Tiger Global. Do you guys think they cracked $20-30mm last year?

BTW, does this math apply to any of the top funds??

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Apr 2, 2021 - 8:22pm

math pretty much matches my napkin math, but remember that this is for a 48% year. In a 7% year, the numbers would adjust heavily haha

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Apr 28, 2021 - 10:07am

math pretty much matches my napkin math, but remember that this is for a 48% year. In a 7% year, the numbers would adjust heavily haha

This math, as basically everyone else has said, is stupid.

Calling it napkin math is being very generous.

It's more like used toilet paper math. Because these are meaningless scribbles on a piece of crumpled up tissue with smears of shit all over it.

No sensible person would write on it, nor would such writings be legible. If some blubbering mad man were to think it a worthy pursuit (Im thinking the homeless guy in Grand Central wearing a dress made out shredded newspapers from 1999), just imagine the mental competence of the person who goes a step further to touch that used toilet paper, much less examine it and use it to make life decisions.

I guess what I'm trying to say is... wash your fucking hands.

Apr 4, 2021 - 10:04am

Nothing wrong with the math. Where you're really off base is that you're assuming all of the 41 billion dollar is in the hedge fund they manage which is just wrong. Tiger manages venture/growth capital funds, a long only fund and a hedge fund and approximately half of their aum is in private investments and 10 billion is in the long only fund which leaves 11 billion dollars for the hedge fund. So that's the amount you should be using in your calculations. Even then, chase probably has something like 3-4 billion dollars in the hedge fund. So fee paying assets there are something like 7-8 billion dollars.

Apr 4, 2021 - 11:51am

Yeah but wouldn't it be wrong to assume that their long only/private stuff didn't also put up those lights out numbers? If i remember correctly, flagship Tiger Global L/S fund was up 48%, and the long only fund was up something like 65%, which makes sense bc of all those unicorn IPOs. Regardless of that, I agree with pincerate that the number is not just $41bn * 48%, it's definitely lower. But we don't need to estimate that number bc Tiger Global reported that they made $10.4bn (that number is on Bloomberg, Institutional Investor, CNBC etc, and it's more than any other fund) for their investors in 2020. So I THINK (someone can check this/give feedback) that means:

$10.4bn * 20% = $2.08bn GP share...Dollarbillstearnofficial got the percentage of Coleman's income from performance fees correct, but we don't really know Shleifer's. So all we know is that it's $2.08bn - Coleman's $1bn = $1.08bn spread across Shleifer and then the remaining Tiger Global partners and analysts. This is where it becomes an estimate and I honestly have no idea, but maybe Shleifer took half of it, i don't know. Half kind of makes sense because Coleman made 1/3 of his income from performance fees, and maybe Shleifer also made 1/3 from performance fees, so ~500. So now it's $508mm spread across Tiger Global partners and analysts. The other thing is that 15 partners and 15 analysts sounds kinda high. There was a techcrunch article in January stating that Tiger Global had 22 investment professionals, which is more believable.

$508mm spread across 22 folks = $23.1mm per person. SO...another big assumption: 11 partners, 11 analysts, can anyone give feedback? Perhaps $375 of that goes to the partners, so ~$34mm per partner, and then maybe the remaining $133mm goes to the analysts, so $12mm per analyst. $12mm per analyst and $34 per partner sounds a lot more realistic for a fund like Tiger Global in a banger year. Now again, it depends on how many partners vs. analysts, how much was allocated to the partners & analysts, and ofc how much Shleifer took from the GP share. I think everything else makes sense and would love to hear feedback.

Now my other question to everyone is, do analysts/partners @ Tiger Global do public and private stuff, or are some designated to private side and others to public? Or is it separated by industry, so SaaS guys do public and private SaaS investing?

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Apr 13, 2021 - 2:48pm

Break down the math for a fund like Tiger Global. $41bn AUM, 48% in 2020 (I think around there), 2 & 20 fee structure. $41bn * 48% * 20% = $3.94bn GP Share

If you are a partner at Tiger Global (there are guys in their late 20s/early 30s that are partners there), you're gonna make a lot. Tiger Global runs super lean, but let's be conservative with the carry. Say a first year partner gets like 50 bps of carry...that's 20 bucks. 75 bps is 30 bucks...

50 and 75 bps aren't a lot, but because of how lean Tiger Global runs, it amounts to a heck of a lot. I have absolutely no idea, maybe a partner gets 100bps or more. Guys, I don't really have any actual stats on this stuff, so if anyone could verify this or gimme some feedback I'd really appreciate it. Because of what it means to be a "partner" and how lean Tiger Global is, I assume that this math checks out, but the numbers are still mind-boggling. But maybe that's just because were talking about a 50% year at the most elite shop out there. Who knows. Look at guys like Kimball and Schneider (who left for Addition recently) who are/were partners at Tiger Global. Do you guys think they cracked $20-30mm last year?

BTW, does this math apply to any of the top funds??

You're taking the best hedge fund in the universe, and using that as a proxy for what HF earnings can be?

That's like assessing whether you should play golf in high school, and crunching the numbers on how much Tiger Woods has made in prize money + endorsement deals... and concluding that you can make $1-2bn across your lifetime playing golf.

Apr 4, 2021 - 2:02pm

One of our investors is doing low 7 figures in his late 20s at a L/S fund. He feels 2020 was a lot of luck and he just made ridiculous money off the Bill Hwang blow up but again, said it was lucky. I think he's being modest.

Another one retired in his early 30s but said he got very lucky as he joined a fund that scaled AUM really fast.

  • 1
Apr 4, 2021 - 9:54pm

Don't know much about the 30s guy. Not very talkative and I don't know him well enough to ask some of those questions.

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Apr 13, 2021 - 2:56pm

m_1

One of our investors is doing low 7 figures in his late 20s at a L/S fund. He feels 2020 was a lot of luck and he just made ridiculous money off the Bill Hwang blow up but again, said it was lucky. I think he's being modest.

Another one retired in his early 30s but said he got very lucky as he joined a fund that scaled AUM really fast.

Low 7 figures isn't that much in the HF business, even in your late 20s. You're certainly doing better than your HF peers, but it's not that crazy of a payday.

Let me ask you a corporate finance/valuation question, much would you pay to own the equity in a hedge fund? How would you value it?

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Apr 13, 2021 - 3:14pm

I think we should be fair with people on this site, low 7 figures in your late 20's and early 30's is pretty rare, even in the HF industry. Probably better than calling things "crazy" it would be better to give rough percentages and of course include the universe you are talking about. 

At the end of the day that kind of payday is top 1-5% across funds (probably on the lower end) and about 5-10% at "mid/top" funds (and different depending on type of fund, etc). 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Restr
Apr 25, 2021 - 1:06pm

Just posted this in another thread, but I see a lot of BS here about comp so I'm reposting it here for you freshman to see. Here are the "steps". 

1. Grind your ass off in highschool to get to a target & stop jerking off 8 times a day, grind harder in college, get to a top BB/EB/MF PE group, grind even harder and get looks from top HFs. Zero sex life, work 18 hour days minimum, follow the markets for fun, but try to come off as a chill dude for recruiting/interview purposes

2. Become an analyst at a $7bn+ L/S  HF. You know the type, Tiger cubs + top notch non tiger cubs. Tiger Global, Lone Pine, D1, Whale Rock, Eminence, Darsana, Coatue, Viking, Altimeter type shops. This should put you at ~$300-500k base

3. Continue the grind and work the hardest here. If the fund has a monster year, you want to be a hard working analyst who put in the work and contributed to some of the monster year

4. IF you actually perform + fund has sick year + you have been there for 2+ years, you will make $2-3m. Confirmed from many sources, in some cases as high as $5 but that is by no means a proxy for how much you can make working as an analyst at one of these funds. $2-3+m in a really good fund with a phenomenal year is realistic 100%, and you could be 28-29 at this stage. NOW, notice how I said L/S. Credit/distressed guys are stingy as fuck - I know a distressed analyst who put on a trade that made ~200m for the fund (fund was like $7bn AUM), and he only got paid $900k. That's a lot, but it's fair to say he was underpaid and he left for a L/S fund. 

5. Stay at this L/S fund for > 5 years, maybe you're like 32-33 now, maybe you joined when you were 26. Keep pushing and contributing to fund outperformance, and as long as the boss is not racist or discriminatory in some way, you will make PM/Partner where you can reasonably expect to make low 7 figures in a year, and higher/8 figures in blockbuster year. Do this for a few years, maybe catch the next tech wave, put your earnings back in the fund, and you could probably be worth $20-30m by the time you're 37-40, if not higher. Then you go off an start your own fund. 

Now this is the story for maybe 1-3 people out of 100 in this business. Maybe. Incredibly difficult, requires the right fund at the right time + the right boss, self determination/drive, and you actually have to be good at what you do. It's the dream for many, but it's a lot easier said than done. Finito. 

  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Apr 25, 2021 - 3:05pm

2 points on this I dont agree with. Rest is solid info

1. Most of the guys who are at these funds are very normal. They are not weirdos with no sex life, most of them are very relaxed cool guys. Some funds are basically a frat, ie Melvin for example lol.

2. That base number of 300-500 is way too high for an analyst at these shops unless you have been there for a number of years. Generally base is more like 200 starting and scaling by 50k per year. Obviously all in comp is higher and virtually 100% due to management fees but still an important distinction. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 1, 2021 - 12:42pm

Ipsa deleniti voluptatibus quisquam. Nesciunt et corrupti repudiandae est est vero. Et porro quisquam molestiae.

Eos officia numquam in. Nihil id fugit repudiandae et omnis quas nesciunt. Accusantium quas et exercitationem velit sunt.

Non consequatur et excepturi ut ut. Reiciendis quas non dolores et dignissimos. Vel aut explicabo qui atque necessitatibus. Impedit rerum amet maxime eum aut alias recusandae.

Neque accusamus expedita expedita inventore. Omnis cum voluptatem qui inventore voluptatem tempora temporibus qui. Laudantium nisi in ab dolores veniam. Vitae magni quia facere perspiciatis repellat sit aliquid.

May 3, 2021 - 4:58pm

Natus libero tenetur provident iste voluptas laborum libero consequatur. Quis et impedit quia nisi id. Eos recusandae facilis qui. Ad occaecati tenetur inventore inventore repudiandae qui quam.

Qui a ipsum et eum quod ut. Rerum ipsa omnis saepe ut est deleniti.

Totam minima numquam adipisci ea aliquam labore. Sint maiores atque expedita odio expedita ratione. Excepturi distinctio qui sit omnis ipsa quia. Libero quia quae delectus cumque. Sed vel earum blanditiis eius.

Qui enim illo ut necessitatibus praesentium consequatur qui. Fuga veritatis id aut provident. Quisquam id libero sed labore sint.

SafariJoe, wins again!
  • Anonymous Monkey's picture
  • Anonymous Monkey
  • Rank: Chimp
Apr 30, 2021 - 5:18pm

Dolorem distinctio libero delectus quos. Omnis eos nam aut quae quia et. Iure rem sit harum et vel. Consequuntur ratione id qui deleniti et. Laudantium rerum officiis dolor fugiat similique. Amet vel ut quae omnis qui.

Pariatur corrupti exercitationem nulla omnis aut. Accusantium non dolorum et et accusantium quos. Sunt maxime et harum cum nam nostrum repudiandae.

Beatae voluptate dicta eos quaerat ratione. Autem voluptas aspernatur quo eius ut. Sit repellendus commodi maiores et necessitatibus similique ut. Tempore voluptate voluptatum nobis quas. Doloremque omnis error non iusto atque sunt recusandae.

Soluta maiores et harum distinctio voluptatum cumque laudantium. Vero quia sequi qui molestiae voluptas. Fugiat eligendi omnis maiores. Quia sequi facere fugiat et. Ut sunt perferendis esse eum quidem.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

October 2021 Hedge Fund

  • Vice President (19) $498
  • Director/MD (10) $359
  • NA (5) $306
  • Portfolio Manager (7) $297
  • Manager (4) $282
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (19) $272
  • 2nd Year Associate (28) $241
  • Engineer/Quant (51) $237
  • 1st Year Associate (64) $187
  • Analysts (193) $166
  • Intern/Summer Associate (16) $122
  • Junior Trader (5) $102
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (213) $82