Advice needed: Buy-side vs Sell-side doubts

Hi fellow monkeys, I am coming to you for advice. Ever since I decided to major in finance, I've imagined myself working for an AM/HF. IB never crossed my mind or intrigued me. I am currently an intern at a L/S HF, and my PM gave me a bit of advice which has made me reconsider my path post graduation. He suggested I not focus too much on the buyside (in the near term), as it would narrow my skillset and exit opps. He then pointed to the analysts at the firm, all of which come from IB backgrounds, further stating that it is extremely difficult for a new grad to succeed at a buyside firm without the skills/mental rigor I would gain in investment banking . I slept on it, and I'm starting to reconsider a lot of things and starting to fill with doubt; I am currently a junior at a non-target and all of my efforts have been towards networking/applying for solid buyside opportunities. As I mentioned, I haven't networked for IB. I am confident in my abilities (whatever they may be as green as I am) to succeed anywhere, but I'm also willing to hear the ugly truth. Am I truly putting myself at a disadvantage gunning for HF/AM roles upon graduation ? If so, is IB out of the question for me given I'm already a junior due to graduate in December?

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Comments (10)

Jan 5, 2020 - 11:09pm

Depends if you think you're ready (i.e. have the technical and soft skills to succeed) and if you're 100% set on public markets. I went straight to buy side and am happy with my decision. I also know people who were happy they did a few years in banking/sell side because looking back, they would not have been successful straight out of undergrad.

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Jan 6, 2020 - 1:08pm

If you're interested in global macro, my understanding is that more and more of that space is becoming dominated by asset allocation quants. Very few fundamental opportunities on the buyside without some very specialized skill set. A lot of fundamental global macro funds have shut down and have been replaced by systematic risk parity like strategies. Disclaimer is that this is what I have heard about the space, I don't have direct experience.

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Jan 6, 2020 - 1:17pm

Appreciate the response deep learning. Looks like you're a quant at an AM? Any insight as to what your firm looks for in terms of hiring, and if IB would've helped (or did help) along the way?

Jan 6, 2020 - 1:49pm

If you want to be a quant, IB is certainly not the place to start. For entry/junior level hires mostly just look for people who have taken as much advanced mathematics/statistics/programming as possible. Having financial knowledge is helpful but not necessary. It is expected that you would learn the necessary accounting/finance on the job or by studying for the CFA. Unless you are already a math/CS/statistics/etc. major then the ship has probably already sailed for being a quant.

Aug 14, 2021 - 7:38pm

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