Burned out HF guy, what are my exit options

evenfantastica's picture
Rank: Monkey | 36

I worked at equity long/short hedge funds for 7-8 years. I wasn't quite able to bridge the gap between analyst and PM, but burned myself out trying, and topped out at senior analyst. I got tired of the constant urgency, dreaming about my positions, waking up in a cold sweat, the backstabbing, getting screwed on netting, everything really. I left of my own accord about a year ago and have been floating around ever since. I have some solid savings so can last for a while but not forever obviously. I have been thinking a lot about what kind of jobs I would be qualified to do with my background. I'm not interested in anything in the hedge fund industry. I've tried applying to some long-only and startup jobs but haven't even gotten an interview.

I'm curious if any of you have made transitions out of the industry, or what you have seen others do. My expectations for compensation are not super high, 150k would be acceptable if the lifestyle is decent. Open to considering all kinds of things.

Comments (33)

Feb 7, 2019

what are your skills? what are you good at? what do you want to do?

just google it...you're welcome

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Most Helpful
Feb 7, 2019

Family office or fund of funds.

They're minerals, Marie!

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Feb 7, 2019

curious about what you think made you not make PM? What were the lessons in retrospect that you did well and what mistakes did you make that prevented a shot at PM being realized?

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Mar 21, 2019

Good question. A few things:

1) I cared about lifestyle too much. My clearest route for advancement was at a multi-manager but it felt to sweatshop-like for me.

2) My idea flow was too slow. I was a slugger that would bring 1-2 massive ideas to the table every year but I wasn't able to grind out the singles and doubles that you need to smooth out your PnL.

3) I made a few poor career choices that slowed me down.

4) I already hated the level of stress I had as an analyst, and becoming a PM would have been leaning into that even more. So subconsciously I probably didn't really want to go there.

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Mar 23, 2019

Thanks for the reply. To add some ideas regarding your original post would you be open to doing a masters? If so, I think with your skillset doing a 12mth masters and gaining some quant/data science skills would put you in a very attractive position. A lot of these jobs have high bases like 150k and you are not responsible for PnL so a lot less stress.

I feel you on 1). Would you mind elaborating on 3)? Perhaps you are being too hard on yourself. Its rare in any field to have a straight path to success or a really senior role.

Feb 7, 2019

How far off are you from lasting forever?

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Mar 21, 2019

Pretty far unfortunately. I had some good years and some not-so-good ones.

Feb 8, 2019

ever thought of business development..sourcing, evaulating, and closing partnerships?

you need a finance skillset, strong business instinct/acumen, and ability/willingness to build relationships/source opportunities. w/ 8 years experience, $150k+ should definitely be attainable. could look for opps at an established company or startup.

Feb 15, 2019

Have you seen this done in practice? Makes total sense to me, I just personally haven't seen any examples of this. I may be in similar position as OP down the line, hence my curiosity.

Feb 15, 2019

i worked as a buy-side investment analyst before moving to corporate/business development. now i'm in sales. i can share more info if there's interest

Mar 21, 2019

I'm not great at sales unfortunately. I think I would enjoy this even less than being an analyst.

Feb 8, 2019

Were you specific industry focused ? Perhaps you could try to get on with a sponsor-backed private entity in that industry. Would take some cold-email/calling most likely. I would think that the up front salary would be on the lower end, but decent upside if the team is successful. Might require moving, depending on industry.

Feb 24, 2019

This is good advice, if you've been covering an industry in a demanding environment (which a hedge fund certainly is) then your knowledge and especially insights on that industry are probably far ahead of many who even work in that industry.

Feb 8, 2019

OP, if I may ask, what were your hours like at your Hedge fund job? What about during earnings season?

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Mar 21, 2019

My hours varied through my career but in my last role they came down to roughly 8-6 M-F with some reading at night and the occasional firedrill if some M&A was announced. 8-8 during earnings. It wasn't the hours that was the issue, but the stress.

Feb 8, 2019

I'm on the same career path as you. Thinking of leaving in a few years here, even if I do make PM.

I think the best, most cushy job would be investor relations. You basically will know exactly what investors want to know and you're the mouthpiece of management. There are some IR guys out there I'd rather talk to than the actual management.

At a large-cap company, you could make multiples of $150k. Unless you're completely looking to get out of the market-related territory. I've seen quite a few sell-side analysts do it, as well as a few buy-side people. You're well-qualified coming from either role.

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Feb 25, 2019
sonibubu:

I'm on the same career path as you. Thinking of leaving in a few years here, even if I do make PM.

I think the best, most cushy job would be investor relations. You basically will know exactly what investors want to know and you're the mouthpiece of management. There are some IR guys out there I'd rather talk to than the actual management.

At a large-cap company, you could make multiples of $150k. Unless you're completely looking to get out of the market-related territory. I've seen quite a few sell-side analysts do it, as well as a few buy-side people. You're well-qualified coming from either role.

Can confirm am in IR at a mid-cap. Hours are great, and it is pretty cool getting a bird's eye view of the company and selling the company's story to the market. Lately I've been looking to move to corp dev but hrs would go up for the same $.

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Mar 21, 2019

This is a good idea. I love talking to people but wouldn't want to do anything sales related. In this role I would mostly be relaying information. The only tough part is the heavy travel. Do people at large caps really make multiples of $150k?

Mar 21, 2019

IR at least my experience of it which was a buy-side PE firm (I was in the investment team but they sat on the same floor) are salespeople. You are selling stories/ideas to raise cash. They do earn a lot but its all commission based (usually low base). If you had a network of High net worths that regularly invested in your ideas then ye it would be an easy talk etc. But you will have to build this network up which will be pure selling even if you are given a list it wont be regular investors as noone will give that up for free.

Feb 24, 2019

Consider a role at a college endowment perhaps? Decent pay and good hours. Also you are investing on behalf of students / the university so it can be rewarding. Those jobs can be tough to get though.

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Mar 21, 2019

I applied to a few of these jobs but no bites. I imagine that they may mostly source people through connections given the rarity of the jobs and nature of the institutions.

Mar 22, 2019

Similar situation - I had a couple first round phone interviews - but didn't progress beyond that... its fascinating because back in the day folks that were dancers, and photographers etc are now some of the famous investors in the space, but now it seems they want direct experience. Guess all of Wall Street has changed since 2008. Perhaps look for public investing roles? Try the website Trusted Insights - they have a bunch of postings.

Feb 25, 2019

Property development is fulfilling because of the tangible nature of the project. Also, everyone is rowing together and projects last years - no room for internal competition if roles are defined. Assuming your modeling skills are outstanding, you could join a big institutional developer as a development analyst working on mega-projects. Comp would be in that range all-in, but culture varies widely.

Mar 21, 2019

This is very interesting, I would definitely consider this. I consider myself to be an ace modeler. Any advice on how I would go about approaching this industry? Thank you.

Feb 25, 2019

Investment analyst at the AM arm of an insurance company. With your background you could easily clear $150k base with hours of no more than 50/ week.

Mar 21, 2019

Another good idea, I'll have to look into this.

Mar 3, 2019
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Mar 5, 2019