In what area of finance would an introverted guy most likely succeed?

I enjoy working in a very small team or independently, not a very social person per se. I would describe myself as analytical, introverted, logical and truth seeking. Would even go so far as to say I might have a mild form of undiagnosed aspergers. I also don't see myself as a banker and a sales guy. I know I can never succeed in a sales oriented role. I do love research, reading and understanding how things work. Can go on days just reading about a topic and be somewhat knowledgeable fairly quickly.

In the world of high finance, what area would this sort of person likely succeed given the drive and intelligence?

Comments (14)

 
Feb 10, 2021 - 2:20am

If you have the skills, you'd be quite a good fit for quant funds or prop shops. You can also trade solo in your basement like RoaringKitty.

Outside of quant/prop, I think it's tough. IB involves sales and client relationships, VC involves marketing and communication with other VCs and founders, most fundamental/macro HF strategies involve talking with people at banks, management, consultants/industry experts, other buy-siders, etc. 

 
Feb 10, 2021 - 8:13am

Thanks for the response. I thought about it and it makes sense. I am currently in sell side equity research and I genuinely like many aspects of it but I just don't see myself as an analyst. For quant funds, I don't come from a CS background so it might be tough to break in without doing some sort of master's. I thought buyside equity research would make sense given its performance based culture but I should definitely think about it more. The outlook for buyside equity research doesn't look good from my understanding, what are your thoughts in terms of outlook on quant funds vs. fundamental research in the next 5-10 years?

 
Feb 10, 2021 - 11:40am

I think both will remain pretty strong over the next 5-10 years. Investing has delivered outsized returns for its employees/owners for like the past 2000 years, it's a good bet they'll stick around. Fundamental vs quant I don't think there's a big difference in terms of future prospects. 

 
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 10, 2021 - 9:18am

I am definitely very introverted and I think I would absolutely hate IB at a senior level if I were put into that position now. But I'm not sure if that will change after 15 years of working. I ideally want to grow as a person over my career and become a bit more extroverted. I feel that IB will force me to come out of my comfort zone and while I might hate it at first, it should hopefully make me a more well-rounded person. I think going into a hyper-introverted career like quant/SWE may just push me deeper into this introvert hole as I won't need to interact with people much.

What do people think?

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Feb 10, 2021 - 9:27am

If your goal is to be more well rounded then you should stay on the banking track or recruit for private equity. Both paths will force you to grow and put you in sink or swim moments instead of ignoring the issue. Better to sort this out now instead of the potential regret of not taking the opportunity when you had the chance.  

 
Feb 10, 2021 - 1:43pm

Hedge funds (discretionary or systematic) sound like a fit.

That said, communication skills are still critical for analysts. You don't have to be an extrovert, but you need to be able to convey the value of your ideas / perspective 

Big4 Audit --> TMT L/S

 
Feb 11, 2021 - 2:19pm

There are hedge funds with long-only products on top of their market-neutral / traditional long / short strategies.

But they shouldn't be confused with true long-only products. Mutual funds and long-only asset manager seats generally are viewed as further in the industry life-cycle than hedge funds, but generally are known for longer duration and intellectual rigor -- value investing on secular themes as opposed to the faster-paced catalyst investing. 

EDIT: I didn't answer your question. Both investment strategies involve analytical work done by numerate and articulate professionals. Take the seat you can get.

Big4 Audit --> TMT L/S

  • 1
 
  • Analyst 2 in HF - EquityHedge
Feb 11, 2021 - 11:36pm

Yes, both are similar. I have heard that LO can be slightly more bureaucratic, so people-skill matter more in that case. Highly dependent on the firm/team tho. 

 
  • Works at Goldman Sachs
Feb 15, 2021 - 5:12am

valuethegrowth

I enjoy working in a very small team or independently, not a very social person per se. I would describe myself as analytical, introverted, logical and truth seeking. Would even go so far as to say I might have a mild form of undiagnosed aspergers. I also don't see myself as a banker and a sales guy. I know I can never succeed in a sales oriented role. I do love research, reading and understanding how things work. Can go on days just reading about a topic and be somewhat knowledgeable fairly quickly.

In the world of high finance, what area would this sort of person likely succeed given the drive and intelligence?

Research at a fundamental shop seems like your style

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