Motivation for those still trying to break into the industry/dream role

TradeBaron's picture
Rank: Monkey | 62

Hi all,

Thought I would share my story. I graduated from a mid-tier university in the United Kingdom in 2012, my first job was in working for a back process outsourcing company focusing on building pensions for corporates. I took the job because they had an investment consulting department. I went for an interview didn't go well, carried on working hard and building my skills.

Second job was at a fixed income pricing department of a financial data vendor, I took the job because it would contribute to the CFA. Worked my ass off built my skill set and then moved to another job at a sell-side listed real estate research house worked there for a few years again built my skill set and then went over to a private equity fund of funds company before finally managing to get a role at a hedge fund which focuses on European real estate equities.

This journey took me exactly 6 years of working my ass off and struggling but in the end, I made it and currently love my role. So the take away from this is if you want something bad enough if you continuously work hard and then harder, play the game you'll get there in the end.

Any questions more than happy to help.

Comments (10)

Aug 24, 2019

thanks for the offer to answer questions. if i guessed it correctly, your second job was a post-trade portfolio valuation services at a vendor firm, e.g. ihs markit, bloomberg and the like, providing services mostly to buy side firms. how do you compare your pricing department job experience to independent price verification (IPV) department at a sell side firms, e.g. banks, and some derivatives pricing model validation roles there. which do you think is more transferable to investment/portfolio management roles?


Quant is life.

Aug 25, 2019

Yes you got it, the firm was actually a competitor to bloomberg. I would say that there is no difference. We had a bunch of guys who used to work in the pricing devisions of IB's in their fixed income/ derivative/ etf departments - to be honest it was the experience of being able to do this and gaining experience with these services overall and the bigger picture in the world of finance i.e. being in the office at 5am and having bankers call up and ask why their portfolio's are moving so much and being able to say fed cut rates or whatever. I can say that my direct transferrable experience was at the buyside and sellside; with that said there are things I know working in pricing departments you won't learn in a sellside/ buyside firm i.e. when we were pricing bonds we use comparables and bootstrap a yield curve due to whereas in portfolio management you don't even bother going that far - you'll use a swap curve and interpolate the mark to market using excel or just download prices on bloomberg or just take an average of interest costs. I would say overall knowing the nuances and how to price these things are a statement in themselves because it shows you're able to take that knowledge and apply it elsewhere. If a kid can value a bond, why can't they value a share if we teach him if you see what I mean?

Aug 25, 2019

Thanks for the info!

Quant is life.

Aug 25, 2019

My pleasure man, best of luck.

Aug 25, 2019

Congratulations man! How did you manage to get the interview for the HF position?

  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Aug 26, 2019

inspiring post! would you mind sharing at which level of seniority did you manage to break into the HF? Also did you have to start from entry level for each move in between?

Aug 26, 2019

I'm an analyst, position above me is portfolio manager, struture is very flat and fair. With my moves yes until the hedge fund, when I went in there the culmination of my years of experience were a prerequisite so I wasn't made to feel junior i.e. anyone who joins, joins as an analyst.

Sep 7, 2019

What is the most important skill required to get a role in a hedge fund , python , math or something else ? What is the most rewarding part of your job and what EPL team do you support ?

Sep 9, 2019

Being commercial. Knowing your markets. If you know python but have never developed your own algorithm in your own time then how does that sell your skillset to me. I built financial models from scratch and did real estate consulting and modeling for my own clients I made networking and toured assets for potential investments. I don't really follow football but it would be Manchester United on a pick.

Dec 19, 2019
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