Pros/Cons of buy/sell side as a junior quant

Kokonut's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 14

Hi,

New here. So coming from a Financial Engineering background,with a year of not so relevant experience.

I have to decide whether to go for working in a smaller asset management firm with active investing, based on algorithms or go for a quant job on the sales side at a big local bank. Salary is similar, perks similar.

Anyone here who could list their personal experience/opinion of working buy-side/sell-side as a Quant.

Comments (13)

Mar 22, 2018

There are a lot of different quant roles on the sell side. What would you be doing?

Mar 22, 2018

Mainly doing research for clients, from a more quantitative/technical view

Mar 22, 2018

What kind of research? What kind of clients?

Mar 22, 2018

Clients: mainly Institutional
Research: analysis of local markets (risk premium, outlook implied from market) over several asset classes, equity, bonds etc.

Mar 22, 2018

Here's a pretty good reference. Please give this a thorough read and maybe you'll find the answers you're looking for.

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Mar 22, 2018

Thanks, I have read an earlier version of it. I guess there are much less buy-side quant jobs than sell-side, and those are mainly at hedgefunds.

Mar 28, 2018

$20 Billion is not small

Mar 28, 2018

i would suggest sell side (if its a BB like GS, MS, BofA, Citi, JPM, Barc, DB, etc...), you will learn more because those firms are just so large and have more resources, and you can always goto the buyside from the sellside later when you know more (are more valuable) for higher dollars.

just google it...you're welcome

    • 1
Mar 29, 2018

Two issues with this commentary:

  1. Really depends on the AM firm. There are a lot of places where you learn a ton more than any BB. Remember that sell side also involves a lot of note writing, talking clients, updating industry pieces, etc....still learning opportunities but nonetheless grunt work. Also, all sell side models are basically back of the envelope stuff. On the buy side, you'll get into way more detail.

On a side note, size of your firm has absolutely NOTHING to do with your learning experience. It really depends on the analyst you're working for. I'd rather work for a rockstar analyst at a tiny sector boutique than someone doing maintenance coverage at a BB.

  1. So what's the point of getting this great sell side experience if it's simply to get to the buy side? Just go straight to the buy side if you have the opportunity to do so. Why waste time with an in-between step?