Realistically, can I become an investment analyst at a Hedge Fund?

koko87's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 14

Greetings Fellow Chimps, Apes, and Humanoids,

I've taken a long journey down my finance career thus far and I've reached a juncture where it's finally time to pursue my passion of becoming a research analyst at a Hedge Fund.

:::pause for uproarious jeers and hysterical laughter:::

For the past eight years since I graduated college, I have been working at a boutique institutional broker dealer in New York City that services Hedge funds and Mutual funds in their trading. For a multitude of factors, I hung around always hoping I could switch to the buy-side into operations and then into research. Three years ago I was persuaded to stay after being promoted to senior vice president with a decent pay raise plus a hyuge profit sharing incentive to bring in new clients but alas, the company pulled the plug on our dying trading business.

Now with 6 different securities licenses to my name, the CFA Level I passed, and the years of expereince as a prime broker, I want to channel my time into finishing the CFA and ultimately move into the hedge fund space as an investment analyst.

I've read the advice and potential routes to break in: network like crazy and perhaps have a hedge fund client hire you. The former I've pursued and will continue to pursue. The later, never panned out, because the funds I serviced were so small they wouldn't want to take on another body--and plus what value could a broker with zero investment experience add? (a loaded, rhetorical question they'll ask)

At my shop, I saw a variety of different investment strategies employed by different kinds of funds. I saw what worked. I saw what failed. I also saw what initially worked and then disastrously failed. Knowing my mindset and my naivety from 2011-2018, I could've easily succumbed to the same career- ending failures if I had made the move to the buy-side earlier. Seeing the pitfalls of many portfolio managers, I've come to form a better understanding on what kind of investment vehicle I would want to be a part of.

So am I naive now thinking that I can get into a hedge fund as an analyst? Here's my plan: pass CFA Level II this June, take a financial modeling course this summer, hone-up my VBA skills, produce my own research reports, pass Level III in 2020, and then get a job as an analyst.

Also, please kindly consider that in August I turn 32. I have enough savings to support my living expenses all the way through until completion of this venture. I could even perhaps get a contract job for 6 months (if I can't get a full time ER job) from July to December until I need to start studying for level 3. Also, with the exorbitantly high cost of tuition, I've ruled out pursuing a MBA at the moment.

Please bestow upon me with your knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.

Sincerely,
Koko

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Jan 29, 2019
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