Typical Hedge Fund Hours

Subscribe

I've often heard that hedge funds working hours are much shorter than PE or IBD. How true is this? I am interested in long / short equity and special situations hedge funds.

For those in the industry, please tell us your:

  • Average hours worked per week
  • Average no. of weekend working hours per week

Hedge Fund Analyst Hours

As a common exit opportunity from investment banking and sales and trading - many analysts are looking for a better "lifestyle" then IB in the hedge fund universe. Our users shared their experiences below with hours for hedge fund analysts ranging between 60 - 90 hours a week.

Work Life Balance of Hedge Fund Manager

HFAnalyst - Hedge Fund Analyst:
Just worked an 110 hour week at a multi-strat hedge fund (value, GARP and special situations). ~70% of the time though, work is 70-90 hours week. 13 hours/day on the weekdays is pretty much the minimum, but there is always some spillover on nights/weekends.

User @UBmonkey" shared the experience of a trade modeler at a hedge fund:

UBmonkey:
Normally I’m in at 7 usually out by 7 or 8 sometimes later. I average 60-70 but I’m not in research - I’m on trade modeling and some tech projects. However, people in ops are in at 9 and out by 6 and I hear they start at 60-70 and get a 20% bonus.

User @Bondarb", a hedge fund partner, explained the hours at a Portfolio Manager level:

Bondarb - Hedge Fund Partner:
I am in the office from 6 am-4 pm weekdays but the job is basically 24-7. Right now I have positions in a few different time zones including New Zealand so risk is most certainly a global thing that doesn’t care about what your hours are.

The thing I have found about hedge funds that deal in liquid 24-7 markets is that as you get more responsibility the hours decrease but the pressure increases. It becomes more of a lifestyle that revolves around markets as opposed to something that can be defined by "I work 9-5." Some days I am in the office for a fairly short day but other times I am up all night worrying about a position halfway around the World or I am talking to an Asian analyst at midnight.

User @ews09" detailed their experience working at Citadel:

ews09:
At Citadel, I was working 60-65 hours/week (7:30-8:00), only one weekend in 10 weeks. The general rule of thumb for the firm was that people were expected to work 12-hour days, and the start/end times vary greatly by group. The hours are largely market-driven.

If you want to learn more about HF compensation, read company reviews and university stats - check out our hedge fund industry report.

Looking to Break into the Hedge Fund World?

Want to land at an elite hedge fund use our HF Interview Prep Course which includes 814 questions across 165 hedge funds. The WSO Hedge Fund Interview Prep Course has everything you’ll ever need to land the most coveted jobs on the buyside.

Hedge Fund Interview Prep Course

Comments (120)

 
Nov 22, 2009 - 10:20am

Just worked a 110 hour week at a multi-strat hf (value, GARP and special situations). ~70% of the time though, work is 70-90 hours week. 13 hours/day on the weekdays is pretty much the minimum, but there is always some spillover on nights/weekends.

 
Nov 22, 2009 - 2:10pm

normally im in at 7 usually out by 7 or 8 sometimes later. I'd say i avg 60-70 but im not in research im on trade modeling and some tech projects. Although if i were gonna do it again and i knew what i know now, at my specific fund people in ops do pretty well. they're in at 9 and out by 6 and i hear they start at 60-70 and get a 20% bonus. Not a bad living i'd say.

 
Nov 22, 2009 - 2:47pm

All of my friends at L/S HFs work insane hours, especially at first. They were all in banking for between 1 and 3 years and moved to HFs. While they were getting up to speed for the first 2 months, they worked 6am till midnight or later. Once they were settled in, it was 6am to 8-10pm.

No one ever said the hours were better than banking. Both HFs and PE firms have long hours, you don't think people will pay you a ton of money to not be in the office.

--There are stupid questions, so think first.
 
Nov 22, 2009 - 11:15pm

Generally the hours are less because of lack of face time and the market-focused nature of the business.

In the hedge fund industry, performance is related to intelligence, where you are rewarded for your ideas/returns not hours put in. In i-banking, hours spent in the office is a large consideration of performance (even more so at the junior level).

I guess every firm is different though. But why would you leave banking if the hours aren't better?

 
Nov 22, 2009 - 11:54pm

yung_gekko:
Generally the hours are less because of lack of face time and the market-focused nature of the business.

In the hedge fund industry, performance is related to intelligence, where you are rewarded for your ideas/returns not hours put in. In i-banking, hours spent in the office is a large consideration of performance (even more so at the junior level).

I guess every firm is different though. But why would you leave banking if the hours aren't better?

For the money and the power.

 
Nov 23, 2009 - 10:02pm

....i am a pm at a large macro fund. I am in the office from 6am-4pm weekdays but the job is basically 24-7. Right now I have positions in a few different time zones including new zealand so risk is most certainly a global thing that dosent care about what your hours are.

The thing I have found about hedge funds that deal in liquid 24-7 markets is that as you get more responsibility the hours decrease but the pressure increases. It becomes more of a lifestyle that revolves around markets as opposed to something that can be defined by "I work 9-5". Some days I am in the office for a fairly short day but other times I am up all night worrying about a position halfway around the World or I am talking to an Asian analyst at midnight. The more junior people work longer hours but they go home and thats it because they have no risk. The job becomes more grueling the farther along you get, not less. Their is no "pot of gold" where you work 8 hours and sit back and stresslessly collect million dollar checks...at least not in global macro.

And to answer another question, you take this job over banking because you love markets, you love the idea of running your own business and taking calculated risks, and because you can get really really rich if you are good.

 
Dec 11, 2009 - 1:02am

"And to answer another question, you take this job over banking because you love markets, you love the idea of running your own business and taking calculated risks, and because you can get really really rich if you are good."

I've been trying to get into a hf. The reason I like hf's is because you do get to take risks, take action, and can move up quickly if you produce. You said you would take a hf job over a ib one because you love the markets but don't you also deal with the markets in ib?

 
Dec 8, 2009 - 10:53pm

Thanks. What I dislike about banking is not only the long hours, but also the unpredictability of it all (saturday night emails from MDs to get to work)...I feel that I have no control over my life and the feeling is pretty helpless at times......

 
Dec 11, 2009 - 3:21am

^You deal with the markets in IB but...

You don't live in them and you spend entire periods of your career where they don't matter. When you are executing on a transaction, you are dealing with so much private information that you are no longer hooked into the markets in a meaningful fashion.

In an ECM or DCM role, yes you are more intimately involved in the markets, but the other factors never hold true. At the junior level, the work tends to be similar across the board at a number of different types of institutions and it is all about exit options (or promotion options if that's your thing).

To the guy above, you will have more control over your life in any buyside role. However, when you deal with transaction oriented finance (IB HF PE) you will always be at the mercy of transactions. In an equity HF, during earnings season, prepare to eat it. Also, what about when a company announces a follow on offering after markets close on a friday. Big money means big sacrifices. Yes you will have more control on the buyside, but you will always face the vanishing weekend and disappearing vacation.

Do a job you enjoy, don't worry about hours at the junior level, or even control.

--There are stupid questions, so think first.
 
Dec 11, 2009 - 4:18am

At Citadel, I was working 60-65 hours/week (7:30-8:00), only one weekend in 10 weeks. The general rule of thumb for the firm was that people were expected to work 12-hour days, and the start/end times vary greatly by group. The hours are largely market-driven.

 
Jan 3, 2010 - 9:20am

Trying to generalize about "hedge funds" is meaningless. Hedge funds use strategies as different as stat arb and activist investing. Why would you believe there is any homogeneity in the hours the employees work?

What defines how much you will work is mainly the culture of the firm. Plus a ton of other factors like your boss, your role, what market you trade, strategy you use, time of year, and how much money you are up...

I average ~80hrs a week, as a data point.

 
Nov 19, 2010 - 7:42am

around 8-8 or 9 each day in the office, plus reading reports/presentations and probably another 5-10 hours per weekend on average.

There have been many great comebacks throughout history. Jesus was dead but then came back as an all-powerful God-Zombie.
 
Nov 24, 2010 - 4:24pm

I interned at a value l/s, in a relatively small city. the analyst did about 6:30am to 5:30-7pm just depended. some for face time for the pm to make sure there was a floor on the bonus.

We still had fire drills too

But... we did leave near close on fridays 3:30ish and usually had limited work during the weekend, think reading Qs,Ks, screening/idea generation.

 
Jul 11, 2013 - 9:23pm

L/s equity. Tech focused. Associate. In office 45-60 hrs a week, but always bringing sell side research, Ks/Qs, articles, etc home to read. Sometimes will do some light modeling, typing up notes, and stuff like that at home as well. Get in at 5:45pst, leave when I want to sometime after 3.

 
Jul 12, 2013 - 3:55pm

Macro, analyst level. Pull around 7-7. No weekends.

[quote]The HBS guys have MAD SWAGGER. They frequently wear their class jackets to boston bars, strutting and acting like they own the joint. They just ooze success, confidence, swagger, basically attributes of alpha males.[/quote]
 
Jul 12, 2013 - 4:11pm

large l/s shop ~65-70 a week.

the 80-90 hour crowd from years ago seems a bit high (excl. earnings), unless you are at an absolute sweat-shops your hours will be (slightly) lower than banking/ mf pe, but since you actually have to think rather than mindlessly build models ts still very tiring.

 
Aug 28, 2013 - 9:43pm

Very rarely over 50 hours, almost no weekends. Did at least 140 hours both of the past two weeks though. Shit happens.

I hate victims who respect their executioners
 
Aug 28, 2013 - 9:52pm

I'm at a new place so I've been playing a little bit of catch up, but pretty much 7 to 7 or maybe 8 with 6 to 8 hours total on the weekend. I can't imagine my hours being much less even as I get settled in as my coverage is pretty expansive.

[quote=patternfinder]

Of course, I would just buy in scales.

[/quote]

See my WSO Blog | my AMA

 
Aug 28, 2013 - 10:29pm

Sleeping 4 hours a night and working constantly for 14 days straight...curious what kind of 'shit happens' to lead to that at your shop? Were you long AAMRQ?

 
Aug 29, 2013 - 2:27pm

"The trouble with you, Byron [Byron Wein – Morgan Stanley], is that you go to work every day [and think] you should do something. I don’t, I only go to work on the days that make sense to go to work. And I really do something on that day. But you go to work and you do something every day and you don’t realise when it’s a special day."
- George Soros

 
Aug 29, 2013 - 3:07pm

thats a great quote...but one generally has to do a lot of work to know when that "special day" is...i read a more recent quote from tudor where he said that the difference between the markets now and 25 years ago is that back then he worked 40 hours a week to make 40% and now hew roos 80 hours a week hoping to make 20%...

 
Aug 29, 2013 - 6:03pm

I probably work 7-6 on average, but leaving by 5pm is common too (especially Fridays). I'll sometimes do another hour at home and 0-3 on the weekends.

Can't imagine working significantly more hours. We dont do any bullshit projects/notes. I'm usually meeting with management teams or reading 10-k. I'll only write it up if I think its worth discussing.

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/_KarateBoy_
 
Aug 31, 2013 - 4:46pm

Definitely agree with you regarding the degree of price persistence then versus now...but I still think this larger AUM plays a not so minor role regarding performance of hedge funds...found a link (can't post it..not enough bananas) from june 2012 that said Tudor is opening the first macro fund in decade; it said there "The firm’s flagship Tudor BVI Global has limited client deposits since 2010 so that its performance isn’t hindered, the investors said"; also Bondarb said in some other thread that at +10 billion you need to diversify in a lot of markets, products, regardless of their particular liquidity.

 
Aug 31, 2013 - 6:31pm

i agree with both you guys....the markets are much tougher then they were in the 80s and 90s and manging billions is definitely a different sport then kicking around 100MM. Liquidity has grown over the years but consistently making the type of money required for a high percent return on billions is very very hard. In the trader doc u can see that tudor is very active intraday, responding quickly to news etc...creating optionality by quickly ripping off bad trades and by rapidly turning around the ship is still a big part of how macro is done at the old-line big funds, but it is much harder to do effectively with a ton of capital.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 12:57pm

Mid-size L/S HF

7am - 7pm Mon - Thu
7am - 5pm Friday
11am - 4pm Sunday
~63 "mandatory" hours

But the faster I get through my crap, the more projects I get, so in reality ~75-80 hours.

The beauty of working in a HF is that you rarely get staffed on firedrills Friday afternoon, and it's much easier to plan vacation / weekend trips.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 12:58pm

Hedge Fund Hours (Originally Posted: 06/13/2008)

Just wondering, are hours in hedgefunds at entry levels equal to hours as an analyst in an investment bank?

As an undergrad who just graduated from an American university looking to enter the hedge fund scene in NYC, what are typical hours like? Could someone give me a general estimate of hours per day on avg? In addition, is working on saturdays and sundays common? I'm asking just so I know hat to get ready for, I've worked in investment banking and wanted to know if i should expect the same lifestyle again.

Please dont include opinions of the likelihood of getting a job at a HF, i realize it is tough right now but I'm more interested in the hours involved as well as the lifestyle. Thanks!

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:00pm

there is no correct way to answer this, because every firm will be different, dependent on strategy, culture, etc etc; i have seen L/S equity places that have 50-60 hr weeks, as well as credit HFs that have similar hours to banking. it really depends where you are and who you work for; it's just one of those questions that can't be answered as straightforwardly as you might like.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:01pm

depends on the firm and strategy - as stated above there is no clear cut answer to your question.

Also, weekends arent as rare as people make them out to be. i know funds that make jr guys work similar hrs to banking and others that are much more lax with no weekends at all. again, comes down to thefirm.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:07pm

I did a part time internship at a L/S equities fund a while back and it seemed like the lower guys were there from like 6-6, no weekends. Sometimes later if there was something big happening, but it was pretty rare. Def not banking hours.

NEVER lose your BlackBerry
www.conveniencesoftware.com

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:16pm

Hedge Fund Analyst Hours (Originally Posted: 09/02/2010)

Just started at an event driven hedge fund last month and trying to get a sense of my hours versus other funds / other strategies

Typically I work

Monday - Thursday - 8am - 9pm
Friday 8am - 6:30pm

No weekends. So between 60 - 65 hours per week

This is after three years of banking.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:19pm

No, research analyst. However, I have a friend at a big, well-known distressed fund who is a trader and he works similar hours (tilted earlier). He does a lot of analysis though rather than just execution trading.

There have been many great comebacks throughout history. Jesus was dead but then came back as an all-powerful God-Zombie.
 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:21pm

Hey Edomerp, there was another discussion (with Bondarb) on how research analysts simply crank out the data and charts for the strategist and PM to make investment decisions. Since they're crunching numbers all day they don't really learn the markets/trading/risk management side of the business, which makes it difficult for them to move to PM positions.

Would you say this is true in your experience? As a research analyst, are the skills you're gaining preparing you for a PM role somewhere down the line, or not at all? (I only ask because I had a very similar experience at a HF where I didn't think I was learning anything that would eventually enable me to take over my boss's job.)

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:23pm

chewingum:
Hey Edomerp, there was another discussion (with Bondarb) on how research analysts simply crank out the data and charts for the strategist and PM to make investment decisions. Since they're crunching numbers all day they don't really learn the markets/trading/risk management side of the business, which makes it difficult for them to move to PM positions.

Would you say this is true in your experience? As a research analyst, are the skills you're gaining preparing you for a PM role somewhere down the line, or not at all? (I only ask because I had a very similar experience at a HF where I didn't think I was learning anything that would eventually enable me to take over my boss's job.)

I have not re-read my initial post but what I imagine I was trying to say is to be careful about becoming to much of an "analyst" or an "economist" if you want to be a PM at a macro hedge fund. You will end up so buried in analysis that you will not have time to become knowledgeable in the trading/risk management aspect of being a PM which is 95% of the game in macro. We have a bunch of very very smart analysts where I work who I enjoy working with but anytime the discussion veers off the track of fundamental analysis and into the realm of putting together a good way to express the idea or how to manage a trade their eyes glaze over or they say something tremendously unsophisticated. If you are hired to be an economist or analyst then you had better do that job 100% but you'd better be cognizant that if u want to be a PM you are gonna have a big hole in your knowledge if you dont work on your own to close it.

Illiquid products are totally different though.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:22pm

I'm naive, inexperienced, and can only speak from my own experience, so take this with a grain of salt:

I think it depends a lot on the fund's culture and the strategy. At the fund I work for, I get to help with investments from idea stage to investment committee to implementation. Our investments are (usually) illiquid and (usually) not that volatile in the short term, so trading and active risk management (resizing positions, etc) isn't really part of our day-to-day investment process.
Could I manage a portfolio like ours some day? I like to think so.
Could I manage a global macro portfolio full of interest rate, currency, and commodity derivatives? Probably not, but I didn't expect to learn how to do that.

If anyone with more or different experience has anything to add, I'd be interested in other views too, especially from L/S equity or relative value perspectives.

PM me if you want to discuss further; I don't want to write a novel on the board and don't want to give up too many identifying details.

There have been many great comebacks throughout history. Jesus was dead but then came back as an all-powerful God-Zombie.
 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:24pm

Analyst- Equity L/S

I work about 8AM-5PM and I do reading at home. I don't really stay at the office since I don't have a BB terminal and I can do most of my job from home.

"Dude, not trying to be a dick here, but your shop looks like a frontrunner for the cover of Better Boilerrooms & Chophouses or Bucketshop Quarterly." -Uncle Eddie
 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:28pm

Hours are dependent on the firm, strategy and role. Specifically, research jobs (as you progress to PM), are relatively time intensive compared to other jobs within a hedge fund. Most PM's tend to work no less than 55 hours a week. There is more than enough work to be had and when a PM's income is directly dependent upon his individually managed portfolio, the PM finds it difficult to not put in the necessary time even if he has more than qualified analysts working underneath him.

Visit www.wallstinsiders.com for more information
 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:29pm

Just to clarify, I don't have a BB terminal. Our PMs all have them though.

"Dude, not trying to be a dick here, but your shop looks like a frontrunner for the cover of Better Boilerrooms & Chophouses or Bucketshop Quarterly." -Uncle Eddie
 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:34pm

We are larger than 4-man. Most of the analysts i work with think about investing ideas around the clock, including weekends.

I very frequently get update/thought emails after midnight on weekdays, and around the clock on weekends. None of us come in the office on weekends, but all of us are checking bberg.

You cannot be successful at a value/fundamentals shop if you are clocking time. Find a different job.

Array
 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:36pm

Start up or not, working in HF/IB/PE are pretty all encompassing careers. In your early years the firm basically owns your ass even if you're not passionate and don't care 100% and are using it as a stepping stone to something else. When or if you advance in your career it becomes even more all encompassing because your investment performance (on the buyside) or ability to generate revenue (in IB) directly affects your income. Since no one's in this field to save the spotted owl or end world hunger and most people's primary motivation is money (maybe the art of the deal in IB/PE and the intellectual challenge of formulating an investment thesis and seeing if it comes to fruition) and since you have to be thinking about it or doing it all the time to be good at it because it's ultra-competitve, if you don't have a passion for the underlying business you're not going to excel at it or make it very long because at the end of the day if you don't love the business and the money, you don't get a warm and fuzzy feeling consolation prize because you solved world hunger.

Working 80 hours/week for $65k would suck so you should figure out your bonuses or if there's a good career trajectory at your fund (some sort of carry or whatever it's called in the HF world) because you're getting in on the ground floor and not taking a very good salary/bonus.

I haven't been in HF's but have been involved in start up investment firms before (PE & RE and I've been involved with non-finance start ups) and I wouldn't necessarily say the hours are worse, although that will depend on the senior guys, the firm, strategy, etc, but you end up wearing far more hats and have less resources at your fingertips. The old cliche may be a bit of a stretch but at any start up you can be the CEO and the janitor at the same time.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:38pm

Know a guy who worked at a start-up fund. Enjoyed working typical hours initially, 12 hours+ a day with no weekends. PM did weekends. It was a team of 3-5 people. Fund did well. Money didn't flow in. Three years passed, hours remained the same but he had to stay in till late looking at US stocks. The analyst was extremely frustrated and quit.

He was very good though so managed to make a move but I could tell you'd have to be extremely passionate to remain in that condition, especially at 30+ age. For a number of people longer hours is not an issue (speaking hedge funds not passive guys who do kind of longer term investments) but it has to be rewarded as well. With start ups it's highly risky as you don't really know if things will work in your favour. Whereas with established firms things are consistent; i.e. you at least get paid decent base.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:39pm

The people that I know at startups including myself don't do 12 hour days in the office... probably closer to 10 ex-earnings. The difference is like what above users said: it doesn't end in the office and is a lifestyle as opposed to a clock.

There is a difference between how I spend the time though. I don't try to do a lot of active things after hours (contact industry professionals, modeling, etc.) and just do things like read reports.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:40pm

Great bunch of comments.
I'll add that my peers and I who have talked about "hours" are typically 7:30am to 6:30pm or so in the office. Earnings season requires more hours.

The key distinction between people who succeed and those who don't, are those that are working outside of office hours / always thinking about ways to make money. This isn't a career where you leave the office and shut down. Your hours are still less than in banking, the work is much more enjoyable, and the pay is better and can be spectacular.

BUT, I'll tell you one of the most frustrating things about this job is when you enter broad rallies or sell-offs. You can put in all this time and effort, and it doesn't matter - stocks move in unison. You see the evidence of this frustration as funds shut down and their letters leak out, saying the industry has changed / there's no room for fundamental investors, only momentum traders (there's usually poor performance involved).

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:41pm

I just don't get these long hours you hedge fund guys put in! Hedge funds are about returns not hours, hard work and clocks! You have to work smart, not work hard and put in long dreary hours in front of a computer! I've worked in the industry for a decade, with compounded annual returns well over 15% and never worked more than 10 hours a day. Average day is 8-9 hours in the office, half of which are extremely busy/high pressure and the other half are spent reading research, surfing the web or working on projects. True, it is really a 24 hour job, specially since we trade globally, but its more checking in and trading overnight on occasion, but that is more driven my the desire to make returns than required hours. Unless you guys are making massive returns and alpha over the indices every year regardless of the market, you are wasting your time spending more than 50-60 hours a week in the office. More hours does not equal good returns.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:43pm

^ I can only talk from my limited experience at a HF (l/s equities with a more opportunistic approach). Longer hours was the norm but not for all. For me and some of the guys I looked up to personally, longer hours (6:45am to 8pm) were due to 1) workload and more responsibilities (and hence risk) and 2) passion to be better and better which helps in career progression and satisfaction among other things.

Secondly with huge risk on the books in terms of AUM and markets going sideways, it was just not acceptable to hold on to losers even if we knew they'd go up in the next few days - this had to do with loss limits and so on which actually affects your fund outflows. Having sticky capital is difficult. So we were literally thinking on what's happening to our positions in next few days and in immediate results announcements. All this required more work to avoid any surprises. It really helped. If you are doing blue chip European stocks on tight loss limits, it kind of becomes a more trading oriented strategy. Fundamentals matter but your trading skills also come in to picture. So we'd have stocks in the portfolio for 9months and so on but we'd move it up and down in terms of portfolio percentage quite a lot (thus trying to benefit from fundamentals as well as market moves which quite often can ignore fundamentals). Kind of like IG credit vs HY.

For me, staying late meant opportunity to have some informal discussions with highly experienced and talented analysts as well.

Having said that, 15% returns is impressive. So I see your point when it comes to working shorter hours and still beating benchmarks but that's just how it is. I won't be surprised if my desk made 30%+ in one year with 1bn AUM.

 
Best Response
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:45pm

All B.S. I don't buy it. I'm not talking about 30% in 1 yr when all risk assets are rallying. We've had plenty of years that blow that out of the water and I'm being modest when I say 15% compounded annually for a very long time in scalable and liquid strategies. I don't buy any B.S. about different asset classes and derivatives either as I have access to all and trade them all in all regions/currencies and EM. The hedge fund industry is full of B.S. artists trying to justify the work they do when they provide 0 alpha and a small portion of the beta. None of it is rocket science, none of it is hard and none of it requires any special IB/Ivy League/MBA pedigree that many on here crave and aspire to like heroine addicts. You need to be smart about investing, have a thick skin, understand true risk and uncertainty, be opportunistic, understand markets in a macro sense and investor psychology, understand the cost of capital and interest rates, be able to make fast and sound decisions without emotion and much info and live with the consequences so you are back and ready for more soon, not fight the market or get in the way of flows if you are not already riding them. You might need to put in some extra hours initially to learn the ropes, lingo and analytics, but beyond that you are basically daft if you have to spend much more hours to deliver average beta-only returns or below. Good luck all.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:47pm

Hours are dictated by investment mandate, market environment, and firm culture.

That said, start-up funds are (generally) going to be longer hours because the team is highly incentivized to show strong performance to raise more capital and will spend as much time as possible turning over rocks looking for an edge. You will also spend more time doing non-investment tasks since you're at a lean operation and will not have the same level of support as larger (more institutional) funds.

Of course... more hours != better returns

At many places good performance leads to less hours, but you'll work like a dog when the market/performance turns south.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:50pm

Can anyone give a general sense of "hours needed to get an edge" for each strategy? Thanks

Background: analyst at a fundamental oriented fund with a trading approach (I.e. not buy and hold or concentrated deep value). I find it intellectually interesting, but not enough to do it 80 hours a week, which is at least how much you have to put in to be good. I also find a lot of other things intellectually interesting and would like to have more free time to do them (they don't pay well though).

I know there's no point trying to half ass it and work 50-60h a week and just skate by, because if you do that in my current strategy your performance will be shit. I'm wondering if there are any strategies out there where people can do well and get an edge without working those long hours (maybe event driven? Or something less fundamental like macro? Or quant/systematic? Or more long term? I can't tell if it's the fundamental part or the short term part that's killing me hours wise). I don't care about making fuck you money - I'd be satisfied with getting passive cash flows and building wealth while enjoying free time, rather than duking it out in the markets for more than 50-60h per week.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:51pm

I'm not sure I fully understand your firm's strategy - maybe you could explain it in more depth. To me a fundamental shop looks at a company bottom-up and invests as if they're actually becoming owners of the business. To have a fundamental trading approach doesn't make much sense to me (excuse me if I'm being naive).

What about your strategy makes you have to be in the office for 80 hours per week? Is this due to your PM making you or is there something about your strategy that keeps your there longer? Just for reference, as I stated earlier in this thread, my average work week is ~60ish in the office and we're a fundamental, concentrated fund.

I honestly don't think the amount of hours you work correlates to developing an "edge". Sure, working longer hours and reading in your free time will theoretically make more knowledgeable and potentially more talented, but I think it's about being efficient with your time and not necessarily how many hours you put in. To me, an "edge" has more to do with refining your process and sticking to what you know (i.e., why waste time researching a biotech company when you have no idea what the product actually is or does?). I'd rather focus on an industry I can really understand and become an expert in. Over time - at least this is how I see it - your process will improve and you'll be able to spot opportunities/red flags faster than before and really understand the implications of your research. I think too many times people try to over-complicate investing when in reality it's about keeping it simple and ignoring the noise.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:53pm

I have worked at two HFs. Currently at a smaller firm. 7 to 7 is the norm - with fridays being much earlier 4/5. Some weekend work. Earnings are longer. Def not a consistent 70-80, more like a 50-60. I also worked at a mid sized firm, 830 to 7 was the norm with some weekend work. Of course long nights happen but not the norm. I have friends at bigger shops that get half day fridays in the summer. Its not a service provider role so not sure why a consistent 70-80 hour week is needed, and frankly its probably not that efficient. As others have said above, its not about the hours its about working smart. I'm on the credit side so not sure how much this differs from equities.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:54pm

I work in Systematic (Quant) Strategies at a large multistrategy hedge fund. Our team is about 9-6, though I'll stay until 9PM 2-3x/month if I'm working on an interesting project. The guys upstairs in the fundamental groups generally stay later than 6PM.

It's not about the hours- it's about what you discover and how you execute on that. In Stat Arb, someone can put in 100 hours/week and come up with nothing. Another guy can come up with eight figures/year of alpha in an afternoon. And in the meantime there's also work to be done on the risk model, on allocating capital to different strategies, etc.

 
Sep 1, 2013 - 1:57pm
Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

September 2020 Hedge Fund

  • Vice President (18) $520
  • Director/MD (10) $359
  • Portfolio Manager (7) $297
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (18) $269
  • 2nd Year Associate (25) $242
  • Engineer/Quant (45) $238
  • 1st Year Associate (58) $189
  • Analysts (175) $167
  • Intern/Summer Associate (12) $134
  • Junior Trader (5) $102
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (183) $80

Leaderboard See all

1
Jamoldo's picture
Jamoldo
98.3
2
LonLonMilk's picture
LonLonMilk
98.3
3
Secyh62's picture
Secyh62
98.2
4
CompBanker's picture
CompBanker
97.8
5
Addinator's picture
Addinator
97.6
6
Edifice's picture
Edifice
97.6
7
redever's picture
redever
97.6
8
frgna's picture
frgna
97.5
9
NuckFuts's picture
NuckFuts
97.5
10
bolo up's picture
bolo up
97.4