I get a lot of emails about career advice, (which of course is strange considering my winding road and biotech engineering background), so I thought I would suggest a few ideas to the aspiring hedge funders out there. Or, ETF managers/RIA PM’s what have you. While the advice of course would be more specific to your situation there is one key element that will land you far above almost all other candidates.
Be of value.
That of course is the challenging part, as finding something of value is usually by definition pretty hard to do. But at least making an attempt is far better than doing nothing, which is what most candidates do.
Jim Cramer used to talk about showing up to his office with Krispy Kreme doughnuts (link via @Greenbackd). Steve Sjuggerud talks about creating your own luck, and showing up with 12 ideas for them to improve their business.
We used to do a fairly active internship program. The challenge of course is that for every 10 interns we hired, only 1 would be actually interested in really working. Most simply want a resume filler. In our case, we had an intern that worked for free for a few months, and went out of his way to demonstrate his abilities and initiative, and now is a research analyst (probably soon to be PM) with his name on an academic publication next month.
If I were to go interview at a new fund (besides doing hours and hours of homework on the fund), the first thing I would do would be to memorize the past three years of their 13Fs so I could have an intelligent conversation about their style and holdings. Research their competitors, spend time on SumZero and AlphaClone (and VIC if you have access). Go to the local B-School and spend time on Bloomberg and download all the research reports. Try and do some value added research no one else has done, no matter how basic.
You should be prepared to discuss at least three stocks you like long and short (if it’s a fundy shop) or perhaps the research papers and books if a quant shop. These things are a minimum. Show up with write-ups to leave behind for them to review. And no matter how small your PA is, trade your own money.Whatever you do, don’t BS, or you’ll have someone like Altucher call you out and actually challenge you to a chess game you put on your resume as a passion.
Get creative. I would search every PM and co-founder at the fund on unclaimed.org. Interviewing at AQR? I’d tell Asness he has some unclaimed property in CT (2 claims). Interviewing at Appaloosa? I’d tell Tepper he also has two claims in PA. There’s nothing hedge funders love more than free money, and there is no easier way to find a job than to show up with essentially free money (that the government has no less!). While most people have unclaimed assets <$10k, these guys are at a different pay level, so could have big claims. You could easily show up and pay your first year salary with found cash.
Anyways, we’re hiring for a few spots, all paid $.
1- Create content over on hedgefundletters.
2- Marketing and distribution for the RIA/ETF business.
3. Run operations of The Idea Farm.
4- You tell me.