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    I am currently doing AS levels and deciding on future careers and i am starting to become incredibly interested in working in hedge funds. I am steered towards becoming a trader but i have no idea what route i should take to get into this position. I will probably do Economics at Uni, but dont think i can get into somewhere like LSE because i haven't done further maths, and my maths is not outstanding, just good, im currently looking at going to queen marys to do Economics. What steps should i take to get into a trader position in a hedge fund from where i am now?
    Any guidance is much appreciated
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    Sorry kid but you got very little chance. Perhaps a more realistic career path should be aimed for.
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    Take a look at this:

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Investment_Banking

    Everything you need to kick-start your ambition.
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    Become a trader, get good, headhunters will come a knocking. A lot of progression in banking isn't down to how good you are, but who you know. You can become a trader with a 2:1, but it'll be very hard to walk into a hedge fund.
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    (Original post by chelseafan)
    Sorry kid but you got very little chance. Perhaps a more realistic career path should be aimed for.
    Could you expand on why it is unrealistic? if not a hedge fund, then an investment bank would be my other option
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    (Original post by Izzyeviel)
    Become a trader, get good, headhunters will come a knocking. A lot of progression in banking isn't down to how good you are, but who you know. You can become a trader with a 2:1, but it'll be very hard to walk into a hedge fund.
    im not necessarily saying i will walk into one, i would just like to know the route to take to get there even if it is long, hard and unlikely
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    (Original post by GCD)
    Could you expand on why it is unrealistic? if not a hedge fund, then an investment bank would be my other option
    Lol your backup is an investment bank. Reality will hit you hard my friend.
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    (Original post by chelseafan)
    Lol your backup is an investment bank. Reality will hit you hard my friend.
    haha i didnt mean 'backup', im talking about my top/ideal careers that i would love to do, trading in hedge funds being the preferred IDEAL career
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    Why a hedge fund?
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    Best path to a good fund is from a good seat at a good bank
    Best path to a good bank is with good grades from a top university
    Best path to a top university is by taking and crushing solid A level subjects

    If you want to study Econ and are only three months into your AS levels, you still have time to pick up Maths and work hard to get the grades that will get you into a top university. Any other path to a respectable fund will be an uphill battle infinite times harder than getting an A/A* in Maths.
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    You best bet to work in a hedge fund would be to start by working front office at an investment bank. To do that you need outstanding academics from GCSEs, A-Levels and need to go to a top university. Plus ideally you want leadership experience, extra-curricular and so on. With all of that, it will still be hard to get into an investment bank, let alone a hedge fund. If you get into an investment bank, work hard and do well at your job, make contacts and then you might be able to transfer to a hedge fund later down the line. Again, that'll be hard though. You cannot under-estimate or even put into words how competitive this industry is. If your at AS level, you'd be best focussing on getting straight A's and A*s in everything. Just work at it. Ideally, you really need Maths and Further Maths (trust me, I didn't and just like you, I'm good but not a super-brain and it makes things a lot harder for yourself especially getting into a top university). Also, you might want to look into pre-internships/pre-university events that some banks run for AS/A-Level students. It will help you whatever happens. You never know, you might find out about a role you prefer other than hedge funds through this.
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    Okay thanks, i think for the time being im just going to focus really hard on my A levels, especially the maths, and then fingers crossed i can start by getting into a good uni
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    (Original post by GCD)
    Okay thanks, i think for the time being im just going to focus really hard on my A levels, especially the maths, and then fingers crossed i can start by getting into a good uni
    Good mindset.
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    (Original post by GCD)
    Okay thanks, i think for the time being im just going to focus really hard on my A levels, especially the maths, and then fingers crossed i can start by getting into a good uni

    Trading and working in a hedgefund are different things just to be clear. Are you clear on what you want to do?

    I have been applying for asset management and investment management internships/placements these last few weeks, and that has a lot more to do with working for a fund then working for your typical investment bank.. Investment banking placements are not the same as investment management placements, and by the sounds of it you want to do the latter?

    Any analytical degree is accepted when applying for either of these fields of work, I do Chem Eng, and have always loved researching a lot of the smaller oil/gas/exploration companies. I just answered the question on a Deutsche Bank application: What are the major differences between investment management and investment banking?

    The answer was (briefly) something along the lines of: An investment banker is involved with Mergers & Acquisitions and how to raise the capital for them, and IPO's along with conducting due diligence on these. Now that's an exteremely brief description, someone with more expertise could offer some more insight most likely.

    The asset management side is developing investment strategies, researching and reporting on companies in terms of their investment potential, managing portfolios of funds in order to generate a return for the client - portfolio restructuring etc, that is more what you would expect to do at a fund of some type. Growth funds, fixed income funds etc etc! That's what I want to do and what I have been pursuing (I just finished my DB numerical test a second ago) It's very competitive like IB, but I would rather go into the investment management side straight away rather then go through the IB side and move over once my career has developed like a lot of people..

    There is a 'Vault Guide to Investment Management' might be worth a read.
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    (Original post by Luca118)
    Trading and working in a hedgefund are different things just to be clear. Are you clear on what you want to do?

    I have been applying for asset management and investment management internships/placements these last few weeks, and that has a lot more to do with working for a fund then working for your typical investment bank.. Investment banking placements are not the same as investment management placements, and by the sounds of it you want to do the latter?

    Any analytical degree is accepted when applying for either of these fields of work, I do Chem Eng, and have always loved researching a lot of the smaller oil/gas/exploration companies. I just answered the question on a Deutsche Bank application: What are the major differences between investment management and investment banking?

    The answer was (briefly) something along the lines of: An investment banker is involved with Mergers & Acquisitions and how to raise the capital for them, and IPO's along with conducting due diligence on these. Now that's an exteremely brief description, someone with more expertise could offer some more insight most likely.

    The asset management side is developing investment strategies, researching and reporting on companies in terms of their investment potential, managing portfolios of funds in order to generate a return for the client - portfolio restructuring etc, that is more what you would expect to do at a fund of some type. Growth funds, fixed income funds etc etc! That's what I want to do and what I have been pursuing (I just finished my DB numerical test a second ago) It's very competitive like IB, but I would rather go into the investment management side straight away rather then go through the IB side and move over once my career has developed like a lot of people..

    There is a 'Vault Guide to Investment Management' might be worth a read.
    Good advice, but to be clearer again, whilst hedges funds do belong under the umbrella of investment management, they are only one branch of it. Be sure to distinguish hedge funds from mutual funds and larger AM shops. The difference isn't enormous but it is important.

    At some funds, the work involved is very much like what you do on the sell-side (IBD/S&T/ER). In either case, you are an analyst of some sort of product, the difference is that on the sell-side you aren't always looking towards making an investment yourself (S&T/ER somewhat excluded from this). But the analysis you do is often applicable to buy-side roles and this is why you see M&A/ER/S&T bankers move to hedge funds. Some funds like M&A bankers because it is usually held that these guys are exposed to the most intense coverage of companies from a fundamental perspective. It's not universally true that this is the case, nor that all funds like M&A bankers. My point is that even though the job role is removed in at least one significant part from IM, the analytical skills you develop on the job are sometimes unparalleled and prized for that reason.

    Also: I haven't read the Vault guide to IM, but most of their stuff sucks. There are much better resources available on public forums (like WSO) and career sites (M&I has a few articles).
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    If you want a career as a trader in a hedge fund (i.e. as someone who manages their own book, rather than someone who executes other peoples trades) you will realistically have to come in through one of two routes. The in-demand people for trading positions in funds tend to be one of:

    1. PhD/Masters in mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science and machine learning from top universities. Perhaps economics, if you focused on econometrics/time series modelling.
    2. Traders from other environments (e.g. investment banks, oil/energy companies) who have a track record of success.

    Also, your math will need to be outstanding. In the time between now and your first job, the hedge fund sector is only going to get more quantitative.

    There are other roles at hedge funds that you might find interesting (research, sales, marketing) and there are trading opportunities at other firms (banks, brokerages, mutual funds, energy firms, prop firms).

    I would advise you not to zero in on any one career option right now, but instead study something which will keep your options open and is quantitative (math, engineering or the hard sciences). This will set you up to look at jobs in finance when you are graduating.
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    (Original post by haskell)
    If you want a career as a trader in a hedge fund (i.e. as someone who manages their own book, rather than someone who executes other peoples trades) you will realistically have to come in through one of two routes. The in-demand people for trading positions in funds tend to be one of:

    1. PhD/Masters in mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science and machine learning from top universities. Perhaps economics, if you focused on econometrics/time series modelling.
    2. Traders from other environments (e.g. investment banks, oil/energy companies) who have a track record of success.

    Also, your math will need to be outstanding. In the time between now and your first job, the hedge fund sector is only going to get more quantitative.

    There are other roles at hedge funds that you might find interesting (research, sales, marketing) and there are trading opportunities at other firms (banks, brokerages, mutual funds, energy firms, prop firms).

    I would advise you not to zero in on any one career option right now, but instead study something which will keep your options open and is quantitative (math, engineering or the hard sciences). This will set you up to look at jobs in finance when you are graduating.
    Tbh this is not all necessarily true, this is just the info that gets spouted on here.
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    (Original post by Hackett)
    Tbh this is not all necessarily true, this is just the info that gets spouted on here.
    It's difficult to read this as anything other than a one line, uninformed dismissal.

    I'm giving my advice based on my experience working in hedge funds. Whilst it is true that there are other routes in to funds (for example, Brevan Howard has a graduate scheme) the vast majority of traders I know either have a PhD in a quant subject, or have a number of years experience trading at a bank.

    In fact, as prop becomes more difficult to do at banks, the second route is going to become rarer and there will be more focus on raw quantitative skills.

    If you have an informed counter point I would love to hear it!
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    (Original post by haskell)
    It's difficult to read this as anything other than a one line, uninformed dismissal.

    I'm giving my advice based on my experience working in hedge funds. Whilst it is true that there are other routes in to funds (for example, Brevan Howard has a graduate scheme) the vast majority of traders I know either have a PhD in a quant subject, or have a number of years experience trading at a bank.

    In fact, as prop becomes more difficult to do at banks, the second route is going to become rarer and there will be more focus on raw quantitative skills.

    If you have an informed counter point I would love to hear it!
    If you've worked within hedge funds and know all about them, why are you making threads like this: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2220320 ?

    Not all the hedge fund sector is quantitative. Most if not all L/S, event-driven or merger-arb equity funds don't use especially quantitative techniques. Certainly not the sort you'd need a PhD for. There's no reason to think that all macro funds are quantitative either.
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    Yep, in most funds the "trader" is just someone who executes the trades. It is also worth stating (the obvious) that there isn't any one background you "need"...for example, in the US the reason it is just far more common to come from IBD or MBA is because that is the way their system works...it isn't really to do with anything you learn but the fact you have gone through the process. Likewise, the reason places like Brevan Howard and Bluecrest exist is because of the growth of prop trading at IBs. As most funds aren't quantitative, the best place to go if you want to be an HF analyst is AM (you will be doing the same job at an HF), followed by IBD/ER/Accountancy...it should be obvious though that funds are idiosyncratic and your picking to enter the industry at the worst possible time so stuff that used to be true about the industry isn't anymore (for example, most prop traders who opened funds have failed badly).
 
 
 
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