Masters vs. PhD applying for Hedge Funds and Asset Management

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Cthulhulegion
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Hey,

I've been doing research into how Analysts work at Hedge Funds and I want to apply to a Hedge Fund firm after I graduate (preferably one that focusses on the Tech Industry).

I'm doing lots of little things to aid my application, writing and commenting for financial blogs and websites etc, but what formal education do I explicitly need?

I've completed my undergraduate MSci course at Imperial in Theoretical Physics, and this academic year I'm starting a CDT (which is a masters + PhD) in Graphene Technology and Entrepreneurship at Cambridge University. My question is, I have the option to finish the Masters at Cambridge and leave or stay for a further 3 years (providing I do well) and take a PhD. The course is quite technical and can involve serious maths (coming from a Physicist). Will this strengthen my application? Is it necessary to do the PhD for hedge funds or is the Masters ok? What are the normal routes into the Hedge Fund industry for people like me?

Thanks
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Retroo
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A lot of young guys that graduated at the age of 20/21 and went to work in city banks for a couple of years get into HF/AM simply due to having work experience at prestigious firms.

I don't understand why you're stressing your self out this much trying to do a physics PHD just to make yourself seem worthy in front of employers.

I understand that there's big money in finance but under no circumstances should a person with normal brain functions do anything more than a year's masters (given that you can afford it) just to work at a good firm.

You're making decisions at a young age that will cost you almost 6 figures in fees just to get in a career that you think you might like. The chances of your 35 year old self looking back at your present decisions and thinking "Yep! that kid had it all figured out" are extremely low. A PHD is unnecessary unless you want to go into academics.

My advice would be to get out of education as soon as possible and actually get some work experience. If I had a choice of 2 people to invest £1m for me. I would pick that 25 year uni-droput with 7 years experience under his belt over a 40 year old finance academic with multiples PHD's that has never worked a day in his life.
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fuuji
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Im a research analyst at a HF and I only have a bsc, you don't need either. You don't even need to know any maths really.
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Mathchismo
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(Original post by Retroo)
A lot of young guys that graduated at the age of 20/21 and went to work in city banks for a couple of years get into HF/AM simply due to having work experience at prestigious firms.I don't understand why you're stressing your self out this much trying to do a physics PHD just to make yourself seem worthy in front of employers.I understand that there's big money in finance but under no circumstances should a person with normal brain functions do anything more than a year's masters (given that you can afford it) just to work at a good firm.You're making decisions at a young age that will cost you almost 6 figures in fees just to get in a career that you think you might like. The chances of your 35 year old self looking back at your present decisions and thinking "Yep! that kid had it all figured out" are extremely low. A PHD is unnecessary unless you want to go into academics.My advice would be to get out of education as soon as possible and actually get some work experience. If I had a choice of 2 people to invest £1m for me. I would pick that 25 year uni-droput with 7 years experience under his belt over a 40 year old finance academic with multiples PHD's that has never worked a day in his life.
This is correct but I didn't agree with the rest of what you said.

Assuming you do a PhD in Europe, the long term benefits drastically outweight the negatives if used correctly. Life is not investment banking.

If you did a PhD and planned to go into Finance well in advance (what I'm considering doing --- in an ideal scenario I'll study for 3 years after my Bsc), you could enter JPM, MS, GS etc. on their summer associate programs.

I.e. you could have two people who work the same job, at associate level age 25, Person A who went straight to investment banking and is run down from 4 years of work. Person B who lived a farily relaxed life and undertook further study. Person B would also be skilled enough to work in other departments - Public Policy, Quantitative Research, Technology etc etc. So they would be far more flexible in terms of career choices, but they would always be placed as people's bosses with specialised knowledge.

There are several Hedge Fund Managers and Directors of Financial firms with PhDs across Germany, France and Italy.

All really depends on what you want to do in life, and ultimately how you leverage your education.
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Mathchismo
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(Original post by Cthulhulegion)
Hey,

I've been doing research into how Analysts work at Hedge Funds and I want to apply to a Hedge Fund firm after I graduate (preferably one that focusses on the Tech Industry).

I'm doing lots of little things to aid my application, writing and commenting for financial blogs and websites etc, but what formal education do I explicitly need?

I've completed my undergraduate MSci course at Imperial in Theoretical Physics, and this academic year I'm starting a CDT (which is a masters + PhD) in Graphene Technology and Entrepreneurship at Cambridge University. My question is, I have the option to finish the Masters at Cambridge and leave or stay for a further 3 years (providing I do well) and take a PhD. The course is quite technical and can involve serious maths (coming from a Physicist). Will this strengthen my application? Is it necessary to do the PhD for hedge funds or is the Masters ok? What are the normal routes into the Hedge Fund industry for people like me?

Thanks
Huge congrats BTW, apologies I didn't answer you directly, rather I answered someone else.

Quantitative Hedge Fund route: You could work directly at Quant Hedge Funds, essentially you would be using your applied math skills, SDE's, PDE's to model risk/options and stocks in C++/C etc.

Relevant Link: In google type any buldge bracket firm followed by PhD or Strats. Example here: http://careers.jpmorgan.com/student/...rams/summerphd

OR if you wanted to go straight down the actual investment banking route, if you learnt the basics of Accounting and Finance, you could be recruited directly into an Associate Role (i.e. you would manage analysts often with Bsc degrees) and focus on technology industry coverage.

Basically with your outstanding education, assuming you have some social skills you have a lot of options if you work on it early.

Congrats and hopefully I'll be in your position soon.

P.S: Again just thought off the top of my head again, Consultancy with tech coverage could work. And also Growth Equity / Venture Capital firms.

Best thing to do is evaluate what you personally, and not anyone else, want to do with your life and how much money you actually desire in life, and where you could leverage your education the best. You have lots of options.
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