Hedge Fund Career

A job in the hedge fund industry is perhaps one of the most sought-after careers out there.  The compensation is great, the work is challenging and you work with some of the smartest traders and managers in the financial world.  Because a hedge fund career is so attractive to professionals, it is highly competitive.

With this in mind, I recorded this 90 minute hedge fund career webinar as a free resource that will help you get a better idea of what it’s like to work at a hedge fund, how you can improve your chances of landing a hedge fund job as well as some practical hedge fund career tips and best strategies.

Video SummaryThe strategies and tips provided within this video module include:

  1. This hedge fund career webinar and our other hedge fund career resources are designed to provide you with a ton of valuable information that will help you: avoid making big career mistakes that might cost you your job, make the most money that you can in your career, and make sure that you have a rewarding, lucrative position in the hedge fund industry.  
  2. Use the 3 Circles strategy to make important decisions on your hedge fund career path.
  3. Be sure to avoid the top 5 career mistakes listed in the presentation.
  4. The number one key to success is to be proactive.  This isn’t a secret, but it is powerful.  Be proactive in taking risks and action daily and you will learn quickly and uncover hidden opportunities in your hedge fund career.
  5. Take advantages of all the free resources that we have provided.  Most companies would charge an arm and a leg for access to these resources; we believe that it’s better to provide you with value.  You can access the free hedge fund e-book, the free hedge fund newsletter and many more hedge fund career videos like this one here at InvestmentCertifications.com.  

Video Transcript:

Hello, everyone. This is Richard Wilson from the Hedge Fund Group and I’m here in Sao Paulo, Brazil doing this webinar here today for you guys. And if you’re not familiar with the hedge fund group, we’re an online networking association. We have about 33,000 or 34,000 members now. We offer a lot free resources. We have a free eBook, free blogs, free webinars such as this. We really try to do that just to generate relationship with people in the industry and today we just found it to be an effective way to do business and provide value first. It just becomes an easy way to get to know more professionals that work in the hedge fund industry and that’s really how we’ve grown in membership with the Hedge Fund Group over the past few years.

So we’re just going to wait, just another — maybe 30 seconds here before we jump into the presentation. If you do have questions feel free to send them in within the chat or the questions box that you might see within your webinar software. And at the end we’re going to try to take as many questions as we can. I think we’re going to fill up the full thousand people on the line today. So we’re actually not going to be able to do voice questions or they’ll just be 80 or 90 people talking over each other, so we’re going to do chat-based questions. I’ll read them off and then try to answer them near the end.
But I hope that what we share here today will help you a lot whether you’re launching your hedge fund career, transferring over from another area of investment or finance, it should help. It’s everything that I’ve learned that I think would be helpful and I can fit into a one hour presentation and we get a lot of questions every year, several thousand every quarter about hedge fund career advice. And so, we’ve done a lot of research for people and their career in the industry and we just developed a lot of resources in the past. We’re going to use all of that in the presentation today. So let’s go ahead and get started.
All right. So first off, you know why is it important to spend 30 minutes or 45 minutes of your day to day on this webinar? I know many of you are on your lunch break or had to take a break from your normal work day to be here. So obviously, why should you be here? First off, I’m just a true believer that no matter what challenge you’re facing, there had been professionals that face that exact same challenge in various similar circumstances to what you’re facing today. And if you can learn from those people and take advice from them, you might be able to speed up over a 30-year career. You might be able to speed up and move past 3 or 5 years of struggle or just slower progress. So we’re just trying to be a part of that solution here today, just providing a really condensed advice for your hedge fund career.
Next, the other reason is if you don’t know some of the common mistakes that pretty much everyone makes at some point in their career and lots of people make in the hedge fund industry, it can just again, slow you down and maybe you won’t get paid what you’re worth or you’ll end up in a dead end job that you don’t really feel much passion for and that you’re not that successful at because it’s not a good match for your skills. And then last, the final slide of this presentation is by far the most important, but you won’t be able to take advantage of that unless you take notes along the way. So if you really want to make use of your own time, it’s good to just get a pen and paper or a pencil and just jot down some quick notes, just on 2 or 3 things that you can take action on today or this week that you’re going to make a real difference in your hedge fund career.
So this is a diagram of what I referred to as the Three-Circles Strategy. I believe Jim Collins refers to it as the Hedge Hog Strategy. But it can be a real career path, decision making tool for you in your career. And here’s how it works. The top circle, the darker blue is about what you’re passionate about, what you’d like doing, what you have fun doing and what you just are naturally drawn to. The green circle is about what you could be really great at, what’s part of your natural DNA, what’s part of your experience, what’s part of your strengths. And then the light blue section here is about what drives your economic engine. So what’s going to make a lot of money? What could be very profitable in 5 or 10 years? Or what career path could guide you to being compensated very handsomely for your work?
And the point of considering all three things, what you’re passionate about, what’s part of your natural DNA and then what could make a lot of money? If you only make decisions which fit all three of those criteria, then you can do very well because what happens is then you don’t get stuck. For example, everybody knows someone who has tried to make a career, you know playing in a band or being a solo artist, and that might be all about what you’re passionate about. Sure some people do make a lot of money doing it but that might be an example of somebody just going solely based on what they’re passionate about or someone else might go into investment banking or commercial real estate just because you might make a lot of money. But maybe it’s not a good match for their passions or for their natural abilities. Maybe their natural abilities are more analytical, where commercial real estate might be more focused on sales and relationship development.
And you can really use these within the hedge fund industry. I’ve used it within my own career and my own business. When I was in college I did an internship with a hedge fund in Europe doing leading indicator trading research. And while I was doing that research, I realized that while maybe I position myself to be highly compensated doing trading research, you know it wasn’t something that I was really passionate about and I’m not sure that it was something I could be the best in the world at. So that kind of led me more towards marketing roles, capital raising roles, and that’s what led me towards working as a third-party marketer and raising capital for different types of hedge fund managers.
So this is not something that’s — it looks theoretical but it really is not something that’s very theoretical. It’s really very real world and you can use this starting today with almost any type of decision you make related to business of your career. It’s just something you just might want to jot down, you know keeping a business turn off you have in mind and then just kind of keep in mind whenever you’d come across the important decision plan in your life. Another role you can live by is never to say “yes” to an opportunity which does not fill all three of these criteria points. So I’ve made a video on this topic, Top 5 Hedge Fund Career Mistakes, you might have seen it.
So I’m going to go through relatively quickly because this might old for some of you. Number 1, the most important thing in the hedge fund industry is to not come across as being annoying. And that’s the shortest way of stating it. But in order words, don’t e-mail somebody 6 times a week or e-mail them and call them, fax them multiple times in a day or you’re just going to turn people off very quickly. And there’s 2 reasons why that is. The first is that the hedge fund industry is relatively small compared to other industries and hedge funds generally get many inquiries about jobs especially nowadays with the recent economy, not being so stable as it used to be. So it’s really important to come across to someone who values the other person’s time otherwise they’re not going to be interested in working with you or interviewing you.
The other reason is that if you think about it the most valuable employers or the people who you really want to work with or work for are probably going to be the busiest people. If somebody has $800M in their management and they’re running 5 different strategies which are all growing quickly, they’re going to be very busy and very consumed by their business. They’re not going to have much time or patience to deal with 8-page long e-mails or multiple inquiries about something because you’re feeling impatient or anxious about being hired in the industry. So just make sure you don’t come across as annoying.
Next, don’t be overconfident. I know some people have a virtual portfolio if you really got a stock system or they have a great trading algorithm or they have a great pedigree from an Ivy League institution or a big firm. And it’s just important not to come across as overconfident because each hedge fund manager in these principles are probably relatively confident in how they do things. If you seem overconfident it might seem like you’re not going to match with their culture so just make sure you don’t come off as arrogant or overconfident during the process.
Next, is no long resumes and e-mails and this comes right back to respecting the other party’s time. I always say your resume should not be any longer than 1-page long, even if you have 25 years of experience. Less is more because nobody has time to read a 2 or 3-page e-mail and they usually just skim it and then if you have your stuff spread out over 3 pages, that same 10 seconds is going to be spend over 3 pages and they’ll actually absorb less than if you have a 1-page resumes. E-mails, again, keep it short. I usually try to keep e-mails to parties that we do already have a relationship with down to 4 or 5 sentences and this is good rule to go by when you’re networking in the industry.
Next, is generic is boring. Well, many hedge funds like people who can wear many different hats, have diverse skill sets and be responsible for many different things. You don’t want to be generic. So make sure that even if you somebody who is analyst, maybe you have experience in managing service providers or maybe you have experience in some type of hedge fund marketing strategies or in developing marketing materials, something that’s just going to give you something in edge, an information edge, a knowledge edge, an experience edge over other people who are going to be applying for those same positions.
And last is passion is not enough. You get a lot of e-mails from people who say and literally say “I will do anything to get in the hedge fund industry. I’m willing to work from the bottom up. I’ll do anything. I just want to get in the industry and work for a hedge fund.” And that’s great and it’s a great attitude to have but sometimes we don’t see the connection between that attitude and then doing the hard work that’s needed to gain the knowledge that’s required and the experience that’s required to really get into the industry. So just make sure that if you’re one of those people that has that attitude, that you get some leverage on yourself and use that energy to actually put a work plan in place, take action and do things that will move you closer to working in the industry and the position you want.

And again, if you can avoid these mistakes, you’ll be ahead of most of the other people that are applying for these same positions because most people don’t go through webinars or trainings while working on the hedge fund industry and some of these things are very obvious but everybody forgets these when they’re busy or excited or anxious over a decision. So here’s my Top 6 Hedge Fund Career Tips. It was interesting as I was looking through the registrants. We had about 1,500 people register for the webinar and I was expecting a lot of students and people early on in their hedge fund career but I also saw a lot of people who worked either in compliance or trading or in investment banking and other industries and are looking to transfer over to work for a hedge fund or work with hedge funds. So these tips should apply to everybody on the call and hopefully find them valuable.

The first is to become a hedge fund student. Read a book every 2 weeks, subscribe to free newsletters. I’ll give you links to a few later. Listen to podcasts on the hedge funds, read newspaper articles. Our team offers the CHP Designation. It’s a hedge fund training program and then we’re going to talk later about creating your own hedge fund mastermind group as well. So these are just tips on increasing your knowledge and moving up the learning curve as quickly as possible. If you’re wondering how you can gain the knowledge so you don’t feel like an outsider, these are some tips you could jot down for the things you could start taking action on today, doing them I hope you feel more like an insider when you’re going to interviews and networking with people.
Next, use the Three-circles strategy we’ve just discussed. I know I’ve mentioned this twice already but that is on purpose because I think this is so important. Next, use 2 or 3 career mentors. Try to find people who are willing to spend 30 minutes with you each month and give you career advice, at least within the investment industry if not specifically on hedge funds. Next piece of advice that is probably one of the most valuable if you’re looking to start your hedge fund career would be to complete at least 1 internship and ideally 2 to 3 internships. And lots of people e-mail us saying that they just need entry jobs because they don’t have time for an internship. And I really just don’t believe that’s the case for anybody. If you want an internship you cannot only find one, you can fit it into your schedule even if you are married with two kids and working full-time. You can find a hedge fund that needs, for example, leading trading indicator research.
You can find a hedge fund that needs marketing research. You can find a hedge fund that needs startup help. Worst case scenario you can work with someone 5 to 8 hours a week and gain some valuable experience and insights on to how hedge funds work and how your potential role might be in terms of what you’d be responsible for producing each day. So I really encourage you to be creative, work for free until you prove value and then ask to be paid, you know work part-time in 2 or 3 internships, maybe altogether, you’ll be paid enough to get paid. It can be really valuable and make a huge difference in your career if you get that valuable experience versus kind of generic entry level experience.
Number 5 here, something I talk a lot with hedge fund managers related to hedge fund marketing is developing your own unique selling proposition. It’s often referred to as the USP within the marketing world and what this is, it is something you can state within a single sentence which is about the benefits you can provide to a hedge fund. So it could be related to, like we were talking about before about not being generic. It could be related to the fact that although we have 2 years or analyst experience and a business degree in business from a Boston college, you also have done a year’s worth of strategic marketing planning in a business industry and you can combine that to help the hedge fund develop their own strategic business plan and marketing plan in addition to your analyst role. So it’s just something unique you can add to the table.
And then my last piece of advice here, which is probably one of the most value within this webinar is just to try to land the un-advertised job. All of my positions I’ve had throughout my whole career had been jobs which never were posted on Monster. They never were posted on the Albourne Village or Hedge World or Hedge Fund Blogger. They were positions that literally did not exist until I contacted the firm and sold them on hiring me toward the position. I did once by calling 10 firms in the yellow pages and met with 2 or 3 and 1 that gave me a job. I also went through the Albourne Village in college to get that internship with the European hedge fund and was hired by a hedge fund that wasn’t hiring.
And I also, while entering the third-party marketing world, I went to a third-party marketing association where they have many independent marketers that help raised capital for hedge funds and contacted many of them, met with them and actually got a position in that industry just by going out there and being proactive. And many times small businesses aren’t actively hiring people but they will if they find someone who is really talented, who can add value to their business. So just really keep that in mind because most businesses in the hedge fund world are small businesses.
So now we’re going to go over some overlooked hedge fund job opportunities. The number one overlooked hedge fund job opportunity is within the area of working for a service provider. So within the hedge fund industry there really is an echo system of businesses that all work together to make the hedge fund business work. And there’s a very large hedge funds that do maybe 80% or 90% of their processes in-house but 80% or 90% of all hedge funds outsource a lot of their business activities to outside firms. They might work with 6 or 8 different outsourcing firms to outsource operational issues, accounting, auditing, marketing, CRM related issues, graphic design, compliance, legal work and or trading and with each of those types of firms, there’s someone who is running a small business who has grown expertise in an area such as say trading research and that means that there’s a firm.
For example, I know one firm creates retail, a channel at research so they can give research to hedge funds and what’s happening in the retail markets very quickly so they can have kind of leading indicators of what might happen to retail type businesses. And they can just give them a slight information edge over competitors. And if you want to work in producing trading research for hedge funds, there’s many firms who specialize on doing only that and if you work for one of them it’s a very specific niche training in that area. You get to learn very specific and valuable skills that are more valuable than if you get investment banking experience or work as a financial analyst within the big corporation. Because this is one to one match for probably exactly what you’d be doing within a larger hedge fund.
And you could spend your whole career working for a hedge fund service provider and still be compensated very well and have a satisfying career. But it’s also a great experience to be able to leap over toward directly or a hedge fund at some point. So don’t overlook it and I see almost nobody talking about this while the e-mail lasts and I think it’s a huge opportunity and you’ll have less competition going here than when you go to hedge funds. The next overlooked opportunity that is constantly kind of renewing itself in terms of the availability of it out there is hedge fund startups. There’s hundreds of hedge fund started every year and each one of them could use interns. If you meet them face to face, have lunch, complete an informational interview, meet for coffee, meet from a networking event, introduce yourself and maybe have 2 or 3 things on hand that you know typical hedge fund startups may need help but that can really make a big difference.
You could suggest helping them with operational issues. You could help them with the business side of things. So to start with you might not even need a lot of hedge fund knowledge per se if you have some business management knowledge. You could just help run their business because hedge funds are really small businesses and they need people to take care of business issues and business challenges which come up so you could be kind of a business project executor for a small hedge fund possibly to get your foot in the door. Lots of hedge funds need help raising capitals. You could help them with developing marketing materials, reaching out to potential investors. There’s really dozens of areas where you could pitch yourself as being someone who can just help them get started because in their mind, their first 3 or 5 years will probably be pretty painful.
It’s pretty hard to raise capital when you’re a small hedge fund and have a short track record and most hedge funds do not raise as much capital as they first expect to. So I would encourage you that if you develop a relationship with a hedge fund manager to keep in touch with them. At first maybe they’ll bring someone on with a high salary or try to do things all themselves. But I believe eventually they’ll realize more and more how much help they do need or how much their business could benefit by having additional help on board. So try to meet with local hedge fund managers that are starting up and talk to them about how you could help them improve their business.
The benefit while working for service providers is a great niche training. The real benefit for hedge fund startups is that you get to work many different hats. You get diverse experience and you get the maximum amount or responsibility in the smallest amount of time. Many times if you’re hired to be a marketer, you’re also going to help with operations and business issues and complete fees and different investor relations related issues. So it’s something that’s important to keep in mind that’s often overlooked.
And one question which I was going to make a separate slide but did not, was referring to what’s different about working in the hedge fund industry. If you work as a compliance expert or a trader or you’re a student and you’re looking to work in a hedge fund and you’re thinking “Wow! I don’t know much about hedge funds. It seems very challenging. It seems like there’s a big wall to get in and I feel like an outside.” There are two differences but there’s not that many differences so don’t be too intimated by it. First off, most hedge funds are more entrepreneurial than the average business. Some of them are bootstrapped, others are not. But you really just to have recognize that the principles of the firm have a lot of their own money and time invested and it’s different than working for a large corporation.
And likewise, unlike a large corporation, they’re very results driven. They want people who every day are going to be executing, getting things done. And like one hedge fund manager told me if somebody at my company is not working from the minute they get here till the minute they leave then they’re not working at our hedge fund anymore because we just have so many things we need to get done and execute on. They don’t want to hire people who are not drivers and are not executers. So that’s important to know. Those things are emphasized more in the hedge fund industry than I’ve seen in other business industries. But the important thing to remember is that niche knowledge is really what you need to get in.
Experience is more important than anything else but when you’re starting from a ground zero and you’re thinking, “How am I going to adjust myself to work in a hedge fund industry?” Moving up that learning curve and really building your knowledge within the hedge fund niche is the most important thing that you can focus on to prepare yourself to work in the industry unless you kind of speak the language of hedge fund managers let’s you understand what they’re talking about during interviews that come off as much more well-versed and intelligent, just by the types of questions you ask, you’re going to come across as a better fit for a position if you’re really knowledgeable about the industry.
And now here we’re going to go through some quick resume tips. I’m going to go through this page relatively quickly because we’re about 30 minutes in the call now and I know that many of you probably have work in several professional positions before, so I don’t want to bore you here. Again, never have your resume be more than one page long. Always start with action bullet points, include tangible verified results. Sometimes I see resumes which talk about how the person synthesize strategic plans to improve the company as prospects. And really it doesn’t mean anything. It just sounds made up. What you really want to focus on, you know raise $200M in capital from family offices and wealth management firms in 4 months, something like that which is very — you know it’s time constrained, it’s specific, it’s tangible and everybody knows what you mean regardless of whether they were there working at the company with you or not. So make sure your resume reads like that, very tangible and verified actions.
Always start with your strongest experience or education. If you have no experience but you have an MBA and you completed some strategic projects in school related to hedge funds or you did some training program related to hedge funds, then put that at the top of your resume. If you had a lot of great experience but you didn’t even graduate from high school then obviously you’d put the experience at the top. If you’ve never published anything I would encourage you to get to work and start writing and synthesizing what you’re learning about hedge funds or about analytics or about marketing if that’s your niche and just start writing a newsletter or a blog, self-publish a book. That’s something I did when I was completing my MBA and it really just helps you synthesize your knowledge and having something tangible you can show potential employers or clients down the road. It really makes a big difference and it’s just one more thing that can set you apart from a competition out there.
Just a reminder, if you’re within the CHP program, we have a resume template you can use to make sure your resume look professional. It might just save you a half hour or an hour of you know reformatting your own if you need to fit it into one page. And then make sure you take off an experience which is not directly relevant. It’s better to have more white space on your resume than talk about how maybe you worked for managing your cousin’s dry cleaning business as your first job out of college. So just make sure it’s directly relevant because it will take away from your positive experience and training if you have a non-relevant experience there.
So now we’re going to talk about developing your own hedge fund mastermind group. First is, it’s important to know that you’re the sum of what you’re exposed to every single day and this comes from many areas of psychology that have confirmed this and many business and kind of success coaches talk about this a lot. There’s a CD and a book called “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale which is really good. And it talks about this very same concept. And basically this idea revolves around the idea that who you’ll be in 2 years from today, so in 2012, in January, you know you will be the sum of what you read, who you discuss, ideas with and what inputs you allow into your life.
So if you read books, go to training programs, complete internships, complete your degree, hang out with people who are very positive, who have accomplished a lot in their life, who have high goals, you know it’s going to be a world of difference of where you are in 2 years than if you spend your time watching TV, going to the movies twice a week, trying to beat the latest call of duty video game or hanging out with people who are pessimistic and complaining about the economy and complaining about the government and talking about how the hedge fund industry is impossible to get into, so I’ll just take the boring corporate job that might be more available in your area. So it really will affect who you are and this has made a huge difference in my life and I really think if you put this to work and if you write down nothing else today, this might be something that could really help you move forward in the hedge fund industry.
Because most people just don’t put their effort into designing their career or their life to really push themselves forward as fast as possible. And what we’re talking about here in the stage of the presentation is creating a mastermind group so that you can control or at least improve the inputs in your life. A mastermind group, just a very quick definition, is a group that you can meet with once every week or two, at least once a month that’s going to provide you with advice, feedback, and it’s usually a two-way street. Usually you provide them something of value or they’ll also provide you with something of value, some type of advice and this can be made up of professionals in the industry, successful investment professionals, other ambitious or proactive students or really career professionals.
And a few points in my career I couldn’t find enough professionals who wanted to actually get on the phone once every two weeks or meet in person every two weeks and talk about career progress and what you’re learning in business. I just had a hard time connecting with people like that at some point and so what I did was substitute some of those relationships for reading more books if you are looking to be an analyst or a trader or a hedge fund manager or a marketer then you can read books on hedge funds, read books on self-improvement, read books on positive psychology, read books on your niche area, such as trading. You could look at research done related to trading or traders who have written books or white papers.
If you start searching they’ll be almost no end to the amount of information you can consume on your niche topics related to your career goals. And so I would encourage you to not say “Well, I don’t know any of these people,” in the first three bullet points, try to find at least 1 or 2. And if you can’t find very many or any at least go back to what I’ve mentioned before. Try to read a book every two weeks or just add more positive inputs in your life so you’ll get more out within the next few years. And Peter Drucker is saying the same, that we live in a knowledge economy and most people nowadays are knowledge workers. And in the hedge fund industry we’re not stamping out widgets in the factory, we’re not creating car parts, we’re not doing the typical kind of blue collar manufacturing work at all. It’s all knowledge work. Everything we do is related to knowledge work.
And so this is especially true in the hedge fund industry and with your hedge fund career and it’s that, those who can grow their specialized knowledge more quickly grow themselves as an asset and as a direct result are worth more. In a knowledge economy, knowledge is an asset and every business person is interested in increasing the value of their assets and one overlooked way is by controlling your inputs so that your specialized hedge fund knowledge really grows quickly because that’s going to grow what you’re worth in the marketplace.
Now, real quick, this was mentioned in the beginning, the hedge fund groups runs the CHP Designation. It’s a two-level program. The first level is about hedge fund fundamentals. The second level, you can specialize. It’s kind of like an MBA program or an undergraduate program or the first half is generic to make sure everybody gets the basics of hedge funds down. And the second level let’s you specialize, so if you want to work in due diligence, you can complete the level 2 module on due diligence and the same for marketing and sales or portfolio analytics.
And the reason we did this webinar is it’s really relevant to the things we’re trying to provide people within the CHP Designation. We provide a lot of career coaching within the program, resume advice and feedback. And it just helps people advance their business career. And we provide over 60 educational videos. You can add the CHP Designation in your resume to make it stronger, increase your specialized knowledge within an area and just speak the industry at language more fluently so you can just more forward in your career and hopefully more swiftly.
So here is probably the most important slide or part of this presentation that will be talking about today. And that is truly what I believe is the secret to success, and often times when people are looking for a shortcut or a secret or the magic way of doing something, if someone tries to sell you that shortcut, it’s usually too good to be true and it sounds too good to be true and most people are skeptical of it because they should be. And this advice is really, really no different but it’s not difficult. The advice is to be proactive in taking risks and taking an action every day and then you’ll learn quickly and uncovered hidden opportunities.
In the hedge fund industry many people are unsure of what first steps to take. They’re worried about, “Should I e-mail the hedge fund manager? Should I call him? Should I fax him? Should I send him a letter in the mail?” And if you think about it, if there’s a tiger in Africa on the Savannah and he sees a gazelle and a zebra, he doesn’t sit there for 30 minutes and not do anything. He goes after it. One, he goes after the closest one. He’d take some action. And I saw a static showing that only 1 out of 20 in the animal kingdom, only 1 out of 20 hunts is actually successful and most of the time these animals fail at hunting and the same is true in business and the same is true in improving your career and running your hedge fund career.
Most of the times when you try something, it probably won’t work but that’s not reason to stall and not take action. A lot of the people that we work with and hear from are kind of stuck in this mode of planning in their mind or what they’re going to do eventually or what they’re going to do in 2010 and part of 2011, or in June 2010, you know that’s when I’ll have everything in line and I can approach these hedge fund managers with more confidence. Or at this point I’ll have 6 years of experience or my degree will be done. And so things are put off and people plan forever and they get in this analysis paralysis mode and the real secret to success is just to get yourself out of that and take action every single day.
The author of Chicken Soup for the Soul wrote a great book called Business Success Principles and he sold over $100M worth of his books and he said the same thing, that every single day he would just do 1 thing to market his books. Just one thing. Not 10 things, not 100 things a month, just 1 thing every business day. And over 3 years that means he had done 600 different things to market his book. And guess what? The average author does maybe 6 things if any to market their own books. And so you can take that same lesson and use it in your hedge fund career. And just every day take 1 action. Contact at least 1 hedge fund manager every day or you know one day, schedule it for your next two weeks and find 10 things you could take action on. You know improve your hedge fund resume one day. The next day contact hedge fund managers, the next day research more hedge fund managers you could contact later on. The next day try to form your mastermind group and you could send out e-mails to 8 or 10 people.
It’s really just a matter of planning for success for yourself. And what lots of people — I think Eben Pagan and one other professional, his name isn’t coming to my mind right now — call it getting leverage on yourself or making your success inevitable. And getting leverage on yourself is basically creating habits so that every day you have the habit of doing things which are going to move you forward. There’s a quote that goes, “First you make your habits and then your habits create you.” And it was said that about 96% of everything we do is habitual. The way you brush your teeth, what you eat in the morning and what you start to work on, do you check your e-mail first? What you do right before you go to bed, everything we do, almost everything is habitual.
And so if you make the habit of taking one action first thing every day, then that’s just going to be something that’s going to become automatic and become very powerful for your career. And this is something that I did, I talked about creating your own publication and being able to put that on your resume and bring that to job interviews and that might seem like the most unrealistic thing that I mentioned in this whole webinar. But it’s something that I took from someone named Jeffrey Gitomer who said he had an average career until he was in his 40s and then all he did was started writing one page a day and he got some newspaper columns going, he got a newsletter going, and now he has paid more than a column, he offered his speeches and his phone rings off the hook with new clients that want to work with him.
And the point is, he promised the same secret to success and he said, “I’ll give you my most valuable million-dollar piece of advice because I know that 99% of you will ignore it and won’t actually take the actions to put it into place because it actually takes hard work. It’s not easy.” And so I really encourage you to take this seriously and if you forget everything else I’ve talked about today, this is the number one most important thing. Just take action every day on improving yourself and your hedge fund career. Another quote by Brian Tracy is that “If you want to have what others don’t you have to do what others don’t.” In other words, do the work that others are not willing to do and you’ll get the results that others wish they could get.
If you want to work in the hedge fund industry and you can add to it, I’m going to do whatever it takes to work for a hedge fund. I’m going to do whatever it takes to start my hedge fund. Then just realize that all those convert into, I’m going to do the work and I’m going to keep on doing the work that others are not willing to do because successful people made this life doing the same work that unsuccessful people just like doing. But they do it anyways because that’s the cost of being really successful. So that really is true in the hedge fund industry because lots of people give up I believe too quickly whether they’re running their own hedge fund or trying to get in the industry.
And I think we’ve already hammered these points so I’ll move through these pretty quickly. But lazy people often make up excuses, plan forever, blame the economy, blame the people around them, blame their boss, the government. And it was interesting, I personally met and have lunch with, and done seminars with professionals that are worth over $10M, I think everyone can agree, that means they’re relatively successful if they created their own wealth themselves. And not a single one of them were laidback people that work at “4-hour a week.” These are all very hard working people that take action every single day to improve their business and improve their own knowledge and skills. So I think that’s important to note.
And then the last piece here, was I was recently in Los Angeles for a training program and there was a lot of small business CEOs and sales professionals there and there’s a lot of guest speakers as well and there’s actually I think 7 or 8 different guest speakers. And I took a lot of notes during the program, 8 or 9 pages of notes and narrowed it down to 3 or 4 bullet points I could take away. And what I realized while reviewing the notes is that one thing, the only thing that was common among all of these people’s advice was that speed of implementation is the most valuable skill that you can grow. Being able to quickly take an idea for example, a few pieces of advice from this webinar and put them into place today. You can find an hour sometime today or this evening if you found a time for the webinar, you know to put some of these things into place. It’s start now or start tomorrow morning no matter what, you know get it done. So it’s just something that has been really valuable to me more recently and thought I could share with you guys.
So here are a few resources to take action today if you’d like to. We offer a free hedge fund eBook. We update it usually twice a year. Sometime probably in June 2010 we’ll be updating that again. If you want to download it it’s at hedgefundsbook.com. And that’s hedgefundsbook.com and it’s 100% free to download. We also have a free hedge fund newsletter which I think many of you are already subscribed to and that is online at hedgefundblogger.com. And again, that’s hedgefundblogger.com. And third as I already mentioned we run an online hedge fund training and certification program. What’s unique about it is that there’s no testing centers or anything. It’s all truly online. And it can really help you move up the learning curve and you’re specialized knowledge.
But more importantly we offer free career resources. So if now is not the right time or if you would decide to learn more about hedge fund careers, you can go here to this link for fee. It’s at hedgefundcertification.com/Library.html. And for those of you who are just listening to the audio, again that’s hedgefundcertification.com/Library.html. And there we have a couple of videos for free and then a dozen articles you can read for free all about hedge fund resumes, careers and just some good video advice there on mistakes people make in their hedge fund career. The CHP program opens for registration twice a year. One of those times is actually this Friday at 2:00 p.m. We have 300 people within each session and then once 300 slots are filled within the program we close down registration for 4 or 5 months. And then when the next session opens, we open up again to another 300 people. The link below is where you could register on Friday if you’d like to. It’s hedgefundcertification.com/Enrolment.html.
And so now we’re actually going to take questions and I see that we have a lot of questions that have already come in over the chat. So what I’m going to do as I explained when the call was first beginning, we have almost a full 1,000 professionals on the line and if we opened it up to voice questions there would just be probably 80 or 90 people talking at once and it wouldn’t be productive for anybody. So what we’re going to try to do is just scroll down through these questions, answer as many as I can and I’m going to talk relatively quickly at the expense of the call being a little bit less clear but hopefully getting through many of these questions before this hour is up. And we’ve got about 12 minutes left.
So the first questions I got before the program getting started was about future of the hedge fund industry. And actually if you go to YouTube and you search for “hedge fund training” or “future of the hedge fund industry” you’ll find videos made by myself or by the Hedge Fund Group, click on the Hedge Fund Group account name and you’ll see all the videos we have on YouTube and there’s a video on the future of the hedge fund industry and I explained my views there. I believe the hedge fund industry is only becoming more diverse and strong and I think it’s going to be a great place to work for a long time to come. I also have somebody here asking for a copy of the PowerPoint presentation we just went over. We’re actually not making the PowerPoint or the video recording of this available to the general public, but if you’re a member of the CHP Designation we’re going to put a video recording of this within the hedge fund premium training platform which you get free access to from the CHP.
So if you’re within the CHP you’ll be able to access this later, we’ll refer to it later if you want. Another question here is about different trends in the hedge fund industry and also about the mathematical model trends. Again, on YouTube if you search for top four hedge fund industry trends you can see a video I just published on that topic. Related mathematical models, more people now are afraid of black box truly algorithmic trading strategies now than ever before — there’s a statistic that came out saying that 80 some percent of all investors will not invest in something unless they understand it. So if you’re looking to launch a hedge fund based on a model you’ve developed or worked for one, I just really encourage you to do your research first before you go work for one. And then also if you’re about to launch one, make sure that you show enough transparency so people can have confidence in what you’re doing. And the more pedigree you have in your team the better it’s going to be for you.
Here’s another question about, “Can I get a list of hedge funds I could contact for employment purposes?” Yes, we do provide that to alumni within the CHP program. The reason we don’t provide it to everybody is that you can see just on this webinar, we have 1,500 people register and hedgefundblogger.com gets about 10,000 page views a day and if we’ve got a list out there — a hedge fund manager’s contact details they would probably get literally a thousand e-mails a day and we would become their enemies instead of their friends and that’s the opposite of what we’re trying to do because we work with many hedge fund managers and helping them with their capital raising and the management of their business. So we do offer it but we have to limit it to people in the CHP designation or it would be worth nothing to anybody.
Next we have questions, “Where could a student be looking to gain credentials to work with hedge funds?” Three quick ways would be just grow your specialized knowledge as quickly as possible and a way to do that is by reading books, complete internships, if you have to work for free to begin with and then the CHP program can help but there’s a lot you can do that doesn’t cost much money and it’s about taking action everyday as you’re going to learn more and meet in-person with more hedge fund managers all the time.
We have a question about, “What is a hedge fund mastermind group?” I believe this question probably came in before we covered that so let’s skip that. Okay, I apologize you see the was cutting out during parts of the program. We’ll make sure and follow up and if the audio is too bad we’ll just send everybody the PowerPoint and some notes along with it so that you get the full value out of this webinar. Here’s a question about the benefits and drawbacks of working at a fund to funds company. I think that working on the hedge fund is a great opportunity. It’s similar to working for a small hedge fund and that you can get a real diverse set of experience — often times a fund to fund will work with many different types of hedge funds you know, get exposure to all of their different strategies and ways of running the businesses, get really familiar with hedge fund due diligence and performance measurements.
And those are things which can be valuable while working for an allocator such as a large institution like a pension fund or a family office or an endowment fund or it could be valuable working for a hedge fund and helping them raise capital from fund of hedge funds because you’ve been on the other side of the fence and you know how they work. It’s something that I didn’t mention here but maybe I should have that fund to funds is a really good place that you can gain experience in the industry. Some examples of service providers, I can provide a lot of examples on hedgefundblogger.com you visit that blog, on the right-hand side you’ll see some badges, some small graphics from TradeStation Prime and Investment Law Group and the Malik Law group.
Also, if you click on the service provider directory link at the top, you’ll see all different types of service providers. So you can go there and apply for positions, the Albourne Village has a lot of service providers, you can search for them on Google and e-mail then through the Albourne Village. Also, HedgeWorld has a service provider directory which is free to access. So those are all great places to go and apply for positions.
Here’s a question about, “Will hedge funds not be outsourcing reporting requirements to third parties, could that be an opportunity?” I believe that hedge funds are going to have to do more and more reporting. So whether you work inside of a hedge fund or a compliance reporting firm or an auditing firm of some type, it is a great opportunity. If you have accounting skill and hedge fund knowledge then you’re in high demand and you combine that with three to five years of experience and you know, there’s many funds that are looking for someone like yourself. So that is a great path to pursue if you have the skills and passion to go that route.
Someone here is talking about advice on starting a hedge fund. We’re actually going to have a separate webinar on hedge fund startups so stay tuned for that. Also, you could visit hedgestartupguru.com and that way, you can get some custom advice there on starting your own hedge fund. Let’s see here, let’s see what other questions we have here. Somebody is asking what the first steps they should take to start a career in the hedge fund industry. And I would just encourage — the very first steps is just literally write down an action plan for the next 10 days, get in the habit of taking action and seeking the internship, hedge fund managers in your city you can meet with, service providers, maybe you could complete an internship with and create an action plan it would be the very first thing I would suggest that you do.
Let’s see here. Somebody else is saying, “I’m a student in South Africa looking for a hedge fund career advice.” We have a website called hedgefundscareer.com and that website is free to access, it’s just a blog. It provides career advice, you might want to visit that website for more advice or go the resource link we provided a few minutes ago at the hedgefundcertification.com. Here’s another question saying, “Should we start with little experience at a strongly recognized company or strong experience at a little known company?” I personally have always found a valuable to get strong experience at a little known company and here’s why. When it comes down to meeting with the business owner or a principal of a business in convincing them they should hire you over the other five or 20 candidates they’re looking at, at the end of the day, everybody cares about results. There’s politics and there’s culture and there is people have friends in the industry they might want to hire over you. But most people care about results more than anything, in business is business people and they get things done.

So if you have a great experience and while you’re working at a “strong experience role” you just keep on expanding your responsibilities because it’s going to be much more valuable I believe than working at a large firm but having very little responsibility. And I know that the time is running short here and it might cut us off in just about a minute and a half or two minutes. So if it does, I apologize but I’m just going to keep on answering question here just to try to provide some more value right before it’s over. The book I referenced related to who you’re going to be in two years was called The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale. And that is a great book, I actually have it on audio and I put it on my iPod and listened to it at least 20 times. It’s just to get a reminder, I listen to it once a month or once a quarter it kind of keeps you on track.

The other book is called Business Success Principles. And I believe it’s by Jack Canfield and that — if you’re going to read one business book this whole year, that book is worth its weight in gold literally. If you follow the advice in that book, it’ll provide you a lot of value and you can read that book literally once a week or read just one chapter a week for a few years and still get value out of it. So I really encourage you to look into obtaining that book. Let’s see here, “I’m starting a hedge fund and I want to hire professionals in different areas including capital raising. Do you host a site where I can post positions?” I’m pretty sure many of the people on this call would like to connect with you about the people that you’d like to hire for your hedge fund startup. So if you’d like to send me an e-mail, we can post your job on hedgefundblogger.com. We post positions there once every month or two, we post a new job to the website. So if you’d like to send us an e-mail at — actually you can sent it to me personally at richard@hedgefundgroup.org then we can figure out how to get that posted to our site.

Let’s see here. There’s a question about, “If I’m a mid-career professional in an unrelated career, unrelated industry how receptive are employers for hiring me into a position in the hedge fund industry?” So for you, if you have experience outside of the hedge fund industry what we have to really do is carefully construct your unique selling proposition. Find out what three skills, three strategies or skills you picked up outside the industry, stress those and combine that with just an overload of specialized knowledge. Everybody else who may be applying for position may have more industry experience that you but if you can have tangible specialized knowledge, show them things you’ve done, projects you’ve worked on, internships you completed or how much you know combine that with the skills you can bring from the other industry and maybe you try to make it a risk free proposition for them like, work free for two week and then you’ll prove that after two weeks, you’re going to be a huge asset to their company and they’re not going to want to let you go. That can really work.

I’ve used that myself and I know it works because CEOs and entrepreneurs want people who understand risk management and running a business and when you take away that risk, you make it pretty easy for them to take the very small risk of letting you try to help them grow their business. Oh, I get this question a lot. “I’m 35 years old. Is this an age barrier? Or is there an age barrier?” I would say absolutely no. I know people who came from an insurance industry at the age of 48 and started working at hedge funds. Sometimes, hedge funds managers with rather higher experienced professionals who are humble but still hungry to learn because they’ll be more responsible employers especially a small hedge fund might need to trust you with a lot of responsibility.

So if you’re older you’re more likely not to just randomly not show up at work or not follow directions or not know how to professionally write an e-mail. There’s a lot of things that —  for example, our business has experienced while working with interns or entry level employees that you just take for granted when you work for people that have 5 or 10 years or 20 years of experience in any business field. So I wouldn’t discount that experience, you’re on even playing field with everybody else.

“How important could a lawyer be for a hedge fund and what is the lawyer’s role in the industry?” Lawyers help with the formation of a hedge fund usually a very expensive and detailed process. They also help with the ongoing business legal demands that any business has in terms of patents or trademarks or copyrights or employment laws. They also get advice to hedge fund managers for marketing related issues, our investor redemption related issues. And then the last area is compliance, a lot of lawyers work in the compliance area as well. So it’s very important if you’re looking to work in that area, it’s a growing field and there’s many service providers who are going into business every year you could potentially work for.

Here’s another question, “Will an MBA make employable in the hedge fund industry?” In MBA alone or really anything alone on itself will not make you employable. It’s really a combination of things. It has to be a combination of things. Many people ask us if we are in the CHP designation, can you promise me a position in the industry and we can’t and nobody could honestly or ethically say, “Complete our university course and we’ll guarantee you you’ll get a job.” Because it’s based on so many different factors but an MBA does help and this is why most businesses are small business within the hedge fund industry and if you work for a service provider this is also true. And having your MBA gives you that round skill set to wear many hats. So I would include the MBA and combine that with kind of a diverse skill set item within your USP but I would really — make sure you combine that with other things. If you rely on just the fact that you have your MBA and kind of lean back on that, I don’t think you’ll be very successful.

Here’s another about age — here’s an information — let’s see here, we’re going to answer that question, “How to break into the hedge fund industry for a person who has not worked for a while?” My advice for professionals that have not worked for a while but want to break into the industry is again, look back in what experience and skills you do have, move up the learning curve, build your specialized knowledge and then go overboard on your specialized knowledge within the niche you want to work in. If you want to work for example, I really wanted to work in hedge fund marketing and capital raising so what I did was I went overboard, I’m showing I have specialized knowledge in this area.

And what I did was I looked at pitch books that are often put together for hedge fund managers and it’s when you’re marketing a hedge fund manager you put together a 30-page pitch book and what I did was I showed that I know what a pitch book was and how it was constructed by creating a pitch book on myself and pitching my specialized knowledge and experience to the third party marketing firm. And that’s what got me hired which showing that ambition and hard work because I spent probably 10 hours putting together this pitch book just for this one company and trying to get this one position that didn’t even exist so I was trying to convince them to hire me. So if you do something like that, you can definitely still get into the industry.

“Excellent books on hedge funds, recommendations of books.” If you go to hedgefundbookstrore.com that is the best place to get the books that we recommend, those are the best books. I’m actually coming out with my own book from Wiley on May 3rd, I think it’s being published and it will be available in Amazon and it’s going to be called The Hedge Fund Book A Training Manual for Hedge Fund Professionals. And let’s see what other questions we have here. “How much is the CHP designation?” It’s $550 for level 1, $650 for level 2 or if you register for both at once, you can save $300 and both levels just cost $899. “What opportunities do you see occurring with fraud consultants in the hedge fund industry?” Most consultants related to fraud — there’s really three areas I guess where you could work as a fraud consultant.

You could work as an independent fraud consultant which is the most unique and rare place to work but it’s growing for sure. The next place would be to work for a fund to fund. They’re always looking to hire external consultants to improve their due diligence or hire consultants to improve it. Also, a third place to work would be an institutional consulting firm. They are firms that do research on hedge fund and try to screen them and create a very short list or create a portfolio for their clients. So by working for an institutional consulting firm you could help them in assessing fraud — or potential fraud in different hedge funds.

“Tips for finding hedge fund startups in my area?” This is relatively difficult but you can setup Google Alerts which is what I do for many different areas of my in business. You just go to Google and type in Google Alerts, click on the first result, setup alerts so that when anytime the word “hedge fund startup” or “new hedge fund” or “launched hedge fund” or “launching a hedge fund” is mentioned anywhere with news articles, videos, blog posts, news websites, you’ll be notified by e-mail either as it happens or once a week. In that way you can keep of all the times when new hedge funds are mentioned and that will help you identify opportunities to market — to connect with them.

The three fields of specialization is CHP level 2 — yes, you can specialize in all three if you’d like or two out of the three. The only rule is you have to complete CHP level 1 before you do CHP level 2. That’s just assures everybody has the base knowledge that they need. Upcoming hedge fund networking events in New York, yes we’re going to have a hedge fund networking even in New York actually this upcoming spring — let me look up the date real quick. I believe that’s on June 17th we’ll have a networking event in New York and it will be free to everybody within the CHP and free to everybody within hedge fund premium and there might be a cost for the general public but it’s usually $20 or less. So hopefully it’ll be free to everybody but it just depends on the sponsors we get — but June 17th is the networking event date in New York.

“Do I suggest an MBA or a master’s in quantitative finance or a professional certification is the best way to get into the hedge fund industry?” I think they’re tradeoffs. If you want to be a quant analyst, there really is a huge amount of knowledge and you need to move up the learning curve on and I would suggest getting the quant degree along with a professional certification. If you already have a college degree and you’re looking to get to the industry in the next 6 months or next year then I would suggest just taking the professional certification program. Or if you’re a student still completing your undergraduate, I would suggest completing the professional certification program.

But if you are someone who completed their undergraduate degree a long time ago and more than 7 years ago, you may want to consider — or you never got a business degree in those or some other field, you may want to consider getting an MBA alone or an MBA with a certification program of some type just to show that your knowledge is very up to date because some people — and even though it’s illegal to discriminate based on age, if you’ve been educated 20 years ago, that might — the benefit of that education might be discounted a bit but often times your experience will more than make up for that, often times experience is worth five times more than a university degree that has nothing to do with hedge funds simply because it’s not a one to one match of what you’re learning in school.

“How is the hedge fund industry in Brazil, in Sao Paolo?” It’s better than I thought it would be. I first came here to Brazil two years ago and I met with a hedge fund manager for lunch and what’s interesting is there’s a lot — there’s a higher percentage at CTA funds, Commodity Trading Advisors here than there are in the United States and there’s about 300 hedge funds based here in Sao Paolo, maybe another hundred throughout the rest of Brazil including Rio. But Sao Paolo is really the business capital of Brazil as well as the hedge fund capital.

What’s interesting though is the hedge funds don’t have to manage as much money to produce enough profits, to live off of or to hire a staff. So it’s actually a better place to run a hedge fund for some people. English is “the business language” but you really do have to speak Portuguese to get around well here. But it’s interesting that there are that many hedge funds down here. When I first came here I did not think that Brazil is a big hub for hedge fund activity but now I’m actually spending three to five months out of the year in places like Brazil and Russia and Europe connecting with hedge funds in these markets because there are so many of them.

“Do we have CHP participants in India?” Yes, we do. We’ve had probably 10 or 20 from India. We’ve actually had participants from 30 countries so far within the program. There’s a couple more questions here about CHP but I really want to focus more on career advice so if you have another question about the CHP and I haven’t answered it, please just e-mail us at team@hedgefundcertification.com. And here’s another question about more webinars. We are going to be having many more webinars. Several of these will be available to the public for free, at least a few times a year. Some of these will be available only to people within hedge fund premium. I would say the majority of them are going to be available only within hedgefundpremium.com. And then some of them will not be available to the public but we will have more related to hedge fund careers in the future, about hedge fund internships and just really kind of like your specialized knowledge asset in the industry down the road.

Actually, if you visit hedgefundblogger.com tonight at — I think around 10 PM Eastern Standard Time or anytime tomorrow you go to hedgefundblogger.com you’ll see a list of future webinar topics that we’re going to be coming out with in 2010 and some of those might be interesting to you if you’re looking to specialize within a certain area or start a hedge fund or learn more about careers in the space. So I think that I’ve almost made it through all the questions, just one second here, “I need to obtain a Green card, can I do that by working for a hedge fund?” I’ve gotten this question several times. It’s very difficult but it can be done. I think it would be easiest for you to first come to the Unites States maybe on an educational — I can’t give legal advice or visa advice, I’m not an expert but it might be easier to come on a visitor’s visa or an educational visa and then interviewing me with hedge funds as much as possible face to face and convince somebody that you can provide so much value to their business that is worth sponsoring your Green card. It’s a hard sell to do from a distance and it probably just won’t happen if you’re trying to do it over the internet.

“Are there hedge funds trading fixed income securities?” Yes, there definitely are. One thing about the hedge fund industry it has just become more and more diverse over the last few years which I believe this creates a really strong foundation for the whole industry. And for example, when the banks were doing poorly they stopped lending to businesses, hedge fund started lending the businesses more, lending the commercial real estate projects more. Now, there’s hedge funds that moved up that learning curve, they know how to do this in a profitable way and will forever hold some of that market share away from banks. That’s just an example of how hedge funds are becoming more diverse — just dozens of different ways.

Let’s see here, “How many hedge funds are based out of India?” I don’t know, at the top of my head technically you can’t even call yourself a hedge fund if you’re based in India. But that said, there are investment groups based in India trading houses which serve hedge funds in India and there’s some huge service providers based in India. So it’s still plenty of opportunities to work in the industry there. “I’m from Russia with marketing experience. I’d like to work in the hedge fund industry, is it too late to start at the age of 28?”
No, not all. I was recently at a banking conference in Moscow and I was speaking to people about capital raising and authority construction processes and it’s interesting they said that hedge funds there aren’t widely invested in yet, but everybody agrees it’s going to be a huge grow in trend. The resistance is that lots of wealthy people in places like Russia and India and even Brazil is that lots of wealthy people and business owners have their money tied up in real estate. They know real estate. They trust it. It doesn’t lose their money and they’re a little bit scared to get started on hedge funds and combined with that there’s a bit of a language barrier and not many domestic investment funds in Russia or actually hedge funds. So in the future that’s changing. So I think you’ll be in a great position if you get hedge fund experience now. But right now, it’s still in growth mode.

“Do you need a strong mathematical computational background to get a hedge fund job?” No, you do not. I’m a personal example of this. I’ve actually takes statistics four times. I took it in my undergraduate and failed. It was the only class I failed in my undergraduate program. I took it again but I got a “C-.” Then during my MBA program, I took it and I got a “C” and it turns out a “C” can’t count towards your grade within the MBA program I was in. So I had to take it the fourth time which I finally passed it by using a tutor along the way and going to every help session. And my point there is that, I moved forward in hedge fund career successfully, every year making progress and I am very poor at mathematical computational work.

It just all goes back to that three-circle strategy. If you want to work in an area that you’re passionate about and it uses your DNA and can make a lot of money, then you’re and actually, not going to end up like your positions that require math experience if you’re horrible at math So just really stick to that three-circle strategy and you won’t run into any problems of, “Oh, this job — the work in the industry I need this experience but I’m horrible at that.” That should just never be the case if you’re following the three-circle decision making strategy.

“I want to be a hedge fund trader at an investment bank, how can I work in the hedge fund industry as well?” Investment banking jobs are great but hard to obtain. I think a better route is to work for a trading service provider or a hedge fund that’s just starting up, a hedge fund that’s just launching those are the two best areas. You could also look into working for a prime brokerage firm. They handle a lot of trading and execution services for hedge funds. “What consulting do you offer people which start a hedge fund?” You know, we don’t offer a lot of direct consulting for hedge fund startups but this is the one-time where we might be able to work together because we’re actually creating a hedge fund launch kit video audio work with program for people that want to start their own hedge fund. And we need some hedge funds to participate within interviews and case studies within that kind of product creation progress. So if you like to, you can e-mail me at richard@hedgefundgroup.org and we can connect and discuss ideas about that. And you can also get some free articles at hedgefundstartupguru.com.

“For someone working as a Vice-President and a product control function in an investment bank, how difficult is it to move within a hedge fund to the hedge fund career?” I think the tricky challenge for you will be that if you’re in charge of product management within an investment bank, the best fit would honestly be a large hedge fund where you can help them maybe in marketing or managing multiple strategies being offered. But the challenge would be a large hedge fund is going to want in industry experience. So I think your best bet would be to — maybe not work for a hedge fund startup and you probably have higher compensation requirements than maybe most hedge fund startups could accept.

But what you could do is go to a fast growing emerging hedge fund manager which has somewhere between 20 million and 200 million in assets under management and maybe they can’t afford somebody with 10 years of hedge fund experience but they need someone who’s responsible, can be productive, produce results and maybe they’re coming out with multiple hedge fund strategies now. So that would be my best recognition for you, get access on some hedge fund databases or directories and aim for those kind of mid-level hedge funds to work for.

There’s some questions here about the CHP again but please just e-mail us for those. There’s some questions about some competing designations but just e-mail us those questions as well. “Do you see a place for professionals from other industries to transition into the hedge fund business?” Yes, service providers and hedge fund startups are the best places to go. “Who owns the Hedge Fund Group, can you tell me more?” I actually own the Hedge Fund Group myself. I started the business, it was a one-person business about three years ago. And it’s actually I start — I haven’t shared too often about how it actually started. I was raising capital in a third party marketing firm and I started a blog, writing about everything. I was writing about living in Boston at that time. I was writing about raising capital, about sales and it turned out nobody cared about Boston and not many people cared about sales but they read a lot of my articles and hedge funds I wrote.

So I just started writing everyday on hedge funds and all of a sudden I had a thousand people a day coming to my hedge fund blog. And I just kept on writing every single day. This is Jeffrey Gitomer who recommends and eventually the traffic got so large, I was able to start holding networking events, partner with others to create training programs like the CHP and growing our networking group. And it took about a year to get 5,000 members in the Hedge Fund Group and then over the next two years we grew it up to 33,000.
So it’s really kind of grown quickly recently with members all over the world and you can network with them for free by joining at hedgefundgroup.org and then networking with them through linkedin.com. So I hope that didn’t sound too promotional or just interesting about how the Hedge Fund Group came about but it really just came from demands, from what we saw in the blog. People are asking us for a way to network with each other and then they’re just asking us for a ton of career advice, resume feedback, how to get started in the hedge fund industry, how to learn more about hedge funds. And instead of holding a whole bunch of seminars and conferences, we created the CHP designation program.

“How do we meet with hedge fund managers?” Just like any other business, you just want to identify the names of hedge fund managers you want to meet with, obtain their contact details and then as often as possible, meet with people in-person. The more in-person meetings you can have, the more effective it’s going to be, the faster you’ll move forward. And I’ve done informational interviews over the phone and ask for e-mail advice and it still works very well but you know, hour per hour, dollar per dollar you’re going to get more bang for your buck by trying to meet with hedge fund managers in person that live within maybe a couple of hour drive where you live.
“How should one approach hedge fund managers for networking, any specific tips related to cold calling?” I did a lot of cold calling and it could be a relatively painful process. So if you can do it so that you have a lead in so you don’t seem like a cold call then you kind of move forth and pass that painful process, if you live near them then suggest to meet in person, just send then a two-line e-mail, it’s much more casual and non-threatening or alarming when somebody send you that type of e-mail. Also, make sure that if you’re trying to reach out to a lot of different hedge funds, you consider going to hedge fund networking events and trying networking with hedge funds there because they’re always showing up to the events in New York or other cities. And if you want a list of the event we offer, they’re posted on hedgefundpremium.com.

Okay, a few more questions here, we’re almost done but we have a few more. “Will this webinar be presented again in the future?” No it won’t. We were actually going to charge $97 for the webinar and then the more we thought about it and about our whole business model what we realized that we’re just — should just give away the whole thing and it’s just going to come around in the end if we provide a lot of value to everybody on the call. So we’re not going to make it available again though. We’ll have a different webinar available maybe later this year. The exception to that is if you’re within the CHP program, you’ll have access to it within hedge fund premium.

“Where can we find resources for compliance requirements for hedge funds?” If you like to e-mail me, I can send you towards a couple of resources on compliance requirements.  It’s richard@hedgefundgroup.org and there’s no one great place online but I can point you towards a few links. “What is the minimum capital required to start a hedge fund?” This is a great question. The answer is, there is no minimum. When I was in college I got excited about working for the hedge fund — in hedge funds and I had one idea — I had the exciting idea that I wanted to be one of the youngest hedge fund managers ever and I was going to start my hedge fund with $10,000. The reality is, starting a hedge fund can be very expensive. If you do it the “right way” using all the industry best practices even if you’re frugal, you’re looking at $30,000 to $60,000 or more. If you spend the average amount, you’re looking at probably $50,000 to $80,000 or $100,000 to launch and many people spend a couple of hundred thousand dollars launching their hedge fund.
You have to look at this as a five-year payback period business where — it might take you five or anywhere between 4 and 7 really but maybe 5 full years or more before the business is actually pumping out profits for you. So you have to have a wealthy spouse, a trust account supporting you, a side income business, maybe you own a small business — have someone else run it for you while you run your hedge fund maybe or you just have enough wealth built up, you can run this hedge fund or you get seeded by somebody, somebody provides you with a couple of hundred thousand or a million or $2 million in capital to start trading with. So you have some chance of producing some income your first few years. So you really just have plan for that but there is no minimum amount really. I know many people that start a hedge fund with $100,000 and they manage many million dollars right now.

“Oh, I don’t know about hedge funds in Turkey, how can I connect with a trader of a hedge fund who can help me be hedge fund trader?” That’s a great question. There’s many places around Europe or even in America for example, I have relatives that live in Nebraska and many people in Nebraska have never heard of hedge funds except for maybe seen them in the newspaper or something bad about them in the newspaper maybe. So it’s important to realize that lots of service prodders work — especially research-based service providers work globally with clients. And so you should really focus on service providers and focus on ones where you can complete maybe a research role on a global basis for those service providers. That’s probably my best piece of advice there. And also, there’s new hedge fund being started up around the world, thousands within Europe every couple of years so make sure and keep that in mind.
All right, so that’s going to wrap up all the time we have for today. I do see another — well probably 70 or 80 probably over a hundred more questions here. So I’m sorry I couldn’t get to all of those. We went to about a half hour over already. if you still have a question please do send it to us. You can send it to richard@hedgefundgroup.org or if it’s about CHP designation send us an e-mail at team@hedgefundcertification.com. So thanks everybody for participating and hopefully we’ll connect again soon.

A hedge fund career can be an incredibly rewarding one, but you will have to do a lot of work to get there and even more once you have the job.  This hedge fund career webinar and our other hedge fund career resources are designed to provide you with a ton of valuable information that will help you: avoid making big career mistakes that might cost you your job, make the most money that you can in your career, and make sure that you have a rewarding, lucrative position in the hedge fund industry.  I hope that this free resource helps you excel in your hedge fund career.     

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