The Blog Day 2

Yesterday, after spending a number hours setting up the blog, the first question came in. The question as a phone call from South Africa. This person, I will call him Mike to protect his identity, wanted to know how to get into the hedge fund business because like Willie Sutton, he knows it is where the money is.

“It seems from reading your books, and doing some research, the hedge fund guys make all the money,” Mike said. “What can I do to get into the business; I want to make a lot of money.”

The answer is I really don’t know. Breaking into the hedge fund industry is hard even as the industry is in the midst of massive growth. Today, there is a lot of competition and people from all walks of life are trying to get a job at a fund.

Since Mike has little or no experience, I suggested going to work for a local money management firm in Johannesburg. He wanted to know if it was a good idea or even possible to volunteer to work for some of the large funds like SAC, Maverick, or Tudor. He said he had read about how much money these firm’s and their principals make and thought it would be good to try to volunteer at one of the firms to get experience. I did not know how to respond and told him he could try. It seems out there but not that out there, if you know what I mean!

Mike’s question is not unlike many raised every day. Unfortunately, there is not an easy answer. It seems that right now, everyone is trying to get into the hedge fund game. Whether it be as a manager, an investor or a service provider, it is hard to find people who do not in some way shape or form want to get into the hedge fund business. This to me is a problem because it is starting to feel like the tech bubble all over again!.

My advice is to go the other way! Be a contrarian and look for the opportunity that people are passing by in order to get into the hedge fund business. This is where the real money will be made over the next few years. The key is to success is to be unique and uniqueness comes from not following the herd. That being said, the hedge fund industry is still a promising place to work on Wall Street. There are a lot of great opportunities out there and if you can get into a firm that you can add some value to, take the position and run with it. There are a lot worse places you can work.

With that have a good weekend!

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