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Hedge fund jobs are buy-side positions in the financial investment industry. The three main types of hedge fund jobs are analysts, accountants, and fund managers. All hedge fund jobs require a strong understanding of economics, statistics, mathematical modeling, and business accounting. Most jobs require a minimum of a bachelor's degree, often in a related industry like finance, business, accounting, statistics, or economics. Many prefer a master's degree, and nearly all require experience in the investment industry on either the buy or sell side.
People who work as hedge fund analysts analyze businesses and other types of investments, like commodities, to find good investments for the hedge fund. This type of position can be general, in the case of a smaller hedge fund, and require a broad knowledge base. In a larger hedge fund, the analyst should have extensive knowledge of either a particular industry or region, or both. They analyze a company's financial statements to determine if the company is a good investment.
Analysts also must evaluate the risk of an investment. They make financial models to create forecasts and spot trends. Making contacts in the industry is important for success, and analysts spend a lot of time making phone calls, attending meetings and traveling. Hedge fund analysts are the typical entry position into hedge fund careers.
Hedge fund accountants are responsible for managing the finances of the hedge fund, or "keeping the books" for the investment funds. This includes preparing and filing financial statements, analyzing and reporting on the profitability of the fund, and reviewing the profits and loss of the fund. Hedge fund accountants are typically certified public accountants (CPAs).
Investment managers, or hedge fund managers, are responsible for overseeing a group of analysts and selecting the investments to maintain a diversified portfolio. They are also responsible for client relations and explaining investment strategies. The job of a hedge fund manager usually requires more experience, and managers often begin their careers as hedge fund analysts.
Most hedge fund jobs require a unique skill set. Applied math and statistical skills, in addition to thorough understanding of accounting, are important. In additional to mathematical skills, an understanding of business policies, economics, and politics and how these factors will impact a business are important. Communication skills are necessary to explain complex financial models. People that do well in hedge fund jobs tend to be self-confident, have strong mathematical and analytical skills, and succeed under pressure and deadlines.
The structure of hedge fund jobs and the types of jobs available depend on the size of the hedge fund or investment company. Depending on the size of the hedge fund company, there will be several tiers of each type of hedge fund job; for example, there may be positions for analyst I, II, and III. Depending on the size of the hedge fund, employees may be specialized to a particular industry or region, or type of analyst, like risk analysts. In a smaller hedge fund company, employees may need to cover a more general area.