“My goal is to get into IB or HF.”
This is probably the most common career path desire of all the readers I see here and at M&I. I always smile when I read those sentences because the IB and HF career paths are really quite different.
Maybe they aren’t all that different since they are both in the field of finance, but they are different enough that lumping them together is amusing.
Time to choose. Which one will you choose: Investment Banking or Hedge Fund?
Still don’t have an answer? That’s OK. I just wanted to get your attention and point out what you are really saying when you say, “My goal is to get into IB or HF.”
“My goal is to make a lot of money.”
That’s what you are really saying. I get it, I really do. Investment bankers and hedge fund managers can make obscene amounts of money. Picking up the tab for bottle service for some of these guys is like the average person picking up a McDonald’s value meal.
They are society’s outliers and can do things in life that the average person only dreams about. The desire to make a lot of money is what brings some of the brightest minds in the world to finance.
Now that we’ve identified your true career goal (making money!), we need to spend some time discussing investment banking versus hedge funds so you can pick the career path that really is right for you. It’s not a life-or-death decision, but you need the right information to make an informed decision.
The way I see it, there are three different career path choices to choose from when evaluating IB vs. HF:
- IB for Life
- IB with Exit Opportunity to HF
- HF for Life