A Job in This High-Flying Industry Can Truly Make You Rich -- Quick

Even entry-level employees make a bundle in this occupational corner of the financial world

Apr 12, 2014 at 2:21PM

Source: Flickr / Nathan Siemers.

Would you like to work in a business where starting salaries are as high as $353,000? Silly question, of course – but it's no joke. In the financial world, hedge funds still shine, and employees are generously rewarded when these investment heavies have a stellar year. And, it seems, they usually do: even in the throes of the Great Recession, hedge funds still put in a surprisingly decent performance.

There is a plethora of different skill sets involved in the hedge fund sector, from the legal arena to accounting, trading to fundraising. Best of all, there are lots of jobs available: a recent check turned out over 700 positions listed on efinancialcareers.com, out of a total of 8350 finance-related jobs. Job aggregator indeed.com showed over 4,000 jobs under the same heading, with nearly 2,000 in New York alone.

Here are a few samples of the varied types of jobs offered in this occupational sector, along with their compensation levels – which, as you will see, are usually very generous.

Quantitative Analysts: $80,000 to $220,000
It's not surprising that analysts abound at hedge funds, and the position of Quantitative Analyst is one that involves thorough understanding of mathematics. Front office Quants, as they are called, often work alongside traders, helping them implement complex financial product pricing models. Back office Quants are responsible more for researching and developing these models.

Pay is usually commensurate with experience. Those with less than 3 years' experience may begin at the lower end of the pay spectrum, for example, while a Senior Analyst may be offered $220,000 to start.

Software Developer: $250,000
Hedge funds always need software developers and engineers, employees that work tirelessly to create new and useful applications for financial products and trading activities. Often, these workers deal with issues related to risk and pricing models, as well.

These jobs may require some experience, but pay very well, particularly in New York City – where two recent advertisements were offering in the neighborhood of $250,000 to start.

Assistant Controller: $90,000 to $165,000
Tending to a hedge fund's books is lucrative work, with current, available positions offering upwards of $90,000 – plus bonuses. This position usually reports to a senior Controller, and often requires several years' experience, in addition to a Certified Public Accountant designation.

Compliance Counsel : $300,000
Financial entities are in constant need of good lawyers, whose role is to advise the firm of the ever-changing financial regulatory environment. These individuals interact directly with regulators, as well as traders and portfolio managers. Several years' experience is needed, but a recent job ad offered a permanent, full-time job with a pay rate of $300,000 annually.

Floater: $75,000
This one's my favorite, not only because it is entry level and pays so well, but because it promises such a great variety of job duties. The floater essentially moves from one department to another, performing the jobs of those that are out for one reason or another. Basically, it is a series of temp positions, made permanent – plus great pay, overtime, and bonuses. For someone with two years' financial experience and a "flexible attitude", this one sounds like a winner.

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

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This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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