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Late Lunchtime Links: Why great hedge fund traders are weird people, and an important leading indicator of success in life

Possible hedge fund manager (Photo credit: World of Oddy)

Possible hedge fund manager (Photo credit: World of Oddy)

Hedge funds are still being founded, especially it would seem commodities hedge funds. Anecdotally, hedge funds are also hiring – especially in distressed debt, although hedge funds are also fussy about who they hire and are prone to interviewing repetitively and never actually hiring anyone.

If you want to work for a hedge fund, as a trader or as a hedge fund manager, Financial News offers some suggestions on what will make you successful. The main thing you’ll need, it says, is a very high risk tolerance. It cites the chief executive of a multi-billion $ global macro fund who says most people are wimps when it comes to risk, claiming: “There are only a limited number of people who have the mental fortitude to run a lot of risk. Most people we hire only run about a third of the maximum risk we allocate them.”

Apart from risk tolerance, Financial News suggests big risk takers are a bit odd. A partner at a large hedge fund says the best risk takers are “psychologically off,” that is, “they are introverted to the point of shyness but with the courage of their own convictions. Taking risk is an incredibly solitary event. When you are making or losing money, you are the only person you can count on.”

Introverted narcissism aside, Falkenblog has uncovered an interesting interview with Ray Baumeister on another indicator of long term success. Baumeister is a professor of psychology at Florida State University and the author of a recent book on Willpower which argued that we can exhaust our willpower ‘muscle’ by exerting it too much. Baumeister points out that there are two traits that predict success: intelligence and self-control. However, while you can’t produce lasting improvements in intelligence, you can produce lasting improvements in self-control, Baumeister says. However, we can’t be too self-controlled, so don’t try to lose weight and study for the CFA and send out 20 job applications per week simultaneously.

Meanwhile:

Jose Cogolludo, BNP Paribas’s global head of sales and marketing for commodity derivatives is moving to Citigroup. (Financial News) 

Swiss banks must lure affluent clients from emerging markets or face a “slow death” as the pursuit of tax dodgers by U.S. and European authorities results in outflows of assets. (Bloomberg)

Now Citigroup’s got a Chinese investment banking joint venture too. (Bloomberg) 

Is JPMorgan trying to make its investment bank look more profitable than it really is by allocating costs to its corporate centre? (Financial News) 

Bonuses changes coming at Barclays – senior execs won’t get their bonuses until they retire, as at Goldman. (SundayTimes) 

Banks are using IT systems that are unfit for purpose. (Telegraph) 

Names of Barclays’ Libor traders are leaking out. Be warned. (Reuters)

If you study a 1 year MBA, you’ll earn less upon graduation and probably won’t be able to apply for internships at banks like Morgan Stanley, which recruit all their MBA hires from their internship programmes.(WSJ)

Alvarez and Marsall has hired the former CFO of Saab for its restructuring business. (CityAm)

UBS AG has dismissed about two dozen traders and managers in connection with an investigation of manipulation of the London interbank offered rates. (Bloomberg) 

Regulators are investigating the Euribor-related conversations of Philippe Moryoussef, a senior euro swaps trader at Barclays until 2007, an employee of Nomura in Singapore, and senior member of the Euribor-setting community. (Financial Times) 

Natural human sleeping patterns seem to involve a first sleep from sundown to midnight, then an hour awake, then another sleep. (WSJ) 

Peak age range for having tabs open on your computer: 26-35. (BusinessInsider) 

Wealth is about insurance much more than it is about consumption. (Interfluidity) 

Ex-New York Times journalist enlists fund manager in red braces to provide ‘financial crisis tours’ of London. (Guardian) 

Unemployed recent PhD graduate called complacent for failing to apply for jobs in Asda. (Telegraph)

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