I’ve been in the hedge fund industry for a long time. More years than I care to admit. During that time, I’ve heard some brilliant things (never from myself). I’ve also heard some really, really stupid things like when people pitch a trade with a binary outcome, both sides of which just happen to be good for a stock. The one thing I’ve never heard somebody say? “That guy looks good for his age!” The fact is, no one in hedge funds looks good for their age. We all look ancient.
I used to be a beautiful man. The other evening I was looking back at some pictures of me before I got into the industry. I saw somebody I didn’t recognize. At all. There was a young, fit, fresh-faced, pretty boy, who was upbeat and had his whole future ahead of him.
That person no longer exists. He died a long time ago.
When I look in the mirror now I see an old, beaten-down man. My skin is sallow. My eyes are sunken. My hair is receding. All that is flourishing is my gut. I need fewer donuts and a lot more exercise.
You could argue this is what everybody experiences when they get older. True. But the hedge fund industry ages you more than others.
Working at a hedge fund is stressful. You have billions of dollars at risk. Every day, something unexpected pops up.
It’s stressful trying to figure out why you’re losing millions on a stock, when there’s no news.
It’s stressful when a stock you own makes a bad deal.
It’s even more stressful when a stock you’re short gets taken out. It’s stressful trying to outsmart a bunch of other smart people, all the time.
All this stress takes a toll on your health.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met somebody, thinking that they were 70, only to find out that they’re 50.
They say the camera adds 10 pounds? The hedge fund industry adds 10 years. I love my job, but I need plastic surgery, Botox, and a hair transplant. Truth.
Margin of Saving was created by an analyst at a multi-billion dollar hedge fund to help others learn how to invest and save.
Photo by José Duarte on Unsplash
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