Corner of Berkshire & Fairfax Message Board

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: tol1 on July 19, 2018, 06:04:44 AM

Title: Working for investing legends
Post by: tol1 on July 19, 2018, 06:04:44 AM
WB worked for a legend (BG) and so did Klarman (MP) and a few others at an early stage of their career.

Has anyone here worked for (or currently is) a so called "legend"? How did you get into that seat?

Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: writser on July 19, 2018, 07:54:29 AM
All the legends read 500 pages / day. Just continue opening quality topics and at some point they will take notice.
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: Jurgis on July 19, 2018, 10:05:17 AM
All the legends read 500 pages / day. Just continue opening quality topics and at some point they will take notice.

In Soviet Russia investing legends notice you.
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: MarioP on July 19, 2018, 01:07:23 PM
CNBC heard you

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/17/how-warren-buffets-34-year-old-protege--scored-a-job-working-for-him.html?__source=yahoo%7Cfinance%7Cheadline%7Cstory%7C&par=yahoo&yptr=yahoo

If you look in google you will probably find a similar article for Todd and Ted
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: John Hjorth on July 19, 2018, 01:27:22 PM
Please be nice, and honestly, please give me a break here.

tol1 asked a question out in the open. If you have nothing specificific & construtive to add, why does that make you post something like the replies that tol1 has got here so far here in this topic?
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: tol1 on July 19, 2018, 02:00:43 PM
Thanks - it is a legitimate and interesting question. I am investor myself (beginning of my career) and am aware that many "legends" simply work on their own. However, if possible, I'd be keen to hear how proteges have managed to get their seat.
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: TwoCitiesCapital on July 19, 2018, 02:09:59 PM
I worked at Bridgewater at the start of my career.

Was placed there be a recruiter.
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: tol1 on July 19, 2018, 03:23:21 PM
I worked at Bridgewater at the start of my career.

Was placed there be a recruiter.

Meaning part of the firm in the beginning?
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: John Hjorth on July 19, 2018, 04:22:38 PM
Thanks - it is a legitimate and interesting question. I am investor myself (beginning of my career) ...

Sure. Follow your dreams, relentlessly, and do your own work.
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: LC on July 19, 2018, 04:39:09 PM
I would try finding alumni that work in related shops, try to get a gig thru them, make a good name for urself, then try to make a jump to the fund u are interested in.
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: sleepydragon on July 19, 2018, 05:15:13 PM
I have a friend who used to work for ray dalio. He is extremely driven and hard working. He used to be fat and when he talks, clients doesn’t respect him much. After failing to lose weights, he did a surgery to cut half of his stomach. He is also a very nice, solid, family guy. But he is kinda weird: He is a big fan of Chairman Mao and Chinese communism, and the culture in bridgewater is biazard (it’s culture revolution everyday there — everyone recite every sentence in his “principles “
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: Og on July 19, 2018, 06:18:06 PM
There is value depending on who you work for. I can tell you I’ve seen some one man shops do some insanely amazing things that don’t even seem possible who worked for a “legend”. Unfortunately I am sworn to secrecy via contract to go into any more detail than that. But all I will say there are methods used that even the vast majority of the value investing community doesn’t know about to get a real edge.
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: tol1 on July 20, 2018, 01:06:09 AM
There is value depending on who you work for. I can tell you I’ve seen some one man shops do some insanely amazing things that don’t even seem possible who worked for a “legend”. Unfortunately I am sworn to secrecy via contract to go into any more detail than that. But all I will say there are methods used that even the vast majority of the value investing community doesn’t know about to get a real edge.

Mysterious - I have worked for a very good US hedge fund, so I know what the industry is capable of. Can you elaborate on what one man shops are capable of doing according to you as much as possible?
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: Spekulatius on July 20, 2018, 05:42:07 AM
There is value depending on who you work for. I can tell you I’ve seen some one man shops do some insanely amazing things that don’t even seem possible who worked for a “legend”. Unfortunately I am sworn to secrecy via contract to go into any more detail than that. But all I will say there are methods used that even the vast majority of the value investing community doesn’t know about to get a real edge.

What you state might be correct, but If I were pitched participation in a one man shop that does amazing things that none of us have heard about, I would decline.
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: Og on July 20, 2018, 08:50:18 AM
That's your prerogative. There are lots of people that do things where they have an edge. Nothing nefarious or illegal about it. Sorry if that's how I was making it come off. For instance - look at a guy like Dan Loeb. He clearly has an edge with some of the stuff he buys based off a shit ton of research on publicly traded debt securities. Yes, he has analysts but if he was just a one-man shop, I'm sure he'd still be doing a lot of that shit. There's a ton of different kinds of securities out there. If you're small there's lots of fun shit you can do to make money that is just too small or too illiquid for larger funds to do. Even as Buffett said, if you're managing small amounts of capital you can take advantage of buying small private companies at super low multiples or buying super illiquid debt that's mispriced.
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: Spekulatius on July 20, 2018, 12:02:11 PM
That's your prerogative. There are lots of people that do things where they have an edge. Nothing nefarious or illegal about it. Sorry if that's how I was making it come off. For instance - look at a guy like Dan Loeb. He clearly has an edge with some of the stuff he buys based off a shit ton of research on publicly traded debt securities. Yes, he has analysts but if he was just a one-man shop, I'm sure he'd still be doing a lot of that shit. There's a ton of different kinds of securities out there. If you're small there's lots of fun shit you can do to make money that is just too small or too illiquid for larger funds to do. Even as Buffett said, if you're managing small amounts of capital you can take advantage of buying small private companies at super low multiples or buying super illiquid debt that's mispriced.

OG- correct and thanks for the clarification. It makes sense that you can have a clear edge, especially in smaller niches. I don’t think this qualifies asset secret though.

I think there are quite a few in this forum right here that have found some flavor of a secret sauce that works for them.
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: Foreign Tuffett on July 20, 2018, 12:26:03 PM
There is value depending on who you work for. I can tell you I’ve seen some one man shops do some insanely amazing things that don’t even seem possible who worked for a “legend”. Unfortunately I am sworn to secrecy via contract to go into any more detail than that. But all I will say there are methods used that even the vast majority of the value investing community doesn’t know about to get a real edge.

What you state might be correct, but If I were pitched participation in a one man shop that does amazing things that none of us have heard about, I would decline.

Spekulatius you make a very good point here. An traditional long-only investor who is able to massively outperform the indices year-after-year is enough "a transgression of a law of nature" (to quote David Hume) that one might suspect all sorts of possibilities other than the purported alpha generation.
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: tol1 on July 20, 2018, 12:40:40 PM
Moving the discussion slightly back to the original question. The very few "superinvestors" whom I or my friends/colleagues have met seem to either work with their founding partners only or their initial start-up has evolved to a massive organisation. If one works for the latter, it will be challenging to work directly for the founder/s.

IMO it appears the only way is to "spot" future Klarman's (if there are any at all) - and that is rather speculation. I am just stuck to the notion that it would be most helpful if one worked for a strong, established investor prior to starting and scaling an own shop.
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: Jurgis on July 20, 2018, 01:26:33 PM
Moving the discussion slightly back to the original question. The very few "superinvestors" whom I or my friends/colleagues have met seem to either work with their founding partners only or their initial start-up has evolved to a massive organisation. If one works for the latter, it will be challenging to work directly for the founder/s.

IMO it appears the only way is to "spot" future Klarman's (if there are any at all) - and that is rather speculation. I am just stuck to the notion that it would be most helpful if one worked for a strong, established investor prior to starting and scaling an own shop.

IMO it really depends on the person and the circumstances. There are people who do just fine by starting their own shop without working elsewhere. There are people who do fine starting their shop after working in corporate not-legendary offices. There are people who do great after working for legends. There are also people who don't do well in exact the same scenarios.

I don't want to psychoanalize - so please forgive me - but it looks like you're looking for others to say "yeah, you have to work for legend first". Yeah, sure working for legend first would open a lot of doors. But you have to realize that percentage-wise the number of people who get to work for legends is very low. So it's up to you to try to get a position with legendary investor, but likely you won't. There's only one Tracy Britt Cool in the last 30 years+ (Todd and Ted don't count - they went to work for Buffett after being successful investors not before). So IMO you're severely handicapping yourself if you think that working for a legend is the only way to get a good career/results/etc.

Edit: regarding spotting-future-Klarman - this is as hard as spotting-future-Klarman to invest with them. I think people already suggested to you to go to BRK/Fairfax/DJCO/BOMN/SYTE/whatever annual investor meetings and network with CoBF/etc/investor/hedge crowd there. This might give you opportunities. You might even corner Whitney Tilson or Mohnish Pabrai in one of these. Though I still think that discovering future Klarman ... and clicking with them enough so that they'll hire you ... is not going to be easy.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: winjitsu on July 20, 2018, 02:33:42 PM
Klarman stated in one of his letters that he had a couple interns (or was it new hires) that were HBS with prior banking experience.

I have friends that made to solid funds through the traditional process: investment banking -> fund or banking -> mba -> fund, which is really all about luck on who's hiring and what recruiters you're in touch with.

Edit: I'll add a few more.

Todd Combs cold emailed Charlie Munger for a breakfast meeting
Tracy Britt brought Buffett some corn? http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/06/warren-buffetts-assistant-is-better-than-you.html
I've seen Li Lu's Himalaya recruiting on Columbia University's job board
Title: Re: Working for investing legends
Post by: tol1 on July 21, 2018, 02:47:04 AM
Moving the discussion slightly back to the original question. The very few "superinvestors" whom I or my friends/colleagues have met seem to either work with their founding partners only or their initial start-up has evolved to a massive organisation. If one works for the latter, it will be challenging to work directly for the founder/s.

IMO it appears the only way is to "spot" future Klarman's (if there are any at all) - and that is rather speculation. I am just stuck to the notion that it would be most helpful if one worked for a strong, established investor prior to starting and scaling an own shop.

IMO it really depends on the person and the circumstances. There are people who do just fine by starting their own shop without working elsewhere. There are people who do fine starting their shop after working in corporate not-legendary offices. There are people who do great after working for legends. There are also people who don't do well in exact the same scenarios.

I don't want to psychoanalize - so please forgive me - but it looks like you're looking for others to say "yeah, you have to work for legend first". Yeah, sure working for legend first would open a lot of doors. But you have to realize that percentage-wise the number of people who get to work for legends is very low. So it's up to you to try to get a position with legendary investor, but likely you won't. There's only one Tracy Britt Cool in the last 30 years+ (Todd and Ted don't count - they went to work for Buffett after being successful investors not before). So IMO you're severely handicapping yourself if you think that working for a legend is the only way to get a good career/results/etc.

Edit: regarding spotting-future-Klarman - this is as hard as spotting-future-Klarman to invest with them. I think people already suggested to you to go to BRK/Fairfax/DJCO/BOMN/SYTE/whatever annual investor meetings and network with CoBF/etc/investor/hedge crowd there. This might give you opportunities. You might even corner Whitney Tilson or Mohnish Pabrai in one of these. Though I still think that discovering future Klarman ... and clicking with them enough so that they'll hire you ... is not going to be easy.

Good luck.

Point well made. I personally have noticed that working for a top tier hedge fund in a large corporate-like environment is not enough, but rather working directly for an experienced investor with the same investment philosophy and mindset. I think professional investors go through phases that start with finding the right investment strategy to finding the right working environment that enables to practice the very strategy - latter, as you rightly say, can come in many shapes and forms.