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A Day in the Life: Chief Investment Officer, Small, Growing Hedge Fund

6:00 a.m.: The car picks me up at my place in Connecticut. I’ve been up just long enough to grab a breakfast bar, shower, and get ready. The driver’s already waiting outside for me, and we swing by Starbucks before getting on the road. I usually spring for his coffee too. I spend the time in the car reading up on the news on my iPad and catching up on e-mail.

7:30 a.m.: I arrive at the office, depending on traffic. My secretary gives me a fresh copy of the previous day’s trades, our current positions, and any overnight changes in currencies or foreign markets that may have changed our picture and strategy. I finish writing up my daily note that I started the night before.

9:00 a.m.: The daily note is done and sent. I grab another cup of coffee before heading to the morning meeting.

9:30 a.m.: Here the management team puts our heads together on our current positions and any pending moves. New ideas come up, as do new areas of concern. Nothing really huge today, so after the meeting, the head of research and I get together for a few minutes to divvy up assignments.

10:10 a.m.: On the way back to my office I go through the trading floor and talk with the guys on the desks there. If there’s something unusual happening, I’ll make a note to look into an issue further.

10:30 a.m.: I meet with my strategists and go over our holdings, step by step, like we do every day. Most of these are “no change,” or “nothing exciting,” but there’s generally something every day that bears analysis. Why is Japan off 2 percent today? Domestic discretionary isn’t being hit as hard as we thought. Those kind of things. We have theses and theories for every market we’re in, and we constantly challenge them—when the market isn’t challenging them for us.

11:30 a.m.: I hop on an earnings call for one of the companies we’ve shorted. Their earnings this morning were a little better than we thought they’d be. The researcher who first found the position is with me on the call. We talk about whether the company still has the vulnerabilities we thought it did. After the call and some number crunching, it turns out that they do. They got lucky this quarter. I send an e-mail to the management team, recommending we boost the position.

1:00 p.m.: I run out the door for lunch. Today we’re meeting with representatives of a private endowment that’s interested in placing a big chunk of their money with us. They already have the PowerPoint and the data on the fund. This is the personal touch that’ll allow the fund chairman to close the deal. And after two hours, that’s exactly what happens.

3:30 p.m.: I head back into the office, going over the European results for the day and getting a preliminary feed on the day’s trading. I start composing tomorrow’s daily note, with the short recommendation front and center.

4:30 p.m.: I start getting the data on the day’s trading. The vast majority of our positions saw gains. I get out onto the floor again, chatting with the traders informally. Then it’s back to the desk.

5:30 p.m.: We have a quick conference call among the management team, just a few minutes, to talk about any big changes. It was a positive, quiet day, nothing too exciting. I then wrap up the domestic part of my daily note, leaving the international portion until the morning.

6:00 p.m.: I head to the gym for some weights and a run. It’s easy to get so focused on my work that I forget to work out. Balance in life is important, so I’m working harder to find time for both work and fitness.

6:45 p.m.: The car picks me up. Traffic is rough so I tackle some extra work while we’re crawling along.  I’m back home by 8:30 for dinner with some friends. One of my friends wants to work at a hedge fund so I give her the lowdown on the pros and cons of working in the industry. 

11:30 p.m.: Dinner’s over, and I spend about a half-hour on the Internet. I check my Twitter account, browse the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal online, and check on a few things overseas. Everything’s quiet overseas, so I head to bed for my six hours of sleep. I usually try for seven, but dinner threw me off.

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