Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Neoxx, Aug 11, 2008.
I know, it's a bonafide sob story.
Well, it all depends on how you interpret the MBA rankings. The most highly regarded are:
US News & World Report
Economist Intelligence Unit
Wall Street Journal
As might be expected, there is no clear consensus. However, the US programs that are ranked in the Top 10 by at least three of the publications are:
Haas (UC Berkeley)
Now, while the WSJ and USN&WR have (for consecutive years) ranked Thunderbird as the #1 "International" Full-Time MBA, in the overall MBA rankings, it falls much lower.
LOL, I hear ya!
Crux of the dilemma. Indy trader vs cracking the PE/VC world. Both appealing in their own right.
Perhaps the only person qualified to answer the question is a VC partner who started life as an indy trader, or vice versa. Of course, they're a dime a dozen.
I would go for B without question...you will know after 1-2 years if its going to work out, can always then go for route A...not much difference between 32 and 34 at that point.
You and everyone so far is acting as though this is a simple cost-benefit analysis of the options on offer. In reality the results will be dominated 90% by which one is more suited to you as a person. Some people are more suited to going it alone or in a small, unconventional group, taking on the world; others are more suited to following a more established path to success.
The answer to your question IMO depends on whether you are more the maverick type or more the establishment type. If the latter, take the MBA; if the former, go follow the mentor.
Romanticizing indy trading?...
I agree that the way the information was presented made it more amenable to a risk/benefit analysis, and while there is definitely an element of that, in the grand scheme of things, it's just another factor in the decision.
Of the three traders I know personally, two are very successful. The first has one established fund, with two spin-outs on the way - in addition to a radio show, popular newsletter, cable show, private coaching etc - and is very much what I might call a commercial trader, albeit a very competent one. The second has a dizzying record, has also set up a fund, and seems to be primarily driven by altruistic motives.
I understand that both of these traders may be termed tip of the iceberg, while tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of failng traders dot that same arctic lanscape. Perhaps this is to be expected in a profession that promises the sky, and has such low barriers to entry.
Stanford MBAs on the other hand, are a much rarer breed. Even after meeting the entry requirements, potentials undergo a rigorous selection process, for which one person is accepted for every thirteen applicants. 15% of these will go on to land a position in PE/VC, straight out of the gates, and will have developed the right pedigree and connections to make it all the way. Of the remainder, a large proportion may settle for being a McKinsey consultant, which will keep many of the same doors open.
A friend of mine followed this route and is a venture associate in a Boston VC firm with $3 billion under management. The partners routinely get 8-figure performance bonuses. I've met a couple of London-based HF managers, who again, have been accustomed to 8-figure bonuses.
This is only considering relative odds of major success. There are a number of other very important issues in the overall decision (i.e. challenge, intellectual stimulation, variety, professional relationships etc), but these are much harder to quantify.
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