From quant to FAANG

May 19 28 Comments

Hi Blind

I am a quant trader in the front office department of a hedge fund. I started my career at Bloomberg in NYC and then quickly moved to hedge funds, specifically Citadel in Chicago and now another boutique hedge fund here.

I have a PhD in physics with lots of statistics experience, but I’ve always loved programming, and in my free time I like to study distributed systems, scalability, ... on the job, I mostly due models in C++. Fairly easy from a programming point of view.

I would like to make a move to a FAANG on a pure software engineering role, but I’m afraid they wouldn’t be able to pay me enough.

I’m 37 and for the past few years I’ve done really well, last year my TC was 3M (base 250k and the rest from bonuses, since that’s how the industry works), and from what I’ve read it’s very difficult to reach those comps in FAANG.

I don’t live an overly lavish lifestyle, so I’ve been able to save about 5M, which is pretty much all invested in index funds.

Before considering slowing down or retiring I would really love to try a real tech company experience, but would like a similar comp.

Any recommendation?

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TOP 28 Comments
  • New / Eng SharmaG
    Why not code in your spare time? Tilling the land with peasants is not for a nobleman.
    May 19 0
  • How do I get into a career like you’re in?
    May 19 0
  • Qualtrics worke
    But you work for New?
    May 19 3
    • OP
      What do you mean? Our hedge fund here in Chicago is pretty small. It’s all ex citadel senior folks who branched out to create a boutique private fund where they trade for themselves rather than institutional clients, we’re about 60 people, so I’m assuming it is not recognized by Blind?
      May 19
    • Qualtrics worke
      Just was referring to your company label. Idk what New is but it looked like a marketing company from cursory googling.
      May 19
    • Oracle I did math
      New is what shows when there are too few people from a company on Blind. Helps anonimity
      May 19
  • Amazon Northman
    My honest suggestion: stay for 2-3 more years and work up to $8-10M in total savings. Then move out to the Bay Area, and start your own company with some former FAANG folks if you want. No reason to go take a 500k software engineer role in big tech to prove anything to anyone.
    May 19 0
  • Sizmek athV68
    It’s impossible to make that kind of money in tech. Also, interested in knowing what your working hours were if you don’t mind telling.
    May 19 1
    • OP
      Wlb is not the best, probably around 60h, but the year end bonus makes it worth it lol.
      May 19
  • Facebook vFfi02
    No one will pay that in FAANG, maybe for a senior VP. Stay at your place and retire soon. Why do you need this corporate shit for 10% of the pay?
    May 19 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Microsoft / Eng
      tarasenko

      Microsoft Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft, Grab
      tarasenkomore
      He said he wants to do software engineering though
      May 19
    • Facebook VTba14
      Yeah, but DSs are paid less than equal level SWEs at G (and FB), so the upleveling matters less.
      May 19
    • Microsoft / Eng
      tarasenko

      Microsoft Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft, Grab
      tarasenkomore
      The experience seems to be more important than the level or TC cuz he’s considering leaving maybe 10x TC?
      May 19
    • Facebook
      brokeat40

      Facebook

      PRE
      Facebook, Amazon
      brokeat40more
      I can tell u that downleveling really sucks. I totally thought I’d just get it back soon, but promos always need some element of luck (unless u are a unicorn anyways)
      Jun 3
  • Microsoft / Eng
    tarasenko

    Microsoft Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft, Grab
    tarasenkomore
    Why don’t you have money invested in your own hedge fund?
    May 19 3
    • OP
      Just partners are allowed to invest. I’m a non-partner standard employee, the partners are 7 people. They make a boat load of money. Last year my boss made ~27M, crazy. The structure is complicated.
      May 19
    • Microsoft / Eng
      tarasenko

      Microsoft Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft, Grab
      tarasenkomore
      Well 3 ain’t bad either :) sounds like a bumper year for your career considering 5M saved
      May 19
    • Facebook lizz
      Are you hiring? What do I need to study to crack that interview :)
      May 19
  • Google FetaCheese
    Insane that front-office quants make that much. I left a back-office quant job but that was paying shit so it was easy.
    May 19 3
    • Microsoft / Eng
      tarasenko

      Microsoft Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft, Grab
      tarasenkomore
      What’s the difference?
      May 19
    • New / Eng VOPb46
      Yeah what is?
      May 19
    • Google FetaCheese
      It’s how close you are to the money.
      May 20
  • Amazon quartobe
    My jaw is dropping. Can we achieve this without PhD? What’s the key to your success? Thx
    May 19 0
  • New AXWY54
    Why . You will not make that kind of green on a pure software engineering job at FAANG
    May 19 0
  • Citibank FCGDPX
    Can I ask what kind of trading you are doing? Is it HFT?
    May 23 0
  • RBC Capital Markets / Finance
    agoodquant

    RBC Capital Markets Finance

    PRE
    Morgan Stanley
    BIO
    Proffessional Quant
    agoodquantmore
    This is absolutely crazy. I am a VP desk Quant in a bank and my TC is 300k on US standard. Now I feel like shit......

    How can I achieve your stage? What do I need to learn? I mainly develop pricing model in C++ and quite good in Q/KDB+. What else do I need to learn? How can I break into these boutique fund? I would be highly appreciated if you share some light.
    Sep 13 0
  • Facebook
    brokeat40

    Facebook

    PRE
    Facebook, Amazon
    brokeat40more
    Isn’t e7 TC around 1M? w mostly quant expt, I don’t think u will be given even e6 at FB. If u totally rock the interview maybe. e7 external hire I believe will be impossible unless u are a well known figure in the industry.
    Jun 3 0
  • 3M is an amazing TC, wont be possible to hit that as a run of the mill SWE. What has your TC progression been like over the years, pre and post Citadel? Ever have a bad year where you just got base only?
    May 23 0

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