Day-One Advice for New Hedge Fund Portfolio Managers

Brent Donnelly is a senior risk-taker and FX market maker, and has been trading foreign exchange sin

Want to continue reading this and the other 1,500+ essays you won't find anywhere else?

Already a subscriber? log in here

To learn more about Epsilon Theory and be notified when we release new content sign up here. You’ll receive an email every week and your information will never be shared with anyone else.


  1. After three decades of trading and investing, I spent most of my time nodding my head in affirmation as I read this. I’ve survived some rough patches by "not being a jerk " or, as you say it, adding value where I could, being a good guy, a team player, oh, and it’s a nicer way to go through life. There’s just so much good stuff in this one - know your management’s pain points, make money slowly at first, trade what you know and trade small when learning new-to-you markets. I’ll stop, or I’ll just rewrite the note (and not do it nearly as well).

  2. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    Glad it rang true for you, Mark. It did for me, too!

  3. Amazing. As a sell side trader, I find the advice equally applicable.

  4. To be fair, this is good advice for anyone.

    1. Know your audience
    2. Don't die on the first hill
    3. Make decisions on data, not impressions
    4. Know your strengths and, especially, your weaknesses
    5. Don't let success get to your head
    6. Know your context/industry
    7. Build your network (and don't be a dick)
    8. Enjoy what you do
  5. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    Perfect generalizations!

Continue the discussion at the Epsilon Theory Forum


Avatar for bhunt Avatar for Mkahn22 Avatar for brentdonnelly Avatar for jddphd Avatar for wznick

The Latest From Epsilon Theory


This commentary is being provided to you as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. The opinions expressed in these materials represent the personal views of the author(s). It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. Any action that you take as a result of information contained in this document is ultimately your responsibility. Epsilon Theory will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. It must be noted, that no one can accurately predict the future of the market with certainty or guarantee future investment performance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Statements in this communication are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements and other views expressed herein are as of the date of this publication. Actual future results or occurrences may differ significantly from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements, and there is no guarantee that any predictions will come to pass. The views expressed herein are subject to change at any time, due to numerous market and other factors. Epsilon Theory disclaims any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or views expressed herein. This information is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities. This commentary has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Epsilon Theory recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a financial advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.