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Finance for a physics major?

  1. Dec 5, 2013 #1
    I'm a junior majoring in physics and I'm pretty interested in finance. I'm still considering going to grad school in geology (though I'm leaning towards finance) and I'm planning to intern in finance this summer. I go to a target school for the bulge bracket banks and for quite a few prop shops and hedge funds, so I have some on campus recruiting opportunities. I have programming experience through research but not through much coursework. There's a few areas of finance that I'm considering and I'd be interested to hear from people what they've found to be engaging.

    Here's the list of what I'm considering:
    Trading (either prop or at a bank)
    Research (either equity or fixed income research)
    ... and I'm open to more ideas. I don't know much about finance so I'd love any suggestions from people on here.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2013 #2
    Can I ask why you chose a physics degree if you are interested in finance? Seems that a business administration degree with a concentration in finance would have been a better route
  4. Dec 6, 2013 #3
    I think equity research shouldn't even have the word 'research' in it. My sample size is limited, but I've yet to find anyone who enjoyed it, or who has done meaningful work that leveraged their intellectual capacity. Chances are, you'd end up spending a lot of time figuring out how to use Bloomberg to retrieve your data, then doing a repetition of DCF and relative valuation, plumbing through company reports for inventory and balance sheet and preparing morning presentations on market-moving economic reports. I honestly think that the fund (PE/hedge) tax and audit practices have more challenging and interesting work, because funds have a ridiculous amount of paperwork and there's a huge variance in how well they organize their paperwork in-house before passing a tower of papers to their CPAs.

    There are also a few nondescript "analyst internships" that should be intensely quantitative, such as the one at Weiss (https://careers.weissasset.com/internships). Also, AQR and PanAgora are probably seeking many interns/full-times that fit your description for their 3(c)7 fund groups, the latter probably unpublicized because they just started their hedge fund group and it's growing rapidly.
  5. Dec 6, 2013 #4
    I went into college hoping to go into physics research or major in economics, but I've always been interested in markets, politics and current affairs. I also wanted something that was as challenging as I could get, so I went with a physics degree as it was harder than economics. I almost double majored, but I dropped the double major so I could work on some skills other than just mathematical modelling such as learning new languages. I'm lucky enough to have already been offered a summer internship at a bulge bracket bank, so the physics major hasn't taken away all of my options thankfully.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
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