What is the Average Hedge Fund Trader Salary? – Hedge Fund Meaning

At the beginning of this century, the hedge funds business was one of the skyrocket business models. In the last ten years, they offered thousand of job opportunities in the US. Let us first make the definition of hedge funds.

What is a hedge fund in simple words?

Hedge fund represents private investments companies where fund manager and accredited investors pool their money together into the fund. Hedge fund managers use higher-risk investment strategies to achieve higher returns for their investors and usually use complex proprietary strategies and products.

hedge fund

In hedge funds, people join their funds and implement trading strategies to enhance their earnings and returns. Hedge funds lock in your money for an extended period as opposed to discretionary investment in bonds or stocks. Furthermore, hedge investment has to go through prohibitions in case of cyber fraud. Here the job of a hedge fund manager is to handle the funds judiciously.

Hedge funds are registered with the SEC if they maintain more than $100 million assets.

Hedge fund managers seek to earn greater returns through investment exposure and increased risk. The most prominent practices for a hedge fund manager include short selling, which does not apply to mutual funds.

The hedge funds utilize the performance data, and managers need not report their earnings to non-fund investors.

What is the Average Hedge Fund Trader Salary?

The average hedge fund trader salary is around $98000 in the US. However, the salary range is widespread on job portals from $20,000 to $600,000  because traders get enormous commissions and bonuses and manage different portfolios with various funds’ profitability.

Now in the US and worldwide, we have hedge funds that manage 1 million dollars and at the same time funds of billions of dollars. This is why some traders earn half-million per year and some 2000 dollars per month. So on hedge trade fund manager or hedge fund trader salary impacts fund’s profitability, fund’s size, geographic location.

Hedge fund business declined last several years.

Why hedge fund industry decline?

The hedge industry declined last three consecutive years because of the overcrowded hedge fund market where many new small companies opened with small portfolios. However, lower barriers (restrictions) allow small companies to enter publicly traded hedge funds. Additionally, hedge fund firms increasingly use technology where new tools, algorithms, machine learning platforms replace humans.

We will discuss the details of how a hedge fund trader earns and how you can also try your hand at it.  

The role of hedge fund traders

  • A hedge fund is a collection of funds made up of hedge investors and is called the hedge fund. The investors of hedge funds and portfolio managers utilize such funds to garner good returns in the financial market. 
  • They can trade in various financial instruments like debt, equity, or derivatives to maximize their returns.
  • The role of the hedge fund traders is to perform a set of strategies formulated by the investment expert and follow a suitable investment place.
  • The new hedge fund players do trade for the senior analysts. But, after the significant experience, they can also modify the strategy as they see fit for growth.

Hedge fund traders use an investor’s funds, while proprietary traders use investment banks’ funds for trading in the market. A percentage of the profit is then transferred to these hedge fund traders/managers as a fee. Along with it, they also impose a commission fee and a business cost. Sometimes, these earnings are provided in advance, while other times, they can be re-invested in the market again for greater profits. 

In essence, hedge funds and mutual funds are the same in many aspects. However, the former comes with modern restrictions, and only a certified trader can conduct the trade.

Hedge fund trader Education and Certification

Usually, hedge fund managers need a bachelor’s degree, although many prominent hedge fund companies prefer a master’s degree. Additionally,  hedge fund managers should have a degree in economics, accounting, finance,  or business administration. However, certifications are not mandatory because hedge funds do not manage customers’ money publicly.

However, significant hedge funds usually expect traders to have Series 65 licenses administered by FINRA. Additionally, professional traders typically have the Chartered Financial Analyst CFA designation as the critical certification for investment professionals, especially in research and portfolio management.

Below is the video that I created where I described major certifications for stocks, forex, and hedge funds traders:


 Suppose you have a knack for the art of studying market scenarios investments and formulating idiosyncratic strategies to thrive in the market. In that case, you will find it more relevant to dive in as a manager. 

To handle hedge funds, you need to become a trader. The execution traders are divided into two types: the traders who work on the strategies and opinions of others and the traders who create and implement their exclusive approach to make returns. 

A bachelor’s degree is another essential eligibility criterion for becoming a hedge fund manager. However, if you have a master’s qualification in finance, know that you will thrive here! Some other skills include asset management, equity research, and investment banking.

After you elevate as a hedge trader, you are also eligible to become a financial analyst and add more substance to your market world. Portfolio managers play a significant role in the investment world by directing traders to sell or purchase.

Average earnings of a trader for a hedge fund

Hedge Fund managers’ earnings may vary in wide span from $20 000 up to millions of dollars because, in the last decade, there have been thousands of hedge funds with various portfolio sizes. As a result, hedge funds traders’ salary increases dramatically based on the managed portfolio size.

If you are determined to become an analyst, you need to have five years of experience as a trader for hedge funds. The generic career roadmap includes working two to three years at some investment bank and three to five years at a hedge fund as a hedge fund analyst. The total earnings of a trader in this time can be up to $300,000. Another bold choice is to keep working at an investment bank till you become the top of a line analyst, and then you can change paths and become a hedge fund analyst.

As you conquer the various heights in the investment world, you will also handle funds as a junior trader or portfolio manager. The most general start of any trader is from assets worth $40-$200 million. Hence, if you take ten returns, the profits will also be $0.5-$3.4 million yearly. If it fails to give a substantial return, you will still get your basic pay. However, in some instances, you can also lose your job.

If you keep losing out on the funds, you can inevitably get fired. But unfortunately, some firms still tend to retain managers in operational backgrounds even after a lousy showcase of work.

Additionally, if you are let go from a prominent firm, you can still work your way up the ladder by investing in smaller funds. However, even if a less renowned company lets you go, you might have to leave the investment industry. This is because most trading roles fluctuate between 10-20%.

If you do exceptionally well, your salary is also destined to grow.

Hedge funds trader job position promotion

You can get promoted to a hedge fund analyst level after gaining experience as a hedge funds trader. It is essential to keep in mind that it will take longer to get promoted if you handle more considerable funds. You can get encouraged as a senior analyst after 3 to 5 years and add another five years to ascend as a portfolio manager. 

If you want to be a part of an expansive hedge fund company, you need to acquire a CFA. The time required to advance differs depending on the size of the firm. 

In some peculiar instances, you can become a manager for a portfolio in 5 years if you are the newest and first analyst to join the firm. That again depends on the fact of how practical your skills are. The chance of working for a small firm may be high, but the returns are worth it.


As a hedge fund trader, you get a lot of added benefits like salaries and bonuses. In addition, it has better working days than investment banking. 

However, you need diverse skills to become a good hedge fund trader. You also need to be calm and composed and desire to learn and keep improving. Hence, if you understand these things, 



Igor has been a trader since 2007. Currently, Igor works for several prop trading companies. He is an expert in financial niche, long-term trading, and weekly technical levels. The primary field of Igor's research is the application of machine learning in algorithmic trading. Education: Computer Engineering and Ph.D. in machine learning. Igor regularly publishes trading-related videos on the Fxigor Youtube channel. To contact Igor write on: igor@forex.in.rs

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