Forums  > Careers  > Living in Bermuda  
     
Page 1 of 2Goto to page: [1], 2 Next
Display using:  

Igor


Total Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2014
 
Posted: 2015-09-14 19:05
Hi all, does anyone have experience on this forum living and working in Bermuda (at a hedge fund)?

I am wondering about the lifestyle, and things to do from someone who's been on the ground (insights you can't gather from Google)

Thank you

"..tempus casumque in omnibus"

TSWP


Total Posts: 350
Joined: May 2012
 
Posted: 2015-09-15 18:34
I have been living on an island in the Caribbean for 2 years and I know people that works at hedge funds in the Bahamas, not in Bermuda.

Living on an island, lifestyle, what to do, etc. is similar on many of these islands, although Bermuda may have some specifics.

If you want I am happy to share some color here or via PM, I repeat: is not specific to Bermuda but I think I have a story or two that may provide you with some insight.

"I wouldn’t have done well in an Olympiad or a math contest. But I like to ponder. And pondering things, just sort of thinking about it and thinking about it, turns out to be a pretty good approach." - Jim Simons

goldorak


Total Posts: 979
Joined: Nov 2004
 
Posted: 2015-09-15 21:31
Make it public!

If you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much space.

Hansi


Total Posts: 289
Joined: Mar 2010
 
Posted: 2015-09-15 22:09
Only been there once five years ago, seemed like a decent place to live and work while young; wouldn't want to settle there. Was there on a work trip but got stuck when Eyjafjallajökull erupted so got a few extra days there idling and turisting.

Prices are massively inflated there but the pay outpaces it from what I gathered in conversations with people. As it was askew with my own salary it was kind of limiting on what I felt was sensible to do in terms of entertainment like sailing, scuba diving etc. as it was much more expensive when compared with other places I've visited. It didn't seem to hinder the people living there and working for the funds, some of them had their own personal piers attached to the office with smaller type sail-boats and yachts.

It felt like the islands population was predominately male but it could be skewed by visitors because googling the 2010 census seems like it's around 50-50 for people living there.

Most of the people I met with were in the 25-35 age group and very few of them with kids so it felt pretty much like a work hard, play hard environment.

I'm hoping to meet up with a friend this week that's been living there for the last few months so will post back if I have anything to add after meeting up with him.

TSWP


Total Posts: 350
Joined: May 2012
 
Posted: 2015-09-16 00:41
>Make it public!

Not sure this is a case where I want to share private stories publicly, but I can share something based on my visits to funds and investors in Bahamas and living 2 years in a caribbean island:

- I know personally people visiting funds that had been asked by the fund owners to lie at the customs passport control, lie about who they were visiting, for fear that corrupted customs officer could inform some competitors funds about who was visiting who and create a loss of competitiveness (the visitors would usually be former Wall Street traders, data scientists, etc., visiting a fund to propose a strategy or some other business or being interviewed to get hired). Secrecy is uber-paramount in these places, you can't talk freely to anyone.

- I know someone that had been hit hard for doing something that affected the career of a colleague: let's say that if you live on a small island being competitive could be a double-edged sword - you do not want to irk someone that may come after you, especially if you can't run and hide afterwards and the police doesn't really come when you call them for help because they don't care.

- You must really love nature and water sports and fishing and diving, because islands are surrounded by... water. There is nothing else much to do except those activities (and smoking cigars and sipping great cocktails) - no serious museums/art galleries, no nice clubs (ok, some, but they are a parody), no restaurants worth paying for, nothing you had before in a big city will be found again here. Bahamas actually has some of the best places in this sense, in Nassau, some places are well worth visiting for nightlife and eating out, but is not like being in London or New York, it's like different planets. Personally I love nature, so I am fine with this type of environment, but some people can't resist more than a few weeks on a small island and even the most beautiful beaches gets boring, for some people, after a while. This is a serious point to consider before accepting a job in these places as it can affect mental stability (cabin fever syndromes are common between expats).

- On the up side, if you do love living near/on water, sailing and diving, it's paradise. Lifestyle is very relaxed, in general, you can do things like go swimming in the warm crystal blue sea in the early morning, at dawn, BEFORE going to work in the office. Compare that with taking the tube with masses of people to get to the office in London or New York. You can sail or go at the beach after work, at sunset, compare that with going back on the tube, etc.

- Taxes are often zero (depending on jurisdiction). Note that taxes on your personal investments do COMPOUND in time, like returns do, so create an Excel file to see how your terminal wealth changes in 10 years, under a 30% yearly taxation or under a 0% yearly taxation (unless you're American, then forget it). You will be surprised to see how much more you will make in a no-tax environment, in that sense it's the best place to be for someone working at a hedge fund.

- Friends: can be a problem, small place, you see always the same people, hopefully they are nice and fun to be together with and to sip margaritas at the bar at sunset. Warning: local people are usually not a good candidate to be your friend, often they see you just as "business". This would be a too long chapter to tell the whole story, just make sure you understand how they see you, what you look like to them. It's not rare to hear that someone has been chopped in pieces with a machete, just to clarify the issue at hand, although it's true that can happen also in Central Park...

- Women: another too long chapter. In short: same rules applied to local "friends", i.e. don't bother. And in case you're wondering: you are not going to find a beautiful blonde waiting for you on a beach - unless you own the fund.

- Given the fact Bermuda is close to the States I would infer you can easily get away for the weekend and fly there for some back-to-the-future fun or meeting some friends. It should be a 2 hours flight (direct) to New York. In this sense funds based in Bahamas are luckier, just a spit away from Miami. If you're based in Cayman Islands the closest place is Jamaica, which can be fun for some...

Personal suggestion: if you get an offer to work in Bermuda, I'd take it - it can be a really beautiful experience, very different from anything else you've done before, it may change your life forever and open up a whole new world that few people in hedge funds actually know, as they are mostly located in big cities and domicile their funds offshore but never bother to set an office there. We should all move to the Caribbean, it's a much better life Cool

Good luck!

"I wouldn’t have done well in an Olympiad or a math contest. But I like to ponder. And pondering things, just sort of thinking about it and thinking about it, turns out to be a pretty good approach." - Jim Simons

akimon


Total Posts: 566
Joined: Dec 2004
 
Posted: 2015-09-21 17:12
given the amount of cash we pay for bermudan (pun unintended) SPV's for the actual work required, I had this image that life must be good to live and work in Bermuda Worship

doobs


Total Posts: 829
Joined: Jun 2005
 
Posted: 2015-09-25 07:23
I also live on of one of those small Caribbean islands and I agree with TSWP. Just remember even if you do enjoy the beach, sailing, water activities...they will all get old pretty quickly.

filthy


Total Posts: 1254
Joined: Jun 2004
 
Posted: 2015-09-30 01:45
i lived in bermuda for a year and absolutely despised the place.

it isn't really work hard/play hard at all. more like work 9 to 5 then do nothing because there is nothing to do. i mean there are literally around 10 bars on the entire island but because it is hard to get around, you will probably only have access to 2-3. there is sailing, golf and diving but the first 2 of these are super expensive. actually almost everything is expensive. and kind of crappy. for example restaurants are almost uniformly terrible.

and because of all this the only tourists have an average age of 70 so you can forget hooking up with pretty girls in bikinis.

i would rather live in cleveland than bermuda.

"Game's the same, just got more fierce"

TSWP


Total Posts: 350
Joined: May 2012
 
Posted: 2015-10-28 09:05
There was a video posted recently on National Geographic, discussing the fact that apparently staying in nature is very good for the brain. Given the highly intensive brain activity exercised by people working in finance, choosing to work in places located outside of main big cities (e.g. Bermuda, Connecticut, UK countryside, etc.) may actually have a beneficial effect on the individuals.


You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

mtsm


Total Posts: 178
Joined: Dec 2010
 
Posted: 2015-10-28 14:09
"the highly intensive brain activity exercised by people working in finance"

seriously?

goldorak


Total Posts: 979
Joined: Nov 2004
 
Posted: 2015-10-28 14:40
Applause

If you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much space.

darkmatters


Total Posts: 63
Joined: Nov 2010
 
Posted: 2015-10-28 23:24
TWSP,

There is a huge body of research on this which I follow closely. You can start at this guy's page, I know he has had some popular articles:

http://psychology.uchicago.edu/people/faculty/berman.shtml

More or less, the upshot is if you are procrastinating or otherwise having trouble focusing, you should go for a walk in nature, like the woods, and you will get a boost. I think the guy above did some fMRI studies comparing city walks to nature walks to nothing.

I know they utilize these types of things in hospital design now to reduce error rates and improve some healing times.

If you think of the inverse, casino floors are designed for the exact opposite.

Back to Filthy's comment:

Living in Bermuda or Bahamas or most Caribbean islands is ideal for a singular type of candidate. Someone with a young wife, who either has young children or will be trying to have then very soon. Then she is busy, you don't care about night life, and enjoy walks and stuff like that.

*If you don't have a significant other, it sucks to meet people.
*If you have a significant other but don't have children, then they will get very bored because they can't work.
*If your children are too old, the schools suck.

If the ideal is you, then you can stay 3-7 years before you are ready to go.

TSWP


Total Posts: 350
Joined: May 2012
 
Posted: 2015-10-29 09:43
darkmatters,

thank you for sending this link and adding value to the discussion.

Also: the bullet-points description you have made of the ideal candidates for a life in a Caribbean-based hedge fund, they perfectly match the scenarios encountered by the people I had met in person in one facility there located. These are important points to consider before such a career move.


The only thing that counts: Can you make money?

Igor


Total Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2014
 
Posted: 2015-11-23 05:44
Thank you all for the insightful discussion.

darkmatters, there is definitely no shortage of paths to explore nature in Bermuda as I have already witnessed in my short time here. I appreciate the research link, as psychology is an interest of mine.




"..tempus casumque in omnibus"

darkmatters


Total Posts: 63
Joined: Nov 2010
 
Posted: 2015-11-23 23:30
Not a problem. I recall things being easier when I could go down to the beach or harbor for morning and afternoon breaks and watch the waves rolling in or fish jumping.

Paddleboarding to work was pretty cool too.

TSWP


Total Posts: 350
Joined: May 2012
 
Posted: 2015-12-04 21:03
just to pick up again on the fact that living in sunny countries is good for the brain and reduce stress, there was an article on Bloomberg today, here is an excerpt:

"Studies have found that exposure to natural sunlight improves workplace performance and is good for your health. People exposed to natural daylight in one study were more alert at the end of the day than those under artificial light, and levels of cortisol, which helps manage stress, dropped in poor lighting conditions. Daylight has also been associated with improved mood, enhanced morale, lower fatigue, and reduced eyestrain, research has found. Sun is good; darkness is bad."

Curiously not many corporations have realized (yet) that living in congested, cold, gray, unhealthy cities is not the best environment to enhance the productivity (and the life?) of their employees. I guess we haven't evolved much from the early times of the industrial revolution.

The only thing that counts: can you make money?

Igor


Total Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2014
 
Posted: 2015-12-05 06:27
TSWP, your post reminds me of reading a thought provoking (on many different levels) book many years ago.

The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers

I recall Irving Fisher who was a "great believer in sunshine and air who kept his windows open all year round, even in freezing winter temperatures".

Nature, indeed, does seem to help me in generating creative ideas..

"..tempus casumque in omnibus"

prfj


Total Posts: 10
Joined: Dec 2011
 
Posted: 2015-12-05 17:26
My bit of experience is that all that beautiful nature around you makes you less motivated for money. Sunrays and birdchatter are free after all.

TSWP


Total Posts: 350
Joined: May 2012
 
Posted: 2015-12-17 15:51
Here is another interesting article from National Geographic on the topic:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/call-to-wild-text

The only thing that counts: can you make money?

goldorak


Total Posts: 979
Joined: Nov 2004
 
Posted: 2015-12-21 08:15
I love these theories made by people from cities and eager to go back to their cities...

Nature and wilderness is a no stress zone as long as you know you are going to return from it, that tonight's dinner is already packed and a nice warm shower waiting for you at the end of your "nature experience".

If I drop you in a place you do not know, with no material whatsoever, your cortisol level is going through the roof in a matter of hours and you are coming back nothing but rested.

This reminds me of these cool free riders afraid of nothing as they know a rescue team is coming to them in the next 10 minutes would something happen.

If you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much space.

EspressoLover


Total Posts: 197
Joined: Jan 2015
 
Posted: 2015-12-21 19:27
"As investigated by attention restoration theory, natural environments, such as forests, mountain landscapes or beaches, appear to be particularly effective for restoring attention, perhaps because they contain a vast amount of diverse, relatively weak stimuli, thus inciting the mind to wander freely while relaxing its strict focus.[10]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directed_attention_fatigue

TSWP


Total Posts: 350
Joined: May 2012
 
Posted: 2015-12-23 11:45
The reason why I am interested in this topic, is the following: as you know I am discussing the launch of a hedge fund in 2016 with a partner.

We had a number of conversations and some of them were specifically about where would we like to place our firm and WHY. Part of the discussion revolved around the possible benefits of placing the firm in a tropical, offshore location (i.e. Caribbean). The benefits for us, and for our future employees and future partners. Some sort of location-future-proofing, if you want.

Personally, having spent about 5 years of my life living in various tropical and sub-tropical regions (mainly in Australia and the Caribbean), I have experienced in first person that the life-balance brought to me by the vicinity of the nature and the sea was a very welcome effect in the context of an otherwise life-in-front-of-a-computer-crunching-numbers-and-coding type of existence.

When you live and work in a region immersed in nature you can have the best of both worlds: modern technologies AND wild nature. From this point of view Australia is a perfect place to live (although if you run a fund, it does not offer the tax advantages of offshore locations, plus the inverted timezone is very hard to bear if you need to monitor markets during US sessions as it's basically deep night in Oz).

I have also stressed the fact that the nature around you must be warm and tropical/sub-tropical because we have forests and rivers (and an ocean coastline) also around London, but it's not the same thing: it does not produce the same type of effect on your brain, life and body as when you are immersed in a sunny blue/white warm Bahamian landscape...

Then again, if one loves city life and totally hates nature, this entire discussion is hogwash for him/her and we should respect their opinion.

The only thing that counts: can you make money?

aickley


Total Posts: 37
Joined: Oct 2008
 
Posted: 2015-12-23 12:19
I don't get why people tend to dislike the cold so much. Personally, I like having snow around in winter. I would say an opportunity to go skiing before/after work is probably more valuable for me than the warm weather all the year round and an ocean nearby.

MCgeneratedname


Total Posts: 143
Joined: Dec 2013
 
Posted: 2015-12-23 13:56
How good is the reliability and speed of internet connections and the reliability of the electricity supply in the Caribbean/Bahamas?

EspressoLover


Total Posts: 197
Joined: Jan 2015
 
Posted: 2015-12-23 13:57
@aickley

It's not the cold so much as the lack of bright sunlight. If you move somewhere from 2000 to 3000 hours of sunlight a year, the difference in background happiness is very noticeable. (It's particularly true for dark-eyed people, who have sunlight thresholds than light-eyed people.) In fact the impact is so large that bright-light therapy is now starting to be used even for non-seasonal depression.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3695376/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11816051

http://time.com/4118775/light-therapy-non-seasonal-depression/
Previous Thread :: Next Thread 
Page 1 of 2Goto to page: [1], 2 Next