Q Investments Reviews | Glassdoor

Q Investments Reviews

Updated September 2, 2017
15 reviews

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15 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Top Tier, Dynamic Investment Firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Q Investments full-time

    Pros

    - Hands down some of the smartest people I've had the privilege of working with. You don't earn a track record of excellence and out-sized returns for more than 20 years without it.
    - When Q decides to commit to an investment, they dedicate the appropriate resources, time, and effort to it, and they do it the right way. In the process, you get to actively participate in an incredibly disciplined process and be involved first-hand in what it takes to execute a best-in-class investment strategy.
    - Right sized firm. Big enough to exert influence on core investments at the firm when necessary, but also small enough to be nimble and always pursue the best market risk/reward opportunities (not just own the market outright).
    - Tremendous learning experience. Put in the time and effort to do the work the right way and contribute to the Q team, and you will have some amazing opportunities to work on a wide variety of incredibly interesting market-relevant investment opportunities.
    - Flat organization. There aren't layers of management to navigate through. You get an opportunity to work with senior partners and investment professionals. You also get to work alongside the founder/CIO, who (1) has been in the business a long time, (2) created in Q an incredibly well-managed investment firm with an exceptional long-term track record that many fund managers would be envious of, and (3) is actively engaged in the business / investment process. Simply a great environment to share ideas, learn, and ultimately execute on the right investment opportunities.
    - What you see is what you get. Not a political place. A very strong culture of communication. You know where you stand at all times, and you get virtually instant feedback on what works and what doesn't.

    Cons

    I don't have much to add here by way of cons other than items related to fit and culture. The firm spends a lot of time upfront figuring out if they are a fit for you and you are a fit for them. They don't pretend to be the right place for everyone, but if they are the right place for you, and you get an opportunity to work there, I think you would undoubtedly thrive.
    - Team player, not me-first culture. If you're willing to do the work that the team demands, the way that the team demands it to be done, you will succeed here long-term. Check your ego at the door. Working at Q is about making the team better, no matter how big or small you perceive the specific task at hand may be. Using a football analogy, you have plenty of opportunities to contribute and draft up the next play. But once that play is called, the team gets together to execute, and your job is to help execute the play with the rest of the team.
    - If you're expecting a 9-5 investment job, this isn't the place for you. Having said that, the hours are driven by actual meaningful work that have an economic impact on the firm, and not by face time. Being a naturally curious investment professional, I found Q to provide an appropriate work-life balance within the confines of traditional demands of the investment business. Equally as important to me, I found my actual time at work to be intellectually rewarding.
    - Impeccable detail oriented. Many people say they are detail oriented but are really not. If you are more of a high level thinker, Q may not be the right fit for you. Q values people who "roll up your sleeves" and "get into the weeds" of the work that you do. It's not a place to sit back and let others do the work for you.
    - Not your traditional corporate ladder. Don't expect lots of chains of command or promotions at regular intervals, but do expect to be rewarded and recognized for hard work, doing things the Q way, loyalty, and team effort.


  2. "A company for self-driven creatives and thinkers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Trader in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Employee - Trader in Fort Worth, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Q Investments full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    I worked at Q for about 10 years, in both operations and investments.

    I remember exactly why I wanted to work at Q. I had a job offer from another company, and I had already accepted it. I remember meeting my future colleagues at this other business. After a few hours of chatting and conversing, I felt a sense of dread as I realized I might be the smartest person in the room.

    I then came for an interview at Q, just to be thorough in my job search. After the first round of interviews and introductions, I felt that I might be the dumbest person in the room. That drew me in completely; the opportunity to learn from others employees at Q was incredibly compelling.

    You will excel at Q Investments if you are naturally curious and creative, if you are willing to accept the experience of your co-workers and bosses while also challenging their status quo, if you are willing to be outspoken and have an opinion while also respecting the thoughts and opinions of others, and if you are willing to work under a chain of command.

    Because Q is not a large company (less than 100 people), a natural assumption is that there would be fewer opportunities for growth. On the contrary, Q presents more opportunities for growth/expansion than a large company, because the challenges of the hedge fund business constantly present new opportunities, and fewer employees means each person is responsible for a wider variety of tasks.

    If you're willing to put in the study time on your own, if you're willing to speak up about what you want to accomplish, and if you show an acumen for both the job you're doing and the next job you're interested in, Q will reward that initiative. I nearly tripled my total pay package in my decade at Q; I received a raise and bonus increase every single year. If you want to earn more, you will.

    Q doesn't have a defined career-track program like a Fortune 500 company. No one is going to hold your hand as you learn the ropes. You're not expected to know much on Day 1, but you're expected to learn quickly and be adaptable.

    Even after nearly a decade of experience at Q, I was expected to handle a variety of tasks. One hour I was trading millions worth of stocks and bonds, and the next hour I was making dinner reservations for invited guests, and the next hour I was analyzing and summarizing large amounts of market data.

    Smaller companies like Q put everyone on their toes. Mediocre performers cannot hide behind a boss or a co-worker; excellent performers stand out.

    Note that lunch at Q is catered by many different restaurants (at no charge to employees), and you're expected to stay in the office and not leave. When I first started working at Q, I loved the free lunch program. After a year, I disliked it; I wanted to leave the office for lunch sometimes. But after another year passed, I was back to enjoying free lunch, and frankly never looked back again. I finally figured that going to get my own lunch every day was not really "freedom"; instead, it was a burden. I learned that Q's free lunch is a good trade-off that increased my pay package.

    Over the years I also learned the secret that other Q reviews haven't revealed: nobody really cares if you leave the office occasionally. While the standard policy is to be in the office during office hours (like most trading firms), many employees will take a walk outside for several minutes to enjoy the sun or get a coffee. Many employees take time away from the office for doctors appointments or to go to school events. If you're an employee who has shown promise and performance, you're not going to be prevented from attending your child's recital; this is an absurdist viewpoint that I can confidently tell you isn't fact. I've even seen employees take months off (unpaid) or perform remote work (in another country) in extenuating circumstances. Many things are negotiable for the employee earning his keep!

    The owner of the company has been doing this for a long time. He has his way of doing things, and it has worked for him for more than 20 years. Don't expect to come in and upturn the apple cart. Be willing to listen and take instructions and you'll get along with him very well. I can honestly say that while I disagreed with him at various times over the years, I always felt able to express my objections and I never felt like he wouldn't listen to me. I changed his mind over the years sometimes, and he changed my mind a lot, too. He was very good to me and my family in my time at Q, and I am grateful for everything I learned under his tutelage. This was true of all of the partners at Q. I still talk to each of them as friends.

    If you're not into titles on business cards, if you're not into wearing suits to work, if you're not into having six layers of bosses between you and the CEO, then you'll enjoy Q. And if you're smart and innovative, they'll love you back.

    Cons

    Q is not a place for people that want to leave the office every day at 5 pm. You will be expected to work until 6 pm most days, and sometimes longer, and you will be expected to at least read your emails each night and a few times each weekend. For some roles, you may need to be in more constant contact in certain situations. I worked some holidays and some weekends over the years. If you value your free time significantly more than your career or you want a 40-hour workweek, Q is not for you. That is as bluntly as I can put it. Summers are slower and may present more opportunities for time off, vacation, travel, etc.

    Q is not a place for people to learn non-Microsoft enterprise-level software. Q doesn't use Jira, or SalesForce, or Oracle, or Hadoop, or Google Cloud, or Amazon Web Services, or a number of other up-and-coming cloud-based platforms. Much of Q's software is developed in-house and is proprietary, tailored to the specific needs of Q's business. On the investments side, you'll spend nearly all of your time in either Excel, Bloomberg, and Q's proprietary software. If you place a strong emphasis on learning and using the latest cloud-based software, Q is not a place for you. My personal belief is that Q's software stance is not a strong positive or negative either way, but I wanted to mention this for the small minority of people who do care. Q's huge upside is an IT and developer teams that are more than capable of making modifications to existing software to meet new business needs and challenges. I rarely experienced computer issues, and I very often was able to get software changes approved when I could prove the need. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. If you don't ask for something, you won't get it; that's as true at Q as it is in life.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Great Firm to Work At! Accept Offer if You Have the Chance."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Portfolio Manager in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Employee - Portfolio Manager in Fort Worth, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Q Investments full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    -Challenging and rewarding firm to work at. Employees receive a lot of on the job training, and work in a collaborative environment. Well performing employees in all divisions can expect to be given new opportunities and responsibilities over time.
    -Firm has a very flat operating structure. Employees that are just starting out their careers will get experience working directly with senior investment team members. All investment team members will interact with and learn from the firm’s partners and founder (20+ years running a successful hedge fund).
    -Q Investments has a very broad investment mandate, and can invest in anything and everything if the risk-reward makes sense. You will never be bored with nothing to look at because the market segment you cover is unattractive. Q constantly moves into new asset classes, so you will have chances to learn about other markets and strategies.
    -Good benefits like catered lunch, in office coffee/beverages, holiday meals, firm activities, scheduling, and investment opportunities.
    -Central office location in downtown Fort Worth.
    -Overall, a great opportunity to join a top performing and established investment fund, and work with many other talented and driven individuals.

    Cons

    -Given the nature of the business (investing capital in global markets), deadlines and schedules can get tight at times. All efforts are made to accommodate non-work schedules but every now and then deadlines must be met.


  4. "Decent company if you're single"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort Worth, TX
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Q Investments full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    You get to learn about finance and investment. I came in with very little finance experience and came out with extensive knowledge of managing my own money and importantly investing the correct way for my future. The partners are great and are very good people person and a lot better to report to than the manager.

    I am grateful for the experiences and knowledge gained working here at this company. It has and I'm sure will help me immensely in the future as well.

    Cons

    The hours are very long and you are not allowed to leave the floor during business hours which is from 8AM-6PM! On top of that on call is 24x7 regardless what position you hold. I was unfortunate to have to deal with a manager that wasn't supportive, this goes for any job just I happen to got a bad one at this firm. For the pay and benefits, it is much lower than other companies in the same or different industries for my position.

    Advice to Management

    Not sure what I would recommend as the competitive nature of the environment forces the culture to be what it is to survive.


  5. "Investment Team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I spent close to 10 years at Q working in the investment team in senior role. I view Q as a best in class firm at what it does (which is to find the best risk adjusted returns) and was fortunate enough to work and learn there. The only reason I left Q was to start my own firm and they were incredibly supportive in my transition. To be best in class, Q has high standards in terms of who they recruit and who is successful that the firm. Q expects people to take ownership of what they do and be responsive during and after office hours. I would recommend Q strongly to anyone who is interested in investing and learning from high quality professionals. The firm is incredibly meritocratic and the only way to succeed there is to be smart and work hard. Organization is flat and you will be given lots of responsibilities as soon as you are able to demonstrate you are ready. Q also provides some very nice perks – free lunch every day, half Fridays every other week in the summer, etc.

    Cons

    Q has been very successful at what is does and following a process that works for them. They are unlikely to change what has worked for them. My advice to potential candidates is that if you do not think the culture is a good fit for you may want to reconsider. Q is demanding and not a place for people (especially on the investment team) looking for work-life balance all the time. There will be days and weeks when you will be incredibly busy and will have to put other things in your life on hold. It’s the cost of working at a place that wants to be a world-class investor.

    Advice to Management

    Management has a zero-mistake philosophy. My advice would be for management to create tasks and roles where people can fail and not hurt the performance of the firm and learn from their mistakes.


  6. "Trading and Triple Net Financial Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Q Investments full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The philosophy at Q is a admirable process that is precise and teaches the employees to diligent and aware. Skills that Q has taught me helped me excel in a new position as well as in school work. Q is running a efficent business and the interns are a core part of that. The tasks they do are sometimes bland, however Q needs them to continue to beat the market. The triple net internship is a great way to learn about investing in real estate from a different angle than most commerical real estate firms. It was great experience for me, especially since I don't specialize in real estate. Overall the internship is a great learning experience, and a great enviroment of investment professionals that are an open book for experience.

    On a side note, Q is very accomadative to students class schedules, making this internship during the school year a great and easy fit (especially with free lunch).

    Cons

    During the school year, interns are very busy since there is a lot to be done. However, during the summer there are much more interns available, work tends to get pretty slow. While there are ways to stay busy like by learning from management about different departments, I found myself wanting to be more engaged.

    Advice to Management

    Hold more meetings with interns to discuss how the internship improved.


  7. "Make sure that you are a good culture fit before accepting the offer."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Q Investments full-time

    Pros

    Colleagues are very smart, helpful and cooperative.
    You will be given a lot of responsibilities.

    Cons

    For the pay and benefits, it is much lower than market rate. I am making way more now and can eat whatever for lunch.

  8. "Challenging environment and great opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Programmer in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Programmer in Fort Worth, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Q Investments full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I can't help but notice that most of the complaints here are from interns or junior people complaining about doing intern or junior work, and thinking they know how management is supposed to work.

    I was a programmer at Q for over 11 years. Q is without a doubt a challenging environment. Deadlines are tight and they demand performance. As a consequence, they hire some of the best and the brightest. In my almost 20 year career I have never worked with a group of smarter or better people. The work environment is posh in a downtown Ft. Worth high-rise. Catered lunches started from the trading desk culture where having half the employees out of the office if something happened in the market in the middle of the day could be disastrous. It wasn't relevant to me as a programmer, but free lunches are nice. If you want to learn about finance, Q is one of the best environments you could be in. The internal education program is great and a hedge fund that has been around more than 20 years clearly knows a thing or two about how the market works. Compensation is at or above market rate and there are opportunities to invest in the fund, which consistently out-performs the market most years. Most importantly IMO, you'll learn soft skills that will serve you the rest of your life. The philosophy and strategies you learn at Q are applicable everywhere, and being used to performing under pressure and meeting tight deadlines makes you stand out in your future endeavors.

    Cons

    Q is a very demanding environment. 10 hour days are the norm for all employees. Deadlines are incredibly tight and expected to be met. If you can't perform, you will probably feel out of place. The CEO runs the show, period, so it's his way or the highway. The org chart is incredibly flat--the CEO at the top, a group of partners below that, and a few managers. Q is a place for experts to practice their expertise, not for ambitious people to stick fancy titles after their names. If you want to be a vice president in five years, perhaps one of the New York investment banks is a better fit.

    Advice to Management

    As you all know, Q is different from everywhere else. The challenge will always be to look attractive to job seekers in changing job markets. Don't change the formula though, Q's longevity as a hedge fund is a huge outlier.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "AMAZING place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Q Investments full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -wonderful, smart and hard working people and great team-oriented, collaborative environment
    -great place to learn and grow professionally
    - fast-paced, interesting & challenging work
    -impressive, thoughtful and supportive management team
    -free lunch! :)

    Cons

    Very hard to think of a Con - my overall experience at Q has been great. The hours are somewhat longer than your traditional 40 hr work week - but still very reasonable, especially given the valuable professional experience you gain in return.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work - Q is a great place to be!


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Avoid If Possible"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst
    Former Employee - Analyst
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Q Investments full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Q will quickly teach you what not to look for in your next job. They'll tell you that free lunches and a casual work environment are some of their best perks, but in reality they're just ploys to keep you tied to your desk.

    Cons

    Partners have their heads in the sand. They are intensely paranoid and don't give employees any leeway to make decisions. Just one example--the entire office is video-taped and mic'd and they will use anything you say or do to their advantage. This apparent lack of trust in their intelligent, driven, responsible employees completely undermines the creativity and work ethic for which they originally hired them.

    No flexibility--you will work nights, weekends and holidays. This is pretty typical of the industry, but I feel the need to emphasize that you will never ever work the amount of hours they quote you in your offer letter. The leaders are technologically inept, so you'll regularly have to log into your DaaS after 10PM to re-send an email they can't find.

    A few more cons off the top of my head:
    --Pretty arrogant.
    --Stuck in the 90's.
    --Deferred bonuses so you've got a bunch of discouraged employees just waiting for their 10 year anniversaries so they can cash out.

    Advice to Management

    Your people are one of your biggest investments. Unfortunately for you, however, managing people is completely different than managing securities. Sure you have found some smart people who are willing to kotow to your ludicrous demands, but you're missing out on an entire class of driven, creative and loyal employees who aren't willing to be your doormats. Your workforce is quickly aging and the next generation of worker is looking for a company that they can buy into. If you don't seriously rethink your employment practices I fear that your attrition rate is only going to grow and you're going to continue to lose the people who are driving your business forward and making you rich.


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