Which path should i take?

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Old Feb 1, 2012, 12:04am   #1
 
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Which path should i take?

Hi I'm a 17 year old looking for the best path to becoming a trader!

I have wanted to be a trader since i was of age 15, I have been paper trading on Forex, commodities, stocks and indices since that age as well.

In that time i have done work experience and am in frequent contact with a hedge fund manager, and am in frequent contact and have done work experience with the boss at a trading firm.

I have read numerous trading books from the hardcore jargon books , right down to a novel about a currency trader.
I feel I have a good grasp on my ambition but i wan't to make sure that every step I take is one in the right direction.

I'm currently at sixth form taking my A levels and have the opportunity of going to university.

I've been lucky enough to get a 6 week "post graduate course" during my summer holidays (No sun for me) with a trading firm, and able to complete the 3 month post grad course the following summer holidays, and by which time i could possibly be employed there.
Also i have been promised links to the city by the hedge fund manager i know.

However - if i want to get straight into the city and get huge support from a well established firm or bank surely i need something more setting stone than a bit of ambition and experience. Eg a degree.

Any ideas of people that have been in the same position, or know how to get through my dilemma?

Much appreciate any replies!
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Old Feb 1, 2012, 9:02am   #2
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Re: Which path should i take?

I think you should go to university. As you already have much knowledge of trading so after graduation, you will get bigger opportunities compare to current opportunity.
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Old Feb 1, 2012, 11:39am   #3
 
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Re: Which path should i take?

Go to university -> work , join finance soc or whatever -> get a 1st -> get whatever job you want.
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Old Feb 1, 2012, 12:21pm   #4
 
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Re: Which path should i take?

First step, log off of this site and never come back.
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Old Feb 1, 2012, 1:35pm   #5
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Re: Which path should i take?

Definitely get a degree as insurance against what the uncertain future throws at you - graduates always attract a premium in salary over any extended period of employment. Meantime, trade small, learn the feel of the markets, rigorously define your strategies and position management and become a self-employed trader. After all, would you rather be an employee for someone else's benefit or work for yourself?
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 7:27pm   #6
 
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Re: Which path should i take?

If you do go for getting a degree try to do it in something you will enjoy, and not just what you think a trading company will want.

I often read about lots of traders in top tier investment banks with random degrees in Chemistry, physics, sciences, engineering. Not just the bog standard economics, finance or maths.

I guess the moral of the story is that all they want to see (to a certain extent) is a higher level of learning to show you can take on what they will be teaching you, rather than you going to them already a superstar trader.

A track record always helps you get your foot in the door. I can imagine it would be quite impressive to say "Hello I have a degree but to demonstrate my passion I have also been trading my own personal account of $xxx and grown it by xxx% by following strict money management. blah blah.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 8:05pm   #7
 
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Re: Which path should i take?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Club View Post
I often read about lots of traders in top tier investment banks with random degrees in Chemistry, physics, sciences, engineering.
Note, it's still all science. You're not going to get anywhere with some arts degree.
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Old Feb 4, 2012, 2:35am   #8
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Re: Which path should i take?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiea9907 View Post

In that time i have done work experience and am in frequent contact with a hedge fund manager, and am in frequent contact and have done work experience with the boss at a trading firm.


I've been lucky enough to get a 6 week "post graduate course" during my summer holidays (No sun for me) with a trading firm, and able to complete the 3 month post grad course the following summer holidays, and by which time i could possibly be employed there.
Also i have been promised links to the city by the hedge fund manager i know.
In the past, I would usually have agreed with the other posters here about obtaining a University degree and then looking for a trading position.
However, the exponential growth in the number of unemployed University graduates throughout Europe and the UK has changed my mind over the last 4-5 years.

It appears that you have good contacts in the industry (for a 17 year old) and you have a passion for the industry.
I would recommend that you do the course with the trading firm (and I am assuming that it is a legitimate trading firm, not some dodgy "training" academy). Then take up their offer of a job. And use the benefits of having a contact in the Hedge Funds industry to widen your contacts.
In this business it is 99% who you know, not what you know.
(Because who you know will determine whether you are shown the right way).

If it all goes to shot, you can always go back to University with a more mature outlook and get a degree.
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Old Feb 12, 2012, 5:09am   #9
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Re: Which path should i take?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiea9907 View Post
Hi I'm a 17 year old looking for the best path to becoming a trader!
So what did you decide to do?
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Old Jul 11, 2012, 2:47pm   #10
 
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Re: Which path should i take?

jamiea9907 started this thread Thank you for the replies everyone - some really good advice.
When i have decided what I am to do (something still being contenplated for the next year), I will let you know.
However I have been warned of the job security in small trading firms by a teacher at my school who used to be a trader for Bank of America, he knows people who have started up trading firms, been successful, flogged them and then seen them go down the pan!
Is this a big thing to be wary of? And does anyone else have any advice on small trading firms?
Thanks
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