best route to becoming a trader in the city (london)

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Old Jul 8, 2008, 8:42pm   #31
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You know... it's quite depressing to read that most trader's careers end at 33. I'm on the other side of 33 and I've had my best year spreadbetting the markets so far! I'm enjoying it more, becoming more patient, disciplined, methodical and developing my knowledge more and more yet I'm supposed to have crashed and burned years ago. WoooW! Not only that, but my maths is barely above pass level: Tell me to answer e.g., 35X54/7+16/6 in less than 30 seconds and I'll say "goodnight". So, by no means am I one of those maths whizz kids. Yet, plenty of the guys they actually hire couldn't last a month's trading!

It's so very, very unfair/ridiculous how the selection process actually goes for banks. I've learned through experience that being average at maths is by no means a weakness at all. But just try telling that to the HR dept. of any bank! Moreover, if anyone's excellent at maths but poor at probabilities I'd say such a person has a very good chance of being an absolutely useless trader. It's a great shame really, as I too would love to have been a salaried trader. The one thing though is that, although my maths is decidedly average, my estimation for probabilities is excellent. I am also a very good backgammon player - a game where a mastery of probabilities is essential. And if I didn't give away so many tells (including blushing) I'd also be spending time at my nearest poker den...

(Sidenote: hmmm just thinking too that I'm not at all envious of the OP's banging the so called "fit birds" on his airline - as I've scarcely seen a fit hostess in years. Unless, that is, you're working for singapore airlines where, admittedly, the fitness factor is at least reasonably acceptable from time to time. )

Last edited by peakoil; Jul 8, 2008 at 9:34pm.
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Old Jul 9, 2008, 9:48am   #32
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i'm absolutely hopeless at maths and i'm currently working as a trader (and have been salaried trader in the past). being good at maths has very little to do with most trading. if u r spread betting and / or trading futures then how difficult could it be to calculate what price u buy something and sell something. However, if u work for an investment bank and need to calculate yields and maturities from CDS levels then that is another story...i guess. I think that the main reason why many firms ask u to do a numeracy test is because they are overwhelmed with applications and need to narrow the field considerably.
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Old Jul 9, 2008, 7:39pm   #33
 
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Is there anyone that has recently completed the STA trading course ? I am due to do the course soon and would be grateful of any info/advice.
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Old Jul 26, 2008, 8:15pm   #34
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IB employs the best poeple and minds in the country, yet they make big losses. To be a A* and 1st material, you have to sleep with your books and be a nerd who gets bullied by poeple like me.
Education ,education education its just there, nothing helpful in doing certain job. 90% of the learning is done on the field.
the main rules of trading are the same as poker etc. - money management.
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 9:18am   #35
 
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Originally Posted by Masquerade View Post
Do you know what a trading role involves? A lot of the traders at investment banks and funds have physics backgrounds. So it'd probably be a pretty good idea to get some A levels - Maths is essential and you need an A grade (anything less and they won't look at your application.) I know, i'm speaking from experience here on that topic. So you'll need 320 UCAS points minimum or ABB (to you and I.) Then you'll have to go to a good university and get a good degree (possibly in physics) then to make sure you can get a job you'll need a PhD in Physics. Then you'll have little difficulty in becoming a trader.

But is that worth it to you? I don't quite understand how it was a career you were always interested in, but didn't bother doing some research about it until 3 hours ago.
A PhD in Physics!? You make trading sound like Rocket Science or something.
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 9:52am   #36
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IB employs the best poeple and minds in the country, yet they make big losses. To be a A* and 1st material, you have to sleep with your books and be a nerd who gets bullied by poeple like me.

you really do have no idea. What exactly is your first statement based on? the recent write-downs? the banks have been able to take these 'losses' as they have been virtually printing money for the past x years. if you're a trader at some point you will make a loss-markets evolve.

and as for the last statement-what a joke. you certainly do not have to be a nerd and bully away mate-i have a job.
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 10:43am   #37
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Originally Posted by niraj shah View Post
IB employs the best poeple and minds in the country, yet they make big losses. To be a A* and 1st material, you have to sleep with your books and be a nerd who gets bullied by poeple like me.
Education ,education education its just there, nothing helpful in doing certain job. 90% of the learning is done on the field.
the main rules of trading are the same as poker etc. - money management.
Could you stop being so negative the whole time....it is really starting to be quite annoying.

There are so many reasons why education is valuable, it is probably because you don't know what those reasons are that you didn't do so well at uni.

I would like to see you try to bully me mate; I got a first, didn't sleep with my books and still had a great time at uni. I didn't go to a lecture until year 3, so it is possible; just not with an attitude like yours!!!
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 1:21pm   #38
 
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Thats why all the IB's have lost """HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS""" ... its because they are sooooo clever with their poxy PHD's ..

I have worked in the CITY with some of these dick*eads... (financial types) There is nothing clever about buying toxic waste thinking the Boom would never end.... idiots....

I saw it coming ... it was obvious to me that the game was up... and I never had an A level... and my degree was in Architecture.... lol

Read Fooled by Randomness.... just to get some perspective on these so called "experts"...
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 1:28pm   #39
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so you must have made a f*cking fortune then did you?

even if they have lost HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS i suspect their phd's got them a whacking great salary.
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 2:11pm   #40
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What's with all the IB bashing??? It's their money, they can use it to pay whoever they want! If they want to pay über-achievers, more power to their elbow! So what if they don't want to pay you, you think you deserve a job??

Look mate, there are thousands upon thousands of graduates, MBA's, PhD's etc... all joining the back of the IB queue. Getting the entry requirements does not entitle you to a job anywhere - any reasonable person will judge that it is unlikely they will get one of these so sought after roles. If it's a job in a legacy IB, living like Bud Fox or those guys in American Psycho you want, give it up. No chance.

If you want to be a trader, there are many other ways to make it happen. IB's do not hold all the cards, they just have the most chips. Standing in the IB line, comparitively under-qualified, and with a sh!tty attitude isn't going to get you anywhere.

However, there is a strong case that the lack of initiative and resourcefulness you have displayed speaks volumes about your potential in finance anyway. If you really want to be a trader, you will find a way. If you need it spelling out to you, perhaps you should consider another industry.
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 2:21pm   #41
 
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so you must have made a f*cking fortune then did you?

even if they have lost HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS i suspect their phd's got them a whacking great salary.

EASY TIGER... I made a few quid yes.. and I am not working in the City anymore... and thats because I dont "need" to work anymore... this is mainly off the back of spotting what the "experts" did not...

I agree that these guys earn very well, but I am afraid it does not make them GODS... They get it wrong... A LOT...

And I dont care who you are, or what you think you know... NOBODY can predict the future... with or without a PHD...
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 2:25pm   #42
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didn't say they were gods. i'm saying that qualifications which you get from studying make it more likely to get you a job in an IB in whihc you can earn an awful lot of money. so contrary to what the man says-qualifications give you an 'edge'.

so how did you get it correct-the future that is? if nobody can get it right? 50:50 and it went the right way?
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 2:39pm   #43
 
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didn't say they were gods. i'm saying that qualifications which you get from studying make it more likely to get you a job in an IB in whihc you can earn an awful lot of money. so contrary to what the man says-qualifications give you an 'edge'.

Ok.. Agreed, exceptional academics get paid well in IB's... but what I am saying is that working for an IB does not confirm the result... many people leave or are made to leave.. only a few eventually make the grade... i.e. the strongest (or luckiest) rise to the top..

so how did you get it correct-the future that is? if nobody can get it right? 50:50 and it went the right way?

I never said nobody can get it right... what I said is that most of the "experts" did not see it coming.. (some did, take Goldmans for example)...

As for me, well I would say I put my money where my mouth is and bet on a collapse in the UK housing market... and I won..

I was LUCKY!!! ... or maybe It was simply obvious...

or perhaps if I worked for an IB I would say... Blah indicator blah blah
Liquidity issues blah blah ... credit swap blah blah blah

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Old Jul 30, 2008, 2:44pm   #44
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I beg to differ:

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Originally Posted by normbeef View Post
... NOBODY can predict the future...
Well done you-I'd hardly say it had collapsed but anywyay.
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 2:55pm   #45
 
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I beg to differ:

Well done you-I'd hardly say it had collapsed but anywyay.

ok try telling that to the following shareholders (of which i shorted)

Persimmons
Barratts

Barclays
Northern Rock
Alliance and Leicester

Wolseley

Again.. it was luck... anyway... we went off topic....
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