Do I have a chance in a trading career?

mkm

Newbie
0 1
Hi all,

I am new to this forum so hi everyone!

I am researching and have been for some time into becoming a trader for an investment bank and would like some answers / opinions!

I am 19 years old and left school half way through my AS levels due to getting an apprenticeship in accounting, the position which I was in had me doing work which would normally be for a part qualified accountant, I gained some great experience in that role and was there for over 2 years. I have been working in treasury back office for a large company for 1 year now and am AAT level 4 qualified, I am looking into doing a degree in accounting and finance at northumbria university then turning it into a masters either at Cambridge or Oxford university (as long as I get a first at Northumbria).

I will be roughly 23years old by this time with 3 years work experience and a masters degree, in either finance and accounting or economics.

How big or small is my chance of getting into an investment bank / getting considered at an investment bank?

Is there anything I can do to enlarge my chances?

All opinions will be great!

Thanks,

Mark.
 
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Reactions: timsk

DitterPD

Active member
177 6
To try and answer on this question by yourself, I highly recommend reading "Wall Street Oasis" and "Mergers and Inquisitions".

They are the top results if you google them and you will know that you got it right, when you visit them.

In short: coming from target school and having good background experience, should definitely help you. But the war will be won by constant and wide networking and having easy going, not whining personality.
 

random12345

Established member
793 280
Hi all,

I am new to this forum so hi everyone!

I am researching and have been for some time into becoming a trader for an investment bank and would like some answers / opinions!

I am 19 years old and left school half way through my AS levels due to getting an apprenticeship in accounting, the position which I was in had me doing work which would normally be for a part qualified accountant, I gained some great experience in that role and was there for over 2 years. I have been working in treasury back office for a large company for 1 year now and am AAT level 4 qualified, I am looking into doing a degree in accounting and finance at northumbria university then turning it into a masters either at Cambridge or Oxford university (as long as I get a first at Northumbria).

I will be roughly 23years old by this time with 3 years work experience and a masters degree, in either finance and accounting or economics.

How big or small is my chance of getting into an investment bank / getting considered at an investment bank?

Is there anything I can do to enlarge my chances?

All opinions will be great!

Thanks,

Mark.

Mark, IB in this country is relatively simple. The CV sifts are extremely aggressive and networking will do little to help you, especially as of the last 5 years. Even a Partner can only do an HR referral - you still need to have the right ticks especially when it comes to academia.

You need to get it right from a young age and you are still young. You've done good stuff so far, not really super applicable to IB, but at least you'll have some grounding in a business environment.

Be very very wary of people telling you x, y, z is good work when they don't and have never worked in London IB. I for one don't agree with their closed shop approach, but it is what it is and you need to jump through their academic hoops and maybe even intern for one after that.

The dirty truth is you'll need almost all As in your A/AS-levels and a quantitative postgrad. If you can do a quantitative focussed MSc at Cambridge or Oxford then your chances are very good.

Very very little is known about IB on these forums, most are retail or prop traders - you are better off in the studentroom forums where a couple of IB people actually post on the specialised job board there. Here - http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=94 . You can learn much of the lingo/abbreviations/acronyms you will be required to know to impress at interview level. You will need to know this stuff.

Do note the pay isn't great these days and they will work you to death (!)... don't forget hedge funds too.
 
S

sonofcablemonster

0 0
Mark, IB in this country is relatively simple. The CV sifts are extremely aggressive and networking will do little to help you, especially as of the last 5 years. Even a Partner can only do an HR referral - you still need to have the right ticks especially when it comes to academia.

You need to get it right from a young age and you are still young. You've done good stuff so far, not really super applicable to IB, but at least you'll have some grounding in a business environment.

Be very very wary of people telling you x, y, z is good work when they don't and have never worked in London IB. I for one don't agree with their closed shop approach, but it is what it is and you need to jump through their academic hoops and maybe even intern for one after that.

The dirty truth is you'll need almost all As in your A/AS-levels and a quantitative postgrad. If you can do a quantitative focussed MSc at Cambridge or Oxford then your chances are very good.

Very very little is known about IB on these forums, most are retail or prop traders - you are better off in the studentroom forums where a couple of IB people actually post on the specialised job board there. Here - http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=94 . You can learn much of the lingo/abbreviations/acronyms you will be required to know to impress at interview level. You will need to know this stuff.

Do note the pay isn't great these days and they will work you to death (!)... don't forget hedge funds too.

yeah all that plus make sure you get some internships in your Uni holidays. It's tough but there is soo much talent out there due to head count reductions.
 

reifallen

Newbie
6 0
Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on posting such a great thread. I am a firm believer that where one ends up depends on what the person is made of more than what they do exactly. There is nothing you cannot do, if you put your mind to it and decide never to give up until it is a reality. By default, the path will be placed in front of you if your heart is in the journey. I believe you certainly have a good chance at making your dream as a trader a reality. You seem to have a great plan in place, and you are working your plan to the best of your ability. Just stay the course and Carpe Diem!
 

spreader_legger

Well-known member
447 38
I'd ask someone who actually works as a trader for an IB (gamma jammer et al.) most guys here have never worked as traders for IB.
 

Pint0808

Newbie
5 0
I'd start trading now and keep a record of how you do. Then you will have something real to discuss in the interview
 

spreader_legger

Well-known member
447 38
Losses are sure anyway. What other media are you referring to?
 

Jack o'Clubs

Experienced member
1,554 342
Entry to an IB at your level essentially means getting taken on for the grad scheme. Nothing wrong with being a bit older and with a bit more life experience than the guys you'll be up against as you can show that you really want it, but be realistic about how competitive it is, even in this climate of reduced bonuses and banker bashing.

Most of those taken on will be straight-A students through GCSE and A-levels and 1st or 2:1s from a Russell Group uni in a quantitative subject, although most degrees from Oxbridge will get you in. Most will also have done internships through summer holidays etc in the industry. Most will also have a strong hinterland - county level sports, university or school team captains, that kind of thing.

As things stand right now, with a degree in Accountancy and Finance (which is regarded as a vocational degree and is not as desirable as a 'hard' quant subject) and from an ex-Poly you don't stand much of a chance. If you get a First, and if you can use that to get onto a quanty Masters course at Oxbridge, then things start to look brighter. You'll need to work on the other stuff too: internships and a high level of achievement outside of school and work.

The other option worth thinking about is getting the academic side squared away and then joining one of the major accountancy firms for ACA. That should be relatively easy given your background. Many of the IBs then recruit into research from newly qualified ACAs (there are some recruitment firms that specialise in just that, Greenwich Associates for example). OK, it's not trading, but it's an interesting and well paid role in its own right and while it's unlikely you'd get to move to the trading side in an IB, from there it's a fairly well trodden path into a buy-side role in a hedge fund or as a long-only manager.

Good luck.
 
Last edited:

timsk

Legendary member
7,345 2,136
Hi Mark,
Two great posts from random12345 and Jack o'Clubs respectively - both of whom offer top notch advice.

If you've not yet seen it, check out this FAQ as there might be a few helpful pointers there too, not least the links in post #3: How Do I get a Job Trading?
Good luck!
Tim.
 

DitterPD

Active member
177 6
So basically your parents should decide for you that you will be an IB starting from mid-school? Otherwise I don't see how it is possible to make correct choices along the way and stay focused..
 

random12345

Established member
793 280
So basically your parents should decide for you that you will be an IB starting from mid-school? Otherwise I don't see how it is possible to make correct choices along the way and stay focused..

It's possible to make this decision in your mid 20s so long as you have good grades and can take a quant-based Masters. I've known many people who have done this who hadn't made their mind up while at school. In fact IB is often a final year of Uni type decision.

Getting hired up to around 32 years old as an associate was not uncommon when I left.

But yes, if you don't have good school grades and can't retake them then you're screwed, basically.
 

VielGeld

Experienced member
1,421 179
[...] be realistic about how competitive it is, even in this climate of reduced bonuses and banker bashing.

Doesn't this apply to the finance industry as a whole and not just IB? All I have encountered since graduating last summer is a crazy level of competition for all types of finance jobs. It's making me doubt my choice of career, haha.
 
 
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