FAQ How Do I get a Job Trading?

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brettus

Experienced member
1,185 103
Sounds more like a Sales job than a trading position
I guess it depends where you work. In a bank, dealing with the clients is more a sales position. There's a few salestraders out there. Sales is just as good as trading where i work. Salespeople are more likely to go onto the roles such as CEO. Traders deal with the clients where i work. The sales people don't shout over the orders.
 

spreader_legger

Well-known member
447 38
Stands to reason really.

Got to be a good negotiator to be a CEO. But I suspect its who rather than what you know ;)

I guess it depends where you work. In a bank, dealing with the clients is more a sales position. There's a few salestraders out there. Sales is just as good as trading where i work. Salespeople are more likely to go onto the roles such as CEO. Traders deal with the clients where i work. The sales people don't shout over the orders.
 

brettus

Experienced member
1,185 103
Stands to reason really.

Got to be a good negotiator to be a CEO. But I suspect its who rather than what you know ;)
Yea sure. Generally salespeople know the business better. It's their job to understand what they are selling. Yea or dam good at what you do. They are usually just friends.
I think one guy in my place was doing a crap job so he was given head of operations instead. Still very good.
 

holmes16

Junior member
32 2
i just wanted to mention that the CFA program is something employers seem to be looking for more and more. i'm a level III candidate, i think it's a really good program with a great cost/reward ratio. i would think that a CFA charter holder with some coding knowledge would make for a good candidate.
 

casamapa

Newbie
5 0
Hi all,

My name is Paolo, I am new active user though I have been reading this forum for a while. I am interested in knowing what are the most useful skills or courses an HR would look at when hiring junior traders or for graduate trading recruitments.

I have been trying to get into trading and despite having worked in finance for 5 years, speaking 3 languages, have an MBA and I manage 15 people, I dont seem to have what it takes to be noticed by any HR person. I am only 29ys only, am I alreadsy too old to be a career changer?

If I study computational finance or engineering, will it be helpful to become a trader?

BTW - I already trade based on technical inidcators after one of those non-fully recognized courses that promise to teach you everything possible to be successful.

Thanks all!
Paolo
 

timsk

Legendary member
7,085 1,870
I have been trying to get into trading and despite having worked in finance for 5 years, speaking 3 languages, have an MBA and I manage 15 people, I dont seem to have what it takes to be noticed by any HR person. I am only 29ys only, am I alreadsy too old to be a career changer?
Hi Paolo,
Welcome to T2W.

You've read the thread obviously - but have you checked out the links in post #3 on P1? It's worth looking at those - as you may stumble on something that sparks your imagination. I understand your frustration with HR departments - and they can be difficult to bypass. It could just be that the posts you've applied for want someone with a double first in Economics and Physics from a top flight Uni - and anyone that doesn't fulfil that requirement gets their CV filed in the bin.

If I was in your position, I think I'd go down the direct route indicated by 'average' and try and get belly to belly with the people doing the actual job. Find out where they drink and then talk to the bar staff - as they're the ones who will most likely know who is who. It's a long shot, but it might just work. If you can stuff some statements into the hands of these people showing consistent profitability - that should help!

The son of a mate of mine wanted to get on a an architectural design course at Brunel Uni a few years ago - but didn't have the necessary academic qualifications. So, he went straight to the Uni with his portfolio and collared the design director in the car park and showed him is work on the bonnet of a car. Needless to say, he was offered a place on the spot and is now doing very well in that industry. Stories like this are increasingly rare - but they do still happen.
Best of luck,
Tim.
 
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rawrschach

Experienced member
1,223 277
I have been trying to get into trading and despite having worked in finance for 5 years, speaking 3 languages, have an MBA and I manage 15 people, I dont seem to have what it takes to be noticed by any HR person. I am only 29ys only, am I alreadsy too old to be a career changer?

If I study computational finance or engineering, will it be helpful to become a trader?
This tells you that:

1 - working in finance doesn't matter
2 - speaking 3 languages doesn't matter
3 - having an MBA most definitely counts for nothing
4 - managing people counts for nothing

The subject you study doesn't really matter.

If you want to get into a firm (not a prop shop) the only way to stack odds in your favour is the school you go to. For trading it'd help if it was a highly quantitative modelling course, but being interesting and easy to get along with will help a lot as well.

e.g. at the LSE you would have more careers events a week than you can physically attend. These events will be attended by the people in charge of hiring, both actual traders and HR. Being a non-idiot and easy to get along with is how english majors end up in investment banking. Trading might require more than a humanities subject because firms seem to think its important to pretend to make mathematical models of mandelbrotian variables shoehorned into a gaussian framework.
 
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casamapa

Newbie
5 0
That is good advice
The fact that my education or present experience do not count anything is clear to me but I was wondering if there is an alternative route to the university one. Personally, I have been learning C++, VBA and readying different financial engineering books. Now why do I feel this could work? Because I feel I am capable of learning exactly and more 'effectively from a cost-saving perspective' what I need to break into trading - just reading a few books and practising, how many people have become successful.

I know hundreds of people that told me going back to univ. is too risky nowadays, you not necessary learn the skills that would be applied in a job, and spending 15k+ on a master is not always the best way to go. Practice is the best way of training. I hope I am not too naive! :)
 

rawrschach

Experienced member
1,223 277
You may be capable but HR wants to hire someone based on a uni name.

The right uni will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself socially with the people you would be working for.

Bottom line; if you want to get into a big firm you have to play the game.

If you want to get into a prop shop you can put together a track record.

If you want to start a hedge fund, well, anyone that can get people to give them money to invest can do that.
 

rawrschach

Experienced member
1,223 277
Nope. It's not gonna help either.

Maybe you misunderstand me. HR wants to sit down and look at their stats and say that they've hired from the best (in their perception) schools.

Same goes for the actual departments.

If you don't want to drop a fortune on school then the big league banks are probably out of your scope.

If you have ability then you should be able to make it as a trader through other avenues.
 

Aspen Trading Group

Well-known member
427 1
This tells you that:

1 - working in finance doesn't matter
2 - speaking 3 languages doesn't matter
3 - having an MBA most definitely counts for nothing
4 - managing people counts for nothing

The subject you study doesn't really matter.

If you want to get into a firm (not a prop shop) the only way to stack odds in your favour is the school you go to. For trading it'd help if it was a highly quantitative modelling course, but being interesting and easy to get along with will help a lot as well.

e.g. at the LSE you would have more careers events a week than you can physically attend. These events will be attended by the people in charge of hiring, both actual traders and HR. Being a non-idiot and easy to get along with is how english majors end up in investment banking. Trading might require more than a humanities subject because firms seem to think its important to pretend to make mathematical models of mandelbrotian variables shoehorned into a gaussian framework.
Could not agree more. Let me expand:

1. The MBA program is key. Top 10 schools and you can at least get in front of the big players when they come to campus to recruit. I did my MBA at Oxford and while I had my own trading firm already, it was easier to get in front of the Goldmans and Morgans of the world if I had chose, versus being at Univ of New Mexico or the like

2. Past experience for trading jobs? Forget it - trading desks on Wall Street are trial by fire and you get hired by either school affiliation or your network. Read the new book The Buy Side - perfect illustration of this.

3. Managing people? Not what a trader does - he manages himself/herself and their Rolodex

Hope that helps.
 

SlowlyButSurely

Well-known member
324 38
The other option would be going for a position within finance but not as a trader per say, and if you have the charm and have access to the right people you could get onto a trading desk eventually. You could apply for an market analyst position or something similar where you would be surrounded by market info and learn about the markets via that in the meantime
 

Aspen Trading Group

Well-known member
427 1
The other option would be going for a position within finance but not as a trader per say, and if you have the charm and have access to the right people you could get onto a trading desk eventually. You could apply for an market analyst position or something similar where you would be surrounded by market info and learn about the markets via that in the meantime
I have known many a market analyst at the big banks - they rarely see the light of day and have no exposure to 'the markets' - that type of training would be a waste of time IMO.

Sure, you could charm your way on to the desk but you are not even remotely close to the desk to know who to start schmoozing.

Better off the network your way in versus slaving over spreadsheets and fundamental analysis that means ZERO in the context of hoe markets work.
 

SlowlyButSurely

Well-known member
324 38
I have known many a market analyst at the big banks - they rarely see the light of day and have no exposure to 'the markets' - that type of training would be a waste of time IMO.

Sure, you could charm your way on to the desk but you are not even remotely close to the desk to know who to start schmoozing.

Better off to network your way in versus slaving over spreadsheets and fundamental analysis that means ZERO in the context of how markets work.
I would disagree with this point as fundamental analysis is more important than most people on here would think in my opinion. Regarding your main text - if you personally know analysts that have had difficulties getting in that way then fair enough.
 

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