How To Become A Trader? How Hard Can It Be?

hahnwest

Newbie
6 0
Ok, I'm curious about how hard it'll
be to start a career as a city trader.
Look at it this way, imagine you are
a college student with average
grades but get a job as a chartered
accountant and stay in that industry
for several years. That person then
decides to have a shot at becoming
a city trader...how hard would it be?
Surely their are exams that a
prospective trader would take?
Would you need to go University or
have a degree to become a trader?
And lastly, what exactly does trading
involve?
Just curious...
Thank you in advance btw
 

Doomberg

Established member
960 75
Its not "oh it can't be that hard" trading its an industry where you can come from a deprived background
and do very well or you could come from a rich educated family and blow millions 'trying to be a trader'
Many people want the city boy tag and being an accountant may have actually be a good start, but
its not the do all and end all... there are many other factors that need to be taken in to account.

Here's a helpful link, good luck: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=How+do+i+become+a+stock+trader?
 

Masquerade

Senior member
2,543 284
A chartered accountant would have little chance. They generally don't possess the skill set a trading firm would look for. It takes a specific type of person to want to become an accountant and they're not suited to trading. No idea about these alleged exams you're talking about. I know of people who trade and didn't take exams.

I could go on but realised how pointless it is typing a reply.
 

enragedcow

Active member
211 15
A chartered accountant would have little chance. They generally don't possess the skill set a trading firm would look for. It takes a specific type of person to want to become an accountant and they're not suited to trading. No idea about these alleged exams you're talking about. I know of people who trade and didn't take exams.

I could go on but realised how pointless it is typing a reply.

i disagree

accountants are much more than number crunchers now, we are involved in strategic decision making and many facets of an organisation

i certainly don't see why someone with an accounting background can't translate skills like budgeting and SMA along with life-cycle budgeting theories into a trading career.

also an accounting background may be a slight advantage if the trader trades using fundamentals to find a trade and technicals to enter and exit.

however perhaps the more prudent accountants would not suit trading as a career

FYI i'm an Accounting major and a trader although i trade Forex not stocks
 

forexmidi

Newbie
8 0
Ok, I'm curious about how hard it'll
be to start a career as a city trader.
Look at it this way, imagine you are
a college student with average
grades but get a job as a chartered
accountant and stay in that industry
for several years. That person then
decides to have a shot at becoming
a city trader...how hard would it be?
Surely their are exams that a
prospective trader would take?
Would you need to go University or
have a degree to become a trader?
And lastly, what exactly does trading
involve?
Just curious...
Thank you in advance btw

Larry Williams
File Type, give me an average student and I have two days made ​​him a trader, but if this person is familiar with the finances - little chance
 

askalas

Junior member
24 0
Why do you guys focus on the accountant part of the question? Surely a title may give hints on a persons skills but the fact that he/she seeks a different path may also be a hint.

I'm more curious about the other questions, "Surely their are exams that a
prospective trader would take?
Would you need to go University or
have a degree to become a trader?
And lastly, what exactly does trading
involve?"

Anyone? I trade from home so I'm clueless ;)
 

SanMiguel

Experienced member
1,136 25
A chartered accountant would have little chance. They generally don't possess the skill set a trading firm would look for. It takes a specific type of person to want to become an accountant and they're not suited to trading. No idea about these alleged exams you're talking about. I know of people who trade and didn't take exams.

I could go on but realised how pointless it is typing a reply.

There are all types, wide boys, nerds, finance specialists, maths PhDs, psychologists, etc. No prerequisites - some common sense, an interest in finance, and the major part is psychology and an understanding of probabilities.
 

new_trader

Legendary member
6,665 1,488
Ok, I'm curious about how hard it'll
be to start a career as a city trader.
Look at it this way, imagine you are
a college student with average
grades but get a job as a chartered
accountant and stay in that industry
for several years. That person then
decides to have a shot at becoming
a city trader...how hard would it be?
Surely their are exams that a
prospective trader would take?
Would you need to go University or
have a degree to become a trader?
And lastly, what exactly does trading
involve?
Just curious...
Thank you in advance btw

I highly recommend you watch this:

http://www.babelgum.com/floored

It focuses on the more traditional open outcry system of trading but nonetheless it is a very revealing documentary.
 

Masquerade

Senior member
2,543 284
There are all types, wide boys, nerds, finance specialists, maths PhDs, psychologists, etc. No prerequisites - some common sense, an interest in finance, and the major part is psychology and an understanding of probabilities.

Do you really think the types that are attracted to the mundane job of being a chartered accountant really possess the traits? It's a pretty risk averse way of doing things and however you look at it, one will have to take risks in trading.
 

new_trader

Legendary member
6,665 1,488
Do you really think the types that are attracted to the mundane job of being a chartered accountant really possess the traits? It's a pretty risk averse way of doing things and however you look at it, one will have to take risks in trading.

Do you think electricians take risks? Do you think a cashier takes more risk than an engineer? How about a plumber, or a carpenter? What 'traits' do you ascribe to accountants that make them different to an architect in regard to risks?
 

tommog

Well-known member
402 56
To the OP.
Firstly it depends on whether you really want to do this, I mean REALLY beyond anything else because that is generally what it takes, the skill set required, in my opininion, is the same skill set that is required to reach the top of any field. You have to be totally focussed, humble and have a lot of mental discipline to do the things that feel horrible but in the long run lead to success.

Secondly, and unfortunately this matters far more than the first point in the short term. Do you have what it takes to be hired by a firm? Trading companies are generally very snobbish about who they hire. Despite the fact there is virtually no correlation between academic success and your ability to be a prop trader (purely take speculative views on the market, i.e not trading off client order flow, hedging derivatives against cash etc) in my professional experience. Banks/hedge funds etc get to be as picky as they like. To get into a large trading house such as a bank or specialist commodity desk etc basically requires outstanding academics from GCSE to Degree (if not masters) just for your CV to get past first round screening. You will also be required to work incredibly long hours doing roles that are not related to trading a lot of the time for the first 6 months to a year... its just part of the game. But in return you will be rewarded well, you will have a lot more career stability than a self employed trader and once you are in the inner circle of these companies you can generally move between them reasonably easily.

Your best bet is to trade your own account for a Prop Firm. IF you are good the rewards are limitless. But it is a huge commitment. Most places will want you to put money down and therefore you are trading your own funds, minimum is about £10k. Unless you KNOW you can make money do NOT do this. In trading £10k is loose change, factor in £2k a month desk fees and after 2-3 months of slow trading your pretty much out the game.

What I would suggest is start trading your own acount, spreadbetting, currencies, stocks (not futures if you are starting out, again, you need deep pockets). Build up some consistency, it isnt about making money at this stage, if you try and make an income off of a £1000 account you will almost certainly lose your account because you are trading with too much leverage. Just prove to yourself you can finish up every week. Once you get to this stage you are already better than 90% of the people out there that got impatient at making such small amounts, increased their size and blew there account up after 10 losing trades in a row (which does happen). Stay small, get consistent, then send your returns to one of the many prop houses. Most of them will willingly back somebody that has proven their consistency as you are a low risk potentially high reward opportunity to them.

Hope this helps
 

new_trader

Legendary member
6,665 1,488
I highly recommend you watch this:

http://www.babelgum.com/floored

It focuses on the more traditional open outcry system of trading but nonetheless it is a very revealing documentary.

Incidentally, one of the main characters in this documentary is now a medic in the army doing a tour in Afghanistan. Therefore, according to some people, anyone who trades has what it takes to go to war. I don't know about you, but there is now way I'd like to have a profession that puts me in the middle of a war zone.
 
 
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