Advice, Prop trader

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by client3, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. client3


    Hi there,
    Would be most greatful for some advice.....

    I have just been offered a 'graduate' position as a trader for a London based futures trading house ... They will pay me a small salary while I'm training and I will later be expected to earn my wages through a cut of the money I bring in - u probably know these type of firms, they're always advertising on

    I am not a graduate as such, but studied Economics for 2 years and was headhunted to a property company before my graduation (on the basis of some work I did whilst studying)...

    The big question is:
    If I take this job as some sort of prop trader and manage to survive for a year or two - would I then be qualified to move up to one of the more established banks like UBS, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and that lot?? Or will the prop trading thing never be an access ticket for that world?

    Also would the fact that I never finished my degree be a stumbling block to get into one of the better investment banks?? I mean afterall I am offered a graduation level job now so I guess that justifies my abilities?

    Basically, is there a good chance of making it to one of the bigger investment banks (considering my background) if I did well??

    Also - although it's against my morales.... But would an investment bank ever ask to see my graduation papers if I applied on the basis of my work experience, say in 2 years after doing well as a prop trader?? I don't lack the skill so I guess that would be an option as well..

    All input would be appreciated - I would really like a career in trading, but if my chances of moving upwards are limited I better reconsider!!

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. Focus on becoming a profitable trader and THEN moving towards a hedge fund environment,not investment banking. People won't care about your educational background at that point. Don't take this the wrong way but your 2 years of "Economics Studies" are useless. Good Luck & Cheerio!
  3. and make sure its not a 'hedge fund' that requires you to put up some money...
  4. No investment bank will hire you without a degree. And it usually needs to be from a top school.

    I don't know anyone who has gone from prop to I-banking, personally (I think hedge funds are a more likely option), and given the I-bankers I know, they generally take their crop directly out of college and train them when they're green. Prop-trading is seen as a sorta blue-collar job lacking the finesse and pedigree of banking/consulting.

    But we get to set our own hours and could, theoretically, out-earn them in the end anyway. If you're looking for a stable, solid career, do not go into prop because it will put your future mobility at a halt. But if you like the infinite potential and thrill of the market, this is for you.
  5. st3ch0r


    what degrees are the i-banking trading divisions looking for? real quants only or is there a chance for normal msc fin&eco guys to get in too?
  6. st3ch0r - it really depends on what firm you go to and what you would like to trade. Many firms are becoming increasingly quantitative in nature, and gravitating to towards PhD math types.

    For some roles like Statistical Arbitrage or Exotics trading, some firms may not even consider you without a math-related PhD from a good school.

    What would always put you in good stead, is a good grasp of statistics and probability theory. Wipe the dust from your econometrics text-books and get "stuck-in".

    Having said all that, there are however, places that will still hire you without the math-overkill. If you are sharp, creative and can prove yourself, you will more than likely be given a chance.

    Keep persevering. I wish you all the best.
  7. Be a trader and work for a hedge fund or some other entity. If you make them money they will forget your (lack of) degree and other shortcomings. 2 years of economics is useless for a trader BTW.
  8. tomcole


    Dont waste your time - a real Ib will never hire a "prop" trader. Its simply a waste of your time and money.

    Go to a top tier school, spend the time and money and you'll get a good job and make than you;ll ever make working in some bucket shop.
  9. bl7077


    If you are able to establish and follow a system that is profitable. Then why on earth would you ever want to work for someone else?

    It would be akin to a doctor learning how to heal people and then going to medical school.
  10. BankBank


    having a firm pay you while you learn to trade sounds like a great deal to me...
    #10     Nov 23, 2005