Advice To A Newbie

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Luctrative1, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. Greetings and hello to everyone at the boards here!

    This is my first post and I would really appreciate some advice here guys.

    I'm a college student in my final year. I used to be a Computer Science major from a top 20 school for the major and after working at Citigroup and seeing the job first hand I completely changed my mind. Now I'm switching to Applied Math and Statistics in the hopes of pursuing something in Finance. It's so hard to really find research on the field you guys are in so I would really appreciate any feedback. I guess I'll just post a few questions I have on my mind.

    First of would you say a degree in Math suits me for a job in trading? Or does it not really matter so much?

    Now honestly do most of you guys like\hate your job? I know it pays great and everyone hates their job, but I wonder just how bad it gets on everyone's nerves.

    Personally I think I would like a job where I have to be constantly thinking and acting...there seems to be something about it, almost like fighting for survival...something that wreaks of being and feeling alive. But I can't really seem to find out what it is really like from first hand. I've seen the Citigroup trading floors downtown but it's not like getting into the mind of a traders day. I mean is it really as extreme as spitting blood for most of you? Or do some enjoy it to some extent or find it relaxed?

    I'm studying for the Series 7 exam on my own. Is there any other books that can help me get an edge on understanding what I will have to do for the job so that when I have an interview I can show just how better prepared I am. Anything that can almost train me for the scenarios I will encounter as trader or give me ANY edge whatsoever?

    Now I'm pretty determined in general and pretty determined about this so I will find a way, but any idea of a good way to get into the job that's not obvious such as applying to postings. Anything I might not be aware of due to inexperience.

    Would you say there is a typical personality that is befitting of a trader? I think I would be excellent at thinking on the spot with my balls on the line once I got the proper experience, but for instance it takes me a little while to get aggressive verbally. Does that matter very much?

    Thank you guys if I think of anything else I'll ask. If anyone of you could answer anyone of these questions or refer me to a website, link, book, or thread I would really appreciate it. I'm just trying to be educated about what it is that I am setting my ambition on. THANKS


    BY the way I've been reading this site and it's f___en FANTASTIC....finally something to realy learn form.. :)!
  2. lindq


    You seem to be an intelligent person, so....ignore 95% of what you hear or read (especially here!), until you prove otherwise to yourself.

  3. LOL Thanks :)

    Actually I've already started a little repository of quotes that I feel are accurate and that I could apply when I'm trading in the future :p And it's probably less then 5% of what I've read.......but this site great....really getting into the heads of even how to look at things....a lot of things I have thought to be right are confirmed and a lot of things I was not even aware of are revealed....this job is seeming more and more enticing the more I look into it........
    Here's a lil:

    "So bottom line, news tells you where to look on your trading screens for a possible trade. But doesn't tell you how to trade it. Let the tape tell you how to trade it."

    "I can see what you are getting at, but the fact is that you definitely can make money purely by reacting to news. If a big figure like non-farm payrolls come in 300k below expectations, then you know exactly how to trade it. Waiting for the tape to react means that you miss the chance to trade virtually risk-free off stale prices. Granted, you have to be savvy about what constitutes "expectations" (it isn't always the consensus forecast provided by the news organizations), but if the surprise is big enough, then reacting immediately to real-time news is as close as you can get to free money in the markets."

    "My approach to any rapid abnormal unscheduled/unexpected behavior now - If it's going against me fast pull all the positions immediately, if it is in my favor wait and find out if the move is real or another of those funny spikes caused by erroneous orders - take no new positions until I've established what is happening - keeps me out of trouble..."

    These are just a smigets of what will one day be a great repository for Trading for me. And soon I will be the greatest TRADER IN THE WORLD! MUAHAHAHA

    Love this site......
  4. They


    Would you say there is a typical personality that is befitting of a trader?

    It depends on what your definition of trader is. Broker/Button pusher/Quant researcher/Visionary

    In general, yes there is a personality that is befitting of a trader. It is the personality that loathes the corporate world and all the ego posturing and brown nosing that goes along with it.

    With your math and programming skills and your proclaimed desire to become a "trader" there is no reason you should not be spending all of your free time looking for a statistical advantage in the many fields of trading (directional, non -directional, arbitrage).

    I am sure your educational background has given you sufficient knowledge of innumerable mathematical theories that you could use to could get started with.

    Remember, to become a trader you have to be a trader. Take some of your summer intern money and apply it to your research.

    If you don't really want to be a trader there are plenty of people here on ET that have employee type personalities and can assist you with JOB advice.


  5. Thanks for the advice They!

    I've saved enough money to start investing in the market by myself now....this way I'm forced to learn the hard way if any, and any trading experiance is good even if it is with a pathetic amount of cash.

    I've also been attending Computational Finace classes, which are on a PHD level at my college which deal with market modeling and studying for the Series 7.

    I think I'll take a trip to the library and book store soon and see what else I can get my hands on.

    Hopefully you'll be seeing me on here as a junior trader in the next year to come....
  6. 1) Decide what you want to do in the markets.
    2) Newbies that ask for advice in a forum (exept for ET) are like bleeding fish in shark infested waters. Stop telling people you're a newbie it make you look a lot weaker than you are.
    3) You can get good advice here, but analyze it.
    4) Reading books and watching videos can only give you so much. Eventually you will need to open an account and let the market teach you. Thats the REAL school.
    5) If you decide to go with a mentor or attend a seminar, learn as much about the person as you possibly can before investing your first DIME with them

  7. Thanks for the advice Lazybones......
    One note: I don't mind saying I'm a newbie. It is what I am and it's a fair assesment of what I know (and perhaps I'm underplaying myself) and where I stand I feel like I have to acknowledge that before I can go on.
  8. Actually, don't take your money to the markets quite yet, but do some simulations/paper trading first. Check out some of the great and free/trial products out there.

    I too have a computer science background with a heavy influence of mathematics, and think it's great for data analysis and giving a great sense of understanding technical factors.
    Here are some more great readings: - Art of daytrading from Futures Magazine. - Interviews with developers of trading software.
  9. Hey Gringho Thank you so much man :)

    A question for you. Have you ever thought of going to work for a bank as THEIR active trader? Those guys make a pritty penny.....
  10. Nah, I built some computer consulting companies in my last years at university, then ran with them for some years, and bailed out in 1999 at the peak of valuations for consultants in my region.

    I did some work for energy traders, with improved models based on neural networks and genetic algorithms. I didn't get bit by any trading bug then, but later on when I started some daytrading and swing trading I had 4-fold return on my total portfolio, mainly with the stocks of the company that aquired my former companies. With some other independent positions I also had 100%+ returns and got the trading bug.

    I attribute my earlier rather high-stress environment to my relaxed and free position today. I used to have several 540+ hours working months and nowadays I try to relax some, and enjoy the fruits of those hard working years - although back then I still felt privileged with 3-4 month vacations etc. Independence is king, when you have the experience to sustain yourself professionally. Trading for a living - with financial freedom already achieved - is my ultimate "working experience". I shunned specific stocks though, after the CFO of the company I worked made the stock plunge 50% in one day's pre-market trading though, and now concentrate on the ES - e-Mini S&P 500 futures contract.

    I always made good money as a computer consultant, reaching all my financial goals one after another. The last one was making USD 750K in one year - after I actually made that the same year I made the goal, I had no great aspirations for some time - other than unwind some. My next (indefinte) goal is also financial - but based on automated trading systems I'm trying to develop. Other than that, I'm trying to chill on the beaches of Brazil with some beers, after I moved out here.
    #10     Mar 22, 2004