Best place to position myself in this industry

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by millydog, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. Hey guys

    I have a unique situation. I plan on soon begining a career path as a trader and am trying to figure out which area of the market would be best to position myself in. In terms of getting a job, making big bucks, and not being replaced by a computer. Here is my deal, I just graduated from a state school with a 4 years degree in mathematics of finance, 3.5 gpa at the age of 33. I have been day trading and hanging out here on elite, trader on and off for 3 years as a hobby while I went to school. I never made any money, but I also managed to not loose much and I learned a heck of a lot on my own. At nite I have worked as a bartender and I have managed to meet a lot of people in the financial industry who can probably get me some interviews, although only a couple of them are traders themselves, most of these people are pretty high up and with big firms. UBS, Bank of N.Y, cantor, ect... and some hedge funds and even on the floor of Nymex and NYSE. So I am pretty sure I can get some key interviews and hopefully a job. The question is, where do I want to go .
    1) prop trading....who is the best, I mean top teir firms, who are they , the only ones I know of are the ones here on elite.
    2) how about trying to get a job with a hedge fund? what type?, big, small
    3) how about the floor, not really big on NYSE, but NYMEX seems apealing to me.
    4) do I want to be with an invetment bank or another type of firm

    Basically, I have some big contacts with a lot of people in-directly related to what I want to due. But don't underestimate the power of networking, It is through knowing people that most people get the best jobs and I am confident that I will eventually land myself somewhere, the question of course is, if I can have my choice? wheir do I want to go? I want to trade, not shuffle paper for a decade, and I want to make big money down the road 300K+. I know I have to start somewhere, and get some formal training and all. I just don't know where best to start and at the age of 33 I don't have time to waste somewhere will I won't be able to grow. I can also sell and I know I can bring money in to a firm if I believe in them , but I don't want to be a broker.
  2. Of course I'm biased towards prop trading, and we are among the only 3 that really matter these days (no, I won't name the other two, LOL).

    As far as jobs on Wall Street, the simple fact is that there really aren't any. I've gotten a zillion calls from guys being forced to leave Goldman, and Goldman has more to offer than most big firms.

    You say you want to trade, if so then trade. Working at a hedge fund won't help you trade, if anything they'll have you enter orders or do some analysis (which is fine for those interested in a job).

    Don't get me wrong, trading is very difficult to master...and must be thought of as you starting your own business, not a "guaranteed" living by any means. On the other hand, if you are your own boss, then you will always have a job, no matter what endeavor you choose.
  3. So....what exactly are you bringing to the table besides some math degree?
  4. sle


    Not true at all - every bank I know is hiring, Goldman especially. Smart people are in demand, dumb and obsolete people are getting fired. That's true in general, not only on Wall Street. And in general, Goldman has less to offer - their packages (esp. for juniors) are skewed to the lower side because of the name factor.

    With a degree in math/finance, assuming that the guy is smart, he can get a decent job around derivatives. In a three-four years he'd be making his coveted 300+K. If he proves himself, he would be able to move to a trading spot (a few years away, if ever, of course). As a derivatives trader he can be bringing home anywhere from 300+ to a few MB.

    This would be a riskless trade vs. joining a "prop" firm with up-front deposit (as opposed to a real prop firm where you get to trade OPM and have a salary).
  5. virgin



    You really got guys from Goldman calling you ?!

  6. We get 3 or 4 each month, you know..."I'm thinking about trading, I've been with SLK or GS for 5 years" -- No big deal, there's just very little need for any discretionary traders when they can run their algorythmic models.

  7. It's a nice thought, but those (very) few jobs are getting more rare all the time. If someone wants to sit in an office and do as they're told, then I totally agree with you. Some people want jobs, some people want to be's just a personal choice.

    A good number of our traders come from other parts of the industry (trading floor, brokerages, even back office), and many come from successful professions (Dr. Lawyers, you name it).. and they're tired of the "same old thing" -

    I've never said running a trading business, trading prop, whatever you want to call it is easy (simple maybe, but not easy)....but there is an unlimited upside and a very small barrier to entry. I would think one would want to be a trader than pay $250,000 for some franchise fee to start a business that "may" work...(hiring people, advertising, selling sandwiches, whatever).
    That's my main point, the "entrepreneural" types seek the independence.

    It takes a lot of work, as we all know.

    All the best,

  8. From their website:

    Our traders work in teams dealing with specific industry sectors, monitoring the price and volume trends of securities within those sectors. As a trading specialist, you sit at the center of the communication flow between the firm's worldwide sales force and the systems through which transactions are executed. In addition to the main function of executing trades, you will facilitate trades by providing liquidity to clients using the firm's capital.
    (note: sales force, executing trades).

    The other 2 categories:
    Research Sales
    As a Research Sales professional, you will work in teams and focus on specific product areas. Interaction with portfolio managers, research analysts and traders at pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies, money management firms and other institutions that participate in the equity markets is key.

    Sales Trading
    Our sales traders work as agents for clients in executing stock transactions. As a sales trader, you seek to generate interest and trading liquidities by providing relevant information concerning markets, specific securities and the firms' trading activity and capabilities. By remaining constantly up-to-date on their portfolio strategies and stockholdings, you will work to anticipate and satisfy your clients' needs

    There will "always" be sales related jobs, I would never dispute that.

    I think GS would be a great place to work, if I was so inclined.

  9. Learn to trade yourself...remote...

    Then go live anywhere in the world that there is a fast internet connection...

    Being your own boss...your whole worth the price of learning yourself.............
  10. Since you have no real life trading experience, I would say get a job at a hedge fund or bank, learn the ropes, build a nest egg and then venture out on your own. The guys with big bucks soft dollar everything and have access to top research and software, which creates a decided edge over the average daytrader. The drawback is you will likely be paid less to start, but you will learn from the best and in 5 years you can move up and make a lot of money. In daytrading on your own, you are essentially scared, uninformed money in the market and those with an advantage over you will capitalize on it. The statistics that 95% of daytraders fail are absolutely true. If you think there is some reason why you will be in the 5% and have enough capital to live on for a year, even if you do not make money and can sustain a rather large drawdown, say 50K, then you might want to go for it. Fact is, you need to be well capitalized and informed as well as have top notch service (software, clearing, etc) to effectively compete. Take what you hear from prop trading owners saying "screw the man, trade for yourself, have financial freedom" with a grain of salt. Think why they say that, they stand to make money from you. Any prop firm will give you a job, some "training" as long as you are reasonably intelligent and most importantly, come in with risk capital. If you have wall street connections, use them, daytrading at some prop firm where all you are doing is taking up space and they are making overrides on tons of traders after covering fixed office expenses with limited odds for success will ALWAYS be there, the older you get, the tougher it will be to get on with a real firm......Good luck
    #10     Sep 2, 2005