Broker to trader transition?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by CalScholar, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. I'm wondering if many brokers transition into trader roles and, more specifically, if becoming a broker can pave the way to a career at a trading desk-- equities and/or options.

    I was recently offered a position as a part-time stock broker, which I accepted for two reasons: first, because it's a p/t job, it won't get in the way of my school studies, and, second, the firm is sponsoring me for the requisite securities licensing, which will look nice on the old resume come graduation! (BTW, just passed the Series 7 -- Hooray!)

    So, again, the question is this: are licensed brokers attractive prospects for employment at a trading desk? Or is the opposite true -- in which case I really screwed myself. Any feedback would be appreciated.
  2. It all depends.........being a broker has some advantages because u get exposure to the market........

    Some knowledge is better than no knowledge

    But if you applied for a job on a trading desk at a bank without knowing anyone, your brokerage experience will not help.

    If u apply at a prop firm, probably, will help bc u have a smaller learning curve.

    I know a few brokers who got jobs at hedge funds because they developed great relationships with their clients.

    But if you are working at a mom and pop shop, then mighit not enhance your chances...
  3. I've done both but trader as independent self directed. As a broker I was a salesman. Like a real estate agent or other professional sales position it was all about making sales and nothing else. I grew tired of it - not really my 'bag'. The corporate in-house traders I knew had very high stress jobs but did well and were more 'technically' oriented than a salesperson. Think about who you really are - really great at socializing and networking ? maybe sales is the place to be. Good luck
  4. my experience tells me once you get in as 'sales' it might be very hard to break out of that 'profile' into corporate trader. might be best to come in initially with strong desire to be a trader and let the company pick the entry level spot for you.
  5. Thanks for the replies.

    My experience in sales, and relative success in such positions, is why I was offered the job as a broker. However, I have absolutely no desire of pursuing a career in sales. I just figured that the licensing would put me one step ahead of my fellow classmates, whom I'll be competing against for a job in the very near future.
  6. The licensing will help if you want to work in a "prop" shop. The vast majority of these jobs are just trading your own funds, but with much greater leverage, and you may get training.

    The broker experience and licensing will not aid you in getting a trading "job" however. Traders look upon brokers as glorified car salesman. I was a broker right out of college, and my job was pure cold calling. Nothing more (I didn't last long). Doesn't help with trading one bit.

    Try to get someplace with training if you want to trade. Once you have the funds, any trading shop will take you on board, except for the few where you trade their funds. Or better yet, find a mentor (not easy to do). You can also pay for training via Bright.
  7. My take is that going from broker to trader is like going from car salesman to NASCAR driver. Sure both deal with cars, but in two different ways. That said, it doesn't mean it can't be done. Being a broker is totally about sales. Many brokers really don't know that much about the market. However, there are also some very market savvy brokers who would make great traders. I think it comes down to the individual in question.