brokerage house vs. trading firm?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Croesus, Mar 27, 2002.

  1. Croesus


    I was wondering if somebody could please clarify the difference between Sales & Trading at a large brokerage house such as Merrill Lynch or Solomon and at a trading firm such as Bright, Echo, or Worldco. I am a young guy with a first-rate education and exceptional understanding of the market, having interned for a year at a Merrill Lynch retail office and in the education department at the NYSE, but I could never truly pinpoint this nuance. At a brokerage house, they will have you doing a lot of BS, such as making phone calls to clients, trying to sell people on various equities, correct? Kind of like Charlie Sheen in Wall St or Vin Diesel on the phone, selling people in Boiler Room. I just want a piece of the action, which will come with the Series 7 and 55, and am looking to do it as ethically as possible. Fully aware of the market's capacity to divide people into either winners or losers, somebody is to lose as a result of myself making money. I've read Liar's Poker, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, and a number of other trading books, but any advice anybody on this board could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. As a retail broker you are a glorified telemarketer, dialing for dollars. Your education will get you a broker job if you want it.

    As a trader, you just trade at a computer. No sales, no clients, no phone calls. Your education does not mean much. Maybe it will help get you funded without putting up your own capital, but that is about it. Thinking you know anything about the market going into it will also hurt you.

    Both jobs, although completely different, will entail passing the series 7. As a broker you will likely get the 63 and as a trader you will probably get the 55.
  3. Broker - you go to the pub hear a rumor call a bunch of clients get them to buy it....if it goes down you call them all up and say switch to this one.....and then when it goes up you call your clients and say switch to this one....the more volatile stocks the better as you switch em in and out. In between this you spend alot of time cold calling, wining, dining and drinking with the buy side. The buy side will be your mentors and your gods and you will learn to get your tongue very brown.

    Sales-trader - similar to broker....but here you tend to get your clients handed to you on a just have to service them..advise them try and get their order..and you will often work the order. i.e you get an order to buy 1million shares - you have to work it and get them a good price...otherwise don't call them again.

    Prop.trader - you get given a pile of company cash and are told to make it into a bigger pile. You then get a cut of what you make. You make loads cash and you never risk a penny of your own. You lose cash your fired....if you're with a big name well you'll probably be able to "wing it" and get a nother couple of prop jobs with other houses and lose more money until you'll finally be kicked you become a broker...

    Trader at a prop firm Echo/Bright/ etc... hang out with a bunch of guys that have tried multiple things in life and failed, others that dropped out of school, and others that just couldnt get a proper job. You put up some of your money and lose it all. You borrow money from your friends,........and if you've found the good traders and been studying them well, then you just learn to scrape a few bucks before blowing out the second then make a few bucks...and realise that the money in the prop firm is not trading in it ....but managing it......