Bulge Bracket to Prop. Questions

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by ExBlockTdr, Oct 30, 2001.

  1. I recently left my job as an institutional position trader at a bulge bracket firm because I hated the politics. The thing I loved about the job was trading. There is nothing better than playing this game. That is what brings me to this site. I'm not all that familiar with the day trading industry and what kind of deals are out there. I trade mostly listed stocks and don't want to put up much capital. If anyone has any suggestions or advice I'd love to hear it. I would also be happy to answer any questions about BB firms and how business gets done there.

    So long for now I have to watch the Yankees!
  2. WarEagle

    WarEagle Moderator


    Welcome to the boards! Its always good to hear from someone inside the evil empire, lol. Do a search on this site for "Proprietary Firms" and you will get enough to keep you busy for weeks. It sounds like a firm such as Bright Trading (www.stocktrading.com) or EchoTrade (www.echotradeonline.com) might fit your bill. In fact, there is a domestic dispute going on between them right now on another thread (http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?threadid=2746) so you can get all the bad stuff about each (not sure how much of it is true or not though...:)).

    Best of luck,


    P.S. I would be interested to hear what a typical trading day is like for you in a firm like that, what you like or don't like about it, and what you had to go through to get your position (i.e. education, career path, etc.)
  3. ktm


    I'd like to hear about clean up prints from someone who's done a few...if you don't mind. That's always been a favorite setup of mine.

  4. gordo



    Congrats on breaking out of the corp scene, it's hard. That's my goal eventually. Hope you find this board helpful, most are more than willing to share their knowledge. The best to you, and look forward to future posts.
  5. "I'm not all that familiar with the day trading industry and what kind of deals are out there."

    Contrary to some I would say that "deals" don't exactly exist.
    It of course depends on you definition of "deal".
    If you aspire to be a futures trader or trade stocks for yourself
    use IB and just do it. You know how to "take a position".
    The organized prop trading world is in my opinion a farce. The
    only reason to do it if you have a nagging wife or kids and must
    leave the house and work in an office environment.
    Just my .02
  6. The institutional trading business is customer driven. As a trader I provided liquidity and execution for these large mutual funds, pension funds and hedge funds. Along with the customer side we also trade proprietarily for the house. The plain vanilla execution business works something like this. Customer A wants to sell 1mm shares of GE so I would piece the order to the floor to get the customer the best execution. That's why you might see a repeat seller in a name. The providing of liquidity is where things get interesting. Example; Customer B might come in saying bid wanted 1mm GE and it is my job to price the 1mm. GE is trading at 36.5 to 36.62 and I bid 36.35 for 1mm. The customer hits me and I own them. Remember this is negative selection, meaning I did not want to own GE and now must trade the position. (we do get paid a commission but if a trade goes against you it doesn't matter). My average volume for a day was about 4mm shares. Throughout the day I traded both intraday and longer term prop..

    Career Path: I graduated from a second tier school with a 3.8 GPA and couldn't get a job on a BB trading desk so I took a job in the back office and worked my ass off.(luck didn't hurt) That led me to work on the NYSE floor for a little while and I learned a tremendous amount. Shortly after that experience I landed on the trading desk.

    Cleanup Prints: I am only speaking for listed stocks. Not all large prints are cleanups. Many large institutional orders get started with a print. For example a customer may want to sell 3mm GE and say to me trade 1mm to work 3mm. So I px 1mm, trade it and begin to work with the customer selling the 3mm. The same may be done on the back end of an order but how can you tell the difference.

    I went over this in pretty broad strokes. I hope I answered some of your questions. If I didn't let me know I'll take another stab at it.
  7. Sounds interesting, just wondering if you have an under grad or a graduate degree. Thanks
  8. ExBlockTdr ,

    I think you will find trading for your own account alot different
    from being a sales trader or selling the firms inventory. As a professional trader you have no "edge" trading upstairs other than a direct access order execution platform. There is no order flow to trade against. Many sales traders or market makers who now trade for their own account, find it alot harder to do. It will take you at least six months to get the feel of direct access trading, even if you are from the industry.

    Gene Weissman
    Lieber & Weissman Sec., L.L.C.
  9. I have an undergraduate degree and believe an MBA will only advance your career because of contacts. You will learn very little that pertains to trading.


    I agree with you to point. The flow I saw was very helpful and will be greatly missed. I wasn't a sales trader so I did trade proprietarily for the house as well. Throughout every day I traded a group of stocks that I saw zero customer flow. I traded them mostly through the Dot system without checking the floor. So, I have some idea about what I'm up against. I think I will miss my access to the floor the most. Not being able to put a broker in the crowd when necessary to be my eyes and ears will be greatly missed.

    Thank You for your responses.