Career Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by dtm_9, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. dtm_9


    As we all know, the I-banking job market is a bit slow now. Furthermore, most of the I-banks are finished recruiting for the year, so if one was applying as a “fresh graduate” it would be difficult to find a job in an I-bank now.

    Any way, I was thinking about taking a job at a prop-shop, trading futures. The job sounds like scalping, and provides a “very short” (2-months) training period. Well, scalping and reading charts is not the most advanced strategy around. I highly doubt I will learn much of about quant type derivative trading (hedging, trading the greeks etc.) Of course many people just scalp and are quite successful, but right now, I want to do a bit more than that.

    Will taking a job at one of these small shops early in my career hurt my chances of getting an I-banking/hedge fund job? Some “quant trader” kind of suggested that time in a prop-shop was not a good idea. Is this true? Is there a better way?

    Are there any prop-shops run with a quant emphasis?

    I do agree that maths ability has little correlation with successful trading and there are many more factors involved that make a successful trader, but I want to continue learning about trading and a good place to learn is probably in an I-bank or hedge fund. right?

    Any quants, quant traders out there? I would be grateful for your advice.

    thanks in advance.
  2. dtm_9


    one more thing, this was my first post, and I think I put it in the wrong section. I am very sorry about this. Is there a way to move it?
  3. go to the floor in the meantime. you will learn lots even if only as a runner plus you will actually get paid. you're not going to make shit trading futures in a prop shop.
  4. chs245


    No point in trading futures through a prop shop because:

    1) the only reason to join a prop shop is to get leverage - which you won't need since you get enough of that trading futures.

    2) the prop shop will not teach you anything of substance - they teach the same scheme to everyone, which is a guarantee that it won't work very long, if at all.

    If you want to learn, to go hedge fund or I-bank, or find an experienced trader who is willing to tutor you.

  5. Are you talking about a "job" in a London firm?
  6. timytime


    An I-bank would not expose you to the type or quantity of trading knowledge that you would get at a hedge fund. Also, many hedge funds do not employ the quant method of trading that it appears you are looking to join. That said, if both of those doors are closed at present, I can not see how joining a prop shop would hurt your career. It would give you a good view of futures trading and some experience in the execution part of the business.
  7. i concur with bungrider's suggestion. if a position at a hedge fund is currently unavailable (this would be my first choice), a clerk position in one of the trading pits would probably look pretty good. you'll work extremely hard and learn a lot. i have a friend who clerked on the NYMEX 3 years ago and is now a senior partner in his firm. When I worked at an I-bank, there were a good number of traders and desk managers who proudly hung their jackets from their pit trading days in their offices. One who sat nearby is now even on the board of directors. i don't think you can go wrong with either of these options. i would guess that a clerk position is slightly easier to get than one at a fund straight out of school, unless you're extremely credentialed. i could be wrong about that.

    good luck! ...and don't rule out networking with highly experienced individual traders and working for yourself from the start. always good to have a foundation though. good luck
  8. I would like to add to the above remarks. Most hedge fund opening position are usually quantitatively based. Thus look carefully at the fund.
  9. dtm_9


    I would like to thank every one for their responses. The clerk position sounds like a way in, and a great learning opportunity. I have always believed in working from the ground up, so I am sure the position will suit me well (even getting the coffee and sandwiches at lunch time) :) I'd be more than happy to do that for a chance to learn. I will look in to it.

    As for a position in a hedge fund... It sounds great, and I probably would take the position immediately, even at really low pay, just for an opportunity. I don’t mind doing coding or stuff like that as well, or working funny hours. Its just that, well these jobs are rare, or I don’t know who to talk to or where to look. It seems the head hunters post the same job opening month after month, and I have got no responses yet.

    Right now, I am looking for a learning experience more than pay. I can code and will work any shift. If you guys/gals have any more ideas, advice, opportunities, etc. I will gladly listen.

  10. Why slave your ass off for an Investment Bank or a Hedge Fund? There’s nothing Holy about these institutions, the scandals in the past few years (or decades for that matter can attest to that). Why fetch coffee for some dude, why work 90 hours a week for 90k a year (which comes out to an amazing $21/hour)?
    There’s little you can learn at these institutions that you can’t learn by yourself; they’re not doing brain surgery or rocket science. Since you already have a degree, why not just get a regular job in the accounting or finance field and learn to trade on the side. As long as you follow a slow and steady risk-management approach you will learn how to trade like a pro. Build up an impressive track record over a number of years, and you can start your own private fund. If you’re really good in ten years, you’ll have your own business and you’ll work for yourself. You’ll be able to drink beer and munch on some vagina while you trade.
    Or ten years from now you can still work 90 hours a week at a Prestigious Hedge Fund whose performance figures you could have easily beaten if you’d focused on your own trading performance.
    #10     Aug 5, 2003