Career Advice

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by NJ1000, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. NJ1000


    I am a 24 year old who is currently working in a back office position at one of the largest investment banks in the world. I am making approx. 55-60k a year, but am not happy with what I am currently doing and see little upside in my career by staying where I am at. I would like to get into prop trading but don't know where to go or what to look for in a firm. I graduated with a 3.5 GPA from a above average university. I have a series 7 and 63. Can anyone give me some advice- if prop trading would be a good and possible profitable field for me to pursue (I am a very hard worker) in this stage of my life and if so, what places would you recomend I look to go.
  2. Well...It looks like all that hard work and studying at the university paid off....Your parents must be so proud
  3. AbbyNormal
    Junior Member

    Registered: Jun 2003
    Posts: 19

    06-23-03 08:39 PM
    Hi Guys..Im new to this board and recently graduated with a Ph.D. in nuclear fission from Harvard. While in school , I traded remotely to try and earn extra money. I didn't make a ton of money, only around 200K per year....Now that Im graduated, Im thinking of trading full time because there really is no work for my chosen degree....Does anybody know where a young and up and coming guy like me can get a decent deal? Im not a big trader, I only trade about 3 million shares or so a month...Im looking for atmosphere more then anything else. Commissions are not that important because I already have an extremely low commission rate of around 1.7 cents per share ( and they only charge me 1.0 per share for Island)...I definitely want to trade for a firm that is self clearing...although I know nothing about trading or the industry, I keep getting this thought in my head. Im also looking for some leverage...nothing too big, maybe 25:1 or so...If anyone knows a firm that is a good fit for me please feel free to pm me...


    I knew i knew this thread from somewhere
  4. If I were you, I would not "look out of the box" just yet. Start investigating some trading opportunities from within the company. While doing this, be very tactful and careful as not let your supervisor(s) no what your plan is. They may see it as you losing focus on your current job, or not being there long. If you can, find out about other people who have made career moves within the company. Did they do well? Did their supervisor(s) give them a hard time? etc, etc. Once done, then plan your strategy. Feel out your supervisor(s) before you do anything. BY looking withing your own company, you have proven yourself, and you may get a shot that you woudln't otherwise get. If there are no opportunities there, or you don't like your findings, pursue as many possibilities and leads as you can.

    You can find alot of information here on many prop firms. There are some that are great, and some that aren't. I will not recommend anyone specifically. You'll need to do your own research in that area.

    Good luck!
  5. Stay where you are!! My prop firm has about 200 traders and about 7 out of every 10 are looking for a way out.Everyday the printer is filled with trader resumes-which have been printed out to be mailed.Everyone wants a salary.These prop firms are only interested in churning and burning.They don't care about the trader.As long as they are getting their commissions,they are happy.Be happy with your $60k.It's more money than most traders have made in the past year
  6. I posted this on HIS/HER other thread.

    Not trying to be skeptical or anything but ..
    what back office position pays 55-60K? 2nd year equity analyst makes considerably LESS.
  7. Before you go and give up your 60k salary, think long and hard if you are willing to:

    1) Give up the security of a regular paycheck--especially given the shitty job market
    2) Face the reality that you will almost certainly not make as much as you are making now your first year, even if you turn out to be a good trader
    3) Not only deal with the possibility of not making enough to live on, but also potentially lose all or some of your deposit...if you join a firm that requires a capital deposit

    When I was your age I was making half your salary working as an agricultural seed and supply salesman. Trading is a tough business where only the best survive, and only the best of the best thrive. Personally, I would think twice about giving up your 60k a year for the uncertainty of trading. Maybe if we were in a better job market, you could try trading, and if it didn't work out for you, you could always easily go back to the workforce. What might happen now is, if you don't make it as a trader, you could find yourself on unemployment for much longer than you might imagine. I don't want to discourage you if you feel that trading may be your calling. The freedom and independence of trading can't be matched in the corporate jungle. But my point is: Now is not the best time to try trading if you already have a good paying job. Don't be a fool. See if you can't stay with your current employer and transition into more of a trading/investment type position.

    Good luck.

  8. Whamo


    I would concur with everyone else, STAY right were you are and collect the $60k / year salary. Continue to build your resume while studying the markets and doing some swing trades. In this economy, bored w/ a good salary is more than many people have right now.

    I would be really pissed at myself if I quit a good paying position to actually do this for a living. Much more pain and frustration than I ever thought there would be. No need to jump into it until you know the market / instrument you are going to trade like the back of your hand... Live it, breath it, but don't be in a hurry to trade it.
  9. sempai


    Don't listen to those guys telling you to stay where you are.

    Trading is EASY and you'll make tons more money if you quit your job and join a prop firm.
  10. acrary


    I think you should consider a Trading Assistant position at a hedge fund. You'll learn the desk job and be able to decide if you really want the P/L responsibility. If it didn't work out you could easily get a job back at a IB. If you go the prop route and it doesn't work out, you'll probably have trouble getting back in at another IB. Here's one to check out:

    Hedge Fund Trading Assistant

    Company Description

    Fixed income relative value hedge fund, specializing in mortgage and other asset backed securities. Growing fund, with experienced 6- person team, 17-month track record and approximately $135mm under management.

    Job Description

    The position involves repo financing, booking trades, maintaining cash and P&L spreadsheets, liason with prime broker, and other trading-related activities. Responsibilities will also include working with the CFO/Chief Risk Officer on day to day activities. Role will expand over time to include more trading activities. The job provides an excellent opportunity to work closely with a seasoned portfolio management team in a large and complex market.


    Top school graduate with a good GPA and strong quantitative and spreadsheet skills. Previous experience in fixed income, including mortgage backed securities, a plus.


    $50-60k plus bonus


    Midtown Manhattan


    Interested applicants should send an e-mail with a cover letter and resume to:
    #10     Jul 8, 2003