Career question

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by c_dawg, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. c_dawg


    I need some practical and good advice from someone who's got more knowledge and experience than me on this forum. I'm currently working in IT for one of the big I banks, but this is really not the career I want to have. Mainly, I want to work my ass off and make good money and the IT dept doesn't even bring in any profits. I've done some research on trading and i think it suits my personality and skill set. I come from a very analytical and scientific background but I can be assertive and take risks. I've also considered institutional sales but heard that they are very dispensible. Another area I'm willing to look into is sales for prime brokerage. Can someone tell me what the tradeoffs are for these career paths? as in money vs stability? Money's extremely important to me but I don't want to be out of a job every 3 months. Thanks.
  2. c_dawg,

    Trading by far is the most unstable job you can ever dream of until you are extremely SKILLED in it.

    Ok lets not call it a job, because the first year or two of your learning process, you won't be making a dime, hell you'd be losing quite a few dimes.

    Unless you can afford to live with no income for 1.5 years tuition mininum, just like in college where someone supports you, This isn't the job for you.

    But if you can overcome it, the huge rewards are just around the corner, and theres lots of sweet virgins with grapes just waiting for you as well.
  3. You can work your ass off in many professions and make good money.

    I don't know what kind of research you've done, but yes, given that you are currently working in IT at an Ibank, your skillset and scientific background would be well-suited to trading. That said, when you say you can be assertive and take risks, that is something that is nice to say in assistant trader interviews and have some examples showing this, but be honest with yourself at this point. You'll need to learn to take calculated risks and keep your cool on the days that you don't meet your expected value.

    Ok, I assume the reason you considered inst. sales or prime brokerage sales is because you work at an Ibank, so you have heard of these guys, or deal with them, and see that in general they make good money and still provide a market-related service.
    Perhaps you also view these positions as more stable than trading.

    There was a time when I was considering all of these jobs and more. I think you need to look inside and find out what really interests you. What are you passionate about? What challenges you to think and gives you a natural high when you acheive success? Of course, I don't want to make this too much of a dreamer's speech(you know, you can be the next Michael Jordan...). Always keep in mind what skills you have, what your strengths and weaknesses are.

    I get the feeling that you are looking to make big money in the long run(better than what you expect to make if you stick to the IT dept) and this is greatly affecting your thought-process.

    I know money is important, but try your best to not let that be the sole reason you choose a career. I think traders who do that end up becoming either bitter, extremely bored/depressed, or never make it(give up/blowout account).

    That said, it appears you are willing to work in the corporate world. I think a lot of us full-time daytraders on ET enjoy being free from the corporate world(I know I do as I left market related jobs at both Ibank and Hedge Fund).

    Lastly, I'd just like to say that after giving it a lot of thought, if you do decide to pursue a career in trading and you are looking to get your feet wet and still be able to pay bills, you might try to lateral from IT to the trading side of your bank. I know this is a stretch, but talk with the traders at your bank if you get a chance, be friendly and humble, focused and thoughtful. I don't know what to say but if you have any other questions or comments feel free to share. Good luck.

    P.S. I am young and did the corporate thing for about 9 months, I went off to daytrade on my own a few months ago. Perhaps others with more professional experience could give better insight.
  4. Try your hand at everything!

    You can do only what you are allowed to do!

    Profound statements until, the typical twenty-something finds out that they are the most true-est statements that you will never hear in college, B School or Law School.

    Ever hear of the Law students that swear up and down that the time spent is a waist. Those statements are dis-interest because if everyone were bar-accepted then we wouldn't need their services, so discouragement is sold as a means of limiting competition.

    The jobs you mentioned are usually offered to Ivy League'rs as a basic means of excluding most other B-Schoolers and lesser than those too. Just because these Ivys receive these Goldman Sachs and other firm offers doesn't mean that their abilities are up to the responsibilities, hence the opportunities for all the rest of us genius(s).

    This forum and especially the Trader P/L thread proves this point handily, especially that there are successful traders outside of these corporate giants making good coin without all those artificial screening and corporate mantras.

    So, the answer to the question on the 2nd paragraph is allow yourself to achieve whatever it is you desire!
  5. Why dont you try a career in IT big ticket sales?

    You can make a boat load of money and are always needed.

    Trading is not what it's all cracked up to be, it can be brutal. I have a second job recruiting for piece of mind.
  6. This is exactly what my cousin did. Now he's retired (kind of - I don't think he can pull himself away from trading) at 30 and living in Tennessee.

    You sound like you've got some pretty good qualifications. I think some of the private trading firms would be willing to take you on. There's a number of them that offer a salary option when you're still getting off your feet. I've been told some of these will get rid of you in 3 months if you don't start turning around, but you seem like the type who might be able to do it. Maybe try looking into these types of firms (if you can't move laterally?)
  7. When you say IT I assume you dont mean software design because that is still in demand for the top people with non-commodity skillsets and will yield something in the range of 100 - 150 K and will allow you to be assertive and work your a** off.

    If you are just an IT lackey then your job lifetime is limited since most or all of these types of jobs are on the chopping block.

    Trading is a job that is not well suited to most personalities, and requires a unique set of skills beyond those simply obtained frok an engineering degree or its equivalent - although such a background is a benefit. Make sure that you truly understand the business and job before leaping.
  8. c_dawg


    By IT I meant making software to support research analysts. I need more excitement than that throughout my day, but my biggest problems with the field is that it doesn't bring my bank direct revenue, which makes me dispensible. Also the ceiling for software's pretty much 150k. I know 2nd year corporate finance people making that much. I know a career isn't all about money but sometimes money is a good drive.

    I don't want to get stuck with a job where the compensation heavily depends on politics and waiting around for 10-15 years without seeing the fruits of my hard work.

    thanks for everyone's advice so far, I'm happy to hear more.
  9. c_dawg


    Also, has anyone here traded for one of the ibanks on the street? I'm wondering if trading for them would be more stable, i.e. get 1 year to learn instead of just 3 months before getting sacked. I've heard of a first year trader making half a mil in bonus. I'm not looking to do THAT well but would the pay at least be decent?
  10. Ebo


    Don't quit the day job!
    Get a "sexier" IT job that pays well.

    You always swing trade a few times a week from any job and supplement your boring stable job.
    #10     Aug 24, 2005