career trader

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by itcanbedone, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. hi guys: for a kid i know and NOT me.

    he is a college sophomore. very smart, trades VXX and other etfs. goes to a top 10 undergrad, and generally a nice and fun kid.

    he wants to trade as a career--i've recc. that he look for internships at the larger funds, try to start a small one on his own (f0r track record), network via his school's Grad Bschool (top 5 in country).

    what else could a young man like him do to ensure that he gets into trading.

    and also: he is not a quant.

    should he pickup some programming?

    all help would be great. please keep flaming to a minimum!
  2. Since it is a top school, have him use alumni. If he isnt a quant or Phd, then alumni is his best option.

    Some programming knowledge would be good also. The trend these days is to hire traders that are familiar with algorithmic trading and have a math/technical background.
  3. Lucias


    Best thing he can do is get some capital. There aren't many real "jobs" in trading. From what I've seen, the paths are

    A. Quantitative route. Get heavy math/programming/phd. If he's not a going for a science heavy phd then no reason to consider this route.

    B. IB analyst route. This seem to be an insider club and isn't trading anyway.

    C. Prop firm route. There are only a handful of quality proprietary firms. This is not a realistic career choice because there aren't many quality firms and the rest don't pay a salary. If it doesn't pay a salary then its not a career. Most prop models seem to be of, a. firms paying real salary (very rare), b. firms not offering real salary but firm capital (rare), c. firms that make money from training fees., and d. brokers calling themselves prop firms.

    D. Own staked route. CTA, hedge fund, or just trading own funds. This is the most realistic route but requires significant capital resources which most don't have.

    I would recommend programming though sense it is a general worthwhile skill to have.
  4. Risk619


    Most quant are either math or software guys. You don't see a lot of Java guys rattling off math proofs and math guys don't generally know beans about compilers and normalization.