Chicago Trading Careers

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by tradertony76, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. I was hoping I could solicit some of the more experienced traders out there for some advice in starting a career in trading.

    My background is that I've spent the last 3 years self teaching myself how the markets work. Recently, I've decided to take the plunge and resign my from my big five consulting job to pursue trading as a career. As an educational and networking opportunity, I've gotten into the financial markets & trading program at IIT's stuart school of business.

    That, so far, has been the easy part. I'm struggling getting replies from any Chicago area trading firms in terms of trading positions or internships.

    So far, I've used a two prong strategy to my job search. My first approach was to try and network with a friend whose uncle works at CBT to try and get a runner job there. I was told that floor trading is so bleak right now that there's no chance at getting in there.

    My other approach has been to send off cover letters and resumes to all the Chicago area electronic trading firms I can find. So far, I havent gotten a single reply from any of them.

    My question is am I taking the right approach to my job search ? Do trading companies typically take on interns ? Are there other avenues I might not know about that I need to incorporate into my search ? Or, am I on track and I just need more patience ?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. Unless you trade and can prove you can trade then you might as well read a book on medical research and then see who will hire you as a "doctor".

    Jump in, lose your shirt, jump out, then jump in again with a plan. Repeat this process a few times.
    We all have.
  3. Rewrite your resume and cover letter. I got a response less than 24 hours after sending out resumes. Most Chicago prop shops always are on the look out for new blood so if you didn't get any responses something must be wrong. Have someone else read over your stuff also; sometimes it's easy to miss your own mistakes. If you have a misspelling somewhere that would definitely cause it to be filed in the good old circular file.


  4. TorontoTrader,

    You make a valid point. While I'm looking around for trader's assistant positions and apprenticeships at trading firms, I havent had any luck yet. I think you may be right that without any trading experience under my belt, my chances of getting any offers are going to be slim and nil.

    As I'm still a new at futures trading, I decided to get started paper trading futures. Lind Waldock is nice enough to make their trading software available for free, so I'm going to play around with that and try and work all the stupid newbie mistakes out of my system.

    My next question for anyone out there: If I'm looking to be a retail futures trader, could anyone out there point me in the direction of a good trading front end and quote provider?

    All the hype seems to be on TT's products, and my understanding is they are not priced for the retail trader. Are there less expensive products that provide enough functionality that I wont get eaten alive out there ? Or are the front ends given out by FCMs such as Lind Walkdock's LindXpress or XpressTrade's web based interface good enough ?


  5. I work at the merc and the problem with your strategy is that anyone that is looking to hire a trader isn't looking to hire a 30yr old intern. If your goal is to be a trader why not try and be a trader. Interns are 20 college kids whos dads works in the buisness. They also know that everything you have "taught yourself" is absolutly wrong, you would be much better off saying you don't know anything, you've worked as a consultant, and that you are sure you will be a good trader. Most of my posts are sarcastic but this one is 4real, good luck guy.

    PS If you learned how to trade from your IIT courses WTF do you need someone else for? Just trade your own money and keep 100% of your profits. There lies the problem with claiming you know how to trade
  6. OR... if you really do think you can trade why not lease a seat from the CBOT for $800/month, thats really f_c_ing cheap. If you have a good job as a consultant why do you want to be a runner? Do you have any pride? Lease a seat throw on 500 cars, and come back in a half hour, preferably on the first friday of the month at around 7:28am. Then ask for your "Big 5" consultant firm for your job back. You either have a ferrari or your feet for transportation, it will be fun. Really, trading is that easy.

    PS you realize that 90% of traders fail

  7. linuxtrader

    linuxtrader Guest

    hmmm .... Heres the problem (by the way, most of the large consulting companies are my clients): One look at your resume and the opinion will be : "if this guy is any good, why is he leaving a big five job." or " If this guy is any good and actually fed up with the shananigans of the firm, then he has dollars to start trading on his own..."

    In either case starting jobs like runners and clerks are really given to people just out of high school or just out of college with connections as a short term prelude to trading or moving up within the exchanges.

    I agree with the other poster: call up the merc or the CBOT and get started on leasing a seat and trading the mini contracts: if you really have no money then you can try a prop firm.
    IIT is a lot different from actually doing this for a living: you need to trade to learn. I know at teh merc people would actually help you a bit if you were new. .... Less so at the CBOT... in my experience.
  8. I agree with TorontoTrader... paper trading and trading for real are quite different (esp in the daytrading realm). The involvement of real money changes lots of things. That being said, interns are meant for the younger folks, as mentioned already. Though it would be nice to become associated with a trading firm for use of their capital and training, I think most of them do prefer at least a little bit of trading experience so their employees know what they're dealing with. If you're really serious, do what the others say- lease a seat on the exchange or get yourself set up at a prop shop and trade your own money [away]. (LOL). I hear Assent is always hiring... :p
  9. You should just keep the job or get another one and trade your own money on EOD basis until you have 1M then retire from consulting and manage your money the same way, at least trade some real $ for a while and see if you like it and how you do.

    30 is mid/end of career for a trader on salary I think
  10. Thanks all to everyone who pitched in their thoughts. Some final thoughts of my own.

    I am fully aware that "teaching myself the markets" and "knowing how to trade" are two completely different animals. I can read books on trading. I can take classes in trading. That doesnt mean I know squat about actually trading.

    Of course I have pride. Going from a normal corporate job to running or interning isnt exactly a great career jump. However, my mentality here was that either of these moves would enable me to work along side traders who have been in the business awhile. My thoughts were that I might do better learning from actual traders than trying to teach myself. However, it doesnt seem like many trading firms want to bring on a 28 year old trading assistant/intern/apprentice. So much for that idea.

    Sounds like my best bet is to paper trade until I'm confident in my abilities, and then open up a futures trading account and see how I do. Trade for awhile, add the experience to my resume and see if I can get picked up by a prop firm as a trader instead of trader's assistant . Hell, IIT classes are $2400 a pop. I'll start trading small. If I lose a couple grand, I'll chalk it up as an elective. :D
    #10     Dec 18, 2004