College Advice

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by JDE13158, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. JDE13158


    OK, here is my situation: I've been trading stocks since I was around 15 and did a little in futures last summer. I've blown up a few times with small amounts of money, but I keep trying and learning. I have no doubt that one day I'll be able to trade profitably. I'm now a freshman at college. I planned on majoring in finance because the business school here is top 10 (finance is #7 I believe). However, I don't know if I'll be able to make it into the business school because the required work is too much for me to handle. More simply put, I just don't want to do it. My question is what majors should I consider if:

    A.) I wanted to work for a major firm (I do know some people at Merrill Lynch), hedge fund, or prop.

    B.) I wanted to trade for myself

    I've heard many people say that college really can't teach you much about trading. Be that as it may, leaving college is not an option for me. I also think college is important in that it teaches one how to think. Also please do not respond saying that if I don't have the motivation to work hard enough for the business school here, then I won't have the motivation to work hard when it comes to trading. If I am interested in something (which I am trading) then I'll give it 110%.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. This is the other username I'll be on from now on. Just letting everyone know.
  3. You don't want to do it because it is too much work, did I get that right? Unfortunately most majors that would lead to some kind of institutional trading role would require at least some background in hard majors, such as economics, math, statistics, computer science, etc.

    That aside, getting a top level GPA is very important, as important as the major (as long as it is not in an unrelated field, like geography or something like that). Agreed that if you get into finance and only get GPA in the low 3s, and you get a high 3-4 GPA in another major, by any means take the other major. I personally know a few linguists who are now successful fund managers.

    Since you know people in ML, get a good GPA, then bug them to get in the summer internship program (I have seen a few freshmans, even), this way you can impress even before you graduate.
  4. I was actually considering majoring in philosophy and minoring in finance. There is also already a good chance that I'll be working with Merrill Lynch over this summer.
  5. Wait, Kelley is ranked #7? When did that happen? At least by finance research rankings, Kelley is in the 12-18 range (not in my wildest dreams would it make top 10). A friend of mine is doing her PhD in finance at Kelley, and she is worried that she won't be able to find a decent faculty job after she graduates.

    Let me see, Wharton, Chicago, Harvard, Columbia, Stern and Sloan are the easy ones for finance. Then there are Kellogg, Stanford, Tuck, Haas, even Ross (UMich), Jones (Rice). Maybe then Kelley, with Anderson, Fuqua (Duke), Simon (Rochester), Darden (Virginia), and even McCombs (Texas) in the same boat. Heh.
  6. The last time that they ranked the schools (I think I saw it in the WSJ) Kelley overall was top10. I've heard from multiple people that their finance is 7 and accounting like 12.
  7. PHILOSOPY is the only major that will help you in trading, as well as serve you well over a lifetime.
  8. Just a note about a behemoth like ML, watch for where you will be interning. Like every ibank, the organization is highly fragmented, if you are on the mortgage desk, you won't even see people in equities (let alone talk to them), etc, also in the private client (retail) world, you won't see any actual trading (nada), etc. Your contact there should be able to give you a good org overview.
  9. I believe that I'll be in wealth management. Ripley, could you talk a little more about why philosophy is a good choice?
  10. I forgot his name.. but he is a famous wealth manager and he was a Philosophy major. He wrote an article about it. Why philosopy would make you see the world, people, markets in very different perspectives.

    I took a lot of Philosopy classes in my undergrad and I think those classes actually made a difference in that I look at the world and see a lot more than what is there. An extra dimension sort of.
    #10     Nov 16, 2005