College or Prop Trade

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by scorpo, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. scorpo


    Need some help, I have been a stockbroker for 2 years, and have just resigned. I have been looking into prop trading, but am also considering going to college. Judging by forums I have read there is a lot of negativity behind Prop trading firms. Should I give prop trading a shot, or should I just go to school. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. If you go to school, do it for something worthwhile. Don't get some liberal arts degree.

    Otherwise, prop trade. Bet heavy, bet hard, and if you lose, wait a year until your tax returns look really awful and then try to get more financial aid for school.
  3. Do school part time and learn to trade futures from home in the mean time....
  4. LeeD


    It depends on whether you have an offer from one of the top schools. If you do, consider if you'd enjoy studying. If you don't, see if you have an offer from a good prop firm that pays salary.

    Edit: For 90% job in finance the name of the school matters more than the name of the degree.
  5. why did you resign? This is a tough economy, not many people resigning their positions.

    I would say go to school for these reasons:
    When your parents say it is the best four years of your life, they weren't kidding. It is.
    Education will help you throughout life and is easier to do when you are young.

    However, perhaps it is a good time to try prop trading if your expenses are minimal and have no wife, kids etc.

    I know my expenses with the family and all have balooned since I was around what I presume your age is.
  6. scorpo


    If I was to go to school it would not be a top school. So with top firms only hiring from top schools, would it even be worth it to go to school?

    Also does anybody know of any other professions on Wall Street besides a stockbroker or prop trader that I can get into without a degree?
  7. oraclewizard77

    oraclewizard77 Moderator

    I think it depends how young and smart you are. If you are both, go to college, get a degree. Then while you are sending resumes out, you could trade part time either prop or futures. The fact that you had prior employment and then went and got a degree is good.

    There are also what I like to call professional schools that teach you a skill that companies want you to have to work for them. After college and before I started trading, I took a 3 month course for $ 3,000 and got a certification that allowed me to work and make good money for 8 years.

  8. Hey, Im also a broker on the street and have been considering a career change myself. As far as college I think you should give it a shot, one of my good friends who works at my firm is going back to school. You can always get in to a Merrill lynch not having a book but having a college degree and your 7. Let me know what you decide I'm getting my resume done this week if I come across something I'll let you know.
  9. you need to stop being focused on just getting something in the financial field, and whether school is worth it to get you there. Exchange floors are closing around the world. Even in financial institutions, traders are being displaced by algorithmic, automated trading.

    Financial instutions have laid off a lot of people, and a lot of the work that remains is now being offshored, especially to India.

    I don't understand why you left your job, but it is much easier to get another job when you already have one. And you also get no unemployment comp when you just leave, unless there is something you are not stating.
  10. Kubinec


    You're in EXACTLY the situation I was 2-3 years ago.

    Also broker, then trader at prop shop. Only I went to college full-time at one point and earned 30 credits, but concentrated on trading after wards.

    If you can, you should do both. If you can't, then go to college.

    You can always go back to trading once you're done with college, but it's harder to go back to college once you lost some money and need to work a second job to support yourself.

    Another thing, in trading the worst choice you can make, IMHO, is go to work at a prop. If I could go back to the past, I would go straight to opening my own futures account.

    Face the reality, if you're a good trader, you can make more money on your own account in futures than a prop shop trading stocks. If you can't trade, either way you will lose.
    #10     Apr 18, 2010