How to begin my career

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by morrk, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. morrk



    I will be graduating from UC Davis in June and am really passionate about the financial industry, equity trading in particular. I will complete my internship program at Morgan Stanley in June as well but am somewhat lost as to what positions I should be applying for. I have considered working at prop trading firms, however the ones that pay salary are mostly located in New York and Chicago, which I could not afford to live in at the moment. I would love to work at an investment bank but am afraid that there aren't many appropriate entry-level positions. What do you guys recommend? My dream is to become a professional trader and get a CMT but for some reason many professionals told me that there is no future in it.

    I would like to hear your thoughts and recommendations about good career starters that would set me on the right path.

    Thank you in advance!
  2. I asked something similar to this, but more about prop firms helping to build your name, which appears that they don't. The only solid answer I got was, create a Twitter account and start calling your live trades.

    Finance and trading are 2 different things.
  3. emg


    To begin your career:


    Go to school and study math and computer science. Upon graduating, u should be working in the house. After 10 years working/trading in the house:


    U have 2 paths. u can open a hedge funds/house, or u can trade at home and open an account a minimum $500,000.

    The wrong path to choose is to begin your career as a small trader. If u do, u will go thru the cycle for the next 10 plus years suffering and desperate


    More than 90% of small traders lose! They just lose!

  4. I guess it depends on what you are looking for and what sort of risks you are willing to take in life. My first question would be do, do you love the finance industry as a whole or just trading exculsively? More specifically, would you

    A) enjoy working in the industry at a bank, hedgefund, pension fund, investment bank, venture capital firm doing a variety or roles that could range from broker, salesman, trader, analyst, etc.., with your dream scenario being an equity trader
    B) do you specifically want to run money and any other finance job is not desirable to you?

    If you fall into category A, then your best bet is to find a role in finance that you enjoy and try to learn as much as possible about the industry. Hopefully you will make decent money and be able to put some money aside over time to explore trading strategies. The ideal scenario for this option being that you develop a successful trading strategy over time while expanding your trading capital through income from your job and trading gains. Then if you reach a point where you want to give it a go on your own you should be well capitalized and have a decent amount of financial experience that could be helpful in your trading career. For example if you take a job working for a hedge fund or asset management firm in the operations department, you can learn the fundamentals of how a fund is set up, what sort of performance metrics do clients look at, how the accounting works, and fund documents that are require to operate.

    If you fall into category B, then you have a much, much tougher road ahead of you. Most people will tell you that its not possible and that you will fail. Most likely you will take on a lot of debt and have nothing to show for it in the end, and probably be very bitter about the whole process. But there is the very rare chance that you have the special talent and can turn that into an enjoyable career free of the 9-5 BS.

    I would always recommend option A because it is safer and provides a better safety net in life plus the intangibles (social interaction, better resume, better financial situation, etc...) But at the same time you can never hit it big without taking risks in life and I don't' believe it telling people what is and isn't possible.
  5. If you want to be a professional trader, it's not too different in terms of difficulty if you compare with becoming a professional actor, singer, artist, etc. It's not the usual regular type career with a regular type of wage. There is extreme variation in results with most (>90%) who try not being successful.
    Ideally you can start in the buy-side investment management of a hedge fund or even (dwindling) mutual fund industry, but we know all how difficult it is to get those jobs.

    Prop trading offers no resume building potential because these are glorified commission houses, unless you were as successful as Andy Priston.

    I seriously suggest you read Gary Smith's "How I Trade for a Living."
    Book will open your eyes and maybe give you a punch in the guts. Mr. Smith actually sometimes posts on ET under handle 007Arb. Best of luck.
  6. emg,

    I have to disagree with you a bit. I agree with many things, except the book thing. Seems like "everyone and their dog" writes a book about trading. A couple of people come to mind that have written books that have setups that will get your account killed. Or how about books on trading geometric patterns? If someone has something really good and reliable, why are they going to sell it for $30 a pop? I sure as heck wouldn't.

    Agreed on the telling everyone they are successful when they aren't. That's why I'm all for 3rd-party verification, as mentioned someplace else here many times. I think there's a huge gap for this in the futures markets. IMO, brokers should provide this information publically. Just let people check a box and then the trader could provide a broker-provided link to their trading results. if anyone knows of a service that already does this with Ninja then I'm all ears.

    Man, I've been in heaven on here typing so many trading-related posts. Now, unfortunately, I have to go deal with the remnant of my prior occupation. Bye for now.
  7. heech


    Sent you a message.
  8. working for a bank is the worst. morons.

    working as an are a sheep and a monkey.

    working for a crazy manager....good for 1-2 years.

    raising capital.....very hard.

    i'm not sure now. I guess programming is a dime-a-dozen.

    maybe find an exchange to work on?

    don't do the safe will then be miserable in the long run.

  9. Well I am sure your opinion and life experiences transpose perfectly onto every other individual's. Plus I highly doubt you have first hand knowledge and held all of those jobs you listed as being crap. From my experience there is no superior path and you can be happy with whatever life choices you make. I have spent time in private banking, business consulting, spent 3 years at a prop firm while in business school and also been a buy side analyst. They all had a lot of things to like in addition to many miserable elements but it is the same thing with trading. Even with the excitement and independence you get as an individual trader, at the end of the day you are still sitting at home by yourself with the internet as your only companion, and that gets pretty miserable as well.
  10. bau250


    #10     Apr 19, 2013