I have a few basic questions about trading as a career...

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Zelemont, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. Zelemont


    I am 17 and in high school and I am trying to figure out what I am going to do for a career.

    I read about traders on the princeton review here:

    On the site it says traders make this much money on average

    Average starting salary: $90,000
    Average salary after 5 years: $500,000
    Average salary after 10 to 15 years: $1,000,000

    Is this true?

    Also, how competitive are banks when hiring traders? I have been told that investment bankers that are hired by the big firms for big money are usually ivy-league graduates or highschool valedictorians. Is this the same for traders?

    Also, does anybody know if this is true for foreign exchange traders?
    Average hours per week: 45
    Average starting salary: $80,000
    Average salary after 5 years: $500,000
    Average salary after 10 to 15 years: $1,100,000

    Do you have to speak another language to be a foreign exchange trader?

    Im sorry about the great amount of questions, im just very curious. One more----What is the best major for traders?

    Thanks in advance
  2. from the article:
    “There’s a definite culture and attitude among traders of spending and splurging and carousing with women, and you are expected to take part.”

    Yes, we must not forget our discipline or our creative talents, can't let the ladies down, don't forget to splurge and carouse your women this weekend.:D
  3. omcate


    It depends on the economy and your connections. One of my friends, who holds a Ph. D. degree from an Ivy League School, but no trading experience, joined a proprietary/quantitative trading team of an investment bank few years ago. They started him at $200,000 per year. Later, two of my friends with the same background(Ivy League Ph. D. degree, but no trading experience) joined two different hedge funds as traders. If you were a faculty of an Ivy League School, investment banks usually hired you at least as a VP even though you had no Wall Street experience.

    That was the good old time. Things may be VERY different now.


  4. Yeah dammit. It's a dirty, stinkin', rotten job...but somebody's got to do it! :D
  5. Why don't you open an account with your allowance money, that way you get over this stupid phase faster and concentrate on the books.

  6. Mecro


    Uhm what? Starting salaries of 80-90k? Man where the hell are they getting this info, the top month during 1999? 80-90k starting on the street is quite rare and is reserved for special connections.

    Look, in reaility these cushy trading jobs are very very very very very hard to get. Even with contacts and Ivy league degrees, they are hard to get since the competition multiplies every year while the number of positions stays the same. And you do not get to trade for your first 1-3 years since everyone has to start off as trading assistants. Advancement only happens if senior traders retire or if the trading desk does exceptionally well and starts expanding (those years are over for a while). Sometimes traders get stuck in a dead end position without possible advancement because the 60 year old traders above them just wont leave. Experience is highly respected in the trading world and with the boom of traders in the past decades, the positions are just sealed tight.

    If you are looking into trading for an I-bank, you should start trying to get experience now through internships, which are almost as hard to get. Just get an edge over the competition, get whatever experience, try to make contacts. Start early.
    Best major I would say is quantitative analysis or smth of the sort like Mathematics/Statistics with some programming. Finance is ok also, but Ibanks are geared toward trading models since they think the markets are just mathematical equations.

    Good luck man. I was very hyped up about trading for one of the Ibanks in my last years of college. The truth was quite dissapointing.
  7. I had something like what I think you are asking about in mind once and toured the trading operation of then Bank of Boston. Bi-or trilingual was expected and that scared me off.

    Maybe send a note to Don Bright of Bright Trading who posts here on ET often and see if he thinks you might benefit from his boot camp program for traders in Las Vegas. The 1K charge or whatever they have for the week might be worth it to immerse yourself. I don't have any affiliation with Bright or any trading firms - there may be many others with similar programs. I suggested him because I have followed him for some time and see that he is a committed educator.

  8. Winston


    1. Register for the draft

    2. Study Latin and the Classics

    3. Join the service after graduation

    In that order
  9. Most successful traders have no more than a high school education. If you can save 10-25k try trading at a prop firm and if that doesn't work out go back to school. I got a business degree and now trade prop. Apart from a few courses the formal education has not contributed greatly to my success.
  10. damir00

    damir00 Guest

    no. the average salaries for the longer terms don't include the $0 income of the many who don't make it. another example of survivorship bias.
    #10     Apr 8, 2004