Law student trying to get into Automated Trading

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by jonnathann, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. I'd imagine that being a lawyer would be on the other end of the spectrum (if there was one) compared to automated trading.

    Fortunately, I'm not going to be a lawyer (did combined degrees)! In fact, I'll be starting as a Sales & Trading grad next year in a BB.

    I'm not going to digress and talk about my regrets re degree choice. Rather, in my last semester at uni, I've started to read maths and statistics books and lecture notes (e.g. MIT OCW). However, I have a few questions about getting into automated trading.

    1.) What are the main programming languages that I should learn? I'm considering Matlab and VBA as a start, but would C++ be all that important?

    2.) Which books are recommended for such programming languages?

    3.) Which computer science/maths undergrad courses were the most important in your opinion? Also, if you could provide me with the textbook for that course, that would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    Note: I have traded
  2. If you can understand/code in a Object-Oriented Programming language such as C++ or Java; MATLAB and VBA are not that difficult to get used to.

    I would recommend these books, Accelerated C++, Head First Java and Introduction to Numerical Methods in Finance-- Matlab based Introduction. Also Java Methods for Financial Engineers. (all these books can be found free if you know where to look) (i <3 the internet)

    You should also consider learning Windows/JAVA Sockets(network) programming. (it doesn't hurt)

    Undergrad comp sci does not really have courses in programming applications in finance/trading. It is typically reserved for graduate/masters programs such as financial engineering. Look up masters in financial engineering and see the typical programming curriculum.
  4. so you are throwing away a law career, which has possibilities, for a 1% or less chance to make an equivalent salary...
  5. Thanks a lot for that.

    Ultimately, would a person need to understand say 2-3 languages, or would they be fine by just specialising in a certain language (maybe 2)?

    Also, have a you pursued a MFE yourself? If you have, would you expect that an applicant with a background like mine would find it difficult to even get considered, given the absence of an undergrad maths/engineering degree?

  6. Unlike the college system in the US (and other areas), where I'm at allows students to pursue law as part of an undergrad combined degree. So it wasn't as if I had to do postgrad studies in law, which would have definitely been a greater commitment. Half the students in my classes are either pursuing investment banking, trading or other non-law careers - we just did law as a means of differentiating us from others (hope i don't sound arrogant, that's just the way it is).
  7. Figure out what you really want to do with your life.

    All the programming language in the world isn't going to teach you to how to trade profitably.
  8. jack hershey: wow, didn't expect a response like that re the choice of undergrad courses to look into. Would you have any particular course names or general topics that would be a starting point? As I said before, law is on a totally end of the spectrum, so I'll definitely need to dedicate a fair bit of time to actually start from scratch.
  9. rickty


    When you say you want "to get into automated trading", what exactly do you have in mind to do? Total hands-off trading - just switch the system on and then go away? What are you planning to use as a profitable trading system? Develop your own or otherwise? (This is where I think the real challenge is). I assume it's a daytrading system doing one to five or so trades a day? Or do you have something else in mind? Are you planning to trade futures, stocks or forex?


    By the way are you from Australia?
  10. PM'd you
    #10     Aug 1, 2010