my chances?

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by frosty, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. frosty


    hello, my reason for posting is to gather some feedback about my chances of getting hired with a prop. firm. i have searched this site and others and perhaps im incompetent, but i havent been able to find any info as to what these firms look for in a trader at the initial hiring stages (besides some vague mentions of ivy league degrees and GPA being good). if this is not the place to discuss this, i apologize and please remove my post. if it is, i will greately appreciate any feedback that will instruct me as to what i should expect, and any other info which may prove to be helpful. so here goes.

    i'm 20, have a 4.0 gpa at UT (Austin), will have completed my double major in physics and math next december. i have daytraded before, have read a few books and websites like this one but otherwise know nothing about professional trading first hand. im good with computers and programming, learn fast, usually do well on any kind of standardized test. i have very little money, in fact im in debt due to college loans and car payments. my chances?
  2. as far as becoming good at trading, i would say that it is a definite plus that you are good in the areas of physics, math, computers, and programming. when i think of myself, as a kid i loved video games. then i got interested in computers when i was 13. now i'm a total computer and internet expert. although that has nothing to do with trading, i'd say you have a better foundation than someone who doesn't have your skills. also, since you did get a 4.0, you can't be a total moron.

    with that said, all of that really has nothing to do with trading. it takes a lot of losing trades to realize what you have to do. remember this quote:

    "There is nothing like losing all you have in the world for teaching you what not to do. And when you know what not to do in order not to lose money, you begin to learn what to do in order to win. Did you get that? You begin to learn!" - Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre

    anyway, if you want to become a pro trader, learn how to trade first. then once you have a good track record (could take years), you'd probably be able to get hired somewhere since you have a degree also.

    maybe someone else will be able to help you more. i only trade for myself and don't know too much about prop. firms.
  3. kjkenny45


    Seriously, since we are in a bear market and few firms are hiring your odds are against you at this point in time. Not so long ago, when a monkey could make money in the markets, they'd hire anyone.

    This all depends how creative you are. You could offer your services to a WS firm for free, like a mentor program, with hopes of being hired. Best place would be LEH, BSC, JPM or GS for institutional activity.

    If you want to trade at a daytrading firm, that will be more challenging since most want your cash these days as they are not making that much money any longer since most were cowboys and did not learn the right way to trade in the first place.

    check out and read market wizards

    The Ivy league does help as many feel a formal education gives one an edge which I disagree with since I've seen many Princeton and Harvard grads hide under their desks as trades go against them, as if their degree should shield them from mistakes.

    Use your contacts from family, friends and school to get you in ther right direction and never give up on your desired dream.

    Trading, whether stocks, currencies, futures, etc. is the hardest way to make easy money.

    BEst wishes. If you're in the windy city work on the sp floor!
  4. Check out a company called "the Zone" in Austin. They are good people and are hiring prop traders with little or no experience.
  5. frosty


    newatthis, thanks for the info. i tried searching google, yellow pages, yahoo to no avail. does this company have a website i could check? -tia
  6. try your best to get an internship at a major wall street firm. At 20 with a degree and good grades all you need is experience and a well recognized name of a company on your resume. The majority of "prop" firms are just brokerages and you would just be their customer, putting up your own money and everything. Beleive it or not, most large firms like Goldman don't want you to have that kind of experience because then they won't be able to teach you THEIR way of doing things, you will already have habits.
  7. lojze


    If so, which are then different from the crowd?

  8. I would suggest you take a look at's web site.

    For a new trader I would also suggest you buy two VHS tapes or CDs by Oliver Velez "Micro Trading Tactics" and "Swing Trading"
    They are only around $50 each. Information learned from these tape will work in any time frame (long term, short term, daytrade etc.). In my opinion this would be some of the best earily trading education you could get and well worth the money.
    Good Luck
  9. Read "reminiscences of a stock operator" that was published in the 20's. If you read that book and absorb it you will know a lot more than the general public. It also might inspire you because it is about a guy who was a self employed trader by the time he was 21. Based on a true story but partially fictionalized.
  10. Don't know about web site for the Zone, but they should be listed in the Austin directory.
    #10     Jun 14, 2002