Packaging yourself for a life after trading fulltime

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by downtickboy, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. I have been seriously looking at moving on from full time trading into other fields of interest. I have traded fulltime now for several years, first trading stocks and then trading at a prop futures firm. I am not enjoying trading very much anymore especially at a full time level and have other interests I want to pursue as well as gain a more stable existence. I have made good money at times but have also had times of not making very much. Fortunately I never had a big blowout due to good risk management. However if I look at all the money I made and divide by the time I am been trading I could have been doing something else and either made the same or more money with less risk and stress. Also the amount of uncompensated time I have put into developing strategy and all the stuff outside of the typical trading day really adds up. If I am not totally enjoying the experience to me it is not worth it unless I am really hitting it out of the park. I figure I can get something else going that I am interested in that has so good upside potential and then I can trade part time or when I see a really good opportunity on a longer term basis rather then sitting at a computer screen everyday trying to scratch it out. I am on the west coast so the early morning markets help that situation.

    My question is how does one package their trading experiences in a way that a company in the "real world" could see value in hiring you. When interviewing you quickly find out that trading skills do not provide much cross over value for a firm to work with because for the most part traders are not sitting around running financial models and cash flows, gaining leadership skills, ect. I am not looking for a backoffice job in the trading industry by the way. I am looking for positions where I can build some more skills that I can use later in life in careers that I think still have a lot of upside potential. I have been focusing more on analyst positions with investment companies - whether it is a commercial investment real estate firm (more interested in this) or a money management firm. On the plus side I have experience in the investment side of the business. However I would be weak in the experience side of actually running of numbers, although I did a lot of this in school, just not for the last few years. As further background I did well in school and have a finance degree for what that is worth. Through trading I have experience with a lot of fundamental knowledge of fixed income, currencies, and equities as I have traded all these products.

    So anyone have suggestions on how to repackage a trading background in order to help land an analyst position?
  2. Banjo


    Forget about the running the #'s guys and all the other known quantities. They are a dime a dozen and even more boring than traders. Since you have only been trading you are going to have to devise a way to make your trading experience valuable and percievable as a valuable pkg to the prospective employer. Obviously you've noticed this.
    Advantages: almost nobody really understands trading, even traders are always on the make to understanding trading, i.e. some Holy grail, guru etc.

    Disadvantages: see advantages above.

    A double edge sword is a beautiful thing in the hands of the competent swordsman. You must stress the comprehensions you've gained by having actual money on the line, the subtle nuance you can percieve in a market, the ability to separate bs from reality, that sort of thing. The nebulous art form as opposed to the measurable components of other applicants. Nobody else will have been there, it will pique their interest and if you aren't dirt stupid you will be as competent as any other they may hire and learn on the job. Phrase this as being secure in your ability to form your unusual experience and talents to the shape of the company's direction. Be creative along these lines, it will separate you from the masses.

    Hope this helps focus your efforts. Get some balls re: trading, trading is unusual, make it more than, not less than.
  3. Stay away from anything related to mkt if u like it no more and if u managed to save some decent buck throw everything into real estate.
    Buy big spaces that can accommodate banks and restaurants; u'll live off a sure income for the rest of your life.
  4. Over the last 5 years, real estate has had it's most spectacular run in U.S. history. Now you're telling him to "throw everything into real estate" and he will "live off a sure income for the rest of his life". Truly awful advice. Take a look at Japan's real estate market over the last 20 years and see how much "sure income" you would have left after their huge run up and subsequent collapse.

    If you have some decent cash from trading, spread it over a diversified portfolio (the usual suspects...stocks, bonds, real estate, CD's, etc.)
  5. Thank you for your post. I appreciate your thoughts. As far as the analyst jobs they are more of a foot in door for a new career for me although probably can be somewhat boring. I am looking at them as a short term sacrifice to gain new skills and knowledge in another field. Most of the firms I have spoke with have been with investment commercial real estate firms for analyst positions to help evaluate potential investments. The analyst position would be needed to get to where I eventually want to be.

    I have a few interviews coming up in early Jan and one at the end of Dec. Based on a couple of previous interviews I need to better explain how my background could fit in with a company like this as I don't have the "perfect" cash flow modeling experience that most are looking for. I guess it is needing to better explain why they would take someone like me over someone with more experience in this area (even it if is only a year of exp). I have done it in school but not for the past 5 or 6 yrs. I don't want to hear again "that your background is interesting, great schooling, but we just don't know what to do with you or how to fit you in based on your previous work experience". Although I have recently signed up for a class to hopefully alleviate this concern. The interviews are before the class.
  6. Not a very smart statement all. What, buy real estate at what is probably a potential top? Live off the 6% yield for the rest of his life? Ever been thru a recession with no tenants to occupy your super-duper commercial spaces if/when leases expire? Or the space you thought was leased for 30 years, the tenant just declared bankruptcy? I guess not.

  7. I was not necessarily referring to the us housing mkt and for sure neither to the jpnese.
    Also I was not talking of houses or flats: this can be dangerous territory because your tenants won't guarantee u they'll be there the next day. On the other hand a solid business or a well establish one (banks) will almost guarantee u to and renew your 6 yrs contracts, especially if you can pick the right location.

    Also the idea that u can live off investing on a diversified portfolio, if u don't have millions is, quite frankly, laughable.
  8. Then, how is someone supposed to live off 6% commercial real estate yields?

  9. It looks like the thread is already starting to stray off topic. At first I am looking to work for someone so the discussion about if I should take my money and invest in commercial real estate is not relevant for this topic. I was looking for suggestions on how to better package a trading background to be attrative to an employer outside of trading.
  10. newguy1


    have you ever thought about sales? (broker?)

    I always wondered how a place like Smith Barney would view a trader looking into becoming a financial advisor/broker.
    #10     Dec 23, 2005