Prop Trading - What do I need to do to break in?

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by kline116, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. kline116

    kline116

    How can I break into a proprietary trading firm? My main goal is to trade equities or equity options at a prop firm, but I am willing to do anything related and am willing to work for peanuts to learn the business. I went to a no name school, got a 3.3 Overall, 3.7 Major GPA in Financial Markets Finance. I was part of a student-ran "long/short market neutral" hedge fund and learned a lot. Since then, for the past few years I have been working in operations for a couple different big banks building my Excel and VBA skills. I tried trading remotely with an "arcade" prop firm but failed miserably and lost a considerable amount of money( ~$20k) and realize I need mentoring/training if I am going to make a living doing this. I have read countless amounts of trading books and follow the markets religiously but I don't have much I can offer these firms on paper.

    Here are some options I have thought of to break in, do you think any of them are good? What else do I need to be doing?

    1.) Will it work to start networking my ass off?
    2.) Do whatever I can to get into a good MBA program.
    3.) Go for my Masters in Financial Engineering.
    4.) Build a track record in my own trading account with small size.
    5.) Get a back office or assistant job at a prop firm and work my way up.
    6.) Try to get into an internship program.
     
  2. jackson01

    jackson01

    Getting into a prop firm isn't as hard as you think. This is partly because prop firms *drum roll* want your money. Will it help to network and have a good degree? Oh yes, 100% BUT, for the most part and I can't speak for all firms, the average Joe can get a job at a prop.

    Now, does this mean you will be profitable? Absolutely not! So first, ask yourself (I saw you mentioned some losses), is trading really for me as an individual? Is there some other job in finance that I can pursue with this degree and make an above average living with? Heck yes. Trading isn't for everyone and *here's the kicker* you WILL lose money if you are not properly trained and experienced.

    My personal advice to you... really think about what you are asking and pursuing. Of course, education is always great along with mentoring BUT some people just aren't built for trading for a living. I'm not trying to step on your dreams or anything of the sort but, im trying to save you money AND *MORE IMPORTANTLY* TIME!

    I wish you the best in your pursuance.


    -Jackson01
     
  3. OGTrader

    OGTrader

    Getting into a prop firm isn't as hard as you think. This is partly because prop firms *drum roll* want your money. Will it help to network and have a good degree? Oh yes, 100% BUT, for the most part and I can't speak for all firms, the average Joe can get a job at a prop.

    Now, does this mean you will be profitable? Absolutely not! So first, ask yourself (I saw you mentioned some losses), is trading really for me as an individual? Is there some other job in finance that I can pursue with this degree and make an above average living with? Heck yes. Trading isn't for everyone and *here's the kicker* you WILL lose money if you are not properly trained and experienced.

    My personal advice to you... really think about what you are asking and pursuing. Of course, education is always great along with mentoring BUT some people just aren't built for trading for a living. I'm not trying to step on your dreams or anything of the sort but, im trying to save you money AND *MORE IMPORTANTLY* TIME!

    I wish you hope on your pursuance.

    -OGTrader
     
  4. forget the first 3. #4, #5, #6 is your best bet.
     
  5. Agree. Especially avoid MBA for that purpose since I don't think it will get you near trading (at least not where the rubber meets the road).
     
  6. what ever happened to learning by doing? you don't need to network or go to an MBA program. trading is about making independent choices and taking risks. It's an independent skill. An MBA (I actually have one from a top 5 b-school and don't think it was worth the 100k).

    You should learn by participating in the markets and doing research. Treat it like a job. Manage your time properly and set working hours. Give it at least 2-3 years before you develop a strategy of your own.
     
  7. OGTrader

    OGTrader

    Agreed. Most props even have a nice foundation for education as well.... check out T3 Trading, SMB Trading, Affinity Trading.... the list could go on but the bottom like in, they offer a good curriculum to newbies and even those with little experience. Better yet, they let you get hands on. You can't learn everything from books.
     
  8. 1. Come up with 10 - 20K
    2. Contact Bright, Echo, or a similar firm
    3. Get your 7
    4. Start trading.

    If you want a true "prop firm" where you'll get a salary to trade, well, good luck.
     
  9. OGTrader

    OGTrader

    Or 56 now... -_-
     
  10. kline116

    kline116

    I'm with you but I've been at this for about 3 years on and off. The main obstacle I'm battling is working a full time job and not being able to watch the markets. I feel that if I could get into a firm that gave me a minimum salary and a training program, it would be a very efficient way to speed up my learning curve.
     
    #10     Feb 7, 2012