proprietary trading positions

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by cassidpp, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. cassidpp



    I would like to get the view of people regarding proprietary trading companies and working for them. I have never traded before though I am a mathematical person and have a graduate degree in economics. I was wondering what people's view of working for prop trading companies is.
    Also, if I do send my resume into one of these firms, how does the recruitment process go? Is there any way of preparing for them?
    I am 30 years old and recently got married and relocated to the states, so I am wondering if it is advisable to apply for a prop trading position? I would appreciate some genuine input on this for anyone who has worked in such a firm or anyone who wouldn't !!!


  2. I am not trying to put you down. But I want you to think for yourself.

    1) You have never traded before.
    2) You want to apply for a trading position.

    Question: Why would any firm would ever want to hire you to trade for them? Do you think they will pay you a salary, and let you trade with their money, and train you to be a profitable trader? Wouldn't that be a dream job, let alone being in this tight labor market?

    Do they lack applicants wanting to work for their firms?

    A degree is not important (irrelevant actually) in trading. Whether or not it's on economics or mathematics or business.

    You can read some of the intro from one such a trading firm (Bright Trading):

    This is how it usually work: (I may be off in some of the details but you can have a general idea)

    You are on your own to study and pass the Series 7 exam.

    Once you have passed, they will offer you a "training class" (like one week or something) to teach you how to trade. This is more or less the trading styles and instruments the firm would like its traders to trade. I am not sure if they throw this in for free or you have to pay for it. Then off you go.

    You need to put forth some "security deposit" money. For Bright, it's USD25,000.00. They will let us trade with the firm's capital. First with small share size. Once you have proven that you are on the right track, then they will gradually increase your share size limit.

    Now here is the rub: Most new traders lose money. It's part of their "initiation" to the traders' world. Now guess who will be picking up the losses? You think the firm will pick up your trading losses??? For every "trader wannabe" who comes through their door - are they in charity business? (Why do they need to have your "security deposit"?)

    Of course if you are proven successful, later they will make money off a percentage of your gain and the commission on every trade you make (win/loss/draw).
  3. cassidpp



    Thanks for your response. So if i do want to get into this kind of work, how should i go about it?

    I see from other posts that one can expect to trade for 2 years before you start to see an income stream.

    I'd appreciate your advice on this.


  4. To the original poster, most of the advice you receive on this forum will be ill-informed so take it for what it is.

    The "good" firms, ie firms with edge that have made money for themselves over the course of years (examples include many of the options outfits in Chicago) for the large part hire those WITHOUT any prior trading experience. Rather, what's required is a keen interest in trading and a really strong work ethic. Consequently its these firms are the most competitive to get in to because people the college grads from top universities and others who have done their research know that these are the ideal firms to work for. Being 30 is not a disadvantage for you and you might even be considered a more stable candidate.
    I,d recommend applying to firms who are members of the large exchanges (cme, cboe, nymex). Chicago and London are where most of these firms reside. I would stay away from the equities firms with deposit requirements and any firm that charges for training. Anyone with a legitimate edge in a market would not want to sell that edge and market it as training, particularly at such a low fee of a couple thousand dollars.

    When you're applying you need to make sure these people know how badly you want to trade and how hard you'll work for them. This is how people get hired in this industry. Don't get me wrong you must be at least so inteligent but trading success doesn't require mathematical genius or the like or even prior trading experience or knowledge of the markets; it requires hard work and the will to succeed.

    Good luck
  5. My issues with proprietary trading:

    a)They are obsessed with day traders
    b)they are obsessed with quants

    I am neither so I don't fit in. I was wondering if there are any prop firms where:

    a)You trade forex
    b)You can position trade
    c)They let you "show your stuff"
  6. Here is one of CitiBank's trading rooms

    Do You wanna work there ..... ?

    You better have to have some College Education