Seeking advice

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by tallkid0666, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. I am 22 years old, and will be graduating this fall from Vanderbilt University. I majored in political science but have now decided that trading is what i want to do with my life -- and i want to go after it as soon as i finish school in december. To all those already in the profession, I was hoping a few of you would be willing to pass on advice:

    - since i currently lack experience/much knowledge in the industry, what would you recommend i do between now and my first job interview that would best prepare me for successful trading? what could i get on my resume that would interest companies to hire me?

    - what separates a good trader from a poor one, a successful trader from those who fail?

  2. Try to get a job at a bank first. dont jump into this yet, you will get no salary forever.
    Many are barely making it now. get the highest salary you can at a reputable firm. Relax, buy a car, get a girlfriend and you will thank me.
  3. Knowing that would change the life of oh, say, 95% of traders.
  4. "what would you recommend i do between now and my first job interview that would best prepare me for successful trading? what could i get on my resume that would interest companies to hire me?"

    hm... what would prepare you... what would prepare you....

    change your ID to "Coinz."
  5. Go back to school for Finance, get a job at a financial institution (goldman Sachs is good) as an analyst. I think most of trading is psychology but another aspect is being good with numbers/math, maybe you are good with this stuff, but your degree doesn't tell me that at all. If I was a financial institution I would NOT hire a PoliSci major.

    Just my thoughts.
  6. I see two roads you can take. The institutional road means getting a job at a bank. ASAP starting a degree in finance. It will take years but you will be put on a trading desk with experienced traders and a good mentor is invaluable.

    The other road is what I will call the non0institutional for lack of a better name. Go to a futures exchange and get a job on the floor. (THis is what I did, I went to Kenyon College, by the way) Learn as much as you can as you progress from runner to trade checker to working on a desk/entering orders on a computer. Eventually if you are persistent you will find a backer.

    Under either scenario you will greatly benefit by reading books on the futures and cash markets, psychology, market history (especially about financial manias), etc.

    Remember, it will take awhile and don't get discouraged. I was graduated in 89 and did not start trading successfully until the end of 93.
  7. Go work for peanuts as a traders assistant or on the floor of an exchange for a couple years and you will learn part of the answer to this question ......

    The current president of the CME worked on the floor as a clerk for about a year - after doing so at the CBOE. The managing director of operations at the Merc also started out on the floor. Many people who are doing alright today started off as runners on the floor ......

    See a pattern ?
  8. nitro


    Although I started out that way, I don't think there is a great advantage to going this route today. In fact, many of the floor traders are leaving the floor and trying to retrain on the screen.

    To the original poster - there are many places like Bright trading that you can go and work for a summer. Keep an open mind and try out different alternatives, including getting more schooling.

    What makes a good trader or not imo is not important. More important is what talents in you can give you an edge enough to derive a living from the markets. It will do you no good to know what makes this guy or that guy a good trader will only confuse you...

    In a way that you will understand much later, Markets reward:

    1) Discipline
    2) Patience
    3) Risk managing
    4) Courage
    5) Hard work
    6) Insight and deep knowledge of your craft
    7) Quick flexible minds
    8) And more and more, programming skill

    You can have all those traits and if you are not properly capitilized, the odds are _still_ overwhelmingly against you.

  9. Well ... although the screens are different most of the rules of success still depend upon the individual ..even when they are armed with an arsenal of automated tools, analysis, statistics, and information.

    There was no substitute for watching and talking to people like Leo Malamed, Scott Gordon, James Oliff, Marty Gepsman and his British Pound trading, and the whole crew of people from CRT .... and even the antics of Harry the Hat ......

    It would be hard to duplicate this experience today but you can still get something akin to it on and off floor ....
  10. nitro


    There is something to be gotten from talking to those people, I just think they are of little value today. If you are going to work on the floor, then go to the floor. If you are going to be a screen trader, then learn those skills.

    BTW, most if not all the people you just named have been retired from professional trading LOOOONG ago.

    See my post above to the original poster of this thread - really I have nothing more to add.

    #10     Jul 22, 2005