Seeking serious advice from market makers and dealers

Discussion in 'Order Execution' started by fullperson, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Hi everyone, I've snooped around this forum for a bit and I'm getting a bad vibe. There is a lot of contention amongst people who claim to be experts, yet they allow their ego to show through. I am sorry if my opinion offends anyone, but I'm sure there are many people on this forum that share the same serious determination to succeed.

    I would like to think that I am a serious trader, and above all else I have tried to cultivate a mindset free from ego, fear and hope. So please do not post a reply if you are going to mislead.

    Now onto the question. I am looking for a career in dealing or market making (or any other job that deals closely w/ order flow), and I find it hard to obtain reading material or advice from actively trading/truly experienced people in the industry. While I would prefer working for the interbank in currencies (my primary experience) or options, I am open to other vehicals as well.

    Assuming this is the correct thread (This is technically the first post I've made on this particular forum), I would appreciate any genuine replies pertaining to the route from university through market making/dealing for an institution or exchange.

    If anyone would be willing to offer their honest experiences, thoughts, advice or mentoring I will be very grateful.

  2. bone

    bone ET Sponsor

    I would think the most logical course of action would be to pursue an interview with a fund or private equity group (Susquehanna, DRW, etc.) or a dealer/broker (Garban, Prebon Yamane, etc.) whose business model and revenue streams are based primarily upon market making.

    Look at the firms involved in OTC markets - that is where you are a bit less likely to be replaced by automation. If you could get your hands on an ISDA swap dealers listing that would be a bonanza for you.

    IMO that means you should determine what the ideal qualifications their HR departments and principals have been seeking in past job postings. There are also headhunters who specialize with placing personnel with these types of firms. As you are certainly aware, the field is full of well-qualified people looking for work since 2008.
  3. Thank you for your reply bones, I will take a look into the exact qualifications they are seeking, and try to design my academic schedule focusing on what they are looking for.

    I've heard that firms like DRW favor quantitative skills and have rigorous testings prior to getting any type of internship. I will give a closer look into these firms and reply with any further questions after a thorough search.

    I understand that not everyone can answer all my questions, but would you happen to know where I could get training in dealing w/ order flow w/o joining these props? The reason I ask is because I would like to have something on my CV that presents some sort of experience in the market prior to joining these highly competitive firms.

    At this stage I am still a sophomore in university and the dealers I have studied w/ have obsolete practices, so allow me to clarify that at this stage I am seeking mentors and education before applying for such rigorous internships.

    Again, I greatly appreciate your advice, happy holidays!
  4. Will,
    (Feel free to contact me offline if this is too personal)

    Where are you located? What is your education experience? (what university, GPA, major, etc.) Are you willing to relocate? Do you speak any languages other than English?
  5. the major banks have bought all the major investment banks/brokers and even exchange and market making is mostly by banks. and computer science and most trading is automatic system and no descretionary trading.

    expect lots of competition if you want job at a job a the banks trading desk.

    why would you want to be a market maker?

    business is slow these days and they've actually been laying off traders.

  6. Thanks for your consideration on my privacy Winston, I am ok with releasing my general information. I am located about 45mins from Boston Massachusetts in US. My education experience at this point is the generic sophomore business admin w/ concentration in finance as well as a minor in performing arts. To be specific:
    -financial/managerial accounting
    -business information systems
    -quant analysis (time-series at this point, though my prof has offered to pull me into a graduate class for further study)
    -corporate finance
    -general courses like english, chem bio ect

    The university I am attending is UMass Amherst, a public school (due to financial restrictions), though I have the option of switching to other schools while I am young. I have had internships w/ a wealth management firm as well as a part time job doing analysis for tuft's health policy research. My GPA is a lowly 3.6 due to music commitments.

    Yes I am willing to relocate and I have proficiency in mandarin chinese enough to deal with the everyday situations, but definitely not enough to discuss mathematical concepts.

    The reason why I am seeking a position in market making or dealing is because I have been an individual trader for for a few years and studied with a previous dealer (though during his time, things were very different). Through my limited market experience I am absolutely fascinated with the role of market making or dealing simply because I respected their clout (this is akin to a child that would like to be the president of the US despite not knowing the responsibilities it entails due to inexperience). Please enlighten me.

    While I would love a job as a discretionary trader, I realize that it is impossible as the job is being phased out (this is confirmed no?). Again, I would love love love to be a discretionary trader, but that is not likely w/o capital. As such, I feel that the best way for me to stay in the market is to stay with the order flow (that a profitable assuming right?). After I have accumulated enough capital and experience, I plan to trade for myself.

    Please excuse any of my erroneously held beliefs, chalk it up to inexperience. If anybody could suggest a job that would be close to the market and is relatively safe that would allow me to trade, I would be very happy. At this point, I feel that MM or dealer is my solution to be in the market yet remain somewhat "safer" than other traders.

    In addition I understand that my academic credentials may be lacking, but that is the reality of the situation. I can only move forward from here with determination and hard work, no looking back.

  7. My brother's a currency dealer, I sat on his desk a number of times.

    Nothing too glorious or prestigious about the position or function ...quite clerical..just taking and making orders.

    The commissions were solid and quarterly bonuses. He work that position for ten years....until last summer when out of the blue they cut costs, him loose, and even shinned him on his bonus....

    He's suing for contract breach.

    Presently, he's working another desk... but making 30% less working twice as hard. There's plenty of experience gunning for the few available positions, edgy traders looking over their shoulders ...etc

    Who do you know? Very Key...connections!

    Take whatever you might be lucky to get.

    Don't make mistakes, make sure everything is cleared.
  8. Thanks for the advice peeled grape, unfortunately it is true that due to the economy as well as the move towards automation that many wall street jobs are now phasing out.

    At this point I agree with your advice, I really do have to take what I can get. Hopefully I will begin to advance.

    Connections are key, absolutely. Unfortunately, no one in my family has done work in the finance field and my school does not have the best career center ever. It's up to me.

    What do you think is a good way to get connections other than family connections? Maybe I should seek a job close to the MM or dealer (back office?) and glean a few things off their shoulders.

    Dealing and market making do not have to have inherent prestige, my former mentor used to work these jobs and I very much respect him (and thus his position). So it's more of a tradition thing than a $ or respect thing.

    Do you mind if we talk more about your brother's work day? How he got started? What I should prepare myself for? (do not feel obligated, I understand that your family is dealing w/ situations that are much more important than my questions)

    Again thanks for your advice, best wishes to you and your brother on this holiday week.