Some general advice needed

Discussion in 'Energy Futures' started by FakeAristocrat, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. Hi Everyone,
    Let me start by introducing myself, this is my first post, Im Christoper 19 and Im a student from the UK.

    I coming to end of my second year of my Economics and Accounting degree (not that specific I know) and I once I have aced this I really want to break into the world of commodities trading (Energy ideally).

    I've have absolutely no experience or exposure to any of the markets, so firstly could someone suggest some reading material in terms of commodities futures for the complete idiot?

    Now the dilemma, bearing in mind Im a complete newbie. Do I spend my £15,000 (approx $30K) savings on a masters education in commodities and finance, or use it to learn and hopefully make some money for myself?

    In terms of prospective employers, would they value someone who had the tenacity to do the second option over someone with a masters in the subject?

    Apologies for the long winded question, and if I have stuck this post in the wrong place further apologies. But any feedback would be greatfully recieved.



    Hey, I don't think that you have come to the wrong place at all. BUT, you have decided to delve into this market in a time of extroardinary changes. Volume has gone through the roof recently since the CL contract has gone electronic and gained extensive popularity, so a lot of the old rules no longer seem to apply (locals who have been in this marlket for years, are getting smoked daily and finding it extremely difficult to trade). There are so many day traders now that volatility has gone nuts, and even if you're right about direction, the use of stops can cause a correct directional choice to yield losses even if you are ulmtimately correct about where prices are trending.

    As far as whether to get a degree or put your money on the line and trade, that is a tough question to answer, and honestly I don't think I could recommend one over the other either way. If you opt to trade you may get lucky (I'd rather be lucky than smart!) and make some money, or you could easily lose it all and be left high and dry with only lessons learned from your mistakes to show for it. A degree may serve you well going forward, but if energy trading is what you ultimately want to do, I don't know how much weight it will carry with employers, as it is more or less the school of hard knocks that applies in futures trading, and not so much an academic education. Others may not agree with me, so hopefully my reply here will result in other replies as well and you will be able to make a bit more of an educated decision.

    This is a tough business to break into without contacts, so if you have anyone you know who is in the biz I would encourage you to solicit their help. Everyone and their mother wants to trade these days, so just breaking into the industry is as much a function of being in the right place at the right time (luck) as it is having the necessary tools to be successful. I hope some of this advice proves useful, but keep in mind that I am not the expert on this subject so I would encourage you to talk to as many people as possible and weigh the advice from all with many grains of salt...

    Good luck!...and I'd be interested to hear what you find out and ultimately decide to do.
  3. At your age, if I were you, I'd go to school. The markets will always be there. Your school is going to make you more marketable, whether you actually know anything or not.

    If you've got some spare dough, try some trading on the side while you're in school.

  4. jjgallow


    Hey buddy,

    I'll vote for your masters.

    This is mostly because of your age.

    Most of us were older than you when we started trading, and quickly lost tens of thousands of dollars before we got the hang of it.

    If you can't afford to lose tens of thousands of dollars, then don't.

    Even if you correctly guess the trend of the market, you can lose a lot of money when starting.

    Open a paper-trading account. Many brokerages have one. Do that for a year or more...and don't place it ahead of your studies.

    When you're done your masters, you'll have a good idea if trading is for you.