Tell about your education

Discussion in 'Politics' started by swinger, Apr 25, 2002.

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  1. swinger


    What college did you go to? Provided you went to college, anyway. What was your GPA? SAT scores? Major?

    I'm trying to get a sense of how smart all of you are. I'm interested in the correlation between quality of education and trading success.

    I went to Penn State, majored in Finance. GPA was around 3.0 and I scored 1150 on the SAT. I don't think that if you do well on a bunch of tests in college, you'll be successful. Trading success will come if you have the right mindset for it. IMO, the major determinants of success are the ability to think and act counterintuitively, discipline, and a passion for trading. I think firms that only hire graduates from top schools are selling themselves short.

    Any other thoughts on this?
  2. the smarter you are the dumber you are.

    High school dropouts muscle their way onto the trading floor and become millionaires.

    Doctors, lawyers and professor types take their smug smartness to the table and get their collective asses kicked day in and day out.

    If anything, I think that excessive intelligence would have a negative correlation to trading success because of the pride baggage that is usually attached to it.
  3. PrueFan


    I don't know where you're getting at, but I know a couple of great traders who are supersmart and make serious money (they all happen to be Ivy League graduates.) These guys are actually great at everything they do (sports, chess, video games, etc)....very serious disciplined high caliber guys. However, there is no doubt that past education doesn't necessarily mean you'll definitely succeed or fail. But if you play the probability game, I'd put my money on the success ratio of top school grads over non-top school grads.

  4. What makes you think that there is direct correlation between intelligence and level of education? I met some of the dumbest people I've ever known at university and have also worked with some very intelligent people who never finished high school. I don't think that you need to be especially intelligent to be a successful trader anyway. You probably need at least above average intelligence, but you don't have to be a rocket scientist. Psychology is more important. By the way, in case you were wondering, I have a 4-year undergrad business degree. But please don't use this as a gauge of my intellectual abilities. I can assure you that my primary motivation for attending university was to drink beer and chase tail. I found class quite boring and did merely what was necessary to get by. Now I trade for a living.

  5. That's interesting. I have my handful of ivy league acquaintances- not exactly a high school dropout myself- and I'd have to disagree w/ you.

    Every MBA I've ever met, for example, seems to be full of himself in some way or another. My little brother goes to Yale, and all his friends seem to walk around with this subconscious attitude that they are the shiznit just because they are at Yale. (He is getting infected w/ the same attitude also, to my dismay, though I try and beat it out of him on occasion.)

    The only advantage I would give to ivy league dudes is that they get the choice spots at investment banks because the Ibanks use your college credentials as a vetting process to thin out the ranks. But even then, I don't consider most of the Ibank stuff real trading. Those guys make the bulk of their profits by shaving a little off their customers here and there, putting deals together and taking a cut, milking the bid/ask, that kind of thing. I suppose you could consider that trading but I think it's more like connection working, the kind of thing that smooth characters do.
    And those exploitable opportunities are disappearing as customers wise up and the middle man sees his cut go up in smoke.

    Also, look at the ranks of self made millionaires. Sure you'll find your share of quants and smartypants in there, but most of them are guys with average intelligence and a strong dose of determination, guts, moxie etc.
  6. alain


    two things:

    first I think that if you have a degree in something that doesn't mean that you are intelligent! That does only mean that you are either hard working or intelligent. And most college students are more on the hard working side...

    The reason why firms on wall street hire graduates from Yale and Harvard is because then they have the certainty that those are either hard-working or intelligent people... or both.

    Here in Switzerland we have a very interesting development. The very intelligent students don't attend the best universities and they don't study law or economics. Most of them study philosophy, psychology or medicine. There is anyway a large anticapitalism movement over here.


  7. I think Wall Street does it just for effect, those types get their jollies congratulating each other for being high and mighty....the Ivy League just is not that tough intellectually, and a lot of the people who get in there had either a) connected/wealthy parents or b) the plodding nature of a mule horse, enabling them to earn a 4.2 average after extra credit and a 1500 on the SAT after the fifteenth try. And once you get in, you've pretty much got it can get A's at Harvard pretty much by showing up for class....and I agree w/ you that intelligence and common sense are often mutually exclusive...I'd rather work with a streetwise dropout than an overeducated buffoon.

    p.s. it's easy to get a rocket scientist score on any I.Q. test- 60% of test score is pure vocabulary, so all you have to do is study a dictionary for three months straight before you take it. I don't know if it's sadder that we put any faith in these tests or that people actually do study dictionaries before they take 'em.
  8. bronks


    Let's see now, barely made it through H.S., made it through jungle warfare school in Panama, graduated from ironworkers apprenticeship (4 years), got contractor license and opened own business. Never had a single female in any of those classes. I would've givin my left nut for an opportunity to attend college.

    The only thing that has helped my trading is being in the market and actually doing it every day. As my experience increases, so has my P/L. I forgot who said it or exactly what they said, but basically it's like any other job. If you do it long enough, you pick it up. Just how long can you afford it till you do.
  9. Commisso

    Commisso Guest

    I went and still go to the university of Lasalle Street & Wall Street... They don't exactly give grades at these schools but I have been profitable for a few straight years :D

    PEACE and good Trading,
  10. ivy grads get pretty girls. but so do rock stars.
    #10     Apr 25, 2002
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