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Has anybody here worked at a trading firm?

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April 04, 2011 – Comments (16)

So I am graduating from Temple University in about 5 weeks.  I have been applying for some jobs, some as financial analyst, some as equity trader.  The trading firms all seem to want me to commit a few thousdand dollars as "risk capital", and then I trade their money.  I don't know much about trading firms, but if I am trading their money, why do I need to put up $5000 of my own money?  Sounds fishy to me, but thats how they all seem on monster and craigslist.

So, if anybody knows if this is routine or not, please let me know.

16 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 04, 2011 at 12:20 PM, L0RDZ (84.28) wrote:

Wow if you are looking for a job... and you think you'll get one as a trader on craig list....  

LMAO.......    you might want to lower your expectations.. if you have no experience you better have connections and rich friends...

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#2) On April 04, 2011 at 12:20 PM, L0RDZ (84.28) wrote:

Hey transfer 10k to my account and I'll let you know.... :)

 

 

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#3) On April 04, 2011 at 12:21 PM, BlackSwanCapital (49.42) wrote:

This is fairly routine. 

Beware though, some of those are chop shops that make most of their money not from prop trading activity but from charging their traders for "educational" expenses.

I would be wary of trading firms that you have never heard of, but a great resource is to ask the people on wallstreet oasis of the firm you have in mind, they have a pretty collective list of the worthwhile ones that aren't trying to sucker you in.

I'm essentially in the same boat as you in terms of looking for jobs/graduating in 5 weeks.  I have a offer for a natural gas trading position that I'm flirting with accepting.  No "risk" capital for any of the commodity trading jobs as far as I know.

But if you find a reputable trading firm let me know, I'm interested too.

P.S. it's too late for the summer/fall but you should look at the bulge bracket banks' trading divisions too.  Goldman just got done hiring for their S&T division.

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#4) On April 04, 2011 at 12:23 PM, BlackSwanCapital (49.42) wrote:

And contrary to what most people would think, passion and a great interview will do far more than a high GPA.  My best friend got into GS with a 3.1 from a non-target.

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#5) On April 04, 2011 at 12:27 PM, TMFBabo (100.00) wrote:

And contrary to what most people would think, passion and a great interview will do far more than a high GPA.  My best friend got into GS with a 3.1 from a non-target.

You can't fake passion! I agree with you 100%.

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#6) On April 04, 2011 at 12:31 PM, Valyooo (99.45) wrote:

I agree with the passion thing but the real question is how do I actually get the interview?

Thanks for the tip I will head over to wallstreetoasis

Where do you live?  i will let you know if I find anything, but I don't know if we are looking in the same areas.

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#7) On April 04, 2011 at 12:39 PM, BlackSwanCapital (49.42) wrote:

Well I'm from Texas (Austin more specifically) but one of my offers is in Houston, and the other is in Chicago, so I think I'd going to be moving regardless hehe...

I figure energy trading would be a nice way to gain some exposure since it's such a large industry here in Texas. 

As for the Wallstreet Oasis crowd, those guys are not as friendly as TMF folks (cause they are new yorkers by and large) so don't be put off if they seem abrupt.  They will help you out though.

 

As far as the interview, they always send recruiters here to our business school.  Basically you want to meet as many reps as possible because if you can demonstrate you're a viable candidate they will set up an interview along with requesting a coverletter/resume.  If you're from a "non-target" school (I hate the term) then it will be harder to work in NYC - but most firms have Private Wealth Management divisions that are positioned locally.  I know this is true for Calif, Chicago, Dallas, other larger cities etc.

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#8) On April 04, 2011 at 12:44 PM, BlackSwanCapital (49.42) wrote:

^ adding on, you can work your way from the PWM division to NYC if that is your desire.  If you don't have access to recruiters you can always apply directly via their website.  You have a fairly good chance of getting into a relevant division in an "unfavorable" location. 

For instance, when I applied from from GS's website, I was offered an inverview but for a position in the Calgary (canada) office.  From there I'd imagine if you did well you would be able to move up.

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#9) On April 04, 2011 at 12:54 PM, russiangambit (29.25) wrote:

So, on the subject of passion. Do you realize that financial analyst is one the mooooooost boring jobs in the white collar world? You don't even get to pick what you analyze. You can't want to be a trader and a financial analyst at the same time. Also, if you want to work with the big boys don't you require certain amount of ethical flexibility? Just make sure you know what you want and can articulate it before you apply. 

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#10) On April 04, 2011 at 1:23 PM, Valyooo (99.45) wrote:

Hey, watch your mouth, I am from Brooklyn, don't talk smack on NYC!

Russian, ethical flexibility is something I am fine with, to an extent.  I dont really have a problem with most of what GS has done.

I can want to be a trader and a financial analyst at the same time.  I want to be a trader, but I most importantly don't want to be unemployed.

My school sucks at helping you find jobs.

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#11) On April 04, 2011 at 2:04 PM, ikkyu2 (99.32) wrote:

My college roommates - Harvard - all work in the field, Valyoo.  A 4.0 GPA from Harvard or Yale in economics or a hard science/math field gets your foot in the door.  So does having a father worth more than 9 digits.  At least, that's how the guys I know did it.  They all also learned an Asian language.

Don't try to buy your way into a job worth having with $5K.  The jobs worth having cost millions of dollars.  From where you are now, I'd suggesting applying to Ivy grad programs in Ec, just to get your foot in the door of the career office/interview days.  Definitely the cheapest way - if you can ace your classes.

Being a trader is not all fun and games.  The guys eating cocaine-laced chocolate cakes and smoking Cuban cigars at Patroon are the trust fund kids, who get a position at Goldman just so they can kind of keep an eye on what the firm's doing with Daddy's money.  The guys tasked with actually doubling Daddy's money work 18 hour days, six days a week, and never see the inside of a restaurant or anything else nicer than their secretary's legs. 

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#12) On April 04, 2011 at 2:11 PM, Melaschasm (56.93) wrote:

1.  Make a list of the (trading) companies you would like to work for.

2.  Find out who the hiring decision makers are.  Often you can get this information by calling and asking the secretary.  If possible, ask your friends, classmates, and professors about how to apply for these jobs.  This will often result in a personal reference.

3.  Mail your cover letter and resume to the decision maker (address it personally).

4.  About 4 business days later call the decision maker.

One of the problems with job search sites are that many of the good jobs are filled before the ad is placed.  Often the ad is just a requirement of the HR department or some legal issue.

Good Luck with your job search, and I hope you land a fun and exciting position.

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#13) On April 04, 2011 at 3:21 PM, Valyooo (99.45) wrote:

Ikkyu, I am not in it for the hot shot life style.  I just like trading.

I also can't afford grad school, nor do I think I want to attend it

I have some pretty good connections ( a few COO's and CEO's) but I am not sure that I can pull any strings.

Melaschasm, thanks.  I guess I can just take any entry level position and just network from there.

Anddddd if any of you guys know a place that is hiring definitely let me know.  I want to work hard.

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#14) On April 04, 2011 at 10:00 PM, HarryCarysGhost (99.70) wrote:

Hey Man,

Just do what  the Charlie Sheen character did in Wall Street.

Winning- (until you get caught).

I thought you had a gig lined up in Florida, but were'nt sure if you wanted to leave your girl.I was just curious on what your decision was.

I wish you the best o' luck 

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#15) On April 04, 2011 at 10:03 PM, TMFHousel (92.01) wrote:

This sounds pretty straightforward. 

You put up $5k. They watch you trade for a month or so. If you do well, you get a job. If you lose, it's your money, and they thank you for your time. A very expensive interview. 

Heads they win, tails you lose.  

 

 

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#16) On April 05, 2011 at 2:56 AM, Valyooo (99.45) wrote:

Harry,

You are confusing me with BetaPeg

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