How to Get a Trading Job

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The typical path to employment at top hedge funds is to major in a technical subject (such as quantitative finance, math, statistics, computer science, physics, etc.), achieve high academic standing, and do an internship at a prestigious trading company. 

For other people, this might not be a possibility. Here are some advice for getting a job in trading:

  • Seek out a trainer/be a student
  • Comprehend and utilize the job description
  • Communicate with those employees outside of HR
  • Join the business by taking on a relevant position
  • Be the best at trading

How much would you earn working for a trading company? As a recent graduate, you can expect to make between $100K and $300K in top hedge funds, as opposed to likely making nothing in your first year at proprietary trading businesses and up to six figures per month if you’re in the top 5% of those firms.

We shall go into greater detail regarding the aforementioned, but first, let’s learn more about trading firms.

There are two different kinds of trading firms. While one pays you a base wage and provides you with coaching, the other provides you with funds to trade.

These two businesses have various admission requirements, benefits, and risks.

Two Types of Trading Companies

There are two variations, and let’s call them Company A and Company B.

Company A

These are prestigious trading and hedge funds firms where you collaborate in groups.

You are given extensive training and paid well. Since you work within a team, you won’t receive much autonomy over trading decisions initially, but you will gain more experience as you progress.

These companies hire recent graduates and novice traders.

Company B

The second type is proprietary trading firms. These firms will hire you, but you will work alone. They won’t provide extensive training, and your colleagues might not share their strategies with you. If you choose to be with these firms, you trade as a lone ranger.

You also need to remember that these firms will not give you a base salary. Instead, they will provide you capital for trading, and you get a share of what you make. Thus, you will be paid based on your performance.

Be mindful that since training is not provided, these firms are keener to hire proven and experienced traders.

What kind of trading company is best for me?

You’ll get information, credentials, contacts, mentorship, and money all at once if you join Company A if you’re new to trading.

I belonged to the second category, but I was lucky enough to be working under the supervision of a generous senior trader who gave me much knowledge and techniques in trading.

What criteria must trading firms meet in order to enter?

Entering Company A
  • Get educated at a prestigious institution.
  • Major in a technical field (Financial Engineering, Math, Statistics, Computer Science, Physics etc). You must possess exceptional quantitative abilities. It will do with above-average financial knowledge.
  • Bachelor’s degree could help you be hired for entry-level positions. But master’s or doctoral degrees are frequently needed.
  • Obtain high marks
  •  Intern at well-known businesses
  •  Learn how to answer challenging interview questions
  • Possess thorough knowledge of the financial markets
  • Network with people, get connections!
Entering Company B
  • Establish a good trading portfolio
  • Learn how to answer challenging interview questions
  • Possess thorough knowledge of the financial markets

How to start and get into trading companies?

Getting into Companies A and B would be very challenging if you don’t have a proven track record. Don’t give up yet! There are strategies to improve your success in starting a trading career.

  • Seek out a trainer/be a student
  • Comprehend and utilize the job description
  • Communicate with those employees outside of HR
  • Take a job with a lower rank level
  • Join the business by taking on a relevant position
  • Excel at trading
Seek out a trainer/be a student

Hire a seasoned trader to mentor and train you.

Avoid sending a trader a cold email stating that you want to be trained when hiring a mentor. Instead, do the following:

1. Pose brief, precise inquiries.

Ask them a short, precise inquiry. Inform them of your attempts.

Do not request information that can be found online.

You have a winning, tested plan, and “all you need” is someone to code and manage it for you. Don’t ask for commitments like a coffee date, supervising an academic thesis, mentorship, or creating a new hedge fund with you.

2. Give them something they’ll use.

Manual traders are eager to compete with newer persons who have some quantitative competence and occasionally seek to build algorithmic trading approaches.

Businesses will occasionally recruit someone with competent programming skills when they need “number crunchers.”

Analyze the needs of your audience to see if you can satisfy them.

I was given a chance to work as a quantitative intern at a proprietary trading firm. I helped with the quantitative analysis while my boss showed me the ropes in trading. Win-win.

3. Have a high signaling cost.

You must show that you have researched and traded in the trader’s asset class if you want to work as an apprentice. Show that you are familiar with its workings. By claiming that you think that some machine learning techniques might enhance his revenues, you can show off your understanding of AI. The list goes on.

Comprehend and utilize the job description

Work backward to identify the skills required by studying the job descriptions for your interesting positions.

Communicate with those employees outside of HR

If you applied the conventional way, but the HR department rejects it, try speaking with the management of the department you are interested in.

Take a job with a lower rank level

In an ideal scenario, we would immediately join a reputable trading firm. Consider starting in a lower-tier firm if you have frequently applied to top trading firms without success. Once you’re there, work hard, sensibly, and profitably. Utilize your experience and accomplishments to submit an application to a famous company.

Join the business by taking on a relevant position

Even if the role is not what you desire, all that matters is that you get your foot in the door at the company you are interested in. Work your way up to the trading and investing division from there. Since you will be compensated, this is most likely the best option.

Excel at trading

To be successful in trading, one must have a few years of profitable trading. A strong performance entails steady results with little volatility. Show yourself profitable 90% of the time for the next three years.

If you’re that good, I advise against working for Company A. Join Company B, and you can trade alone in this company while keeping your thoughts to yourself.

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