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10/19/08

I'm curious to hear how everyone would rank the top prop trading firms. I've focused the post on firms in Chicago because that is where most of them are. Here is how I've ranked them:

1.Spot Trading
2.Jump Trading
3.DRW Trading
4.Optiver
5.TransMarket Group
6.Peak6 Investments
7.Chicago Trading Company
8.Infinium Capital Management
9.Wolverine Trading
10.Tower Hill Trading

Honorable mention for firms outside of Chicago:

1.Jane Street Capital - NYC (considered to be the best)
2.Susquehanna International Group - Philadelphia (on par with CTC)
3.First New York Securities - NYC (on par with THT)

Feel free to change them around or offer any overall feedback or firm specific feedback.

Trader Joe's List with explanation further in the post.
1. Jane Street
2. DRW
3. SIG
4. Optiver
5. Spot
6. Transmarket
7. Wolverine
8. Peak6
9. Jump Trading
10. First New York

Comments (540)

10/14/08

well my vote for most monitors/trader goes to spot trading for sure. Impressive that you have like 13 offers rossgellar. That might be a wso record pinochio

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

http://www.jasonbondpicks.com
10/14/08

I never said I had offers from all of the firms that I listed. Try to stay on topic please.

10/14/08

Most of these firms are not even prop firms but rather they are mostly options market makers. As far as ranking them, how is that even possible when your not comparing apples to apples. Not only that to rank them you need some sort of transparency which is nearly impossible with prop trading. I think you need to include the following

Trillium
Group 1
Liquid Trading
Gelber Group

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

10/14/08

Sure - consider them included. I've never heard of Liquid. Don't know a whole lot about Gelber and Trillium. And I don't think Group One is that good.

10/14/08

well i disagree rossgellar, you know why.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

10/14/08

actually I'm not sure why? I interviewed there and wasn't impressed at all. Additionally, I have spoken to several traders that work there and aren't too happy with their operations. Why do you think they're good?

10/14/08

i dunno if I would rank them that high. it's difficult to judge considering there's isn't much information floating around about them.

10/15/08

I am curious as to where all you guys get info on these companies. Do you just Google Search them? I am not questioning your credibility, I would just like to know myself, as I am in the process of interviewing with a number of them and would like some outside input when comparing offers.

10/15/08

What I did is I looked at the overall competitiveness of the firm, in terms of getting a job there.

I also talked to many people in the industry, as well as at hedge funds and investment banks - I asked them about which firms were most reputable in terms of order of operations, compensation, and training. I talked to traders at many of the firms to get a sense of their own personal thoughts on the culture, technology, management, and past/future success of the firms.

In addition, I've interviewed with most of the firms on that list and I ranked them based off of my own judgment to some degree.

It also depends on what you want to trade- equities, options, futures, rates, f/x, ect. Many of those firms focus on a specific product area and a specific style (whether it be market making or discretionary trading).

When you're picking which firm to go with though - the key, in my opinion, is to pick a firm with a winning business model and winning strategies. Firms look for talented and bright candidates that they feel will be able to execute their strategies well.... so I basically tried to judge which firms have the winning-est business models and strategies.

Obviously the list is just my opinion... and any comments or thoughts would be great.

10/15/08

your list is pretty surprising to me.

could you please share what the people you spoke with had to say in general about prop trading?
overall "order of operations, compensation, and training" for top prop shops in general versus their bank or hedge fund. is average compensation/upside as great? what about starting salaries?

and how can you determine winning business model/strategies with absolutely 0 experience? sounds sketchy

I personally interviewed at two of your top 10 after my sophomore year (though no offer, did not practice mental math) and neither seemed too impressive versus a bank. Getting the interview was not difficult seeing as how I was a Sophomore with an OK resume. The interviews were easy with some lame brainteasers, fit, and some basic math anyone could get with proper prep. And they did recruiting for traders at some schools in the USnews 40-60 range, which is not too impressive.

10/16/08

In general, compensation/upside potential over the long run if you're successful is going to be better at a prop firm vs a bank, and I would say it is difficult to compare it to a hedge fund... here is why: The plus side to prop trading firms are that they aren't necessarily affected by downturns in the economy because they don't have client dependent business models (such as hedge funds, private equity, and investment banks do)... they are also very meritocratic for the most part. The downside is that if you aren't good and can't generate profit or add value to the firm, they will be quick to get rid of you which makes for a higher attrition rate. During economic downturns like the one we're in, I've noticed that most firms tend to hire more experienced traders and will cut down on their undergraduate recruitment.

Now the reason it is difficult to compare them to hedge funds is because you aren't just comparing performance... if you're at a HF on a team of 20 people that runs 10 billion in AUM, compensation is going to be stellar if you have positive returns. If you're at a hedge fund that is running 500 million, not so much.

It is difficult to determine which firms have that winning model though, because so many of them are secretive. That is why it is best to ask plenty of questions.

Prop firms tend to interview many people, but they bring on few, and weed out the weak individuals that can't cut it in their first 12-18 months. Because of this, starting salaries at prop firms tend to be below the street. At the best firms, however, starting compensation is on par if not better than the street.

10/16/08

"The plus side to prop trading firms are that they aren't necessarily affected by downturns in the economy because they don't have client dependent business models"

this is what makes me think prop shops are inferior. they do not have as much capital as the hedge funds with 10 billion for 20 traders and never will. and there are a lot of hedge funds with a crazy amount of capital per trader. I tend to think of prop shops as closer to the lesser hedge fund that is running 500 million. (I think the actual prop shop aum is much lower)

also I would think that many prop traders at banks would in fact eventually make the move to a hedge fund. you cannot really do so from a prop shop.

that being said i have heard people take DRW over Citadel and Jane Street over Goldman S/T. which is why i am still a bit confused about compensation potential.

10/16/08
traderpimp111:

"The plus side to prop trading firms are that they aren't necessarily affected by downturns in the economy because they don't have client dependent business models"

this is what makes me think prop shops are inferior. they do not have as much capital as the hedge funds with 10 billion for 20 traders and never will. and there are a lot of hedge funds with a crazy amount of capital per trader. I tend to think of prop shops as closer to the lesser hedge fund that is running 500 million. (I think the actual prop shop aum is much lower)

also I would think that many prop traders at banks would in fact eventually make the move to a hedge fund. you cannot really do so from a prop shop.

that being said i have heard people take DRW over Citadel and Jane Street over Goldman S/T. which is why i am still a bit confused about compensation potential.

But (1) prop shops keep 100% of their profits and (2) there are soooo many more strategies you use with $150M versus $10B.

And why would it be easier to go from a bank to a HF? It would seem as though prop trading is much more similar to trading at a hedge fund than market-making at a big bank would be. Anyone?

10/16/08
traderpimp111:

"The plus side to prop trading firms are that they aren't necessarily affected by downturns in the economy because they don't have client dependent business models"

this is what makes me think prop shops are inferior. they do not have as much capital as the hedge funds with 10 billion for 20 traders and never will. and there are a lot of hedge funds with a crazy amount of capital per trader. I tend to think of prop shops as closer to the lesser hedge fund that is running 500 million. (I think the actual prop shop aum is much lower)

also I would think that many prop traders at banks would in fact eventually make the move to a hedge fund. you cannot really do so from a prop shop.

that being said i have heard people take DRW over Citadel and Jane Street over Goldman S/T. which is why i am still a bit confused about compensation potential.

Let's analyze the hedge fund industry for a moment.

8 years ago the industry was in a boom. Everyone and their mom was starting a hedge fund. It was easy to do and easy to raise capital. Everyone wanted in.. and the industry peaked at about 12,000 hedge funds globally. Today, we are at the other end of the spectrum. Investors are pulling out of the industry. Funds under 2 billion in assets can't survive the turmoil and are shutting down. Even successful funds such as SAC are going to cash and still some of the best funds in the game are down in excess of 20%. In addition, hedge funds have high water marks, which means many funds won't be able to collect a performance fee next year until they make back all of their losses. So a lot of these funds that are down in excess of 20% could potentially have a 30%+ return next year and still not be able to take any performance fees. So that 2 and 20 is essentially just 2% management fee now. It doesn't make sense for many of these funds to stay in business so you're going to see many of them shut down over the next 2 years. Additionally, it is going to get so much more difficult to raise capital in the hedge fund industry that many funds will have to bring down fees to 1 and 10, rather than 2 and 20, just to appeal more to the institutional investors. There has been widespread speculation that the standard of the industry (as well as private equity) will be 1 and 10 going forward. It is going to be very difficult for smaller funds to survive which means only the elite massive hedge funds that have been around a long time with veteran managers will be able to stick around. Also, how many $10 billion funds do you think there are? You make it seem as if it is pretty common... it isn't. There are perhaps a few handful. And these places only recruit the best of the best - from both banks and prop firms, by the way. Not just banks. Also, you are definitely much more flexible when you run a smaller amount of money. That is why a lot of funds close themselves to capital raising from investors. Don't get me wrong - if Chase Coleman at Tiger Global asked me to join his crew as a trader, I would take that gig over a prop firm any day. But that doesn't happen as easily as you make it seem. It is very difficult to break into those funds coming from a bank/prop firm, or even less - coming straight out of undergrad.

10/16/08

the prop lifestyle is much suited to some than the sweatshops of Citadel or banks (during the glory days). most of the shops are much more laid back and hours aren't terrible, even though pay is good enough.

10/16/08

Couple more points:

If you take a look at the investment banks, they have been run for years on a compensation model paying about 50% of revenue to the employees, while hedge funds get 20% of profits. so as anyone would expect, the sales and trading businesses were typically run to maximize revenues by using ridiculous amounts of leverage... 30 to 40x. Now that all of the banks are going through this de-leveraging, revenues and compensations are going to be slashed substantially as well. Not to mention, the client dependent businesses will go through a slowdown as I mentioned happens with most downturns in the economy.

In addition to this, why would hedge funds that survive - the 10 billion dollar AUM funds - want to hire from banks when there are plenty of talented experienced professionals that went out of work through this massive consolidation in the industry?

Also, since proprietary trading firms aren't government regulated, they don't have to publicize their size or profits (of which they get to keep 100%, as cdw mentioned). This is why they tend to stay private and secretive. Since hedge funds are government regulated, they have to disclose long and short positions, size, and returns to investors, which usually leak. And prop firm returns are generally higher.

10/16/08

what about ewt--does anybody know this place or have thoughts about it?

10/16/08

I mean if these places pay same as BB banks who gives a shit about anything else count me in.

but its just so hard to verify numbers. plus so many chop shops and idiots on places like elite trader who couldnt graduate high school and are now putting down 5k to scalp and churn commissions.

10/16/08

Doesn't the CFTC have some authority over these prop firms, at least if they trade on exchanges like the CME and NYMEX. In fact, I believe the CFTC started some investigations on some prop firms amid the spike in oil prices.

10/16/08

i do agree with trade4size that there is a huge difference between prop shops and market makers.

Jane St. and SIG are some of the top market makers. They take prop positions but their primary revenues come from hedging.

FNY and Trillium are pure prop shops.

In my opinion, market makers are MUCH more legit than prop shops, though I'm sure some will disagree

10/17/08
ihavenomoneynow:

i do agree with trade4size that there is a huge difference between prop shops and market makers.

Jane St. and SIG are some of the top market makers. They take prop positions but their primary revenues come from hedging.

FNY and Trillium are pure prop shops.

In my opinion, market makers are MUCH more legit than prop shops, though I'm sure some will disagree

100% correct

10/17/08

I do not have enough hours in the day to argue with the uninformed schnooks on this thread so I will hit the points that are relevant to me. Rossgellar brings up some very good points. I do not agree with his ranking necessarily but he is credible.

Second, prop shops and BB trading are totally different so you should not try comparing them. At a BB you start off as an analyst (traders bitch) and you essentially work for the trader. This is where you earn your salary. Once you become a trader you will eventually switch to a primarily performance based compensation. Prop guys at banks bonus' tend to be multiples of their base salary.

As far as performance based compensation a prop trader at a prop shop will see much higher payouts than a prop trader at a bank. At a bank a trader might see 8-10% of his pnl as his bonus for performance based compensation. A top prop trader is closer to 75% of his pnl. Most banks charge their traders a desk fee also. This number is VERY LARGE. (1mm+ typically) which comes out of your pnl. Most prop shops do not charge a desk fee at all.

There is a huge fundamental difference in a prop shop and and a leveraged retail prop shop (aka a trading "arcade"). Arcades are the modern day bucket shops which basically are making their money based on the commission they charge you to trade in addition to any % of profits that they take. They want a trader to be as active as possible without blowing out his account entirely. This creates a steady revenue stream for them.

The retail prop arcade is much different from a legitimate prop shop that seeds traders. These places pay out less as a % in the beginning but in return a trader gets mentoring and better training. The management makes their money based on the long term revenue stream from a sucessful trader. Places are willing to take chances on people because when you have 7 figure producers this more than offsets the small losses that a beginning trader will take.

If anyone has any other questions please feel free to ask me.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

10/17/08
trade4size:

a prop shop will see much higher payouts than a prop trader at a bank

Trade4size,

Firstly, thank you for your valued input. Secondly, why would a prop trader trade at a bank, when he could trade at a prop, and get a better payout? Would access to capital come into it?

I remember reading an article a while ago about Driss at GS... Apparently, not that many people actually understood what he did - apart from print $$$. Can one trade exotics and structured products at a prop?

10/17/08
newbie2banking:
trade4size:

a prop shop will see much higher payouts than a prop trader at a bank

Trade4size,

Firstly, thank you for your valued input. Secondly, why would a prop trader trade at a bank, when he could trade at a prop, and get a better payout? Would access to capital come into it?

I remember reading an article a while ago about Driss at GS... Apparently, not that many people actually understood what he did - apart from print $$$. Can one trade exotics and structured products at a prop?

exotics and structured products are difficult to price and relatively illiquid so you won't see them very often in pure prop.

i think it's also important to note that one should take trade4size's comments with a grain of salt as his perspective is a bit skewed and I don't know that he's actually worked at a prop shop or any trading desk at a bank. being a broker is a totally different world

but with respect to the whole idea that pure prop shops that pay no salary but have huge upside is true in a sense but ultimately inaccurate because risk isnt priced in. this is also why many of the top shops like jsc and sig are market makers so they can consistently profit over the long run based on their view of the market, ability to assess, price, and hedge risk, and take advantage of market dislocations. they don't make outright directional prop bets!.

compare this to a firm handing out capital to individuals and telling them to run with it compounded with an every man for themselves culture (why would u you care or want to help your coworkers if you make all your profit from y our personal performance?).

top shops and banks also have better access to information, counterparties, and capital. be wary of any firm that pays no salary or a salary significantly less than the street. yes your upside is a lot bigger but so is your risk.

10/17/08

Interesting..

10/17/08

anyone know anything about them? where do they fit in?

10/17/08

prop guys at banks manage very large books. I worked at a broker this summer where we had every single prop equity desk as a client. They tend to act more like a portfolio manager than a trader at a bank. They are doing much less daytrading at a bank. I dont know of any prop shops that trade exotics or structured products.

A prop guy at a bank might have the following deal:

150k base salary
Performance based bonus on a 100mm book 50mm long/50mm short. Might see 10% of total profits.

Typical prop shop deal would be

no base salary
assuming the same level of experience as the bank trader 10mm book to actively manage. 50-75% payout.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

10/17/08

I could go on all night about why the way you are looking at these firms is silly. What you can gauge from a good prop firm in an interview is and should be almost nothing when it comes to what really drives revenue. Sure market making firms make money thru bid/offer spreads, prop firms trade pairs, but who is gambling and who is not? Doesn't matter who has the more impressive office space. I also don't think you guys have really talked to traders at these firms you'd get a different perspective and a different list. Let me give you an example I know a young guy who graduated from a top school and went right to work at Jump Trading, your number 2 pick. They recruited him by telling him they did a lot of black box trading and index arb and when he got there they put him in front of a CPU and said make money. He got long size in oil futures oil went down 6 bucks and he was fired that took all of six weeks. He is now at Infinium, also on your list, making markets in wheat futures. They make a nice margin there but they do not trade the kind of size to make big bucks the better traders there are taking home low six figures. Meanwhile the ones you've knocked have million dollar players; like I said you are not talking to the right people.

CTC also: they take 25 guys a year and maybe 10 of them will actually one day be traders. I know another guy there (also from a top school) who has been there 3 years and doesn't do more than hedge deltas. He's pissed they've given him the run around.

BTW Susquehanna is HEADQUARTED in Philly but there operation is huge (bigger than most of the firms on your list) in Chicago. Jane Street the same. Also SIG is NOT on par w/ CTC they are much more aggressive their software is ridiculous. CTC is great but their money comes mostly from the indexes and the ETFs SIG is the DPM in most names on the CBOE.

Don't try to rank these guys in such a fashion as some have said already, it is apples to oranges in terms of strategy, setup, etc. And just because you've interviewed doesn't mean you know where the firm's alpha is derived (Jump doesn't have any).

10/17/08
dr_sean:

I could go on all night about why the way you are looking at these firms is silly. What you can gauge from a good prop firm in an interview is and should be almost nothing when it comes to what really drives revenue. Sure market making firms make money thru bid/offer spreads, prop firms trade pairs, but who is gambling and who is not? Doesn't matter who has the more impressive office space. I also don't think you guys have really talked to traders at these firms you'd get a different perspective and a different list. Let me give you an example I know a young guy who graduated from a top school and went right to work at Jump Trading, your number 2 pick. They recruited him by telling him they did a lot of black box trading and index arb and when he got there they put him in front of a CPU and said make money. He got long size in oil futures oil went down 6 bucks and he was fired that took all of six weeks. He is now at Infinium, also on your list, making markets in wheat futures. They make a nice margin there but they do not trade the kind of size to make big bucks the better traders there are taking home low six figures. Meanwhile the ones you've knocked have million dollar players; like I said you are not talking to the right people.

CTC also: they take 25 guys a year and maybe 10 of them will actually one day be traders. I know another guy there (also from a top school) who has been there 3 years and doesn't do more than hedge deltas. He's pissed they've given him the run around.

BTW Susquehanna is HEADQUARTED in Philly but there operation is huge (bigger than most of the firms on your list) in Chicago. Jane Street the same. Also SIG is NOT on par w/ CTC they are much more aggressive their software is ridiculous. CTC is great but their money comes mostly from the indexes and the ETFs SIG is the DPM in most names on the CBOE.

Don't try to rank these guys in such a fashion as some have said already, it is apples to oranges in terms of strategy, setup, etc. And just because you've interviewed doesn't mean you know where the firm's alpha is derived (Jump doesn't have any).

Good points - I realize my perceptions may be wrong and I stand corrected.

Great discussion so far though.

10/17/08
dr_sean:

They make a nice margin there but they do not trade the kind of size to make big bucks the better traders there are taking home low six figures. Meanwhile the ones you've knocked have million dollar players; like I said you are not talking to the right people.

so how can a prospective employee find out which shops have the capital for their best traders to trade serious size? There are just so many shops and no info.

So with respect to compensation, the capital that banks have access to offsets the prop shops payout of %75? I have learned a lot about prop shops in the past few days but STILL have not found any answers to compensation. Do the top prop shops have higher paid traders than traders at banks on average? Which has greater upside? And is it common for these shops to pay a wallstreet salary + bonus during training before trading.

trade4size:

A prop guy at a bank might have the following deal:

150k base salary
Performance based bonus on a 100mm book 50mm long/50mm short. Might see 10% of total profits.

Typical prop shop deal would be

no base salary
assuming the same level of experience as the bank trader 10mm book to actively manage. 50-75% payout.

So the bank guy has a better deal?

Also, is it correct to say that hedge funds do not pick up market makers? So if you start work at SIG you will always be a market maker at a prop shop? if you work for a bank you can move to prop at a bank and then a hedge fund? speaking in general of course

3/19/09
dr_sean:

CTC also: they take 25 guys a year and maybe 10 of them will actually one day be traders. I know another guy there (also from a top school) who has been there 3 years and doesn't do more than hedge deltas. He's pissed they've given him the run around.

BTW Susquehanna is HEADQUARTED in Philly but there operation is huge (bigger than most of the firms on your list) in Chicago. Jane Street the same. Also SIG is NOT on par w/ CTC they are much more aggressive their software is ridiculous. CTC is great but their money comes mostly from the indexes and the ETFs SIG is the DPM in most names on the CBOE.

actually you are a kid who is still in college and dont know what you are talking about.

susquehanna is probably the best company but absolutely far from the best place to be a trader. it depends on your perspective. the problem is that the guy who founded SIG is just trying to turn it into a cash cow for himself, which he has done a great job at doing since it is one of the biggest. but they are really starting to lose the motivation/hunger and are starting to become complacent and corporate. this is fine for the people who run it and looks impressive from outside in because it is so large, but bad for a trader joining. also they pay for all these army of back end support using obviously profits from the traders. that means u get lower % of PnL vs other places. to make matter worse they make u sign an insane non compete so u cant work anywhere else aftewards if you want to leave, which also lets them get away with taking a large portion of ur PnL from you and help grow the 'corporation'. the original group of traders were some of the best but that is quickly starting to die down as they leave and new people come in and are trained by their 20-something failed trader head of education. again this makes the place look good from outside in but not as a new hire. once their 'prestige' factor/momentum slow down they are in trouble, which is why they are branching to ibanking and PE (lol, i mean seriously?)

DRW is the same situation but in an earlier phase. about HALF of their entire company has been with the firm for less than two years. they would rather hire the least succesful people out of MIT/Wharton who are good at math than looking deeper into a big picture of what would make a new hire a good trader. they attract people with a lot of perks and care way too much about brand name. the business model of these places is to one day become like a corporation so the founders get insanely rich, not good for a person joining. also interesting to note that they do not fire even their worst traders. again this is the problem with growing too big to handle and becoming complacent.

CTC is the only traditional type market maker usually referenced in the top 3 best. this place is ran for the trader by the traders very lean and efficient. I would say that this should be ranked ahead of SIG and DRW for this very reason. maybe even places like transmarket should be above drw and sig. some really telling signs about ctc philosophy: they spend all of their resources into research math models to better price options rather than developing fancy software packages. they have hired the most legendary man in the industry, natenberg (you will spend a few months studying his book at all of these places), along with the associate director at uchicago financial engineering to lead education. they put a lot of emphasis on more holistic qualities of new traders and have smaller incoming number of trader assistants, which they only hire as they find impressive people rather than taking in a fixed number every year like all other places.

you guys need to understand that this industry is the exact opposite of ibanking. you do not want an institunaliozed place even though these websites will impress your parents. you want a lean and hungry entrepenuarial shop with a ton of brilliant people who understand that some brand name degree (which I happen to have one of) will not impress the markets and are less important than personality type.

just some things to consider from someone who has experience with a bunch of thse places and has taken a break from this game after killing it last year thanks to vol

3/19/09
fillorkill6:
dr_sean:

CTC also: they take 25 guys a year and maybe 10 of them will actually one day be traders. I know another guy there (also from a top school) who has been there 3 years and doesn't do more than hedge deltas. He's pissed they've given him the run around.

BTW Susquehanna is HEADQUARTED in Philly but there operation is huge (bigger than most of the firms on your list) in Chicago. Jane Street the same. Also SIG is NOT on par w/ CTC they are much more aggressive their software is ridiculous. CTC is great but their money comes mostly from the indexes and the ETFs SIG is the DPM in most names on the CBOE.

actually you are a kid who is still in college and dont know what you are talking about.

susquehanna is probably the best company but absolutely far from the best place to be a trader. it depends on your perspective. the problem is that the guy who founded SIG is just trying to turn it into a cash cow for himself, which he has done a great job at doing since it is one of the biggest. but they are really starting to lose the motivation/hunger and are starting to become complacent and corporate. this is fine for the people who run it and looks impressive from outside in because it is so large, but bad for a trader joining. also they pay for all these army of back end support using obviously profits from the traders. that means u get lower % of PnL vs other places. to make matter worse they make u sign an insane non compete so u cant work anywhere else aftewards if you want to leave, which also lets them get away with taking a large portion of ur PnL from you and help grow the 'corporation'. the original group of traders were some of the best but that is quickly starting to die down as they leave and new people come in and are trained by their 20-something failed trader head of education. again this makes the place look good from outside in but not as a new hire. once their 'prestige' factor/momentum slow down they are in trouble, which is why they are branching to ibanking and PE (lol, i mean seriously?)

DRW is the same situation but in an earlier phase. about HALF of their entire company has been with the firm for less than two years. they would rather hire the least succesful people out of MIT/Wharton who are good at math than looking deeper into a big picture of what would make a new hire a good trader. they attract people with a lot of perks and care way too much about brand name. the business model of these places is to one day become like a corporation so the founders get insanely rich, not good for a person joining. also interesting to note that they do not fire even their worst traders. again this is the problem with growing too big to handle and becoming complacent.

CTC is the only traditional type market maker usually referenced in the top 3 best. this place is ran for the trader by the traders very lean and efficient. I would say that this should be ranked ahead of SIG and DRW for this very reason. maybe even places like transmarket should be above drw and sig. some really telling signs about ctc philosophy: they spend all of their resources into research math models to better price options rather than developing fancy software packages. they have hired the most legendary man in the industry, natenberg (you will spend a few months studying his book at all of these places), along with the associate director at uchicago financial engineering to lead education. they put a lot of emphasis on more holistic qualities of new traders and have smaller incoming number of trader assistants, which they only hire as they find impressive people rather than taking in a fixed number every year like all other places.

you guys need to understand that this industry is the exact opposite of ibanking. you do not want an institunaliozed place even though these websites will impress your parents. you want a lean and hungry entrepenuarial shop with a ton of brilliant people who understand that some brand name degree (which I happen to have one of) will not impress the markets and are less important than personality type.

just some things to consider from someone who has experience with a bunch of thse places and has taken a break from this game after killing it last year thanks to vol

great post, thanks

3/19/09

thanks for the response, great stuff. I don't appreciate the ad hominem but I don't disagree with the root of your argument; CTC is one of the best-in-breeds, I just wanted people to hear the other side of the coin.

Same with SIG, I said what I said just b.c. I thought a lot of people were selling them short in terms of dominance over the equities space. I 100% agree w/ your point "Susq is the best company but probably not the best place to be a trader", wouldn't disagree one bit. I know about the non-compete, I know about the lack of PnL %, I was just trying to say that hey, SIG is a huge force in SSOs.

Keep in mind the context of my entire post as I wanted to emphasize that the points made back long ago were a little cooky.

Thanks again for the commentary. Question you say in terms of traditional MMs CTC is consistently top-3. Okay fair enough do you mean equity & index options? Then who do you think are other 2? How about Wolverine...and I don't know who's next.

Let's keep the discussion going.

dr_sean:

I could go on all night about why the way you are looking at these firms is silly. What you can gauge from a good prop firm in an interview is and should be almost nothing when it comes to what really drives revenue. Sure market making firms make money thru bid/offer spreads, prop firms trade pairs, but who is gambling and who is not? Doesn't matter who has the more impressive office space. I also don't think you guys have really talked to traders at these firms you'd get a different perspective and a different list. Let me give you an example I know a young guy who graduated from a top school and went right to work at Jump Trading, your number 2 pick. They recruited him by telling him they did a lot of black box trading and index arb and when he got there they put him in front of a CPU and said make money. He got long size in oil futures oil went down 6 bucks and he was fired that took all of six weeks. He is now at Infinium, also on your list, making markets in wheat futures. They make a nice margin there but they do not trade the kind of size to make big bucks the better traders there are taking home low six figures. Meanwhile the ones you've knocked have million dollar players; like I said you are not talking to the right people.

CTC also: they take 25 guys a year and maybe 10 of them will actually one day be traders. I know another guy there (also from a top school) who has been there 3 years and doesn't do more than hedge deltas. He's pissed they've given him the run around.

BTW Susquehanna is HEADQUARTED in Philly but there operation is huge (bigger than most of the firms on your list) in Chicago. Jane Street the same. Also SIG is NOT on par w/ CTC they are much more aggressive their software is ridiculous. CTC is great but their money comes mostly from the indexes and the ETFs SIG is the DPM in most names on the CBOE.

Don't try to rank these guys in such a fashion as some have said already, it is apples to oranges in terms of strategy, setup, etc. And just because you've interviewed doesn't mean you know where the firm's alpha is derived (Jump doesn't have any).

"COFFEE IS FOR CLOSERS ONLY."

5/22/12
praeses:

I could go on all night about why the way you are looking at these firms is silly. What you can gauge from a good prop firm in an interview is and should be almost nothing when it comes to what really drives revenue. Sure market making firms make money thru bid/offer spreads, prop firms trade pairs, but who is gambling and who is not? Doesn't matter who has the more impressive office space. I also don't think you guys have really talked to traders at these firms you'd get a different perspective and a different list. Let me give you an example I know a young guy who graduated from a top school and went right to work at Jump Trading, your number 2 pick. They recruited him by telling him they did a lot of black box trading and index arb and when he got there they put him in front of a CPU and said make money. He got long size in oil futures oil went down 6 bucks and he was fired that took all of six weeks. He is now at Infinium, also on your list, making markets in wheat futures. They make a nice margin there but they do not trade the kind of size to make big bucks the better traders there are taking home low six figures. Meanwhile the ones you've knocked have million dollar players; like I said you are not talking to the right people.

CTC also: they take 25 guys a year and maybe 10 of them will actually one day be traders. I know another guy there (also from a top school) who has been there 3 years and doesn't do more than hedge deltas. He's pissed they've given him the run around.

BTW Susquehanna is HEADQUARTED in Philly but there operation is huge (bigger than most of the firms on your list) in Chicago. Jane Street the same. Also SIG is NOT on par w/ CTC they are much more aggressive their software is ridiculous. CTC is great but their money comes mostly from the indexes and the ETFs SIG is the DPM in most names on the CBOE.

Don't try to rank these guys in such a fashion as some have said already, it is apples to oranges in terms of strategy, setup, etc. And just because you've interviewed doesn't mean you know where the firm's alpha is derived (Jump doesn't have any).

This story seems like bullshit. Jump does not hire discretionary traders to sit in front of a computer and start clicking with their mouse. They hire gifted programmers who will write sophisticated algorithms.

10/17/08

To clear up and I never hide this information. I am not at a prop shop or bank. You can take my comments with a grain of salt all you want but I dont give out wrong information. I have nothing against the JSC or SIG at all I just dont consider market making prop trading. I know too many traders that are making retarded amounts of money right now to argue with the children on wso. I offer my perspective and the truth, nothing less.

Your comments seem to conclude you do not believe directional bets work, you are wrong and I wont bother to explain why. Markets are not efficient there are so many inefficiencies out there and you only need one to make money.

But seriously, all the prop guys I know are having record years, and the banks are going to reduce bonus' substantially... Yeah, sorry im a bit biased.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

10/17/08

first off, who the hell said directional bets dont work? secondly, your argument for anything is well i know a person who is making money! i dont see how you can be a serious trader and have no concept of risk exposure. So this is your thesis for successful prop?

Markets are not efficient there are so many inefficiencies out there and you only need one to make money.

instead of getting ultra defensive and shooting from the hip, y dont u chill out a realize im just trying to provide a more balanced perspective. the fact that banks are losing money and there are people out there making money justifies nothing. I know just as many people who are making money as those who are blowing up. the fact that you rely on this consistently as evidence just brings me to believe u really have no idea waht u are talking about which falls in line with the fact that you limited exposure to the actual industry. day trading at home and calling people on WSO "children" does not apply

10/17/08

Oh snap

10/17/08

PWN3D! Seriously though, I've found that people on this site get so worked up over these methodological pissing contests. Although I disagree with trying to rank prop firms, I think it at least provides a decent starting point for people looking to apply to a more reputable shop (especially since many posters dreams of having a BB S/T business card have been dashed w/ the recent meltdown). In my opinion, the glory days of trading at public companies or increasingly handicapped HFs (banned short selling, less than accommodating prime brokerage, increased government scrutiny, investors fed up with exorbitant fees) are behind us. Buzzy Schwartz has always maintained that the bank trading model was fatally flawed and running money for others is a huge pain, thus he went on his own. Judging from the resume's my shop has been receiving over the past few weeks, I'd say that even those with a coveted analyst spot at a BB are looking for a more meritocratic compensation system moving forward.

Why do most people want to be traders? Because we all fancy ourselves as having the special sauce that will lead us to unlimited earnings power. In reality, this is clearly naive, thus people look for shops that have proven strategies that make it easier to succeed (thus this list is helpful).

As an aside, I'm not sure of Infinium's wheat strategy, but I'm pretty sure that since the CME changed the grain allocation rules, the glory days of that trade might be fading away as well.

10/17/08
RossGellar:

I'm curious to hear how everyone would rank the top prop trading firms. I've focused the post on firms in Chicago because that is where most of them are. Here is how I've ranked them:

1.Spot Trading
2.Jump Trading
3.DRW Trading
4.Optiver
5.TransMarket Group
6.Peak6 Investments
7.Chicago Trading Company
8.Infinium Capital Management
9.Wolverine Trading
10.Tower Hill Trading

Honorable mention for firms outside of Chicago:

1.Jane Street Capital - NYC (considered to be the best)
2.Susquehanna International Group - Philadelphia (on par with CTC)
3.First New York Securities - NYC (on par with THT)

Feel free to change them around or offer any overall feedback or firm specific feedback.

I just think it's very difficult to go right now the list and say 1,2,3. But these are all good firms I don't dispute that. For anyone looking for a job let me list some more very good firms to check out.

Archelon Group
Equitec Group
Ronin Capital
Group One Trading
Cutler Group
Citadel (yes they have a big options group)
International Market Makers Collaborative (IMC)

just some more for those who are sending out resume`s.

10/17/08

guys I just want to be clear that I do not have all the answers. My area of interest is prop equity trading. I am able to compare prop equity at banks to prop equity at a prop shop. Outside of that I really dont know nearly as much about how things work.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

10/18/08

The simple answer to comp is this: the more reputable shops pay a salary that is slightly below what the street is paying now (you should factor in cost of living too because $42k in Chicago equates to $80k in Manhattan apparently). People do not start out at these firms for the starting salary. Over the short run for average to above average traders at a firm with winning strategies, prop trading wins hands down. The lifecycle of a prop trader is probably around 10 years...the average age at most of the shops is probably mid to upper 20s.

I have heard that several guys at Ronin had million dollar days last Friday (although this could just be rumor). Another group exercised their Dow 10,000 puts on Friday morning and were at the bar (Ceres at the CBOT) by 11:30am.

What I have found is that most WSO posters are either a) still in college and base their opinions on corporate recruiting events or b) thinking about BB banks in the context of 2005-7 payouts. Perceived prestige is still in the front of many minds and their eyes are off the prize. Good luck ripping that sweet bonus at the HF that is 30% below their watermark.

10/18/08
Trig:

The simple answer to comp is this: the more reputable shops pay a salary that is slightly below what the street is paying now (you should factor in cost of living too because $42k in Chicago equates to $80k in Manhattan apparently). People do not start out at these firms for the starting salary. Over the short run for average to above average traders at a firm with winning strategies, prop trading wins hands down. The lifecycle of a prop trader is probably around 10 years...the average age at most of the shops is probably mid to upper 20s.

I have heard that several guys at Ronin had million dollar days last Friday (although this could just be rumor). Another group exercised their Dow 10,000 puts on Friday morning and were at the bar (Ceres at the CBOT) by 11:30am.

What I have found is that most WSO posters are either a) still in college and base their opinions on corporate recruiting events or b) thinking about BB banks in the context of 2005-7 payouts. Perceived prestige is still in the front of many minds and their eyes are off the prize. Good luck ripping that sweet bonus at the HF that is 30% below their watermark.

Why is the average life of a trader only 10 years? Do they leave because of stress? Or do they pretty much meet all of their financial goals by 10 years and decide to walk away? Or is there a particular component (like dealing with stress) that younger traders have - which makes them better traders - that older traders don't have?

10/20/08
Trig:

The simple answer to comp is this: the more reputable shops pay a salary that is slightly below what the street is paying now (you should factor in cost of living too because $42k in Chicago equates to $80k in Manhattan apparently). People do not start out at these firms for the starting salary. Over the short run for average to above average traders at a firm with winning strategies, prop trading wins hands down. The lifecycle of a prop trader is probably around 10 years...the average age at most of the shops is probably mid to upper 20s.

I have heard that several guys at Ronin had million dollar days last Friday (although this could just be rumor). Another group exercised their Dow 10,000 puts on Friday morning and were at the bar (Ceres at the CBOT) by 11:30am.
great points and i would definitely agree. Thanks Trig
What I have found is that most WSO posters are either a) still in college and base their opinions on corporate recruiting events or b) thinking about BB banks in the context of 2005-7 payouts. Perceived prestige is still in the front of many minds and their eyes are off the prize. Good luck ripping that sweet bonus at the HF that is 30% below their watermark.

Balls on accurate Trig, I agree completely thanks a ton.

TraderJoe, thank you for entirely upping to caliber of this discussion and giving us some real perspective from someone who knows people at most of these firms. The reason for my earlier disagreements was a mere summer in Chicago at one of the firms mentioned here, and, as you might guess, my perspective is limited by experience.

I agree with everything that TraderJoe has said, and also Trig's explanation for the dearth of older traders in this business. At my Group you did not see old guys getting stressed out and quitting or blowing up, you saw new guys not being able to hack it and never being given a real opportunity TO trade, and old guys going back for their MBAs or retiring. I do think some guys were bored of the same old routine, which, as a young gun myself, I too find hard to believe, but that seems understanding--especially if they are plateaued at a level where they are trading well but not fantastically--something pretty common in market making I think.

Thanks again guys this discussion has really been stepped up.

10/18/08

Just wanted to thank the above posters. A very informational thread.

10/18/08

If there was one of these places in Chicago that you guys would say stands out, what would it be and why?

Thx.

d

10/18/08
RossGellar:

I'm curious to hear how everyone would rank the top prop trading firms. I've focused the post on firms in Chicago because that is where most of them are. Here is how I've ranked them:

1.Spot Trading
2.Jump Trading
3.DRW Trading
4.Optiver
5.TransMarket Group
6.Peak6 Investments
7.Chicago Trading Company
8.Infinium Capital Management
9.Wolverine Trading
10.Tower Hill Trading

Honorable mention for firms outside of Chicago:

1.Jane Street Capital - NYC (considered to be the best)
2.Susquehanna International Group - Philadelphia (on par with CTC)
3.First New York Securities - NYC (on par with THT)

Feel free to change them around or offer any overall feedback or firm specific feedback.

I'm currently a trader at one of the firms you mentioned and since I've been working in the industry for 5+ years, I've met and become friends with traders from just about every firm that you mentioned. I'm having issues understanding the following-

A) How did Spot make it to the top of your list?
B) How did SIG NOT make it to the top of your list?
C) How did Infinium make it on your list period?
D) First New York is 1000 times better than Tower Hill. Read about them in the September issue of Trader Monthly. Tower Hill doesn't even pay a salary - why are they on here?

You must still be in college because I don't get how you can say that you've interviewed at all of these places yet rationalize those rankings. Spot is good, but #1?? SIG is incredibly good, and Infinium doesn't do anything special at all.

Here is how I would shape up a top 10 list, and I did this based off of firms globally, since the best firm is in NYC, not Chicago.

1. Jane Street
2. DRW
3. SIG
4. Optiver
5. Spot
6. Transmarket
7. Wolverine
8. Peak6
9. Jump Trading
10. First New York

10/19/08
Trader Joes:
RossGellar:

I'm curious to hear how everyone would rank the top prop trading firms. I've focused the post on firms in Chicago because that is where most of them are. Here is how I've ranked them:

1.Spot Trading
2.Jump Trading
3.DRW Trading
4.Optiver
5.TransMarket Group
6.Peak6 Investments
7.Chicago Trading Company
8.Infinium Capital Management
9.Wolverine Trading
10.Tower Hill Trading

Honorable mention for firms outside of Chicago:

1.Jane Street Capital - NYC (considered to be the best)
2.Susquehanna International Group - Philadelphia (on par with CTC)
3.First New York Securities - NYC (on par with THT)

Feel free to change them around or offer any overall feedback or firm specific feedback.

I'm currently a trader at one of the firms you mentioned and since I've been working in the industry for 5+ years, I've met and become friends with traders from just about every firm that you mentioned. I'm having issues understanding the following-

A) How did Spot make it to the top of your list?
B) How did SIG NOT make it to the top of your list?
C) How did Infinium make it on your list period?
D) First New York is 1000 times better than Tower Hill. Read about them in the September issue of Trader Monthly. Tower Hill doesn't even pay a salary - why are they on here?

You must still be in college because I don't get how you can say that you've interviewed at all of these places yet rationalize those rankings. Spot is good, but #1?? SIG is incredibly good, and Infinium doesn't do anything special at all.

Here is how I would shape up a top 10 list, and I did this based off of firms globally, since the best firm is in NYC, not Chicago.

1. Jane Street
2. DRW
3. SIG
4. Optiver
5. Spot
6. Transmarket
7. Wolverine
8. Peak6
9. Jump Trading
10. First New York

thanks for your reply.... just wanted to say that i did NOT interview at all of those firms and i never said i did. i have interviewed at many of them and my rankings were based off of my own judgment as well as the points i described in my above post... obviously there is a lot of room for error and i didn't expect for my originally posted list to be right on target. i am, however, very pleased that there have been a few real traders that have responded to this thread to give their input on a list (like you did) and also the industry as a whole. like trade4size said, this has been a pretty educational thread thus far.

10/18/08

Pure spec on my part: It is what it is. I'd say that very few people have the stamina to stay fully committed to this industry over longer time horizons. The weaker performers get eliminated, the stronger performers reach a limit of diminishing satisfaction, and the truly addicted make a career out of it. At some point, people have to make a decision what is best for their particular situation. In my mind, trading is a young person's game. Unlimited upside with "only" the fear of getting canned doesn't seem like much of a trade off at 23. When you're 35 and have other people depending on you to provide, your priorities inevitably change. At some point, the question ultimately get's raised, how much is enough OR is this job really for me? If you're running money for others, these questions get raised alot sooner. I remember reading somewhere someone comparing this industry to professional sports. Very few ever attain the highest level of performance and those that do can only stay on top for short periods of time. People accustomed to winning all the time simply choose not to play when their luck changes.

10/18/08

what an epic thread. This is the prop trading equivalent of the ibanking rank the bank threads.

I really think you need to separate the rankings by product because you cant compare equities to equity options. I am very pleased to see the prop traders on wso starting to come forward and contribute more.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

10/19/08

Trader Joe: I didn't realize people consider Optiver to be such a strong firm. The turnover at the firm is insane. I'd equate it to dig a hole, fill it with water, add sharks, and throw in new hires, promote those who survive, repeat until you have a senior trader. But then again, if you are a good enough, quick enough trader (and lucky to some extent, of course) it is the right firm for you.

10/19/08
10/19/08

I received multiple PM's and I want to address all of the questions, but if you have a generic question, I ask that you post it on this thread so it can be answered for everyone to see.

"1) I am wondering what you think about Group One Trading. How is G1 regarded among traders? Is it a good firm to start a trading career?"

Group One is a legitimate firm. They are mediocre in comparison to the rest on my list (which is why they aren't on the list), and they aren't the best at what they do in comparison to their rivals. Given the market environment, I believe they would be a good place to start. I believe they still operate on the floor and I'm uncertain of any plans for them to move upstairs.

"2) Generally speaking, is it ever possible to start off in one of these firms and later trade in either an IB or a hedge fund?"

Yes, it is possible to start off at one of these firms and later trade at either an IB or a HF. Traders that start at prop firms generally don't go to IB's, because if they are successful, wouldn't make sense to do so. Traders at IB's are generally different types of people and different personalities than traders at prop firms. This whole mentality that IB's are the best place to work will soon change after people realize that compensation at IB's has dramatically decreased.

Traders at HF's will generally have their MBA's. I know many traders (including myself) who are currently trading at prop firms while getting their MBA's and being recruited by HF's. Trading at a HF doesn't guarantee more money by any means. I decided to pursue higher education for the sheer learning aspect of it, to make me a better trader and to broaden my understanding of quantitative financial concepts. It was also convenient for me since I'm doing it part time. Many traders tend to want to NOT jump to HF's because of the added stress and uncertain future of the industry. I would say that if you are a trader RUNNING a hedge fund, such as a Steve Cohen or Paul Tudor, compensation will be substantially greater than in any other field.

"3) I am very into trading and I want to trade for the next 30 years or so. Why is everyone saying a trader can only last about 10 years?"

You won't know if this is something you want to do for 30 years or not until you actually start doing it. You will need lasting commitment and passion for your work - two very rare qualities that may fade over time. See Trig's response to this as well. I agree with him 100%.

"4) Finally, if you start off at one of these good trading firms, what's your expected all-in compensation during first year? What about, say, after 3 years?"

Compensation is modest in the early years. I wouldn't focus on this though, as it is more important to focus on being successful so that you're still trading in 5 or 10 years down the road, where your compensation will literally be unlimited. Senior traders at my firm make 8 figures a year easily.

"5) If there was one of these places in Chicago that you guys would say stands out, what would it be and why?"

Depends on what you want to trade. You really can't go wrong with any of the firms on that list. The only thing that will perhaps knock you off the path of being successful is if you are trading a product which doesn't interest you. It is important to be happy where you're working too, so make sure you like the people at the firm.

"6) Pure spec on my part: It is what it is. I'd say that very few people have the stamina to stay fully committed to this industry over longer time horizons. The weaker performers get eliminated, the stronger performers reach a limit of diminishing satisfaction, and the truly addicted make a career out of it. At some point, people have to make a decision what is best for their particular situation. In my mind, trading is a young person's game. Unlimited upside with "only" the fear of getting canned doesn't seem like much of a trade off at 23. When you're 35 and have other people depending on you to provide, your priorities inevitably change. At some point, the question ultimately get's raised, how much is enough OR is this job really for me? If you're running money for others, these questions get raised alot sooner. I remember reading somewhere someone comparing this industry to professional sports. Very few ever attain the highest level of performance and those that do can only stay on top for short periods of time. People accustomed to winning all the time simply choose not to play when their luck changes."

Agree 100% with this. Very few have the stamina to stay fully committed. You need to have a passion for whatever it is that you do in life in order to be successful at it.

"7) I really think you need to separate the rankings by product because you cant compare equities to equity options. I am very pleased to see the prop traders on wso starting to come forward and contribute more."

The best firms are market makers. Market making is much much much more legitimate than directional trading, because the market making firms have proprietary strategies that have an edge. You are right in saying you can't compare equities to equity options. The intellect it requires to day trade equities is minimal. Firms that are successful trading equities are firm that know how to correctly hedge as well, meaning fundamentally driven hedge funds. With the exception of First New York Securites (since they use derivatives to hedge, and also trade options, fx, rates, commodities, and equities, which essentially makes them a multi-strat hedge fund), I don't think equity day trading is a good long term career move. Most of these equity trading firms are also the same firms that offer minimal salary or no salary at all, and it is best to pursue careers at firms that are willing to train you and offer a reasonable base salary. Obviously, given market conditions, many will have to end up at these firms as a last resort, so I would say it is certainly a completely different ball game. If you are interested in equities, it is best to start at an IB, HF, or a firm like FNY.

"8) thanks for your reply.... just wanted to say that i did NOT interview at all of those firms and i never said i did. i have interviewed at many of them and my rankings were based off of my own judgement as well as the points i described in my above post... obviously there is a lot of room for error and i didn't expect for my originally posted list to be right on target. i am, however, very pleased that there have been a few real traders that have responded to this thread to give their input on a list (like you did) and also the industry as a whole. like trade4size said, this has been a pretty educational thread thus far."

I didn't mean to pick on you, and as it was stated above, it is good to get a list of names down on paper to assess many of the best firms. But there is no sense in ranking these firms when you don't know much about them, or whatever little you may know based off of an interview or competitiveness.

Firms are judged by 1 thing only, and this includes prop firms, HF's and IB's. That 1 thing is performance, plain and simple. The best performing firms have a global presence and have been around for a long time (in my opinion above 10 years). These firms will produce the best returns most consistently. Since prop firms don't disclose returns, it is tough to rank them unless you know a lot about them or have worked at multiple firms.

"9) Trader Joe: I didn't realize people consider Optiver to be such a strong firm. The turnover at the firm is insane. I'd equate it to dig a hole, fill it with water, add sharks, and throw in new hires, promote those who survive, repeat until you have a senior trader. But then again, if you are a good enough, quick enough trader (and lucky to some extent, of course) it is the right firm for you."

Optiver is a very good firm. Every firm on the list is a very good firm but just trades slightly different strategies or slightly different areas and products. Also keep in mind that every firm on that list has a high turnover rate, meaning many new people are dropped after about a year or so into the job. This is in part due to poor performance by the new traders or perhaps some sort of realization that trading isn't for everyone. Firms will only keep the best of the best. The only attrition rate that you should be worried about is your own attrition rate. If you are someone that can't make it in the industry, then you will get cut.

"10) I would rank them like this:
1. Jump Trading
2. Infinium Capital Management
3. Spot Trading
3. DRW Trading
4. TransMarket Group
5. Optiver
6. Chicago Trading Company
7. Peak6 Investments
9. Wolverine Trading
10. Tower Hill Trading"

And this is based off of what? Your interviews? Like most on this website, I think you are a college student and don't know what you're talking about. You also have two number 3's and no number 8. Once again, I don't mean to pick on you and I just don't think it makes sense to rank the firms based off of the little knowledge you have about the industry.

10/20/08

Ok, so I had a typo in my list. Here you go:
1. Jump Trading
2. Infinium Capital Management
3. Spot Trading
4. DRW Trading
5. TransMarket Group
6. Optiver
7. Chicago Trading Company
8. Peak6 Investments
9. Wolverine Trading
10. Tower Hill Trading

I am making my decision based on the people I know who work at some of these firms. Also, from my interviews and what schools they recruit from / recruitment criteria. This list is my opinion and others can think whatever they wish.

10/31/08

So if we were to constuct a list of prop firms with offices in NY that are not qaunt shops and not bucket shops what do we have

FNY
Trillium

does any one have other to add to this list?

10/10/14

"senior traders at my firm make 8 figures a year easily". - Golden post here if anyone's in the mood for bullshit souffle

10/19/08

Thank you trader joe, this is by far the best prop trading post on wso. I have a question for you of my own.

Why is it that these prop shops are dominantly equity options. As far as regular equity ranking First New York and Trillium are the standouts with few if any peers. The rest are mostly chop shops. Within equity there are a lot of small prop shops which are closer to small hedge funds. I know of a couple that do not recruit, and are virtually unknown to the public. For those of you that speak with me you know which firms I am talking about.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

10/19/08

I wouldn't say these shops are dominantly equity options. Some trade commodities options. Some trade eurodollar options. Some trade rates. Some trade ag. Some trade volatility. Some deploy quantitative models to trade statistical arbitrage. And some trade equities.

I wouldn't call Trillium a stand out firm or put it in the same peer level as First New York. If you want to trade equities, there are many routes you can take... I would be targeting technical analyst or strategist positions at IB's. Firms that "scalp" (which is very very short term trading) are usually day trading firms and not very good long term career choices.

10/19/08

what is the future of prop trading at these shops look like? I have found a few threads on wilmott and elitetrader that are very pessimistic. They argue that things are decent now but the spreads are narrowing significantly and starting to kill profits margins thanks to computers. does prop trading have a future in the next 15/20 years?

10/19/08

look at spreads right now and get back to me on that traderpimp.

3/18/09

ok

http://www.jasonbondpicks.com
10/20/08

regardless, it seems like most people agree about the same firms being on the list. I'd say it is safe to say the list is certainly not set in stone, but this will give many people an idea of which firms have winning business models and are worth working for.

10/26/08

I am a recently college grad and I applied to First New York after reading Sept issue of Trader monthly and the 30 under 30 list. FNY seemed to be one of the best trading firms out there based on this reading. Furthermore, looking at their website, the training program looks very legit. I now have an offer there and am contemplating leaving my job at a BB where I do sales. I am looking for a high risk high reward career in trading with the largest potential payout and the article on Adam Guren and David Bender was very inspiring as they are now partners in the late 20s.

1. How would you compare FNY specifically with other firms: market making firms, IB, HF, etc.

2. How would you compare specifically the training program for a prop firm, IB, HF for someone new to trading?

10/26/08

Just FYI, being a partner at a prop firm isn't like being a partner at, say, a law firm. Most, if not all, great prop firms allow their traders to be payed K-1. This is true at Trillium Trading, my firm, as well as FNY (I believe). At my firm, you put in a full calendar year and then are eligible to become a partner. For example, I graduated in May and started working at Trillium in late August. In January 2010, I will become eligible to be a partner of the firm (I'll be 23 at that time). It's just a tax structure of the company that benefits traders the most. No social security taxes, basically unlimited trading writeoffs, etc. Don Bright, of Bright Trading, has posts about K-1 status and its benefits on EliteTrader if you're interested (though I'm not advocating for Bright Trading as a great firm btw lol).

10/30/08

Hi, if anyone could offer advice on choosing between optiver trading and spot trading I would much appreciate it. Thanks.

11/11/08
ironroof81:

Hi, if anyone could offer advice on choosing between optiver trading and spot trading I would much appreciate it. Thanks.

Have you gotten offers from both?

11/3/08

What's the starting salary for assistant trader position at Jane Street Capital? What about other firms like Spot Trading, Optiver, and Ronin?

11/4/08

anyone know what bonuses are for first year traders at prop shops?

11/6/08

I noticed that Gambit / Traditum has not been discussed. They are recruiting heavily at my school and was wondering if anybody had any opinions?

11/6/08

Not familiar with either of those firms. There are a bunch of small firms which keep a very low profile (by choice or not). For example, at my school we had a firm called Sun Trading which didn't even have a working website (not necessarily a bad thing). It's really up to you during the interviews to really get an idea of what you'll probably be pulling in a few years down the road. Ask them questions about where college hires are, how much size they are trading, the employee turnover, percent of hires which are from college vs. experienced, the types of strategies the firm is involved with (some firms might not answer this), etc.

It's very hard to get a good idea of how legit these firms are without seeing a performance sheet, but make sure you know how you're gonna go about pulling in money at the firm, either through the firm's huge technology advantage, etc. etc. Any money you make the first two years will be meaningless so keep that in mind.

11/11/08

I'm going through my offers and other interviews and I'm interested in what you guys think of Geneva Trading, Black Diamond Futures, and Marquette Trading. Any info would be appreciated.

BTW, this is one of the most useful threads I've read on the subject and really enjoy hearing about your experiences (esp. Trader Joe).

11/11/08
The Tripster:

I'm going through my offers and other interviews and I'm interested in what you guys think of Geneva Trading, Black Diamond Futures, and Marquette Trading. Any info would be appreciated.

BTW, this is one of the most useful threads I've read on the subject and really enjoy hearing about your experiences (esp. Trader Joe).

spoke with Geneva. feel free to send me a pm.

11/11/08

take the rankings with a large chunk of salt because it comes down to what works for you. most of the firms in the top 10 pay well enough, but there are still significant differences between the kinds of people you find at each of them. find a firm whose culture works well with who you are, and also gives you the opportunity to move up and take responsibility, and if you're a good trader, you'll do well regardless of the "ranking".

11/18/08

I am currently a senior at Michigan State University and have recently added an entrepreneurship minor. As a result of this I am graduating a semester later than normal in December 2009. As a result of this I have been looking for internships in Chicago for this summer to get a leg up on the competition when it comes to interviewing for a trader position. I have had a year long internship at Raymond James and Associates and another internship this past summer at Wachovia Securities. From these jobs I have realized I do not want to be an investment advisor and would like to become some sort of derivative trader. I have a recruiter working for me in Chicago that hasn't found any opportunities. I have a great GPA and great resume but have had terrible luck. Wolverine turned me down for their internship openings because I didn't have programing skills or something. I passed the Group One pre-screening questionnaire and was scheduled for a phone interview today at 3:00 and the lady never called. I left her a message and of course haven't heard back. I have also sent my resume/cover letter into Jump and TMG but haven't heard anything. I guess I have a couple questions:

1. Are there not many internship opportunities at these trading firms?
2. When is the best time to apply for any of these trading openings?
3. Any ideas of other places with internship opportunities?
4. For full time trading positions, am I hurting myself by graduating in December 2009?
5. Do you have any general advice that would help me?

I appreciate it. I've learned a ton from you guys in this thread.

12/4/08

Some of these firms are just market makers which have lots of restrictions on the trading style. I want to know about the firms which provide you the capital and more freedom to trade on your own, any???

12/9/08
tobyzzz:

Some of these firms are just market makers which have lots of restrictions on the trading style. I want to know about the firms which provide you the capital and more freedom to trade on your own, any???

To my knowledge there are very few firms which will pay you a competitive salary and provide you with capital to just trade markets directionally. The firms we are talking about here make markets and look for arbs / quasi-arbs in the form of program trades, pairs trades (what is incorrectly called stat arb), and the like (market making, after all, is just a form of arbitrage).

First New York is the only one that I know bottom line pays you well do use your judgment, but the leash is very short in terms of drawdown. Of course there are the banks and even then, that is an institutional style, and those desks that are directional are getting more scoff than ever recently.

The truth is, if you can make money using "your own style", then you shouldn't need a firm to do so, and having one will only reduce your PnL. But I would argue that those who make money on direction are merely getting it from beta and the only alpha is edge obtained by market making , arb, and the like.

Just my thoughts--hope they help a bit.

12/10/08

Anyone know how Schonfeld Securities ranks with these firms? I have a cousin there that is day trading S&P e-minis presumably on a directional basis and I'm thinking this might be a good opportunity to get into prop. Are they seen more as a "trading arcade" or pretty legit? Any help is appreciated.

12/10/08

Just echoing what others have said, but this is an amazing thread. Thanks to all who have contributed.

12/16/08

hey guys, great help here.

i actually was positioning myself for a backoffice type career in futures and stumbled into applying to tower hill trading, and am going into a round of testing because i did fine on the wonderlic. i really wasnt considering this as a real possibility but this thread has kind of got me thinking.

on my budget, i need to make 40k a year. this will cover rent, student loans, misc bills, and enough to eat and maybe go out once a week. i only have enough saved to go a few months without a paycheck.

is towerhill a place where i can achieve this? does any firm offer this? should i just run away and forget anythought about prop trading, go full tilt at THT, or maybe more seriously look at other firms?

thanks!

12/16/08

THT is a risk considering they pay a draw rather than a salary. if you have bills to pay, THT doesn't seem like a safe bet. if you have the luxury of going for it, THT is a decent place to start. if you can get into a place that offers a reasonable base, even better.

12/16/08

THT is a decent shop - but you should note that they have a very high turnover rate and they have been letting a lot of their current traders go lately. They also pay a 2k draw that you have to qualify for, and if you have a negative month, you won't qualify for it. The way the markets have been lately (very volatile) has definitely affected a lot of speculative traders in both positive and negative lights. The way they trade is very very short term scalping - they hold positions for seconds to minutes. They also don't hedge positions. You could make a fortune or go broke very quickly. Additionally, you won't make much money at THT during the first 2 years (you'll be lucky to be breaking even on a cash-flow basis), but the 3rd year traders at THT (those that survive and make it to 3rd years, that is) make about 250-300k on average.

12/21/08
RossGellar:

THT is a decent shop - but you should note that they have a very high turnover rate and they have been letting a lot of their current traders go lately. They also pay a 2k draw that you have to qualify for, and if you have a negative month, you won't qualify for it. The way the markets have been lately (very volatile) has definitely affected a lot of speculative traders in both positive and negative lights. The way they trade is very very short term scalping - they hold positions for seconds to minutes. They also don't hedge positions. You could make a fortune or go broke very quickly. Additionally, you won't make much money at THT during the first 2 years (you'll be lucky to be breaking even on a cash-flow basis), but the 3rd year traders at THT (those that survive and make it to 3rd years, that is) make about 250-300k on average.

THT is kind of a hard place to describe.

You are correct about the turnover. When they were a new shop, they gave new traders much, much more leeway in regards to losses. Now, they seem to keep guys on a real tight leash at the beginning, let the weaker/undisciplined guys go fast, and slowly increase the risk tolerance as guys get more experienced. They do pay a 2k/month draw. I know for awhile they had some weird delay on it, but I don't believe it's that way any more. I have never heard of the draw being withheld due to a negative month. (What percentage of new traders are positive their first months...2%?)

Yes, guys there start out scalping, however there are guys that do other stuff. Most of the scalpers there trade high flying stuff like FSLR, BIDU, GOOG, GS, etc... Once trainees can scalp and learn execution, they allow them to swing bigger. It's not at all uncommon for traders to hold overnight. There's different groups of guys around the floor that trade other types of strategies.

As far as take home pay, it varies wildly, considering it's 100% performance based (after draw). Most of the people there are out the door before they make any decent money. Assuming a guy makes it through the learning curve for a year or two (~2/7 of traders hired), 150k-300k after that is probably pretty accurate. Above that, there's another tier in the $500k-$1mill range. There are a handful of guys that make multiple $ millions/per.

If you're looking for a place to teach you systematic, complicated equity strategies, you'll be disappointed with THT. It's very much a sink or swim, individualistic type of place. That said, if you can swim, they do give experienced traders $5-10 million to trade directionally intraday.

Hope that helps!

12/17/08

Anyone have suggestions for internships at these places? Do they take MBAs?

12/17/08

thanks again for the help.

thats about what i expected. realistically, for what i am, could i hope to find a more friendly place to new traders, or is that the deal i have to work with to break into the industry?

also, do you guys know what i should expect from the testing monday? the email i got said i should do fine on the testing based on my wonderlic performance, but based on other threads it looks like there is potential for harder questions.

thanks again!

12/29/08

thanks for all the help, guys. not sure what else is left to be said.

turns out i got invited to the final round of interviews (with the managers). im a hard lean against working at this place since im such a noob and not really in a position to take such a huge risk, financially.

do they pretty much invite anyone who applies to these interviews or does making it this far mean they are actually serious about you? if i took this job would working a second job at like a borders be possible (to help make ends meet at the beginning) or am i going to be done at the end of the day?

i guess im just looking for any advice, whatsoever. dont bite your tongue. usually going in for the interview would be a no brainer for me, regardless, but this one would involve me leaving work, and since im pretty actively searching for jobs elsewhere i would prefer to limit doing that for only jobs im seriously considering (since i dont want to lose my job just yet).

so yea, any advice whatsover would be great. dont bite your tongue.

12/30/08

Hello everyone. First, excellent discussion. I worked as a IB prop trader for many years, and now I work for a hedge fund. P/L is good (thankfully), but environment not so much. I am very intrigued by the meritocracy offered by prop trading shops (based on what I've read primarily on this site). However, my focus is currencies, mostly G-10. I hold positions for about 4 days on average. I have a very strong track record (again, thankfully). Are there any prop firms out there that would have a look at what I do? I am very willing to take next to nothing in the form of a draw. I just would like to get paid a healthy percentage of what I make. Thanks in advance.

12/31/08

Hey everyone- some great information on these pages.

I am graduating in May and am looking for somewhere, like the post earlier by Bob, where I have a base salary of at least $40k a year for the first year to make ends meet.

I interviewed with CTC, and I am looking for either a prop firm or market making firm that pays a base salary in Chicago. I don't have any capital of my own to contribute, coming out of school, so I'm looking for somewhere where I can learn the first year and then be able to trade on my own afterwards.

What do you guys think are the best firms for this? I'm really interested in getting into trading, so any information you might have would be extremely helpful.

12/31/08

Use the lists on this thread as a starting point.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

12/31/08

I've emailed just about all of the firms on these lists...is there a better way to get in or are they not really hiring right now?

I've got a good resume and good GPA, so I'm just curious.

1/7/09

I work for a smaller firm thats not on the list, but when I was in my first year, my salary was 100k + 10k signing. One firm that hasn't been mentioned that pays very well, is a major player in equity markets and is well capitalized is getco trading. I've heard of salaries being near 200k for first year analysts. But I agree that you should look at the firms culture first and foremost between the legit shops. Most of the legit ones will pay 65k+ in Chicago. The first year salary shouldn't influence your decision too much since a trader can make over 1 million/yr in a couple years.

1/7/09

any comment on A prop firm called Hudson River Trading in NY?

2/13/09

I think it was RossGellar who said trade something you have interest in. My big thing is futures as opposed to equities (just now learning about options). I am graduating soon (MS Eng/MBA) and do intraday speculation on ES and ForEx instead of writing my thesis. My system works but I won't have the gains to support myself for probably another 2 years so I am looking at Prop/MM firms to get started. Any firm recommendations for those arenas? I found a comprehensive list of prop firms here:

http://www.tradersnarrative.com/list-of-proprietary-trading-firms-735.html

2/22/09

I have second round interview with DRW. How do they pay and what kind of work do they do? Do they do only options on different things like Eurodollar, commodities and equities.
I am also concerned by the fact that people here are pessimistic about opportunities after working with DRW. Will you be employable by hedge funds after working with DRW?

2/23/09
vkaul1:

I have second round interview with DRW. How do they pay and what kind of work do they do? Do they do only options on different things like Eurodollar, commodities and equities.
I am also concerned by the fact that people here are pessimistic about opportunities after working with DRW. Will you be employable by hedge funds after working with DRW?

Why are you asking about exit opps for a potential full time job when you're applying for a summer internship that you haven't even gotten yet?

3/5/09

There seems to be some disagreement on Group One, yet it didn't make it into either Ross or trade4size's top 10. Care to give a low down on them please? Curious chimps want to know.

3/6/09

I am also through 2nd round interviews with G1. Any insight would be great!

3/9/09

I am trying to decide between two (internship) offers and would appreciate any opinions on the aforementioned firms in the context of algo trading. Both of my prospectives landed in the top 10 lists above, but there was no clear winner and I was wondering if the rankings/opinions might differ given that I am specifically doing algo trading.

Thanks for any insights/opinions.

3/18/09

About Lion Pride is it any good? Any traders here currently trading with them?

They offer a $ 2,000 deposit. But I have read that they had some problems and did not pay their traders when they changed from golden to world trade?

Is world trade operating? I really am lost.

3/22/09

I've seen various lists for the larger and medium-sized trading firms in Chicago, but where can learn about the smaller outfits. The really small shops with 5-15 people? Or is there really no way to learn about these small firms unless you actually no someone in them?

3/22/09

Spot on by fillorkill-
I'll add that students are recognizing the progression though.
This year, DRW/SIG lost quite a few of the most talented recruits to GETCO and DE Shaw especially.
(not that these are the lean entrepreneurial that fillorkill was referring to, but the principle prevails)

3/22/09

How tough is it to get in from undergrad if the company does OCR?

3/22/09

A guy I used to work with quit his job to go to SMB Capital - the website looks bootleg as hell.

4/5/09

What kind of job did he quit?

SMB capital was the firm featured on Wall Street Warriors.
You know, the show with Tim Sykes.

Apart from an association with Tim Sykes and the fact that they recruit on craigslist, the firm is what it is. It doesn't have the business model to become a top prop firm, and I don't think that is the founders' intentions.

There was a thread a while ago on SMB, and one of the partners came on in defense of it. You should search for it. He seemed extremely logical, and defend SMB as something it's not.

With that said, I'm assuming that their trader turn over rate is rather high, even for the prop industry.

EDIT: Sorry, didn't see your post TK4

3/23/09

SMB has a recruitment video on Wall Street warriors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJDEAMKKq5k

I guess their target employees are the non-ivy types like me. I've noticed that their CEO has posted on these boards as well as EliteTrader.

3/26/09

Can anyone share any Prop Trading recruiter names or guide me to an appropriate forum.

Excellent discussion btw.

Thank you

3/26/09

Any Info out there about ECHO Trade, Low buy in and personal one to one training period, thats all i know. Thanks

4/5/09

Can someone comment if these firms trade energy futures/options/etc?

Thanks,

4/21/09

A pragmatic approach to answering questions as to what makes these firms unique would be to ask someone who knows, and not resort to a blog where people talk about what they have heard or experienced in an interview. This is not an accurate representation of these groups.

I am actively representing, or have in the recent past, 9 of the firms listed. In my role, I also talk to Sr. traders, developers, and every other type of employee within these firms.

Feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss what is really going on in the Proprietary trading space.

4/23/09

Anyone heard of Avatar Securities? Are they a good firm to trade with?

4/25/09

are they a good firm to start my career with? as a quant trader?

5/5/09

For the last 2.5 years, I've worked at a tiny high frequency/black box/algorithmic prop trading firm in Chicago. It's too small to be on any of the lists above. I work as a "connectivity developer": I write programs that provide market data and manage orders; my programs sit between the trading logic and the exchanges.

As I have a phone interview with one of the bigger firms mentioned in this thread, I was trying to find out what the culture/environment at other prop trading firms is like. That is how I stumbled on this thread. In my opinion, my current workplace is a sweatshop. It was founded by guys who used to work at Citadel. I came from a huge manufacturing company where I worked five years as a developer. The respective cultures are a night and day difference.

There are obvious differences: typical stuff you would assume when comparing a huge multinational versus a small (less than 10 person) firm. But it's the "attitude" of the company I struggle with: I want to do a good job, I want to learn about the business, and I'm willing to work hard. But I have too many other interests (and a family!) to continue to spend 11 hours/day every day. The founders/traders have literally made this business their life, and expect the same dedication from everyone else.

The other aspect that was a culture shock is the secrecy of the business. Despite our small size, many details of the business are completely closed to me. I never received anything in the way of training, mentoring or coaching. It's a very "siloed" environment, and frankly, I feel my skills as a software engineer are stagnating (because I have no one to learn from, no room to experiment with new ideas, etc).

In short, I'm looking for work-life balance and better growth opportunities (where the company actively participates in my learning and development). My current firm has led me to believe that anyone unwilling to work *at least* 10 hours/day (12 is better), every day, will have no chance of success in this industry. Likewise, any degree of coaching/mentoring is considered hand-holding, and there's no room for people who need that.

So... I'm just trying to find out if my firm (as I've described it) is truly indicative of the industry as a whole, or if there are firms that recognize employees can be great contributors *and* maintain a sane work-life balance? Based on what my current firm has ingrained in me, I feel like I'm going to look like someone who doesn't want to work or who needs a lot of hand-holding if I ask about things like work-life balance and coaching/mentoring.

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated. Just note that my position is a little difference from most (all?) in this thread, since I'm a programmer rather than a trader.

1/19/10

To connectivity_developer:

According to what you've described, a high-frequency shop would be more appropriate for you. They care so much about new technologies.

Have you landed somewhere already?

5/5/09

the firm is not indicative of the industry especially for a programmer. there are MANY firms where programmers do the traditional 8-4. Only way to find out is to ask.

5/11/09

I am a recruiter and I have really enjoyed this thread. Just to clarify something: Some of these houses are traditional prop and some are pure quant trading firms. They are very different in the people that they typically hire, the type of compensation, the firm culture, etc. The good Options Market Making firms are more aligned with quant trading than traditional prop. Here are some more firms that are in the space, to aid in this discuss. If you have any questions, put them in the thread or drop me an email:

Large Systematic Options Marketing Platforms:
Citadel (Was probably the best at one time)
Timber Hill (IBKR)
Goldman Sachs (Hull)
UBS EVT

Large Stat Arb Platforms (Quant Trading):
GETCO (Number 1)
Citadel (was number 2...who knows now)
Jump Trading
Tower Research
Millennium Partners / WorldQuant
Knight Capital
Lehman / Barclays
Goldman Sachs

Just to reiterate: NYS, Trillium, Gerber, etc are houses that have a trading platform where you typically trade a combination of your personal money and the firms money (sometimes 100% on either side of the spectrum). CTC, Ronin and TransMarket group were typically more of the traditional prop where you traded 100% their money. Now they are trying to move to a quant / systematic model, or at least add the capability.

11/10/09

Hi!
I am a undergrad student and will be interviewing with Worldquant later this month.
I could not get a lot of information about the firm from internet. Can you give me some idea of how the firm culture is? Is it a good place to be beginning your career versus say in Global Markets for barclays?

Is WQ a reputed hedge fund? I am not sure.
Your help is very much appreciated.

Thanks

3/13/10
mwilliams:

I am a recruiter and I have really enjoyed this thread. Just to clarify something: Some of these houses are traditional prop and some are pure quant trading firms. They are very different in the people that they typically hire, the type of compensation, the firm culture, etc. The good Options Market Making firms are more aligned with quant trading than traditional prop. Here are some more firms that are in the space, to aid in this discuss. If you have any questions, put them in the thread or drop me an email:

Large Systematic Options Marketing Platforms:
Citadel (Was probably the best at one time)
Timber Hill (IBKR)
Goldman Sachs (Hull)
UBS EVT

Large Stat Arb Platforms (Quant Trading):
GETCO (Number 1)
Citadel (was number 2...who knows now)
Jump Trading
Tower Research
Millennium Partners / WorldQuant
Knight Capital
Lehman / Barclays
Goldman Sachs

Just to reiterate: NYS, Trillium, Gerber, etc are houses that have a trading platform where you typically trade a combination of your personal money and the firms money (sometimes 100% on either side of the spectrum). CTC, Ronin and TransMarket group were typically more of the traditional prop where you traded 100% their money. Now they are trying to move to a quant / systematic model, or at least add the capability.

very informative, could u detail more on knight capital, which seems like a broker-dealer?

11/10/10
mwilliams:

I am a recruiter and I have really enjoyed this thread. Just to clarify something: Some of these houses are traditional prop and some are pure quant trading firms. They are very different in the people that they typically hire, the type of compensation, the firm culture, etc. The good Options Market Making firms are more aligned with quant trading than traditional prop. Here are some more firms that are in the space, to aid in this discuss. If you have any questions, put them in the thread or drop me an email:

Large Systematic Options Marketing Platforms:
Citadel (Was probably the best at one time)
Timber Hill (IBKR)
Goldman Sachs (Hull)
UBS EVT

Large Stat Arb Platforms (Quant Trading):
GETCO (Number 1)
Citadel (was number 2...who knows now)
Jump Trading
Tower Research
Millennium Partners / WorldQuant
Knight Capital
Lehman / Barclays
Goldman Sachs

Just to reiterate: NYS, Trillium, Gerber, etc are houses that have a trading platform where you typically trade a combination of your personal money and the firms money (sometimes 100% on either side of the spectrum). CTC, Ronin and TransMarket group were typically more of the traditional prop where you traded 100% their money. Now they are trying to move to a quant / systematic model, or at least add the capability.

At Trillium you don't trade any of your personal money, and receive a salary (non-draw/performance), albeit a small one. Check your information.

Sold out and cashed in on the intellectual ballerness of a physics education and a scientific mindset. That and some well developed poker skill will hopefully bring good EV.

7/2/09

This has been a very interesting read. I'm considering a move into the industry, and I'd be curious to get input from current traders on a few things. First, a bit about my background and circumstances.

I'm about 6 years out of undergrad. I have degrees in both Accounting and Finance. I worked in public accounting for the first 3 years, have my CPA. I audited financial statements; toward the end I was focused solely on financial services (hedge / mutual funds, private equity, and a stock exchange). For the last three years I've been in-house corporate doing IT Audit. Without patting myself on the back too hard, I'm way smarter than the work that I do, and while I've been successful at minimzing the amount of work I've had to do to maximize the pay, I've finally hit that ceiling AND I'm bored to the point where I want to fling myself off the nearest balcony. I want to work in a smaller, casual team environment, with brilliant people. I need to be challenged.

I know people in Chicago at a few of the firms listed here, and I know they make pretty retarded amounts of money. That's definitely appealing, but my primary motive is the challenge and working with people that are smart. I love technology. I'd be perfectly content making 100k long-term if I enjoy it. The fact that I could make 500k or more is just icing, I don't even know what I'd do with that much cash. I've gotten opinions from those I know, which recently led me to start looking at financial engineering and / or applied mathematics degrees at carnegie, mit, stanford, etc.

I guess my questions are:

1) Which of the firms discussed here do the kind of trading that hires the math grads as opposed to say an MBA in finance?

2) What tends to make or break traders? It sounds like a lot of people get weeded out early on? What about them makes them fail, generally?

3) How often is it that people make complete career changes to do this? Is it more typical to see people coming straight out of undergrad / grad?

4) Assuming I snag an advanced degree in applied math or financial engineering from one of those schools, would I look like a good prospect on paper, given what I've talked about above?

I'm sure I'll think of more but any opinions thus far would be appreciated.

7/14/09

How Does Marquette Partners Factor into these rankings? If they do not does anyone have any colour around their training program and or firm?

Also, any advice for 1st year Sales & Trading Analyst at a IB BB with likley offer to trade on a desk this fall at the bank which would include managing small prop book....any pro's and con's in regards to Marquette vs. BB IB Sales Desk???

Ulitmately would like to trade on my own away from IB in years to come.

2/22/10

You are forgetting one - Chopper Trading. I would rank Chopper Trading as one of the top proprietary trading companies in Chicago and New York. They have a great company atmosphere and very competitive compensations structures. Chopper Trading is rapidly growing and many people have found success there.

2/24/10

anybody know anything about Eldorado Trading Group? How does it compare to the "top shops" mentioned here?

2/26/10

Chopper Trading sucks, period.

3/9/10

Im trying to make an overall opinion from this,

would it be fair to say a good trader will succeed regardless and where you start is less prestige-driven than other areas of finance (example; IBD)

3/9/10
lookingforanswers:

Im trying to make an overall opinion from this,

would it be fair to say a good trader will succeed regardless and where you start is less prestige-driven than other areas of finance (example; IBD)

I'd say this is somewhat accurate. Some places will give you an advantage through their technology/training, but if you have the instincts to trade, yeah, I can think you could be successful whereever. Also, in the world of prop, your PnL is your prestige. Doesn't matter if you make it at GETCO or if you do it at a sweatshop

4/21/10
lookingforanswers:

Im trying to make an overall opinion from this,

would it be fair to say a good trader will succeed regardless and where you start is less prestige-driven than other areas of finance (example; IBD)

If I was just starting out, a job at the bigger firms will help you way more in the future...they provide an education and access to resources not available at small firms...

3/18/10

Great thread. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Chimera Securities here yet. Any thoughts on them?

4/21/10

This is a good thread...I am with a large chicago market making group and have never heard of chimera...

4/22/10

SMB Capital has the best training program.

4/22/10

Very debatable to whom has the best, but the biggest Chicago firms are CTC, Wolverine, DRW, Infinium. You will find them all to have full time teachers and many things offered...

4/30/10

are they bigger than Getco, Jump and Optiver?

4/30/10
lingua_franca:

are they bigger than Getco, Jump and Optiver?

Yes, they are bigger and not as selective.

5/12/10

Regard to : JANESTREET: it is far, far,far too overrated. I have no idea why people rank it as number one when, clearly it is not.

Also, wise word here, if you ever get a chance to pick btw let's say janestreet and (GS or jp morgan or any other bigger house), it would only be in your own best interest to pick GS or JP Morgan or whatever else that is bigger and more reputable ... reputation-wise, having GS on your resume pays a lot more than having JaneStreet on it.

The big giants have been in the business for years and know how to cope not only with interns but also with incoming analysts....

A friend of mine is currently working for JaneStreet and he admittingly regrets having picked it over GS. Of course, he is smart.

He regrets for a variety of reasons that are not directly linked with pay but soon will. The leadership potential, the degree of expertise as well as the range of experience found at GS is by all means unrivaled. For example, you don't wanna be taught or trained by someone who "is smart" but you wanna be trained by someone who is "stellar", rite ? It just adds to thrill, excitement, and inspiration.

While Jane Street might be full of "smart" to "very smart" traders and quants, it is no where in the league of GS. GS might have the "average smart" that drags down the overall average but it also has the "brilliant ones". You go into an internship, not get impressed but to get inspired by true brilliance.

And if you are going to argue that comparing a prop shop to an IB or BB is like comparing oranges wth strawberries, don't be foolish ... you will be able to find whatever you could find in a smaller house at the bigger mall with added benefit of better quality and wider variety.

5/12/10
ringodong:

Regard to : JANESTREET: it is far, far,far too overrated. I have no idea why people rank it as number one when, clearly it is not.

Also, wise word here, if you ever get a chance to pick btw let's say janestreet and (GS or jp morgan or any other bigger house), it would only be in your own best interest to pick GS or JP Morgan or whatever else that is bigger and more reputable ... reputation-wise, having GS on your resume pays a lot more than having JaneStreet on it.

The big giants have been in the business for years and know how to cope not only with interns but also with incoming analysts....

A friend of mine is currently working for JaneStreet and he admittingly regrets having picked it over GS. Of course, he is smart.

He regrets for a variety of reasons that are not directly linked with pay but soon will. The leadership potential, the degree of expertise as well as the range of experience found at GS is by all means unrivaled. For example, you don't wanna be taught or trained by someone who "is smart" but you wanna be trained by someone who is "stellar", rite ? It just adds to thrill, excitement, and inspiration.

While Jane Street might be full of "smart" to "very smart" traders and quants, it is no where in the league of GS. GS might have the "average smart" that drags down the overall average but it also has the "brilliant ones". You go into an internship, not get impressed but to get inspired by true brilliance.

And if you are going to argue that comparing a prop shop to an IB or BB is like comparing oranges wth strawberries, don't be foolish ... you will be able to find whatever you could find in a smaller house at the bigger mall with added benefit of better quality and wider variety.

You're being sarcastic right? If not, you're gravely misinformed by the quality/allure of the BB's. And I'm not pulling shit out of my ass either because I'm a senior at one of the firms that you've mentioned. Whereas you have a sample data point of one friend, I have met majority of new hires on the desks and know many traders personally. The quality of people here are actually majority (~95%) "average smart" who've managed to work very hard in their lives to land the job they have.

From a recruiting perspective, we lose a majority of the academically "brilliant" kids to prop every year. And all-stars on the desks usually defect to hedge funds, prop shops, or start funds of their own.

Lets get real here. Nobody gives a shit who you work for as a trader as long as you make a shitload of money. Do you really think a prop guy pulling in seven-eight figures a year cares about the reputation of the firm that he works for? Seriously? I doubt these guys are going to switching jobs soon.

And in terms of firms like JS and SIG and etc. - dude, you do know that they are HUGE MARKET MAKERS right? They do jobs at the same/higher caliber as the big buys, and make more money. I also know a handful of people over at JS who are junior-senior traders (since we're talking about random samples, correct?) and they are some of the most brilliant guys on the street who knows their shit inside out and a lot better than the supposedly "brilliant" high-ups on my floor.

Lastly, you make me laugh. Inspiration? It's trading. Your only inspiration is to make money.

Lastly lastly, please refer to front page thread about writing on internet forums like this one. Thank you, and good day.

5/12/10

Clearly, you are talking about of your a***.

And clearly you are not working at the front desk of a top tier bb ... that's your problem. I cannot help if you compare a back office job with a front office one. That's your fault. You gotta get this cleared out.

"From a recruiting perspective, we lose a majority of the academically "brilliant" kids to prop every year." I agree, and most of these folks regret their choice after they realize they could have gotten a better perspective and better training at a large scale reputable bb when they get laid off. It is highly unlikely that a failure at a prop shop lands a well-paid position in BB, the reverse might be more likely though. And the direction is usually as you correctly pointed out, BB-> prop shop. So, it make sense to start your luck and fortune at BB and then work your way either ways.....
My friend tried to re-interview with GS. So, he is probably the exception ... this didn't go well for him.

by the way, JS is filled with individuals who come either from some ivy league schools such as Princeton and Harvard ... the culture is awkward rather than how most people who have never truly experienced it, portray it as "cool" and "laid back". If you want a cool and "laid back" environment that is not pretentious, then obviously go for "Hudson River Trading." JS is a bubble ... many of my friends wonder when it will start to implode. They have some odd characters and many failed scientists who didn't make it in academia ended up at the company. (not that these failed scientists are brilliant traders ... )

I got my fair share of experience in dealing with JS and SIG, etc prop shop people and know that they are smart but I have not met a single guy there who is brilliant. We are talking about Vardhan calibre here ....

and yes as intern you wanna see the s*I**t and get inspired by brilliance. you are not inspired by money, money is your motivation but not your inspiration. I feel sorry for you as you clearly work for a 2 tier bb ...

P.S.
you are right you were not pulling shit out of your ass ... you were pulling raw shit out of your mouth and had diarrhea in addition to that.

5/12/10

What about Belvedere Trading? Has anyone heard anything pos/neg about them?

5/12/10

it sucks...

5/12/10

any particular reason? is it worth pursuing for a younger kid in school?

5/12/10

It pays salary, which is nice. It's smallish but growing a lot. But it's definitely not on the same level as DRW/SIG/Optiver/Jump etc.

5/14/10

i would have to say that I have great respect for the people who make it into JSC. It is a great place filled with very smart people.

That said, every firm is a distribution. JSC probably has a higher average of intelligence than other firms, but a firm like GS has a more wide distribution since it has more people obviously. (again, there is selection bias etc. but in very simple terms, there are smart people at both places, but i would say without a doubt that JSC has a higher average intelligence.)

BT is not bad. I really liked the people there.

8/16/10
Zalfor:

i would have to say that I have great respect for the people who make it into JSC. It is a great place filled with very smart people.

That said, every firm is a distribution. JSC probably has a higher average of intelligence than other firms, but a firm like GS has a more wide distribution since it has more people obviously. (again, there is selection bias etc. but in very simple terms, there are smart people at both places, but i would say without a doubt that JSC has a higher average intelligence.)

BT is not bad. I really liked the people there.

I do understand the general essence of what you're trying to emphasize, yet I fail to understand how number crunching skills automatically translates to higher intelligence.

I win here, I win there...

6/19/10

One of my good friends is at Citadel, recently removed from the old Merrill, and considers the prop desk there far more conducive to the work of good traders than most of the other shops. They are doing quite well for themselves this year apparently...

7/9/10

Nothing wrong with Belvedere--a lot of people from my school work there and do very well for themselves. Salary is a bit below par for most of the better prop shops (avg I have seen ~$50k for the better places that let you actually trade soon. A tiny number are in the $70-80k range if the training/clerking periods are long), but I haven't heard any complaints. Most probably won't make it their first choice and it isn't a top shop, but it isn't bad.

It would be interesting if people here would make a list of what they want/look for in a prop shop. There is too little substance in what is talked about around in what is a 'good' shop and most of it relates to the salary paid to first years... that generally isn't the best assessment since that is strongly related to how soon they'll let you trade and the training program. A place like Kershner down in Austin, Texas is very good and pays no salary, but has a lot of good people and pays very well as a % of PnL (and a place like SIG doesn't pay as nice of a bonus as a % of PnL, but it is a 'better' shop overall). There are some other places (at least 1 that has been mentioned as a top shops) have relatively little growth opportunity (you are essentially a programmer and develop few proprietary strategies or trading skills), but pay a great salary and bonuses tend to be reasonable, but you won't be having your own book anytime soon and if your dream is to be a baller very quickly, it isn't happening (or it is a lot less likely than the shops that let you take a good deal of risk early).

And finally... comparing S&T to prop trading is apples and oranges. The risk averse thing to do (assuming your interest is prop trading) is join an S&T division of a big bank. The vast majority of the time you'll have a higher salary, better benefits, and substantially more job security and brand name recognition (if you plan to go somewhere else later). At a prop, you tend to have more freedom, deal with less bureaucratic bs, and have a much more upside potential early on (since you'll be running your own book anyway). If you're great, you'll succeed in either and I think the diff. between a great prop and a great bank is more a matter of fit/preference than any ideal. As with everything, there are trade-offs for anything.

11/11/10

I have been looking to join a prop firm, but unfortunately I could not find the right one.

We need to think first what instrument we want to trade and based on that we can narrow our research.

I personally trade only FX and I could not find a prop company that would only trade currencies. Most prop trades Equities and Options.

If you guys know a good prop that have a good team that trade FX in USA please let me know.

Cheers.

11/11/10

lol there is no legitimate shop that 'only' trades spot FX (a couple algo shops.... made).... all of these prop firms make markets on various derivatives for the most part, which may include currencies (like where I work).

5/26/11

Hi,
I am a recent undergraduate working in an asset management firm. It has been my passion and dream to become a trader. I have interviewed with several of the top prop trading shop such as Jane Street, Optiver, Tibra and etc. I didn't have any trouble passing any of their screening tests or brain teasers, but for some reason, I am just can't seem to pass any of their final round, which is usually semi-technical conversations with their traders.
And now, I am starting to think there might to certain quality I am missing. Can anyone please advise me what are the qualifies top traders look for? This is really bothering and hurting my confidence. I actually felt some of those final rounds went pretty well as many of my answers resonated with the interviewers follow up, but I still came up short of an offer.
When I use similar answers to respond to the similar questions for the less well-known prop trading shops, I did receive offers. I just can't figure out what about me that top traders in this industry do not like. Any advise? Thanks in advance!

6/11/11

Saying that Jane Street is a large market maker in US is simply wrong, they're a big number, but not more.

GETCO is a very large market maker, they're also DMM at NYSE, they bought 350 slots at NYSE from Barcap.

Knight Capital Group is for sure the largest market maker (under prop firms) in US. Visit the homepage and read data and you'll understand why.
http://www.knight.com/ourFirm/liquidity.asp

DRW and GETCO are first-class prop firms.

Guggenheim Partners is also building a prop division, its called Guggenheim Global Trading. They're hiring up to 200 prop traders fleeing BBs. They start with $500 million equity and will be end up with $2.5 billion. You can bet that GGT will beat many of the listed prop firms in a few years.

8/31/11

I find it amazing that no one has mentioned Ronin Capital yet they're making a killing on a daily basis and just moved offices to this kick ass place. Just because theyre under the radar does not make them bad.

8/31/11
quantyoungling:

I find it amazing that no one has mentioned Ronin Capital yet they're making a killing on a daily basis and just moved offices to this kick ass place. Just because theyre under the radar does not make them bad.

Um, do you work in HR for Ronin? This is the total opposite of what i have heard from my sources.

8/31/11

No I know someone who works there what have you heard?

8/31/11
quantyoungling:

No I know someone who works there what have you heard?

They had a great 2008, but they've been struggling. I know quite a few traders who left because they were dissatisfied working there.

9/27/11

In terms of prop firms. Who offers the lowest clearing fees? I'm currently getting 30 cents per thousand shares, but am obviously interested in getting the best deal. Additionally, what is the payout at whichever firm it may be that has the lowest clearing fees?

9/27/11

In terms of prop firms. Who offers the lowest clearing fees? I'm currently getting 30 cents per thousand shares, but am obviously interested in getting the best deal. Additionally, what is the payout at whichever firm it may be that has the lowest clearing fees?

9/27/11

Anyone heard of these guys? http://www.mntrading.com/

12/17/11

anyone know transmkt's salary (specialty in terms of style of trading as I see they're ranked really well on this forum

IVY for Life

1/11/12
futuretrader1999:

anyone know transmkt's salary (specialty in terms of style of trading as I see they're ranked really well on this forum

I would also be interested in salary information.

5/2/12

There are some smaller newer prop shops that are VERY selective.

headlands technologies
Feis trading
gray whale capital
eladian partners

5/3/12

What do you mean "VERY" selective? Selective in that they are small and only will hire 1-2 traders, or selective in the fact that you need to have a 160 IQ and a PhD to get past the entry screen?

5/26/13

Some amazing info in this thread, would love to see more discussion. Prop trading is something that I've seriously been considering going after, and I'd love to know as much as possible. What firms in Chicago offer good training programs? I know I have a lot to learn, and gains in a paper account or smaller personal accounts don't necessarily equal any type of success in trading, so I'd love to at least try to get into a training program, kind of like what is offered at First New York.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

6/2/13

I have a really hard time believing that story about Jump.

10/13/14

.

2/5/14

Don't ever think to open account with Nonko. I lost all my funds because of them. I opened my account with Daniel sitting on Nonko Support on Skype. After two days another guy sitting on Nonko support and told me he don't know anything about my account. He told me Daniel left the company and he don't know anything about my funds. Don't trust anybody there. They are all fraudsters and please don't believe them. At this point I am stuck with my trading as all my funds are gone.

ahsan

2/5/14

Somebody make a market on the percentage of posters in this thread that are actually in the prop trading industry.

9/17/14

would like some updates on this thread...

10/10/14

I am also curious what the more experienced members of the community have to say about whether the old consensus has changed much

10/10/14

This thread is a cesspool of Chimps with 1-5 bananas too lazy to do their own searches....

10/13/14

Jump.

10/13/14

why do you care?

10/13/14

why do bankers care about BB firm's deal volumes and rank them on Thompson?

10/13/14

let me rephrase. what odds do you have to get on a prop desk?

10/13/14

with all due respect, what does that have to do with the question i asked?

I just need some sort of ranking or database that tells me how much they trade.

10/13/14

it's going to be tough to find that data, it's usually fairly well guarded.

i thought you were looking at pursuing jobs on prop desks based on ranking or something like that.

10/13/14

how else would you rank prop desks if not how much they trade and how much they make?

10/13/14

that information isn't exactly being handed out.

if you are ranking them in order to go about pursuing them in order of their rankings....well i'd suggest that you try to get on any prop desk first and not worry about the rankings.

10/13/14

how else would you know if the prop firm is good?

for example, if i were pursuing IBD, i know GS is good because they have a huge deal volume

if i were pursuing PE, i know KKR is good 'cause they have a shit load of money

how would i know if prop shops like Jane Street is better than other prop shops with no apple to apply comparison?

10/13/14
monkeyderivative:

how else would you know if the prop firm is good?

for example, if i were pursuing IBD, i know GS is good because they have a huge deal volume

if i were pursuing PE, i know KKR is good 'cause they have a shit load of money

how would i know if prop shops like Jane Street is better than other prop shops with no apple to apply comparison?

How can you make an overgeneralization like "If I were pursing PE, I know KKR is good cause they have a shitload of money" That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. How about Blackstone because they have good management? What does a "shitload of money" actual mean. In cash? In assests? Is the cash just sitting on the desk?

10/13/14

interview, meet the ppl, and make the best guess you can.

i thought you were talking about prop desks at banks anyway

10/13/14

the answer to your question (even if the data were publicly available) is irrelevant. Once you are producing, your compensation is linked to your profitability - if you are good then you will be paid well, if not then you're looking for another job.

10/13/14

I was under the impression prestige mattered a lot less in trading compared to your individual performance.

10/13/14

true, but i'm sure different firms have different trading methods/systems, how would you know who's the best, or why is Jane Street more well known than some other small prop trading shops.

10/13/14

So now you want to know who has the best trading method/system?

Nobody has done better than Warren Buffet so go ask him for a job - he's hiring.

10/13/14

god damn it, your comments add absolutely no value to the question being asked so you might as well not reply.

if a firm has a good system it will produce good profit which is what i'm looking for

you're essentially telling me to learn trading on my own and who gives a fuck which prop shop i go to 'cause they're all the same since everything depends on ME.

and apparently you don't know shit about prop trading since buffet doesn't trade like a proprietary trader.

10/13/14

god damn it, your comments add absolutely no value to the question being asked so you might as well not reply.

I was merely pointing out the flawed nature of your question. If you perceive that to have added no value then so be it.

if a firm has a good system it will produce good profit which is what i'm looking for

Any "system" can produce good profit depending on how it is executed but how are you going to assess the level of risk that has been taken to generate it?

you're essentially telling me to learn trading on my own and who gives a fuck which prop shop i go to 'cause they're all the same since everything depends on ME.

No - I'm essentially telling you to learn trading at the place where you feel you will learn the most from your mentors (and this is essentially the same advice that Jimbo has given you). Over time, you will develop your own skill sets and style and it won't matter who you work for.

and apparently you don't know shit about prop trading since buffet doesn't trade like a proprietary trader.

You are right - Mr Buffet does not trade like a typical prop trader but he is one by definition. You ask for who is the most successful and it is him.

I worked very closely with the equity prop desk when I was at a BB, turned down an offer to join them when I left, and have had a whole bunch of prop desks as clients over the years. So if I "don't know shit about prop trading", where does that put you?

Try Goldmans - you have about the right level of testosterone for them.

10/13/14

Ok, let's back this up.

What job offers do you have? What's your background?

If you have none/are gearing up, apply to all the shops, do the best you can in your interviews, and once you have offers in hand and have met people at all of these places you'll be in a better position to decide.

10/13/14

obviously they'll all say they have the best system, I need something for apple to apple comparison.

10/13/14

repeat: what is your background and what are your offers?

10/13/14

my background is i'm an undergrad

i'm going to look for prop trading jobs next year.

10/13/14

well go out and get some offers and then we can discuss it.

10/13/14

tell me the difference between Susquehanna and DRW

10/13/14

what's in it for me?

10/13/14

Here is the list, just google it and how much you will make.

1. GS - 300K a year (right out of school)
2.ML - 250K a year plus 300K bonus
3. KKR - they dont like you

10/13/14

calm the fuck down before calling anyone stupid., either you dont know anything about PE or you're plain stupid.

And I'm pretty sure I am a lot smarter than you are.

"shitload of money" is a general statement about KKR since they're good 'cause capable to raising and managing a lot of money to LBO other companies for profit. it's not an overgeneralization. It's a fact that there's a strong correlation between how much a PE manage to how good their management team is.

Simple as that and you're having difficulty understanding.

10/13/14

hmmm, you dont even know me, but thats ok! What your saying is common sense. Your just saying larger PE firms are better, well ofcourse they are because they wouldn't have been able to grow if they weren't good. Its like saying "KKR is good because they are a big company," or "Bear Stearns is good because they are a large firm."

Btw, a statement like "And I'm pretty sure I am a lot smarter than you are" shows how immature and probably unsmart you actually are. You sound like a 2nd grade schoolgirl.

10/13/14

take what you can get. prop jobs aren't exactly easy to come by. you'll have an easier time finding a spot at a sesquehana or a drw than at a BB though. less exclusive on hiring.

10/13/14

lol, if you're going to make fun of me, think of better comebacks before embarrassing yourself.

i am smart and successful and the fact that you can't even understand a simple general statement like that shows how incompetent you are.

anyway, jimbo, since you're in sales & trading, can you explain the difference between the "top" (although i don't know how to define top 'cause apparantly there aren't any comparison like you guys mentioned) prop shops like DRW, Susquehanna, Jane Street.

thanks.

10/13/14

"my background is i'm an undergrad

i'm going to look for prop trading jobs next year."

"i am smart and successful and the fact that you can't even understand a simple general statement like that shows how incompetent you are."

--How smart and successful can you actually be. Maybe you've had 2 internships, I guess you are really successful than, prob made loads of cash too. After all, it is a very high paying job.

10/13/14

actually, you probably havn't even had an internship because you are talking about GS like no one has ever heard of them and their "high deal volume" Which kind of deal are you talking about, theres only thousands of them.

10/13/14

lol,
i go to a good school, good grade, i've had investment banking internship, i can pretty much get any internship i want now i'm interested in prop trading.

10/13/14

right, keep thinking i dont know what deal volume means.

at least i dont ask questions like "do hedge funds like doodies" wonder why LTCM fail?

i mean..just shut the fuck up.

10/13/14

Thank you for stalking me. I am sad to say I have a sense of humor that I flaunt, sometimes it helps me get along with people, I think its a good thing.

Getting a little hostile there with the F word too, I havnt even called you a name yet. Guess you can't take all the pressure, prob wouldnt be good at a trading desk than, you would collapse easily.

You also seem so in love with yourself, and quite an arrogant tude...ever gotten laid?

10/13/14

Stop smearing me on my topics please

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