Are Traders really bigger ballers than Sales?

I realize that there have been lots of posts on the differences between the Salesperson and Trader, but from what I've been reading, it sure looks like the trading role is more coveted and wanted. Howeveer, from my perspective, I feel that the sales role is somewhat more of the "baller" job.

For example, the average Salesperson makes more than the average Trader, except for those "star" traders (which everyone thinks they will be, but rarely are). The Saleperson gets to go out and entertain on a corporate credit card, and I don't know about all you other monkeys, but being in my early 20s, I think that's pretty fun, especially in NYC. The Salesperson doesn't have to be glued to his desk every second of the day, and worry about his positionings as the market tanks. The Sales team seems to be more sociable, athletic, fun, and a better team to be a part of. Personally, I feel that you can have a safer and longer career on the Sales team, rather than worrying about getting fired if you have a bad P&L that year. The trader sits behind four or more monitors and anxiously quote prices to the Salesmen as he deals with the clients (I know theres so much more to it, but it's not THAT much more exciting). The math geeks coming to trading and slowly turning trading into a mathematical and program based business gives me another reason to stay away from the Trading side altogether. Lastly, with all these new regulations and risk taking controls being put on the banks may very well change the luxurious and baller lifestyle of the trader altogether. At least for the Sales guys, they will always have a job, no matter how advanced technology gets. Afterall, it is a service business...

Would love to hear some of your opinions, especially if you're already in the S&T business...

Comments (56)

Apr 22, 2010 - 8:37pm
PublicEnemy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You think that going tot he most expensive restaurants and clubs in NYC on the corporate card would be great, but you start to hate it after 2 weeks of doing it every night.

Apr 22, 2010 - 8:39pm
big unit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Uh dude when you are in your early 20s sales sucks...you do a lot of random stuff that has no applicable skill to any other field. Traders and other positions regularly become sales people but not the other way around. However, sales is pretty sweet but honestly it gets old entertaining clients all the time. Its not like getting wasted, its like you are trying to make them like you so they buy stuff from you...not as sweet as you think.

I was just at a sales dinner actually, lots of food...

Apr 22, 2010 - 9:21pm
DrNo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

in credit trading in my bb, even the TRADERS (senior ones) have to entertain clients once a week on average. (drinks/dinner)

the sales...i bet 3 nights a week at least.

yea agree with the part that sales on junior level doesnt really give you much transferrable skills. you are really just reading research and summarize for your clients, etc... There is shitton of pressure with sales too... it feels great when you own the relationship and people are giving you business. but building up that book of business is ton of work and stress. i've had salesppl describing to me how terrible they feel when they heard a client of theirs switch to trade with a competitor...

but yes the biggest concern is (lack of) exit opportunities.

and i feel that salesguys don't get as much "respect" from even their fellow traders and research guys, both of whom know their stuff cold. the guys in my bb who failed series 7 the first time are usually in sales...

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Best Response
Apr 22, 2010 - 9:51pm
Joon23, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I realize that the lack of exit opportunities for Sales guys are limited, but same goes for traders. Traders get pigeonhold into one specific product (credit, rates, fx, commodities) and thats all that they can pretty much do, which isnt terrible if you like you're field. But sales guys can really build relationships and sell anything or get anything their clients want/need.

I hear the whole saying that they get tired of going out after a while, but thats all part of their baller status: wining and dining. That's what all those banker analysts who work for 100 hrs/wk dream to do once they're MDs, but the Sales guys can do that off the bat (or at least 2-3 years in). You get to have a good time at the most luxurious and trendiest clubs, eat at the fanciest restaurants, go to the ball games with front row tix, golf on the weekends, come to work the next morning just to talk the shit and brag how much fun you had and about when you'll want to do it all over again, which might very well be that night. Honestly, if you're getting tired of that sort of lifestyle, life must be treating you really well buddy...

Both Blankfein and Mack were Sales guys and look where they are now. Truth is, doing Sales from a boutiqe or maybe some of the MM might be tough. But, if you're a Sales guy esp at GS/JPM/MS and most other reputable BBs, you're a f***ing baller. Personally, I'd be very surprised if the burnout rate in Sales is as high as Trading. The relationships and connections you make especially if you're working at a top BB can be priceless. By the time most Sales guys are EDs or MDs the money they have made will be just as high as the traders/bankers, they will already have made their book, everyone in Wall Street knows them, they got to wine and dine while the bankers slept in their cubicles as analysts and associates, and altogether have had much more of an enjoyable lifestyle. Truth is, a Sales guy by the time is 35 or 40 doesn't need to continue his "job" if I can even call it that. Unless he's been spending beyond his means, he should have at least a few MM in the bank and can live the rest of his life dong what he wants and live extremely comfortably. Yet, all bankers care about is busting their balls to hopefully have a shot at a PE firm after killing themselves as analysts and working their asses off at top-tier MBA. Listen, I do think that both banking and trading are sick jobs, but I really don't get why everyone feels like Sales guys aren't as big of ballers as bankers/traders. By the time you're 40 and looking back, which lifestyle is more worth it? Which one was more fun? After all, you only get to live once...

Apr 22, 2010 - 10:04pm
Joon23, what's your opinion? Comment below:

@Marcus- If the guy at the club was making $1mm+ a year (or had the potential to after 5-10 years), I can almost assure you that the competitiveness of that field will be as tough, if not tougher, than on Wall Street. Are you kidding me? Don't make it seem that most people are bankers/traders/sales just because how much they love the business. If VPs and MDs were getting paid only 100k/yr do you seriously think that there would be such a huge flock to Wall Street?

I have spoken to MANY Salespeople and Traders, and they have told me that for the most part the average salesperson makes more than the average trader. However, the best trader will earn the greatest compensation of anyone in the bank (don't forget the old rule though: bigger risk = bigger reward).

Apr 23, 2010 - 3:11pm
Batrick Pateman, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Joon23:
I realize that the lack of exit opportunities for Sales guys are limited, but same goes for traders. Traders get pigeonhold into one specific product (credit, rates, fx, commodities) and thats all that they can pretty much do, which isnt terrible if you like you're field. But sales guys can really build relationships and sell anything or get anything their clients want/need.

I hear the whole saying that they get tired of going out after a while, but thats all part of their baller status: wining and dining. That's what all those banker analysts who work for 100 hrs/wk dream to do once they're MDs, but the Sales guys can do that off the bat (or at least 2-3 years in). You get to have a good time at the most luxurious and trendiest clubs, eat at the fanciest restaurants, go to the ball games with front row tix, golf on the weekends, come to work the next morning just to talk the shit and brag how much fun you had and about when you'll want to do it all over again, which might very well be that night. Honestly, if you're getting tired of that sort of lifestyle, life must be treating you really well buddy...

Both Blankfein and Mack were Sales guys and look where they are now. Truth is, doing Sales from a boutiqe or maybe some of the MM might be tough. But, if you're a Sales guy esp at GS/JPM/MS and most other reputable BBs, you're a f***ing baller. Personally, I'd be very surprised if the burnout rate in Sales is as high as Trading. The relationships and connections you make especially if you're working at a top BB can be priceless. By the time most Sales guys are EDs or MDs the money they have made will be just as high as the traders/bankers, they will already have made their book, everyone in Wall Street knows them, they got to wine and dine while the bankers slept in their cubicles as analysts and associates, and altogether have had much more of an enjoyable lifestyle. Truth is, a Sales guy by the time is 35 or 40 doesn't need to continue his "job" if I can even call it that. Unless he's been spending beyond his means, he should have at least a few MM in the bank and can live the rest of his life dong what he wants and live extremely comfortably. Yet, all bankers care about is busting their balls to hopefully have a shot at a PE firm after killing themselves as analysts and working their asses off at top-tier MBA. Listen, I do think that both banking and trading are sick jobs, but I really don't get why everyone feels like Sales guys aren't as big of ballers as bankers/traders. By the time you're 40 and looking back, which lifestyle is more worth it? Which one was more fun? After all, you only get to live once...

i missed this one.... you my friend, are a complete moron

Mar 24, 2011 - 11:20pm
futuretrader1999, what's your opinion? Comment below:

. Truth is, a Sales guy by the time is 35 or 40 doesn't need to continue his "job" if I can even call it that.

This is complete bullshit. I was just on the desk at Barcap----think one of the biggest sales guys in the place---guy that runs the sales of one of the credit desks---and had just the opposite answer---here's an md talking-- i had come to the desk because he's an alum (and suddenly the conversation switches to most rewarding jobs in finance in terms of work/life balance along with pay----only does he then tell me he wishes he were a successful financial advisor---\ he said it's one of the easiest jobs in the world---get in at 8---chat to a few clients---make a few trades, and the links by 2--no 7 to 6 crap-he says that if u manage a decent amount of money---that you can do really well---and that the hours and pressure are awesome as instead of having to cover some rocket scientist hedge fund trader everyday---u deal with dumb money (eg actors, athletes, etc. that don't know anything about the markets)

he emphasized that accounts at a BB can walk out the door at any time, whereas an actor/athlete (once he trusts you) will trust you to the fullest degree once you've shown your capabilities he actually said he was drawn in because of LP and the popular allure of sales, but said if he could do it all over again, he would've done

and this is a frikin MD head of a desk talking----really blew my mind when he said this despite what the general consensus of this site is in in terms of PWM/ high level financial advisor position

IVY for Life
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Mar 24, 2011 - 11:21pm
futuretrader1999, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Joon23:
I realize that the lack of exit opportunities for Sales guys are limited, but same goes for traders. Traders get pigeonhold into one specific product (credit, rates, fx, commodities) and thats all that they can pretty much do, which isnt terrible if you like you're field. But sales guys can really build relationships and sell anything or get anything their clients want/need.

I hear the whole saying that they get tired of going out after a while, but thats all part of their baller status: wining and dining. That's what all those banker analysts who work for 100 hrs/wk dream to do once they're MDs, but the Sales guys can do that off the bat (or at least 2-3 years in). You get to have a good time at the most luxurious and trendiest clubs, eat at the fanciest restaurants, go to the ball games with front row tix, golf on the weekends, come to work the next morning just to talk the shit and brag how much fun you had and about when you'll want to do it all over again, which might very well be that night. Honestly, if you're getting tired of that sort of lifestyle, life must be treating you really well buddy...

Both Blankfein and Mack were Sales guys and look where they are now. Truth is, doing Sales from a boutiqe or maybe some of the MM might be tough. But, if you're a Sales guy esp at GS/JPM/MS and most other reputable BBs, you're a f***ing baller. Personally, I'd be very surprised if the burnout rate in Sales is as high as Trading. The relationships and connections you make especially if you're working at a top BB can be priceless. By the time most Sales guys are EDs or MDs the money they have made will be just as high as the traders/bankers, they will already have made their book, everyone in Wall Street knows them, they got to wine and dine while the bankers slept in their cubicles as analysts and associates, and altogether have had much more of an enjoyable lifestyle. Truth is, a Sales guy by the time is 35 or 40 doesn't need to continue his "job" if I can even call it that. Unless he's been spending beyond his means, he should have at least a few MM in the bank and can live the rest of his life dong what he wants and live extremely comfortably. Yet, all bankers care about is busting their balls to hopefully have a shot at a PE firm after killing themselves as analysts and working their asses off at top-tier MBA. Listen, I do think that both banking and trading are sick jobs, but I really don't get why everyone feels like Sales guys aren't as big of ballers as bankers/traders. By the time you're 40 and looking back, which lifestyle is more worth it? Which one was more fun? After all, you only get to live once...

I think u need to apply to ICAP lol

IVY for Life
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Apr 23, 2010 - 1:53pm
Batrick Pateman, what's your opinion? Comment below:
DrNo:
in credit trading in my bb, even the TRADERS (senior ones) have to entertain clients once a week on average. (drinks/dinner)

the sales...i bet 3 nights a week at least.

yea agree with the part that sales on junior level doesnt really give you much transferrable skills. you are really just reading research and summarize for your clients, etc... There is shitton of pressure with sales too... it feels great when you own the relationship and people are giving you business. but building up that book of business is ton of work and stress. i've had salesppl describing to me how terrible they feel when they heard a client of theirs switch to trade with a competitor...

but yes the biggest concern is (lack of) exit opportunities.

and i feel that salesguys don't get as much "respect" from even their fellow traders and research guys, both of whom know their stuff cold. the guys in my bb who failed series 7 the first time are usually in sales...

most ppl posting in this thread dont have the slightest clue what they're talking about... it depends on many things, namely the product. Compared to where im at, i could trade equity flow with my eyes closed, and i think its fuckign easy. So compared to equity flow and fx flow trading and most other flow trading-realtedproducts, i feel like a genius, even in sales.

Apr 22, 2010 - 9:23pm
Marcus_Halberstram, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think you just have a romanticized perception of the Sales side of the desk. From what I've seen its not all wining and dining and for certain types of products you are glued to your computer/phone just like the traders are so you know exactly whats going on in the market.

Additionally, you may not be "worry about his positionings as the market tanks" but I assure you hes worrying about his CLIENTS positionings as the market tanks, because he's the one who told his client to put his money in that particular position.

Also, not sure where you're getting the salesman make more than traders factoid.

But the bottom line is what do you consider baller? Schmoozing clients over a 8 course tasting meal Jean George? Playing 18 holes with clients on a Saturday morning? Or sitting in front of a computer screen all day and making $20 million dollars a year?

By your definition of baller.... wouldn't a doorman at a top Manhattan club be more baller than both of them? He schmoozes beautiful, rich or well connected people all night. Gets free drinks, can walk into any club in NYC he wants without issue... gets paid to be at parties.

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Apr 22, 2010 - 10:02pm
wintonheights, what's your opinion? Comment below:

^^ success. you have achieved troll status. ding! please go away now.

Apr 23, 2010 - 12:11pm
m.c.trader, what's your opinion? Comment below:
adehbone:
Can we stop using the word baller to describe professions.....

Agreed

Apr 23, 2010 - 12:41am
samiam1234, what's your opinion? Comment below:

joon you are completely blocking out what sales actually does. your only focusing on the client interaction side/what they do with the corp. card after work hours...what about all those dinners that you thought went well but you never get the guy to give you any substantial flow, thats tough man, and what about sweating all day about the advice a client took which you gave him that is going against you/him...what about being able to actually sell in the first place. few people are true salesmen, have you ever even been a telemarketer, that shit is hard man...its not all just about being baller, it takes skillz

Apr 23, 2010 - 2:01pm
Batrick Pateman, what's your opinion? Comment below:
samiam1234:
joon you are completely blocking out what sales actually does. your only focusing on the client interaction side/what they do with the corp. card after work hours...what about all those dinners that you thought went well but you never get the guy to give you any substantial flow, thats tough man, and what about sweating all day about the advice a client took which you gave him that is going against you/him...what about being able to actually sell in the first place. few people are true salesmen, have you ever even been a telemarketer, that shit is hard man...its not all just about being baller, it takes skillz

wow..comparing it to telemarketing!? are you kidding.. You're a good salesman if you wanna genuinly jhelp your client, and an even better one, if you want to scalp him a little. Both those involve alot of KNOLeWDGE and mastery of the products/strategies...as much as the trader...you just gotta be able to vulgarise that knowledge to lawyers, fiscalists, and mere mortals... and thats the tip of the iceberg

Apr 23, 2010 - 4:57am
Megashite Trader, what's your opinion? Comment below:

First things first, good salesman good trader.

Generally, the role and quality of a salespersons role changes drastically from product to product. By far the most "baller" sales position is on the Hedge Funds sales desk in areas like rates, credit and commodities. Earn insane sales credits, probably highest average pay on the floor (ex-prop groups/top traders) and perfect exit opps to prop/hedge fund trading position. On the other hand, I wouldn't touch a sales position on cash equities, for example, with a barge pole (basically, a glorified diary keeper).

In certain divisions, however, the traders are the clear leaders.. e.g. commodities at a certain BB is run utterly and completely by traders and the sales people are sometimes really just an after thought.

Apr 23, 2010 - 12:36pm
Jimbo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"By far the most "baller" sales position is on the Hedge Funds sales desk in areas like rates, credit and commodities"

may i point out how completely ridiculous this is? not your point, but the fact that these people service a customer base whose sole purpose is trying to pick of the trading desks off? the fact that these jokers get sales credit for their efforts is mind boggling.

oh and brokers have waaaaay larger budgets and leeway when taking out the trading desks than sales guys do with their custies

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Funniest
Apr 23, 2010 - 3:28pm
Marcus_Halberstram, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This douche obviously accepted a sales gig and is trying to disbelieve the fact that chicks that spit get placed in HR and chicks that swallow are placed in Sales.

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Mar 24, 2011 - 3:01pm
hurro, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Marcus_Halberstram:
This douche obviously accepted a sales gig and is trying to disbelieve the fact that chicks that spit get placed in HR and chicks that swallow are placed in Sales.

I legit LOLed

Apr 23, 2010 - 7:13pm
big unit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think it does vary, but the sales people I work with in credit are fairly smart, while I think commodities sales is known for being a little less smart.

Sales isn't a great place to start but a great place to end up. Lots of traders move into sales, even from the buyside moving to sellside sales isn't that uncommon.

Also, research analysts/flow traders who have great social skills frequently move and become sales people in more complex securities because they have a stronger background - I'm sure most people at BBs will confirm this trend. Sales people at the junior level are sort of pigeon-holed. I'm not making this up, because I think sales is really cool but I would try to get something that forces you to learn a product/market before moving into a sales-oriented role.

Apr 24, 2010 - 9:21pm
BigSwap, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Depends on what your selling/trading. In terms of comp, technical ability, exit ops, professional development...structured product sales>cash equity trading. Being able to sell a derivative product to a sophisticated client takes a good deal of technical skill. If you want to "ball", "wine and dine" you will be disappointed as a junior guy on a sales desk. Sr sales guys (the ones who sell more complex products and generally make more $) on my floor win business not by wining and dining...they know the client, the market, and the product stone cold.

Apr 26, 2010 - 6:50pm
Batrick Pateman, what's your opinion? Comment below:
BigSwap:
Depends on what your selling/trading. In terms of comp, technical ability, exit ops, professional development...structured product sales>cash equity trading. Being able to sell a derivative product to a sophisticated client takes a good deal of technical skill. If you want to "ball", "wine and dine" you will be disappointed as a junior guy on a sales desk. Sr sales guys (the ones who sell more complex products and generally make more $) on my floor win business not by wining and dining...they know the client, the market, and the product stone cold.

i was starting to think that nobody on this forum knew what sales was....thank you for proving me wrong...id give you a banana but i cant spare it...im giving them faster than i receive them..

Apr 24, 2010 - 9:53pm
m.c.trader, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think if you use the level of 'ballerness' to decide what you want to do after college you probably aren't going to be a Trader or in Sales.

Mar 24, 2011 - 7:58am
maxif1992, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think this "baller" lifestyle which everyone here is talking about is way more like a PWM senior position than institutional sales. I just spent the day with the head of credit sales at Goldman and he does not wine and dine clients, he has to be extremely knowledgeable on his products aswell and is glued to his desk all day. It is not the job everyone thinks it is.

Mar 24, 2011 - 3:23pm
tdr34, what's your opinion? Comment below:
derivstrading:
i dont know about you but wining and dining clients seems like a chore, on the other hand traders get taken out by brokers which is way more fun

Exactly.

Jack: They’re all former investment bankers who were laid off from that economic crisis that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have zero real world skills, but God they work hard.
-30 Rock

Feb 24, 2013 - 3:08pm
wallstreetjungle, what's your opinion? Comment below:
awm55:
what is everyone using Ebonics to describe a job? didn't know professionals in their early 20's thought they were rappers.

LOL!

Mar 25, 2011 - 8:33pm
trade4size, what's your opinion? Comment below:

institutional sales guys are different from brokers (sales traders) who are different from traders. There is a lot of overlap in institutional sales and sales trading and depending on the account the service can be almost identical. Institutional sales rely on a research product whereas a broker relies on their network to get information. Comparing them to traders is really not practical. While its known as sales and trading the skills are very different but they are complementary. A good trader understands how to communicate with his brokers and sales guys and vice versa. A good sales guy or broker knows how to think like a trader.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.
  • 1
Mar 26, 2011 - 12:02am
futuretrader1999, what's your opinion? Comment below:
trade4size:
institutional sales guys are different from brokers (sales traders) who are different from traders. There is a lot of overlap in institutional sales and sales trading and depending on the account the service can be almost identical. Institutional sales rely on a research product whereas a broker relies on their network to get information. Comparing them to traders is really not practical. While its known as sales and trading the skills are very different but they are complementary. A good trader understands how to communicate with his brokers and sales guys and vice versa. A good sales guy or broker knows how to think like a trader.

right but i think the posters were talking more about interdealer brokers---the ones with the insane expense accounts (icap,gfi,tullet)

IVY for Life
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Mar 25, 2011 - 10:42pm
Bondarb, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with sales and if you remove the troll-like language about being a "baller" from the original post the OP is right on some things. High level sales guys can make deep into the 7 figures without having to worry about the stress associated with markets...its a pretty great job and as a trader there are many sleepless nights when I envy the sales guy who is going to make money regardless of whether my trades work. Also, not every sales guy is out every night....there is a certain type of sales guy that is and that's how he provides value to clients but others are only out a couple of times a week and try to add value by understanding markets, getting good markets from their traders, etc. Lastly, I disagree on the exit ops thing...if a salesman is a good market guy and provides value to his clients in this way he can often get a job on the buyside. I know of several hedge funds that started with a client/salesman relationship and the two ended up going into business together...the sales job lends itself to knowing alot of buyside people since you are talking to them all day. Keep in mind that I work for a hedge fund so I only know sales people who cover hedge funds in rates, FX, futures, and commodities...it could be that because of this I only interact with better sales people and so my idea of the job is skewed.

Of course, the above analysis is for senior level guys/girls...at the junior level you are going to be doing bitch work just like in every other part of finance. Right out of college your interaction with clients is going to be mostly limited to confirming trades, talking to the back office on the clients side to make sure everything settles correctly, dealing with any small requests (such as "can someone email me XYZ piece of research"), and listening on the phone while your boss chats with him about markets. The relationship is very valuable to your boss and he isnt going to let some 22 year old kid "cut his teeth" by talking about markets with a client who might find it a waste of his time. When you do go out with clients it also isnt going to be fun when you are just out of school...you are going to be focused on interacting well/appropriately with the client and not doing anything stupid. Again, the relationship is very valuable and going out is an extension of work, especially at the beginning before you are friendly with the client. Also, keep in mind that most clients are older guys and they often have massive egos...its not like going out for a night of fun with your friends. Watching some hedge fund manager get plastered at a steakhouse and pretending you think he is a genius is not exactly my idea of a great time.

May 22, 2011 - 3:54am
Walkerr, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Bondarb:
the buyside. I know of several hedge funds that started with a client/salesman relationship and the two ended up going into business together...

...its not like going out for a night of fun with your friends. Watching some hedge fund manager get plastered at a steakhouse and pretending you think he is a genius is not exactly my idea of a great time.

That would be awesome if you started a business (hf maybe) as a salesperson with a client from the buyside. Would you still be doing the sales part, or could you also become a PM than. Maybe if you also have a CFA??

As the relationship improves, do you think it will get more relaxed going out with clients?

Mar 26, 2011 - 12:09am
trade4size, what's your opinion? Comment below:

hahaha... not that insane... remember i was at one of the big 3 IDBs.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.
Mar 27, 2011 - 1:37am
stilarie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I just don't know the point of this thread. Someone who likes to trade will become a trader and someone who likes to interact will become a salesperson. Such a waste of time to justify one's own vocation is a bigger 'baller' than the other.

May 23, 2011 - 2:17am
Junk Bond Kingpin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you're a great salesperson, you can make it big in sales working far fewer hours and with much more perks than anyone else in the industry, but if you don't sell, you are NOTHING! Your work ethic and intellectual abilities are only as good as your last sale.

Feb 25, 2013 - 4:39pm
ErikSpy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sales is burn and turn. Trading bad P&L sure you may get ousted - however, if your trading your own account you can go somewhere else or don't have to worry about a bad month - you are your own boss meaning security and flexibility. Sales - I've done it for over 10 years and have been succesful - plain and simple I hate it. You will be always chassing a sale and it gets old - bad month = performance review. If your young now is most likely the only time in your life you can afford to take risk figure out what you want to do and if you can handle it. Don't think about the dollars today think about the dollars tomorrow.

Feb 25, 2013 - 4:40pm
bankster, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Variation among salesmen and traders? (Originally Posted: 01/22/2010)

Hello

What is the pay variation among salespeople and the desk traders in S&T? Im guessing genreally base pay is the same but traders may pull in more come bonus time?

Any numbers at the analyst - VP level would be good? This would be comparable to CDN banks as well?

Feb 25, 2013 - 4:42pm
Shake, what's your opinion? Comment below:
bankster:
I'm guessing genreally base pay is the same but traders may pull in more come bonus time?
That's not always true. I know some Nat. Gas originators that pulled in more than their counterparts on the Nat. Gas desk.
Feb 25, 2013 - 4:45pm
trade_nrg, what's your opinion? Comment below:

On the whole, salespeople make about the same as traders. Salespeople actually analyze the market much more in-depth than traders do as their time horizon is longer and they need to be able to provide good market color to clients (hedge funds and asset managers). They send good volume to traders and the traders try and profit off of it as much as possible.

I know of salespeople that literally generate between 10-20 million a year for the bank in PnL by themselves, which is riskless for the bank (unlike a traders PnL). Traders may have the same PnL or can have a much higher one and also incur a much higher level of risk to the bank and are compensated accordingly. I will say however that prop traders are compensated significantly more than salespeople and their flow trader desk-mates. Below is a ball park S&T compensation range so you can compare it to IBD.

Note these figures are average ranges over the past several years and are salary+bonus all-in:

Analysts: 100-150k Associates: 150k-300k VP: 300k-500k Director: 500k-750k MD: 750k+

Feb 25, 2013 - 4:48pm
Jimbo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"I know of salespeople that literally generate between 10-20 million a year for the bank in PnL by themselves, which is riskless for the bank (unlike a traders PnL). "

In what way do you consider sales "pnl" to be riskless? unless you are just crossing customers all day, that pnl resides in a trading book where it has to be managed. I'd argue it's not only not riskless, it's probably not even real pnl in the first place.

Jimbo

  • 1
Feb 25, 2013 - 4:46pm
sighm0an, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Great point made by trade_nrg on the PnL. Sales PnL is riskless whereas traders can lose money. Its going to be a % cut at the end of the day of the number next to your name with some qualitative factors taken into consideration.

Feb 25, 2013 - 4:50pm
hellogoodbye, what's your opinion? Comment below:
sighm0an:
Sales PnL is riskless .

counterparty credit risk?

Feb 25, 2013 - 4:47pm
wintonheights, what's your opinion? Comment below:

i confirm that base for salesmen vs traders is the same, and obviously this depends on your level.

and yes bonus varies greatly depending on your direct contribution to the firm....but traders very often make much more than salesmen, exactly because of the risk they control. yes the salesman who is able to build strong relationships and influence their clients will be at the top of the list when it comes time for bonus distribution, but at the end of the day its the traders' price and market skills that directly translate into firm profits.

in my trading experience it was rare to find a salesman that wielded the kind of power where they could pick the phone and get their client to buy something absent of the market or traders influence, and ironically, the ones that do tend to become managers and get moved off the day to day client coverage.

someone in sales should weigh in here though because as i recall salesmen and traders are always at odds over things like this. traders tend to think of salesmen as step children except for a special few, but im sure its the other way around too. lol

im guessing my numbers are too old now to help given how wall street has changed in my two year absence, cause those middle upper management numbers look a little low to me if they do include base...in fact, they seem more like bonus numbers for my time.

  • 3
Feb 25, 2013 - 4:49pm
brotherbear, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Feb 25, 2013 - 4:51pm
Jimbo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jun 16, 2022 - 4:50am
maplesyrup334, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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