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Comments (54)

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:03pm

Sales vs. Trading? (Originally Posted: 03/13/2008)

What is the difference between sales and trading? What types of skills or attributes are required for those in sales as opposed to those in trading?

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:04pm

sales- people person, enjoys being on the phone all day, expressing ideas to buy side clients, speaking with research/trading professionals to get and understand trade ideas

trading- ability to stomach risk, quick thinking, quantitative

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:05pm

Sales vs Trading?? (Originally Posted: 03/21/2010)

Hi Guys -

I have an interview in a BB for a junior sales and trading role coming up in a few weeks. I've been prepping pretty hardcore for the past week. I was wondering if anyone had the "right" answer for the following interview questions, which i have been hearing:

  1. Why do you want to go into Sales and Trading?
  2. Which do you prefer, sales or trading?
  3. What is the difference between sales and trading?

Also, i'm trying to think of stocks which i could pitch, both long and short. I was thinking UA, TM to go long. Not sure about my short pitches just yet.

Any response, would be appreciated. Thanks.

Mod Edit: Please search. This has been discussed a million times before

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:06pm

first off do a search.

Sales: pitch ideas, meet clients to funnel to trades so they can make commissions. If you are social, able to vulgarise complex concepts to idiot clients, and have networking skills then sales is for you. Mind you some sales positions are very quanty and require the salesman to be pretty much a trader.

Trading: they make money on flow and commissions from clients that were sent by the sales guys..very qyanty, need to have good analytical skills and be quick on your feet.

why would you do either? first off, you need to know this yourself, we cant tell you. But dont be afraid to say " i want to make money"

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:08pm

......Its all about personality, which pays more? which one are you better at. Which has better long term prospects? Are you enjoying the hours, are you good at your job then that one has better long term options.

Maybe you should do some research as to what the differences are.. Then figure it out for yourself what would be better for YOU. Because if you go into a job just for the money you wont do to well.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:09pm

these are two pretty different jumps, which are always lumped together (rightly or wrongly).. as blackfinancier suggested, do some research on the work, personalities, etc, and try to imagine where you fit best.

"Major in economics; use your economics degree to get an analyst job on Wall Street; use your analyst job to get into Harvard or Stanford Business School; and worry about the rest of your life later"
Oct 8, 2015 - 5:10pm

i did. i can do both. my question is purely strategic, after 2 years i wanna go to bschool what would be the better experience? also is there a big pay diff

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:15pm

I would go with S&T. First choice would be fixed income, second would be equity derivatives, third would be commodities. The reason is that I think banking hours are insane, and I know 30 year old traders making 7 figures. And I think trading is fun. Desk preference is based solely on interest in products.

-MBP
  • 1
Oct 8, 2015 - 5:17pm

Like I said, just find it more interesting. I'm a math guy so I like fixed income and equity derivatives.

-MBP
Oct 8, 2015 - 5:18pm

GS Sales vs Trading ?? (Originally Posted: 11/28/2008)

A friend who interned S&T at Goldman last summer suggested that I lean toward Sales rather than Trading (even though I'm more interested in trading). He said he "shot himself in the foot" when he told the interviewers that he wasn't interested in sales. Since the Trader position is so competitive, he didn't get the FT offer, whereas he might have if he pushed harder for Sales.

Note: My friend came from a Semi-Target.. I'm coming from a NON-Target.

Would you suggest I do this even though I'm more interested in Trading? and attempt to switch if I get a FT offer? Should I not dismiss either one and say that I would fit into both positions?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • 2
Oct 8, 2015 - 5:19pm

This is always a tricky situation. Playing floor politics as a junior in college can be pretty difficult. I will offer my advice based on my experience so take it for what it is worth...I would definitely try to stay as open as possible to ANY FO position (especially in this mkt). Even if you hate sales and are only interested in trading you should not say that explicitly unless a snr guy on a particular trading desk is "courting" you. It is okay to say that you are interested in trading, but you could really see yourself in sales as well if the opportunity arose. Your main goal should be to get the FT offer when going through your internship, and unless you have a sure thing from a certain desk, you don't want to "shoot yourself in the foot" like your friend did. In this mkt, it is very possible to switch from X desk to Y desk when you come back for FT. Believe me, I have seen it happen multiple times. good luck..

  • 2
Oct 8, 2015 - 5:20pm

PnL is is right. But what you also have to realize is that once you step through the interviewer's door, what school you went to matters very little. It's all how you portray yourself and in the end they'll take the most qualified candidate, not the one that went to Princeton necessarily. I'd say that you understand how competitive things are right now, and what you're looking for in the first couple of years is to learn as much as you can, not necessarily tied to a specific role.

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:21pm

Sales vs Trading (Originally Posted: 08/22/2010)

we always talk sales & trading together, but it seems the role of sales is much less prestigious than trading from how people respond when you tell them you are a sales guys or trader. What do ppl working in the industry think?

In the end, i think the guy who earns more is more prestigious. How does the bonus of a sales differ from trader in general? Many thanks.

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:22pm

awch:
how people respond when you tell them you are a sales guys or trader. What do ppl working in the industry think?

Traders

Sales

awch:

In the end, i think the guy who earns more is more prestigious. How does the bonus of a sales differ from trader in general? Many thanks.

Sales

Trader

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:24pm

sales vs trading depends on what you'd rather do. Would you rather pitch ideas or manage risk? Some people enjoy one over the other or are better at one more than the other.

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:25pm

its not less prestigious at all... unless you in fucking cash equities...or other plain jane vanilla products.

the above pictures are true for derivs and structuring and other more stuff, where ppl need to code for food.

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:27pm

Hello hought that Sales would be fun, quite a people person, in my placements I was always trying to keep people on the phone as long as possible to avoid staring at a screen all day. Sales seemed the obvious IB choice, shortish hours, good pay. Not sure it's all it's cracked up to be. Quite possibly it is different in other companies, but I see it as quite unchallenging samey work, those higher up the food chain are still just doing more of the same but with clients with more money until you hit management.

Thanks http://www.fintel.us/

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:28pm

one reason trading has more "prestige" is bc there are less seats.... on a swaps desk you might have 5-6 guys trading meanwhile there are probably 30 salespeople that work with swaps. there are just a lot more seats in sales than in trading, thats the nature of the business. at the end of the day you need to decide what you prefer to do as the 2 roles are different

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:30pm

Trading or sales? (Originally Posted: 12/03/2014)

Did my internship at a mm in fixed income. Worked with a lot of municipal debt and built a model for credit risk templates that go to clients. I was able to get a full time job starting this summer. I'll be a credit analyst while learning both the sales side and trading side. Once I learn both sides of the business I need to make a decision. Recommendations for long term?

Best Response
Oct 8, 2015 - 5:31pm

Beast - I feel I have to reply to this post, I was in the same position many many years ago. Basically I had no idea whether I wanted to do sales or trading, and told that to HR (not advisable, but my case was particular).
I went through the interview process and the guys basically picked for me by the end, and decided I would be more suited for one rather than the other.
It's a really hard call, both are great jobs, but I felt sales was a bit more relaxed and I could go home and not worry about my positions overnight. That was basically my take on it.

So I guess I do not have an answer for you - read up on both and really get to grips to what either job really is; and then decide once you have the knowledge. I've seen traders move into sales role, and a lot less sales moving into trading - but it happens; it's just a sales job is pretty sweet so why would you ever change :)

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:32pm

What ever you do in either role, learn credit, understand companies and accounting. There's nothing worse than hearing a Sales gal or Trader butcher a pitch on basics. This will give you a good foundation for the rest of your career.

"After you work on Wall Street it’s a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side.” - David Tepper
Oct 8, 2015 - 5:33pm

I think you should consider what type of personality that you have. If IG munis, then you shouldn't really be too worried about overnight positions, especially in high grade. But, if you are dealing in riskier munis, consider if you can stomach the positions held overnight possibly losing value or getting a lower bid than you thought (That's the life of a trader who can carry positions). The life of a salesman is selling your clients something that you hope doesn't collapse in value. Otherwise, you'll never sell them again. It's a matter of deciding if you want to have a position or if you are ok with your clients going along with the position.

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:40pm

TraderDaily:

I think you should consider what type of personality that you have. If IG munis, then you shouldn't really be too worried about overnight positions, especially in high grade. But, if you are dealing in riskier munis, consider if you can stomach the positions held overnight possibly losing value or getting a lower bid than you thought (That's the life of a trader who can carry positions). The life of a salesman is selling your clients something that you hope doesn't collapse in value. Otherwise, you'll never sell them again. It's a matter of deciding if you want to have a position or if you are ok with your clients going along with the position.

Just saw that sorry - I am in EQD

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:38pm

mrchow:

Sales because you get to work with the second hottest group of chicks after HR


Receptionists?
"After you work on Wall Street it’s a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side.” - David Tepper
Oct 8, 2015 - 5:41pm

Sales vs. Trading (Originally Posted: 11/23/2008)

I know S&T is its own department, but I'm curious to know how much of each skill is needed for a job in S&T? For example, do first-year analysts in S&T have to partake in some level of sales & client relations? Is it feasible or even possible to get a job in S&T that consists solely of trading?

I'm a junior majoring in Finance at a non-target private school. I know I want to break into trading, ideally prop trading at some point. I'm a very quantitative person and sales is certainly not my strong point.

I'm really curious to know if an internship in S&T would be right for me. How separate are Sales and Trading?

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:42pm

There has been a ton of stuff about Sales vs. Trading on the forums before. I think you might want to do a search first, then see if you still have questions.

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:43pm

you'll have to face the fact that everyone talks to clients at some point...no trader is ever left alone to just trade quietly at a bank -- in a prop firm, certainly.

a trading internship at a bulge bank is fairly brainless: you shadow traders and ask them questions, probably run a paper-trading account, and do some research for them after hours.

s&t are fairly disjoint with requirements to skillsets, but they interact all the time (again, sell-side). if you can't stand the idea of clients, then go to the buyside and be rid of that.

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:44pm

In my opinion, as a prop trader at a BB, you are unlikely to spend more than 1% of your time talking to clients. Or if you are talking to them more than that, it's generally through instant messaging like yahoo IM or bloomberg chat -- not over dinner at some pretentious restaurant.

Ultimately it depends on the specific desk, the MD's vision for the specific business in question, and how important he thinks it is for the business to:

a) have clients; and b) have traders spending time talking to clients.

  • 1
Oct 8, 2015 - 5:45pm

Thanks for the responses. It's not that I loathe the idea of dealing with clients at all. I just don't want to get into S&T only to realize that I'd be spending a good portion of my time getting new leads, cold calling, checking for client approval before every trade, etc.

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:49pm

the bottom line is S&T at a BB is a client focused business its not cold calling or any of that its more sophisticated, it sounds like a prop firm would better suit your interests

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:46pm

Sounds like you need to get a more firm idea on what sales & trading is. That sounds very retailish and def not very institutional.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.
Oct 8, 2015 - 5:47pm

"Thanks for the responses. It's not that I loathe the idea of dealing with clients at all. I just don't want to get into S&T only to realize that I'd be spending a good portion of my time getting new leads, cold calling, checking for client approval before every trade, etc."

Sounds like you are describing a broker, not a trader.

  • 1
Oct 8, 2015 - 5:48pm

Sales people don't cold call. They get calls from clients for certain trades, i.e interest rate swaps, a quote on a certain option or on a lot of crude oil or a certain structured trade. The trader says yes or no, but more often than not, he or she says yes and makes the trade because you don't want to piss of the client. Sometimes structures come up with new products that they try and pitch to clients with the help of sales people.

Oct 8, 2015 - 5:50pm

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