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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 (543)

10/13/14

Stop smearing me on my topics please

Financial Modeling

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."

classic pure ignorance. don't need to defend yourself.

enough said.

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."

classic pure ignorance. don't need to defend yourself.

enough said.

What's to defend and what have I ignored? You asked a question, I answered - I even gave you a job lead (because he really is hiring) but I don't suppose it matters because it's advice that you don't want to hear.

10/13/14

have to agree with everyone on this thread - OP is absolutely clueless.

10/13/14

your chances are really high dude since you say you are smart. May I suggest a good, easy reading for you that was pointed out to me by a prop trader @my BB?He's trying to implement the model of this paper:
http://www.creditriskresource.com/papers/paper_116... guess it's a good system and easy to understand too. I'm sure you can help him, so below is his e-mail address:
[email protected]GS.com

10/13/14
monkeyderivative:

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.

hahahahaha. This is truly great. You do know the interviews at places like Susq, DRW are very mental math (early rounds), probability, game-theory heavy. It really doesn't batter whether you know how to calculate gamma by memorizing a closed form formula. Your IBD internship also matters little regardless of how "quantitatively" challenging it is to build a DCF model.

Why not answer this question...usually of the same difficulty as one heard in first round phone interviews. Simple stats nothing crazy...and don't cheat:

You have a fair coin. How many flips will it take for you to say with 95% confidence that 70 heads have been flipped?

And of course, definitely read that paper by GGD. Its nothing compared to the ultra rigorous free cash flow calculation late at night during your banking internship.

10/13/14

"Why not answer this question...usually of the same difficulty as one heard in first round phone interviews. Simple stats nothing crazy...and don't cheat:

You have a fair coin. How many flips will it take for you to say with 95% confidence that 70 heads have been flipped? "

I am curious, how would you answer your question?

2 std devs on a fair coin for 70 heads... probably what, 180 flips? Just trying to picture the bell curve. I dunno, haven't done stats for a while.

10/13/14

Serious answer for OP> Get hired first. The guys at DRW and Susq were people who could have easily gone to a BB desk but decided to head there instead (many like the idea of eating what they kill early...and some shops pay very well). It will become pretty obvious which firms are best for you and you will be able to judge the capabilities of the various shops. This is attained through: talking to alumni from your school at the place, talking to interviewers...you should always judge how sharp your interviewers are, infrastructure, and pay.

10/13/14

thanks guys, these are the answers that i need, lets make the forum more efficient

10/13/14

forget quant skills, the OP needs "people skills" first and foremost.

monkeyderivative, you'd be socially retarded to expect many people to help answer your questions with your defensive anger, lack of humility and excessive self-praising.

To be honest, if I ever worked next to you it would take all my willpower to keep me from punching you in the face, lol.

10/13/14

lol, obviously you never worked in corporate america

10/13/14

you know that's sarcasm

and sure if you insist he's a prop trader, LOL

10/13/14

middle of page 16

http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2006ltr.pdf
what's your definition of a prop trader? Mine is someone that trades directly for the firm rather than on behalf of its clients.

So in my book this includes people managing their own portfolio, asset managers that are looking after their principals' money (SIG, Jane Street, etc), and book traders at investment banks (GS, UBS, JPM, Lehman, etc).

There are advantages and disadvantages to prop desk vis a vis other careers in investment banks, between different styles and indeed between different houses but you shouldn't be surprised that I'm not inclined to discuss while you seem similarly disinclined to listen.

10/13/14

i apologize for my rudeness,

however, i'm interested in short-term derivative trading and can you tell me what you look for in a prop shop.

10/13/14
monkeyderivative:

i apologize for my rudeness,

however, i'm interested in short-term derivative trading and can you tell me what you look for in a prop shop.

As mentioned previously (by Jimbo I think) I would look at the quality of the interviewers (assuming they are the ones you will be working for) - go with the one that you think you will learn the most from.

10/13/14

No one on the street calls Berk or large asset managers "prop trading firms". They are usually "investors" thus, ruling out the "trading" label. While yea technically you didn't make an error, don't try to be cute. Its nauseating.

Also this guy isn't going to get hired to manage the 40+billion cash (and the god knows how much in invested capital) and fill WB's shoes. There are tens of young (when I say young I mean 10 years of experience) value investors who would jump over a bridge for this opportunity.

10/13/14
trdr1:

No one on the street calls Berk or large asset managers "prop trading firms". They are usually "investors" thus, ruling out the "trading" label. While yea technically you didn't make an error, don't try to be cute. Its nauseating.

Also this guy isn't going to get hired to manage the 40+billion cash (and the god knows how much in invested capital) and fill WB's shoes. There are tens of young (when I say young I mean 10 years of experience) value investors who would jump over a bridge for this opportunity.

haha it's ok, he's just trying to help, ill accept whatever he says.

10/13/14

No one on the street calls Berk or large asset managers "prop trading firms". They are usually "investors" thus, ruling out the "trading" label. While yea technically you didn't make an error, don't try to be cute. Its nauseating.

ah diddums - have I committed some kind of labelling faux pas? If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck - guess what - it's probably a duck.
So if you're feeling nauseous then I'll pass the bucket and you can heave away

Also this guy isn't going to get hired to manage the 40+billion cash (and the god knows how much in invested capital) and fill WB's shoes. There are tens of young (when I say young I mean 10 years of experience) value investors who would jump over a bridge for this opportunity.

The suggestion was that Monkeyderivative identify what it is that he wants to do. I apologise if that was too subtle for the Internet.

10/13/14

monkey you must be on this website 24/7

10/13/14

bump
anyone?

10/13/14

JSC

10/13/14

jsc? yeh, if i had to name one "best" it'd be that my castrated crony

10/13/14

Other than JSC, I'd say Optiver.

I win here, I win there...

10/13/14
Bi-Winning:

Other than JSC, I'd say Optiver.

Flat out wrong. Optiver are mere shadows of their former selves. If you don't know, don't say.

10/13/14

Optiver is a fucking joke give me a break. the only legit ones are jsc sig and Getco

10/13/14
arden:

Optiver is a fucking joke give me a break. the only legit ones are jsc sig and Getco

Why do you think Optiver is a joke ? Did you have a bad experience with them ?

10/13/14
mcmoran23:
arden:

Optiver is a fucking joke give me a break. the only legit ones are jsc sig and Getco

Why do you think Optiver is a joke ? Did you have a bad experience with them ?

To resurrect a highly cliche quote: "Opinions are like assholes- everyone has one."

I win here, I win there...

10/13/14

Cities with good prop firm coverage - obviously Chicago, but also Amsterdam (the Dutch have a strong rep), London, Frankfurt and Zug.

In terms of companies - I like Optiver, SIG, JSC and Tibra (as an outlier).
The best - results? performance generally? Ability to outperform the market? Well, I'd say Optiver.

The best man always wins.

10/13/14
bman:

In terms of companies - I like Optiver, SIG, JSC and Tibra (as an outlier).
The best - results? performance generally? Ability to outperform the market? Well, I'd say Optiver.

How on earth would you know performance/ability to outperform the market at multiple firms? Prop firms guard this info like the CIA does state secrets. Slight hyperbole, but you get the picture.

Also, there's been debates on this, but how do you define "performance"? You can't compare companies who do true arb strategies to companies that bet outrights on futures.

This is the stuff that makes me skeptical anytime someone wants to rank on "performance"

10/13/14

In terms of selectivity and compensation, the top two prop firms are Getco and Jane Street. Right behind them are DRW, SIG, Jump.

Optiver is still good; they give a base salary of $80K/year to first-year traders, but they've been struggling lately and have fired a lot of people. I recently met an ex-Optiver trader who left, and now he's playing professional online poker. He said it was fun working there initially, but after algorithms took over, the job got really boring.

10/13/14

aardvark trading.

10/13/14

anyone know anything about Eldorado Trading in Chicago??

10/13/14
Gold Man Sack:

anyone know anything about Eldorado Trading in Chicago??

Interviewed there and received and offer several years ago (so might be outdated). Eurodollar spread trading. They spend a good amount of time training you and the guys seem nice, but just not as sophisticated as a DRW, JSC, DE Shaw, Jump, SIG, etc. That said, you could also potentially make more money there. Probably a lower rate of success though. Success there seems more dependent on market feel.

10/13/14
matthewlesko:
Gold Man Sack:

anyone know anything about Eldorado Trading in Chicago??

Interviewed there and received and offer several years ago (so might be outdated). Eurodollar spread trading. They spend a good amount of time training you and the guys seem nice, but just not as sophisticated as a DRW, JSC, DE Shaw, Jump, SIG, etc. That said, you could also potentially make more money there. Probably a lower rate of success though. Success there seems more dependent on market feel.

At the risk of sparking flames, what's your opinion of the top prop shops right now? Based on everything I know my opinion is still:

Getco, JSC, Hudson River Trading, Jump Trading, Five Rings Capital, SIG, DRW, IMC, Madison Tyler, DC Energy, Optiver.

Roughly in that order. Not including the likes of Citadel, Shaw, Tower since they are hedge funds.

10/13/14
absinthe:
matthewlesko:
Gold Man Sack:

anyone know anything about Eldorado Trading in Chicago??

Interviewed there and received and offer several years ago (so might be outdated). Eurodollar spread trading. They spend a good amount of time training you and the guys seem nice, but just not as sophisticated as a DRW, JSC, DE Shaw, Jump, SIG, etc. That said, you could also potentially make more money there. Probably a lower rate of success though. Success there seems more dependent on market feel.

At the risk of sparking flames, what's your opinion of the top prop shops right now? Based on everything I know my opinion is still:

Getco, JSC, Hudson River Trading, Jump Trading, Five Rings Capital, SIG, DRW, IMC, Madison Tyler, DC Energy, Optiver.

Roughly in that order. Not including the likes of Citadel, Shaw, Tower since they are hedge funds.

imo, five rings capital is way too small and young to be rankable. also probably allston trading in chicago deserves a spot on there. and i thought tower was a prop shop.

10/13/14
anontrader:
absinthe:
matthewlesko:
Gold Man Sack:

anyone know anything about Eldorado Trading in Chicago??

Interviewed there and received and offer several years ago (so might be outdated). Eurodollar spread trading. They spend a good amount of time training you and the guys seem nice, but just not as sophisticated as a DRW, JSC, DE Shaw, Jump, SIG, etc. That said, you could also potentially make more money there. Probably a lower rate of success though. Success there seems more dependent on market feel.

At the risk of sparking flames, what's your opinion of the top prop shops right now? Based on everything I know my opinion is still:

Getco, JSC, Hudson River Trading, Jump Trading, Five Rings Capital, SIG, DRW, IMC, Madison Tyler, DC Energy, Optiver.

Roughly in that order. Not including the likes of Citadel, Shaw, Tower since they are hedge funds.

imo, five rings capital is way too small and young to be rankable. also probably allston trading in chicago deserves a spot on there. and i thought tower was a prop shop.

No, Allston is nowhere near those other shops.

The top prop shops are Getco and Jane Street, followed by jump/drw/SIG/IMC. From talking to friends, Optiver has been in rapid decline, and some of their best traders have jumped ship.

10/13/14
Brady4MVP:
anontrader:
absinthe:
matthewlesko:
Gold Man Sack:

anyone know anything about Eldorado Trading in Chicago??

Interviewed there and received and offer several years ago (so might be outdated). Eurodollar spread trading. They spend a good amount of time training you and the guys seem nice, but just not as sophisticated as a DRW, JSC, DE Shaw, Jump, SIG, etc. That said, you could also potentially make more money there. Probably a lower rate of success though. Success there seems more dependent on market feel.

At the risk of sparking flames, what's your opinion of the top prop shops right now? Based on everything I know my opinion is still:

Getco, JSC, Hudson River Trading, Jump Trading, Five Rings Capital, SIG, DRW, IMC, Madison Tyler, DC Energy, Optiver.

Roughly in that order. Not including the likes of Citadel, Shaw, Tower since they are hedge funds.

imo, five rings capital is way too small and young to be rankable. also probably allston trading in chicago deserves a spot on there. and i thought tower was a prop shop.

No, Allston is nowhere near those other shops.

The top prop shops are Getco and Jane Street, followed by jump/drw/SIG/IMC. From talking to friends, Optiver has been in rapid decline, and some of their best traders have jumped ship.

i can think of multiple people who have chosen allston over shops on that list.

10/13/14

I've heard the same thing about Optiver. TransMarket Group is another one that has gotten hurt lately. Fired over 50% of their traders. I know these market conditions are more difficult to market make but are all of the MM firms getting killed or is it just certain markets or firms?

10/13/14

I would think that given all the information available, DRW and Getco probably should make the list of firms with the reputation for smartest traders. Maybe Jump too.

That said, any kinda discovery on prop shop earnings would be kinda tough given that they're PROPRIETARY.

This is like trying to figure out which ten people in your small town are the richest. The response from 70% of folks- MYOB, or MYOFB if they're traders.

In reality, the best proprietary trader last year was a 14 year-old kid from Billings, Montana who thought some penny-stock candy company was a good investment and managed to snag a 15-bagger with $200 of his lawn mowing money. The only institution that really knows what the best proprietary traders/ trading firms are is the IRS- and in reality, they only know which US taxpayers who properly report all capital gains income are the best proprietary traders.

10/13/14
IlliniProgrammer:

In reality, the best proprietary trader last year was a 14 year-old kid from Billings, Montana who thought some penny-stock candy company was a good investment and managed to snag a 15-bagger with $200 of his lawn mowing money.

The ROI is off the charts but in the end all he was left with was $3,000 if in fact he had a 15-bagger. This is a big deal somehow?

10/13/14
IlliniProgrammer:

In reality, the best proprietary trader last year was a 14 year-old kid from Billings, Montana who thought some penny-stock candy company was a good investment and managed to snag a 15-bagger with $200 of his lawn mowing money.

Sounds like a pre-pubescent Timothy Sykes.

I win here, I win there...

10/13/14

It's a big deal because he's the best proprietary trading firm in terms of returns in the country.

10/13/14

Is this kid fictional? Any source?

I win here, I win there...

10/13/14

He's fictional, but if it were possible to verify the outcome, I'd stake money on 50:50 odds that the best proprietary performance last year came from a random non-professional- probably some kid who wants to study Agriculture at the University of Wyoming- or some grandma who didn't know what she was doing with a personal account and stuck all her money into a small-cap oil driller- who just got lucky.

The bottom line is that trading would be a lot better if people stopped focusing on how everyone else was doing and focused on how THEY were going to make more money. The guy at the top doesn't waste time on that- that's why he's at the top.

10/13/14

Are people seriously comparing Optiver and Getco and DRW all in the same thread? Most of these firms have very different business models and trade different products, markets, etc. I just have to laugh at ppl comparing DRW to Getco or Jump. Those shops share very few similarities.

10/13/14

Most people aren't even sure what business model these firms follow. For instance, I thought I knew Getco's model- until they bought a large specialist operation on the NYSE. But in the aggregate, you can take a look at the friends who've gone off to different firms and talk about how smart they are, irrespective of the firms' main business model. All of the big firms do algorithmic trading; all of them do trading by hand. Most of them stick to exchange traded stuff, although there can be exceptions.

That said, I think the point of ranking firms based on prestigiousness- or even how they did in a single year- is kinda silly. Many of the prop shops have owners who might actually be pretty disgusted if their firm got ranked the most prestigious in the business.

In the long term, it's better to work for a brilliant prop trader- and learn a thing or two from him- at Charles Schwab than it is to work for an idiot at DRW. So the real question you should be asking yourself is "How smart is my manager? How much can I learn from him?" Long-term, you find that your compensation and marketability is tied more closely to competence than you think, and competence is affected more by how smart your manager/team is than your firm's reputation.

10/13/14

Good post, Illini.

10/13/14

So nobody knows anything about Eldorado Trading in Chicago ha? In that case, any idea what advantages/disadvantages come along with having a no-name like that on your resume vs. being a total blank slate nube to prop-trading when applying to a more reputable shop like the ones discussed above?

10/13/14

It means you've got a track record of making money.

And your manager is the most important part, IMHO. Certainly as a developer, as a quant, and probably as a trader. Having a manager you can learn a lot from is worth switching from prop trading Goldman to commodities hedging at General Mills in Minnesota. It's possible to spend two years at DRW and be just as worthless as when you came in. (Although it's more likely you'll get fired before that.) A majority of that comes down to you, but the next biggest factor is your manager and/or other mentors.

Most Chicago prop shops are pretty pragmatic. They don't care if you have DRW or card counting on your resume; Columbia New York or Columbia Chicago; they care whether you can make money- and a track record is the best indication of that. If someone were to come in to a Chicago prop shop with a parakeet that he/she claims can make them money bawk, I see a head and shoulders, bawk and show a long track record proving it and manage to convince them, the firm's probably going to be placing a huge order for bird feed that evening.

10/13/14

Why are you concerned about leaving the company if you were to get an offer when you haven't worked there? Illini is on point on this. Going to bigger firms doesn't guarantee better training and it definitely doesn't guarantee more money--they are just different.

And I can attest that some of these top prop places have people that, like Illini said, are quite unusual. Some people are literally on medication crazy and others just have very unusual appearances, but they get it together enough for work and are good at what they do and are kept around.

10/13/14
Jerome Marrow:

Why are you concerned about leaving the company if you were to get an offer when you haven't worked there? Illini is on point on this. Going to bigger firms doesn't guarantee better training and it definitely doesn't guarantee more money--they are just different.

And I can attest that some of these top prop places have people that, like Illini said, are quite unusual. Some people are literally on medication crazy and others just have very unusual appearances, but they get it together enough for work and are good at what they do and are kept around.

I ask because you hear about the smaller shops going out of business left and right so i think it's a legit concern to have. also just generally curious about whether most prop recruiters prefer people with less-than-stellar experience or no experience at all. i've heard conflicting opinions

10/13/14
Gold Man Sack:
Jerome Marrow:

Why are you concerned about leaving the company if you were to get an offer when you haven't worked there? Illini is on point on this. Going to bigger firms doesn't guarantee better training and it definitely doesn't guarantee more money--they are just different.

And I can attest that some of these top prop places have people that, like Illini said, are quite unusual. Some people are literally on medication crazy and others just have very unusual appearances, but they get it together enough for work and are good at what they do and are kept around.

I ask because you hear about the smaller shops going out of business left and right so i think it's a legit concern to have. also just generally curious about whether most prop recruiters prefer people with less-than-stellar experience or no experience at all. i've heard conflicting opinions

mind you i would still prefer a thumbs up/thumbs down on Eldorado if any one had any experience with them. i asked the follow up question about exit ops only because nobody seems to have any info on the company.

10/13/14

Where do you hear about them going out of business? Frankly, some of what was posted above doesn't make a lot of sense from what I have personally seen in my friends and colleagues. One of those firms hired over a dozen new traders in their Chicago office this past year and were scrambling to get some more over the summer and one of the others increased starting salary for clerks/trainees.

Which firms have been going out of business? I know 2008 through to the flash crash has hurt some firms, but plenty of others have been on hiring sprees. That is the nature of the industry. Optiver/DRW/Getco/Jump/JSC/etc. haven't exactly been around for many decades.

10/13/14

Can we get a ranking here? Any ranking will be inherently speculative. These top 25 firms are all great.

Nevertheless, I'll post my own ranking of firms employing strategies across algorithmic trading, market making, speculative/fundamental trading/HFT, excluding banks/IM/hedge funds (e.g. Shaw/Citadel/Goldman/AQR):

  1. Getco
  2. Five Rings Capital
  3. Jane Street
  4. Hudson River Trading
  5. Jump Trading
  6. Optiver
  7. SIG
  8. DRW
  9. IMC
  10. Tower Research
  11. Spot Trading
  12. Tibra
  13. Allston Trading
  14. Madison Tyler
  15. DC Energy
  16. Louis Dreyfus Commodities
  17. Flow Traders
  18. Timber Hill
  19. First New York Securities
  20. Chicago Trading Company
  21. TransMarket
  22. Consolidated Trading
  23. Group1 Trading
  24. Trillium
  25. Wolverine

Honorable Mentions: Ronin, Cheiron Trading, Gelber Group, Aardvark Trading, Geneva Trading, Eldorado Trading, Archelon, Marquette

Please feel free to correct this list, just something to start with.

10/13/14
SIG:

Can we get a ranking here? Any ranking will be inherently speculative. These top 25 firms are all great.

Nevertheless, I'll post my own ranking of firms employing strategies across algorithmic trading, market making, speculative/fundamental trading/HFT, excluding banks/IM/hedge funds (e.g. Shaw/Citadel/Goldman/AQR):

  1. Getco
  2. Five Rings Capital
  3. Jane Street
  4. Hudson River Trading
  5. Jump Trading
  6. Optiver
  7. SIG
  8. DRW
  9. IMC
  10. Tower Research
  11. Spot Trading
  12. Tibra
  13. Allston Trading
  14. Madison Tyler
  15. DC Energy
  16. Louis Dreyfus Commodities
  17. Flow Traders
  18. Timber Hill
  19. First New York Securities
  20. Chicago Trading Company
  21. TransMarket
  22. Consolidated Trading
  23. Group1 Trading
  24. Trillium
  25. Wolverine

Honorable Mentions: Ronin, Cheiron Trading, Gelber Group, Aardvark Trading, Geneva Trading, Eldorado Trading, Archelon, Marquette

Please feel free to correct this list, just something to start with.

The main problem with making lists is you come up with the questions then, what do they trade/how do they trade/what markets do they trade in/etc. I mean, comparing CTC versus a place like Getco would be ridiculous simply because of the lack of similarities between the two. Even looking at your smaller firms among the honorable mentions, Gelber has a presence on the floor with a number of old school guys and is involved in option MM, while Geneva is a pure algorithmic shop.

And if we make the list in order by compensation, it will be hugely different as well. Some of the 'best' and 'most prestigious' shops don't pay shit in comparison to some smaller shops (many of which are not even on this list) and while you will have a higher degree (relatively) of job security and likely base salary as well, your bonus potential is substantially smaller.

10/13/14
Jerome Marrow:
SIG:

Can we get a ranking here? Any ranking will be inherently speculative. These top 25 firms are all great.

Nevertheless, I'll post my own ranking of firms employing strategies across algorithmic trading, market making, speculative/fundamental trading/HFT, excluding banks/IM/hedge funds (e.g. Shaw/Citadel/Goldman/AQR):

  1. Getco
  2. Five Rings Capital
  3. Jane Street
  4. Hudson River Trading
  5. Jump Trading
  6. Optiver
  7. SIG
  8. DRW
  9. IMC
  10. Tower Research
  11. Spot Trading
  12. Tibra
  13. Allston Trading
  14. Madison Tyler
  15. DC Energy
  16. Louis Dreyfus Commodities
  17. Flow Traders
  18. Timber Hill
  19. First New York Securities
  20. Chicago Trading Company
  21. TransMarket
  22. Consolidated Trading
  23. Group1 Trading
  24. Trillium
  25. Wolverine

Honorable Mentions: Ronin, Cheiron Trading, Gelber Group, Aardvark Trading, Geneva Trading, Eldorado Trading, Archelon, Marquette

Please feel free to correct this list, just something to start with.

The main problem with making lists is you come up with the questions then, what do they trade/how do they trade/what markets do they trade in/etc. I mean, comparing CTC versus a place like Getco would be ridiculous simply because of the lack of similarities between the two. Even looking at your smaller firms among the honorable mentions, Gelber has a presence on the floor with a number of old school guys and is involved in option MM, while Geneva is a pure algorithmic shop.

And if we make the list in order by compensation, it will be hugely different as well. Some of the 'best' and 'most prestigious' shops don't pay shit in comparison to some smaller shops (many of which are not even on this list) and while you will have a higher degree (relatively) of job security and likely base salary as well, your bonus potential is substantially smaller.

If you have a better list by compensation, feel free to post it - I'm certainly not an expert. I was honestly trying to give my best impression of how these firms are ranked based on median comp/hour. Also, if you name some of those small shops that pay well I can add them to the list.

10/13/14

WOW! Thanks! this is the best list so far! Do you have a list of Investment Banking firms that are hiring full time traders? PM me please!

Successful people are willing to do the things unsuccessful people can, but are unwilling to do ..o

10/13/14

Care to share how you came up with this list....is it just your perception or did you use some sort of quantifiable system?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

10/13/14
happypantsmcgee:

Care to share how you came up with this list....is it just your perception or did you use some sort of quantifiable system?

Where possible, based on information/hearsay about base salary/compensation and/or selectiveness/rigorousness of the interview process.

10/13/14
SIG:
happypantsmcgee:

Care to share how you came up with this list....is it just your perception or did you use some sort of quantifiable system?

Where possible, based on information/hearsay about base salary/compensation and/or selectiveness/rigorousness of the interview process.

Ahh gotcha, I would be tempted to say that, if you wanted to rank them you would be better off breaking them into tiers simply because the selectivity between Jane Street and Optiver for example is a wash, there is no real tangible difference between the two. I would also bump Tillium up a bit

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

10/13/14

Informative list SIG

10/13/14

One thing though - I haven't heard about 5 Rings Capital at all, not that that means much. Why are they on your list?

10/13/14
monkeysama:

One thing though - I haven't heard about 5 Rings Capital at all, not that that means much. Why are they on your list?

I've talked to a few people who have interviewed there/have information about the firm, and according to hearsay at least the firm pays extremely well and is very selective.

In terms of Jane Street vs DRW/Optiver, most of the traders/wannabe traders I talk to tend to put JSC on a higher pedestal. Also, their interview process seems more selective to me. Both great firms, obviously.

10/13/14

I wonder if their MD is Miyamoto Musashi :P

10/13/14

Five Rings Capital? WTH? Who are they? And where's the ring to rule them all?

10/13/14

You're surrounded by karate monkeys Mr. Bond. You will never stop me now!
MUHAHAHAHAHAH

10/13/14

I think the best list is base on compensation, reputation, and size of firm. Compensation for obvious reasons. Reputation because if you do leave, although that might not be your goal, you want to have a hit on your resume. And size because 1) the larger firms hire more so you have better chances most likely and 2) the larger firms, at least in terms of capital which hiring is a pretty strong signal of, are less likely to fold.

As far as what they trade or what they're strategy is, it doesn't matter. For someone at a junior position, unless you really feel strongly or have good information about a sector or a strategy you aren't going to be able to make an educated decision about this stuff so it just doesn't affect your application strategy.

10/13/14
monkeysama:

I think the best list is base on compensation, reputation, and size of firm. Compensation for obvious reasons. Reputation because if you do leave, although that might not be your goal, you want to have a hit on your resume. And size because 1) the larger firms hire more so you have better chances most likely and 2) the larger firms, at least in terms of capital which hiring is a pretty strong signal of, are less likely to fold.

As far as what they trade or what they're strategy is, it doesn't matter. For someone at a junior position, unless you really feel strongly or have good information about a sector or a strategy you aren't going to be able to make an educated decision about this stuff so it just doesn't affect your application strategy.

Well it's important to know the strategies when applying because e.g. algo places tend to require a CS heavy skillset, but I agree that the list should be based on comp/reputation without regard for the strategy. Indeed, it's hard to know the strategy for a lot of these places.

10/13/14

Oh yeah sure. You can't apply to Ren Tec or Getco and have never seen a computer before. I guess I was thinking about places that have trading roles that are not programming. For that matter it would be interesting to know which firms have purely CS driven trading and which don't - I'm not sure if I know that for all firms.

10/13/14
monkeysama:

Oh yeah sure. You can't apply to Ren Tec or Getco and have never seen a computer before. I guess I was thinking about places that have trading roles that are not programming. For that matter it would be interesting to know which firms have purely CS driven trading and which don't - I'm not sure if I know that for all firms.

Dude, nearly all of the firms listed there that aren't purely algo/HF shops are option market-making firms for the most part--the 'strategies' aren't exactly rocket science. Many of the firms listed there, however, are quant and algo based and will require you to be exceptional @ CS. That is why it is baffling when I see these lists--could you see some geeky kid from Jump trying to survive and thrive in the SPX or VIX pit?

10/13/14

Five rings have like only 10-20 people, but the founder was from Jane Street and their interview process is very similar to that of Jane Street. They only recruit at HYPM.

10/13/14
vectorkid:

Five rings have like only 10-20 people, but the founder was from Jane Street and their interview process is very similar to that of Jane Street. They only recruit at HYPM.

Yeah that's pretty much the info I have on the firm, plus some speculative but awesome comp numbers.

10/13/14

Huh.....good to know about five rings.

Monkeysamas chance of getting in: 0

Oh well.
You have any other gems vectorkid?

10/13/14

Whatever man, I would beat someone into submission with a tire iron just for an interview at this point.

10/13/14

Wait, you made this list based on what you perceive to be the ones with the best compensation? Oh boy.... I think that is a bad way to go about it to begin with (median compensation @ a trading firm.... really?), but this list would be substantially different. The salaries vary dramatically, even within the same firm, as do bonuses, which vary dramatically because of the amount of risk allowed to be taken, trading environment (group versus individual), strategies, individual skill, and more. It is just a silly way of going about it.

10/13/14
Jerome Marrow:

Wait, you made this list based on what you perceive to be the ones with the best compensation? Oh boy.... I think that is a bad way to go about it to begin with (median compensation @ a trading firm.... really?), but this list would be substantially different. The salaries vary dramatically, even within the same firm, as do bonuses, which vary dramatically because of the amount of risk allowed to be taken, trading environment (group versus individual), strategies, individual skill, and more. It is just a silly way of going about it.

Of course the compensation varies dramatically. I think the IDEAL list would be by median comp/hour of the traders, or maybe a weighted combination of individual trader compensation, but there's no way I'm getting complete data. Still, from hearsay/info it's possible to know what the entry level base at say, Optiver or Trillium is, as well as some idea of bonus potential.

10/13/14
Jerome Marrow:

Wait, you made this list based on what you perceive to be the ones with the best compensation? Oh boy.... I think that is a bad way to go about it to begin with (median compensation @ a trading firm.... really?), but this list would be substantially different. The salaries vary dramatically, even within the same firm, as do bonuses, which vary dramatically because of the amount of risk allowed to be taken, trading environment (group versus individual), strategies, individual skill, and more. It is just a silly way of going about it.

How does variance make knowing the mean valueless? Or make knowing the median valueless? It's still certainly better than no information. Showing off that you know compensation varies (hardly uncommon knowledge), and implying that this means someone's list is terrible, really contributes nothing.

On the other hand, if we had a decent list of median (or mean, or bounds, any metric really is better than nothing) entry level compensations at several dozen firms, many people would find that a very good contribution.

10/13/14
juked07:

How does variance make knowing the mean valueless? Or make knowing the median valueless? It's still certainly better than no information. Showing off that you know compensation varies (hardly uncommon knowledge), and implying that this means someone's list is terrible, really contributes nothing.

lol you're right.... people should go off mean and median salaries for these firms, most of which have under 100 people in an office (I'm talking about total employees, let alone # of traders), most of whom have traders that haven't been around even 5-6 years, and have ranges among these low numbers of traders of under $100k/yr to the tens of millions for partners (some of whom are/were in their 20s at some of these places). You're right, that is a fantastic way to go about it. Even better, many (most?) of the firms listed have not even been around a decade. Yeah, the market is rapidly changing and has been nuts over the last 3-4 years, but you know what, go off the mean/median compensation, if you have it (I doubt even the companies keep that kind of data). That makes a fuckload of sense.

My point was that the mean and median aren't going to be very representative because the samples sizes are so small and have widely variable populations (age, seniority, etc.). Seriously dude, you're a dumbass.

10/13/14
Jerome Marrow:
juked07:

How does variance make knowing the mean valueless? Or make knowing the median valueless? It's still certainly better than no information. Showing off that you know compensation varies (hardly uncommon knowledge), and implying that this means someone's list is terrible, really contributes nothing.

lol you're right.... people should go off mean and median salaries for these firms, most of which have under 100 people in an office (I'm talking about total employees, let alone # of traders), most of whom have traders that haven't been around even 5-6 years, and have ranges among these low numbers of traders of under $100k/yr to the tens of millions for partners (some of whom are/were in their 20s at some of these places). You're right, that is a fantastic way to go about it. Even better, many (most?) of the firms listed have not even been around a decade. Yeah, the market is rapidly changing and has been nuts over the last 3-4 years, but you know what, go off the mean/median compensation, if you have it (I doubt even the companies keep that kind of data). That makes a fuckload of sense.

My point was that the mean and median aren't going to be very representative because the samples sizes are so small and have widely variable populations (age, seniority, etc.). Seriously dude, you're a dumbass.

The only claim I made was that this information is not "valueless." Personal attacks aside, would you like to demonstrate that knowing nothing is better than knowing the mean and/or median compensation numbers for a set of interesting trading firms?

Best of luck to you!

10/13/14

Jerome you gotta understand. These firms are fucking secret as shit and we are, for the most part, ignorant UG dweebs. We operate with the best information we have even if it is some incredibly weak sauce. I'm sure all of those firms can be stellar places to work and completely lousy, depending what your situation is in the firm or who you make friends with, etc. If you have some good tips please lay em on us.

10/13/14

Wtf do you mean comp/hour? Do you think that the number of hours you work is a strongly significant factor in how much money you make?

I don't think the firms are AS secretive as you think. People aren't going to tell you what their bonus was most likely, but that shouldn't be the discerning factor for you anyway--go somewhere that has some solid training program, is well capitalized, you feel like you can get along and work with the people who interviewed you, and will give you the opportunity because each of those firms has absurdly successful and wealthy traders that have plenty of F U money (since that is what everyone here talks about). Base salary.... I mean that is a pretty bad way to go about it IMO. For example, Belvedere (a firm not listed here, but is a big player in option MM) pays a relatively low/shit starting salary (mid/low 40s for clerks I think--that was a couple years ago though last I heard), but they have good traders that make a substantial amount of money and if you are good there, you will be taken care of just as well as any other firm. DRW pays more than that and so do a lot of firms, but that doesn't mean you ARE going to learn to be a better trader or that you will make any more money for yourself--possibly less even if you are stuck as a clerk for a long period of time and part of a large group with a different incentive/compensation structure.

If you are at any of the firms listed, you can be making hundreds of thousands within 2-3 years of being out of school. I work at one of the firms listed and have friends at prob 6-7 others listed on there and there are more people than you would believe in the industry, 24-26y/o, that are making $200-400k++ after bonus (and a limited number that are way above that area even into the 7 figures). This is at a wide variety of firms.

10/13/14

/ is division. Trading firm hours vary quite a bit, generally 45-65. Making 1.5X at Firm A vs X at firm B, isn't necessarily preferable if the hours at firm A are atrocious. Some firms definitely have better reputations in terms of work/life.

Also you make a good point, but outlier comp is, well, an outlier. The majority of traders probably aren't making 400k after 3 years, even at these firms. 200k is actually quite likely 2-4 years in at many of these firms. Median comp, or in the best case a weighted average of comp discounting the tails of the probability distribution, would be the best way to compare. It's also true that comp shouldn't be the only factor - exit options/brand name/training is all important, and I did factor that in somewhat to the list. It's not a perfect list, but I think it's a pretty decent attempt at ranking desirability of trading firms.

I would add Belvedere to the list, but you quoted my post so I can't edit it...

10/13/14

Jerome another quick thing that I want to mention. None of this is meant, at least by me (I don't know if I can speak for anyone else) to construe that one firm is better than another. To me it's kind of a weighted average of the chances of getting in and expected pay. I would be delighted to be interviewed at any of these firms, but when I'm allocating my networking time I have to have some mechanism to order them, as imperfect as it may be.

10/13/14

Why did my list get monkey shit thrown at it?

10/13/14

Ok guys come on. Don't downgrade each other on this. I've plussed both of you even though I think you don't deserve it.

The list was a good one, if only for the fact that I learned about Five Rings Capital and may not have otherwise. The list is far from scientific and the rankings have probably an illusory correlation to reality. Fine, let's just move on.

10/13/14

the 2008 list was written by someone not even in the industry anymore. someone that focused on exit ops and comparing firms but when it came time to talk about the market he said "we trade equity index volatility arbitrage". These lists are stupid.

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

10/13/14
trade4size:

the 2008 list was written by someone not even in the industry anymore. someone that focused on exit ops and comparing firms but when it came time to talk about the market he said "we trade equity index volatility arbitrage". These lists are stupid.

Say Santa Claus gave you two offers. One is to work at Jane Street Capital as an AT, the other at Trillium. What would you tell Santa.

The idea behind a ranking is simple - some firms tend to be more desirable/lucrative, and a ranking tends to be the best way to represent that albeit imperfectly.

10/13/14
Trade4Life:
trade4size:

the 2008 list was written by someone not even in the industry anymore. someone that focused on exit ops and comparing firms but when it came time to talk about the market he said "we trade equity index volatility arbitrage". These lists are stupid.

Say Santa Claus gave you two offers. One is to work at Jane Street Capital as an AT, the other at Trillium. What would you tell Santa.

How the fuck do you visit EVERY little kids' house in ONE night? Answer me fat man!

10/13/14

Neither im quite happy where I am thanks. Thats such a dopey question anyway. JSC focuses on options market making and Trillium does directional based daytrading you cannot compare them. I am not going to be as nice about it as the others were in the thread. there are people that want to trade equities, and there are people that want to trade options there is no master list.

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

10/13/14
trade4size:

Neither im quite happy where I am thanks. Thats such a dopey question anyway. JSC focuses on options market making and Trillium does directional based daytrading you cannot compare them. I am not going to be as nice about it as the others were in the thread. there are people that want to trade equities, and there are people that want to trade options there is no master list.

That's a fair point, but if you HAD (theoretically) a master list of firms ranked perfectly by compensation/reputation/ect, then someone looking to trade options could just consider the relevant firms and make a sub-list using the master list. Plus, creating multiple lists would be too cumbersome, especially since many firms trade so many products (just look at FNYS or SIG for example).

My final view on lists - inherently imperfect, but not valueless.

10/13/14

Don't make me pull this thread over, cause I'll do it!

10/13/14

opposed to ranking the firms you should be focusing on what interests you then you should rank them accordingly.

Things you want to ask yourself

Do I want to trade a directionally or be arb focused.
High touch vs algorithmic
What products interest you
What are the future prospects for this product, how has it changed in the past 10 years and where do you see it going in the next 10 years
What is the firms attitude towards risk?
How soon will you be able to be trading your own book?
Are the firms team oriented or individual focused
What is the technology at the firm like
How well is the firm capitalized

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

10/13/14

How do you find out how well a firm is capitalized? I thought that was secret since it's a prop firm and doesn't report it?

10/13/14

lol i like how mr princeton boy is smashing on trillium since he knows i work there and to get at me for flaming him earlier about his attitude lol

10/13/14

Its pretty pathetic that he can't just let the shit go after all this time...

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

10/13/14
happypantsmcgee:

Its pretty pathetic that he can't just let the shit go after all this time...

Curious - where would you rank Trillium and which firms would you push farther down the ranking. If Trillium moves up, then Group1/Consolidated/TransMarket all move down the list. All these firms are great, and if you are a great trader you will do well at all of them. Many great firms aren't even in that (highly subjective) top 25.

10/13/14
Trade4Life:
happypantsmcgee:

Its pretty pathetic that he can't just let the shit go after all this time...

Curious - where would you rank Trillium and which firms would you push farther down the ranking. If Trillium moves up, then Group1/Consolidated/TransMarket all move down the list. All these firms are great, and if you are a great trader you will do well at all of them. Many great firms aren't even in that (highly subjective) top 25.

The whole idea behind ranking these firms, or any rankings for that matter, is stupid. I think this is particularly true for trading as your abilities dictate the comp and exit opps that everyone on this site stays up at night worrying about. Saying that if firm A moves up then firm B must move down is ridiculous. There is, just maybe, a case to be made that working at firm A is equal in many respects to working at firm B. The only situation where I can see any of this being even slightlly relevant is if you had offers at all 25 of the firms listed in which case you would be in a position to do whatever the fuck you wanted and it still wouldn't matter.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

10/13/14
happypantsmcgee:
Trade4Life:
happypantsmcgee:

Its pretty pathetic that he can't just let the shit go after all this time...

Curious - where would you rank Trillium and which firms would you push farther down the ranking. If Trillium moves up, then Group1/Consolidated/TransMarket all move down the list. All these firms are great, and if you are a great trader you will do well at all of them. Many great firms aren't even in that (highly subjective) top 25.

The whole idea behind ranking these firms, or any rankings for that matter, is stupid. I think this is particularly true for trading as your abilities dictate the comp and exit opps that everyone on this site stays up at night worrying about. Saying that if firm A moves up then firm B must move down is ridiculous. There is, just maybe, a case to be made that working at firm A is equal in many respects to working at firm B. The only situation where I can see any of this being even slightlly relevant is if you had offers at all 25 of the firms listed in which case you would be in a position to do whatever the fuck you wanted and it still wouldn't matter.

Disagree.

Bottom line, it's easier to make 7 figures at Getco than Allston Trading even though Allston pays very well.

10/13/14

Then when you get offers at Getco and Allston you will have a pretty easy decision to make won't you? Godspeed

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

10/13/14

lol you have no fucking idea what you are talking about, T4L....

10/13/14
Jerome Marrow:

lol you have no fucking idea what you are talking about, T4L....

Care to clarify why you say that?

10/13/14
Trade4Life:
Jerome Marrow:

lol you have no fucking idea what you are talking about, T4L....

Care to clarify why you say that?

Pretty much everything you have said in this thread is either irrelevant, wrong, or misguided. Your last post was icing on the cake.

10/13/14
Jerome Marrow:
Trade4Life:
Jerome Marrow:

lol you have no fucking idea what you are talking about, T4L....

Care to clarify why you say that?

Pretty much everything you have said in this thread is either irrelevant, wrong, or misguided. Your last post was icing on the cake.

Your opinion is that Allston is more lucrative than Getco? I can think of one or two people who turned down very lucrative offers at Allston for Getco.

Also......you didn't know what division was...

10/13/14
Trade4Life:

Your opinion is that Allston is more lucrative than Getco? I can think of one or two people who turned down very lucrative offers at Allston for Getco.

Also......you didn't know what division was...

Who says either one is more lucrative than the other? And if they are in 'different divisions', why the fuck are you comparing apples and oranges? In fact, who says they are even trading the same things and have similar enough employee pools to make this relevant?

10/13/14
Jerome Marrow:

lol you have no fucking idea what you are talking about, T4L....

Thanks for clarifying who that was addressed to

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

10/13/14

Here are links to descriptions of 200 prop trading firms with firm descriptions and links:

http://leverageacademy.com/blog/2009/11/10/181/

10/13/14
BankingRUs9:

Here are links to descriptions of 200 prop trading firms with firm descriptions and links:

http://leverageacademy.com/blog/2009/11/10/181/

Thanks. I've seen that list before.

The problem is it's not very selective - many of those firms pay no base salary or have very substandard comp, although I'm sure there are some on there that pay well that I'm not familiar with.

Also that list has TONS of scams/chop shops like LYNX Capital, and omits a few goods ones like Five Rings.

10/13/14

it is hard to rank companies because most people work at only one of these places.

that being said, a lot of the comments on this thread are horribly wrong / based on incomplete information.

that being said, most of these companies have different business models. that being said, get a job at these places first and then decide which one is better for you.

10/13/14
Zalfor:

it is hard to rank companies because most people work at only one of these places.

that being said, a lot of the comments on this thread are horribly wrong / based on incomplete information.

that being said, most of these companies have different business models. that being said, get a job at these places first and then decide which one is better for you.

that being said, you say that being said a lot....haha no but seriously you made some good points.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

10/13/14
Zalfor:

it is hard to rank companies because most people work at only one of these places.

that being said, a lot of the comments on this thread are horribly wrong / based on incomplete information.

that being said, most of these companies have different business models. that being said, get a job at these places first and then decide which one is better for you.

True, but you don't have to work have to work at a place to know something about it. For example, I've worked at or interviewed with a dozen of those 25 firms, and have friends/acquaintances at about as many.

10/13/14

five rings capital is a great company started by an ex-jsc partner which does some carbon credit trading. definitely deserves a good spot.

10/13/14

in terms of helping out a college student making choices in terms of which places to apply for, i would definitely recommend applying to any/ALL of these firms and trying to get jobs and then deciding based on your personal experiences with each of these firms.

i have also had good experiences with belvedere trading like other people have said on this thread. but I definitely don't know about a lot of the companies on that other person's list, so I don't know if it should be on the "top 25"

As some advice for people who are still in college, trading is VERY PERSONALIZED. Don't choose a firm based on "perceived comp" or "prestige", but rather based on how well you think you will perform/thrive in a particular firm's environment. I know people who have turned down Getco for chopper trading and people who are thriving at less "prestige" places while they would not have done well at "better" places. Trading is much more individualized than other industries, so don't let these rankings influence your decision too much.

I think the list is fun, but don't let it hurt anyone's ego since no one cares about where you work when you're making millions. =)

10/13/14

Ooh! Ooh! Hire me! Over here! I want to make millions! :P

10/13/14

Good points Zalfor. I forgot about Belvedere and Chopper.

10/13/14

IMO, FRC (five rings) shouldn't be so high since it so new. but I don't know much about their operations... they do pay well though. =)

Citadel should be on here somewhere... even though its a HF

10/13/14

Mean and median earnings don't have value in selecting or rating trading firms for undergrads, so it is valueless. Besides that, the data isn't even available and the sample sizes would be too small and varied in population to be statistically significant.

10/13/14

great job on the list! huge contribution. you do understand that salaries at all of these places really only matter your first couple of years dont you? you dont get payed just for showing up like bankers do, you get paid for p&l. If you are printing $ you get paid regardless of the level of "prestige" at the firm you are working at. Once youve gotten a book and established yourself, nobody cares where you worked previously or even where you went to college. the FIRST thing we discuss when we look at experienced hires is "what's his track record?" Not "Did he work at JSC or DE Shaw (everyone get wet)?" Quit getting so hung up on these stupid rankings and either a) go work hard to get in to ANY of these places or b) if you are there, work hard to make $ and make yourself valuable. thats all that matters

10/13/14
PnL:

great job on the list! huge contribution. you do understand that salaries at all of these places really only matter your first couple of years dont you? you dont get payed just for showing up like bankers do, you get paid for p&l. If you are printing $ you get paid regardless of the level of "prestige" at the firm you are working at. Once youve gotten a book and established yourself, nobody cares where you worked previously or even where you went to college. the FIRST thing we discuss when we look at experienced hires is "what's his track record?" Not "Did he work at JSC or DE Shaw (everyone get wet)?" Quit getting so hung up on these stupid rankings and either a) go work hard to get in to ANY of these places or b) if you are there, work hard to make $ and make yourself valuable. thats all that matters

In some of the top prop shops mentioned above, you ARE payed for just showing up. Even more so than bankers.

If you're getting an entry level job straight from college, then some companies are definitely better than others, depending on base pay and the level of training that you will receive.

10/13/14

yeah was gonna say if you can print the money anywhere in the end it doesnt matter-- each shop will orient you more to a specific type of trading though depending on whatever group you get into.

10/13/14

The best shop is the one that hires me. So if you guys want to be at the top of my list PM an interview!

/That might be just crazy enough to work.....:P

10/13/14

Trade4Life, would you care to elaborate what the speculative/fundamental shops are? Do any of these shops focus more on trends and long-term stuff and require a less quantitative background?

10/13/14
GoodBread:

Trade4Life, would you care to elaborate what the speculative/fundamental shops are? Do any of these shops focus more on trends and long-term stuff and require a less quantitative background?

Trillium, FNYS fit the bill.

10/13/14

so how do you go from just getting an offer to becoming a professor with a mastery of knowing which prop shops do what? and i think the 'speculative/fundamental' needs a more detailed description as to what means by that.

10/13/14
shorttheworld:

so how do you go from just getting an offer to becoming a professor with a mastery of knowing which prop shops do what? and i think the 'speculative/fundamental' needs a more detailed description as to what means by that.

Discretionary trading of any product. Separate from market making, algorithmic trading.

10/13/14

trade4life aka thisdude can you please just shut up and stop digging yourself into an even bigger hole. You have never traded a day in your life yet your coming off like a elitist know it all. Do you even have an offer yet? I would not want to be the guy sitting next to you.

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

10/13/14
trade4size:

trade4life aka thisdude can you please just shut up and stop digging yourself into an even bigger hole. You have never traded a day in your life yet your coming off like a elitist know it all. Do you even have an offer yet? I would not want to be the guy sitting next to you.

What the hell are you talking about...

10/13/14

sitting next to him in his college classes?

10/13/14

LMAO bwahahaha thats hilarious PnL.

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

10/13/14

hey i have a question ok you start out with base capital ... at the end of the year how much on average do prop traders increase there capital assume if they didn't get paid until end of the year

10/13/14

I think the top quant kids at the elite colleges who want to work in trading/quant research all gun for the same group of elite firms: DE Shaw, Citadel, Jane Street, Getco, hudson river, jump, tower research, maybe a few others. If they can get offers from all of them, DE Shaw and Citadel would easily be the top 2 choices since they offer awesome compensation, great brand, and routinely get some of the smartest college students in the country.

10/13/14
jjc1122:

I think the top quant kids at the elite colleges who want to work in trading/quant research all gun for the same group of elite firms: DE Shaw, Citadel, Jane Street, Getco, hudson river, jump, tower research, maybe a few others. If they can get offers from all of them, DE Shaw and Citadel would easily be the top 2 choices since they offer awesome compensation, great brand, and routinely get some of the smartest college students in the country.

a few others being AQR, Two Sigma, and some of the top prop shops (DRW/SIG/Optiver/IMC)?

10/13/14
theprestige:
jjc1122:

I think the top quant kids at the elite colleges who want to work in trading/quant research all gun for the same group of elite firms: DE Shaw, Citadel, Jane Street, Getco, hudson river, jump, tower research, maybe a few others. If they can get offers from all of them, DE Shaw and Citadel would easily be the top 2 choices since they offer awesome compensation, great brand, and routinely get some of the smartest college students in the country.

a few others being AQR, Two Sigma, and some of the top prop shops (DRW/SIG/Optiver/IMC)?

AQR and Two Sigma definitely. I personally don't consider the other prop firms to be in the same category as DE Shaw/Citadel/aqr/two sigma. They're awesome places, no doubt, but the quality of people they hire is on a different level. The people i knew who worked at the firms i listed were math/CS geniuses from MIT, harvard, stanford, etc. One of my good friends was the #1 CS student at MIT undergrad, worked at microsoft for a few years, then D.E. Shaw. He left to launch a startup, but it didn't work out, so now he's at two sigma. I once asked him if he was the smartest guy at D.E. Shaw, and he laughed and said, "to be honest, i would say i was about average. the people there were just scary."

10/13/14

AQR and Two Sigma definitely. I personally don't consider the other prop firms to be in the same category as DE Shaw/Citadel/aqr/two sigma. They're awesome places, no doubt, but the quality of people they hire is on a different level. The people i knew who worked at the firms i listed were math/CS geniuses from MIT, harvard, stanford, etc. One of my good friends was the #1 CS student at MIT undergrad, worked at microsoft for a few years, then D.E. Shaw. He left to launch a startup, but it didn't work out, so now he's at two sigma. I once asked him if he was the smartest guy at D.E. Shaw, and he laughed and said, "to be honest, i would say i was about average. the people there were just scary."

to be honest ur friend's resume before D.E.Shaw was not very impressive.

10/13/14
lingua_franca:

AQR and Two Sigma definitely. I personally don't consider the other prop firms to be in the same category as DE Shaw/Citadel/aqr/two sigma. They're awesome places, no doubt, but the quality of people they hire is on a different level. The people i knew who worked at the firms i listed were math/CS geniuses from MIT, harvard, stanford, etc. One of my good friends was the #1 CS student at MIT undergrad, worked at microsoft for a few years, then D.E. Shaw. He left to launch a startup, but it didn't work out, so now he's at two sigma. I once asked him if he was the smartest guy at D.E. Shaw, and he laughed and said, "to be honest, i would say i was about average. the people there were just scary."

to be honest ur friend's resume before D.E.Shaw was not very impressive.

Yea man, number one comp sci major at MIT and a stint at Microsoft? What a dumbass

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

10/13/14

Whats wrong with Microsoft? This country needs more people with new ideating being innovative and less people in finance if we want to continue to thrive in the long run. Its not a good sign when everyone runs to the same exit which in this case is banking/trading.

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

10/13/14

I have a bunch of friends at Microsoft. It's a nice place but from a financial perspective you can earn a lot more as a quantitative research analyst with the same skill-set at Two Sigma.

10/13/14

Would it be possible to add a prestige rating to each of these firms, on a scale of 100?

10/13/14
GoodBread:

Would it be possible to add a prestige rating to each of these firms, on a scale of 100?

It's basically supposed to be ranked according to perceived comp / prestige, although take that with a grain of salt. You can be reasonably certain that Getco is more prestigious than say Belvedere, but between say Optiver or IMC it's really a wash.

10/13/14
absinthe:
GoodBread:

Would it be possible to add a prestige rating to each of these firms, on a scale of 100?

It's basically supposed to be ranked according to perceived comp / prestige, although take that with a grain of salt. You can be reasonably certain that Getco is more prestigious than say Belvedere, but between say Optiver or IMC it's really a wash.

In terms of selectivity, Getco is the toughest prop firm to get into (i'm not including quant hedge funds like DE Shaw, Citadel, aqr, two sigma).

compensation, who knows. I know a guy who made $300K including bonus at Optiver his first year out of college. and a few guys at jump who were making $500K/year in their mid-late 20's. but it really depends on the person, group, how well the firm is doing, etc. Getco supposedly has insane compensation, but it's all hearsay.

10/13/14