For Prop Trading, Which Master's program is Better? Risk Management or Investment Management?

Rock-Sugar's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 12

Imperial College London has great specialized finance programs.
I want to know which program would help a future proprietary trader more?

MSc Investment & Wealth Management (IWM)
OR
MSc Risk Management and Financial Engineering (RMFE)

My indecision stems from 2 concerns.
- With IWM, will I be a long term investor and lack technical risk management skills of a trader?
- With RMFE, will I be stuck in risk management and never turn into a trader or a short-term investor?

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Comments (15)

Best Response
Jun 7, 2017

If you're applying to the prop options market makers (Optiver, tibra, akuna, imc, liquid capital etc etc) then they'd look more favorably on one of the variants of MSc Statistics.

If these are the sort of companies you're targeting though, i think you'd be wasting a lot of money and time doing a masters in this. Try to make yourself appear as quantitative and into calculated risk as possible on your resume (talk about poker, statistics etc) and you'll probably get an interview without the Masters. What you will need to spend a lot of time on is getting your arithmetic and basic maths to a really high level.

If what you're aiming for is a prop desk at an IB. there's a lot fewer positions but the masters will probably help.

Disclaimer, not from England but have experience with recruitment process for all of these places.

    • 2
Jun 8, 2017

Thanks clevortrevor. Great insight! I checked out these firms' websites. You are right. They do require science and math. I hope I will get admitted to the program you suggested.

You also introduced an interesting strategy, which would save me ton of money and time:
"Appear quantitative, and you'll probably get an interview without the Masters"

  • May I ask for which firms/positions do you believe this strategy would work? The firms you mentioned above?
  • Can you introduce me to them? What application route can I follow? Applications via their website? Linkedin? Alumni?
  • I have a gmat score of 680 and 49 on the quant portion. Is this a good way to show my quick math skills?
Jun 7, 2017

What's your undergraduate major in? (i'll follow this up with more advice)

Jun 7, 2017

I definitely think you can get an interview at these places without the masters, if you post your resume (remove anything identifying) i can help you get it in a state that i think they will like. It's all about how you present yourself. Since these firms cull people based on speed arithmetic it's much easier to get past that first barrier.

Also important is the quick math skills though. The first thing you'll do (prior to any interview) with these firms is a speed arithmetic test. http://arithmetic.zetamac.com/game?key=a7220a92 is good for practicing as well as tradertest.org

Jun 9, 2017

What is considered good for 120 seconds on Zetamac?

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Jun 7, 2017

I'd say you won't have a good chance on any of the prop trader tests unless you're getting at least above 45+. Keep practicing if you're not there though. When i decided i wanted to be a trader i started practicing on zetamac and started at about a score of 20, pretty quickly worked that up to 40. Now after a lot of practice my average is around 60-65 and my top score is 76.

Zetamac is really good for getting the mental horsepower up, but definitely combine this with the tradertest.org occasionally, as these questions are more similar to the actual tests (eg. subtractions that go into the negatives, fractions etc).

Jun 9, 2017

Did you improve just by practicing or have you also learned some "trick"?

Jun 16, 2017

Anticipation & Reaction = 10? You are hired!

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