I am currently sitting on a lumber 'desk' as a physical trader and I am starting to think that the job is not the right fit for me as it is not what I originally believed it to be. When I applied to the company they insinuated heavily that they speculated in the futures market which is the reason I took the job. However, after a couple of months of being in my current position, I have begun to realize that the shop I am at is not quite like the others (eg. Trafigura, Glencore, etc.). Needless to say, I am very disappointed as I turned down an offer from a BB to pursue this job.
The strategy at my shop is supposedly an arbitrage strategy but we only source lumber from Canada, Ireland, and Russia which is all sold in the US. From my understanding, many of the physical shops buy and sell into numerous countries to exploit greater arbitrage opportunities. I have also read that those shops run models and speculate in the futures and forward markets, however, my firm does not. Does this mean that the firm I am at is just executing a different strategy or is it not a trading house at all?
None of the traders have a series 3 or any type of series certification. We also do not run any sort of models to predict where the futures price of our commodity is heading. The closest that we come to operating in the futures markets are verbal agreements with 'sell-side' clients that lock in a price at a specified time in the future.
I am trying to figure out if I am in the right place as I am under the impression that my role is similar to a physical trader at a firm like Glencore or am I just lumber salesmen that also buys the product that just so happens to fluctuate in the price? My main question is, what is the process that other physical houses/ market makers (eg. Glencore, Vitol,etc.) use when making trade decisions? Also, what are my exit opportunities in the event that this is not the job for me? I would like to transition into a paper trading role but I was told today by a network contact that my job is the equivalent of being in a lumber yard. Is this true? I am worried that I have screwed myself over. Out of all the other traders that have come through the company only one has made it to a paper trading role at an IB and the rest are stuck in S**tty sales jobs.
I know I'm not supposed to release details about the company but the name of the parent company is Forest City Trading Group.