NYSE broker or BB desk trader?

deckone's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 26

Which of these will give you a better learning experience that is more relevant to transfering into a HF? I can see how a desk trader at a BB manages risk by hedging and a NYSE floor broker for a BB does not, but the floor broker is present at the point of sale and is much more aware of how prices really move and is more in touch with the psycology of the markets which is very important.... thoughts?

P.S. don't give me the "NYSE will go extinct" answer, we are talking about working a short term stint (2-3 years)

Comments (16)

Jul 18, 2007

Desk Trader. Floor broker may only deal with technicals, whereas the desk trader needs to know both technicals and fundamentals. Hedging doesn't have a ton to do with it...

Jul 19, 2007

screw sitting on a desk... Get out on the floor and experience life!

Jul 19, 2007

Get down on the floor while you still can, don't expect there to be much going on though, the "good ol' days" on Broad street are over

Jul 19, 2007

go to the bank

Jul 19, 2007

for sheer learning, the desk is best...

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Jul 19, 2007

wow, the house is divided! this is good, please give more reasoning your answers though, this is a tough one

Jul 19, 2007
deckone:

wow, the house is divided! this is good, please give more reasoning your answers though, this is a tough one

no, it's really not a tough one. go to the bank.

Jul 20, 2007

Although I have never had a "job" at either, I have interned on a trading floor before and I am currently interning at a major hedge fund (where most of my time is divided between the merger arb and convertible arb desks, which I'm assuming is similar to desk trading at a BB). I think my fund would rather higher the desk trader than the broker because they commonly question the intelligence of brokers (maybe they're joking maybe they're serious, who knows).

But assuming that the two jobs were equal, i would say where you should go depends on personality. Working on a floor was a good experience for me, but I hated it. I just thought it was super boring and I really didn't like the environment. Being in a pit just made me feel like I was living in some underground dungeon Stevie Cohen had built to send bad traders to for losing him money. And the germs freaked me out too, if one person in the pit got sick, everyone got sick. I just wanted everyday to be over as soon as possible.

However, the hedge fund environment I have grown to love and could definitely see myself working there for a career. Also, if it helps, there's no former brokers working in the hedge fund I intern at, but over half the guys there are former traders (mostly prop desk guys).

Jul 19, 2007
Sucker_for_Seers:

I have interned on a trading floor before and I am currently interning at a major hedge fund (where most of my time is divided between the merger arb and convertible arb desks, which I'm assuming is similar to desk trading at a BB).

nah it's different.

Jul 20, 2007

If someone is working a prop desk at a BB, what's different about what they do there, compared to what a trader at a convertible arb desk in a hedge fund? Lots of the guys I work with formerly worked prop desks and gave me the impression it's similar. Therefore, I'm interested in what the differences are between a prop desk at a BB and desk trading in a hedge fund?

Jul 19, 2007
Sucker_for_Seers:

Also, if it helps, there's no former brokers working in the hedge fund I intern at, but over half the guys there are former traders (mostly prop desk guys).

that's some good insight, thanks

Jul 19, 2007

he didn't say he was going to a prop desk. i assume his offer is to trade flow.

Jul 20, 2007

Oh, I guess I just inferred prop desk, my bad. Am I right in assuming working a prop desk at a BB is similar to a convertible arb desk in a hedge fund?

Jul 19, 2007

there are prop desks that do similar things sure. but its not like a rate or fx prop desk obviously.

Jul 19, 2007

I mean flow trader vs floor broker, both for a BB.

Jul 22, 2007
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