Pathway to being a good swaps trader

Hi everyone,

To cut the long story short, I'm a new analyst on a swaps trading desk and I've been really struggling to learn because going in I was told I will learn everything on the desk, but during the day nobody wants to talk and everyone is busy. After work, everyone is in a rush to deal with their lives and families. Only one guy stays behind and I ask him questions when I go through what happened during the day to make sense of things I don't understand because a lot of times I get soaked up in tasks and fail to properly comprehend what is happening in the market. Recently this guy said to me and I quote, "just because I stay late doesn't mean it's an opportunity for you to ask me questions you couldn't ask all day". I do want to say I will not be good at this or I don't have the potential because it's too early, but I lack guidance and I don't have a path. I know I am a very hard working guy and I am the type of guy to stay all night doing anything if that means my success. I am 8k miles away from my home and my whole life has been about sacrifices I know that I have the ethic and I have enough intellect to learn these things under proper guidance. I am making a decision to be more independent and take more control of my own learning because the dream that was sold to me that I would be taught stuff is a false one. Could you guys out there in swaps/rates trading list for me what you think one should know or be able to do by the each time in their analyst program. I'm about 2 months in I don't feel like I do much. I book trades, I follow the hedges, and I recently learned how to do unwinds (although I have not done a live one), and I send summaries of our risk etc. My friends in other groups trade already and some do shadow pricing and hedging etc. To sum it up, I extremely behind and I am not learning as much as I pictured I would learn. In short,

  1. Could someone list the path of what comes into each stage say in 3 month timelines ideally? Including quality of pricing, hedging, commentary, franchise ability, risk taking and conceptual knowledge etc.

  2. What are the best books out there for conceptual knowledge?

  3. Best daily macro reports out there?

Thank you. Also let me know your thoughts on taking a more independent route to learning instead of bothering folks. Do you think it's easier to learn on bigger teams vs lean teams?

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (3)

Most Helpful
  • VP in S&T - FI
Nov 28, 2021 - 7:14pm

I would speak with your direct manager about this. Best way is to get in front of him or her frequently and demonstrate you have the desire and ability, which then leads to asking for more responsibility. You basically have to be borderline annoying to do that (assuming you don't mess up any of the basic stuff like booking trades).Β 

One of the best ways to learn is to pitch a trade idea and your manager should let you put on the trade in small size or something, then you can watch it and monitor it. Next step after that would be having your own "strat book".Β 

Nov 28, 2021 - 7:19pm

Vel quibusdam rem cupiditate unde. Ut perspiciatis sed et aliquam voluptas enim. Adipisci rerum provident dolores ipsum dicta autem eius.

Sed qui tempora recusandae culpa enim velit asperiores. Quis aut sunt rerum officiis ut quae libero. Ut voluptate tempore omnis culpa in dolore. Et est quia a beatae quia voluptatem numquam.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

November 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (40) $360
  • Associates (236) $235
  • 2nd Year Analyst (144) $156
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (34) $154
  • Intern/Summer Associate (107) $146
  • 1st Year Analyst (514) $136
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (394) $84