"Sales" and Trading..... (SALES)

Would love to have a discussion about the current state and the future of a sales-man. Please add your two cents and personal experiences.

  • For argument sake, assume you are or would be FICC sales or exotics on a good desk making good revenue.

  • What are the current actual bonus's looking like in this record year?

  • Will the sales person still have a role when automation rolls through, ie.. G10 spot there is already automation... but there are still salesman?

  • For those who are in it... are you looking to pivot, or is this a sweet spot?

** I love doing it... love the pace, love the interaction. Wbu?

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Comments (11)

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
May 17, 2021 - 12:15am

you can make more money in F100 tech sales with less stress if that's what your asking

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Most Helpful
May 17, 2021 - 10:18pm

Sure.  Ill take a shot. Commodities only.

First, there will ALWAYS be sales folks.  Always.  They may be called a variety of names, but they will always be there.  Why?  Physicals and exotics.

First, cash.  It has been about 10 years since I sat at a BB Commodity desk.  One sales guy made 10 million.  Three were fired.  Year before, one sales lady made more.  Two were fired. Guess who got fired?  The "flow sales" folks. 

Why?  No margin.  No insight.  No value add.  Doing trades at mid gets you no sales credits (other than position removal axes).  Taking IM orders in bake offs is not a way to make 8 figure annual budgets.

Physical.  Position 20 million barrels of Mars.  Park and loans in natty.  Tracking accounts in physical power off take.  Platnium leases in metals. Barge arbitrage between grain elevators along the Missouri.  Spread trades with physical delivery between feeder and live cattle.  

You get the idea.  Those folks rarely, if ever get fired.  Why?  They can post zero p&l for two years and then post 100 million p&l in year 3 because Bunge needs a 10 year hedge to offset their commodity linked financing for three new grain elevators in Doniphan, Nebraska.

Exotics.  Try a 2x1  put/call spread for 2000 MW.  Serve load.  Make markets in Antimony.  Do options on 321 cracks.  Sell rainbow options between three fuels all with physical delivery.

See the difference?

No machine can EVER do that.  Trading 50 million MXP/USD?  My dog could handle that.  You certainly dont need a salesperson to step in the way.

I got paid, because I was one of the best.  I also got fired because capital requirements and regulation made holding the same trades 2 years later impossible at my bank.

Summary:  Sales sucks unless you are very good and sometimes lucky.



  • 5
May 19, 2021 - 1:31am

thank you legend.

Have you heard of the 7 figure sales salaries still happening? Everyone is so grim on the future.

Seems like your comment was exciting work, why does it "suck"? 

Any thoughts on the fx space?

Jun 6, 2021 - 6:01am

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