6/9/12

Have been researching trading for some time now but the main thing stopping me from going into this area is not understanding enough about the types of personalities in trading.

From what I have read, people are very intelligent, IQ's above 150, good grades at uni/college, athletic/competitive, aggressive/results orientated, harsh/rude/worked up/stressed for 12 hours a day and so on. I know that this all depends on the desk/people on the desk but there are a few things that concern me.

Is trading for me?

Although I am okay at some sports, I am not brilliant. I prefer to spend time in the gym, weight lifting and running, to make myself look better and stay healthy. Not 'Olympic hope' basically. I don't have an outgoing personality either. Reasonably sociable, can do some small talk, am not shy/speak when i need to, but do 'over-focus' on work while working (mainly because i don't want to get it wrong!)

Don't drink or stuff either... does cause somewhat of a problem when interns are invited to pubs etc. I feel out of place (I don't drink because I stick to a diet etc to keep in shape NOT because I am not allowed or anything silly like that lol)

I think I am reasonably clever (I am going by my qualifications etc so far - not boasting) but am rather dismissive of my own achievements - someone who achieves stuff, goes okay, and moves on. No massive ego basically. This has harmed me in interviews before because I don't really think much of my achievements so far.

I enjoy math, always have, do well in the subject academically, but I don't want a job with 0 words around me either. I am not someone who is a math genius either who sees numbers 24/7 or can solve next level IQ puzzles. Excel modelling etc is also fun, I like programming/computer stuff and am kinda geeky that way. But my econ is weak.

Im not a softie but I don't have very thick skin either. I will feel bad if I am constantly shouted at/gunned down, although I'll be fine the next day (forget and move on pretty quickly).

When I take tests, I seem to fit FICC but there is very limited info on the types of people 'typically' in each area and I'm not sure where I should start to research to find a good fit.

This is not a troll post. Genuinely need some opinions. My BB IBD interview feedback is that I suited IBD so Im quite confused.

Comments (24)

6/9/12

self confidence is #1

you dont have to be uber smart, but you should feel that way

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6/9/12

LOL at IQs over 150. Please.

Anyway, the personality depends heavily on the desk. Guys trading more quantitative products are generally a lot cooler. I hate the frat guy douchey personality you see so often on the really vanilla products.

-MBP

6/9/12

The troll with this one is really strong.

manbearpig:

Guys trading more quantitative products are generally a lot cooler. I hate the frat guy douchey personality you see so often on the really vanilla products.

Meh, I wouldn't generalize.

The HBS guys have MAD SWAGGER. They frequently wear their class jackets to boston bars, strutting and acting like they own the joint. They just ooze success, confidence, swagger, basically attributes of alpha males.

6/9/12

it's useful to be very quick and very sociopathic. quick != brilliant.

6/9/12

From what I gather the main thing after being reasonably intelligent is that you really don't want to be emotional. Don't let a bad trade effect the next trade.

6/9/12

Interesting.... so I stand a chance/could fit depending on the desk?

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6/9/12

You certainly don't want to be in a relationship driven profession if you're a shy teetotaler who avoids booze for the sake of your abs.

6/9/12

I think you should be an accountant.

6/9/12

Cityknight - are you serious? are all types of trading desks relationship driven? i thought only the sales desks etc were relationship driven....

6/9/12

I know for a fact that there are plenty of antisocial traders. Ideally they should be able to share their ideas with other trades so they can learn from others. However, partying like a rock star is not a prerequisite to becoming a successful trader. If models and bottles are your thing, go into sales.

6/9/12

lol at trading not being heavily influenced by relationships

6/9/12

From what I've heard from friends in the field, trading demands a personality that can deal with high stress, failure, and a loud atmosphere. Thick skin would be a great plus, but even without it, a quick and clever mind will be your greatest asset in the field. As for the drinking, it might not endear you to your fellow traders, but hey, if you provide results in the field, you will advance quickly.

no.

6/10/12

i do drink alcohol btw.... just avoid it if i can. however, if everyones drinking then i will have a glass or two... just wont get drunk if there is alcohol in front of me. lol thats what i meant....

kmgilroy89 - i wouldn't say I'm antisocial. if i have a work related idea, i am very confident in sharing it. what I'm bad at is small talk about the weather etc because its ''meaningless''. from what i have read - people who party like rockstars, know how to get drunk/crack 'guy' jokes 24/7, athletic/jock types tend to get in (although i don't know many traders so maybe i am completely wrong). thats why i was confused as to whether i would fit in or not.

high stress, risk, failure etc is okay for me tbh... the challenge is the people more then the work. lol

6/10/12

I've yet to see a trader who doesn't party

6/10/12

You don't have to be the most social guy- I've met traders w absolutely no personality thatre caking it..

You do have to be very thick skinned though..

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold. I'll be fine once I get it

6/10/12

Define 'thick skin'.... maybe my definition is screwed up.

6/10/12

You'll be butting heads all day long with the people you work with/around you, etc.

They'll bust your balls, give you shit, and may offend you.. 5 minutes later the tables could turn. Traders have a.d.d. to the max and can't take anything personal. It's ruthless out there.

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold. I'll be fine once I get it

6/10/12

IMO also, if you're the worrying type, trading isn't for you.. Consider sales

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold. I'll be fine once I get it

6/10/12

I see... yea I'm the worrying type. :S (not because of what people say, but if people gun my work down then I do take the advice on board and try to improve it) I take things personally on the day, next day I forget about it.
Sales I don't think will suit me tbh.... looks like I'm screwed :S

6/11/12

There are many quiet, introverted and successful traders out there. We also have traders who don't drink for religious or other reasons without issues

In my mind the number one thing is being competitive. There is a finite amount of money in the market place that you are trading and your goal should be to capture the largest piece of it you can. You need to size up the competition in the market. A market doesn't go up or down, it is other people in the market moving it up or down. If you can get inside their heads you can do very well trading. Even in the move to HFT this has remained with now the competition being the other machines or more accurately the programmers of those machines.

6/12/12

I like boats.

There is no such thing as a given personality in trading. Just come up with ideas, know how to execute orders (don't go all UBS on FB), and be able to stand your ground if sales are screwing up.

CNBC sucks

"This financial crisis is worse than a divorce. I've lost all my money, but the wife is still here." - Client after getting blown up

6/12/12

Thick skin, stress management, and confidence are fundamentals

6/12/12

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