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How to become a Trader

avg. starting salary

You hate Mondays because you hate your job. You should be a Trader… Traders buy and sell stocks and shares on behalf of investors. They work in a similar capacity as a Stockbroker, however, unlike a Stockbroker, Traders generally work solely with large investment firms and base their decisions on advice provided by portfolio managers. Although they may specialise in different things (e.g. Flow Trader, Execution Trader, Sales Trader etc.) typical duties for a Trader will generally include:
  • Analysing the market and providing reports
  • Liaising with clients to discuss their options
  • Attaining market prices, and issuing quotes to clients
  • Keeping up-to-date with the latest market developments and any outside factors which might affect prices
  • Executing trades

Becoming a Trader is not the faint hearted. It’s a highly competitive industry, and the ability to keep calm under pressure will be paramount to your success. A good head for numbers and excellent financial acumen will also be essential, both of which will usually be built through previous experience in the field. An in-built sense of intuition will often be the different between success and failure, especially when time is of the essence. Other key skills include:
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Confidence
  • Conviction
  • Integrity
  • Decisiveness and accountability
  • Energy and mental toughness

"People often have preconceptions about what it’s like to be a Trader. Hollywood don’t always get it right, but if I'm honest, they come pretty close. My job comes with a lot of pressure, and definitely takes a certain resolve and drive to succeed in order to be successful. The hours are long, but you only get out what you put in. And if you’re willing to work hard, six-figure salaries are your reward. What’s not to like?"

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