How do I go about getting to where I want to be?

Spamalot
Spamalot

Aged 26.
Graduated from Imperial college with a 2.5-3 GPA.
Would very much like to get into financial markets.
Currently a payroll administrator.

I've tried many brokerage firms, but I've not been able to get anywhere. Any advice?

All urls found in this thread:
https://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-Financial-Engineering-Advanced-Background/dp/0979757622
https://secure.cfauk.org/
http://libgen.io/search.php?req=stefanica&lg_topic=libgen&open=0&view=simple&res=25&phrase=1&column=def
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Options-Futures-Other-Derivatives-John/dp/0273759078/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468024840&sr=8-1&keywords=options+derivatives
Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

Bump.

Harmless_Venom
Harmless_Venom

@Spamalot
I've tried many brokerage firms, but I've not been able to get anywhere
there's a reason

Spamalot
Spamalot

@Harmless_Venom
Do elaborate.

TalkBomber
TalkBomber

@Harmless_Venom
I really have searched for plenty of material related to the financial markets (stock, Forex, commodity, derivatives markets), and I'm frankly spoilt for choice on what I can start reading about. What I really want to know is what's the quickest and most efficient way for me to getting into the financial markets industry.

Lunatick
Lunatick

@TalkBomber
To go back in time, go to a better college, major in math, and get a higher GPA, and also do internships with finance companies.

There's always robinpoor tho.

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

@Lunatick
Absolutely this.
@Spamalot
OP, markets is a purely results based job.

Why should a firm
a) Train you to follow their trading strategies
b)Trust you with their money

If you don't have a proven track record, you don't have quantitative abilities, you have no experience in finance other than your bookkeeping shit which any random off the street can be taught in a day, you didn't go to a prestigious uni/college and you have a shit GPA?

Have fun explaining that to a recruiter who can get a maths masters, engineering students from MIT, Harvard Finance 4.0s who all have experience in Finance or have successful trading strategies already.

What the fuck do you have?

I know how to convert future value in the present value and and and I read warren buffets security analysis.

Fuck off.

Also, Brokers aren't traders

5mileys
5mileys

@TalkBomber
You're a fucking entitled retard.

Fuck you. I hate faggots like you that think that their sub par marks should land you a job dealing with millions of dollars.

I'm surprised you even got to manage a payroll. Count yourself lucky.

Firespawn
Firespawn

@5mileys
No entitlement here. Just wondering where I should begin.

TalkBomber
TalkBomber

@Firespawn
Why should someone trust you with their money?
If you want to work in markets you already fucked up, your GPA is to low and I'm going to assume you didn't do a quantitative degree like math, stats, engineering, physics etc.

Those things let you get trained by an IB

So, with that out of the way, the only way for you to get in to markets is to have a proven strategy that a prop firm/hedge fund likes enough for them to give you a bunch of money and you make commission off the profits you make.

tldr; have a proven strategy and experience and then you can pitch yourselfs to the hedge funds/prop trading firms

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

@TalkBomber
I do have a maths degree.

Right, right - you see, finding the books and material isn't such a hard thing to do for me, I just don't know where to start. Where should a beginner like me begin? Do you have ideas on the books and study material I should go through? For brokerage, I know I'll need sales skills - do you have any book titles you can recommend?

You certainly do have a point earlier about the extraordinary competition I'm up against, but I'm willing to work hard to overcome that. (And I know I'll have to pull off some kind of magic trick - but just leave that to me and tell me what you know about how I can begin.)

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

@TalkBomber
Try investing in stocks and learn to make money on your own, then bring your portfolio of stocks and your previous history making bank investing to a job interview.

If you want a person to produce art, have him bring in his previous work.

If you plan on hiring a person to study and profit from stocks, check his history of trades.

GoogleCat
GoogleCat

@PurpleCharger
Do you have any books or study materials to recommend?

King_Martha
King_Martha

bump

farquit
farquit

@TurtleCat
Wait, you want to be a broker, not a trader?

when you say "markets" that is normally referring to trading, in Banking the "markets" section is the section of the bank that buys and sells something.

If you want to be a broker all you have to do is have sales skills and understand basic finance, finance textbooks will get you there.

Brokers are going out of business except for the ones that can convince the 'whales' because there are benefits to having an individual broker when you are trading lots of money.

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

'Whales'? As in, the big banks and other financial institutions?

I'd really like to get into both - preferably as a professional broker and trading in my own time.

5mileys
5mileys

@haveahappyday
Whales are you just guys with lots of money.

Jesus christ, i think you're trolling now.
No bank will ever take you in because of your GPA unless you have experience at another brokerage firm.

WHy should they trust you to male sales when you have no history in sales.

You don't need a quant degree to get in to brokering, you just need to have a good GPA, which you dont.

tldr imma stop replying now you won't get in to brokering

cum2soon
cum2soon

@5mileys
Fair enough. Thanks for your input.

Supergrass
Supergrass

Bump

5mileys
5mileys

mayabe this isn't the field for youo

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

@Spamalot
26 yo
graduated from Imperial College, world's top 10 university
could only get a job as a payroll admin

You sure done fucked up OP.

Spamalot
Spamalot

Buy as much Trumpcoin as you can and just wait for the mega pump once it hits the media.

farquit
farquit

If you have to ask Veeky Forums where to get started, it doesn't show much initiative is being taken.

As easy as it is to just start a thread and ask people for advice on where to start, people who are motivated and eager to get in this industry will just look it up themselves.

Spazyfool
Spazyfool

@Deadlyinx
I don't disagree.

@farquit
I just wanted to be more efficient and get some advice from those who are already in the industry. I was partly hoping that people would provide advice the way they would if I were a newbie.

SomethingNew
SomethingNew

@Spamalot
Imperial college with a 2.5-3 GPA

bullshit

UK universities don't give 'GPA' scores, you can get a 1st, 2:1, 2:2, 3rd (or a pass - non-honours degree if you fail a module but still get at least 300 credits overall).

so long as you get a 1st or 2:1 then you're fine for recruitment into most firms, acceptance on most masters programs etc...

Flameblow
Flameblow

@SomethingNew
I was providing the score in the American-equivalent form. (2.5-3 GPA is around about a third class degree.)

StonedTime
StonedTime

@SomethingNew
(cont.) Since I was assuming that most users on here will be American.

@farquit
I'll also add that indeed I have been searching plenty for resources - and there sure are plenty - and I just wanted to know what works for others, and since this is a resource that is available to me - why not take advantage of it? Carl Icahn had a friend who was a security analyst who introduced research papers to him and discussed stocked in-depth. Now, sure, it's my own fault that I didn't make sure a friend, so I go to the next best thing - visit forums like this.

VisualMaster
VisualMaster

@StonedTime
Stocks in-depth*

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

@Flameblow

I get it. Amerifag here. I had to explain LSE's system to fucking plebs all the time.

I don't understand the draw of the big banks. There are plenty of places that will pay top dollar for a data analyst with basically the same skills as a quant. It's they will only pay in the low six figure range, but they also won't expect you to work 100+ hour weeks. Alternatively, have you considered consulting?

In my mind, these are both viable alternatives to investment banking.

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

@Stark_Naked
Interesting ideas. What do you think I'll need to do in order to compensate for the low GPA? As I said, the reason I'm on here is for the sake of efficiency. Let's assume I'm a newbie. I don't want to spend hours on books that I'm most likely not going to understand straightaway.

Presumably, consulting is where one provides business, management and organisation-related advice, am I right?

viagrandad
viagrandad

@Stark_Naked
And I understand what you mean about the big banks. I'm looking to get into places where there's plenty of room for growth, and which are perhaps also places where there are a lot fewer restrictions in the possible roles I can take on.

cum2soon
cum2soon

@Sir_Gallonhead

That's correct. Most folks will have an MBA. Have you done grad school? That might also be a worthy endeavor. A top MBA or mathematical finance degree might purify your record.

iluvmen
iluvmen

Find someone in recruiting, and blackmail them into submission/suck their dick. Alternatively do the same with a college recruitment person, do a masters, further training, or maybe talk to someone who does or recruits for what you exactly want to do directly and ask them what might make up for a third.

hairygrape
hairygrape

@cum2soon
Thanks a lot. I mean, I get it: bad, very bad GPA, got a very great deal stacked against me - but I'd really like to develop the knowledge that professionals have, and research and cover a lot of what the professionals - and advance beyond that on my own - regardless of whether I am myself doing it professionally or not.

I've thought about spending a year or two doing a master's on financial engineering, but I intend to cover a lot of the material, as well as do a lot of other things, myself before I go down that path.

But no, I haven't done grad school. Another thing I've thought about doing is going through all three levels of the CFA. Some say that's harder than MBA. What do you think?

Methshot
Methshot

@iluvmen
I've tried applying for a stockbroking role that required a 2:1 grading. I called the recruiter to talk about the role and managed to persuade him to give me a chance to do a Skype interview with him, and I failed to sell him on the idea that I'm much better than my grade, although he did recommend that I build up my own portfolio and he can contact me a month later to check on my progress.

Do you personally have any experience building up a portfolio? Can you recommend any books or study material?

TreeEater
TreeEater

@Evil_kitten
@Lunatick

Imperial College London is fairly prestigious, it isn't LSE, but it's ridiculous to say it isn't prestigious regardless.

Also never trust university rankings made by americans, the british either to be honest with you.

TalkBomber
TalkBomber

@hairygrape

A financial engineering degree is highly specialized... An MBA would let cat a wider net.

Anyway, to answer your original question, start with Stefanica's primer and see what you think of the math. Head to quantnet.com and lurk on their forums (because fuck these clowns on 4chan). Also, look for your local CFA organization. Many firms consider a CFA tantamount to a graduate degree, and they usually offer junior memberships which would plug you into seminars and networking events.

Link to Stefanica's book. I'm almost certain a PDF exists online.

https://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-Financial-Engineering-Advanced-Background/dp/0979757622

London CFA Organization

https://secure.cfauk.org/

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

@TreeEater

People who don't recognize or respect ICL are mongoloids and not worthy of your time. It is a top-tier school. Do not listen to these fuckwits bashing your alma mater.

AwesomeTucker
AwesomeTucker

@TalkBomber
Beautiful - thank you very much.

About stockmarket analysis: is it really just about applying ratios, attempting to understand the reasoning behind investments by analysing the balance sheets, income and cash flow statements (the fundamental analysis, if I'm correct), and then there's examining the graphs, noticing patterns, in the price and volume of trades, and going through various periods in the stock's history (the technical analysis)? I suppose the investment strategy is where I can particularly distinguish myself from others, right?

You see, I go through a lot of these books on stocks and the contents are largely the same, and I wonder where it is that I put in my own specific input during the research.

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

@TreeEater
@TurtleCat

Oh, I got that, hehheh. I've always been under the impression (supported by my much earlier research) that Imperial College is supposed to be the best university outside of Oxbridge (which was really the main reason for my applying to do maths).
Perhaps I'm wrong and now LSE has surpassed it now (with the incredible amount of Nobel Prize winners in economics that come of LSE, it certainly doesn't seem undeserved.)

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

@TalkBomber
Got it: http://libgen.io/search.php?req=stefanica&lg_topic=libgen&open=0&view=simple&res=25&phrase=1&column=def

I guess all I need to do now is bash through this text. I also have John Hull's Options, Futures and Other Derivatives textbook and wonder where this brick of a text will fit into all this.
And I'll certainly take to heart your recommendations and suggestions about the CFA, as well as take a look at that link.

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

@AwesomeTucker

Ratio and technical analysis are just two pieces of the puzzle. There are also things like The Greeks - partial derivatives - and applications of stochastic differential equations, as well as statistical modeling. You want to be able to predict, not just compare.

I would read up on the more technical aspects of portfolio construction and optimization.... Most finance textbooks will just try to throatfuck you with CAPM and send you on your way. In reality, the models used in modern finance are orders of magnitude more complex, which if why I suggest Stefanica.

Nude_Bikergirl
Nude_Bikergirl

@Fried_Sushi
This is great and very helpful. Thanks again. The library books I was going through did seem pretty bloody basic.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@Dreamworx

Hull has a reputation for being a widowmaker. If you can get through it, you will have all the tools a senior (fourth year) finance undergrad has.

I'm assuming you have the grown-up version and not the "fundamentals of" or "intro to" alternatives they use in shit-tier programs...

Soft_member
Soft_member

@Nude_Bikergirl

Oh and learn to code it you can't already.

SQL and Python are probably the most useful and easiest to learn, but don't rule out C++ or R.

massdebater
massdebater

@Garbage Can Lid
@Soft_member

I have this version: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Options-Futures-Other-Derivatives-John/dp/0273759078/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468024840&sr=8-1&keywords=options+derivatives

Going back to your previous message: Jim Cramer, Peter Schiff and Carl Icahn started off as stockbrokers and are now or formerly owners of a hedge fund, an asset management firm and a brokerage firm, and so on (I can quite figure out titles for what Icahn owns). As perhaps a slightly off-topic question: do you think they had learn all the same mathematics and computer programming you mentioned?

I had some intention of really going through Python and I have some materials to help me learn it, and I already know some C++, but I intend to further my knowledge on that also.

This is great information. I guess you work within the industry.

Inmate
Inmate

@massdebater
do you think they had learn all the same mathematics and computer programming you mentioned in order to operate the institutions that they founded?*

Techpill
Techpill

@massdebater

I fucking doubt it. They're all old as balls. Cramer wasnt even a fucking finance guy... He went to Harvard Law.

Long story short, the industry is far more "scientific" now. I put that in quotes because I'm an economist by training, and the same sort of quantification not permeates my field. Now people say "it must be true because in my equation rho equals rho!" As if that is some justification.

I feel that in part, the industry is deliberately hard to penetrate... Part of this is legit. As others mentioned, there is a lot at stake. Some of though... Man I wonder. Basically anyone with a solid background in engineering, physics, or other applied math could do it.

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

@Techpill

Not permeates := Now permeates.
Fucking autocorrect is killing me. Sorry, friend.

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

@Techpill
Right, right, and Icahn came out with a philosophy degree. It makes you wonder how they got so fantastically successful at what they do when there's all this mathematics and programming to compete with.

Sharpcharm
Sharpcharm

@PackManBrainlure
No problem - I autocorrected your device's autocorrect in my head.

Skullbone
Skullbone

@TalkBomber
start with Stefanica's primer and see what you think of the math.

@Soft_member
Oh and learn to code it you can't already.
SQL and Python are probably the most useful and easiest to learn, but don't rule out C++ or R.

Lurking here
Thanks.

TalkBomber
TalkBomber

@Carnalpleasure

On my laptop now. Much better.

I think you could spend years (I know because I have) learning this shit before you feel comfortable breaking in.

Just keep at it. Keep your math sharp and build models in your spare time. Backtest them. Maybe set aside a few pounds from each of your next few paychecks. Even if you don't get a job in the industry, you'll have your own tools which add value to your personal portfolio. Consider applying for patent protection if they are remarkable.

This is the path I took. I worked in a call center like a pajeet while I did my undergraduate degree in Finance. I now hold advanced degrees in Mathematics and Economics.

I'm especially serious about looking into a CFA. Since it has roughly a 70% failure rate, it could make your middling undergraduate GPA irrelevant. Try some of the practice problems. Go to networking events or meetups. Land the interview, bring them the models and tools you've built on your own in your free time, and explain how you'd put your code against a pack of OxBridge slapdicks any day.

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

@TalkBomber
This is a great finishing touch to this thread.
I had the following typed before I refreshed the page to see whether there were any further contributions:

Here is, perhaps, a final question I have: I'm impatient - I started late, so I feel as though I haven't much time, but I also would like to earn a lot of money quickly, so that I have a decent kind of security as I study much of this on my own, as well as pay for the master's degree myself. So here's my idea of what my next move is: since I can't seem to get into a brokerage firm, I might as well find myself a decent sales role and earn a living this way whilst I do all that studying we discussed and immerse myself in everything else there is to do with finance and the financial markets. Have you recommendations and suggestions to offer, if any?

I think you've just about typed all the things I wanted to help define a clear path in my mind. Thanks a great deal for your very useful posts.

Booteefool
Booteefool

@CouchChiller

Well, as others have mentioned, there are different degrees of "sales roles" within the sector. I think the easiest one to access is just the general customer service call center type job. In the States, that requires you sit for the relevant brokerage license exams, and it does let you advise clients and execute trades for them. Then there is the financial advisor, who is a glorified insurance salesman (but the good ones make a fair bit of cash). Beyond that, there are trading desks within the various firms. These are the dudes you see in the movies, on 14 phones at once, calling everyone in sight a cunt, etc. They are the ones profiled in Michael Lewis' (fuck yeah, LSE) Liar's Poker. These broker roles are much harder to break into. And generally require you have the right last name, diploma, and/or gift for fellatio.

I did not go this route, because this sort of job can be a double-edged sword. Yes you have "Barclay's" on your resume, but when people see you were way down the pecking order, opening checking accounts for old ladies, they pigeonhole you and assume that's all you can do.

This is why groups like the CFA organization are so important. They have no prior beliefs about you (fuck yeah Bayes), other than the fact that you are pursuing a CFA. They know a guy who knows a guy, and you all meet for coffee or some shit. Next thing you know, you've got two or three leads that skip the bottom 60 floors and go straight to the quantitative analyst's desks (who are the real heroes of Capitalism, let me promise you).

One final word - don't rule out other jobs you might not have considered, like those in risk management or regulatory compliance. Not as glamorous, but sometimes they are a side door into the sector. Also, they are vital to the industry, and well-compensated to boot.

Soft_member
Soft_member

@Booteefool
I also would like to earn a lot of money quickly

I would just be sure you're clear about your expectations. It is rare indeed for folks to earn millions of pounds in their first years. We all pay our dues, and nothing happens without hard work.

And while the paychecks are nice, they aren't free. These firms will work you until you are a husk of the person you once were, and then they will throw you out when the new model graduates in May. Prepare yourself emotionally for the most brutal and unforgiving environment imaginable.

Audentes fortuna iuvat, my friend.

viagrandad
viagrandad

@Booteefool
Excellent material. Comprehensive.

general customer service call center type job
trading desks within the various firms
risk management or regulatory compliance.

Can I get into these types of jobs, even with my degree and grading? When I mentioned getting into a sales role, I was really thinking of just getting into any old sales role in whatever sector since I'll be getting some decent sales experience anyway. I've called up a fair few brokerage firms, to no avail. A lot of them specialise in FX and require previous sales experience.

This is why groups like the CFA organization are so important. They have no prior beliefs about you (fuck yeah Bayes), other than the fact that you are pursuing a CFA. They know a guy who knows a guy, and you all meet for coffee or some shit. Next thing you know, you've got two or three leads that skip the bottom 60 floors and go straight to the quantitative analyst's desks (who are the real heroes of Capitalism, let me promise you).

I'm going to risk sounding like a newbie again - is this a suggestion for what I do next or after I've developed the models, kept my maths sharp and built a decent portfolio?

5mileys
5mileys

@Soft_member
Oh, I wasn't expecting anything in the millions - far from it. Just...something that is somewhere around slightly above the starting graduate salary...

takes2long
takes2long

@Soft_member
And I'm about ready to compete with the rest of them. I shall be hustling from dusk till dawn. I'm naturally the sort of person who doesn't have a social life, so I'm willing to spend all my time as a working man, in a field that I intend to master.

hairygrape
hairygrape

@5mileys

I don't see why you wouldn't be able to command a low six-figure salary having passed just the first CFA tier (it's three exams total). Bad news? You might have to eat shit in your current role until then. Good news? The level 1 CFA exam is offered every six months, so you could be in a new role by 2017 if you bust your ass.

I'd do it all at the same time. Email the membership coordinator the London CFA organization Monday. Spend the weekend reading, doing practice problems, and coding. There's no reason not to do them all concurrently. Also, don't be afraid to reach out to the career services people at ICL, or faculty and staff at their finance, math, and comp sci departments... They may need help with a research project or something, and who knows, maybe you can get a couple academic papers in the field on your CV.

I like to compare myself to the person I was yesterday. Am I a millionaire? No, but I'm in the top 2% of all earners in the United States, whereas this time last year I was a struggling poorfag graduate student on the verge of killing myself. Determine your goal, figure out the path, then destroy everything between you and it.

Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.

Methnerd
Methnerd

@viagrandad
Can I get into these types of jobs, even with my degree and grading?

When I interviewed for a customer-facing role at Merrill, I got the impression they would have stabbed a hobo in the face for a shot at someone with your credentials.

Keep at it, and you can certainly land a similar job while you self-study and work toward the next step.

Sharpcharm
Sharpcharm

@hairygrape
This is seriously sweet stuff. It's very late now, so I'll head to bed and start getting things going tomorrow morning.

If I make it somehow in the next couple of years, and you still lurk around here by that time (people laugh, but this is a damn great place to be), then I'll return here again to seek you out and offer to buy you dinner and a drink.

Thank you so very much for your help.

Flameblow
Flameblow

@Methnerd
After months of aimlessness, I think I'm settled on a clear direction. This is the first time I've actually posed the questions I wanted to ask and received some answers that were relevant to my own circumstances. Despite having bucketloads of information previously from my own research, it felt like fumbling in the dark. You've provided much enlightenment.

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