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How to become a trader in London

By 5th April 2019 Trader's Desk No Comments

If you’ve been dreaming about landing a trading position for a big firm, or you aspire to become a top performing independent trader, this article will outline some key steps for achieving your goal. 

Investment Banks

The first type of institution you can apply to is an investment bank like JP Morgan. In London, there are many investment banks offering trading positions. However, to become a trader for these types of firms is very challenging.

Firstly, there are many applicants going for the same position, so it’s important that you stand out from the crowd (more on that later). Secondly, most of these big firms require that you’ve had a few years’ experiences in a similar role.

So, you might be wondering – how do I ever get experience if everybody wants to experience as a pre-requisite for attaining the role?

Well, this is exactly the problem that most candidates face. Being in one of the key financial districts of the world, London is very competitive and attracts the very best traders the industry has to offer.

Trading for an Investment Bank in London

Pre-2008 (before the sub-prime crash), trading at an investment bank was very different. Traders were given a lot more freedom and responsibility. But following the collapse of banks like Lehman Brothers, firms are operating with a lot more caution now.

The role of a trader for these types of firms has evolved into execution trading; following orders from a trading algorithm with a lot less discretion from the trader.

Trading for Hedge Fund in London

If you want to be a market speculator but also earn a salary, then you can look at getting a position as a trader in one of the big hedge funds. In London, there are many hedge funds looking for exceptional talent. 

blog-imagesWhat do you need to work for a Hedge Fund in London?

Well without stating the obvious, you will need to know how to trade and have your own strategy in place. You will also need to demonstrate a track record of success to be considered.

Some hedge funds teach you their strategy and offer some training, but in general, if you are being hired for this type of firm then expectations on you will be very high.

If you don’t yet have enough experience and knowledge, then you will need to learn how to trade and you’ll want to build a track record before applying.

Getting into Trading for a Big Firm

If you want to get a high salary with all the perks, and you want to have the opportunity to trade for a big company, then you could consider the long route of working yourself up through the company. There is no guarantee this will work though as it’s very hard to go from the back office or middle office into a front office role.

If you are a graduate you could apply for a graduate scheme and then prove yourself once you are in the company. This is also very competitive.

Alternatively, you could look at learning how to trade independently and building experience trading your own capital or receiving funding from a company. You can apply for funding at the London Trading Institute with no prior experience required. If this is something of interest, click here.

Trading Independently or for a Prop Trading Firm

If you want to continue doing what you are doing but want to trade part time for extra income, then you might want to consider a remote Prop Trading position.

This will give you access to a lot more funds and will allow you to build up your track record without taking away your current income.

To learn more about the LTI Financial Career Trading Programmes and/or funding opportunities you can click here to book a free consultation.