Traders are responsible for making prices and executing trades in equities, bonds, commodities and foreign exchange, usually dealing on behalf of or for the benefit of investment banks.
Traders generally fall into one of the following categories:
flow traders – buy and sell financial products on behalf of their bank’s clients
propriety traders – trade on behalf of the bank itself
sales traders – take instructions from the client and act as intermediaries between the client and the people who execute the trades (flow and propriety traders).
Responsibilities differ slightly between the three types of trader. Flow and propriety traders’ tasks include:
collating relevant information and data
liaising closely with sales staff and inter-dealer brokers
determining market sentiment via research, valuation and data analysis
monitoring UK and international market performance
making prices in specific products
providing key parties with daily trading information
informing sales staff about market movements/prices
gaining information from sales staff about client issues.
Sales traders focus more heavily on client relationships, so they also secure deals with new clients, present ideas to clients and develop these relationships.
Trading offers high levels of responsibility, good promotional opportunities and impressive financial rewards including generous salaries and large bonuses. Sales staff are commonly known as traders, although there are differences between the two roles, notably that sales staff travel more and spend more time concentrating on client relationships.
You’ll need to be a graduate to enter this career.
An interest in financial markets
Exchanges such as ICE Futures Europe
Treasury departments of major companies