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"outstanding quantitative skills" - what does this mean in trading context?
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"outstanding quantitative skills" - what does this mean in trading context?

 
Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: XTrader
Broker/Data: Advantage Futures
Favorite Futures: Energy
 
Posts: 2,732 since Dec 2013
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Lots of good points by @SidewalkAerobics @shodson @iantg and @artemiso so I won't repeat them. Something that hasn't been mentioned though is that in many (but not all) firms quants, developers, trading analysts and traders are four distinctly different jobs. Additionally risk groups will often have their own quants (and develops and analysts) which for obvious reasons are typically kept distinctly separate from the commercial staff. Finally firms that have sales or marketing teams (thinking structured deals not advertising) ie banks, and in my experience energy trading companies, also have marketers/sales (commercial) and deal structurers (analytical) which are separate again.

The following 2 users say Thank You to SMCJB for this post:
 
 
Trading for Fun
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Favorite Futures: (March 18, 2019): /ESM9 - current expectancy = (12.21 * 0.6786) - (8.00 * 0.3214) = 5.7145 ticks
 
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SMCJB View Post
Lots of good points by @SidewalkAerobics @shodson @iantg and @artemiso so I won't repeat them. Something that hasn't been mentioned though is that in many (but not all) firms quants, developers, trading analysts and traders are four distinctly different jobs. Additionally risk groups will often have their own quants (and develops and analysts) which for obvious reasons are typically kept distinctly separate from the commercial staff. Finally firms that have sales or marketing teams (thinking structured deals not advertising) ie banks, and in my experience energy trading companies, also have marketers/sales (commercial) and deal structurers (analytical) which are separate again.

Great stuff, thank you SMCJB!

All these job-postings seem to emphasize "time-pressure" and fast critical thinking. They seem to describe a panicked, adversarial atmosphere, maybe I am mis-interpreting the meaning behind the expectations listed. I feel like they are all trying to follow the same model which to me seems odd. If I were trying to maximize my firm's P/L I would try to make sure everyone was happy and feeling free to think and be creative, but again, I'm just a novice trader

 
 
Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: XTrader
Broker/Data: Advantage Futures
Favorite Futures: Energy
 
Posts: 2,732 since Dec 2013
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if you replaced "panicked, adversarial atmosphere" with "high paced and competitive atmosphere" I would probably agree with you - at least on the desks I worked on. That is not mutually exclusive to "happy and feeling free to think and be creative" though. Pressure and expectations are normally high, but they tend to also be "work hard, play hard" environments.

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Trading for Fun
Chicago
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Favorite Futures: (March 18, 2019): /ESM9 - current expectancy = (12.21 * 0.6786) - (8.00 * 0.3214) = 5.7145 ticks
 
Posts: 97 since Feb 2019
Thanks: 121 given, 88 received

@SMCJB Thanks! I'd like to learn more about what your experiences were like when you have time or are willing.

 
 
Elite Member
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Good post by @SMCJB, agreed pretty much about the types of jobs.

Also bear in mind that Optiver is an electronic market making firm. At most electronic market making firms, I feel that "fast-paced" and "competitive" is actually some nonsense spun by HR staff who have no idea what they're talking about.

I find that a better term for the atmosphere is that everyone feels a deep sense of responsibility. If you wrote a strategy, you feel a deep sense of responsibility to check on its progress and make sure your traders are adequately informed on how to operate the strategy. If you are a trader, you may feel a deep sense of responsibility to have everything ready by market open and check all your positions and run post-trade analysis after the close. If you are a developer, you feel a deep sense of responsibility to fix any bugs assigned to you or attributable to you intraday, because a good amount of money is on the line.

A side effect of feeling that you have a lot of responsibilities is that you may feel rushed, but this is not the "Wolf of Wall Street" kind of environment where "fast-paced" is about picking up phones, people frantically shouting at each other. Quite the contrary, it's usually very quiet and everyone's very composed at a firm like Optiver.

The following user says Thank You to artemiso for this post:
 
 
Trading for Fun
Chicago
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Favorite Futures: (March 18, 2019): /ESM9 - current expectancy = (12.21 * 0.6786) - (8.00 * 0.3214) = 5.7145 ticks
 
Posts: 97 since Feb 2019
Thanks: 121 given, 88 received

Thank you again @artemiso!

I can definitely relate to the sense of responsibility, that wouldn't be a problem

cheers,
snax

 
 
Trading for Fun
Chicago
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Favorite Futures: (March 18, 2019): /ESM9 - current expectancy = (12.21 * 0.6786) - (8.00 * 0.3214) = 5.7145 ticks
 
Posts: 97 since Feb 2019
Thanks: 121 given, 88 received

First of all, thank you to anyone who replied so kindly, I realize that this was a very novice question, but you all gave thoughtful and kind responses. I appreciate it.

After doing more research I've delineated two broad/rough (of course exceptions exist) sets of roles that seem to emerge:
1) quantitative/algorithmic - mostly automate HFT market-making systems.
2) discretionary - freedom to trade as they like, but most have steep prerequisites in terms of proven track-record, P/L, etc.

the discretionary role begs the question...if I can meet those steep reqs for proven ability, why would I come work for you instead of being my own boss.

I think my goal right now is to either:

1) find a place that would take a "novice" discretionary trader who has a heart of gold.
2) just continue grinding the way I am now, which isn't so bad except its a second full-time job.

Anyway I know more now than when I posted this.

Thanks all!

snax

 
 
Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: XTrader
Broker/Data: Advantage Futures
Favorite Futures: Energy
 
Posts: 2,732 since Dec 2013
Thanks: 2,188 given, 4,797 received
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snax View Post
After doing more research I've delineated two broad/rough (of course exceptions exist) sets of roles that seem to emerge:
1) quantitative/algorithmic - mostly automate HFT market-making systems.
2) discretionary - freedom to trade as they like, but most have steep prerequisites in terms of proven track-record, P/L, etc.

At least with regards to 1) I think you are being far to black and white. Yes there are lots of quants employed in HFT/market making but there's also a lot of quants employed in other roles. Not all models are trying to be trading predictive. There's also automated systematic trading, thinking CTAs, which can be extremely different to HFT.

snax View Post
the discretionary role begs the question...if I can meet those steep reqs for proven ability, why would I come work for you instead of being my own boss.

Because you probably don't have the Capital to do it.

snax View Post
I think my goal right now is to either:

1) find a place that would take a "novice" discretionary trader who has a heart of gold.
2) just continue grinding the way I am now, which isn't so bad except its a second full-time job.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide.

The following user says Thank You to SMCJB for this post:
 
 
Trading for Fun
Chicago
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Favorite Futures: (March 18, 2019): /ESM9 - current expectancy = (12.21 * 0.6786) - (8.00 * 0.3214) = 5.7145 ticks
 
Posts: 97 since Feb 2019
Thanks: 121 given, 88 received


SMCJB View Post
At least with regards to 1) I think you are being far to black and white. Yes there are lots of quants employed in HFT/market making but there's also a lot of quants employed in other roles. Not all models are trying to be trading predictive. There's also automated systematic trading, thinking CTAs, which can be extremely different to HFT.

Because you probably don't have the Capital to do it.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide.

Thank you as always, @SMCJB.

1) yes, you are right, I am indeed being too black and white. But I am kind of thinking of it as more like "jobs that don't sound *as* appealing or as good a fit for me as the discretionary trading roles.

2) I had just read a requirement of "showing P/L in the mid-6-digits or better" and thought that this trader must be getting compensated enough to strike off on their own if they were unhappy with the last place, but I could be wrong. I didn't qualify that very well, I was being lazy.

3) Thank you! Worst case scenario, I just keep working and improving on my own

cheers


 



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