Why Should I consider Trading instead of Investment Banking?
One of the challenges facing Wall Street today is attracting talent to the industry given the appeal and pull of start-ups, tech co’s, etc. But there’s always been a hurdle within Investment Banks for markets professionals to recruit the same caliber individuals as those who are considering Investment Banking.
In addition to my aforementioned comments about work/life balance in trading and the steady and relatively predictable market hours, there are several reasons young people should pursue trading over investment banking. First off, responsibility at a very young age. One of the best things about a trading desk is the flat organization structure. As a recent college graduate you will first work as a junior trader supporting a few senior traders in all aspects of their days.
Once the training wheels come off – and the timing for that varies based on the individual, the needs of the desk, etc – the sky is the limit. If you are doing well and succeeding, your age does not matter. 20 years ago I would have argued that the average age of a trading desk was well north of 40. Today, when I left my job, there were more traders in their 20s than their 30s and at 37, I was the oldest one on my desk. It is an incredible way to get significant experience and responsibility at a very young age.