If you were recruiting traders...

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by marklucas, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. drcha


    #11     Jul 5, 2010
  2. bone

    bone ET Sponsor

    Since your original question inferred that the position was for an experienced trader, consistency would be a very desirable trait. Consistency that could be scaled.

    If the hypothetical involved a 'blank slate' to be trained from scratch, I would personally like a technical background with some demonstrated appetite for successful gaming (a poker-playing engineer, perhaps?).
    #12     Jul 5, 2010
  3. Retief


    Exactly. Someone that hangs onto a losing position until it goes their way, averages down, and will not accept a loss. That's real tenacity.
    #13     Jul 5, 2010
  4. Thanks to all those that replied. I'm not looking to start a prop. was simply wondering if there were any stats recruiters/headhunters look for when screening traders for clients. In regards to previous performance, which numbers/ratios (sharpe etc) would they be interested in?
    #14     Jul 6, 2010
  5. 1. Evidence of strong interest in trading - if they have never traded, not read a few trading books, don't know where the S&P and the € traded recently, don't know who George Soros or Paul Tudor Jones are, forget it.
    2. Evidence of elite pattern-recognition skills (e.g. good chess, go, bridge or poker players; people with good analytical skills; skilled gamers; people who score high on spatial imagery questions in IQ tests)
    3. Logical & unemotional, or with evidence of good emotional control.
    4. Introverted, unless it's for floor trading or management.
    5. An awareness of risk, uncertainty, fallibility (no know-it-alls).
    6. Trustworthy and showing respect for truth and honesty
    7. Good with numbers - some kind of stats or science knowledge would be useful, although not essential.
    #15     Jul 6, 2010
  6. 40 year old George Soros walks into your office and says his employer are giving him a bum deal and wants to trade for a more enlightened firm. You take one look at his CV and kick him out the door.

    Next up, the NFL coach who prefers people with no athletics background...

    I recommend you don't become a job interviewer :D
    #16     Jul 6, 2010
  7. Retief


    I think that's the best answer right there: scalable consistency. That's what I look for in a trading system as well. I don't want a system with huge draw downs, even if it is profitable overall. Not only is it important to be profitable, it is also important HOW the profit is made. However, if a trader had scalable consistency, he wouldn't be looking for a job because he would too busy getting filthy rich.
    #17     Jul 6, 2010
  8. bone

    bone ET Sponsor

    "However, if a trader had scalable consistency, he wouldn't be looking for a job because he would too busy getting filthy rich"

    Not necessarily - a few of my clients have secured proprietary trading positions , and I was able to speak with the principals involved in their interview and evaluation process as a reference. Many futures spread traders can benefit immensely from paying member rates versus non-member rates, and your bigger better prop firms should be able to offer that and pass along the savings to the trader. Some of the bigger, better prop firms also have very good technical infrastructure (like dedicated ECN lines, 24 hour execution desk, IT people with talent, and co-located servers at the exchange).

    I have traded prop for most of my career, and depending on the strategy prop can be a great benefit for both trader and backer - for me personally, the only reason to trade prop would be for ridiculous sizing leverage and execution savings.
    #18     Jul 6, 2010
  9. Philosophy is the "set of the sail," my friend. I would inquire as the trader's beliefs about trading and their particular approach; its strengths and limitations.

    I would look for a trader that has a tremendous respect for risk. Nothing beats playing exceptional defense, IMHO.
    #19     Jul 6, 2010
  10. While obviously it's everyone's right to be snide on the internet, and I would never try to take that away from you, your post actually hides a very good explanation of my "no trading experience" policy. Ask yourself two questions:

    1) How many examples can you come up with where a top trader left their firm and took another trading position with a different firm? How frequently was the reason for this that they had exposed their original firm to huge legal or financial risk?

    2) Of those examples, how frequently did they blow up everything they subsequently touched? Or put another way, would you invest in a John Meriwether hedge fund?
    #20     Jul 6, 2010