“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…”
—- A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
In 2008, I began my undergraduate studies and chose finance because of my curiosity toward the economic world. During my master studies, I started considering starting a career in Trading. Even though I’ve been told that “Girl, you’ve missed the good time for banks” and “Trading is too tough for girls”, it only reinforced my ambition. Vba-Finance recently proposed me to write an article about the view of traders on the future of trading. I am so honored to have this opportunity to conduct a survey with some amazing traders and share the results on this topic.
The Attraction of Trading
No matter what we hear about the loss of prestige of Trading, It is undeniable that there are still a lot of excitation about this job among finance students. When we ask traders what drove them to trading as a student, their answers are explicit. Trading, which still partially reflects the fantasy of The Liar’s Poker, attracts the chasers of adrenaline explosions and fast-decision makers, while interestingly, also charms the prudent calculated risk takers.
The Biggest Change in Trading
With no surprise, it belongs to technology. The electronic area brought a radical change in the approach to trading. Traders went from an almost exclusively intuitive way of handling the market to something much more scientific and technical-based. Greeks became critical elements to take into account on both trade and portfolio level. The increase of speed led to the implementation of very precise and strongly optimized algorithm. This made the traders in need for much more engineering skills.
Skill Set for Trading
Programming definitely plays an indispensable role because of this change in technology. The pertinent programming languages range from VBA, which is the most common one used in front office, to C++, Java, R and Python.
But of course the classical skill set is still a must have. A trader must be rigorous, observant, react quickly to the unexpected and above all be able to stay calm in stressful situation.
The Outlook of Trading
Traders that I surveyed think the increase in technology will continue. They think that the new traders will be very different from the former ones and will participate in the broader evolution of society. They will be the builders of new kind of intelligent systems, that will further advance the goal of a perfectly optimized and stable worldwide financial market.
Yuchen is a student at the prestigious EDHEC Business School, France. She did her summer internship with RBC Capital Markets in London.