T Nation


I’m currently debating my future career options after I get out of college and there seems to be a plethora of finance related careers which all seem to be vaguely the same and engage in very vague and unexplained dealings. IE What are you modeling? What about Sales and Trading, what are they selling and trading, with whom, when and where?

I’m hoping out of all the T-Men there are a few out there with a career in this type of stuff that can answer a few questions for me. Just send me a PM it’ll be much appreciated.

I’m a headhunter in the financial services industry, so perhaps I can be of some help here. “Sales and Trading” refers to people who are in one of two different business lines: Fixed Income or Equities. Fixed Income includes bonds, foreign exchange (currency) and commodities, and all kinds of funky derivatives thereof. Equities essentially means stocks, and all kinds of derivatives thereof. So those are, in broad strokes, what you would be either selling or trading, depending which of the 2 sides of the business you went into.

There are modelling people in both Fixed Income and Equities, and they often come up with trading models, i.e. strategies for how to trade certain products given a slew of variables, such as what might happen with interest rates, with yield curves, with currency prices, etc. There are also modelling professionals who focus not on trading models, but on structuring complex deals/transactions that are done for customers who want to accomplish something complicated, such as a corporation or an insurance company that wants to make its balance sheet look more attractive, with less “risk” on it, having hedging strategies in place in case certain commodities or investments go south, etc. So modellers are very mathematical, quantitative types of people who crunch a lot of numbers and work a lot with computers, as opposed to interfacing with clients like, say, a salesperson would do.

I think you should forget about finance. Become a pro bodybuilder.

I’m going to hijack this for a second. You, sir, are a grade-A ass. In my post in the “Billionaires” thread, I specifically said how annoying it is to hear business/finance majors (especially the ones still in college) tell me what an idiot I am if I’m not making gazillions of dollars.

And you sent me a message telling me that if I didn’t know what to do, I was “probably an idiot.”

And then you come out with this post, exposing you as one of those very people that so incensed me. Just wanted you to know that I noticed. Good luck in your career.

Well-suited and perfectly acceptable hijack, Nephorm. I think that should qualify for the infamous “/thread.”

Nothing like flaming fellow members based upon viewpoint and lifestyle and then asking them for advice…


Alright, I hate looking like a giant ass and so I went back through and reread all of my posts and your posts, neophorm. I saw the part about how people (mostly in college) say “Your an idiot for not having 10-million dollars.” I can totally agree with that. It doesn’t really make sense.

I’m rather indifferent to the fact that you work three jobs, overtime at you full-time job, and still have buddies who help support you. But never once did I say that “You’re an idiot” for not knowing what to do. I checked my PMs. I havn’t PMed you. And I didn’t post any insults directed at you like you posted here. I don’t know your reasons for where you work, what you make and how that relates to what you think you need to live, when you plan to retire or how much you’ll need to do that. However, I think in America financial independence is a very real and achievable goal.

Now the topic I was asking was related to corporate finance and the difference between different branches. Do you have expertise you could share with me? (Doubtful since you have 3 jobs and you don’t work too much at your primary.) Do you know any of the answers to the questions I asked? Well in any greater depth than you could pull off a BB website and parrot back here.

In conclusion, I don’t get what you are getting at. I asked about the difference between specific fields in the finance industry so I can try to figure out what I want to do with 10-15 years of my life. What that has to do with my views of personal finance (since this topic is about corporate finance) or personal attacks on you… I don’t know.

I’m not going to address each of your points, as I’m over it. Check your PMs again, though. Your PM at 5:37PM on 4/02/05 contains this choice quote: “It is true you have to know what to do. But if you don’t, then more than likely you’re an idiot.” End of hijack.


If you want to do modeling for a major wirehouse your going to need an MBA from a top school, preferably an Ivy. Quants are highly paid and sought after but you have to be a star to get recruited.

It is kind of the door opener. It’s very difficult to break into the top firms in either trading or banking without an MBA. They take some token kids from the city colleges in NY but not many. Penn, Harvard, MIT are the door openers.

You can break in thru sales and work your way up. Many do but it is hard.
At the very least think about graduate school. It really is becoming the minimum standard on Wall St.