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The “prestige” of bulge bracket trading desks has decreased substantially over time, but you can still make heaps of money in the field if you’re good.

Then there are other groups, such as boutique trading firms, prop trading firms, and hedge funds, where regulations are lighter and cash compensation is higher.

This is where we break it down and explain how to break in, what S&T is really like, and how different groups are different.

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The Distressed Debt Desk: The Best Way to Combine Sales & Trading and Investment Banking?

Sometimes, you just can’t decide. The public markets… or deal analysis? One solution is to join the capital markets team, but another is to join the distressed credit desk – not as an execution trader, but in research. You come up with the ideas, and the traders execute them. Not only is the work more […]
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What is the S&P 500, and Why Does It Matter to Traders at Banks?

This article was guest-written by SilverSurfer, a former prop desk derivatives trader on Wall Street and founder of LifeStyleTrading101.com, a site that teaches you how to generate consistent weekly income from the stock market. He provides daily analysis of the S&P 500, lessons on how to use options, and weekly podcasts on iTunes.  In addition to […]
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Forex Brokerage: The Best Path into the Finance Industry in Cyprus?

Does your location determine your destiny? Maybe not, but your timing and location make a big difference. For example, if you had graduated without a job in 2009 and you wanted to work in finance in New York, you probably should have starred in a Mission: Impossible movie instead. Cyprus is another region where timing […]
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What to Expect in Your Hong Kong Sales and Trading Internship: The Hunger Games Meets the Wolf of Wall Street?

Have you ever read an interview here and said, “That sounds nice… but what happened to this person? Did her internship or full-time job work out? What’s she doing now?” I have. Luckily, I don’t have to wonder too much because readers frequently come back and update me on how everything went. In that vein, […]
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Distressed Debt Investing at a Boutique Firm: Better Than a Bulge Bracket Sales & Trading Offer?

In the post-financial crisis economy, most people would be ecstatic to get a single offer on any sales & trading desk of any bulge bracket bank. Forget about the desk itself, the type of work, the group’s performance, or the team – just winning the offer should be an amazing turn of events, right? Maybe not. Years ago, […]
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How to Win a Sales & Trading Internship in Hong Kong from a Non-Target School – Without Even Being from Asia

One region where it’s notoriously difficult to win internship and full-time offers is Hong Kong. Not only are you competing with approximately half the population of mainland China (they’re even more obsessed with finance), you’re also up against candidates from other East Asian countries, plus plenty of people studying in the US, UK, and other […]
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Sales & Trading Internships: The Top 9 Ways to Go from Internship to Full-Time Offer

This is a guest post from “DerivsTrading,” who founded S&T Careers.com to teach you how to win bulge bracket trading interviews and offers and ace your assessment centers. He’s an experienced flow options trader currently working at a bulge bracket bank in London, and he defied the odds to break in coming from a non-target school. Six […]
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A Day in the Life of an Options Trader at a Bulge Bracket Bank: From Delta to Vega and Back Again

This is a guest post from “DerivsTrading,” who founded S&T Careers.com to teach you how to win bulge bracket trading interviews and offers and ace your assessment centers. He’s an experienced flow options trader currently working at a bulge bracket bank in London, and he defied the odds to break in coming from a non-target school. We’ve […]
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The Equities Trading Floor: What You Really Do Every Day, and Why You Don’t Even Have to Work in Dallas

This is a guest post from “DerivsTrading,” who founded S&T Careers.com to teach you how to win bulge bracket trading interviews and offers and ace your assessment centers. He’s an experienced flow options trader currently working at a bulge bracket bank in London, and he defied the odds to break in coming from a non-target school. […]
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A Day in the Life of a S&T Intern at a Bulge Bracket Bank in New York: 5 AM Wake-ups and Glorified Lunch Delivery Service?

This is a guest post from a reader who broke into Sales & Trading (S&T) coming from a non-target school. He’s previously written about his own story of how he broke into sales & trading, from the recruiting process to networking to resumes to “fit” interviews and technical interview questions. The following occurs between 5 […]
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Prop Trading vs. Bulge Bracket Sales & Trading: Fatty Bonuses vs. Restrictive Regulations That Drain Your Bank Account?

If you want to be a professional trader and you’re just starting out, you’ve got 3 options: Go work in sales & trading at a large bank. Join a prop trading firm (or hedge fund). Sit at home in your bathrobe day trading via an online brokerage account. If you’re reading this, I’ll assume you’re […]
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Sales & Trading Interview Domination, Part 2: Markets, Brainteasers, and Mental Math

This is a guest post from a reader who broke into Sales & Trading (S&T) coming from a non-target school. In Part 5 of this series, you’ll learn all about sales & trading interviews and how to answer the technical and markets-based questions, pitch stocks and investment ideas, and yes, even calculate the square root of 58 […]
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Equities Gone Wild: How to Break into Institutional Dealing at an Investment Bank

Let’s be honest here: nobody really wants to work the punishing hours of investment banking. You do it because it’s a rite of passage, and because there’s a distinct (if tiny) possibility that you’ll be on top of the world if you manage to hold out for the next ten years (well, at least if […]
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Sales & Trading Interviews, Part 1: How to Dominate the “Fit” Questions

This is a guest post from a reader who broke into Sales & Trading (S&T) coming from a non-target school. In Part 4 of this series, you’ll learn all about sales & trading interviews and how to tell your story and answer “fit” questions. “Are you available for a phone interview on Tuesday next week?” It […]
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The Perfect Sales & Trading Resume Template?

This is a guest post from a reader who broke into Sales & Trading (S&T) coming from a non-target school. In Part 3 of this series, you’ll learn all about how to write sales & trading resumes and how to use them to win interviews and offers. I still remember the beginning of my freshman […]
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From Engineering to Prop Trading: How to Make the Leap, and How to Survive on the Job

“It’s not whether you’re right or wrong that’s important, but how much money you make when you’re right and how much you lose when you’re wrong.” -George Soros Continuing with our series on how you can sell out and quit engineering, today we’re speaking with a reader who spent two years straight out of school […]
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Sales & Trading Networking: 3 Success Stories from a Non-Target School and What You Can Learn from Them

This is a guest post from a reader who broke into Sales & Trading (S&T) coming from a non-target school. In Part 2 of this series, you’ll learn all about sales & trading networking and how to use it to win interviews and offers.  Pop quiz: which of the following is most important for breaking into sales […]
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Convertible Bond Sales 101: Got Liquidity?

Sales & Trading, Sales & Trading, Sales & Trading… Only we’ve covered far too much of the “trading” side and not enough on the “sales” side. Actually, change that to “nothing” on the sales side. But that changes with the first interview in our series on institutional sales in different parts of the world. Today, […]
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The Non-Target School Sales & Trading Recruiting Process: How it Works from Beginning to End

This is a guest post from a reader who broke into Sales & Trading (S&T) coming from a non-target school. In Part 1 of this series, you’ll get an overview of the entire process and what you need to break in.  If you make it into sales & trading coming from a non-target school, congratulations: […]
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Consulting vs. Trading vs. Entrepreneurship: Got Lifestyle?

This article was guest-written by Zeke Lee, a Stanford graduate, former management consultant, and former derivatives trader on Wall Street. He founded the GMATPill.com, a video-based GMAT prep course for ambitious MBA candidates that was recently featured in Bloomberg Businessweek. So you’ve reached your last year of university – or maybe you’re in your late […]
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From Visa-Less Foreigner in the UK to the FICC Trading Desk at a Top Bulge Bracket Bank: How to Make the Leap

It’s already tough enough to break into finance coming from any background, but what about when you’re a foreigner, you don’t have a work visa, and your school is unknown? Oh, and you’re set on going to a bulge bracket bank. As Aleksey Vayner might say, “Impossible is Nothing” – a bad idea for his […]
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Prop Trading 101: How You Break In, What You Do, and How Long It Takes to Make $10 Million and Retire to Your Own Private Beach in Thailand

During my final year of university when I was recruiting for finance jobs, I never put much thought into prop trading. But then one day I saw an interview slot listing for a mysterious “proprietary trading firm” and immediately asked my trader friend across the hall whether I should apply. “Dude,” he said, “You can […]
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Traders and Brokers: Bud Fox vs. Gordon Gekko?

Assuming you’ve seen Wall Street (the awesome, original one, not the watered-down sequel) – it is a requirement to work in finance, after all – you know something about traders vs. brokers. The traders are like lone wolves who go in and make tons of money by making quick decisions… But supporting every successful trader is […]
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All About Automated Trading: What It Is and What It Isn’t

[This is a guest post from a reader who currently works in an arbitrage development team. He wanted to clear up a few points about what “automated trading” is and isn’t.] Ah, taking a mid-day nap and waking up with extra money in your trading account… who wouldn’t want to make money while sleeping? That […]
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From Middle-Office Operations to Front-Office Sales & Trading: How One Reader Made the Leap and How You Can Do It Too

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the back office. Much of the work is mundane, and it doesn’t give you many options: advancing is difficult and breaking into front-office roles is even harder. Or is it? While it might be difficult to get into investment banking front-office roles, it’s easier if you’re […]
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Trading Psychology: How to Think Like a Trader

Trading – it’s all about using your brain to analyze the options and then make the best decisions, right? You might hear that from a trader at a cocktail party when he’s trying to impress people, but most traders know that psychology plays a huge role. Some traders would go as far as saying that […]
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Sales & Trading vs. Investment Banking, Part 2: Lifestyle, Co-Workers, Pay & Exit Opportunities

We wrap up our series on Sales & Trading vs. Investment Banking with this podcast, focusing on the lifestyle, your co-workers, pay, and exit opportunities. Whereas Part 1 was all about recruiting, this one’s all about what happens when you actually get the job – and we go into subjects like pay and bonuses in […]
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Sales & Trading vs. Investment Banking, Part 1 – Recruiting

“So, how much food do traders eat?” “Can you really make $10 million instantly if you’re a star trader?” “Can I write about my gambling addiction and how much money I made with poker on my trading resume?” You’re about to learn the answers to all of those and more, in this 2-part podcast series […]
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48 Hours in the Life of a Sales & Trading Intern

The following takes place between 6 AM and 6 AM, at a large investment bank in Tokyo. Events occur in real time. 6:00 AM: The alarm goes off. I really want to snooze but via sheer willpower I jump out of bed – need to impress my boss and co-workers. 6:30 AM: For my breakfast, […]
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What You Actually Do In Sales & Trading, Part 2: Equity Trading

While there are plenty of day-in-the-life and week-in-the-life stories detailing what you do in investment banking, there’s surprisingly little information on sales & trading. We started to fix that problem by looking at what you do in fixed income – besides bankrupting your firm and causing the economy to spiral into a bottomless abyss. This […]
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On the Trading Floor

This article was guest-written by Zeke Lee, a Stanford graduate, former management consultant with Booz & Company, and current derivatives trader on Wall Street (Oh yeah, he’s one of my friends from school as well). He founded the GMAT Pill based on his experience scoring in the 98th percentile on the GMAT in just 2 […]
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What Do You Do In Fixed Income Besides Bankrupting Your Firm with Toxic Assets?

If you’re reading this, you probably don’t know too much about what you actually do in investment banking and sales & trading beyond a lot of work, Excel, and models and bottles. Why else would the articles on Mergers & Acquisitions, Restructuring, and UBS LA be among the most popular ones here? We’re going to […]
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Credit Derivatives Trading in Tokyo: Interview

Continuing our series of interviews with bankers / financiers in different parts of the world, today we’re speaking with a friend of mine from Stanford who worked in credit derivatives trading in Japan and then founded his own trading firm… after only 1 year of work. A lot of readers are interested in going to […]
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