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Best School for Trading?

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Best School for Trading? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2007, 09:26
I assume HSW and some of the M7 makes it easy to enter a sales and trading job. But what schools outside of the M7 are good for training/getting a job for S&T?

I assume Ross (Tozzi Finance Center)and Johnson (student run hedge fund) must be good. Any others?

Last edited by kidderek on 28 Feb 2007, 09:55, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2007, 09:30
Sell-side trading (traditional sales and trading)... I would say that almost any top school would be able to get you that way.

Buy-side trading (Investment management, hedge fund, prop desk).... This would be hard to break into. I say H/W/S and possibly Chicago. From what I hear, most of these interviews are after the I banks, MC, etc. so it's more risky.
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2007, 09:33
I wouldn't necessarily consider this one of Harvard's strengths myself. I get the feeling I will be on my own a bit on that, though.
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2007, 09:56
3underscore wrote:
I wouldn't necessarily consider this one of Harvard's strengths myself. I get the feeling I will be on my own a bit on that, though.


I gather Harvard's weakest area is better than some schools' strongest areas.
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2007, 09:59
I think a particular school's S&T placement would be in line with their overall sell-side placement stats. Wharton, Chicago, Columbia lead the pack, but other schools such as MIT, Cornell, CMU, etc. place well in sell-side BB banks, and thus S&T divisions.
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2007, 10:04
In US I've heard that:
Wharton, Columbia, Chicago, MIT and Cornell.

In Europe LBS.

As explained above, the buy side is harder to get into.
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2007, 10:19
Is everyone ready for a stupid question? Please excuse my ignorance.

What is the difference between a buy-side trader and sell-side trader? Isn't the bottom line to trade to make profits?
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2007, 13:12
I would say the main difference is the traders at ibanks trade on behalf of their clients (the exception would be propietary traders who trade using the firm's own capital). Traders on the buy-side trade for their own funds.
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2007, 13:22
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned NYU yet. Wharton, Chicago & Columbia generally get the pick of the banking/finance jobs. NYU follows closely after that benefiting from it's location and alumni base in the area.
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2007, 13:25
pelihu wrote:
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned NYU yet. Wharton, Chicago & Columbia generally get the pick of the banking/finance jobs. NYU follows closely after that benefiting from it's location and alumni base in the area.


Sorry if I wasn't clear, but I was speaking about schools outside of M7. As for NYU, though no one has mentioned it, I thought it was a given.
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2007, 14:35
kidderek wrote:
pelihu wrote:
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned NYU yet. Wharton, Chicago & Columbia generally get the pick of the banking/finance jobs. NYU follows closely after that benefiting from it's location and alumni base in the area.


Sorry if I wasn't clear, but I was speaking about schools outside of M7. As for NYU, though no one has mentioned it, I thought it was a given.



I don't think most of the buy-side trading jobs come onto campus to recruit. Most of these jobs are taken from trading assistants or people that know other people. You would have to go knock on the companies' doors. Every firm is different in the buy-side. Some firms require MBAs for all traders... others don't. It's not clearly laid out like the I banks (sell-side) where you need an MBA to make associate.... 2 years as an analyst... etc. I'm talking about trading jobs that don't measure your performance.

The jobs that do measure your performance (and your bonus is reflected in your performance) like those on a prop desk, I would think that you don't need an MBA. But then, these jobs ( the ones where you don't have to put up your own capital) are so hard to get that an MBA probably won't help if at all.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2007, 01:07
Well, to get a Prop job, you have to have the track record to warrant it (and an MBA isn't one).

I think you want to look at Prop trading more as the direction (the fabled "job after the job you applied for"), rather than direct course. Obviously, if you get into a bulge bracket or Tier 1 IB, then Prop trading is a plausible career path.
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Schools outside M7 that provide good R,S&T training [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2007, 01:16
This was also my question when I started my research on MBA programs. Here are some of the schools that have interesting programs:

1. University of Wisconsin-Madison: This program has the largest student run investment fund among all the schools I've encountered ($40 million). It also invests in fixed income and equities so students can get a taste of investing in both instruments. Of course, most of the FI investments are in safe havens like treasuries. I don't think you can invest in junk bonds or bonds of firms in trouble (GM anyone?).

However, a majority of these funds are in fixed income because a large part of this fund are the employee investment funds. In 2004, this school was identified by BWeek as one of the schools that had a lot of placements in the IM industry. The only downside to this program is that it is a specialized program. At the very start, you have to choose an IM, IB, or Marketing track.

2. Rice University: This program has a good student run investment fund ($800k). Rice has the advantage of being in Houston, the home of the Oil and Gas industry. My student interviewer told me that the most difficult industry to get in the student fund is the Oil and Gas industry. They use the S&P 500 index for their benchmark. Students first start as analysts in their first semester then move on to becoming investment managers in their second sem. The fund adviser is a former GS banker.

I think that there will be opportunities to consult with an Oil and Gas company in the Action Learning Project too.

I believe that if you want to market yourself as an Oil and Gas industry analyst/trader, there would be no better place to start. Rice also places its students in the large BB banks like GS and MS for the firms' energy trading activities in Houston.

3. Cornell University: Cornell has a student run hedge fund, the Cayuga Fund ($10.2 million). My interviewer told me that it might be difficult to get in this fund this year because a lot of students have stated their preference to join this fund. Students are selected based on a competitive selection process in the latter part of the first year. They work on the fund for the whole of the second year.

This is a market-neutral, long-short fund that has consistently beaten its index since it became a hedge fund in 2002. It boasts of data feeds and research that cost $1.8 million annually--if they were to buy it I suppose.

Assuming that you can distinguish yourself to the Parker Center Advisory Board, it can provide contacts with GS, Blackrock and Bear Stearns. BTW, Abby Joseph Cohen, Goldman's chief economist sits on this board.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2007, 06:10
I don't know many traders who have their MBAs. Mostly, traders work on the floor right out of undergrad and the good ones who stick with it get a nice desk job at either a fund or an i-bank. Institutional salesmen, analysts and portfolio managers are far more likely to have MBAs.

I think you are smart for looking at sales & trading. It's fun work and unlike i-bankers, you can have a life.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2007, 06:20
jchip wrote:
This was also my question when I started my research on MBA programs. Here are some of the schools that have interesting programs:


This is very good info. I heard the Cayuga fund is not that difficult to get into as long as you sign up for the capital markets and asset management immersion program.

Know of any good reads for trading?

xixtrays wrote:
I think you are smart for looking at sales & trading. It's fun work and unlike i-bankers, you can have a life.


The few traders I know of all have Stern or Columbia MBA's.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2007, 07:49
Dang, looking over this student fund (http://forum.johnson.cornell.edu/students/orgs/cimc/) makes me regret not applying to Cornell. The program looks quite strong for investment mgmt.

My final app came down to NYU, Yale, Duke, and Cornell. I went with NYU because it had the best rep for finance and I liked the NYU student managed fund. And the students I talked to were pretty cool.

But that was dumb because I don't think there's any way I'm convincing my SO to move to NY city. I bet that Cornell has more of a global reach, since it's in a small city and students need to look elsewhere for jobs. With NYU, it seems like every student stays in the city after graduation.

Live and learn I guess...
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2007, 07:57
naturallight wrote:
Dang, looking over this student fund (http://forum.johnson.cornell.edu/students/orgs/cimc/) makes me regret not applying to Cornell. The program looks quite strong for investment mgmt.


Still time! R4 isn't due till March 9....Just two 400-word essays....
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2007, 08:03
I can't imagine it would be worth it to apply in the very last round. However, it is tempting. Do you remember what the app fee is? Are you going in the fall?
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2007, 08:07
naturallight wrote:
I can't imagine it would be worth it to apply in the very last round. However, it is tempting. Do you remember what the app fee is? Are you going in the fall?


Yeah, you're probably right. $180. My life post-August remains up in the air.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2007, 08:10
naturallight wrote:
The program looks quite strong for investment mgmt.

My final app came down to NYU, Yale, Duke, and Cornell. I went with NYU because it had the best rep for finance and I liked the NYU student managed fund. And the students I talked to were pretty cool.



I actually love the Cornell program, but living in Ithaca (as gorges as it may be) doesn't seem like my cup of tea.

So you only applied to NYU?
  [#permalink] 01 Mar 2007, 08:10
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