Proprietary Trading, Futex and Me

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I often get private messages about my interviews with the firm Futex in the Uk. First of all let me say I did not get offered the final interview so I suppose my point of view is that of a failed candidate. Which, however turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I don’t want to highlight Futex out of all the people I applied or visited but they pretty much represent (or do not as the case maybe) what is missing in the proprietary trading industry.

There are plenty bucket “prop” firms who basically will take pretty much anyone on with half a brain and £4k. The money goes towards your trading but they won’t guarantee you a position after the training and beyond. This in essence makes your £4k a stop loss and once hit you are out of a job.

Then you have the big guns in the city and around. They do alot more than just “prop trading” and often require a degree that makes you wonder, if you had such a degree surely you would be at one of the big institutions by now. Their seats are usually filled up but ex-traders “inbetween” jobs or top class graduates who maybe didn’t know the right people to get a job at Goldman.

Then you have places like Futex. Inbetween the two but leaning slightly to the bucket shop end. They are secretive. You ask them why their accounts show several losing years and you will get a very stern look. You enquire about a simple practical part of their training and you are met with a feeling like you just failed a test. The reality is these places, thrive on creating “trading is the hardest job in the world” atmosphere. They want you to believe that they have achieved what they are asking you to achieve.

I got a very similar feeling at Futex and other places. Interviewers acting all relaxed and friendly but won’t engage in a conversation that was started by you. I made the mistake of saying I had a family and suddenly someone is trying to convince me that I wouldn’t be able to cope with errr…trading…i.e working for a living? Trading is not some cut throat business when you are in independent trader. It’s a completely different game to those played in the City. You are not trading $1million. Although some prop firms will lead you to believe you that you will be trading that very shortly after you start with them.

If you ask me why I didn’t get offered a final interview at Futex Proprietary Trading? I would say because I was older than most, I am a strong character (so maybe too much trouble for them) and I was honest. I couldn’t convince them I would survive without pay for the length of time they had in mind it would take to “train” and start making a living with them. I could have survived a year…so I am guessing they think it takes longer to make a decent return.

As I said, these things always work out for the best. I am certainly in a better position trading wise since those interviews still with a decent trading pot (£27K), although I think it would have been nice to get to trade in a room with other traders for a while.

Personally I would suggest if you are going down this route with Futex or any other proprietary trading firm I would suggest…errr…lie. Tell them what they want to hear. Don’t trust that your ability to make money for yourself already will impress them. If they are playing the big trader act then play up to it. Go with it. Try and aim for the top firms and work your way down. But at the end of the day they are not going to give you anything else you can’t give yourself (apart from capital and that you can earn). Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can’t make it with out them.

In the near future I expect proprietary trading will have a new player. Someone who will compete directly with Futex type companies. I expect that there will be a prop firm that is full of independent traders who will be in someway anonymous. They will be self trained, work from home via the prop firm network and there will 100s of traders maybe 1000s. Your only job requirement will be to prove you can trade for a certain period in your own time. And then you will be given access to trading funds, a little at a time, closely monitored from a remote location. It will be the google of the trading world. It will be international. It will be all web based, it will rely on many traders making small amounts of profit which will all add up to large profits for the proprietary firm.

You heard it here first.

One Response

  1. fx says:

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