There is a huge difference between amateur traders trying to make a few bucks on trading platforms and the professionals who work for major investment banks.
If you’re looking for a high-octane career with limitless financial rewards, a career as a professional currency trader is a good choice.
Read on to learn more about what to expect:
Do You Have the Right Skills?
Professional traders are a breed apart.
To be a successful trader, whether on the foreign exchange desk or elsewhere, you need a sharp, analytical mind and a lot of confidence.
Life as a trader is not for the faint-hearted. It can be very stressful managing huge sums of money, so if you are susceptible to stress, this probably isn’t the career for you.
Learn the Basics
Before you begin, it’s sensible to learn the basics, so you know what to expect. Spend time getting to know the markets and how they work.
This knowledge will provide a useful foundation for your future career and any interviewer will expect you to know the basic terminology of currency trading.
Learn the different markets, how trades are made, price fluctuations, order types, and the risks involved.
You can find many online resources to help you learn about trading Forex. The more you know, the better.
Read the financial press and follow the markets.
You’ll need to gain some relevant experience if you want an investment bank to take you on. Start learning the ropes with a demo forex trading account.
Practice making trades so you gain a solid understanding of how the markets fluctuate according to macro and microeconomic events.
Once you can show evidence of successful trading as an amateur, it should be easier to move into a pro-position at a financial institution.
Banks, hedge funds, and currency mutual funds all need professional currency traders to make the right buy and sell decisions. Banks and large institutions also hire currency traders to hedge against currency fluctuations.
Once you are a professional currency trader, you may handle single accounts or multiple accounts, and be expected to make million-dollar decisions on a daily basis.
You will also be expected to manage the client’s risk exposure and execute trades based on their goals.
Earn Suitable Qualifications
Most career paths in finance require a degree. Since you will need strong numeracy skills, a maths degree or combined maths and economics degree is a good choice.
Once you have a good degree from a good university, look for an internship at a financial institution.
Securing an internship gives you a foot in the door, as the best interns are usually taken on at the end of the term.
Working Hours and Pay
Expect to work long hours as a professional currency trader. The FX markets are open from 6.30AM to 5PM, and the less experienced you are, the longer your working day will be.
Experienced traders can earn several hundred thousand dollars per year, with performance-related bonuses thrown in for good measure.
The sky really is the limit!