You’re a trader in a bank. Congratulations. Whether you will still be a trader in a bank in five years’ time, however, is moot. Trading is changing. There’s less risk, more computers. Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman thinks banks are becoming pure agency traders, matching buyers and sellers and taking no risk of their own. In today’s Financial Times, ex-Lehman trader Lawrence McDonald, says he knows a trader who used to have $2bn of balance sheet to play with, now he has $20m.
The biggest danger to trading jobs, however, is the machines. More trades are being placed electronically, especially in markets where electronic trades weren’t big in the past. These are the markets you probably want to avoid if you don’t want to lose your bank trading job before 2018. Helpfully, therefore, Celent, a consultancy firm, has helpfully assembled the following chart identifying which they are. It suggests that anything to do with FX is bad; structured commodities are good.