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How to Get Started As a Financial Trader

The financial trader position is one of the most difficult and rewarding in the job market today. Many individuals enjoy and make a large amount of money in this position. However, a large number of individuals want to get into the field and do not know how. They are not sure what connections to make or what classes to take in order to become a financial trader. Once an individual makes a plan and decides what type of trader they want to be, the process is relatively straightforward.

Decide a trading path path

There are two central paths to becoming a financial trader. Both paths have a different set of steps that an individual needs to take. The institutional path is perhaps the most common way that an individual becomes a financial trader. This path will provide stability and a way to move up a corporate ladder. But it also presents a number of challenges. Individuals often have to go through years of schooling in order to acquire the degree and classes needed by many financial trading institutions. Some financial trading companies require internships and personal connections in order to secure a position.

The other path to becoming a financial trader requires working on one’s own. This category is often known as a day trader. Day traders buy and sell stocks in order to make short-term gains that lead to significant profits. This trading does not absolutely require any sort of education. Practically any adult with a certain amount of starting capital can become a day trader on their own. But this approach to financial trading can be significantly riskier than working for a company. While individuals working for a company can trade other people’s money, individual day traders often have to trade their own money leveraged at considerable, risky rates. Individuals who trade on their own give up the security of a full-time job for flexibility and the ability to work in trading without a degree or networking skills.

Find a mentor

Both approaches to financial trading are based off of connections. Traders at companies sometimes need a positive recommendation to have any sort of chance of getting a job. Individuals who are trading on their own often need the help of others to avoid the massive losses that sometimes come along with trading. They need to know people who have dealt with the many problems that affect traders on a regular basis. Having a mentor helps individuals get institutional jobs and helps individual traders avoid many of the problems and pitfalls of their jobs.

Set and execute a plan

All financial traders need some sort of a plan in order to launch their careers. They need to have strategies for trading that reflect how they can determine the value of companies or their movements over a period of time. Individuals need to craft plans that use those strategies and then stick to those plans over a period of months or years. At the same time, individuals also need to be able to keep their plans flexible so that they can respond to changing economic, social, and political circumstances. Setting a well-crafted plan needs to happen before a trader even applies for a job or buys a day trading computer.


The job of a financial trader is by no means an easy one. It requires a considerable amount of work and effort. While the process may be straightforward in some ways, it still requires years of work. However, a few hours of research and decision-making can help begin a process that could result in the most lucrative job position an individual has ever achieved.