Securities Trader Career Overview: Another career path within financial services that can be highly remunerative is securities trading, whether of stocks or of bonds. Traders look to earn a "spread" between what they charge buyers and pay to sellers. The spread on shares of stock often can be mere pennies, but substantial profits can ensue from the sheer volume of activity.
The key personality trait in trading is the ability to think and act quickly, and to gain a feel for the direction of the market. Traders attempt to limit risk by maintaining as small an inventory of securities as possible. However, a sudden rush of orders from customers wishing to buy can create problems if inventory is too low, just as an avalanche of orders to sell will force the trader to accumulate excess inventory, which places more capital at risk. When trading imbalances occur, nerves of steel are an important attribute.
Unlike investment bankers, traders tend to keep regular hours, often ending work shortly after the normal close of the markets at 4 PM Eastern Time. If you have a knack for certain fast-paced video games, along with an aptitude for economics, perhaps trading will be a suitable career for you.
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