Thursday, July 31, 2008

Proprietary Trading Firms Offering Training

As I mentioned in my recent post on training successful traders, a number of proprietary trading firms that train their traders are rolling out their training programs as stand-alone offerings for independent traders. This is a promising development and a potential win-win situation: it offers real-time education for traders from mentors who actually trade for a living, and it leverages the activities of the prop firm into a separate profit center. It also potentially creates a path by which independent traders could prove themselves and eventually trade prop capital.

In addition to SMB Capital, mentioned in the original post, here are two more firms actively participating in the training space:

T3 Live - I'm very impressed with the use of technology to create a virtual trading floor, in which traders can watch prop traders live. Among the features offered by T3 Live are a radio/squawk box to hear traders call out their ideas; live video broadcasts; training videos; and daily analyses of markets.

TCA Markets - This UK firm operates on a unique model. They offer training for traders on a remote basis, with the understanding that graduates of the training can qualify to trade the firm's prop capital. They also offer salaried positions to selected graduates.

I cannot stress enough the importance of due diligence. These programs are not inexpensive, and it is important that they offer the specific kinds of training that a trader most wants and needs. I strongly recommend that you talk with graduates, review details of the curriculum, and make sure that what the firm is offering truly meshes with your particular interests and strengths. While promising, this field is also ripe for abuse, much as so-called modeling schools promise grand agency contracts to graduates, only to leave them high and dry after taking their tuitions.

Disclosure and Caveat: I do not work for any of these firms, do not receive any compensation or consideration for mentioning them, and have not been solicited for mentions by them. My goal is to highlight possible opportunities out there in the trading community; it's up to you to engage in the due diligence and ensure that these truly represent opportunities for you.