Read books such as Investment Banking For Dummies (For Dummies, 2014) to learn more about the field. Participate in investment competitions during high school and college to learn more about the stock market and build your skills. The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania offers the Knowledge@Wharton High School Investment Competition (https://kwhs.wharton.upenn.edu/competitions), a free, global, online investment simulation for students, ages 14–18, and teachers. Other methods to explore the investment banking industry include joining business and finance clubs in high school and college and talking with investment banking traders about their careers.
If you plan to become a quantitative trader and are good at coding, consider writing an investment algorithm and submitting it to Quantopian, a crowd-sourced quantitative investment firm. The firm licenses some of the submitted algorithms and compensates coders based on the algorithm’s performance. Visit https://www.quantopian.com for more information.
Traders play a vital role for the investment bank. They facilitate the buying and selling of stocks, bonds, and other securities such as currencies, futures, and derivatives, either by carrying an inventory of securities for sale or by executing a given trade for a client. A trader plays two distinct roles for an investment bank: traders give their clients the ability to buy or sell a security at any time the client needs to place a trade; second, they buy or sell securities on behalf of the firm using the firm’s own capital, expecting to benefit from the rise or fall in security prices. This is known as proprietary trading. In both the market-making function and in proprietary trading, traders are providing market liquidity. Most traders perform the following duties: