Friday, July 9, 2010

Who is a trading talent?

Some time ago I saved, don’t ask me why, the Mako Group’s description of its program to train options market makers in London. They claim that one reason for their success is their ability to “identify, train, and retain top trading talent.”

They identify six traits they are looking for in trainees.

First, discipline, which they consider the most critical determinant in success. This includes academic discipline, mental discipline (maintaining focus throughout long work days), the discipline to stick to a plan, and emotional discipline.

Second and perhaps surprising to many, humility—baseline humility coupled with quiet confidence.

Third, a history of success in areas outside of trading that demonstrate that “this person can make it happen.”

Fourth, preferably no previous trading experience; they want to shape their traders according to their firm’s culture.

Fifth, a gift with numbers. Remember that we are talking here about market makers in the world of options, which is more quantitatively driven than that, say, of equity futures.

Finally, an entrepreneurial spirit. The blurb states: “we find that the best traders are the ones who cannot sit at peace when there is opportunity within reach.”

Would you be a strong candidate?


  1. Striking!!! Can you also comment on what if someone doesn't have these traits then how to learn/adopt or nurture them?

  2. you should get twitter so you can share your insights with the entire world.