With recruitment for 2020 in full swing I figured what better way to help you guys than to find ways to increase your odds of getting into Sales and Trading.
This has been an article and topic I have wanted to write about for a long time. As a non-target I always had to go over and above to try and prove myself to be a member of wall street let alone front office. Although the education was “equivalent” and in some cases I had more advanced degrees I had to find ways to make myself stand out from the targets and other applicants.
The thing that made me stand out the most were my publications and research projects. I did a few back as an engineer that got published and was ranked as top papers in their field by an student at the time. When I got into finance my instinct and passion for research lead me to do a few research projects with professors that I highlighted during interviews and applications that ended up getting me several offers from large banks and hedge funds into their analyst program.
A research project helps show that you can focus on a single problem and come up with a solution or try and master the knowledge and literature behind it. It also shows your writing abilities and ways to communicate your thesis to your fellow peers which can be quite valuable on a strategy desk. It also shows your quantitative and statistical abilities (assuming you are during empirical research). In addition, you can show your grasp on finance knowledge on that topic and what better way to write a 20 page paper on it.
There are a few ways to take the most advantage out of a research paper. You can find a professor or reach out to a professor at your alma matter and ask them if they want to do a collaboration. Professors love doing this as you do all the work and they get their names on the paper. For them it’s a win because they get a free working paper out of it and for you it’s great because you attach your professors name to it and it legitimizes it. If you cannot find a professor, it is quite alright. Feel free to reach out to a local university. I have done papers without any professor help and it has been fine and respected. You can also reach out to strategist and economics or researchers in the industry and see if they would be interested in doing a paper together. They would love to have a free research assistant.
Once you have done an initial draft of the paper upload it to https://www.ssrn.com/index.cfm/en/ . This is the website where all researchers in the world upload their working papers for people to see before ts sent for publication. Once its uploaded there you can put it on your resume under “publications” and for journal put in “working paper on SSRN”. Once the paper is done you can google a range of economics or finance journals or conferences and submit the paper to present or publish.
Here are some topics for you guys that I think is of value right now with the current movements in the world and in the macroeconomic universe. Empirical papers are most valuable than theoretical papers currently so focus on that.
- Drivers of Swap spreads
- How does easing monetary policy affect credit spreads of high yield bonds?
- What are the drivers of the long end of the curve?
- What are the drivers of the short end of the curve?
- How has monetary policy affected the yield curve: A study from the last 25 years.
- What is the relation between the fed and how they drive the volatility market
- How has sell-offs in the stock market affected swaption volatility?
- A study on emerging market CDS
- How has the US-China trade war affected the long end of the US treasury curve
- US-China Trade War : a study of the effects on emerging markets corporate credit
The process for coming up with a paper is the following:
- Go read all the existing research on the topic. Goto scholars.google.com and search the topic in mind and see what existing literature is out there. Read as much of those articles as possible to see what people have done already and get an idea for what kind of templates and studies others have done.
- Next formulate what kind of structure and outline you want to have
- Go get the data and take a look. Clean the data if you have to
- Come up with what empirical studies you want to do. Regression, GARCH, etc. Look up statistical studies that can help you with this. Talk to a STATS professor if you need to.
- Figure out what the possible loopholes or assumptions are in your study and write them down.
- Now write a story of the the study and your results.
This should be a sample outline of the study: You can use any outline for other journals or create your own but this is a sample:
- Introduction : introduce the background slightly and the topic and why you think its of value
- Existing Literature : go into the existing literature and what already exists out there from your study of other papers
- Data : Explain the data you have
- Assumptions: Put all the limitations of your data and study
- Empirical Study : Go through the study and explain it with a lot of charts and explain what the results mean in clear fashion
- Whats next : come up with future topics that can be shown from your study and what could be another papr
- Conclusion : Put all your conclusions here
- Bibliography : make sure everything is referenced.
There are several more topics you can come up with. Talk to your professor, talk to your teachers feel free to ask me.
For all of this you will need data. Go to your university library and download the data from Bloomberg or whatever system you have. I cannot provide the data at this moment but it should be easy to get. I will try and see if I can get the data and post on the next article but for now just reach out to a university library near you and get it or if you have a friend in the industry ask them to send it from bloomberg.