SMB has five traders for our June class who already have proven active-trading records in college. We get emails from guys making serious money consistently and yet are in college. I have never seen this before. Do you see how many awesome blogs are out there written by college traders? I wrote an article recently about the thirst for trading education at universities and now my inbox is overflowing with very solid college traders sharing their stories. I love it! Who says you can’t start trading in college? How is that any different than Cam Newton working eight hours a day on his quarterback skills to gain a top draft spot (see great trading book here)? Or Jimmer Fredette working hours everyday on his basketball skills?
I sent my blog post on the thirst for more trader educa-tion in college to a host of colleges, some with whom I am very friendly. Not one school showed any interest in improving their trading education. I know of a few students working behind the scenes to make this happen and have hit some early roadblocks. Now I understand that most schools are facing very real cuts in their departments. And selling a new program is probably very difficult even for the most passionate of professors. I was a Trustee at The University of Connecticut and remember sitting with Dr. Mark Emmert, now President of the NCAA but formerly the Chancellor at UConn, explaining the difficult decisions he was forced to make on budgeting. Boy, is that a tough job! But all of that does not take away the tremendous new interest in trading for college students. Don’t we need to figure out a way to make sure those students are getting the education and ability to work on their trading game they so desire?
Trading firms in our space can help a little. SMB just started an in-house internship for college underclassmen to take our training program during a five week summer session. There will be two such sessions. Steve and I are toying with the idea of allowing active college traders access to our trading tools and our SMB AM meeting for free. Also, we will be putting together a seminar soon just for active college traders who want to learn more. College writers should continue to open up their new blogs and share. College traders should continue to create trading groups at their schools, following the work at Penn State. Traders must find the time to visit campuses and share their experiences, like Tadas Viskanti recently did at Indiana University. The StockTwits U blog is an awesome destination for interested young traders. In the meantime, students on campuses need to keep working behind the scenes, showing great respect to the decision-makers, to garner more trader curriculum.
As the markets become increasingly electronic, as foreign markets become more important and liquid, as more learn how to trade at a younger age, as a new generation of students with amazing coding skills invade the markets, electronic trading will be an increasingly attractive career. Since developed trading skills will be necessary to succeed. College traders will have to start sooner, trade more and gain access to better education to compete. Just like a D1 athlete seeking to turn pro. Now we just have to get them the education and ability to practice they need and deserve.
Author, One Good Trade