Want to know what forex jobs exist?
Perhaps you’re tired of trading your own account.
Or maybe you love currency markets but don’t want to deal with all that risk.
Either way, you will find some interesting information in this piece.
There are many different types of jobs in currency markets.
First, however, lets define what a fx job is not:
For the purpose of this one single page, trading your own account is not a forex job.
But what is a forex job?
Getting paid for being an expert in currency markets.
This is a broad definition, which means you could be a pro trader, or you could be a market analyst, among many other types of jobs.
Within each bucket though, there’s a lot of variability.
let’s dive deeper.
You want to trade other people’s money?
Well, unless you’re doing it in an informal (possibly illegal) fashion, you will need two prerequisites:
1) Have a strong track record.
2) Comply with laws and regulations (licenses, etc.)
Number 1 sounds self-explanatory but just to make sure we’re on the same page, lets break it down further.
What makes a strong track record?
i) Being consistently profitable (say at least 1% per month, on average)
ii) Having a low draw-down.
This means you could have made 5% per month on average, but if your results are too spiky (big swings, or long periods of draw-downs) you won’t be very attractive to prospective employers.
There’s nothing like a stoic, boring trader who makes money most of the time.
With this proven track record, you will be much more attractive to employers (or investors), if you’re looking to become a professional trader, that forex job is right around the corner.
But who can employ you?
You can think of the big multinational banks such as Deutsche Bank and Barclays, but there are many funds and other financial institutions who need a skilled trader.
As a word of caution, each shop has its own way of doing things.
In other words, some places are looking for quants (advanced numbers guys who can create algorithms to trade the markets).
Other places will focus on a style of trading, or type of instrument (spot vs futures vs options).
It’s up to you to determine what is most important to you, style and type of trading, or getting a job.
Either way, you’re most likely to get employed where your current skills are most valuable anyways, so I wouldn’t sweat it.
Ok Emil, but can’t I get employed without having a proven track record?
Yes, many places train their people, but this is a sink or swim environment.
You get nothing if you screw your one opportunity to show profits, so it’s best to have a record (and accompanying skills) to fall back on.
Besides, many places recruit young college graduates for these entry level forex jobs. You may not fit this profile (but don’t let it deter you).
What about complying with regulations?
This will vary based on:
1. Where your employer is located
2. Where you are located
3. The type of trading you will perform
4. The type of firm your employer is
At any rate, your employer will let you know which licenses to get (if any) and what to do to comply with regulators.
If you want to take a more proactive approach, do some research on the types of jobs and employers you would be a good fit for (as in, do you have to go to their offices, or can work remotely? Vs other important things).
Check out what these jobs usually need in terms of licenses or permits to trade for other people and if possible, start working on them.
many instances though, your employer facilitates a lot of it, even paying for
your training in regulatory matters, so make sure you know how it works with
So I’ve written a lot about professional trading but not about forex analysts.
As a forex job, this one can be quite fulfilling to those more analytically inclined (excepting quant traders of course).
This isn’t however, a low pace role. In most instances, you’re expected to arrive at recommendations in a way that keeps up with the market and other analysts.
Think of it. Traders depend on your analysis to make their decisions.
Therefore, be expected to work with a very high standard of quality and timeliness.
Your responsibility is to assess market sentiment, market dynamics, and other fundamental and quantitative data to arrive at a trading recommendation.
Most shops employ analysts to one degree or another, but some financial news businesses also do so.
You can make a comfortable living with an analyst job, with a good part of your salary depending on seniority (and track record of recommendations).
However, you will never get close to what successful professional traders make, period.
Were you always the kid who stressed the rules in the playground?
If so, this role might be for you.
Regulators don’t get a lot of love, but their job is an important one.
Making sure shady brokerages don’t scam retail traders.
Investigating strange trading behavior in the biggest banks (big recession anyone?)
From the small to the big things, a regulator’s job is to keep people (and their money) safe.
Quite a noble goal no?
Day to day can be boring in regulatory settings, but this not true for everyone.
If you’re interested in an operations-like role, and pushing a ton of paperwork, this might be it for you.
Also, pay isn’t as good, but you can make a comfortable living and have a steady non-killer pace job.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds appealing to me. Work-life balance and all.
Your potential employers vary by the area in which you live and the jurisdiction they preside.
You could be a manager in charge of foreign exchange risk in a multinational company (a hedger).
You can be an international business researcher, maybe a professor of finance, economics, or international business.
Maybe you own or work for a brokerage firm specializing in retail fx traders.
Perhaps you develop and sell forex trading software to companies.
And we could go on and on about these. Variety makes them interesting.
The main 3 types of forex jobs are Professional Trader, Forex Analyst, and Forex Regulator.
All three get different joys out of their jobs.
The Pro Trader gets the most money, and gets to stay on top of the markets.
The Forex Analyst gets to persuade people about where the markets are going (essentially contributing to what happens next)- and they get paid too.
Regulators make the world a better place. But of the three, they get paid the least, on average. Don’t let this deter you though, it’s still a comfortable living, and higher ups can make some serious change.
Most other jobs related to forex can also be quite satisfying but the huge variety puts them beyond the scope of this article (I’ll write pages on these later).
Hope this helps.
See you soon,
The Forex Economist
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