University of Toronto Trader Workshop – Lessons Learned from University Traders



This past week, I got invited by the Hart House Investment Club at the University of Toronto to speak to a group of university students and to share my trading experiences with them. I want to take this opportunity to share with you what was discussed at this workshop and why these university students may have what it takes to succeed as traders. I’ve been an entrepreneur ever since I was young as I never liked the thought of working for anyone besides myself. What I shared with these university students is the thought that perhaps, rather than consider a career in the corporate world such as investment banking or becoming an analyst, they should maybe consider becoming an independent trader who works for himself. Many people go through school to graduate and then to find a 9 to 5 job. There’s nothing wrong with that but some people graduate from school and want to pursue a more entrepreneurial path. This is why trading could be that path for many students coming out of college/university or even high school. I’ve had the chance to interact with a few students after the workshop and some told me that they are only going to university because their parents told them that is the way to get a good job and be financially secure. However, we know that nowadays there’s no security in any job as you can be easily laid off from your job at anytime.

Another topic discussed was to become an expert in a specific area in trading. There are so many ways to make money in the financial markets. There are thousands of stocks listed in the US Stock Market and there’s no way anyone can become familiar with all of them. There are numerous profitable trading strategies as well as different trading instruments such as stocks, options, futures etc… So how can you become an expert in all of them and expect to make money? It’s simple. You become a trader expert in a specific sector/market with a certain trading strategy using a certain trading instrument. For example, you could choose to focus on trading the Gold sector with a Momentum trading strategy using Futures Contracts. Once you choose a specialty, practice trading it and monitor your progress. Track your trading results and if you find that you’re profitable then you’ve just become an expert.

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Lastly, I’ve spoken about how these university students may have what it takes to succeed as traders. Why do I think that? Well, one important reason was a lot of the students expressed an interest in becoming a trader not because of the potential financial rewards but rather their interest in how the financial markets work. It’s their interest in developing their trading skills and to get good at developing a profitable trading strategy. Basically, they are not just driven by money but rather they believe that if they are good at trading, money will follow. ¬†Often times, people merely work at their jobs for the money even if its something they don’t like. This leads to them becoming dissatisfied with their jobs and not wanting to become the best at what they do. My suggestion is if trading is your passion, focus on developing a specific trading skill and become the best trader you can be.