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Wait, Do “Discretionary Traders” Still Exist? Isn’t It All Automated Now?

Reading everything above, you might now be asking, “I thought all trading was becoming automated. Why do human traders even exist?”

The not-so-short answer is:

  1. Yes, a lot of trading is automated via software that calculates the Greeks, inputs market data, and quotes bid-ask spreads.
  2. However, human traders still need to tweak algorithmic parameters, manage risk and hedges, and find new opportunities.
  3. The degree of automation varies based on the product; equities are highly automated, while options use a mix of automated and manual trading.
  4. And different prop trading firms do it differently, with some acting more like software companies and others acting more like tech-supported trading firms.

All that said, “Trader” and “Developer” are still distinct roles at these firms.

Even if you’re a “Quant Trader,” you’ll still be doing less programming than the full-time Developers.

Developers get more job security and less daily stress, but their compensation is also lower.

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