What does a financial trader do? We spoke to David Corben at Spreadex to find out…

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If you want to know what your broker does all day. Here’s what a day in the life of a Spreadex financial trader looks like…

What does a typical day look like as a financial trader?

On the equity desk a typical shift involves arriving for 7am to go through the RNS (Regulatory News Service announcements from listed companies) that are released so they can be read, digested and released to the necessary clients who are either in the stock or have shown an interest in the company.

Due to the leveraged nature of spread betting any good or bad news can have a significant impact on a client’s P&L.

Corporate Actions that affect client positions need to be actioned and clients informed of the amendments to their positions. Sizeable orders can arrive from the off so preparedness is of necessity.

The market open is when most of the liquidity and volatility can occur for equities and this is when we will take a large proportion of orders. Clients should be aware though they can call or place orders before the market opens.

The remainder of the day pans out dependent on further micro or macro news. Every day is different and although you can be primed for expected announcements, you need to remain focussed and vigilant to any news that can move the markets or an individual stock you have exposure to.

What markets do you enjoy trading the most?

Clients will typically spread bet on equities with the potential for large returns. Steady dividend paying stocks are not what a spread better looks to bet on. I enjoy trading both orders with the larger notional values but also the smaller ones where there is a chance to use our expertise to get the best price for the client.

What’s the best part of being a financial trader?

I enjoy the fast-paced nature of the role and that no day can be taken for granted. Every day is different dependent on micro and macro news but as long as you are well researched and prepared then you can offer the clients the best possible service.

What about the worst?

Periods of low volatility can lead to a reduced level of trading. Spread betting by its very nature relies on market swings to produce trade volumes. Quiet market periods though give rise to the opportunity to meet clients and then further develop relationships with them so we are both singing from the same hymn sheet.

And finally, to any traders out there. What top three resources would you recommend to get great data and analysis for trading.

Bloomberg and Reuters terminals are still the forefront resources for information and analysis. However, the cost could outweigh the benefits.

In the past few years Twitter and blog sites such as Stocktwits, ADVFN, Share Prophets etc. have allowed traders to share their opinions and trades with others on an open forum. Old school newspaper handles such as the FT still offer themselves as a reliable resource.

Spreadex’s website has an excellent analysis section which provides economic diaries, chart analysis and trading blogs which traders will find of much benefit.

David Corben is a financial trader at Spreadex. For more information read our Spreadex review.

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Richard started the Good Broker Guide in 2015 and has been a broker for 20 years most recently at Investors Intelligence and previously a multi-asset derivatives broker at MF Global (Man Financial). Richard started his career working as a private client stockbroker at Walker Crips and Phillip Securities (now King and Shaxson) after interning on the NYMEX oil trading floor in New York and London IPE in 2001 & 2000.