Day Trading experience for Prop Firm for CFA requirements

I was wondering if Day Trading experience with a Prop firm’s money will be counted towards work experience for the CFA charter requirements. Did any one already try this and get accepted? Thanks

i’m pretty sure that it doesn’t. i’ve heard of some people having trouble getting this experience accepted. the thinking is that you’re not employed in the traditional sense as your pay is 100% reliant on self-rewarding trading success. due to the fact that a lot of junior prop traders sit around and make very few trades, its tough to prove to CFAI that this counts as real experience. also, CFAI’s experience wording has something about 50% or more of the job duties must have to do with the investment recommendation process. since a prop trader makes no recommendations and the trades are self-serving, by their definition, the experience is unlikely to be counted.

i was a prop trader for a while and agree that it probably shouldn’t be included as many do not actually attain any tangible experience. best of luck. please let me know if the experience is accepted, for future reference.

It seems very strange that this would not qualify for CFA work experience. People in accounting, audit or settlements have gotten approved. It seems like you just need to say “stock trader, XXX Company. I researched market conditions and made investment decisions”.

Thanks Matt and Ohai. The manager at the prop firm meets a lot of CFA candidate, and his opinion was that it will not count towards work experience requirements.

I just felt it falls under the guidelines give on the CFAI website: Evaluating or applying financial, economic, and/or statistical data as part of the investment decision-making process involving securities or similar investments, which includes, but is not limited to, publicly traded and privately placed stocks, bonds, and mortgages and their derivatives; commodity-based derivatives and mutual funds; and other investment assets, such as real estate and commodities, if these other investment assets are held as part of a diversified, securities-oriented investment portfolio.

In my opinion - Day trading may not be acceptable because a lot of times it is purely speculative. And in my experience I have not applied any thing I learned for my level 1 exam in my day trading job.

You’re making investment decisions with other people’s money. I would have thought for sure that this would count towards CFAI work experience.

You say “it is purely speculative”, so won’t apply. You’re not flipping a coin though right?

If you’re making investment decisions (and trading is very short term investment), then it qualifies. Investments that are speculative tend to be high risk, but as long as you have some kind of positive return expectation and you thinking about the balance between risk and reward, it’s investment.

Note that CFAI doesn’t require you to have successful work experience in the industry. You could work for four years at a fund that lost money every day and contributed horrible decisions, but the work experience would almost certainly count (hopefully after completing the curriculum, you would have some ideas about why those decisions were horrible or what went wrong).

i think that because you have a 50% or greater participation in the earnings of the investment decisions (as is typical in prop trading) it would be considered trading in your own account for the purpose of judging whether its “qualifying experience” or not. if you have a majority position in the benefits of the account, how is it different than trading in your own account, or a joint account with partner or friend? in the same way that you don’t necessarily have to get your trades approved by your trade manager, you don’t need to get your trade approved by anyone in your own account. since there is no real management, you are not employed in the traditional sense, and working at a prop trading firm is no different than using dad’s money to trade, when determining whether its a qualifying job or not.

Didn’t the OP say it was the prop firm’s money? That would seem to meet the standard.

Are you using anything from L1-3 to make investment decisions in your Day Trading activities? If so, I definitely think it would count! Go back to your CFA books and reference the specific LOS’s that apply to your daily activities and responsibilities?

(i.e. Do you use Technical Analysis? Reference the LOS on TA from L1 Quant!)

Hey, what pop firm do trade with?