For many jobs, there is a clearly defined education and skill set someone needs to perform it. An accountant needs to know about income taxes, bookkeeping and how to calculate product costs. If someone doesn’t have the necessary education, they can’t be an accountant.
However, the path to becoming a successful market trader is not so clearcut. Trading is not taught in college. In a way, it’s the opposite, because college professors don’t encourage calculated risk-taking.
Some of the people applying for jobs as a trading assistant at Raj Fernando’s Chopper Trading are job seekers. They’re also applying for positions at investment banks and consulting firms. However, Chopper wants to hire the people who are dedicated to trading as their life’s career. Therefore, he interviews candidates extensively to make sure they will fit in. Partly that’s because there is no clear-cut, specific skill set for becoming a successful trader. It does require good math skills, but it also requires a temperament that students cannot learn in school. They must function well despite the pressure. They must be able to plan, and yet think quickly when events happen they didn’t plan for.
Therefore, Raj Fernando spends lots of time talking to the applicants. He poses brain teasers to see how flexible their minds are and how quickly they speak on their feet. He also sounds them out to determine whether they really have an indepth knowledge of how the financial markets work. That alone is not enough to make someone a successful trader. But if they don’t know how the exchanges work, they haven’t been really interested.
Fernando is also a philanthropist who has supported the Wounded Warriors charity helping soldiers wounded while serving. He also helps Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chicago. The Illinois Holocaust Museum, the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and The Steppenwolf Theatre have also benefited from his charitable contributions. He has also donated to The Clinton Foundation.
He also works on issues of foreign policy and computer security. He is on the board of American Security Project. He’s with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Foreign Policy Leadership Committee.
For more information please visit http://www.rajfernando.com