The rewarding part of my job comes from being able to make the best investment decision and carry out the best execution possible for the client.
I work at Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) in Singapore as a trader in the Trading & Market Strategies team. I am responsible for executing various investment products such as Equity, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Derivatives and Foreign Exchange etc… for our clients. I also provide market information and market color to the various investment teams.
The Trading & Market Strategies team mainly covers the Fundamental Equity and Quantitative Investment Strategies teams. We have day to day communication with the various investment teams and traders globally. The Trading & Market Strategies team and investment teams place great emphasis on open discussion, collaboration and teamwork. This has been the key driver that differentiates us from our competitors. I focus on all Asian markets including Japan and feel very lucky to work with the talented investors and analysts who can make sound investment decisions in difficult and complex market environments.
It is extremely important for me to understand the investment style of the various investment teams. The rewarding part of my job comes from being able to make the best trading decision and carry out the best execution possible for the client. This happens when I fully understand the portfolio manager’s investment theme and find a proper trading strategy to match the theme. It is very satisfying when the investment teams make decisions based on information I provided to them.
I get up at 5am and my day starts by checking the events and market news in Europe and U.S. I arrive at the office at 6:30am and my first task is to confirm orders from London and NY. If necessary I contact the NY trading desk or investment team to confirm the trading instructions or details. In the Asia region our team covers the investment teams in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and India. The various investment ideas in each region are formed into orders and fed to the Singapore trading desk by our skilled Portfolio Implementation team. The traders are required to analyze and predict market movements immediately from receiving the orders and we execute them at our discretion unless the investment team sends specific trade instructions. Trading in our region starts by 7am and continues until India/Pakistan markets close at 6-6:30pm Singapore time. After the markets close we deliver a summary of market color, news and information to the global investment teams. We also send e-mail communication to the NY traders to make sure all trades we send them are appropriately handled.
We also begin each day with team meetings to discuss the strategy we plan to use that day or week. The majority of my day after that is focused on analyzing market movements and executing orders with a break mid-day to update the team on the latest market news.
I started my career at a Japanese bank, working in the domestic branch for eleven months and then in the dealing room before I moved over to an investment bank. I wasn’t particularly looking for opportunities outside of that firm after I joined, however I learned about an available position in GSAM and was invited for interviews. As the interviews progressed it became clear that the position was not only a step up but the team was full of friendly, humble and talented people from entry level to senior manager level. These were the key factors that brought me to Goldman Sachs.
My first impression of GSAM was that it was very competitive in a good way. The team members were eager to achieve excellence for clients and were very open to sharing information within the team. It did not take long for me to understand why Goldman Sachs has such a fine reputation in the industry.
Long before I came to Goldman Sachs I knew that I wanted to be a professional trader. Although working at Goldman Sachs in particular was not something I had planned, I am grateful that I was presented with the opportunity to further my career here. The guidance given to me by my managers has been very helpful in shaping my career path so that it aligns with my interests and goals.
My advice for those interested in a finance career is to read newspapers and other publications so that you are always aware of what is happening in the industry. Also, talk with various people working in the industry and ask as many questions as possible. You’ll soon figure out if this is the right field for you!