Would You Hire Someone Who Scores 40%?

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So, do university degrees really matter? Well, if you’re hoping to work for a top firm, then apparently so. You see, a friend of mine is a senior manager at a big corporation. She got her start many years ago and worked her way through the ranks — much like I did, and maybe like you did as well.

But nowadays it’s different. She tells me the company’s policy is: No degree, no interview.

And we’re not talking about heads of department or board positions. Even the most junior staff need high-level qualifications. Now that’s a big ask, especially for entry level positions. Someone could have a lot to offer. But HR may not look beyond page one of their CV. That’s a hyper competitive marketplace.

I remember a similar issue when I was starting out. It was all to do with grades. You see, the top investment banks set the bar high. Graduates had to have degrees with a distinction average. While my grades were good, they didn’t meet the standard.

But you see, I had a stroke of luck. A friend was already working for a leading bank. He knew there was an opening for a part-time role and he put my name forward.

Well, the introduction made all the difference. I was able to speak directly to the head of a trading desk. While my grades were of interest, it was his overall impression that got me the job. Sure, degrees and grades are important. But you often need to consider other factors to get the full picture.

And do you know what? Trading is no different. But just like some employers, many people have a narrow view of what success looks like. Let me give you an example.

Now, this encounter took place a few years ago at a wedding. I got talking to a guest about trading. His goal was to quit his job at a telco to trade fulltime. I was a trader at Bankers Trust back then, and my new friend was keen to know all about it.

One of his questions sticks in my mind to this day. He asked what strike rate I was getting on my trades. In other words, he wanted to know what portion of my trades made money. Without a second thought, I said about 35 to 40%. I remember his response vividly. He said, ‘Oh, that’s honest.’

There was a moment’s pause. The response just wasn’t what I was expecting. Then it struck me. He thought a low strike rate was bad. In his mind, I was saying that I wasn’t a good trader.

So I then added some key information. I told him my average winning trade was more than three times my average loss. This meant I was actually a very profitable trader. I also said many of my colleagues had similar strike rates.

But I can understand the confusion. The internet is full of ads for all sorts of trading services. Many of them claim to have exceptional win rates. This often bolsters the belief that high strike rates equal success.

Yes, metrics like grades and strike rates are important. But they are just one factor. Success often comes down to a blend of skills. For a trader, this could include their strategies for taking profits, cutting losses, spreading risk, and managing emotions.

So if you’re researching a trading strategy, make sure you always look beyond a strike rate. You’ll find there’s often a lot more to the story.

Now that’s all for this week. If you’re watching this anywhere other than my website motiontrader.com.au then come over and check it out. That’s where I have all the free stuff. I think you’ll like what you find. And if you liked this video, or even if you didn’t, scroll down and let me know what you thought. Maybe give me a thumbs up, or thumbs down, whatever you think.

So until next time, I’m Jason McIntosh, and let’s find some trends this week.


Meet Jason

I'm Jason McIntosh, the creator of Motion Trader. My career began in 1991 on the trading floor at Bankers Trust. Nowadays, I trade my own systems from home in Sydney. 
Motion Trader is for investors who value robust analysis, data driven entry and exit signals, commentary, and education. I use engineered algorithms to identify when to buy and sell ASX stocks. No biases or guesswork, just data driven signals.