Question: I would like to apply for a trainee position at a prop firm but have never traded. What should I do?

That’s a very common question. Before you apply for a job as a trader you want to make sure that this is what you want to do for a living. A little education and experience will help answer that.

So with that in mind, here is a list of things that you should cover before applying with with anyone.

Part 1:

Some preliminary reading. The first one has nothing to do with the markets, in the literal sense at least, but it’s a great metaphor for dedicating yourself to any pursuit.

The Secret Power Within – by Chuck Norris

Highly recommended.

Part 2:

The next one is an absolute classic. It’s now more than 20yrs old (man time flies, I remember when it came out!). The book is a group of interviews of successful traders. You’ll read about their wins, losses, how they got into trading and how they stayed there. A fantastic read:

Market Wizards – by Jack Schwager

Part 3:

Next up, read some theory on futures. Do this short course online:


Then, for more, Jack Schwager (the Market Wizards guy) also wrote a great book on futures.

Part 4:

Next up, technical analysis. Bottom line is you need to know about charts, basic chart patterns, candlesticks, levels and support/resistance. Don’t get too carried away and try to learn everything here. Keep it simple. Get something like this:


The first half of this book is more than enough.

Part 5:

During all of this, you may want to get your hands dirty with a demo trading system. As you do this, make sure you get a futures system, not FX or shares. The system should also have what they call DOM (aka the ladder or market depth).

The Chicago Merc has a downloadable trial of CQG Trader, and entry level futures trading platform. Here it is:

Then you need to know what you are looking at. You can learn all about DOM from the TradingCourses site. Sign up for a free membership and you’ll get the basics. A paid membership get you the mother ship.

That’s it! It’s a couple of weeks work at best. In this list we have:

  1. A book on the proper mindset.
  2. A book of interviews with traders.
  3. Some futures theory.
  4. Technical analysis.
  5. Trading with depth (DOM)

Hopefully all of that includes the ‘what, why and how’ – or at least enough to get you started.

Want more? Sign up to a paid subscription at The site is designed to give you more than what you need to get trading with a prop firm.