Should I focus on becoming a programmer or a stock trader?
I’m uniquely qualified since I’ve done both — both have a several year learning curve.
You will need an aptitude for math, need to be able to learn quickly and adapt regardless, but if you want a steady paycheck, then being a programmer is more likely. However, if you can handle huge financial swings and can stomach the stress, stock trading may be for you.
Either way you go, it will require A LOT of patience and frustration to push through the learning process every time you fall on your face. On many occasions, you will question why in the world you are doing this to begin with.
For kicks and giggles, you can become a quant (which is programming automated trading signals). My current company Parabolic Capital is building a portfolio of “low frequency” automated strategies that select our stock picks with entry/stop/exit/position sizing as well as complex risk management.