Here's what it takes to be a great Wall Street trader

BlackRock electronic trading Bryan CameronBlackRockBlackRock’s Bryan Cameron.

What does it take to be a successful trader?

The ideal skill set for traders has changed a lot in recent years, especially in asset classes where more trading is done electronically.

Bryan Cameron, a vice president in equities trading at BlackRock, understands that.

Equities have been traded electronically for longer than most other asset classes, and he has learned the skills needed to complement the technology — and to remain a crucial part of his team.

Cameron told Business Insider what’s essential for the modern-day trader.

“What’s changed is the dependency on technology — the technology to support the scale of the business,” Cameron said.

He said it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of computer engineering and how BlackRock’s platforms and protocols function and interact with the market.

“What are some of the potential constraints? What are the opportunities and the challenges with leveraging that scale? With the vast amount of information available, it’s kind of easy to get lost in that universe, without being able to filter it down,” he said.

It’s also about having some vision for where the technology should go next.

That said, some qualities of the traditional trader are still important — things like being able to act and react quickly to market changes.

“Certain aspects of what historically has made a great trader will continue to make a great trader,” Cameron said.

“The ability to deal with and process vast amounts of information, filter it down into what’s important, and make informed decisions based on that in a live-time environment is a real skill.”

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