With the stock market improving, more and more consumers are feeling more confident about trading and finances in general. With consumer interest on the rise, this is a great time to look at a career in the financial sector. The Dow topped 17,000 points in July for the first time ever as a result of this consumer confidence and a positive outlook on jobs throughout the country. The lessons learned from the recession have also given many Houstonians an impetus to work on saving for retirement, creating more need for financial planners and others who know the markets.

Houstonian Andrew Reich has been working as a trade support analyst at JP Morgan Chase for six years, dealing with the natural gas trading within the Houston, Calgary and New York offices. He offers advice for others interested in a similar career.

What does your current job entail?  

“Performing various support functions for a natural gas trading desk, including verification of trade entry and diagnosis of system issues.”

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?  

“Many people who are in roles similar to mine have finance degrees. I believe my economics background helps me to ask questions that others don’t immediately think of. The general ability to notice and identify trends in data can be extremely useful in monitoring trade entry and reconciling large amounts of trade data.”

Have you participated in any form of continuing education?  

“Nothing outside of the basic training modules offered by my employer.”

Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a similar career?

“If you have a background in finance or economics, I would recommend looking for openings in any sort of trade support or settlements. Settlements in particular is typically easy to start without experience. Working as a settlements analyst will introduce you to the basics of the industry and give you the opportunity to meet the people in charge of teams that you might find interesting to work with. With a little patience and networking, it can open doors to many opportunities on and around a trading desk.”

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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