Be a commodities trader


SMU has launched a course in commodities trading for its students, reported the Business Times today.

Students get to learn about things like agri-commodities, oil and energy products, transhipment of commodities, financing, and management of credit and operational risks.

I think it’s a good start.

As mentioned previously in the top 100 jobs in Singapore, the 75th-percentile commodities futures broker can make $10,000 per month. And this excludes bonuses and commissions.


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  1. Hi there,

    Am working as an IT manager for 5years now and thinking of switching to another job nature. What qualifications/education/knowledge do I have to pursue to become a commodities trader?

    Looking forward to your reply.


  2. Hi Libra,

    The short answer is that if you know the right people, you can get in pretty easily. I know of airline stewardesses who switched to commodities trading simply because of friends’ recommendations.

    Qualifications are secondary. Really.

    So, do you have friends in this line who can help you?

    Wishing you all the best.

  3. Hi there,
    I am an engineer. Decides for a career switch. I knew that academic qualifications are secondary to become a commodities trader. But that could also work against me, cause there is nothing you can work towards to embark on this career. Usually people who get into this lines are through friends. If a company is looking for one, usually it must come with prior experience. I would like to learn more about this line. Please revert. Thanks.

    Alan Tan

  4. Hi Alan, it’s quite hard if you do not know of people who can pull you in.
    If money is the motivation (nothing wrong with that), you might wish to look at alternative income sources while “working towards” or simply waiting for the commodities opportunity to happen.
    Or you can further your education, not just for education’s sake, but more for the purpose of knowing more people.

  5. A broker is a middleman.
    A trader on the other hand does trading on commodities (buy\sell)
    There are 2 types of traders. Proprietary traders and market traders
    Prop traders basically buy\sell accordin to what they think will be profitable.
    Market traders maximise profits from trade requirements set by their sales team.
    Dealer is usually an interchangeable term for trader.

  6. Hello

    Can I check are there any difference between start point 1: Students get to learn about things like agri-commodities, oil and energy products, transhipment of commodities, financing, and management of credit and operational risks.

    start point 2; commodities futures broker

  7. Hi,

    So does a broker make more money or the trader does? And what is the job scopy of a broker and a trader? Or should i say what is the differeces.

  8. Hi,P’ple,

    I am going for a job interview for commodities trading trainee broker. What should i be expecting as trainee in terms of job scope and salary expectation? I hold a degree in arts and I had be working for 5 years in administrative role.

  9. Hi Shirley,

    Given that you’re an arts grad..i was kinda surprised by your last sentence..”..and I had be working for 5 years in administrative role” It may seem very trivial, but it tells me that u’re not going to JPM..

    So if it’s a brokerage, my guess is your basic salary is probably ard $2.5k +/- given that you have no relevant experience. This is excluding your commissions/bonuses if it’s a sales role.

    A commodities broker, in short, is expected to build up a client base to trade commodities derivatives such as futures/options through you. A lot of relationship building and entertainment involved. Also, there are different fields of commodities such as soft commodities, energy, metals etc and you’re expected to read up and understand the field you will specialise in.

  10. Dear friends,

    After successfully trading commodities for 15 years, I have decided to leave behind all worldly pleasures to join a monastery. God bless all of you.


  11. Why bother working for trading firms, investment banks etc. If you are a smart commodity/forex trader, you can easily earn a few thousands every month. Being smart trader has absolutely no correlations with your IQ or paper qualification.

  12. Being a trader requires nothing more than knowing how the market behaves. To be a successful trader, you need that…PLUS…an institution or client base that has a large FUND for you to toy with.

    Assuming you don’t bankrupt them and have someone to handhold you for a while you should be able to make some profits for the principal and yourself.

    Its not exactly an intelligent trade although many traders delude themselves to behave like they are very intelligent people.

    More like a F1 car racer…nice car with a good driver. But before you can even drive, you need to have the car! People with very rich parents usually get the ‘car’ free. The others need LUCK.

  13. I have been looking into buying a trend predictor that works on commodities. Has anyone had an experience using a trend predictor? any help would be great!!!

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