“As the female trading community continues to grow, we’re all very supportive of each other. There is a fantastic sisterhood element in this field.”
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day 2021, celebrated on March 8th, is ‘Choose to Challenge.’ As women across the globe highlight the importance of challenging injustice and inequality, we sat down with a trailblazing leader in the predominately male-led field of stock trading. Options trader Sarah Glass shared with us how she has made it to the top of her field and the importance of mentorship and women-leaders in the future of the industry.
1.) What is an options trader and how did you get started in this career field?
An options trader is a trader, retail or institutional, who trades stock options or uses options as hedges. Options differ from stocks as they are contracts to buy or sell the underlying stock, at a certain strike price, and have an expiration date.
At the very beginning of my career, I was introduced to stock options by an institutional stock options trader at one of the big banks in Canada. I was lucky enough to be trained by an institutional trader and since then, I have mentored many retail traders in the industry. Trading and teaching stock options to those who want to achieve financial freedom is hands down my passion in life.
“Trading and teaching stock options to those who want to achieve financial freedom is hands down my passion in life.”
2.) What types of hurdles have you had to overcome because you are a female in this field?
The finance industry is very heavily dominated by males. However, we’ve recently seen a large increase in female traders, especially with the influx of new retail traders since COVID-19 related quarantine hit.
It was hard at first for me to gain the respect of a masculine field when I started my career. As women, we are sometimes easily overlooked. However, as I became a better trader and shared my knowledge and analysis with male students, I quickly started to be recognized and respected. I think this trend will continue for all female traders as more of us continue to enter and perhaps even dominate this industry.
3.) Why is options trading a good career for women?
Being an options trader is a fantastic career for women because it can help us achieve financial freedom. I believe a lot of women feel like they have ten jobs — motherhood, wife, career, etc. If you can learn how to trade options and are passionate about it, you only have to trade a couple of hours a day, which gives you the freedom to cater to your other ten jobs. Also, I’ve found that as the female trading community continues to grow, we’re all very supportive of each other. There is a fantastic sisterhood element in this field.
“The character traits necessary to become an options trader are discipline, determination, passion, and just a love of the trade (pun intended).”
4.) What are the character traits necessary to become a great options trader?
The character traits necessary to become an options trader are discipline, determination, passion, and just a love of the trade (pun intended). If your dream is to become a successful options trader and you have these characteristics, the dream is very attainable, even if you don’t have a strong financial background.
5.) What similar career areas might also be of interest for women thinking about becoming an options trader?
Long-term stock investing is a bit safer for those who are risk averse. Starting to build your portfolio in blue-chip stocks to hold for many years to come is a great way to build wealth, as well as earn passive income by collecting dividends.
6.) What is your best advice for women who want a career in options trading?
My best advice is to never give up, and never trade more than what you’re comfortable losing. You will have losses, that’s unavoidable, but as long as your gains outweigh your losses and you stick to your trading plan, you can make a career out of this and join our growing female trader community.
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