Capital Asset Exchange and Trading (CAE) Trader Reviews | Glassdoor

Capital Asset Exchange and Trading (CAE) Trader Reviews

Updated March 3, 2017
47 reviews

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3.6
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Ryan Jacob
31 Ratings

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Pros
  • Amazing business model, and growing (in 4 reviews)

  • highly intelligent colleagues -- everyone there knows how to win -- culture of success and winning by any means necessary (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Crazy long hours, abusive management, really tough market which led to minimal sales, tons of turnover (in 9 reviews)

  • There is almost no work-life balance, and "trading" here leaves you with very few transferrable career skills, going forward (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "Capital Asset Trader"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Capital Asset Trader in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Capital Asset Trader in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Capital Asset Exchange and Trading (CAE) full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I relocated to Austin, TX this past year to join CAE as a Trader. I'm definitely happy with my time here so far. As for the pros, I would say:
    1. solid group of peers. Theyve hired a lot of new traders this year so there is a great group of guys who are in the same boat as me. Each of us seem to be having a pretty good level of success so far.
    2. the pay structure is really as good as advertised. i was skeptical but i have been on the receiving end of some nice bonuses already, and there are some other newer traders who have done significantly better than i have and made more money.
    3. they've rolled out some new software tools to help identify potential opportunities which really help you get off your feet before youve developed some accounts.

    Cons

    1. there is a steep learning curve and not much sympathy when you don't have deals even if your new. i will say they are still nicer about it than the managers at my last firm. i think it is this way at any firm when youre in a position expected to bring in revenue
    2. hard to get much time off as a newer trader. this was told to me from the start so not an issue but some people could see it as a con.

    Advice to Management

    keep bringing in good people


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Most Likely Not Worth the Problems - Preserve Your Sanity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - "Trader" in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - "Trader" in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Capital Asset Exchange and Trading (CAE) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    As other reviews have stated, there is a possibility to make good money at CAE. This is the only reason I can objectively not give CAE the lowest possible review, because some people actually do value the possibility of money over their sanity and well-being.

    Some of the coworkers were cool. Benefits were fairly good. When you leave (you will), you can easily explain in interviews that you've dealt with great pressure and arduous hours under shaky management.

    Cons

    I cannot, in good conscience, recommend to anyone that they overlook the glaringly negative reviews for the falsified positives, and join CAE. When you leave in 1/2-2 years, you'll be in the same position you are now, but possibly with slightly more cash.

    Yes, there is money to be made, but it's just as likely that you won't make much. There is very little correlation between skill and compensation - unless you're a senior guy with many accounts, success at CAE is mainly luck, by way of stumbling across a valuable deal. If you're not senior, you'll likely spend many long hours aimlessly pestering clients, sometimes even blatantly lying to them at the direction of the management. Sometimes, it's right place, right time, and a client will hand you a great deal; more often though, they'll beg or demand that CAE please leave them alone. (CAE doesn't have a very favorable industry reputation, as it's almost protocol to lie to/manipulate your clients. Many of the big industry end users refuse to speak to CAE at all.)

    Unfortunately, most of the negative reviews of CAE on here are true, and I have a hard time believing the positive ones were not written by CAE management to tilt the reviews in their favor. Management loves telling everyone how things have changed and will continue to, going forward. I saw no difference in my time there between what I had read of CAE before I was there and when I was there, and also from how I was told it would change when I began to how it was when I left. The more-tenured employees will tell you the same.

    This is a very materialistic, dog-eat-dog environment. Your coworkers will go behind your back to close a deal, if they can. And usually, if they do close it, there's no recourse against them. The top traders are successful, but almost everyone else knows they're expendable, and will be fed to the wolves when the CEO has one of his characteristic, unhinged temper tantrums. Make no mistake, you will be a pawn to them.

    There is almost no work-life balance, and "trading" here leaves you with very few transferrable career skills, going forward. The wiser ones in life will always tell you to pursue something you're passionate about, rather than chasing money. CAE is a living, breathing example of how true that adage really is. As much as I wish I never joined CAE even though I did make good money, I'm glad I learned this.

    Advice to Management

    The CEO is a bright guy, but his leadership and tendencies are borderline sociopathic. He's fairly unstable, honestly.

    My advice is to stop being so incredibly shortsighted to close a quick deal. Maybe consider acting in a humane way with your clients, and even some of your own employees. It might sound crazy, but honesty and respect are fairly valued in this world. Relationships are more important than closing one deal. Who knows, you may close a few more with them if they still respect you after dealing with you once.

    You have a unique position in a niche market. If you actually made the changes you've long claimed to have made, maybe you'd become something lasting. Instead, you haven't sold the company yet, because your market value continues to drop, as your client base dwindles, all because of your inability to value clients and see the big picture.


  3. Helpful (8)

    "An honest account (positive and negative)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Trader in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Trader in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Capital Asset Exchange and Trading (CAE) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I have read the positive and negative reviews. Some of the positive reviews overstate the strengths, some of the negative reviews seem, well, made-up. CAE has never, for example, hired 30 people per month, and it’s nothing like the 4 year old lawsuits allege (if it were, the plaintiffs would have gone to trial).
    I experience CAE in this way:
    • Great training program. Ann does a great job with launch training, David is really helpful when you get into the market
    • Lots of market work: every day, we present our VP, sometimes our CEO, with a market assessment that looks for an undervalued asset or a buyer-driven situation. It’s hard to figure out, and we need more tools, but it’s interesting
    • Tons of deal strategy and negotiation: we are constantly working through deal – what people in the market are doing, what our buyers/sellers are doing, and how we get deals done. There is a lot of internal and external competition and team work
    • Compensation is very high: bonuses are paid monthly (50% when deals fund, 50% when the asset arrives at a client sight), and, in my opinion, I am doing well

    Cons

    The pressure is high here. Monday meetings are intense. The trading floor can be intense and should probably be a little more professional at times. There is some swearing. However, it’s not personal and I’ve never seen anyone dressed down on the floor. I have never been.
    One thing I have noticed is that people turn super negative and aggressive when fired. A lot of these guys just didn’t have it. I think, when I talk to the one’s I know, most of the negativity is about moving to a job afterwards that probably doesn’t pay as much, or where they don’t have the same opportunity. A large portion of this negative stuff is made up. I have never had a trader that is doing well leave or be removed – it tells you a little bit about the former traders on this site.

    Advice to Management

    Please continue to do what you are doing. It has been a unique experience to watch CAE grow and mature into a world class organization.


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  5. Helpful (17)

    "Former Trader"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Capital Asset Trader in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Capital Asset Trader in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    1. salary and bonus structure exceptionally high -- unlikely to find one this generous in any comparable industry
    2. highly intelligent colleagues -- everyone there knows how to win -- culture of success and winning by any means necessary
    3. competitions with prizes that would be viewed as obscene at any other company -- first class travel, ferrari/lambo rental, cash on top of monthly bonuses

    Cons

    1. not much sympathy for people who can't make it -- they train people well, but if you dont do well in a competitive environment you probably wont feel comfortable there
    2. skills not directly transferable to normal commodities trading, however if you are one of the people who understand this market, then you realize that this is more or less the point of why they like this industry -- it is highly illiquid and inefficient compared to any of the commodities markets that you have heard of, and this is precisely why they are able to capture such ridiculous margins on each of their deals.

    Advice to Management

    1. make sure candidates understand the culture that they are getting in to. Not for the faint of heart. You will be challenged here -- dont join if you are the type to look towards external factors if you do not succeed. there is a process that breeds success here, the faster you can adapt and learn it, the better.


  6. Helpful (16)

    "Senior Trader"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Capital Asset Trader in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Senior Capital Asset Trader in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Capital Asset Exchange and Trading (CAE) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    1. Pay
    2. Colleagues
    3. Fulfillment
    4. Acquired skills
    5. Deal Management
    6. Comraderie
    7. Data Team (24 hour coverage)

    Cons

    1. Stress
    2. Meritocracy (some would view this as a con; the system is designed to be a level playing field)
    3. Data Team ( this is a pro as well as a con -- they could be more accurate).
    4. Settlement handoffs could be improved
    5. Rule book (there are some gray areas that could be improved)

    Advice to Management

    1. More company happy hours would be appreciated
    2. More interoffice travel would also be nice -- it would be good to get to know the CA employees better


  7. Helpful (15)

    "Trader"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Trader in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Trader in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - High uncapped bonus payouts
    - Smart and energetic co-workers
    - Work with businesses and clients around the world
    - Great business model
    - Excellent chance for advancement
    - Life changing experience

    Cons

    I do not have much to add here. I was hired 14 months ago with three other Traders. . Three are still here and I don't see us leaving anytime soon.

    Advice to Management

    Please continue to improve this world class organization. Continue to coach and mentor new Traders . Keep the monthly competition going.


  8. Helpful (15)

    "I am addicted to trading"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Capital Asset Trader in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Capital Asset Trader in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Capital Asset Exchange and Trading (CAE) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I love what we're doing at CAE. We trade capital assets in the semiconductor market and related industries. The market is massively inefficient and we have a huge informational advantage. I spend most of my time thinking through deal strategy, figuring out valuation, and going through tough negotiation. I like acting as a principal. I am totally free to set pricing, negotiate deals, and work one what I think makes sense. I cannot imagine myself in another role. The money is ridiculous.

    Cons

    I think this business is tough. The emotional ups and downs involved in trading are hard. I felt lost for a long time because you have to learn by doing - a lot of people do not make it through that period. Management is tough. They are demanding and expect us to get extreme results. I like that, but it's hard to handle. I hear we used to change direction and such a lot, I don't see that. Sometimes, finding a deal can become very monotonous. I don't always love 10 hours per day.

    Advice to Management

    You need a new process for helping traders manage the inevitable dips in performance. I've had ups and downs and I don't think manage helped me when I was down. Maybe that was the point, but I would like it to be different.


  9. Helpful (16)

    "I made $350,000 my first year"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Trader in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Trader in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Capital Asset Exchange and Trading (CAE) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I almost act as a principal in my deals with little oversight
    Intense negotiation with counter parties
    Deal strategy is exciting, interesting
    We are taking market share and winning in the market

    Cons

    Tons of work
    Management can be very intense, focused on deals and closings
    High internal competition

    Advice to Management

    We need to continue to be aggressive, but it would be nice to have more positive reinforcement


  10. Helpful (19)

    "Excellent opportunity and business, very smart people, and very demanding"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Capital Asset Trader in Redwood City, CA
    Current Employee - Capital Asset Trader in Redwood City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Capital Asset Exchange and Trading (CAE) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Extremely high, uncapped bonuses
    - Extremely bright people
    - Learn transferable deal skills, negotiation, and client service
    - Travel to Europe, Asia regularly
    - Work with clients all over the world
    - Amazing business model, and growing

    Cons

    - Management pushes us very hard to get results
    - Trading is a tough business to manage emotionally
    - I would like more feedback
    - Internal rules for managing competition need to be improved
    - Technology improvement needs to continue

    Advice to Management

    - Keep improving communication
    - Clearer promotion path for new people
    - We need more weekly competitions
    - The new training program is excellent, but needs to be expanded to existing people


  11. Helpful (14)

    "Excellent opportunity if you are the right fit"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Capital Asset Trader in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Capital Asset Trader in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Capital Asset Exchange and Trading (CAE) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    This is the most interesting job I've ever done. You have to be genuinely motivated and engaged by the market opportunity, otherwise this simply isn't a fit. Very aggressive comp plan with uncapped bonuses for traders irrespective of tenure or seniority. The broader team is exceedingly talented. Benefits are pretty standard - nothing too impressive.

    Cons

    Performance targets are set very high and there isn't any room for mediocrity. Work/life balance can be strained for some new traders.

    Advice to Management

    You can do a better job defining career paths and building out individual skillets. Continue to build out the technology.