That’s a very good question you know.
Frankly: I doubt it very much.
Let me put it this way: I did all the subjects (credits) for my B.Comm (financial degree) (the idea back then was that I was going to become a Registered Accountant and Auditor but I never wrote the Accountants and Auditors Examination, known here in South Africa as the ‘Board Exam’ i.e. somehow I got 'sidetracked into the world of IT when the FIRST IBM XT computers came out). Obviously: economics was, if memory serves me correctly, at least three credits toward my degree (three years worth of economics). Alright: this was ‘in another life’ it’s that long ago!!! LOL!!! BUT: I can tell you that unless the subject matter has changed I don’t see how it could be of any use to a trader (who trades on the fundamentals). The study of economics (at least the way I did it back then) may give you a ‘general overview’ or ‘general understanding’ but insofar as it being any good to you as a trader is concerned: well I just don’t ‘see it’. But that’s just me. Let’s face it though: the likes of ‘the Ben Bernank’ (Ben Bernanke), Paulson, Greenspan??? Well: one can only ASSUME that whatever degrees they have must play a big role in their understanding of the fundamentals etc. But THEN AGAIN: they’re not traders (and not only that: after ‘sub-prime’ and the ‘credit-crunch’ one can ONLY wonder)!!! LOL!!!
Actually: you’ve asked a VERY good question!!! I mean: I’m just thinking about somebody like Jim Rogers. He’s a trader (although that’s debateable i.e. Jim Rogers will buy oil today and ‘sit on it’ for YEARS if needs be so is that TRADING or INVESTING)??? Does he have any qualifications??? I don’t know to be honest. But he has a certain ‘common sense’ or ‘feel’ or ‘talent’ or ‘understanding’ to make money out of this business (but as I said: is he TRADING or INVESTING i.e. there’s a big difference).
What I CAN tell you though (and I know a little about this simply because it’s my ‘dream job’ so I’ve done a lot of research on the subject): VERY few FLOOR TRADERS (and in my opinion and to be honest these are the ONLY REAL TRADERS in the world i.e. we just ‘ride their coattails’ really) are qualified as ANYTHING. A good floor trader is ‘streetwise’ and ‘streetsmart’ and ‘sharp’ and after spending enough time on the floor they ‘learn’ to ‘feel’ the ‘beat’ of the markets (of course I’m NOT talking about FOREX here) and ‘none of the above’ are you going to learn from a book I don’t believe.
But of course: there are hedge fund managers, analysts, etc. so there must be SOME merit in a finance degree??? Then again I’m sure you’ve heard the ‘old joke’ (I forget the exact numbers always quoted): you can have ten analysts in a room and get fourteen different opinions as to where the markets are likely to go!!! LOL!!!
I’ll tell you what always fascinates me though: just about every analyst that they have on Bloomberg or CNBC will ‘launch’ into a FANTASTIC explanation of, say, where a certain stock or stock index future is GOING to go, and explain the ‘fundamentals’ behind their reasoning and, then, in the last few seconds of their little ‘claim to fame’, they’ll show you a HUGE chart with Wilder’s RSI or ADX on it (which is PURE technical analysis)!!! LOL!!!
But to be honest: I hope that some others ‘chime in’ here. I mean: IS there INDEED some type of formal degree that would ‘make’ a good trader???
From a TECHNICAL (analysis) point of view: most of the ‘old timers’ who designed (in my opinion) the best technical trading systems in the world were qualified engineers (Wilder for one) or mathematicians. Stuff like that. Von Tharp has a PhD in ‘something’??? Alexander Elder has a doctorate in ‘something’??? Larry Williams (he’s just got ‘gut instinct’ and ‘the gift of the gab’ as far as I know)??? Bill Williams has a PhD in ‘something’???
This is (could be) a very interesting debate!!! Thanks for bringing it up!!!