The financial sector appeals to a lot of young graduates hoping to make their fortune. Six-figure bonuses and early retirement are among the draw cards, but not everyone is cut out for the high- pressure lifestyle. Johnny Lou, director of the marketing department at Hantek International, has been in the business for more than 12 years and has seen some people make it big and others fall quickly. The secret to survival, he said, is good time management. 'You've got to be able to plan your day and manage your time well. During the day, you might do your paperwork and have ap pointments with your clients. At night, you do your trading and place orders. I have seen people who have good clients and a good income, but they fail because they don't know how to manage their time,' Mr Lou said. The first step to getting involved in the business is to get a forex licence from the Securities and Futures Commission. Hantek International has grown rapidly. In 1997 the company had only 40 employees; today the number has swelled to 500 and there are frequent job openings, especially in the marketing department. Fresh graduates can enter as an account executive trainee and are given a two-week training. If they pass a test and second inter view after the training, they can begin a two to three-month probationary period, during which they are given a monthly salary of $5,000-$7,000. As account executives, the onus is on them to find their own clients, often at seminars and exhibitions run by Hantek, and they earn commissions. 'To succeed in this area you've got to have a natural market sense, an aggressive personality and be quick thinking,' Mr Lou said. The alternative field is on the technical side, but the potential financial rewards are not as great. The starting salary ranges between $8,000 and $10,000, and there are no commission bonuses. This side of the business in volves researching the market and creating portfolios for clients. 'It is not unusual to find people move from the technical to the marketing side. If they have created a very good portfolio that the client likes and is accurate, showing more than 20 per cent return, they might ask to change departments so they can earn commission on their advice,' Mr Lou said. Preparing market reports and commentaries accounts for a large part of the job, thus a high standard of English is crucial. 'There are a lot of commentaries available on the Internet and the daily news, so it is important to offer something more subjective to highlight important trends,' Mr Lou said.