Advice for starting a trading career wanted

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by cdgtrader, Mar 14, 2002.

  1. cdgtrader


    Thanks for your opinions all. They all make sense. The excitement and appeal of career day trading can lead to rash decisions, especially for young people. I've already made some of my own and I'm paying for them. I appreciate your cautions and they help me keep my perspective. I am, however, set on trading as a career (eventually), whether it be futures or stocks, a prop firm or in some other manner. I guess the questions I am really asking are these-

    -I do plan to finish school and find a steady job afterwards, but I also want to pursue and prepare for a career in trading as much as possible Right Now. Even if I can't or won't trade full-time for many months or years, as I'm sure I'll occupy other jobs before this is even a possibility, I want to do what I can now to quicken the process and make it easier on myself if and when the opportunity actually arrives. What things can I do, where can I go, and who can I see now to further my ambition and gain experience? Anything from workshops or educational programs I can attend, to types and locations of related entry-level jobs or trainee programs, to really anything and everything (as little a tip as it may be) that will payoff in the future. Some of you already gave me some good ideas, and I'll just say thanks and ask for more. I am open and appreciative of any input from you all who have been there or are well on they're way. Thanks again.
    #11     Mar 15, 2002
  2. DblArrow


    This of course is one mans opinion.

    BS? That again is a matter of opinion. I would be willing to bet that I lost less money in my 4 1/2 yr learning curve than in the above 3 1/2 months. A little clarification - the learning curve came during which I was holding down a regular 9-5 therefore, it took me a bit longer to get to the point where I wanted to be to start fulltime. But my objective was to learn to trade! I wanted it - I now have it.

    Suicide? Why? Because you do not understand and benefit from the leverage? For DAYTRADING I would still reccommend futures. It can be had, IN MY OPINION, easier in this market.

    You guys who trade the stocks almost always mention the "better market environment" when you started. The futures market environment is esentually the same today, yesterday and tommorrow. I can short 10 times easier than you guys can. Don't have to worry if the broker has the stock I want to sell! And no uptick! Still better for DAYTRADING , IN MY OPINION!!

    Geez, Hitman relax a little!
    #12     Mar 15, 2002
  3. Trader 99! Just wondering why leave an institutional career for daytrading? Just personnal curiosity!
    #13     Mar 15, 2002
  4. Predictor,

    Just wondering why leave an institutional career for daytrading?

    I don't think anyone is suggesting that(at least not me). Before
    I would start trading on my own, I would get in a MM training program or start at a hedge fund. Once you get the knowledge and your skill level improves, think about going on your own. We
    have many traders in our firm(including myself) who come from
    a MM or hedge fund background. For many traders, there is less pressure and more reward trading for yourself. If you are in the fast track as an institutional sales/trader, of course you would not want to leave providing the situation is working well for you.

    Gene Weissman
    Lieber & Weissman Sec.,L.L.C.
    #14     Mar 15, 2002
  5. If you really want to trade stocks, you should graduate so you have something to fall back on, then you can go to scottsdale and look into the firms there. There are many firms in the area that would cater to you. I am at Andover and we have a beginner program that is a good, competitive deal. We have successful traders who continue to make money in this hard environment, but there is a catch. We have a lot of ASU grads and we all do well, but our one UA guy is struggling dearly. You might want to tranfer to a better university before you are corrupted down there in Tucson. That would probably give you a better chance at success.

    Futures have dried up just as much as stocks. Listen in on the pits and watch the movement, there is nothing going on on the floors. A s+ps local trader came in the office the other day visiting a friend and mentioned how the futures pits are dead, he has gone from making 5-6k a day easily to trying to make a grand. And this is a local that has been in the pits since 86, he knows how to trade.
    #15     Mar 15, 2002
  6. trader99


    Predictor wrote:

    "Trader 99! Just wondering why leave an institutional career for daytrading? Just personnal curiosity!"

    Nowadays, I wonder about that question a LOT! hehe.

    But seriously, prop trading/daytrading offers the ultimate FREEDOM. You come to work at 6am and leave at 1PM PST.

    1)You answer to nobody except your performance in the market.

    2) There are no need to write reports, give presentations to boss, board members, and institutional clients.

    3) No long term projects, deadlines,etc. At the end of the day, you are done.

    It's a very non-bureacratic world that just boils down to your daily P/L. I liked that concept a lot.

    But right now, I'm kinda struggling at it, because I don't have the usual technology support that I have at it the past. I just to be quantitative area so I'm used to having lots of technology and automated execution even. I think I have an OK strategy, but it's just that i'm NOT emotionally disciplined enough to carry it out.
    And I'm still trying to get used to the intrady volatility etc.

    So, hopefully, I'll learn to be more disciplined or somehow I can get a more automated execution platform.

    But I guess if all fails, then I'll be back to the institutional world with the stable salary and bonuses and doing a lot of more extra work.

    And the dream of ultimate freedom dies... or at least lay dormant for years to come until I"m more financially secure...

    #16     Mar 15, 2002
  7. Lots of great advice on this you should be able to get something going....
    here's what I did: had never taken any business classes, but after a small stint in the psychology field after school wanted to try something different. A friend of the family was a broker and made a decent living. So I got a job at a chop shop retail firm. Which was one of the craziest jobs I've ever had. Learned nothing about the markets , but after 2months could have sold a uni-cycle to a man with no legs. After figuring out that I didn't want to rob people I got a job at a big retail firm. The reason they hired me? I just didn't take no for an answer...after a few years you realize that a retail broker is just a salesman..but I fell in love with the lucky(this was 97-99) made some $ and thought I'd make a good day trader.
    Then reality struck. I left my firm in August of 2000. Right smack in the middle of a great bear market. Which would have been ok, but when you're a retail broker you have LOD(long only disease). So I got my a** handed to me. Somehow I stayed afloat, learned from my mistakes. Managed to make back the losses and actually make some $ for a few months.
    Now here I a pro I get 100% of profits and take 100% of the losses. My opinion: being a daytrader is possible. Very difficult, but possible.
    My suggestion is read posts from people who really do this for a living. I'm sure that here are more but these are the guys I know for sure: Hitman, Rtharp, Praetorian2,trader99, and well mine too
    also read Gene Weissman's posts..he's been around the block(probably more than anybody) and on all sides...and IMO will give you the story with no BS
    Finally, if I were you and had little $, I would go to w/ Hitman...I'm sure he could get you involved with a great deal...learn the ropes
    Trading can be a great job..all the freedom you want(which is what I love the most)...but it's not easy. If it was everybody would be doing it. Wow, this is my logest post ever. Frozen pizza is ready, need to get back out to the pub! Good luck!
    #17     Mar 15, 2002
  8. carlp


    A couple of the posts referred to Hitman's trading journals.

    I'd like to read them.

    How do I get there?

    #18     Mar 15, 2002
  9. Magna

    Magna Administrator

    #19     Mar 16, 2002
  10. <i>So I got a job at a chop shop retail firm... learned nothing about the markets , but after 2months could have sold a uni-cycle to a man with no legs. After figuring out that I didn't want to rob people...</i>

    haha, me too. Have you seen <i>Boiler Room</i>? Did they teach you those same closes? "You have to ask your wife? Who wears the pants in your family?"

    I remember after cold calling a couple hundred numbers, I would FINALLY get someone who would maybe give me money - and then the choice would be between selling them a real stock like GE or IBM or some crap that my boiler room firm underwrote. With the real stock I would make about $30. With the garbage from the firm inventory, the juice would be huge. I remember conference calls that would announce 25-50% commission on a stock for the rest of the day. So if the clients sends you $10K to invest, you make $2.5-5K. Gee, guess how those stocks performed in the next few days.

    At the ripe old age of 22, it took me a while to figure out. Eventually, I realized it was steal or starve. That was the end of my broker days.
    #20     Mar 16, 2002