Any advice for a soon to be full-time trader?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Howard, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. Howard


    Hi all,

    I quit my full-time job earlier this year to focus on full time trading. October will be my last month in the work force. After that, I'm on my own as a full-time trader.

    I'm just curious if anyone who's once been in a similar situation or am in one currently have any advice to share that can be valuable moving forward?

    I'm not really seeking advice on trading methodology as I'm feeling fairly confident in what I have there and have my own stuff to focus on, but anything else would be of interest.

    Some background information about me:

    - I have an account size of just over $15K. I day trade US index futures.

    - I have savings to cover living expenses for 6 months.

    - I have a standing job offer with another firm and can also get my old job back if needed.

    - No kids. Just a needy girlfriend who feels she sees too little of me.

    - I've been full time trading twice earlier. The last time, I was severly undercapitalized and simply had to quit because I was broke. I didn't 'blow up', but slowly bled to death and had to eat.

    - I've been exposed to the markets on/off for 12 years by now and have devoted long periods of time to serious market study and research. I have proprietary tools developed to aid my market analysis and research. So, I'm not new to the markets.

    My initial plan was to trade part-time after work and slowly build my account, but it turned out to be much harder to do than I anticipated and I quickly felt burned out juggling these two on <= 5,0 hours sleep. Especially since my day time job is very demanding/stressful and I can't always leave on time either.

    Because of this and since I feel I have options otherwise, I decided to quit my job and finally try full time trading with full focus once again.

    One thing which will be different than earlier is that I will try to focus on consistency of returns instead of trying to hit home-runs every single day. This is something I can afford doing now since I'm not pressured to do so. Of course, in order to succeed, I need to make money, but I think slow and steady wins the race.

    Thanks in advance for any advice on this exciting journey.

    Best regards and thanks for reading.

  2. traderob


    Advice: Kmart sell quality blue plastic tarps. Costco have the best shoping trolleys.
    murray t turtle and KCalhoun like this.
  3. Not saying this to be unkind, but - take the job offer. $15k is ridiculously small as an account size from which to make a living, and even the few problems that you've listed show that you're not a pro. The best professional traders average about 2%/month, or less than 30% annualized; on $15k, that's not enough for a year of decent breakfasts, much less a living.
  4. MattZ

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  5. tommcginnis


    Yeah -- that. But I wonder if it's a typo -- maybe $150k?

    Even assuming that, and I'd want a segregated account, as an extra lever for risk control. (As in, a cap on the number of contracts worked simultaneously...)

    Keep your résumé up to date with every quarter, and let the headhunters know that you're available. That will boost your confidence and clear your thinking.

    "Start over!" Imagine that everything you *thought* you knew, was old and needed to be re-verified: markets *do* change, and cycling through a period of re-validation is a healthy, healthy thing -- you might as well get started right now. :D
  6. bbpp


    The most important thing is: Do you really have edge?
    I didn't see from your post that your edge is proved.
    I see you assume that you didn't make profit due to your job. This assumption could easily be wrong.
    Prove your edge first and after you make consistent profit, then quit your job.
  7. cvds16


    don't trade anything below the 15M timeframe. I learned that the hard way ... wasted tons of years on the 5M
  8. tzachi


    Is it your personal experience as a professional trader to make 2% a month?
    Broce Kovner started with 3K from credit card. Yes, there is only one Kovner but all he needs to average is one point ES a day. $50 a day on one contract for one month. If successful, start with 2 contracts - same deal, average 1 point a day. YOU CAN MAKE IT. Do not listen to wannabe book readers advice that did stand next to professional at trade shows.....
    MikePence, expiated and Howard like this.
  9. qlai


    I second that. Many people think that having more time dedicated to trading will be beneficial. But it actually brings new challenges.
    One thing I will add that having one trading method that works is subject to seasonal and volatility conditions that may not be favoring you during the period.
    IMHO, you need to be doing gradual switch where more of your income starts to come from trading until you eventually feel confident that you will make enough not to worry about digging into a financial hole. And BTW, having plan B may actually work against you.
    comagnum and Howard like this.
  10. tomorton


    I understand average cost of living in the US for a single person is $13.2k. But I assume this is no-frills, no luxuries, no fun and certainly no saving.

    If you've got a good strategy and you follow it, assuming no withdrawals you should be able to double it in a year. But its going to be really tight.

    Is your girlfriend an heiress?
    #10     Sep 29, 2019
    murray t turtle and Howard like this.