Anybody making any real $$$???

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by trader99, Apr 13, 2002.

  1. trader99


    Hey Fellow Traders!

    I just want to make an informal survey and get a feel of where people are at and how long and difficult is the path to success in prop trading is.

    So, here are some questions that I like people to respond as honestly as possible:

    1) What % of people at your prop trading firm(Bright, Worldco, ECHO, or whereever you are) are actually making some real money? I'm not talking of McD's wages or taking 2nd jobs to do this? Else it seems like a big waste of time if we all aren't making any real progress... But then again I'm not talking huge salaries either. Making something that's enough to pay rent,bills, and have a little left over just like the average working stiff.

    2) What % of people are actually making good living? Maybe 75K-100K? And how long did it take them to get there? And at what shares size are they do? What volume?

    Because it seems from Hitman's comment even at a big firm like Worldco, the vast majority of people aren't making $ or even decent $.

    If that's the case what's sustaining the industry?? More warm bodies on the street willing to take a crack at this trading in dream of hitting it BIG(i.e. 7figures) one day? Or are we deluding oneself is just having fun but not looking at any real long term earnigns growth potential here?

    I've been at this thing for 6months(which might be too short to evaluate) and I think I've improved, but not anywhere near my old salaried jobs and has no benefits,etc. But the question is that enough? And like Hitman said, summe rmonths are slow,etc.

    just some thoughts...


  2. Fitz


    my guess is that the ones who are making the real $$$ do not frequent boards like these. These people know how to trade and would only look upon boards like these as cheap entertainment if that. I would also guess that 99% of the 10,000+ members here do not trade for a living. Now getting an honest answer from the 1% left, if that, that do trade for a living would be an incredible feat. Would you really believe the results you got? I'd say Hitman would be the only one that would post up his actual account statements.

    As for me, well I could tell you I'm a 250K/yr trader with 20yrs experience. I could tell you that I've lost 500K over the last 5 yrs trading. I could also tell you that I'm like you, in that I'm make enough to to live on, but that's about it. Take your pick.

    Good Luck, :)
  3. trader99


    Well, thanks for your comments. At least someone isi forthcoming. One of the reason I ask such questions is to determine whether i should stick with this no salary, no benefits, no nothing prop trading in hopes of hitting it big. Or I should go back to the institutional world with guaranteed salary and bonuses but have to work steadily upward for years in the corproate world again..

    well.. hopefully i can decide soon and that will determine my fate.

  4. "Maybe 75K-100K? And how long did it take them to get there? And at what shares size are they do? What volume? "

    my personal opinion as a trader for 10+ years.if you have the education and ability of making 75-100k a year in a real job with benefits you are better off doing that.the odds of your success are against you.remember there is nothing to stop you from working and still trading on a daily basis.
  5. I truly believe that if you tackle trading with anything less than a consuming passion to get it right, you don't have a chance. If your primary concern is how much you can make, how long it will take, etc., etc., forget about it.
  6. tntneo

    tntneo Moderator

    well, I fully agree with easyrider.
    not that I doubt trader99 is really trying hard. obviously working at a prop firm, you gave this a real chance of success.
    The trap is to try to hit it big I think. Few will get there, very few.
    Also, salaries are so inflated in US that it may be a better (easier) idea to just go 9-5.
    When you live outside the US, it sure is worth it to go for trading as a living.

    so trader99, for you, why not go back institutional ?
    for others, please if you want to be a trader, do it because you want to have your own business, not because you want to be rich. it does not work that way.
    If you look at it like a business, it will all make sense. You need some starting capital (most of the time anyway), you need to see this in the long run, you need to accept to earn NOTHING for a while, then to earn small wage, then normal and if you are very good upper scale.

    not very appealing ? well, that's what it is about. sorry. if you start a laundry service, or restaurant or consulting agency whatever, you will have to deal with banks, clients, phone calls, advertising etc.. So trading is a business with less hassle. Trading for a living is precisely having a small business. Do you you think small business owners do this because they are sure they will get rich ?
    they do this to be their own boss and often do what they like to do.

    Trading is the same, unless you are at a trading desk with salary, but that's the exception, not the norm.

  7. trader99


    Yeah, I think that's what I should do. Even if I make $100K/yr doing this intraday trading it's still way less than what I received in my previous institutional jobs. And a $100K is just starting salaries for analyst/associates. And from what Hitman said it's even difficult to get to that level for the traders at his firm.

    I suppose I can trade on the side, but then I won't have the same level of leverage/margin on a brokerage account. Besides, there are also "compliance" issues if you trade your personal acct. as well as manage institutional money. So, that's why I rarely trade in my personal acct when I was in the institutional world.

    But I still love to trade. It's so fun. Only if I can move it to the next level which I'm beginning to think I can.. But I don't have the luxury to just screw around for another 6months-1yr and deplete my savings while I try to see if I can make as a prop trader.

    I guess it's an article of faith...

  8. trader99


    Yeah.. I did accept earning next to nothing. I was at the pt where I wasn't even thinking of striking it rich or anything. But even match my old salaried jobs and even that seemed remote. Perhaps I'll give it another try to see?


  9. We have noticed that many newer traders had good paying jobs, with the emphasis on the "had." Sometimes they are not going back to those jobs, because they do not exist any longer. There has been so much consolidation in the industry, that we are finding that even making $100K-$300K is fine for most traders.

    I, of course, cannot post exact numbers....but will admit that we had fewer "million dollar" traders in 2001 than 2000, but we have a good group making decent money (6 figures). Those that have "adapted" to the market, rather than wait and whine about it, are doing better, obviously. As long as we have solid traders in each office, for others to look to for help and guidance, there is no reason that traders cannot make a good living.

    This is an "individual" sport, and a real "freedom" profession, and all of that should be taken into consideration.
  10. trader99



    well, DUH! Freedom is the BIGGEST consideration in a prop trading job! I think without the freedom aspect of it I wouldn't even consider it. I think I posted various times in other threads before on this forum expressing those ideas. That's why it's such a big consideration.

    But, I'm merely just throwing out the facts and personal doubts and triumphs on the road to trading sucess. It's not all rosy you know. It's NOT complaining. If more people were honest about their real trading stories then this board wouldn't sound so goody goody. Perhaps, only Hitman gives it out honestly. And no, I don't work for Worldco. haha.

    Don, you ALWAYS make it seem so "easy" and tons of your traders make tons of money or whatever. Maybe it's true. Maybe it's not. We'll never know. But Hitman's statistics seem more realistic. And it just agree with the laws of statistics. I dunno. But I think it's sitll fair to give people a "realistic" sense of things. Obviously, in a free enterprise system, you as a proprietor of your own company would try to entice people to continue this line of business. So, you do what you do. It's all fair.

    But still, one has to be realistic. I mean I think everyone can achieve some level fo competency in trading just like in any field if you give enough time. I mean give any Joe Schmoe years and years and eventually it will all make sense and he can make a "living" at it. But is that enough? Maybe for some people.

    Maybe 6months isn't enough time. And though I've improved significantly I sometimes wonder if that's enough. Perhaps my standards are too high. I don't know.

    #10     Apr 14, 2002