At a Crossroads on Trading... Hope Someone can Help!

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by LittleTraderguy, May 5, 2013.

  1. Hi New Poster here dealing with a life crisis, hope someone can help.

    A little background about me-

    I'm turning 25 this year, spent some time in the Marines and now am about to graduate with a Finance Degree. I've wanted to be a trader/investor since Sophomore year of High school, this was 2004. I bought stocks with my money as a teen, some good calls some bad, about broke even. Joined the Military and put everything about investing out of my mind for a while. Fast forward to now, as I'm finishing my degree and looking for a job, everything has seemed to change since High School.

    I had recently met some Floor Traders/Brokers. They work at the Chicago Board of Trade and they said they would try and get me started there at some entry level position. I decided to get out of the Military and finish up school. Now as I'm finishing up, when I look for a Trader position, they all seem to want engineers or math majors. I hear how trading on the floor is dead and HFT/Algorithmic trading has eliminating scalping and day trading and how all traders are now PHDs or computer programmers. That traders are cutthroat and you can't trust any of them I hear all kinds of things and I don't really know what to think anymore.

    So here I am, going into my last summer and should be looking for an internship somewhere, but I'm thinking I should dedicate this summer to learn more about trading and day trade for myself. I have saved up about $50,000 from my time in the Military and don't really have large expenses or obligations otherwise. There's no better time to find out how good a trader I will be.

    My Concerns-

    1. Is retail trading even a viable choice anymore? What HAS Algo Trading/ HFT done to the day trader? (I'd love to hear some from some actual day traders who love what they do and make a good living. I have so many questions for the success stories, I'll have to PM you after.)

    2. Is Floor Trading really dead? Would it be beneficial for me to continue to network with the Board of Trade guys and get an entry level position there or just try to work at a Prop Shop or just learn myself.

    3. With all the Markets to trade out there (commodities, futures, currency, options) which market is best for the little guy?

    4.Would working at a Prop Shop be better for me than educating myself (as my ultimate end goal is to trade for myself) and would they teach me a lot about trading for myself or would I become a market maker.

    Thank so much for reading, if you don't want to answer but know someone or somewhere that I CAN find answers to my questions, please let me know. I will be incredibly grateful for any helpful responses.
  2. lindq


    Your biggest concern at your age should be lost opportunities if you pursue trading and it does not pay off. Which is very likely. What are you going to do at 30 with a big hole in your resume and in your account? Think about that seriously.
  3. I'd have to agree /\

    Some of the best traders I've learned from were retired stock brokers. It might be a safe bet to find a way to work a day job involving finance / markets and trade on the side.
  4. I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I would love to make a living daytrading but it is very hard. I know one guy, my brother-in law, who makes a really good living trading, mainly intraday sometimes swing, but he's not on the floor and trades his own money (lives in Chicago). He is a great trader, but has even told me that instead of trying it on my own I should look at places like DRW, Chicago Trading Company for an entry level job where I can really learn the ropes.
  5. $50K is enough to start with and make a good livng.Next thing you do is to find a GOOD MENTOR.You'll blow it up on your own.Only under the good mentorship you have a chance.

    Your not even at a crossroad yet,btw:cool:
  6. Gentlemen,

    Thanks for the great advice.

    I guess My general question now is, should I pursue a job with the Chicago Board of Trade floor guys or a prop shop.

    Chicagodon- is your Brother-in-law willing to teach you? Have you ever asked?

    Relocate- do you have any advice on finding a good mentor? R you a good mentor??

    Again thanks gents.
  7. Also

    Relocate- Haha, your right I'm not really at a crossroads in Trading, my fork in the road is more whether or not (with the conditions so different now then when I initially wanted to be a trader) I should even start trading or focus my attention elsewhere like investment banking.
  8. TILT2


    If you want to do it, then go for it! Believe yourself you can be a good trader. Confidence is the first thing.
  9. mspkash1


    i was kinda on the same boat few years ago.. if you start trading using your capital, have a limit of how much you are going to lose, because depending on what you trade, your account balance will
    deplete pretty soon.. so don't be surprised if that happens..

    Trading experience/education does not come for free. So look at your losses as tuition you paid to the market and make sure not to repeat the mistakes that caused those losses.
  10. To answer your question, yes and no. He's offered to help me, but right now I can't give him the hours necessary. I am working a few jobs to pay off some med bills before I can commit to it.

    I'd just start by offering to work for free with those guys, and try to absorb everything they tell you.
    #10     May 6, 2013