Average profit % / month for PRO traders

Discussion in 'Risk Management' started by anesthesiaman, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Hello all,

    I have been trading options since 1999 - before med school. But I only traded a little since my focus was on medicine. Fortunately I was able to learn to trade while in school.

    Throughout the years of schooling and trading very little here and there because of studying and time commitments - I still kept up with the markets.

    Now, 2 yrs out of residency on May 25, 2010, I decided to take my 1 month PaperMoney futures account LIVE. I have never traded futures before but always knew about the mechanics of trading.

    (PS - In reference to other threads I see here in this forum, I average up and down just depending on the price action I see, also keep a journal, 1-2% rule, 6% rule, avoid overtrading, etc. blah blah)

    Starting with a 49k account, I was able to do 6.7% since May 25 - two months ago. I can do 2-3% / month pretty easily I think.

    I just want to compare my results since I'm new to the world of semi-pro trading. (Yes, I'd eventually like to go pro and do anesthesiolgoy part time but I need to use a 1 million trading account and make and easy 2-3% / month to support my lifestyle).

    I will be doubling my account at the end of the month to 100k and continue to trade the way I do - price action.

    Can ANY of the pro traders here - those who trade for a living as their only income - tell me what is the average profit % / month for pro traders? For ex: 2%/ month? 6%? 10%?
  2. It's a good question, one I have been trying to get an answer to myself. I expect the answers are all over the place. I am not a pro but am working to get to the point that I can trade for a living. Over the past year I have averaged almost 6% per month, and that is without daytrading. Most of my trades are a few days, some as long as a few weeks. I have managed to avoid any significant drawdowns but my results are not as consistent as I would like. Still working on improving - it is a constant process.

    I would add that I think 2 months is too short to extrapolate your future returns. Taking money out of the markets day in and day out for months and years on end is not easy.
  3. 1) Let medicine always be you primary source of income.
    2) Trading can be a secondary source of income and a good source of "entertainment" to keep you from getting bored with and burned-out by medicine.
    3) Trading can always be available to you. Medicine won't be if you walk away from it.
    4) Build the account up to $100,000 before adding more money to it. You'll have a better idea of your consistency and persistence that way.
    5) To compare your progress/performance to others is a bad idea. :cool:
  4. I'd shoot for better results than 2-3%/month . . . If you're going to do it full-time on a small account, 50% would be the goal. You can lever up some dividend stocks and get the equivalent of 20% year.
  5. Thanks all for the responses.

    I know 2 months is short (well 3 if you count my papertrade month), and I'll keep working at it while keeping medicine #1.

    Part of the concern is that I don't want to leave money in a savings earning nothing, I'd rather put it to work trading it slowly with good risk and money mgmt.

    Thanks again.
  6. i traded at a firm of 50 people and my average of 1.5x your daily stop/loss per month was unmatched by the rest of the firm. (ie. if you say your daily stop loss- since i flatten up each day- is equal to 1 or 2% of your total capital, i would average 1.5% or 3% / month). as most traders are unprofitable, simply averaging +.01 puts you above average (and some might say top 10%)- but if you can realistically attain anything near 1% / month than you should wait til obamacare screws you too hard and quit your day job (only to go crawling back when he decides to pass a transaction tax eliminating your 1%/month)
  7. Now that I've had a chance to read some other peoples results on this forum, 2-3% is pretty LOW. Fine. It's better than next to nothing in a savings account.
  8. It all depends on the size of your account. If you're trading over 10mm then 1-2% is ok, if between $50,000 - $100,000 you should be making 50-100% per year.
  9. I've had a decent career as a trader. I would consider it above average. Well, since the average trader under-performs the market by the amount of commissions, then I guess I've been well above average.

    If you have no legitimate edge other than skill, then 2%/month is great and 10 years from now you'll be making decent money ($100K+ annual) if you're not living off your returns. But this is still much lower than you'll make as an anesthesiologist.

    My career went like this, I started with $1,000 after high school

    Traded options only.... averaging 1-2% monthly with wild swings

    Traded options still.... averaging 5% monthly with far fewer drawdowns

    Switched to e-mini futures.... average 5-10% monthly with few losing months

    Finally finished developing my models to gain an edge other than just skill.... currently averaging 25-40% monthly. Frequently go for 5 week periods without a daily drawdown. Best month this year was +105%, and on track to hit the +1000% annual mark for the first time since I started trading.

    The downside is that the rush is gone. I get bored frequently and have to find ways to occupy my time to resist getting anxious and entering bad trades. I used to get a little nervous when opening a large position, but now I don't even think twice about it.

  10. Those are pretty serious numbers....
    #10     Jul 31, 2010