Becoming Gordon Gekko

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Gordon Gekko, Jun 25, 2003.

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  1. First of all, don't read too much into this thread title. To me, Gordon Gekko just symbolizes a successful man of the markets.

    I've been thinking lately about how I am going to come back from my devastation and I have a plan. I looked up how much my 100% paid for car sells for used and some go for $18-20k with 3x the mileage mine has. Mine also has basically every option there is and it is in excellent condition. Let's just say I get $16,000 for it. I do not WANT to sell this car at all, but I'm realizing that it is a way out for me. To someone who is not me, if I tell them I'm a trader with no money looking for money, and I say I have a new car paid for, the obvious response from them is going to be to sell the car. It's just going to take a little while for me to accept it as the reality. But, I'm already really starting to..

    Although it can obviously take people any amount of time to become a good trader, I've read a bunch of times that 5 years is a good estimate. Well, next year will be my 5th year. I can also honestly say that I have the most confidence in my ability that I have ever had since I started. I no longer feel completely clueless as to what I am supposed to do. Sure, there is room for improvement, and I will improve, but I KNOW I am heading down the right track. I don't care if people don't believe me.

    My plan is to keep my car for the rest of the summer while the weather is nice and girls are out of school. I'll sell it in August/September. Plus, it's not like I need the money tomorrow, so a few months isn't a big deal. In the meantime, I will watch the markets every day and work on my trading. When I sell the car in the fall, I'm also going to get a part-time job during the afternoon/night. I may even just trade the mornings, so I should definitely be able to trade and work at the same time.

    I still have like $2k in my IB account. With all my bills paid off, after I sell my car, I should have about $17k to trade with. If I'm smart, I could really be off to the races at that point. I know some ET people think I'm clueless because I bitch here a lot, but my real problem has been living off and trying to grow a tiny account. I was also desperate and risking WAY too much per trade. dbphoenix, and others: 0% chance I'm quitting, so don't waste your time responding to this suggesting that I quit and do something else.

    Although I know this is too early to get into too much, I'm also thinking a few years down the road. Say 2 years from now, I'm profitable. Would it be wise to get into prop trading? If I were to start doing good with my own money, maybe I won't even need to go prop, but if I start to really get the hang of it, I'm thinking prop may not be a bad idea. Ideally, I would be 27 at the time with 7 years trading experience. What kind of record would I need? What are the positives and negatives of prop trading?

  2. Hopefully you will not take this the wrong way, as it is only meant to help you.

    You are 25 years old, you have blown through your money, you have no job, and you want to sell your car to get more money to continue trading - something that you have yet to be successful at. You are like a crack addict, trying to figure out where your next hit will come from. You REALLY need to back away and look at yourself, and your life.

    My suggestion: GET A JOB, and work for a while. Why are you so opposed to that? Get a job, put some money in the bank. You can still PAPER TRADE every day - which is what you should be doing anyway. Print charts, and analyze bar by bar - by covering up all the bars to the right (hard right edge - you cannot really think you are good by looking at an entire chart and saying "I would have caught that move" - cover the chart up and analyze bar-by-bar). Do this for the next 12 - 18 months.

    GG - think how good you could be if you just forced yourself to do this. Not only would you become more proficient at trading, you would instill DISCIPLINE into yourself. And, by working at a JOB, you would take responsibility and show a great deal of maturity.

    Damn - you could do this for three years, and start trading with real money when you are 28-29, and be well on your way by the time you are 30. You would be so far ahead of the game, it would be ridiculous.

    THINK. And, GET A JOB. And work on every aspect of YOU - not just your trading. If you do that, in 5-7 years you will have every thing you ever want, and you will look back at these times and laugh.

    And, hopefully you will look me up and cut me in on the profits for steering you in the right direction!!!

    :D :eek:
  3. kernan


    Gordon, you should print this post (above) and put it on your wall and read it every day.

    It is obvious trading is your passion. That is good, and is a big part of being successful. Guess what? You don't have to abandon your passion if you get a real job. You can still study and live it every day, and when you start trading again real-time you will be so much better off.

    I fear you are on the road to disaster. You need to take some time off of real-time trading and you will be that much better when you come back.

    Keep your car. Get a job.

  4. excellent advise......SELL THE CAR already, its been a 1 year since youve been suggesting that......downsize, reorganize, get a job, get ur head out of the market for a while and live la vida loca......Whatever you do, Good Luck....peace



  6. guys,

    thanks for the advice. i just want to say a couple things.

    my plan IS to get a job. i did say that in my first post. i'm just ALSO going to sell the car. i don't need a $16k+ car right now. the money could be used in better ways. i can trade the mornings til noon EST and then go to work in the afternoon.

    also, people think WAY too negatively of my trading. i didn't really blow through it all. i am still up since the day i opened my very first trading account. the problem was, after paying taxes, living off the account, buying a car, and experimenting with trading ideas, i eventually grinded it down to the point where my account is just too small and i risk too much per trade.

    p.s. maggandre, thx for the reply. i didn't take it the wrong way.

    kernan, no, i am not headed on the road to disaster! lol I FEEL GREAT ABOUT MY FUTURE, EVEN AT THIS SHITTY POINT I'M AT.
  7. jessie


    I suspect that this analogy won't do a lot of good, but try substituting "going to the track" or the casino for "trading" in your post, and see what advice you would give yourself. Yes, there are pros who do those things and make a good living, but if someone told you that they were "on the verge" of making it as a handicapper or professional card player, they had gone broke playing (more than once), but just needed one more shot, and were selling their car to go back to the casino, I suspect (hope) you would tell them that it is a bad idea. It's exactly the same thing. My intention here is not to equate horse racing and trading, as they are certainly not equivalent, but they do share a cadre of people who are addicted to the excitement and notion of making big, easy, quick money. What you are doing is not trading, at least not in a professional manner, that will allow you to continue. Real trading is hard work, harder than the jobs you don't want. It is boring and disciplined. It generally doesn't pay nearly as well as you seem to think. If you took your 17K and had a 35% return annually for five years, this would make you one of the most sucessful traders in the world. You would then have about 80K, assuming that you hadn't withdrawn anything. Real-world traders don't take 17K and run it up to a million in 5 years (or 10). Has it been done? Yes, and so has pole-vaulting 20 feet, but not often. One thing I had to do as a trader, working on the floor, was get rid of the notion that I was going to be the best trader there, my history dictated otherwise. Even though I got to stand next to people like Tom Baldwin and Chip Kenyon in the pit (actually, I was a few steps down, I'm a long way from top-step), I will never be able to do what they do. I have several suggestions, for whatever they are worth. First, find some real traders, who are making a living trading, and talk to them about what they actually do, how they do it, and how much money they really make. Second, I would really urge you to look at why you are trading. Frankly, you seem to have no passion for it. You seem very passionate about the lifestyle a lot of money would buy, and talk about the house and parties that you are missing out on, but not a lot about a passion for the trading itself. Most of the really good traders I know would trade for 10% of what they make, because they love the game. Richard Dennis was driving an old beater Toyota and living in a small apartment when he was worth 100 million, because that wasn't why he traded. If you are trading with a big income in mind, on scared money, it is just not going to work, it never has, and you aren't the first to try. The last probably unwelcome advice I would give is the same as everyone else is offering. Go get a job, keep your car, and take some of the pressure off of yourself. Remember, if it takes, as you said, an average of 5 years to become a good trader, that means that it might take some people a year, and some 10. I started trading in 1985, and finally was able to make a decent living at it 13 years (and several accounts) later. In the meantime, I had jobs (not all fun), I got married, I had a car, I bought a house, and I lived my life. Relax a little.
  8. Although I could have many questions for you...I hope you have considered these 2.

    what do you do well/poorly? do you know how to adjust to it?

    what new strategies have you learned to use to take high probability trades?
  9. since you took the time to reply to me, i really do want to take the time to answer your questions. however, when it comes to how i actually trade, i am not going to post that here. if i did explain exactly what i do and what i'm working on, i'm pretty sure it would blow most people away. i am not at all saying i'm the best or anything; i know there are some very, very, sophisticated traders here on ET who are much more advanced than me. i'm just saying that i am not some newb and i know that i am well on my way.

    p.s. today is going to be an up day for ES. (at least til the fomc announcement)
  10. Excellent advice. I would add to this, sit down and make a ten year plan. I heard once someone said people often severely over estimate what they can do in a year, and under estimate what they can do in ten.

    Get a job. Work on your trading every day. Make a ten year plan. At 35, you could be THE MAN!
    #10     Jun 25, 2003
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