Best Job to Have While Saving Capital, Learning

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by tomski, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. tomski


    The Background:

    I graduated from college last Aug. (midwestern Big 12 school) w/ a degree with majors in finance and accounting and a minor in stat. Had an internship w/ a top 5 bank in NYC for a lady who manages high net worth clients ($1MM+, trades mainly commodities, indexes, and a bit of forex). Got a job out of school (worked my butt off getting it) as an analyst at a massive fund manager in midtown manhattan. Worked there for a little while and learned that I hated what I was doing. It was good money, good benefits, good career track . . . but I was so bored I wanted to shoot myself in the head. Looking at it in retrospect, I took the job mainly because of prestige, not because it's something I want to do.

    After a while I quit and made up ways to make money. NYC living wasn't cheap. I sold unlocked iPhones, did all types of freelance programming (my second passion), and a few other ideas I came up with. Was able to match what I was making at my job so quitting wasn't too bad. But this time I was way out of my desire to have a career in finance.

    Throughout college I have been learning to be a futures trader. I have traded the ES and YM off and on and have a pretty decent collection of books I've read through. Now-a-days I mainly trade options on equity in an account my dad lets me play with. I dont' have much capital because I pumped what I had into paying off a big chunk of my student loans. I still have some of that to pay off and it's and issue for me.

    I recently moved to Chicago thinking it might be a better place to work w/ derivatives but I can move back to NYC (or elsewhere) w/o too much trouble if I find something that puts me on a better track.

    The Situation:

    I want to be a trader. I know because I pick up trading books in my free time and have always been drawn to it. I consider myself a novice w/ a fairly decent understanding of theory. I'm good with stat, programming (VBA included), macro economics, geo politics -- and have picked up a good working knowledge of tech analysis from independent reading. I've had a bunch of sales jobs in HS and college and enjoy it (so convincing people to let me trade their money is not out of the question). I am the kind of guy that will take big risks after calculating them for weeks. I like to think of myself as smart, quick on my feet, and able to work well under tons of pressure. I love challenges and like a good fight (figuratively speaking).

    Anyway, I'm in the basic no-money, no-real-trading-experience, need-to-make-money crunch every other finishing college student or recent grad faces. So my question is this: What job should I get? I need to pay off my student loans, pay rent, and save capital to be a serious trader. I don't want to waste any more time doing un-related work. Maybe I should get a job as a broker-trainee for a company that deals in series-3 securities? or series 7 securities? Maybe I should get evening, weekend work and focus on learning to be a trader during market hours? I wouldn't mind being a runner for someone on an exchange but I have gotten negative feedback on that ("no such jobs anymore, only place to trade is prop firms"). Bottom line is I need to save money to be able to learn to trade, but if I can do it while having a job that helps me along, all the better.

    I'm sorry about the length of the post but I wanted to cover everything. Any advice (criticism) is appreciated. I have searched the forum for similar topics but nothing went into what I might do. And thanks!
  2. My suggestion is to try to trade during market hours and work other hours. IMO nothing will replace live screen time. Looking at charts after the fact is so incredibly easy.

    That means try to block 8am-4:15pm EST out for trading. All other hours are available for work.

    After the years that I've been trading I think the difference of going from hobby to real business is just spending the time in the live markets.
  3. amdtrader


    Become a substitute teacher, bring your laptop and tether to your cell phone.
  4. why didn`t you trade to spice up your boring analyst job in manhattan?? Kill two birds with one stone!
  5. Go up to Minneapolis and get a job at Cargill. They'll teach you everything you need to know to trade successfully. After about 10 years, you'll be ready to go out on your own with a reasonable expectation of trading profitably.

    Since you're just starting out, you might find yourself going down a different avenue in trading, with just as much personal satisfaction.
  6. tomski


    Hey all,

    Thanks for all the posts so far.

    brownsfan019, makes sense. i just wish there was a job that would let me watch charts live.

    amdtrader, haha not a bad idea. verizon/sprint might get a little pissed when i'm pushing through a a few hundred gigs a day over their towers though :)

    BlueStreek, no time. enter work place at 8am, work til 6:30. plus commute. you generally don't have much free time. the culture is such that everyone is competing to be the hardest worker (or at least give that impression).

    nokomisjeff, very interesting idea. i'm going to look into it tonight. do you have personal experience with this?

    thanks for these and any other ideas, i really appreciate it.
  7. orion19


    I'm in a similar situation (without the formal finance background) and have been brainstorming the best way to approach this. I'm not sure if you're licensed (I'm not), but taking the Series 3 or 63 might be a way to open some doors since you don't need sponsorship to take them.

    I've also considered bartending during the week to pay the bills, but getting off at 1-2 a.m. make getting up for the market at 6:30 a little tricky. However, that's a west coast schedule and may be a little more feasible if you're still in Chicago.

    I'm no expert, but I'd agree that the ideal situation would be to trade live as much as possible. Anyway, those are just some thoughts I've had. I'd be interested to hear how anyone else has approached it. Thanks for the post.
  8. Some jobs in financial companies prevent you from trading in the short term. There are a lot of rules. You have to hold the stock for 30 days and etc. You might want to reconsider working for a finance company if you want to trade. I guess you should consider working 2nd shift or 3rd shift. Bartender?
  9. tomski


    true. i had to close my interactive brokers acct and any trades had to be pre-approved. this in addition to reporting any and any all positions held at all times.
  10. jtnet


    laugh, as if someone actually cares. whos checking if you have an IB account
    #10     Apr 15, 2008