Hi -- I'm currently an investment banker (1 yr out of college) and kind of hate it. I love the markets, have good intuition, and think I could be a successful trader. The volatility lately has been driving me insane because I'm not allowed to trade, as I occasionally have access to non-public information. My firm also has a long mandatory holding period for the securities we are permitted to trade. So, I'm on the sidelines. I want to quit and go for it -- but it's a huge risk. The biggest risk is that I feel like if I leave the work force, try trading for a year or two and fail or can't make a good living out of it, it will be difficult for me to break back into the corporate world -- i.e. how would I explain those 2 years? Because I make good money now (although who knows what will happen in the industry in the future...), I would have to be a pretty successful trader to make such a move worthwhile. This is why I'm wondering whether it's a dumb move. I think I'd enjoy it a lot more, though. I have about $75k in cash I'd be starting with. I have read some of the posts here about people starting with 500 bucks, or 1500 bucks, or something insane. Realistically, I reckon I'd need at least what I have now to give it a shot, and possibly more to provide enough of a cushion and generate enough income to get by on. Thoughts? Here are the options I'm weighing: -- Go to grad school, and devote my summers, free time, etc. to learning trading, experimenting with small positions, and hopefully make some pocket money. If all goes well, become a full-time trader upon graduation. The advantage of this is that it'd be an excuse to be out of work; if things didn't look like they were going to work out, I could just get another job. The disadvantage is a lot of my time would be taken up with classes, school work, etc. and I so I wouldn't be able to fully devote myself to learning the "business". -- Quit, just go all-in and hope for the best. I probably won't do this... seems too risky. But I would be able to completely dedicate myself to being successful. -- Move to the buy-side by getting a hedge fund job (or trying to). This would bring me closer to the markets, give me some experience, I could amass more money, and then try going out on my own later down the line. This is relatively safe but based on most of my friends' experiences at hedge funds I doubt I'd like it much more than banking. Any advice is much appreciated.