Carlin Trading -- should I leave them?

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by jimpat2005, Dec 26, 2005.

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  1. I have been reading the threads about Prop Trading for a while now. Everyone on the threads seems to talk about Genesis, Assent, Bright, Echo Prop firms and talking about rates as low as 0.0025 to 0.008 a share plus ecn +software+deskfee and what all not.

    I am with Carlin Trading for sometime. I have my series 7 and 63. I was offered 2 cents a share initially when i joined which includes no money down, no monthly volume restriction, in house training which was preety good, no desk fee, no charting software or data feed fees, free neovest first alert, free whisper live scanning software. Also the payout goes to 60% until u have ur account reached to $41,700 (60% of which is $25,000 which is required as per the SEC Day trading rule) and after that the payout becomes 85%. Also there was nothing like the margin required or Buying Power limit or anything. Initially they started me with a max. position of 200 shares per symbol and would increase my share size by 100 shares once I have three consecutive up days. I am free to trade anything I want. Stoploss for the day starts with 200$ and increases with increase in share size. Now my limit per symbol is 5000 shares. There is no Buying Power restriction on the account though. I can hold 10 positions with 5000 shares each and still it wasnt a problem. They also allow to hold 10 times your max position size under special circumstances like MOC.

    The way they trained me at Carlin, we traded only if the potential for the trade was 20 cents or higher. Also After a few months of trading and looking at my trading journals, I figured out that I was being profitable at gross level but with 2 cents in commission, I always lost money on net basis. So I started trading opportunities that had very high probabilties and potential of atleast 20 cents and higher. As a part of my strategy, I never traded anything which has potential less than 10 cents a share. As a result my avg. volume dropped significanlty. My average volume for month is about 300,000. Even with this tiny volume I am now able to net about 5000k a month and around 8-10k on gross level. Currently I pay 1.5 cents per share + 4$ ticket charge per trade + SEC fees which are very tiny for each trade. Also I am allowed to hold overnights with the same share size (5000) and no $ restrictions on the amount of shares I can hold.

    When I recently found ET threads and read about the volume ppl trade as well as the low rates ppl are trading at, I am just surprised. I punched in 1 cents per share; for trade in my trade journals from the day I started at Carlin with 2 cents, which seems among the highest level as described here on ET and the results I find are a bit astonishing. My bottom line would have been 2.5 times better than what I made till date.

    Obviously after reading ET and seeing all this, the first thought comes to my mind is look for a change to some other firm. Now my question is, I am actually confused about some restrictions at other places like volume restrictions which in my case is tiny as compared to some guys over here, Buying power (overnights) which seems unlimited for me (as far as the $ value goes) though there is hardly an opportunity to do something stupid like that and desk and all sorts of hidden fees which are free for me.

    What are your opinion guys? Should I make a change over to Bright or some other Prop firms this guys here at ET are referring or should I stick to what I have? Am I getting a fair deal? I am ready to learn the new high volume low cents/share profit potential strategies but I would also like to continue trading what I am doing currently which is my bread and butter for now.

    Just trying to do some Due deligence before making a shift. Sorry for making this question so long but I had to explain the entire situation
  2. Why not just negotiate a lower rate that is satisfactory to you and stay put if you like it there?
  3. I did try to negotiate. But as it goes, rates are volume driven and at 300-350k volume a month, they say 1.5 cents per share is a fair deal. I dont want to loose profitability trying to take lower cents/share profit and loose money on commissions at current rate. I can try that with the rates some of you guys on here get but at 1.5 cents, it is definitely chop and burn loosing lot more on commissions.

    In all, I am happy with them (software, data feeds, no problem at all and management is supportive).

    But as always the thought comes about making the bottom line better and whether I am being ripped off on my ignorance of better commission rates and payout rates (100% for Bright and some others and 85% in my case) prevailing in the industry.
  4. Forgot to add this one. I do have a 25k deposit (which i made trading with their money) with them as of now though I started with no down payment. So you can say i learnt the ropes for free and In a hard way with 2 cents a share commission.
  5. You are getting a horrible deal. For starters you can trade at IB for half a cent all in. With 25K you get 4:1 intraday volume, and the platform fees are either very small or non at all if you trade enough volume. Second I think most prop firms will give you a better deal then what you have now. If you want me to recommend you a good one in midtown Manhattan feel free to private message me.

    Good Luck
  6. Just leave, you are getting screwed. Save enough to pay 6 mos expenses and go on your own, or find another desk and deal.

    Make sure you are consistently profitable before you move out.

    Document your trading record very well.

    Then just be patient and look around in your spare time, while you trade from home base.

    Your risk is your setup cost and ongoing logistics

    At 5k/mo, unless your expenses are big, you should be able to get out with a reasonable parachute in about 10 months to a year.

    If your not a saver or you are exaggerating, you better think twice, as you are not going to make it happen.

    Good luck,

  7. its a no brainer. Go somewhere the extra .015 will get added to your bottom line.
  8. 1.5 cents per share + 4$ ticket charge per trade, they keep 15% of your net even with 25K of your money on deposit?

    Jim, that's got to be the <b>absolute worst</b> pro deal I've ever heard of.

    Here's the deal you'd get by browsing through ET's broker ratings section, and choosing accordingly:

    2-4 tenths of a cent per share, no additional ticket charge, 30-1 intraday and 5-1 overnight leverage, and you keep 100%.
  9. This is a no brainer....

  10. Midas


    Look into bright or genesis. Consider the high commissions that you have been paying tuition and now it is time to cash in on what you learned. Do not accept a deal higher than .005 to .006 cents per share. Once you get an offer make sure you get all of your money out of your Carlin account. Then go to them and tell them that you want to negotiate an new deal. If they do not comply walk. You are in a good position to negotiate so do not let them push you around. 1.5 cents per share WAS a good deal 6 years ago...........

    The day you switch your income will more than double. Good luck.
    #10     Dec 27, 2005
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