For the past couple years I have worked as an associate role for large Chicago institution in their portfolio management group (long only). I have little desire to continue down this path, becoming a PM and managing other people's emotions...I mean money. I have been in the business since 2000, have all the licenses, a financial planning designation (forced by another firm) and have done quite well with my own capital - double digit returns, single digit drawdown periods. I trade anything that presents itself as opportunistic after a certain period of evaluation--long term thematic equity trades, I'll trade currency futures from 6p-12a in my free time at home (mostly technical systems), options if I feel the vol is there. I even believe in maintaining a certain segment of my account in fixed income that I know will earn a risk free 6% every year (unless that once per year idea comes along that is good enough to break discipline). I research ideas when I get free hours, or backtest. If there's somewhere to mine return, I will try and find a trade/vehicle to express it. From what I can gather in the trading community (the few Chicago prop traders I've encountered) my style isnt mechanical enough. I am not saying prop necessarily appeals to me either. As you can tell by my trading style I am far more fundamental and analytical. There's a difference between quantitative and analytical - and my forte is the latter. I am a big study of global liquidity and most of my trade ideas follow a 'money map' that I conceptualize. For the past couple years I've been clearing 150k yr. at work and a good chunk of that gets allocated to my accounts. I am thinking I sit back and accumulate, enhance my strategies and wait for independence (2MM liquid would make me comfortable to jump ship on, but that may take 5-7 yrs.) There's another side of me that wants to see what's out there though....any suggestions?