did prop trading help you improve?

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by Nawaralsaadi, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. Hey guys,

    I find this form of great interest, I have traded in and out of the market for the last 10 years (with Datek/Ameritrade), I have made a fortune and lost a fortune (Forbes published an article about my experience in 2000 when I was 22), in the last many years I have twice took 20k/30k to 500k/600k within months and ended losing it all. After deep soul searching, I figured that I have poor discipline and have taken excessive risks, which I guess have worked both ways…I guess there is a thin line at times between gambling and between trading, I have always made money when I traded and lost money when I gambled.

    I guess the key to successful trading (as many of you guys know) is about continuity, it is not about a lone winning trade, it is about being consistent and disciplined with whatever system that works for you, so my question for you guys who trade with the prop trade firms is as follows?

    Have you been able to develop your discipline through any of those firms? Did your experience with them help you develop your trading style?, do you find the experience better in relation to trading at home with the retail firms?.

    I personally plan to move to Vancouver next year, and I am looking to give Swift or Title a try, I am thinking and hoping that by focusing full time and working with those guys I may be able to achieve consistency with my results.

    Any input will be much appreciated..

  2. I live in Vancouver and I've been with Swift and Title, (and Bright). I would say that you might find it hard to get into Swift because they usually want a kid fresh out of Univ cuz they're a clean slate and they don't ask questions when they take 70% of your net as their cut.

    Title has a new office in Vancouver that opened in Jan 2007. They don't really teach you how to trade because they're looking for experienced traders, but provide access and capital for you to trade. You can learn there if you like, but don't expect anything formal. Their cut is 50%.

    Swift wants to teach you their method, and Title wants you to have a method.

    I value my experience at the prop firms, but personally, my biggest growth came outside of the firms. The holy grail is not found at a firm. It is found within by a willingness and admittance to yourself that you are sucking cuz of you. Once you feel that you are the reason why you suck, you'll find a motivation (and discipline) that will take you to the next level where you want to go. If your ego fights the fact that you suck, then your defensive mechanisms are kicking in and preventing success.

    I reached this rock bottom acceptance phase during my learning curve and after realizing this, my mind stopped fighting why I sucked and my mind worked by finding solutions instead of being defensive. My trading took off from there.
  3. Tums


    In your case, it is not about discipline...
  4. NazSpaz


    You guys seem to be giving this Nawal a hard time, go easy on him, I think his post is very honest and refreshing, he already admits he both traded and gambled, and is looking for a way to turn it around.

    So I'll give the advice I give anyone who asks me, yes I believe prop is the way to go, but the best path to learn is a hard one. I don't believe paying for any of the snake oil classes or seminars gets you anywhere, I would be more inclined to say go to Swift where they teach you something, then when you know how to do it, leave for a better deal elsewhere. Hope that is not too selfish a thing to say?

    But the best path I mentioned is to somehow, someway get to sit next to someone who knows how to make money. Discipline is obviously very important and a key element to successful traders, but you still need the knowledge of what to do. You need that "ah-ha" moment that comes to some of us at some point in our careers where making money just becomes so much easier.

    The easiest way I have seen a guy off the street become a great trader is by sitting next to a great trader. Maybe they get lucky at one of the props and just happen to join an office and get seated next to one. Maybe they find one and befriend him, or make a deal to give him a big cut of the profits if he teaches what he is doing. Maybe he kisses his a$$ for months and buy breakfast and Starbucks each morning for the guy, whatever. Bottom line is, get a mentor. Someone showed me what to do, I have shown other people (don't PM me, I quit showing people long ago), and none of the best methods I have found are taught anywhere, because the people that know don't want the info out.

    So go to Swift, learn, learn, learn. Get to know the big hitters, learn some more. Give them 90% of the profits, who cares, just get that knowledge of how to make a consistent income. The knowledge is more important than what firm you are with or what software you are on. Then when you get that "ah-ha" moment (6 mos - 2 yrs), at that point look to make money for yourself and go with whatever firm gives you the best payout/commish/software to maximize what you do.
  5. Thank you for all of your answers, and thank you Naz for your kind words, I especially appreciate the input about Swift and Title, it does seem that Swift has something to offer, and even if they focus on scalping, I am comfortable with it, I have tried it before, as I mentioned before I am not totally oblivious to profitable trading techniques, however what happens is that once I start performing profitability, I usually grow over confident and start taking bigger and bigger risks, and once those risks backfire, instead of pulling back, I take even more risk, and this is when trading get transformed into gambling, as a matter of fact I exactly know when I take a trade and when I take a gamble.

    We can say that I have gotten better at it in 2007 and 2008, 2007 has been a profitable year for me, I made about 50% return in 2007, and in 2008 I have made 10% so far, however I know myself and I know that I lack the discipline to take stick to a system, this is why I wanted to try one of those firms to see if I can function better in such an environment.

    All of you here know the “boy plunger” and if you don’t know him, I guess you shouldn’t be a trader : ) , most traders appreciate the “boy plunger”, however he has made and lost fortunes through out his career, so even the best of us have a dark day, while I am still far from the performance of the “boy plunger” I believe I might be doing some of his mistakes.

  6. tigerwu


    Hi Nawaralsaadi,

    How is your experience so far in Vancouver? I am in the process of moving there, from Japan.

    I have been a professional derivatives trader on the buy/sell side for over 10y and would like to know the trading scene in Vancouver. Are there a lot of experience people around? Is capital readily available? etc etc.

    Thanks in advance for your help. Love to hear from everyone out there.

  7. No, he just gambled. As soon as he realizes that all he did was gamble, he will be on the right way.

  8. Sounds like most, had some success and then you lost it( discipline). Who are you? I went to school with jeff and eric from one of the firms you mention, and know them for about 30 some odd years now.

  9. What brings the trader to gamble is what was working stops. Market changes and the trader has to adapt. I have seen more gains than he is talking about lost.
  10. A trader will take gambles because of greed, frustration, desperation, anger or a combination of all four.
    #10     Dec 26, 2008