Experienced trader needs advice!

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Simmy, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Simmy


    Hello, I could really use some advice from anyone willing to offer it. I am in the process of making an extremely important decision in my life and I think it would be valuable to get feedback from people who can relate.

    I am a former prop futures scalper (highly unprofitable) turned systems trader (profitable but limited experience). I am 28 and spent two years trading futures at the prop firm before realizing that scalping is just not my game. I do not like making discretionary, instinctive trading decisions. I need clear cut statistical evidence that my trades have a positive expectancy. I feel that I am well-versed in what it takes to succeed in this game, and I will eventually become a consistently profitable trader.

    That being said, my life situation at the moment is bad. I have no job and roughly $900 of monthly expenses. I only have $3,000 to my name and I have over $13,000 in credit card debt (although it's at 0% interest for a year). I recently passed the series 7 after a stock trading prop firm decided to back me. (please don't ask the name, they are legitimate and that is not a concern). They require a $5,000 deposit, so I was planning on using a credit card cash advance in order to open the account, and I'll have 20 to 1 buying power. I do not plan on risking any more than $300-400 in any single day. There is a $120 monthly desk fee. I have a bachelor's degree from a good school so I do have something to fall back on in case I fail, and I think I can transfer the series 7 license over to a job where it might be useful.

    Should I open the account and trade full-time or should I just get a job and save up more money so I can trade with it later? Please feel free to ask more questions if needed. Your candid advice would really be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Get the job.

    There's no way you can make a living with only 3k in your account.
    Besides, you are still unprofitable.
  3. EricP


    Get a job, pay off your credit card bills, and continue to study the markets. Wait for 1-2 years, until you have no debts and $15k+ saved before you consider trading, IMO.

    Best of luck.

  4. Trading requires, amoung other things, a very clear mind.
    Being in a bad psychological state always adversly affects trading (unless you can REALLY zone out).

    You have a very small chance of success as a trader as it is (not you personally, just the statistic), and you (you this time) are not in a situation to be completely calm, cool and stable. This lessens your chances.

    Get a job for a time being.

    If you are 100% sure that you will suceed in trading and are gung ho about it - then trade. But if you were 100% sure, you wouldn't be posting here, now would you.

    Say hello to the man for me :)
  5. The answer is obvious, not even really a question. To do anything else is lunacy.
    How the heck do you have $900 in expenses? My wife spends that much just on food.

    Most traders (remember that most traders fail) overtrade and overleverage. There is a lot to be said for swing trading which can be done while you have a job.
  6. The only negative thing about waiting right now is the volatility is here and where will it be 1 or 2 yrs from now? I can't say the volatility will last but certainly it may take some time before we see the dreadful low range days we had from 2003 thru mid 2007. In my experience I found it much easier to daytrade when the vix is well above 20. I guess you could always pull the plug if you lost 50% of your money and didn't risk more than $100/day until you put together a few decent months. I guess the other question is what kind of a job can you find right now and what kind of p/t job can you do while you trade? If you are willing to work 5 nights a week at a decent paying jig maybe you can pull it off. Good Luck.
  7. Tums


  8. 1) Then you can't trade
    2) You can't provide that input
    3) You are mistaken. You feel you are learning but you may never become consistently profitible
    4) Try full time for 1 month and then review the hard facts. If you can work their system you might make it. If not, then trading at this time is beyond your well-versed abilities.

    You will be trading scared money with little proven ability and no consistency so I'd give you a generous 5% chance based on a good in-house system, but I think you believe you are better than this and need to prove you are one of the few who can make it with these odds stacked against you.

    As you already see failue as a possibility, make this as soft a landing as you can and apply for a job straight away as a parachute.

    Good luck! I hope you don't need it.
  9. Have you ever had a profitable year behind your belt? If not you will not be in good mental or financial shape to adapt to a new market (stocks vs futures).

    Everyone who starts always seeks a modest goal of "a few hundred a day". That's always a tipoff that you still have a very long road ahead. Get the job, pay off the debt. The market will still be there when you get back (well, hopefully rofl).
  10. I was in that situation once. Maybe even worse.

    I took the chance and made it. But I didnt start making real money until I gave up all my systems and just traded nice clean blank charts.

    With that said I had a job already ready to go in case it didnt work out.
    #10     Sep 23, 2008