I think people place too much emphasis on names in this business. I work for one of the top firms in the industry after having traded my own account for years and have been shocked at just how much more difficult trading your own account is than picking up a paycheck at these big firms. Most people would be suprised if they saw the lack of knowledge that the majority of employees possess. I have seen people with Short=sell posted as a note on their computer screen. I have also been asked questions by senior management about basic trading concepts that most newbies on here would understand already. Anyone who tells you you cannot go from trading your own account to a job at these firms is telling porkies. If your own trading has not gone well write it up on your CV in a positive light. Note all the concepts you have learnt about options futures etc and the market place in general and you will be miles ahead of the competition. Failing at trading your own account is not the be all and end all of your experience. I guess I want people to realise that work has not been for nothing. I used mine to get a reasonable job at a top firm. The way people make it sound here is as if no one would touch a trader who has traded for their own account but you may be suprised. Do not dispair you know more than you think!