Going Full-time, please advise

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by venturerider2, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. I am making a career change to full-time trading. I’ve traded on and off part-time in the last few years but have been unable to really focus on trading due to the demands of my current job/position. I’m working on changing that situation now and I’m looking for the optimal entry point into this business given my personal situation. I’ve read all the “prop vs. retail” posts but still have some questions. Here are the main points regarding my situation.

    · Since I am just starting out as a trader, I would prefer not to work at home. I would rather go to an office and interface with other traders - preferably those who are experienced and dedicated. I would like to be around successful people who are doing well. I am in my 40’s and have succeeded in building other businesses. While I’m sure some of you have become successful on your own, I believe being around other traders could be a significant factor in my own learning curve (not to mention that I could not handle being around my wife’s honey-do’s, four kids, and a barking dog all day).

    · I live in the New York City metro area (Long Island) so working anywhere in the city would be fine.

    · Right now, I am less concerned about “excellent rates” and more concerned about learning from “excellent people” (but don’t get me wrong – I want competitive rates).

    · I do not need a salary and am comfortable with a starting contribution of 50 K (if prop, assuming of course that I review and am comfortable with the financial health of the firm).

    · I understand the benefits of prop vs retail (leverage, balance sheet risk vs SIPC insurance, data fees, series 7, interest on balances, etc., etc.) However, to me right now, as important as those things are, what is more important is learning how to trade well, finding the best type of trading that suits my personality, and developing a style.

    · While my previous (but limited) part-time trading experience has been in equities and equity options, I am really just starting out so I am open to other areas including FX and futures.

    So the questions that I have are the following:

    · While it appears that most retail trading is done remotely, I know there are a few retail firms where one can go and trade in an office setting on a desk with other successful people. How are these environments different than those of a prop firm? I understand the deal structure is different but is the working environment really that much different?

    · Regarding the retail firms that offer a trading floor environment, are there excellent traders there who are willing to take on a role as a mentor (understanding full well that I would enter into a financial arrangement with him/her making it worth his/her time and effort)?

    · If a company is offering prop and retail at a particular office address, are their traders physically in different space or are they commingled? Do they have access to the same resources and technology?

    · I understand what an LLC is (I have an LLC in another business) but I do not really understand their place in the game as it relates to prop vs retail. In regards to issues I have outlined, are there advantages/disadvantages to becoming a member of an LLC (vs. prop or retail)?

    Thank you for your advice. I look forward to contributing.
  2. MeAgain


    you are too late

    trading at your age needs 8 years of screen time

    by the time you learn you will lose most of your money

    and your PALS at offices and prop firms will NOT give you their edge if they even have one and are not just transitory traders like yourself

    sorry truth is hard but it will set you free
  3. MeAgain


    oh and just to add, I am the smartest person I know and it took me 4 years of screen time to truly grasp it at age of 23
  4. First of all- good luck! Hope it works out for you. What career are you coming from? I would seriously consider looking at futures, YM and ES are a good place to start. Very liquid, low margin requirements.
  5. trendy


    A. You need to get out more if that is the situation.

    B. Since when did brains equal trading success? Ever heard of LTCM, Vic Neiderhoffer, yada, yada, yada?
  6. Age has nothing to do with it up to about 70.
    There are waaay too many kids posting here.


    Alan Smurfit won his first poker WSOP bracelet at age 65.
    He started playing poker seriously at age 62...
    After selling his business for 8 figures.

    World class poker is infinitely tougher...
    Both intellectually and psychologically...
    Than day trading.

  7. Mvic


    Venturerider, FWIW I taught my father how to day trade the YM in 3 months using only 2 setups at age 63. That was 18 months ago. He started trading 1 contract and now trades up to 120 at a time. Even though he only trades a few days a week he is up127% this year. Factors that contributed to his quick success was that he didn't need the money, he comes from a very disciplined business background and the first book I started him on was Elder's Trading is a Business and he approached it that way. I don't think he will be trading much longer as frankly it bores him and takes up too much of his time but the point is that business experience especially if it is that of having built your own business rather than as corporate lackey is good preparation for trading success.

    Find an area/instrument that you are interested in and then learn all you can about it. Spend a good 3-6 months just watching it trade every day while watching the rest of the market too so you get a sense of what relationships exist between instruments. You will start to notice thing repeat again and again. Write your observations down daily and review then from time to time. Read as many books as you can during this time and evaluate what you are reading against what you are seeing in the market (80% of what you read will be dross). Don't fall for a guru, figure it out on your own though some of the trading rooms can be useful for a couple of months but no more than that unless you really enjoy the commentary of the people in the room (Pure tick isn't bad for a couple of months but not to follow their trades but to see how they trade if you are having a hard time figuring that part out). If after 6 months you are still not getting anywhere it may not be for you but if you start to see something through the fog of data then start paper trading,maybe even get an account going on C2 if you think you have found a way to be profitable and once you are profitable for at least 3 months on a sim like C2 then put money to work.

    Look at futures, specifically YM to start (don't move on to Es until liquidity on the Ym becomes a problem, read Mark Cooks interview in New Stock Market wizards), and check out a thread on here titled AHG by Anekdotten, he has mentioned the type of trades that my father is using.

    The important thing is to be very critical of every piece of info that you come across. Does it work or is it just more BS? Generally speaking simpler is better and a method that has you making few high probability trades every day or week is generally best unless you are very IT savvy and find some high frequency trading edge (highly unlikely as the institutions are all over that)and only slightly above average intelligence is needed to trade successfully (in fact for most types of non quant trading too much analysis is detrimental).

    If sitting in front of a screen all day isn't your cup of tea then thing about a method that can be traded EOD (you should still invest 3-6 months of screen time even if you then migrate to end of day trading.

    If you want to trade based on a macro view, unless you have millions to put to work forget about doing it for a living, though with smaller amounts you can augment your portfolio's returns very nicely indeed(this is primarily what I do, taking the portion of your investment capital that you might otherwise give to a hedge fund and trade it yourself). With $50K you are pretty much limited to day trading and maybe some short term swing trading if you plan on doing it to make a living.

    If you are interested in equities then check out the kirk report and the opening orders thread.

    Best of luck to you.
  8. Eddiefl


    It is possible to accomplish. Basics: let winners run, cut losers fast.

    Find a methodology that works, verify that it works, apply it repeadetly, repeat.

    Thats is,, Trade small and look into futures trading. There are many games played in daytrading equities.

    Good luck. Consitency is the key,, That cannot be stressed enough,

  9. MeAgain


    yeah give the man false hope

    I am the only one willing to say it like it is.

    To make it I had to experience depression, multiple failure, ridicule by family and most friends, and paid LOt of money

    so there believe the ferries from magical land or believe me

    good luck
  10. He started trading 1 contract and now trades up to 120 at a time. ..I don't think he will be trading much longer as frankly it bores him ...


    Wow! Your father trades up to 120 ym contracts, that's some achievement in such a short time. Did I tell you I love fiction !!:D
    #10     Oct 28, 2007