Home alone vs office

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by illiquid, May 15, 2002.

  1. Was wondering how many out there have traded both at home and on-site at a direct-access brokerage for an extended period and what they thought of the (dis)advantages of either situation.

    I've been daytrading for a couple years from my home with little or no contact at all with other traders. Since 4x1 buying power came along, I've had a tendency to take very high risk intraday trades which have done wonders to my account drawdowns. This has lead me to think about trading with my own equity at a firm which could also provide some risk management as per my own instruction. Anyone have thoughts or suggestions here?
  2. You have to learn how to control your own trading; what you are asking is not their risk management's responsibility. In a firm like that you will be afforded increased margin; and since they are in the commission business, they probably won't dissuade you from using/abusing it.
  3. Good point.

    What about trading in an environment with other (hopefully fairly successful) traders? I've been trading for quite a while on my own but have been frustrated as of late; recently, I have put on some truly horrible trades out of pure emotion (too embarrassed to even post them here :) ) Has anyone ever tried trading with a partner or group of people who you would always reveal every position you took, if only to keep an even keel during the trading day? I know that asking others about your position is a sure sign for you to get out, but in this case all I'm referring to is an exposure of one's positions for risk management's sake. Would that work in the long run, or is it the case that if you can't make it alone, it won't matter anyways . . .
  4. I have to agree with Metoxx. I trade for a prop firm with none of my own money...and I traded at their office for first 2 1/2 years...and now Im a remote trader...since 9/1/2002.

    First, I would never recommend any new trader to start on your own from home because there is just too much to learn from other traders. There is no way you are gonna be a good trader if you start by yourself...or, better put: you will be a BETTER trader if you start at a site where you can learn the craft from other experienced traders. I left because I felt that I was not learning anything new from people around me. And, with the business the way it is, nobody is gonna teach you their methods for free anyway. So I left.

    Second, the firm's risk management will not stop you from trading in most cases. At Worldco, we have a very good risk management team ( I can't compare since I have not traded at other firms). And they have a profile for each of their 700 traders;i.e, how much their max loss per day should be, how much capital they have at the firm, how long they have been at the firm, etc etc...and they set a guideline for things like max loss per day. I have told them to TURN MY SYSTEM OFF if I am ever down $4,000 or more with a day. (They will let me close out any open positions). SO far, they have not done so. Most they have done is to call me. (And , of course, I gave them some excuse to continue to trade and lose more money). But they have not just pulled the plug as I told them to do. They have the power to do it...but they won't. I think this is because , as long as I am positive in my account and Im losing MY money, they simply dont worry about my daily losses as much. When I was into THEIR money, they called me as soon as my intraday loss got into 4 figures.

    So ultimately, it is up to you to control yourself. I know how difficult that is and it is something Im still working on. Im going to tell them to shut my system off again today if I ever have big losses - this time, $3,000.

    Lastly, I would never put my own money at risk to trade. Go to a prop firm and put someone else's money at risk!
  5. Why trade from a prop office? Commute is a hassle, fees are usually higher (if your using your own capital), and successful traders there likely would not share prized methods. Even if they did, you likely wouldn't be able to emulate them (eveyone trades based their own personalty structure).
  6. I'm torn between the two...I've been trading from home for the past year and a half. never traded from an office, but have visited a few.
    It does seem like it would be nice to have other people around to call out things and to pass the time during slow days/lunch time etc . you also have to worry about office sabatours(sp?)..when I worked as a broker there were always guys who were not doing well or just constantly distract you with things....so whats better ? i don't know.
    sometimes I wish i had an office, with no cat to bother me...no distractions when my girlfriend is home etc....but then again..sometimes its nice to sleep late..wake up at 8:30..and work in my PJ's.especially when its snowing.
  7. to converse with during slow/down times via chat rooms or the phone or something......
  8. in my mind, there is no question, home is the place to trade. i have visited several prop firms and was turned off by the bad vibes ( in my opinion). one guy having a bad day seems to be like poision in these places, but i guess the opposite is true also. you should spend some time at an office, however, since everyone is different.

  9. cashonly

    cashonly Bright Trading, LLC

    I've traded in an office and home alone.

    I've lost and made money at both.

    Here's my take on the advantages/disadvantages:

    Home Advantages:
    No commute
    Quiet work environment
    Costs are less
    Home Disadvantages:
    No one to bounce ideas off of
    No one to give you a heads up on a news item

    Office Advantages:
    Can turn to the trader next to you and ask questions easily
    Multiple eyes scanning for opportunities
    Office Disadvantages:
    Costs are more
    Lots of distractions
    Have to commute

    Let me just make sure everyone knows where I'm coming from. I manage remote traders for Bright. So, I see things from the remote, proprietary viewpoint (it's been about 4 years since I was in an office on a regular basis).

    We do a number of things to mitigate the disdavantages of being at home. For example, as of late, we've been having online audiochat meetings everyday with any of the traders who are interested. In these meetings we discuss strategies, news items, use of the software, exchange rules and how they affect your trading, etc.

    There are some groups of traders who have their own audiochat room that they keep on all day long and are always talking to each other about what they are seeing in the market.

    We monitor traders risk and if I see a trader taking an uncharacteristically large position or having a particularly large loss, I give them a call and talk to see what's going on and see if he realizes what his situation is.

    I have some traders who have come from offices that have a very cohesive environment and they don't like remote, so they go back. For example, One trader is monitoring oils, another drugs, another retail, another banks, etc. When someone sees something worthwhile in their sector, they tell everyone else in the office and they all jump on for a nice ride.

    Then I also have traders who come from very different offices. They tell me about environment's where it's every man for himself or that know one is interested in even talking, much less sharing ideas. They also tell me about offices where their style doesn't gel with the office style. For example, a T/A trader in an office that has only scalpers won't benefit from them and is often distracted or starts trading a style that isn't suitable for him.

    So, if you are going in an office, make sure it's an office that has the right style for YOU. If you're going to trade from home, see if you can hook up with other remote traders who are of like mind and communicate with them regularly.

    As I said, pluses and minuses to both.

    One of my favorite in-office stories is when I was sitting next to a trader that had a very negative attitude. He was positive that BAC was going down and every time he shorted it, it went against him and he'd curse a blue streak. This happened three times in a row and was really distracting. So, the next time, I decided to use him as a contra-indicator. He went short BAC and I bought it. Sure enough it went against him and I closed the position at a nice profit!:D
  10. As the prior reply stated, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. My main reason for making the move from office to home was mostly based on economics. At the office I was paying ticket charges and ecn fees. For small sized trades, the cost was prohibitive. Additionally, almost everyone in the office (even experienced traders) was losing money EVERY day. The standing "joke" each day was that whoever lost the least was the winner ! I found it a very negative environment even though the traders were quite personable and the office and trading stations were brand new.

    I trade from home using TS6 and have been consistently profitable. I do miss the camaradarie and the socializing that you get in an office environment. Towards that end, I have some trader friends and we get together fairly regularly and talk "shop".

    While trading from an office, I had hoped to be around profitable traders but unfortunately that was not to be. Presently, trading from home I feel I have the best of both worlds. I find that 4X margin is plenty for my needs. I seldom go beyond 2X intraday anyway at the present time and am still able to generate a good income. Perhaps as I become more skilled (and confident as well) I will increase my intraday margin. Until then, I want to be around to play another day !

    Good luck.
    #10     May 15, 2002