If you had to do it all over again....

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by cashmoney69, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. If you had to go back to the very first day you opened your trading account, armed with the knowledge and experience you have today, would you: (may pick more than 1)

    1. decide trading is too stressful and risky and put your money somewhere else

    2. Trade something other than what you started with?

    3. Would you change your style of trading, if so, what style would you choose?

    4. Start at a prop

    5. Get a college degree before trading (full time)

    - nathan
  2. Start Trading at 18:D
  3. yeah shud have started when i first got interested back in the late 70s...maybe too young tho at 9yrs old :D
  4. Thats an easy question, I would start making money right away!

  5. pitpro


    Not have taken so many days off when I was young.
  6. acrary


    With the info I have now, I would've done things very differently.

    I would trade 100% strategic and 0% tactical. By this, I mean I would diversify simple trading styles like trend, countertrend and rangebound over time and markets. I wasted too much time and effort on when to buy and when to sell. My time would've been better served asking; "should I be long, short, or flat?", for the simple strategies in multiple timeframes and markets.
    Rather than compounding I would add more timeframes or markets to build the account while continually lowering the overall risk.

    I would have never worked for another investment firm. They're good at discovering talent but useless at building it. The payouts are peanuts compared to hedge funds and the risk/reward demanded is ridiculous compared to the managed fund world.

    To make mega millions earlier I would've started a CTA ASAP and concentrated on marketing to fund of funds that had a negative correlation to my trading results. Building the account from opm is much easier than banging out the dollars and trying to build a account. I'd spend much more time at investor conferences and raise my profile. If I had some money early, I'd hire a publicist and a stylist. I used to argue with a investment bank guy that said "perception is reality". Now, I have to agree...he was right.
  7. I would start all over with ONLY fully mechanical trade ideas/systems development. I would have NEVER ordered any charts, indicators, or trade systems packages.....UUGH! :D

    I would start off "clean" and free of all the DIVERSIONS! :cool:
  8. tireg


    Well said, Acrary. I thoroughly enjoy your insightful posts, since I'm actually in the beginning stages of my trading path, working on systems development along the lines of what you've posted about (multiple uncorrelated strategies for diff. types of trends employed across uncorrelated markets). Excellent point about trading multiple timeframes as well, since that adds another dimension to the field :)

    That being said, while I agree with your point on investment firms not being able to build talent, at the same time as a young person coming out of college, it's extremely difficult to get your name out there and get OPM if you don't have some sort of history... many of my colleagues, myself included, seek jobs in these investment firms to build a foundation or launching pad for our future endeavors. By doing this it is my opinion that one gets networking exposure, valuable references (by working under more important/respected people in the field) and practical operational experience.

    I had a discussion earlier about the proper way to launch a CTA/HF; it seems there are two paths one could take: one could either break off right away and through one's personal networking try to get OPM, or one could work at a larger firm to develop one's reputation/name/credibility as well as build professional, industry contacts. The latter would ensure that one has something to fall back on if managing money wasn't your thing, but also increase the chances of larger "institutional" money coming your way, since you'd have enhanced your appearance to potential investors.

    From a hypothetical and empirical standpoint, people that manage the huge funds running billions of dollars seem to have taken the latter path. Barton Biggs wrote about this in Hedgehogging.

    Thanks to the OP for the post; while we can't go back and change things, advise that the veterans have greatly benefits those who seek it.
  9. I'm still young and, hence, in the early stages of my life/career. I have to say that I'm not sure that I'd change anything up to this point. I've learned a lot through failure. Whether it was working for a chop shop (Chimera Capital) that tought me the importance of low rates and independence from the influence of others (the difference between trading your own and someone else's money) or working as a temp at an investment bank for me to realize that I don't want to be some 40-year old sucker starring in my own New York version of Office Space.

    All in all, I have and continue to enjoy the ride and the lessons that result from setbacks. That being said, my forward-looking goal is to never put myself in a situation from which I cannot recover.

    In this semi-random world of ours, this is the best we can hope for: Meaningful experience and the knowledge to internalize life's lessons, spinning them into ever-increasing tangible outputs.
  10. m4a1


    perception is indeed reality.

    to the recent college grads: i'm sure you've heard this before, but do you really understand why and have you accepted it?

    acrary, i am surprised that you seem to be saying you have been adversely affected by this too. i thought someone with your background will have no problems with either the perception part or the reality part.
    #10     Jun 8, 2006