To start off , i have been trading Prop for 2 years since i finished college. I have been profitable for 8 months and taking in consistently around $400 to $600 a day with maybe 1 down day a month . The nature of the strategy and my income isn't anything to brag about , but its lucrative enough to keep me trading. So what am i whining about ? I have been eager to trade when i watch adults talked and bought stocks back in 2000 era. I was only 16 years old or so . During my senior and junior years in college i was almost certain i would end up working for AIG or Edward Jones selling IRA or insurance product. I saw no other option to even remotely get in the business. What completely change my path was the day i saw an AD from XXXXX TRADING , ran by the two famous brothers . I was naive enough to believe in the concept of becoming a CLASS B member of a prop firm. However at the point it seemed logical to me to put up 25K ( no interview , no practical training ) . Coming from avg family background , i had to do something i wasnt proud of to get my trading capital together . Long story short , i did not make any money at XXXXX TRADING . I burned 2/3 of the $70,000 i brought w/ me to the firm , including living expenses . what happened after that is i was fortunate enough to find another Prop firm with people that wanted to help me through the hard time . They taught me some different strategy , and backed me w/ almost no deposit till i became profitable . Finally , after surviving from bleeding to death in my former Prop firm . Now i am making some money , enough for me to sit back and think about what i really want . I have no complaints with the firm i trade w/ right now , but i do realize my scope is much bigger than just making some so called EASY MONEY . I look at people around me, i wonder why they trade ? I see retired wealthy guy who trade as pastime , I see guys who worked for many years in their life , and only trade now so they dont have to deal w / corporate politics again . I also see a couple 20s something raking in nice profit , and of course they trade because they are making good money and get to pick their own hours . I have no rights to criticize people's motive for trading , after all they all got bills to pay . All i know is i want to trade for the sake of it . If i wanted to feed my family i would go open a SUBWAY sandwich , or a Cold Stone Creamery with the money that would otherrwise be put to trading . MAYBE , Just maybe there are still upside for me in terms of money trading Prop ( with increasing size ) ; but i am not one of those guys proud of working short hours and don't have to obey to rules, meetings , dress code ....... so forth . I am only trading Prop because i have no other means to trade directly. Are prop firm fraudulent ? i don' t think so . Its simply a service offered to the ones who need it . Can you make money at Prop firm ? I believe so . Many people do make good money . I have seen many profitable traders at both Prop firm i traded . Their income ranged from 50 K to 500 K annually . I have seen many hard working traders who put in 10 hours or more a day . I have seen highly intelligent people who were profitable from first month . What i have NOT met is people who view market in great depth . The kind of people who are never contempt , always self-evolving . When the closing bell at NYSE goes off , I see these TRADERS can't wait to get out like kids did in high school lunch break . Only conversation i ever have with my peers trader goes like " What price did you take ? O shiit u made a killing " " How many shares did u put on ? " " How much did u make this month " Its not exactly inspiring trading around people who mostly think of trading as a way of exploiting market and make their life easier . My first trade was trading necessary sacrifice in time and happiness to dedicate to trading , but many around me dont agree . Again , i think if u want a life , go become a Entourage. I am also afraid market will start pouring on us suddenly . Hybrid market hasn't affected our profitability , i am the only person in my office that worries about more drastic change in the industry ( competition , cost , regulation ) . My branch manager ( the person who backed my acct ) told me he isn't worried about it untill further change start to erode our edge. Its true that no one knows the future of the mkt , nor can any individual prevent any big change . That is exactly the reason why i think Prop firm isn't a long term solution for serious trader . Their in-house technology and research is just inadaquate for the fast changing pace and the turbulence in the market place . I am in such dilemma . I keep asking myself why do i trade? Yes , i trade for $ . Even so , i care about the big picture more . Where could i go to really get into the right circle ? The last 2 years wont do me any good on my resume . I knew dammn well before i graduated that a assitant at Morgan Stanley may never even get to the trading desk and they sure dont pay a assistant 100K a year . There are tons of IVY league graduate who carry much better credential also waiting for their shot as trader at major firm . Moneywise i got no complaint about what i make now , but i know a semi professional prop firm that licenses anyone w/ 25K isn't what i am loooking for . The question is DO I REALLY HAVE A CHOICE ? People who trade at Prop often laugh about Wall Street as bunch incompetent smart ass who never traded their own money before. They also called them slaves who got no human rights in such crowded environment . To me , i see that competitive environment essential to improvement. Is grass really greener on other side of fence ? Should i be realistic just take the money and forget about my curiosity about the market ? Or should i quit trading here and try to start at the bottom of a real financial company ? I just want to feel i am better than i was yesterday when i leave the office . Sadly , only PnL matters in tarding . If i keep trading here , i will turn into one those traders i despise . The ones that look at their watch and cell phone 50times a day . I asked them " If u want out so bad why don't u just leave ? " They said " i need the money " I don't need my path set up easy , i don't need freedom , i will take my chance to get early heart attacks , but whereelse can / should i go to become a serious trader ?