Lifestyle trader choice - tough decision

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by cmdtytrdr, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Was wondering if some on the boards with experience can help me.

    Basically, I've been my own boss trading on my own for several years with a lot of success and obviously a ton of personal freedom. I take vacations when I want, and work whatever hours I want.

    I'm now being given the opportunity to take a potentially very lucrative position, but it will take me back to being a 9-5er (maybe 9-9er) in a very corporate environment. Dress, work hours, allotted vacation time, etc.

    How difficult a transition is this? I guess it's different for everone, but I'm interested in some opinions.

    I'm someone who loves my freedom and enjoy vacationing frequently. The trade-off is I can make a shi*load of $ if this position works out. I'm wondering if i should go for it, or am I gonna hate going back to the corporate grind so much that it's not even worth it. Also, I wouldn't feel right "trying it out" for a few months and quitting, I'd pretty much stick with it for at least a couple years since i wouldn't feel right leaving until I made the company a lot of $ or was completely hating my life.

    Serious replies, please. Thanks. How bad is it to go back to the grind, once you've been out for so long?
  2. It sucks, don't do it unless it's gonna make you so much $ that you can retire in 2 years.
  3. Sounds like you already have everything you want. Grass isn't always greener on the other side.
  4. I'm trying to think of the decision rationally, in terms of a dollar trade off for a brutal lifestyle compared to what I have now. There is the potential to make enough to retire in an amazing way in 4-5 years if i do well, versus having an already pretty great income now. But im greedy like most, and this is a great opportunity where i'll have a lot of AUM.

    The problem is the decision can't be made completely rationally since having an annoying lifestyle for a few years, when you're relatively young can really suck.

    I'm wondering if it's worth it. Would I look back in twenty years and be happy that I was miserable for a few years, but could then do whatever the fuc* i wanted.

    Wondering what others would do in my position. Am i being too greedy? Should i just be happy with my personal freedom and lets say $1m a year now, or should i suck it up for a few years and try to really make serious money, where i could whatever i wanted after w my life?

    I know it's a good problem to have but I'm struggling with it. Thanks for any advice. Would love to hear from other successful pro traders who are doing the prop thing or trading from home and loving it.

    Also, am I making this out to be worse than it really is and will i adjust pretty easily to the corporate grind after a couple months? (my suspicion is that I won't honestly, since I tried it a while back and pretty much hated it. But maybe i'm just overly pessimistic cause I'm so used to what I've had for a while.)
  5. I don't understand, isn't this what you're doing now? What would you be doing differently if you didn't "have" to trade? Party all the time? Play 500 rounds of golf a year? Read 6 newspapers a day?

    If you want more spare time, just trade half as much, or take half the year off... sounds like you would be making the 100% wrong decision to go back to a normal job. Sounds like you hate the 9-5, and I think it would be extremely difficult to adjust to an environment where you aren't the big boss.
  6. Occam


    If you're dissatisfied at $1M a year, I can't imagine that any multiple of that will suddenly leave you feeling fulfilled.

    And no matter how much you save during those 4-5 years, if it's in the form of real estate, stocks, cash, or fixed income, that savings is still more or less paper ownership that can become worthless at the whim of markets or governments.

    But then again, you may actually be surprised to find yourself enjoying working in a regular office again (no guarantees here of course :D). And it would also give you more of a "legit" employment history, for whatever that's worth.

  7. 1) Be willing to consider it as a change of pace and new challenge.
    2) If it doesn't work, so what. You can always go back to what you were doing before. There truly is no downside as long as you don't do anything too "stupid".
    3) It's like having a "huge, free, call option" with your new job.
    4) Be cognizant of a scenario whereby the company dismisses you before you want to resign.
    5) Don't get hung up on loyalty and committment. :cool:
  8. You've received from very good responses on the thread from Traders who are in a position to know what it is that you are considering giving up.

    But ultimately it comes down to you and your value hierarchies ... what is most important to you?

    If you say freedom, you'd better choose that nice and relatively easy lifestyle you have now where you average about 4-5 thousand dollars a day (for you traders think "2pts with 40 contracts on the ES") and be happy with that.

    If you say money and power get ready to gear-up and barter away your freedom to the CEO you'll be answering to for a great base pay plus a "sky's the limit" bonus (based on performance benchmarks, no doubt).

    The way we're designed, either choice is a winner, it's really 100% up to you.

    Tough Life. :)
  9. Good advice. IMO freedom is much more valuable than money (which you already have) and power (setup your own firm if you want that).
  10. I think this is an easy decision to make. You stick with the situation that makes you happiest. You describe the new opportunity with the words "brutal". Obviously, you will not be happy with this job so you should not take it and stick with the lifestyle you are happiest.

    Lets take a hypothetical situation. Lets say you are 35. You take this job and stick with it for 5 years. During that time, you make about 1 million per year (where as with trading you had made 200k per year). However, you waste 5 years of your life and at the end of that 5 years you are heavier, less healthy and overall unhappy. Was it worth it?

    I dont think so. I would never give away my life for the mighty dollar. I have witnessed many people over the years have strokes, heart attacks and the like in their 30s. I have witnessed people die and withdraw themselves in an obviously depressed state.

    There is a reason why there are automatic defibrillators available to you when you get off a NYC subway train...

    My advice is to go with what makes you happy. Some people are happy with a corporate job while others are happier on their own. Go with what makes you happy...or I can guarantee to you that you will feel the pain one day when you feel that sharp pain in your chest...
    #10     Jun 16, 2009