Looking for Career change (Canadian)

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by Strahan, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. Strahan


    I am a Computer Science grad, and have only recently discovered my passion for the markets. I have been teaching myself as much as humanly possible for the last 6 months and am looking to get into day trading at some point in the future.

    Unfortunately, I do not have the capital to set out on my own, nor do I feel completely confident in my self-acquired knowledge. I wish to find a job which will let me learn about the markets while building my stake. I am looking for some advice.

    Could any of you suggest which path would be the best for me to take right now. I am looking into trying to get into a firm like SwiftTrade and learn what I can there but I worry about how quickly it would take to start bringing in a steady paycheck. The other option would be to fund my own education and do the Canadian Securities Course for starters, while maintaining my job in IT.

    The problem with remaining in IT is that my current career is in no way furthering my knowledge of what I consider a passion of mine. In fact, it gets in the way of learning at a faster pace, but it pays the bills.

    Also, what are the chances (and what would be my options) for someone who does not have a degree in finance in getting a trading job at another firm (I hear SwiftTrade is easiest to get into).

    P.S. I am based in Toronto.
  2. A lot of individuals think painting is their long lost "passion".

    Many new "artists" buy the best art material thinking it'll help them draw better.

    Unfortunately for most, making good art comes down to whether you have the talent or not. Quality of material is irrelevant or secondary at best.

    Even with innate talent, most of the greatest artists labored for many years before finding their stride.

    Trading is an art form and most can't even begin to draw a straight line correctly.
  3. IMHO, a career in trading will put you in a giant emotional rollercoaster. You are expected to fail, fail many times, and hopefully learn from your failures. It is best to continue with your career in IT, obtain a stable stream of income to weather the emotional storrms while you learn to trade on the side.

    I understand you want to learn as quickly as possible, but there really isn't a quick way. I am guessing that with a stable job in IT, you may even learn faster as you realize and learn from your mistake with minimal emotional burden.

    Swifttrade is a good firm. You will learn from it, but don't expect a stable job in a prop firm.

    In the end, the choice is up to you.

  4. Strahan


    Thats very astute. But for the sake of argument, lets assume that given proper training, my talent will flourish.

    What you described applies to most professions. I am going on the assumption that my confidence in my own intellect, drive and hidden talent will prevail in the end. I am not asking for others to comment on weather or not I will be successful, but the best path to take to find the ceiling of my success without giving myself too much of a handicap.

    As far as art forms, if success in the markets was purely dependent on some intangible "talent" then black box systems would never be successful.
  5. passion does not equal TALENT. And, talent does not equal PROFITABILITY.

    with that said, IMO if you are in your 20s and are single...and believe in yourself and work ethic THEN spend 100% of your time trading and learning. sometimes IF you leave yourself NO OUT you are better off. (knowing you can fall back on your "job" IMO is a crux I am sure many, many aspiring traders fall victim too.)

    you will need to structure your life and debt so that you can survive in those initial years. good luck!
  6. GGSAE


    Passion does not equal talent nor profitability but it does give perseverance. Once you begin trading you have to make the decision whether or not you're in it for the long haul, expect it to take 3-5 years to be consistently profitable (in other words trading becomes your primary source of income).

    During this period you'll fall back on your passion as your motivation to overcome all the hurdles in trading: to get through drawdowns, to deal with occasional equity shocks, persisting through family & friend deterrence because they cannot understand and will not support you, dealing with the fatigue of trading while having external employment for income, ect., ect.

    The first couple years are the most trying because that's when you'll be questioning yourself the most. Gradually it comes together for those that make it work, but you have to be patient and willing to do whatever it takes. If you're starting out, anything that can help, do it! Get a part-time job if you'll be worrying about money, look around you and find a mentor or other experienced traders that are willing to help. And remember there's many styles/strategies out there, find something that suits your personality and gradually build a methodology around it.

    I really don't think it matters which firm you're with if you maintain this philosophy but sometimes it takes a specific setting to bring it out within, all the best!
  7. Kovacs


    Are you interested in discretionary trading or writing black boxes?
  8. Strahan


    I don't have a definite answer just yet. I enjoy trading on my own, but I also see a lot of potential in applying my computer science knowledge to the field. I will likely try both at some point. I have written a paper on artificial intelligence and pattern recognition, but the first order of business is to get intimately familiar with how the market works, and nothing beats first hand experience.

    At this time, I think my best chance of success (and the source of my passion) is in discretionary trading. I am much more inclined to the technical side of trading however, and a blackbox would certainly provide a level of discipline I could only hope to achieve.

    In order to give myself some focus however, the basics would suit me the best at this time.