New to Prop Trading: Advice please!

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by PROPtraceyjc, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Hi all,

    I've recently got a job as a prop trader and am just about to start on the simulator after a month of training.

    I was wondering if anyone has any advice for someone whos just starting out?

    Basically we're been given daily limits with no restrictions on what we can trade.. from corn to bunds to gold etc.. and we're expected to come up with new products to spread (new as in a product that isn't actively traded in the copmany already).

    I'd appreciate any tips and/or words of wisdom!
  2. Who'd you get in with. Only advice I have for you is Risk Management = # 1. You'll survive if you shoot yourself in the head with that aspect of trading.
  3. RFLMAO! Who gave you a month of training and will have you trade on a simulator? I'd like to know who is responsible enough to do that. I just lost my job after working at Titletrading for 3 months. After I told them I had developped my own method, they showed me how to use the platform for a couple of days and told me I could do what I want. On one hand, I appreciated the fact they allowed me time to develop my ideas further but the no training thing is something I found rather bizarre and against their own interests. I do have respect for them for giving me a chance, but I doubt now I'd want to trade in an environment where you can hear people yelling loud enough at their monitors that you can't hear yourself concentrate. Or, even the fact that merely trading someone else's money gives you cold feet on some trades you miss because you're thinking you might be taking too much risk so you miss a good trade. Then you end up taking a quick profit on another trade that went farther in the same direction just because you wanted to guarantee a profit.

    I learned A LOT from the 3 months I worked there and my preparation before working there. And I learned more after losing my job there when I re-examined my ideas with various parameters, time frames and markets. Funny thing is, after reviewing my ideas, I ended up with ideas that are similar to a book I'm currently reading called "Forex Patterns & Probabilities" by Ed Ponsi. I think there's a simplicity and elegance in his methods that hides the true intelligence behind his setups. (I'm saying this because I've looked at all kinds of different methods. I even tried looking at fading some methods I thought didn't work well.) I'm currently in the process of applying for a Forex account because there are NO trading gaps in that market except for weekends. Sure, you can have swift movements in both directions on a Fed announcement, but the continuous moves make it much more realistic to use 30 min., 45 min. or 60 min. charts.

    It's kind of weird how my ideas went from six months trades to day trading in a prop firm and then more into a kind of swing trading kind of style. I didn't really feel like saying that because I think if those people read this, they might discriminate against people who have read about swing trading. I told them swing trading interested me when I did the two interviews and they didn't want to hire me at first. Then they read my message here that I didn't get the job and gave me a chance. If they do read this, I think if I would have had maybe one more month I think I would have had a chance to make it as a day trader. However, I think it was necessary for me to take a break from trading for a short while to re-think my ideas. So, getting laid off from that job I think permitted me to develop my ideas far enough to give me the real potential to make it. Anyway, after this long learning stretch of mine, I think I may have "found a home". I mean the idea of trading currencies on 45 minute charts.

    As far as day trading goes, I would look at the website and click on "economic calendar". You'll see when important news is about to come out.

    On a side note, I read a comment from David Nassar that Robert Colby's book on technical indicators can save you years of work. I just ordered that book and a Forex book by Kathy Lien. She's considered to be an expert on Forex.
  4. in this trading environment, ur better off working at macdonalds
  5. Here's a tip : this is not the right place to ask for advice.

    Why ? I'll let you figure it out :)
  6. Thanks for all the posts so far... from what i've read in other posts I know to vett out some peoples comments!

    Thanks for the advice clambill, i'll be sure to check out those books.. I come from a background in theoretical physics so i'm very interested in the technical side of trading.

    As for the work in mcdonalds.. well, do I even need to comment? No matter what type of market conditions exist, someone always makes money. I figure that in times of high volatility, staying disciplined in your trades, trading in the direction of the trend (long/short) and have stops that wont get you fired should guide anyone towards a reasonable profit. For instance, just forming a calculated opinion on how you think interest rates/QE are going to affect individual markets can make FOMC/BOE/ECB announcement days quite profitable, even if you go in flat and ride the order book. I would assume that only those who are greedy (30ticks up and still want more etc..) are those who will be caught offside. The stock market isn't rocket science (although that would suit me just grand ;) )

    Does anyone have any opinion on trading soft commodities? I've been looking at some interesting spreading opportunities but not too sure if you'd have to dedicate a lot of time to small factors (such as Farmer X in oklahoma notices his cows are loosing a lb a day more than usual...). Do many traders go into that area?

  7. Rex84


    rule no. 1- don't loose money
    rule no. 2- remember rule no. 1
    rule no. 3- the only thing you should hold overnight is your dick.
  8. I agree earlier, Ed Ponsi's book helps alot.
  9. lol
  10. Risk management is priority #1. Forget about trying to make the big bucks. Just try to make good trades. As soon as you get in a trade, set a physical stop, not a mental stop. Trade small, and study, study, study. If you control the downside long enough, there will eventually be some upside.

    This is the only thing that will keep you in the game. The learning curve is steep, very steep. You've got soooo much to learn, and every time you think you got it figured out, you quickly realize that you haven't. It takes TIME.
    #10     Mar 22, 2009