Newbie looking for advice

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by NEAsher, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. NEAsher


    Hi, guys. I’ve just gotten an offer from a large prop firm, and I’m seriously considering it. I would be trading equities intraday, and I’m told that some experienced guys will be showing me the ropes. I have a fairly small bankroll, but the firm is offering heavy leverage. The problem is, I don’t have any real experience with the stock market, other than long-term investing (which is very different from day trading). I recently read an article in the September 2007 issue of Trader Monthly Magazine about the Top-30-Under-30 Traders, and I noticed that I have very little in common with these professionals. Most of them come from elite educational institutions, but I do not. Most of them seem to have serious quant backgrounds – there are a lot of math and physics and technology whizzes among them. I, on the other hand, have almost no understanding of physics or mathematical models. I took basic college-level math. I can use a computer for only basic consumer applications, like the average young person. I also notice that some of these traders have a background in team sports, which I also don’t have. I’m not sure what the correlation between team sports and successful trading is, but it seems to exist nonetheless.

    In addition, some posters on this board have said that it takes an “edge” to be successful at trading. I can honestly say that I don’t know what an “edge” is in this game, so I doubt that I have one. Many of the guys on this board talk about losing money for years and years, before finally becoming consistently profitable. This is one thing I know for certain: I do not want to invest many years to a losing enterprise. I can understand giving it a try for a year, or a year-and-a-half. But some guys here are talking about having lost money for more than five straight years before they started taking money out of the market regularly. I just can’t do that.

    I guess I’m asking if I should bother pursuing this at all? Given my lack of a quantitative (or sports?) background, my lack of an “edge,” and my small bankroll, am I just wasting my time and money? Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want to sell myself completely short. I can muster about $25,000, but it would suck to lose my entire savings over the course of a few months, so I’m only committing a small amount at first. Also, I won’t be trading with money that I need for bills or living expenses. I’ll be living with my family unless and until my trading career takes off, so I won’t have to worry about food, shelter, or utilities. Still, it seems that I’m starting from behind the 8-ball in a business that has a very high failure rate to begin with. Does anyone have any thoughts? BTW, I’m going to post this message on more than one board, so don’t be surprised if it comes up on another part of this site. I’m not spamming, I just want to get the most responses possible in the hopes of potentially heading off a big mistake. Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. NEAsher


    Hello... Anyone? I guess what I'm asking is whether an "ordinary" guy should even bother to attempt to trade for a living. Are most successful traders quantitative wunderkinds or engineers or computer programmers? Or, conversely, are any successful traders, let's say, liberal-arts majors? Or former blue-collar guys? Or community college graduates? Etc.
  3. I would like to read that article... can you tell me where to get it online?

    AS for you: You need more confidence in yourself for one. If you need approval from faceless strangers to do anything you have failed before you started.

    Read books, read posts, try fake money first.

    I am not yet one of them yet but I am sure there is someone making a living off this without a degree in rocketry.

    Starting a business takes time no matter what it is. If you expect to make big profit your first year you need to read more about starting a business.

    Don't mean to be rude, just want to shed some reality based solely on your remarks above.

    Hope that helps.
  4. stay away.
    You don't have the self confidence to become successful in this business.
  5. tradethetrade

    tradethetrade Vendor

    Don't worry about those guys at trader's monthly. Your background is fine but with your enthusiasm and confidence you are not getting too far at this. You have time and money to be successful but with this go-no-go attitute you are starting well behind the pack.

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck and keep us posted. It 's gonna be cruel for a couple of months.
  6. Just because heavy leverage is offered doesn't mean you have to use it. Start slow and give yourself a chance to succeed.

  7. tradethetrade

    tradethetrade Vendor

  8. NEAsher


    Thanks for all the comments guys. Actually, I do have enthusiasm and self-confidence. I thought I was just being realistic. I fully plan to paper trade for a while before placing my first real trade. But enthusiasm and confidence don't necessarily equal success. Aren't there some skills that one needs in order to be a good trader that the average person lacks? I mean, good traders are probably made, not born... but how? There has to be more to this than just self-esteem and confidence. I wasn't here looking for approval or a confidence boost, but all of your comments are much appreciated, nonetheless.
  9. The same way you get to Carnegie Hall.

    practice practice practice.

    Don't think for one minute those people you read about don't spend at leat 10+ hours a day doing this, following the news, etc.
    If they say otherwise they are liars.

    When you can make anything look easy, then you are damn good at it.

    Welcome to the group. This is a great place to learn!

    develope your plan.

    What is your time frame? risk tolerance? vehicle (stocks options futures)? How do you identify trades? (make your own system)
    test it, throw it here to be ripped apart...
    - Don't go buy some stupid program or system even with a money back guarantee. You have to learn it on your own, it's the only way.

    When you got that down, come back for more. :)

    PS Thanks for the link - link poster.
  10. dont be intimidated by these big hedgies
    #10     Sep 10, 2007