Opportunity or not? Unsure whether to continue.

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by NWOTrader, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. NWOTrader


    I'm in a very unique (or not) situation that I'm unsure on what to do next. Would appreciate everyone's opinion on this subject, but let's please keep it civil. I've been lurking these message boards for a while and I know it can sometimes turn into a childish b.s. session. Thanks!

    I currently trade remotely for a company that is more a franchise of a large North American prop firm. I don't trade my own funds but instead trade the firm's money. I pay one of the LOWEST commission fees out there: just 2 cents per 100 shares or 20 cents per thousand. I get all ECN fees rebated to me. I'm provided training. Finally, in all honesty, I don't think I would even have received this opportunity if I had applied directly with the main firm because of lack of experience in trading. Basically, I'm happy just to be given this opportunity in the first place by the owner of the franchise. These are all the good points.

    Now the problems, or challenges as I would put it. We are required to trade using a system that was developed by the co-owner/senior trader. They claim this system has at least a 70% winning ratio, but the empirical evidence suggests otherwise. Other traders have also noticed this and in one particularly brutal trading week, the calls he made had a 90% losing ratio!

    Next, we have trading rules that we are required to live by, but I noticed that several other traders and even the senior trader and his assistant sometimes break them. There is so much contradiction in what he says and what he does sometimes. Also, they can get pretty unprofessional and yell at some of us for what they perceive as our inability to listen and follow directions. It gets so frustrating that at times I would like to answer back.

    Another challenge is the very tight stop we must use. We have a 4 cents stop. Previously it was 2 cents. As a result we get stopped out more often than not. Needless to say, it gets very frustrating getting stopped out and then watching the stock soar right after and knowing I could have caught that run if the stop was more reasonable.

    Finally, I've been with the company 4 months now. During this time, I did not have to pay for anything. However, starting with the fifth month we will be required to pay a monthly fee for data services, etc. This is where the problem begins. I can't justify paying X amount of dollars every month and not having anything to show for it. We're required to make X amount every week in order to move up in share size. As far as I know, no one has made this weekly goal yet. They've said they will promote people soon, but that has yet to happen.

    Sorry for the long post. There is more to this situation,but I think this is enough to get my point across. I'm torn between paying the monthly fee and continuing or moving on with another prop firm like Bright and trading on my own. Again, I'd love to hear what ET members think. Thanks for your time!
  2. I am sorry you feel stuck. There are a few things that you probably already know, but I'll remind you of them...

    Following the system of someone else has some advantages.

    The main one being that it (hopefully) has been well tested. Such provides confidence to the new trader.

    Systems sometimes provide enough safe exposure to the markets to where participants find their niche.


    Following the system of someone else often does not work. Here are some of the reasons:

    Systems often fail over time. The market situation changes. Volatility, Bull vs. Bear, Trending vs. Sideways.

    Systems may not fit the user's personality. The system may follow macro trends, while a trader wants to be taking small profits with tight stops.


    Is your guru providing safe exposure to the markets that you may find your niche?

    Is your guru's style of trading something that you feel you may enjoy?

    Is your guru helping you with your own trading? As in training you on risk management, money management, psychology, order mechanics?

    I would imagine that every trader wants their own setups, their own "gut feeling", and the discipline to obey their own rules (and the knowledge to know when to bend them). So if your guru is helping you build such things, you may want to consider sticking it out.

    Also remember, looking around only costs you time.

    I hope this helps.
  3. how quickly you forgot the days when my calls had >90% winning ratio!