Promotion or Trade?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by HispaTrader, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. I am an Engineer for a well-known telecommunications company and have been offerred a technical manager position. This has been my career since I graduated from college. This year I started to trade futures part-time, 3 days a week, and I love it! My dilemma is this, if I accept the promotion, I can not trade anymore. I have to work full-time to fulfill my new responsibilities. In my opinion, this is a great opportunity that pays very well. I have worked hard for this but I didn't think that I would develop such a passion for trading!

    I have been learning about trading and technical analysis since May 2004 and have devoured many, many books on the subject. I believe I have a solid grasp of technical analysis and I feel I can truly become a consistently successful trader, expecially because I have no mental baggage or hang-ups. What I need is EXPERIENCE! I understand that trading is a probability numbers game and I am able to let go of a losing trade without any problems whatsoever. However, as you all know, education takes you only so far, and one needs experience if one is to truly succeed. My goal is to eventually trade for a living.

    So, I would like to hear from other traders who have faced similar difficult decisions and what was their outcome. I must decide whether or not I should postpone my journey to become a trader and take the promotion. This is a very hard decision for me, because although I love my current job, it still doesn't compare to trading for me. My gut feeling tells me that I should "go for it!" Although I am a confident person, realistically, I may not be profitable for another year or longer. I have been trading for about 5 months and am a breakeven trader. Let me stop here since this post is getting too long. Thanks in advance.
  2. hola ... hello ... welcome to ET

    is there a way you can trade part time outside of your engineer job hours from home?

    I know this might sound like a stupid idea for you
    but I do not think you should ditch the job
    right now.

    at least try to save up some more money

    here is another idea ( ok maybe a dumb one )
    can you block out thoughts of "trading" during your working days and nights ... and maybe try
    to trade only during those days you have off
    ( holiday / vacation )

    good luck
  3. Assuming you are in the US, take the job and come home and trade the Nikkei, Hang Seng and SPI at night. That way you can have the best of both worlds.
  4. hisptrader,
    I'd take the promotion job 100%

    Trading is sort of like starting up your own business,

    You'll need capital and also capital to live on,

    until you have 100k+ saved up, you shouldn't start trading or it'll be high pressure on you to make money.

    If you love your job, by all means do it,

    You'll also need at least 100k-200k trading capital to make a decent living.

    Less in futures.
  5. Thank you all for the feedback! It looks like the advice has been pretty consistent.
  6. Particularly that you love your job - you should stay for the trading capital.

    I am in a similar situation but end each day exhausted and not in a great mood. Not enough capital to quit yet.
  7. I've met some traders that have other jobs while trading.

    Some of these guys are breakeven traders mainly because they don't have the time to devote themselves to trading in comparison to someone trading fulltime that has no other job.

    I also have met some traders in similar situation as yours...

    They resolved it by either taking the promotion and soon afterwards they took a leave of absence from their jobs so that they can trade fulltime.

    A few did the opposite...they took a leave of absence to trade fulltime and then return to their other job to later take the promotion.

    The main purpose of the leave of absence is to allow you the chance to gain some real trading experience and to determine if you have what it takes to trade for a living.

    However, if your unable to take a leave of absence...

    Another option is to trade a different trading instrument that has its most active trading hours either before or after your other job work hours.

  8. FT79



    I was in a similar situation as you. I was a student in my final year and was daytrading US futures (I’m from Europe). I had my winning/losing days but I was getting better and better. Recently I finished the university and made the choice to find a job. Why, I didn’t have enough money for fulltime daytrading and wasn’t profitable (enough). It was a difficult choice because I love daytrading but the only rational option in my situation. Imho you should only make this choice if you can make money every month (pay bills, make a living) for at least a year. It’s a zero-sum-game!!!

    Making this choice doesn’t mean I have to stop trading, I recently found a job and have focused my attention to index options (still paper trading to get familiar with options) and holding my position for a longer period (I’m not allowed to trade futures and have to hold my position for at least 24h). I made this shift because I only need 1 hour a day to analyze my position and I have developed a win-win situation. I can make a career at my new job and still trade, and if I’m a bad trader I still have my job. If I can make a living trading options I can quite my job and become a full-time trader, but I will only make this choice if I’m almost 100% sure I can make a living with it.

    My 2 cents,
  9. NihabaAshi, thank you for laying out the options and sharing your experience with me. Please see my options below.

    FT79, thanks for sharing your experience, it is helpful. I will not be putting myself in a situation that totally relies on my trading to pay the bills. Like many on the site have already mentioned, I think the pressure is enormous for someone trying to trade for a living, but has not achieved consistent profitability. Right now, quitting my job is not an option.

    First of all, let me say that I have no debt and my mortgage is paid off. I have enough savings to support myself for 2 years and can start with a $75K-$100K trading account. I trade futures.

    So here are the options I am considering:

    1. Keep my current job and continue to trade as I am doing, trading part-time. Currently, I am trading during the morning, 3 days a week. I was hoping to increase my trading exposure.

    2. Keep my current situation as described in #1, and take a leave absense in the fall from October to January. During this time, I will not receive a salary, but I'll have a job to go back too. The goal would be to determine if trading is really for me. Right now, I think trading full-time, if profitable, would be the best job for me.

    3.. Keep my current job, but work part-time. Even part-time, my salary is quite good. I would then trade 3 full days a week.

    4.. Take the promotion and stop daytrading. Focus on trading off of 120M/daily/weekly charts. This will allow me to continue to grow my trading account.

    The great thing is that my boss will support me in whatever I do, but he will be definitely disappointed if I turn down the manager position. I consider myself fortunate to be able to pursue my trading while maintaining a great job. It reduces the risk and pressure substantially and allows me to ease into the trading profession.

    Again, I do not plan to quit my job outright. I don't think that is a prudent thing to do given my trading experience. The only thing I lose by not taking the promotion is the promotion itself and approximately a 15-20% pay increase. If I take the promotion, I will not be doing it for the money, but for the job itself.

    One other thing that I struggle with is this. When traders become profitable, do they typically continue to daytrade or do they "graduate" to swing/position trading, holding positions for days to weeks? In which case, holding another full-time job is possible. I am not sure if I am correct here or not.

    Thanks again to all.
  10. Another option, which NihabaAshi mentioned, is to trade other markets outside of normal business hours. I'm in the US.
    #10     Jul 20, 2005