Prop requirements in house........

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by Pumpanddump, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. Could several people please give insight into the follwoing at different firms:

    I'm about to start trading with one of the prop firms that is mentioned on here frequently. For example, like a Worldco, a Bright Trading, a Shill, a Hold.

    Do these firms require you to be in the office trading for a fixed amount of hours each week. i.e, you have to be there every day of the week trading. Or, maybe you just need to be there enough each week to make your seat worth their efforts. I mean, these jobs do say that you are "an employee trader". So, will it affect your benefits (ie helthcare etc) if you decided to take a week or so off here and there to attend to things in your outside life.

    The reason I'm asking is because I'm trying to figure out if it is reasonable for me to think that I will be able to take time out of my trading week every so often to put time into a business that I am starting as well.

    Any and all insight would be appreiated by everyone at different firms.

    Thanks very much.
  2. I am not sure about how every place operates.

    I am sure they are different from place to place, and even branch to branch.

    I was at Schonfeld for many years. Until you are a "proven commodity" they expected their traders to be there pretty regularly. When I first started, I was expected to spend all day there, and go to a lot of meetings. After becoming an established trader, I could come and go as I pleased. As long as you make money for a firm, they are happy no matter what you do, or how you do it.

    Later, I worked at Generic. There, because I had some of my own money in the partnership, they never cared at all whether I was in the office or not. I am sure that if my seat cost them more than they made from my commissions, things would have been different. But other than that, there was no expectation of the traders to spend any minimum amount of time in the office. Maybe things would have been different if the office were more full. And maybe if I had not put up some of my own capital (which took ALL risk away from them). Also, I always made money for them, which is really all they cared about. I will go out on a limb and guess that is universally true no matter where you go.

    Schonfeld paid on a w2 basis. I was an employee. Generic was a limited partnership, and I received K-1 compensation. Depending on a lot of factors, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Check with your accountant.

    As far as vacation and time off, I think most places don't care that much. Of course, at some places you will be paying a "desk fee" or something like that, which makes time off a bit more of an expense to you.

    I have never been in a situation like that, so I am not sure if you can get your fixed costs suspended if you take time off. I am sure there are hundreds of people here that can address that issue. personally, I would rather pay a fraction of a cent more per share than to have to pay a desk fee. Or ticket charges, or whatever else places do to compensate for their expenses, which they are entitled to do. They just go about it from different angles.

    I know a lot of people are against trading prop. But personally, I like having a full IT guy, I like having a place to go, I like having backup systems, I like having a receptionist to take messages. I like having professional grade equipment (copy machines, fax, ready replacement terminals in case of problems, tools like Insight and Bloomberg, the more the merrier. Information isn't knowledge, but it can't hurt.

    I don't mind that a place makes a little profit on my trades. They pay rent, pay for equipment. support, bookkeeping, etc.

    I believe every business is entitled to try to be profitable. If they did not, we would have no way to trade.

    The pros and cons of trading prop can be debated forever. Use the search function to find all the arguments. They are limitless. But no matter how you trade, some firm is going to make a profit on your trades whether you win lose or draw. There is no free ride.

  3. ??
  4. G-Man


    I agree. I work at Worldco and have many friends who work for Assent, Generic, and many other places and it's pretty much the same everywhere. The bottom line is: As long as you make money for the firm, I don't think they care how much time you take off or how many hours you spend in the office each day/week/month. It's not like any of these firms have a shortage on space available. They would gladly welcome anyone who'd make them some money.
  5. I second that or third that. As long as you are making money in some way for the guys who are fronting you the leverage, data, equipment and space for your ass (can I say that here? no? yes?too late), then you have to know you can come and go as you please. In trading, I think the good ones know its not the amount of hours you put it necessarily, especially when you are performing our skill. Analysis, psychoanalysis, all that stuff is extra hours. HOwever, having said that.....I am recalling my past 'deals.'

    My first one on this subject was where I got paid a salary or 66% of my net, whichever was greater. I paid a substantial commission, and trading from 40 to 60K shares a day, even if I lost one or two hundred bazooms on any given day, the firm still made a lot of money off of my lever pulling. I would only get the evil eye on days I didn't trade or traded small. This was the infamous no money down job, and I learned a hell of a lot, especially about arb trading. Anyway...I digress. Still the evil eyes sucks. Taking a day off? It wasnt a very regular occurrence. Oh also, I was with a 5 man firm, so I also doubled as the resident techie for our "network" or computer idiots or lazy people. The lines of labor were not that clear. It was clear that a lot was expected beyond my talent that I thought they loved me so much for. Where was the love?

    The second deal was also no money down, and i got paid 75%. I traded from the office for one week and said "what the f*** am I doing," bagged the 3 hour daily commute and traded from my home. Got to hit the gym at 1:15 pst on the nose, hang with my friends when they got off at 5, and see my girlfriend at night. I also wasnt a dead wreck on Friday nights. Cool. I would do most of my "work" on trading in a 45 minute period between sessions, where i just analyzed my trades, you know "trend is your friend" "cut losses short" " avoid demand-backed expectations" "release your fear and obtain objectivity". "no carbs, etc" I saved the rest of it for the weekends.

    My current situation is changing, and my last firm is closing. As far as I can tell its not from my trading (Where is the denial smiley face? ). So now im taking time (more than I expected ) to settle in to another home. I got time...lots and lots of it.

    If you put up your own money anywhere, and pay your costs, nobody will raise an eyebrow unless you trade naked. (And I am not so sure that some brighter firms would even care about that, they might even cut you down a little on the slice if you DO n.) If you make money on someone else's money, and cover your costs for being there, you may get one eyebrow raised if you take days off regularly. If you make money on someone elses money, make them a profit over those costs, they could care less if you trade with smoke signals from some exotic island.

    When I got paid a salary, I used to tell my manager that my trading was better when I took regular days off, but they really cared as much about the volume in gross, so my job was really to trade decently every day.

    Thats my .02.

    :mad: :D :D :D :D :D :mad:
  6. cashonly

    cashonly Bright Trading, LLC

    While I don't have details on the others, I can give you the info on Bright.
    Whether you are in an office or a remote trader, you aren't required to physically occupy a seat. We treat this as your business and therefore you are the best person to determine when and where you need to be. However, I will say that more time at the office for in-office traders and more time in the remote chat as a remote trader would be beneficial.
    I can tell you as manager of the remote traders, there are a number who have other businesses and work both from their location or do trading from home, then go into an office for their other business. It's also helpful for new traders who want to get started, but aren't ready to drop the old career (I did this myself).

  7. This may surprise you, but Schonfeld is no longer like that at all.

    Schonfeld traders may recall how back in the good 'ol days (especially '98-'00), Shoney would keep every single hopeless trader & ne'er do well around. They'd keep even the worst traders because 'maybe they'll learn eventually'.
    Now that daytrading has hit a nuclear winter, Shoney's policy has veered to the opposite extreme.

    I have grossed 8 figures for Shoney over the past 6 years, including a respectable 1/2 mil in 2002. I also pioneered the entire Shoney futures trading program by pushing managment to create it, and being the first Schonfeld trader to trade futures for the firm. Recently, my attendence got down to about 20-30%, as I refuse to bang my head against the wall in a choppy market, trying to eke out a tiny fraction of my old numbers.
    I was told to dramatically increase my attendence, or I'd have to resign.

    I'm now with Echo...
  8. nitro


    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

    :eek: nitro :eek:

    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:


    Everyone here has said the same thing, and they are right. If you're producing and you're conisistent, going MIA or remote will not bother them. The question you must ask yourself is, can you trade just as well alone. If you can, then you may want to consider other options, like going to a firm that offers leverage instead. If you need to be in an environment with other traders, then you should not be thinking about remote trading, and focus on becoming a better trader. Good luck!!!
  10. Shill is still around? I thought they closed? ;)
    #10     Jul 2, 2003