Background: I've been working at hedge funds (HF) as quant strategist / trader for last 12 years. I don't have enough saved to start my own HF, but over the 12 years I have saved decent enough to consider the option of quitting my job and "trading for a living". Questions: I was evaluating working for a prop firm versus simply trading on my own at retail discount brokers like Interactive Brokers (IB), (which I already anyway do). 1. I couldn't figure out why would anyone (i) who is experienced, and (ii) NOT a day trader, want to work for prop trading shops, versus trading on IB? (a). from the few sample of prop shops I visited (mostly small though), none pay any base salaries anyway. commissions are same as IB, or IB is lower. IB has better geographical & product coverage. (b). overnight leverage provided by prop shops is around 7x; but if the prop shop retains 10% of earnings, then the effective leverage is 6.3x. IB anyway provides 5x leverage for a portfolio margin account. Not much difference between 5x vs. 6.3x for a non-day trader. (c). the prop firms that I visited had not much exposure to setting up a quant trading process, i.e. no matlab/programming tools, or box-to-box execution, etc. they are mostly discretionary day-traders who basically jump on the news, click a few buttons to buy/sell, and close out by end of day. having been with buy-side HFs for a long time, this behavior didn't look something that would suite my (quant) style. So, apart from moderately higher leverage, what are the pros of prop firms viz-a-viz IB? 2. I would happy to put up a deposit (which prop shops seem to require), but a minimal base salary can make my mind at ease for quitting my current job. Are there any prop firms that pay base salaries? Or, is no base salary always the norm? Thanks. p.s. (i) apologies for any inherent biases in my questions, (ii) I hold nothing against day-traders per se.