Questions about prop firms with options + looking for a firm

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by Mamet, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. Mamet


    I hate to post this on the board here, but I've attempted to contact several prop firms that I'm interested in joining (Namely Echo and VTrader) and haven't received any responses (maybe because I ask too many questions), so I'm going to post my basic prop trading questions here. If anyone could give me a point in the right direction I would really appreciate it.

    I apologize if some of these have been covered here, but it's very difficult to get straight answers about prop firms.

    First, my situation is as follows: I'm 24, and I've been supporting myself playing poker on the internet for the past couple of years. I've been saving and investing some money, but not as much as I should have. After a disastrous attempt at currency trading, I've settled down and am now doing ok trading options. The US government recently banned online gambling, and while it's still hard to say whether or not poker will still be possible a few months down the road, I've decided that I've had enough of poker and would like to attempt to make the transition to full time investing now. I'm mostly interested in trading options, since that's what I'm doing right now and the concepts behind option trading are very appealing to me.

    What I'm looking for is this:

    I put up some money (25k wouldn't be a problem, but less would be preferable)
    I am given some kind of training course which would give me the tools I need to scalp futures (or stocks, but I prefer futures). Any options training would be fantastic too.
    After being monitored for a reasonable amount of time I'm allowed to trade my own money/the firms money with increased leverage
    I'm given a check/wire transfer for as close as possible to 100% amount of money I earned at the end of each month

    General questions I have about prop firms (specifically those that offer options trading):

    Do these firms only permit short term options trading, or are positions that are reasonably hedged and carefully managed allowed too?

    What kind of leverage for options are offered by firms? This will obviously vary wildly, but it seems like trading stocks/futures you're able to get 2-5x (or more) the margin you're normally allowed for intraday trading, and I would like to have a general idea of what it will be for options. I certainly don't need 5x normal margin requirements for options, but it would be nice to have some breathing room, and ideally I would like to scalp stocks/futures and have open option positions at the same time.

    Are there any other advantages to joining a prop firm besides the increased leverage? I think I read somewhere that with certain firms you can phone in an order directly to someone on the floor and get a better fill than if you had put it in yourself on the internet. Is this possible with all firms? Are there any other "insider" advantages like this?

    How important is the office environment to trading? I've been living in Europe for the past two years and really like it over here. I'm certainly willing to live in a US city if it's necessary to becoming successful at proprietary trading, but if it doesn't make a difference then I would rather trade remotely from Europe.

    How does liability work? I've read that you're not responsible if someone else blows up the firm, but I've also read that you fully join the company when you join a prop firm. If you're a full member of the company then I would think you would be liable for whatever happens.

    I would appreciate whatever information I can get, whether it's from offers from firms (particularly Echo and Vtrader - and I'd also like to know specific office locations for these firms), or general answers or comments to my questions above.

    I'm looking to begin with this in April, so I have lots of time to decide, but I would like to begin figuring things out now. Thanks!
  2. I'm in the same boat. Just ended a 5 year career playing online and don't want to play land-based for chump change.

    I like the idea of trading because it scales well. I get to decide my bet size, not the casino.