Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by pdicartery, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. Hi all,

    I am trying to determine if I should work as a prop trader at a small firm. The firm is not paying me a base salary and also asked me to put down some capital if possible, but I will be taking in 70-80% of the profits that I generate. Is this a horrible deal???

    A little bit about myself: I am someone who is very interested in trading (and hoping to make some money, if possible), will have a Master's degree from a top 5 financial engineering school, have technical degrees (comp sci and math) and worked at big-4 consulting firm previously.

    I have heard all the negatives about prop trading and I am wondering about the following:

    1. It doesn't provide any transferrable skill, either in business or finance. Is it true? If I take this job, am I doom for the rest of my life??

    2. I am really interested in trading and can imagine myself working as a trader for a long time. But does this opportunity really provide what I want? I mean, can prop trader be a "life-long" career and also be making BIG money??

    3. How about if I take this job as a learning experience for about 2-3 years to see if I am really good at this and to give myself a chance to try something that I have always wanted and find out if I am a good fit? I am thinking about doing an MBA later down the road and will this sort of experience make me stand out of the crowd for trading positions at major investment banks?

    4. Finally, if the firm does not require all the necessary licenses (Series 7, 55, and 63), what does that really mean? Is there something fishy about the firm???

    I'm at a crossroad of my life, and any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. With your financial academics you can afford to be picky. Most prop firms today offer 100% payout with some capital down for experienced traders or (finance/ economics majors).Interview at at least 5 firms and check out their operation. I would prefer a firm who wants series 7, 55 because those are the ones that are usually serious and offer best deals/real trading environment. Good luck.
  3. jeffowy


    Hate to say it, but with your resume it might be worth looking for a steady office job you enjoy.

    There are lots of markets that trade at night. Futures, foreign exchanges, currency exchanges. Pick one as a hobby. You'll feel a lot better financially and if you get to the point of making consistent money, you can always make the switch then comfortably. best guess :)
  4. Go for something else, for the things you listed you wanted, just seesms like trading will not be your deal, because it will be a painful experience and with your success at a great school and all, I don't think it will transfer well into trading. If you really have gotten out of this great school. Go get a great job that pays well and then start swing trading and holding positions for a few days at a time, and then slowly work into trading more and more when work allows it.

    In trading, it doesn't matter how much you want it, it's going to give you what you are going to get, if that means taking your money, then it will, you have NO control over what happens, you can only react to it.

    But if anything, why not open up a Futures account with 2k and just dive right in while you have time hopefully?
  5. Manu


    Just curious, is this the MFE program at UC Berkeley / Haas ?

    I checked out their program ($40K for a one-year stint), it seems those who graduate go on to the big wire houses in N.Y. etc. and make big bucks. It seems you would be selling yourself short if you would just work as a prop trader.

    Also, I'm not sure if an MBA in addition to the MFE would add any value in your marketability or business success.

  6. you can trade day around and can get out any time.

    If you can do well in forex, then you can fulfill your dream.