Share your story of breaking free from the Cubicle

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by lpchad, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. lpchad


    Elite Traders -

    Let's have some stories of those of us that have sucessfully made the transition from the cubicle and wage slavery to full-time trading. Some discussion points to provoke a thoughtful productive discussion:

    1) What set you on the path to explore trading?

    2) What were your first steps to get started?

    3) How did you manage your transition from the cube to trading? How did you balance working a corporate job and trading concurrently?

    4) When did you know it was time to quit your day job?

    5) What were the first few weeks of trading and no day job like?

    6) How did you manage friends/family likely shunning your decision?

    7) Was it worth it?

    I look forward to good discussion.
  2. i went on my own in 1993. left the cubicle for good--can't say i made it fully by trading, but have in and around the markets.

    good luck to you!

  3. Started in 1997. Went through tech debacle. Learned quite a bit from that experience. Decided that simpler is better and I only trade ES, crude oil occasionally, and Forex.
  4. A couple more things. The less said in the beginning about your activities the better. Most people do not understand, unless they have traded.

    The quicker you become proficient in reading charts the better your progress will be.

    Be prepared for some suffering because that is the only way you will learn. Unless you have a mentor, it will be a lonely road. Good luck.
  5. Eddiefl


    Bot WizeTrade in 1998, and has been gravy since, up 10000000000%. on my acct.


    Daytraded .com bubble during college, ( thought i knew everything, because everything was going up, thank God, i didnt know how to use the short button".

    .com bubble bursted, lost half, bot realestate, made $$, traded daily charts for 3-5yrs, slowly started going back to 60min, then 30min, then 10, then 5min,, lol, i trade it all now.

    Traded from work, until i left the company i was at, have my own company now and trade from work most of the day.

    Thats 12yrs, in 3 paragraphs,.

  6. sogodo


    to be honest with ya, sometimes I really miss my cozy cubicle.

    yep, I did not have much freedom over there in the past, neverthless, now, when I have enough money and income from trading and am on my own, I became some kind of my own slave pushing myself around the clock 24/7!

    so, if you're dreaming to leave your cubicle, be careful what you're asking for!

    :) :)
  7. 1) What set you on the path to explore trading?

    I knew about the stock markets long time ago. But after I just graduated from college and started working, I was about to give it a try. Yet... it just so happened... The stock market crashed big time. I saw my two brother losing >80% of their life-time savings literally overnight. Vaporized! Stock market index futures! They longed. The market went down huge. Date: 10/19/1987. From that experience, it scared me to not go near the stock markets for years.

    But... in 1994... it was a bull market again. I finally decided to give it a try. It was very tempting. Sweet... all the Internet stocks...

    2) What were your first steps to get started?

    Read investing books. Read Wall Street Journals. One day opened up a trading account with a "deep discount broker". Commission: $75 a trade. First trade ever: 200 shares of Netcom. After I bought it at something like $20.50, it jumped to $26+ in a few days. Over $1000 profits in just a few days. Got hooked forever. Easy money! (Turned out to be my "beginners' luck". Very unfortunate.)

    3) How did you manage your transition from the cube to trading? How did you balance working a corporate job and trading concurrently?

    See story below.

    4) When did you know it was time to quit your day job?

    See story below.

    5) What were the first few weeks of trading and no day job like?

    I could waste more time reading all sorts of junk posts on ET. LOL! :D :D It was a relief, reducing from working 2 jobs to only 1.

    6) How did you manage friends/family likely shunning your decision?

    What family? I had divorced them! Just kidding. They are non-factors.

    7) Was it worth it?

    Yes. No turning back.

    Below is what I posted in a different trading forum.

    I trade full-time for a living now. For over 10 years I had been trading part-time while had a full-time job as a computer programmer/tech-support.

    For me, it was a "chicken first or egg first" dilimma.

    I was not trading very well before (about three-four years ago). I was not consistent. Even with the couple of trading classes I'd taken and all the books I'd read. Won some, lost some. Won some, lost a lot. I evaluated the situation and came to this conclusion:

    The reason why I was not trading well: I was not committed to it with 110% effort.
    The reason why I couldn't commit to it: I was not trading well. I need a real job to earn my living.

    After that revelation, I decided to disrupt the cycle. I decided to trade full-time.

    I didn't quit my job right away. I engineered a semi swing shift schedule with my boss and that let me begin work after the market closes (I live in the US west coast, that's 1:00 pm) until late at night, with the balance on Saturdays. I began to trade the entire 6.5 hour during the time the market is opened. 6.5 hour locked down in front of the trading screen. I saw the market's movements every minute of the day. I started to see the cause and effect between market indice movements and individual stock movements, and the peculiar Time-Of-Day reversal patterns.

    Another turning point event: I started off wanting to program some strategies in TradeStation to automate my tradings. After all, I am a programmer. Took the 2-day class on Easy Language. I started to take a systematic approach to trading. How can I tell a computer to trade? In order for me to write a program, I need to know exactly what I need to look at. I started looking into all the technical analysis theories and indicators. I tried out most of them. Trying to interpret them the way that was meant by the original developer. One thing led to another, I collected multiple moving averages, RSI, CCI, Stochastics, MACD, Bollinger Bands, etc.. and all sorts of indicators. And I use them all. (Over time I deleted those that I don't use often.). I came up with my "confusing mess" chart setting (which I still use everyday). I developed my set of trading tactics through observations and testing.

    I never actually came up with an automated system to trade. There are too many factors that I cannot translate to a number, a "degree of certainty" (as in fuzzy logic). So I remain a discretionary trader to this day. Just use my "gut feel". If I am wrong, I correct my course. I flip my position if it is warranted or just stay out. Wait, and fire again.

    I came up with a general method, jot down the important supporting factors, roughly where to get in and where to get out, and roughly where to bail (stop) when things don't go as I expect. Over time, refined my methods. And lately I had extended my methodology to multiple time-frames and assess 3 different time-frames simultaneously. Most indicators work in all time-frames. And I think most chart patterns (such as double tops, double bottom, momentum divergence, etc.) are fractal in nature. So you can use them in all time-frames. (Except Time-Of-Day, which is only applicable to intraday charts.)

    Keeping a journal and reviewing all meaningful losing trades everyday are very important. They provide a feed-back loop to refine my proprietary trading methods.

    That was the turning point. 3 years now. Consistent income every month. Half way through, I quit my "real" job. I didn't need it any more. Trading profits can support me and my family. Working 2 jobs, 80-90 hours a week was very hard on me. Things are easier now. No looking back.
  8. NYC212


    -cube world is horrible. I made good money but I worked countless hours with ahole bosses. always scared we would get fired or they would cut pay, it was like high school all over, what were ppl driving, who was seeing who, who was the top sales rep. everyone knew everyone's business.

    I saved up money to trade, studied, took trading classes

    love trading as it doesnt feel like a job and there is an unlimited upside while the cub world, you are capped quite quick. I have never not wanted to go to the office to trade

    sometimes it is best to work in the cube world and trade for a while as you need to keep your income as one goes through the learning curve