Should I go Prop?

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by jrlvnv, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. jrlvnv


    Ok here is the situation. I know you all heard it before but I feel everyone that posts this question has a different situation so there is no "answer" to everyones question. I am trying to learn how to day trade since I don't have a lot of faith in my future earnings as a casino dealer. I have some good days, and some bad days but I am pretty much just treading water with my account now. I believe my main problem is I have no foundation on the abc's of trading. I know how charting works and I know how to enter and exit my trades off of my moving average system. I know there is a lot more to trading then just that. I have really no idea on how the market makers systems work. No clue on tape reading so pretty much I am just a chart trader that just trades in the direction of the trend and waits for a pull back then buys the break out.

    So my question is.... Do you feel that the teachings that I will be taught at Bright Trading or the new HLV office in Las Vegas worth it seeing how a lot of people are getting worried about the new hybrid system? Do you feel most of there strategies will pretty much be useless down the road? What I am after most is just learning and not really the buying power of a prop firm but there just don't seem to be any "quality" information about the business any other place. Some please advise me :) Thanks to all that respond.

    Just so everyone knows... I will not quit my job so I'll be trading and working full time. So making money isn't a issue at this point.
  2. newguy1


    whats wrong with your current strategy? There is nothing wrong with buying pullbacks/retracements, and breakouts/breakdowns. The only thing I did was play breakouts/breakdowns my first month trading at my current prop. It was some of the most boring trading imaginable (I only did one stock...and lets face many times is it really going to get to the high/low in one day...not many).

    Furthermore, my tape reading skills are likely laughable if you restrict tape reading to the NYSE Specialist system. think of it this way. Lots of traders do lots of things. Do you think naz or futs traders are "reading the specialist" (obviously not)

    Theres a simple journal here on ET described as S/R e-mini or something like that started by a guy named 4re. I read through some of it and I thought it was nice. I do other things now, but its obviously not a bad way to start, or in the case of 4re, a method to trade period. Have some more confidence!

    good luck man.

    (p.s. I started out at HLV. I'm happy I got to bang buttons on someone else's dime, and "pete" was a great trainer for a week. Believe it or not, trading LU and NT was actually not that hard; there were even some folks making nice cash doing it. The only reason I left after a few months was because I didn't like the fact that trading LU/NT was very dependent upon a comissions structure that, really, I don't know I could get anywhere else. What if the ecn rebates changed or for whatever reason, the commish increased? I didn't want to be a one trick pony forever. The trainer at HLV did mention that you could move on to other stocks once you felt comfortable; i'm not sure what their deal is now).
  3. jrlvnv


    Well the problem I have with it is that it just seems "too easy" to be a good system. Also with no way of back testing it who knows if in the long run I'll make any money. Plus it brings me back to where I am now. I don't have a solid foundation of the stock market. I never sat next to a successful trader and watched what he is watching. I read the posts on day-traders at prop firms going for pennies while I am going for dollars. Why am I going for dollars on a stock while a day-trader is just shooting for a few cents when he has been through a lot more training then me. Maybe I have the wrong idea and maybe what I am looking for isn't out there. All I know is that I feel lost and not sure where to turn. I did read 4re journal. Was good but I couldn't figure out how he determined his S/R levels on some days.
  4. newguy1


    don't worry. I started out just like you, wondering about "who's got the best training' and "I need a profitable mentor".

    I don't even trade in the same room as my managers, who are green. I don't even listen to anybody; i trade with headphones. On a daily basis, we don't cover much about the market, if anything at all. We go out and booze alot together, or hang out after work LOL. But all they have done is show me something simple, like, "we're going to pair x and y, see if you can figure out how you'd get the spread back in". Thing is, you just need to realize that this is about you figuring out how to make money. Nobody is going to be able to teach you just that. I'm sure a profitable trader could show you his edge/strategy, and that may or may not help you. But if you don't already know how to pull money from the market somehow, someway, its going to be difficult anyways. You just need someone to point you in the right direction, and you've already found someone who's doing something you are familiar with, breakouts/breakdowns. Just keep doing it and try to figure it out. I didn't have someone breathing down my neck looking at everytrade and telling me what to do. You can't trade like that. Just try and make it work.

    I'm sure everyone's got their own edge, and I bet some are better then others.

    But nobody's edge is going to be your holy grail.
  5. newguy1


    here, i'll give you an example. Right now I'm holding a winner in nyx overnight. Do I know what I'm doing. Not really. Did anybody tell me to do this? No. Will I get my ass handed to me? I dunno, it might drop 5 points and I'll lose a couple hundred in a small account.

    But I'll just tell you what I'm doing. I have about 1.70 in it.
    Why would I do this? Its peaking its head over a little level, and maybe it will close higher..not exactly going up on higher volume, but then again I don't pay attention to volume bars anyways.

    There's my magic plan. It might work, it might not. I might lose my unrealized profits, i might make some more.

    (if you don't try it, you'll never make it work. As far as the small account issue, I figure I can just scalp it back. So I wouldn't have done this from day one, and I'm not saying you should try everything right off the bat. But seriously, have a little more confidence in your ability to learn without assuming too much risk)

    you also said this:

    "Well the problem I have with it is that it just seems "too easy" to be a good system. Also with no way of back testing it who knows if in the long run I'll make any money."

    Wouldn't it be nice if you backtested a system and it was found profitable for whatever reason. Trust me, if it was that easy we'd all be sitting around backtesting until we found the holy grail. Neither of my managers backtest, and they do everything from scalp 10 cents, auto spread nyse, to holdind month long pairs.

    Have a little more faith in yourself, and just try and figure it out. If you still feel like you need some guidance, thats exactly what you'll find if you look around. But thats it. No amount of guidance will make you MORE profitable until you can pull something from the market using your own judgement.

    I wish you all the best.
  6. jrlvnv


    Well it seems to me that the way I learned a lot of things was by watching other people. Take my current job as a casino dealer as example. Moved to vegas with 800 bucks in my pocket. Signed up for a dealing school and got a 1 bedroom studio in the worst part of vegas. Learned the basics from the school in about 2 days. I went out to the Mirage and watched those dealers for a couple of hours and saw how they handled the chips and customers and got a job on my 4th day. I learned so much by watching the other dealers and it made me realize that they weren't all that much better then I was but they did know a lot more then me. So I feel like I am back in dealing school on my first day. I have ideas on how to make money. Not sure if they will work more times then not but there are the people that can give me a little direction on what the "real" business is all about. Not looking to get babysat but really looking for the ABC's.
  7. newguy1


    I see.

    Well then by all means I would encourage you to join a prop firm. But I would not expect any of the following:

    a) profitable scalper to sit next to (i don't think any scalper enjoys this, explaining something to someone who is looking over your shoulder 1/3 of the day. You might get lucky and find someone who trades in a less labor intensive way and doesn't mind being mildly distracted while trading.

    b) training

    c) profitable trader's edge/strategy

    One of the guys I used to trade with at a different place asked me if I had any training at my current shop. I tell him, "no. we don't even trade in the same room together". He asks me, 'well how did you learn so much", because i've never read a trading book...for example, I know what a double bottom, top, trendline and hammer are (i don't play any of these formations anywho, i just know what it is)) I couldn't tell you what defines a so-called pennant/triangle, elliot wave, rsi.

    I just told him, "i don't know anything" but he decidedly disagrees. My point is that unless you're at the worlds worst, you're going to learn something whether you like it or not. I don't keep a journal, or talk or even hear what people say during trading. Granted i think about trading alot, so that explains the journal, but I honestly have no idea how I know anything I know now. ( i think its nothing, but to someone else, its probably A, in the ABC's.)

    I never traded with bright, but I did with HLV. If you're in Vegas, you're going to learn something from either place. The odds are you won't have a mentor persay, but trust me, if all you require are the basics, if thats what will give you confidence, then go for it. (I've never been to bright, but if you're anything like me, you'll end up learning stuff from the people there)

    Learning little things like how to route your order for price improvement. Its so little I hardly consider it "training". But over time, these are the kinds of the things you will pick up from other people in a prop shop. Like getting a conversion. There is no way in hell I would think of "hey, lets see if I can a conversion" sitting at home by myself; i just don't see how that thought would have ever entered my little brain. Now if you get a conversion for say PCU, does that constitute "training". Not really. But you learned something just by being around others.

    I never even asked anybody anything, like, "so, what's your stategy". Nobody likes "that guy". I just sat there, kept my mouth shut, and every now and then somebody would randomly point something out to me live or afterhours.

    best of luck!