Should I stay or go?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by maptrader, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. Could some experienced traders give me some advice? I am trying to decide wether to continue trading or throw in the towel. I've been trading for 3 years both as a market maker in an option pit and as a scalper in a proprietary futures trading firm. I recently left the futures trading job because I wasn't able to make the big money I envisioned making when I got into the business. I have not made enough money to back myself, or I would. But I'm not sure I want to give up yet. I love trading and look forward to it everyday.

    How much is enough before you decide you just aren't cut out for trading?

    When does persistence become stupidity?
  2. can you support yourself and do you see a future in trading?? you have to ask where you want to be in 5, 10 years.
  3. Swish


    Stick with it as long as you can if you love it.

    and you can support yourself

    and you are not putting so much of your net worth at risk that you're not going to be able to recover if you do eventually quit

    What about working part time to support yourself........

    On the other hand, if your trading experience is typically frustrating and you are not making progress as trader - I think continuing to bang your head against a wall is fruitless and wisdom dictates that you consider making a move.....
  4. okwon


    Just curious. Why'd you leave options market making?
  5. If you have to ask this question on a public forum then by all means - you should go.
  6. Where else can you go if you quit trading? Do you have another full time job elsewhere.

  7. wow....3 years and you aren't making the big money? thats unreal!.......ok, enough of my many years does it take the person getting an MD or JD degree to make the big money? 7? 10? 12, 15? It always blows me away how people expect riches virtually "overnight" by trading, which, though EASY AS IT LOOKS, only pits you against not only the smartest people on the globe, but yourself, and all the insecurities, shortcomings , and ego problems that we all have. Yes we have all met or heard about people who "got it" in 6 months and went on to make a fortune, but they are either very rare, or end up giving it all back and then some. Just look at the "great plunger" Jessie Livermore. You mention "the big money", but you don't mention if you are making a living or not. If you are, and can do that risk adverse, and Love what you are doing, why are you asking the question? "Bigger money" will come, and if its not enough......just go find another occupation that pays the motherlode you are after.
  8. Maptrader,

    When a person asks, "should I trade or should I not trade" it's the same thing as asking, "should I stay in this trade or should I get out". I would give the same answer to both questions. My answer is, "you should get out.

    The reasoning behind my answer is simple, if the person has their hard earned cash on the line (possibly cash that not only affects them but also their family) and does not know their reason for being there - then they do not have a solid plan for what they are doing, whether they are asking, 'should I stay in this trade or should I trade at all'.

    If they have to ask the question then they don't have a solid reason for what they are doing and therefore they don't have a solid *written plan* for what they are doing. Without this that trader is setting himself up for more failure.

    When I say that you should by all means go, I know that it sounds harsh. The harsh reality is that if a person believes that he is standing on shakey ground then he very well is standing on shakey ground.

    I will not tell any person that I think they should stay and watch trading the markets eat their savings.

    However, If a person were to come to their own conclusion, that they should stay and that they have a well written plan for doing so then, my answer would quickly change to, "by all means, you should stay and have a go of it".

    Best Regards,

  9. Lovelitera

    Lovelitera Guest

    Three years in market making and scalping is a long time and surviving it is an accomplishment.
    In that time you have made countless transactions and had a chance to study what you were doing and improve.
    Are you still on the up-curve or stopped improving?

    When I was new on the floor I was doing kamikaze trades while the more experienced guys were backing in and out of riskless or low risk spreads all day. I did not understand that sometimes the simplest things work best.
    I also did not have 1/32 th of the information available today on the multiple dimensions of the option market.

    I have noticed that people on the floor who have made it and are secure with themselves can be surprisingly protective and helpful.
    Talk to some very successful people around you and ask for help.
    People who are successful and close to your situation may be able to help.

    Sound like you have a big part of a trder's practical education. See if you could improve on something that would lead to a breakthrough. For example you could ask someone to mentor you or you could reduce your risk profile while you are working on improving your techniques further.