Should I trade full time???

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by trader07, Aug 21, 2007.

Should I quit my day job and trade full time?

Poll closed Aug 31, 2007.
  1. Yes

    25 vote(s)
    35.7%
  2. No

    44 vote(s)
    62.9%
  1. I make $140K salary plus $35K-75K bonus (depending on factors) per year at my current job. I know, it's a lot of money. But when I get a chance to trade I do REAL WELL too. My dilemma is that I don't get to trade much because I'm working for the man. I think I could trade full time and make as much as I'm making in salary (and maybe bonus). I have been trading on/off for 15 years while working FT salary job. For the last 2 years I have been making 50%-100% return even while working FT. I like the thought of working for myself, home, jeans etc. instead of dealing with the drivel of working for somebody else. However, I have a family (wife 2 kids). What do you think, should I "seize the day"?
     
  2. Why are you so afraid?
    You do not make sense!
     
  3. MattSF

    MattSF

    I recently left the sell-side to trade full-time from home. Not to pry, but what stake are you playing with? I wouldn't consider leaving $200k a year without 5x that in reserve. I left a similar package this year to trade personal funds, $400k + bonus. Sorry if it smacks of braggadocio, but I wasn't comfortable making the transition without a large cushion.
     
  4. jsmith

    jsmith

    No, your expectations are unrealistic. You will be humbled.
    You should expect to lose money or breakeven the first few years.

    It's not worth the risk to quit your job with a family to have a small chance of making what you currently make now. Take a 2-4 week vacation for small test run.

    Best of Luck!
     
  5. mde2004

    mde2004

    I would if I was you.

    Trading lets you do whatever you want to. You can play golf or make thousands everyday. Your choice though.

    Your family needs you home.
     
  6. jetbird

    jetbird

    Take a month off work, test the waters.
     
  7. TOM134

    TOM134

    trader07,

    You have already proven that you can make $ as a trader.

    Time is running out. You have built up enough lost family time.

    Spend what little time you have left with family, friends, community.

    Pay attention to 'quality of life' issues.

    I hope this helps.

    Tom
     
  8. hsmc1970

    hsmc1970

    What are you trading?

    How would your trading go in a change of environment for the last number of years things have been just going up how would you handle down or static markets?

    Just some questions to ask yourself as I dont know if your have been long/short and the markets you trade
     
  9. No.

    You should only quit your job to trade if you have found a clear market inefficiency such that you know you can run up say 20-30k into hundreds of thousands+ in a few years, with little risk, AND which you cannot trade unless you do it full-time. OR if you have done so well that you have a hefty six figure+ account from pure trading profits over the last few years.

    If your 50-100% you've made so far has been done with modest drawdowns (less than 10-15% drawdown) whilst working, then just continue. If it's legit performance rather than luck/bull-market, then in 4 more years you will have between 5 and 16 times your money, AND 4 years worth of income. So you will be laughing anyway. Whereas if things go bad, at least you will have your job to sustain you.

    My advice to anyone who is making money part-time is this - stick at it until your account hits at least $500k in pure trading profit (NOT including deposits), preferably 1 mill. If you can do that, maybe you do actually have true skill. Then you can afford to quit, because if you have a sucky year or two and drop $100-200k, then you still have healthy six figures left and can get back into the job market. Plus you have enough interest income to pay living expenses.

    If you quit and go full-time with $100-200k or something, then you do badly, you will have like 40-50k in 2 years time and be 2 years out of the job market. That is a kind of sucky position to be in.
     
  10. Thanks for all your responses, I really appreciate it. It seems that about 2/3 say stay with the sure thing--corporate life. I will provide some answers to the commentary below.

    <b>fearless9</b>:
    "Why are you so afraid?
    You do not make sense!"

    <i>Fear of leaving a sure thing for variability of trading. You are right though part of life is overcoming your fears.</i>

    <b>jsmith</b>:

    "No, your expectations are unrealistic. You will be humbled.
    You should expect to lose money or breakeven the first few years.

    It's not worth the risk to quit your job with a family to have a small chance of making what you currently make now. Take a 2-4 week vacation for small test run."

    <i>This explains my fears--not making it.</i>

    <b>mde2004</b>:

    "I would if I was you.

    Trading lets you do whatever you want to. You can play golf or make thousands everyday. Your choice though.

    Your family needs you home."

    <i>This is my motivation. Freedom and the opportunity to spend more time with my family.</i>

    <b>TOM134</b>:
    "You have already proven that you can make $ as a trader.

    Time is running out. You have built up enough lost family time.

    Spend what little time you have left with family, friends, community.

    Pay attention to 'quality of life' issues."

    <i>Same as last response. Yes, I think I have "proven" that I can do it.</i>

    <b>hsmc1970</b>:
    "What are you trading?

    How would your trading go in a change of environment for the last number of years things have been just going up how would you handle down or static markets?

    Just some questions to ask yourself as I dont know if your have been long/short and the markets you trade"

    <i>I have $600K in IRA and $150K in margin account (expecting to deposit another $100K soon). I trade futures long/short (doesn't matter--depends on signals): EUR, CL, GC, NQ, ZN. I have a good system. I brought the IRA from $275K to $600K in 2 years. I brought the margin account from $70 to $150K since February.</i>

    <i>Thanks for all your responses! I will keep you posted.</i>
     
    #10     Aug 22, 2007