Swift Trade

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by Kaya, Apr 24, 2003.

  1. Kaya


    I was wondering if there is anyone that has worked at Swift Trade as a prop trader that could share their experiences with me, good or bad...
    Thanks in advance, Kaya
  2. Babak


    Do a search on the site. Lots of info. Mostly negative.
  3. Hi,

    I was a trainee with the Vancouver office 4th quarter of 2002. Each office is a bit different in terms of management since it's a franchise but here's a general gist of it. Sorry for the lack of flow cuz it's a cut and paste job from earlier posts. I'm too tired right now to edit it. I'm just got back home after a 14hr trading+classroom day with Bright Trading.

    I got
    accepted into the trainee program after two job interviews and a nominal
    fee of $99 to cover a textbook and use of firm capital. So that $99 aside,
    there was no cost to me. No commissions were paid, and we had full use of
    firm capital with no liability. We were trained to specialize in a single stock
    (AMAT for half the class, INTC for the other half) and we scalped for
    pennies. They had every intention to hire all of us if we showed them that
    we could make the required $5000/mo. We had no ticket charges, only ECN
    fees and the SEC tax; in fact we even got credited ECN rebates for providing
    liquidity (for ex. $2/1000 shares routing thru ISLD). So at times, I would
    trade SUNW during lunch time with 4000 shares and flat the trade for $8 per

    The reason why no trainees got hired was because none of us was profitable
    after those 3 months. Supermontage messed us up too because routing got
    complicated and expensive with SOES for taking liquidity away. Sometimes,
    hitting BRUT or NTRD for a momentum trade dinged us 1.5 cents/share/side!
    When we're scalping for only 2-5 cents, needing 3 cents to break even hurts.

    Actually the deal is $5000 net of fees. In terms of gross, it's different for
    everyone because each traders has their own style of trading. A trader's pay
    cheque would be 30% of net/month. While I was there, top guy in Sept
    made $27,000 net of which he took home 30% in USD. So he took home
    $8100US for the month. Top guys in Oct and Nov was only around $10,000
    net. As for capital that I was allowed to trade, it started small at 100 shares
    x AMAT's price which equates to about $1700. Eventually, I got to trade
    3000 or so shares or about $45k. I was a trainee mind you; the props got
    about 150k-250k of buying power.

    Trading AMAT during lunch was really slow. There was a lot of chop and no
    big moves so usually I'd lose money getting whipsawed long and short.
    Some guys don't trade the lunch hour because there's no volume. That's the
    time that I would bid/offer SUNW to gain credits since SUNW only moved a
    penny or two each way and I would be able to flat the trade for ECN

  4. Kaya




    I saw the reviews under "Brokers"--Swift has a discount brokerage operation which I know has a really bad reputation. I'm interrested in hearing from an employee (past, present) trading the firms capital...k
  5. Babak


    Do a search. On this site. Top right hand corner of the window.
  6. X$Trade


    I know a guy who worked there until recently. Seems a lot of unusual things go on around there! Most recent stuff includes raising to $7000 net per month the amount a trader must make before he can get paid, and this one was weird, they recently terminated all of their traders and then made them new offers of employment. Some thing about changing from Swifttrade Securities Inc. to Swifttrade Inc. :confused: Like a lot of other stuff I heard come out of there very confusing and not terribly positive.

    On the plus side they hire inexperienced traders and don't require them to put up any capital. At least I think that's a plus.
  7. Kaya


    Thanks dna....your story jives well with the info i have...so what gives? Did you leave? Were you hired?

    The reason I ask is because I was offered a job with them recently and am pondering things right now. They told me traders average 75k a year. Sounds high...is it true? k
  8. Kaya


    X$....the whole thing with them hiring 'traders' with NO experience seems a little loopy to me. I honestly don't know how they expect newbies to make 5-7k a month within three months...but if you only keep 30% ya gotta if ya wanna eat...k
  9. Legally, you're not "hired" as an employee of Swifttrade during the first 3 months. You are technically taking a course for $99. But I left because our training class of 8 people all got "fired" or more accurately, "not hired". So that's why I went to Bright Trading.

    I really enjoyed my experience there even tho I didn't get the job. It's a good stepping stone if you want a taste of being a professional trader. Hey, maybe you'll make it. But unless you're in the London office with Scott Honsburger (sp?) as a trader/mentor your chances of making the $5k/or so is not very high. Actual success rate while I was there ran about 20%. So if your training class is 10 people, only expect maybe 2 to get the job.

    As for 75k/yr. Yes, the better guys can do that back a couple years ago. Right now, not likely. Momentum trading isn't that great right now. There is no way that the "average" trader makes that much. I'd say average guy if profitable takes home about $35k cdn before taxes.

  10. Positives:

    -No commission
    -No risk of capital loss
    -Excellent place to learn market dynamics (especially NASDAQ)
    -Excellent place to learn that the big money in the market isn't made scalping pennies
    -Great way to learn day trading without having to lose $10-25,000 of your own money
    -Good place to meet people/other traders


    -Management/Owners are as shady as they come... these are the type of people that would sellout their own family for a dollar
    -You have to make $7000 US/month before you see a penny, next to impossible nowadays with the new SuperMontage (most of the great scalpers are barely making this in bad months)
    -Most likely you won't make much more then an average job, unless you become top 5... in that case $75-90,000 is about right

    The reason for the name and contract change was because they lost their clearing deal with Penson, they are now clearing in the USA. The owners of this firm are extremely greedy, they continuously revise the commission payout to negatively impact the traders take home.

    I would recommend that you take a job to learn the market dynamics and learn to gamble bigtime. If you are up $4000-5000 near months end start to gamble bigtime, put on huge size, 40-50K shares of SUNW and JDSU, swing for the fences because you won't be able to get that feeling when you eventually leave the firm and start trading your own account. As long as you except the fact that these guys aren't doing you any favours you will be just fine, take advantage of everything you can and then move to a real firm or start trading your own cash.
    #10     Apr 25, 2003