The Learning Curve

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by theowls, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. theowls


    Hey guys,

    I have been an active day trader for almost a year now working at a prop firm. I have not blown out any account and still trade pretty small just concentrating on learning how the market and tape move. In July I had my best month ever and a few 1k days. Then came August and September and I can back down to earth with a bang. I found it hard to trade the volatility and found my confidence washed. So now I am back to where I started where I am still trying to claw back my losses from my first few months but cant seem to find consistent profitability. Just as I thought I was turning the corner, I then lose a few more k the last few months. Simply put, I am running out of patience. I have worked very hard and have many hours of screen time watching the market. I knew all about the learning curve before coming in. Someone told me it could take 6months to profitability, some a year, some even longer. I have worked 5 part time jobs while going through the learning curve. Quite frankly I am exhausted. I havent seen a dime over the past year as my reward for the hard work. I am considering my options but am worried at how bad the economy is right now. People are getting laid off left, right, center. Even if I quit now, I know how difficult it would be to find another job. I still believe that I can make it as I have showed some days to trade the tape really well by recognizing patterns. Then other days I throw away a weeks work by getting caught in a few bad positions.

    Has anyone got any advice for me? Remember i still believe I can make it to consistent profitability, but I am fast running out of time, money and patience. Also take into account how the job situation is out there. I cannot begin to describe my frustration, and it is now starting to affect my overall life. I am tired and pissed off all the time!

  2. the game, is to learn about yourself, trading and this industry those first few years, and IF you don't lose a dime, you are ahead of 95%, IMO. IF in year 4 you are saying the same, then I would move on.
  3. I can understand your dilema, I got into trading because i seemed to have an infinity for it. Been at it for 2 years. Jumping from program to program. Stick with what you know. Had some losses, so now I paper trade. The fear struck & I can't bring myself to do the real thing.JUST TREADING WATER.My paper trading is 85% profitable but I see myself grabbing profit to quickly as I sit on the edge of the chair.
  4. lindq


    If you're with a prop firm I assume you're trading equities. I can't imagine trying to trade stocks in this environment.

    I assumed one of the advantages of working at a prop shop was having others around you. What are their experiences? Are there no managers in your shop that can give you some guidance and counsel?

    And if not, then what are you paying them for?
  5. Well maybe simply trading is not for you if you can't handle this. The market doesn't owe you anything just because you watched what it was doing for some time.
    Not to mention your not going to get to a point when all this suddenly stops...just like right now, as soon as people get use to trading high volatility, thats exactly when the regime change will come.
    If you don't enjoy the constant challenge this brings then I just can't see how you can last over the long run.
  6. I am confused by this thread.

    This volatility is a dream come true.

    We will all be begging for this volatility once it goes away.
  7. apak



    if you trade in a prop that TELLS YOU what to trade HOW to trade, HOW BIG is your position, when to take a loss

    if this is the case, you are fucked and I mean that completely

    you have to be in an environment where you are free to THINK for yourself

    ok tell you what, do this, this is what I did

    Pick one instrument like ES futures, OR pick one stock

    make strategy to trade it intraday every single day the same stock

    keep at it for FEW fucking years

    there you go

    good luck
  8. Anger is a feeling that communicates to me that limits are reached.
    Exhaustion is a feeling that communicates to me that it is time to rest.
    Worry is a feeling that focuses my attention on something.
    Frustration is a feeling that communicates to me that there is a difference between what I expect to experience and what I actually experience.
    Anger is a feeling that motivates me to change.

    Your mileage may differ.
  9. Joab


    Prop firms never tell the truth about the learning curve.

    Imagine if they told you that it will take you 3-4 years of losses and break even at best before you can expect to be one of the tiny 10% that actually make it to consistency.

    Would you have joined and given them all that commission?

    If your not in this for the long haul then bail now while your still able and the losses are not that bad.
  10. If you are not having fun then why bother? Go do something else or at least take a break and get a new perspective. Relax, the most important thing you have control of when trading is your state of mind. If your mind is not in the right place then your results will reflect that.
    #10     Nov 11, 2008