Trading and Job

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Cristrader, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Does anyone here have (or have had) the experience of trading (leaning, searching, trading, etc) and working full time? When did you decide to quit your job (or not even have one)?

  2. It took me around 1.5 years to transition over (started January 2005, same time I registered on ET)

    Most of the times was spent learning how to trade effectively by hand! (no automation)

    and developing a full fledged system
    consisting of shorting / longing/ stops/ tight stops/ trend recognition / current market chop?flat?or trending/ detection of upcoming movements.

    All into an automated signal system.

    Just 2 weeks ago I finally cleaned out what I was doing earlier,
    and now have also moved some of my programmers over to the trading business full time.

    The trading business is one of the most

    a) scalable business
    b) freedom to work whenever you want
    c) freedom to live whereever you want
    d) freedom to do business anywhere you want

    e) ability to make lots of money consistently.


    Best business around! HANDS DOWN!

    <b> FREEEEEEDOM! </b>
  3. Cris - good question. I decided while I was a stockbroker that I wanted to trade full-time. It's not an easy decision, but once you make it, you have to go at it 100%. What pushed me over the edge to do it full-time was after a lot of studying and researching, I just decided that if I was going to do it, I had to focus completely on it and just do it w/o looking back. I am firm believer that if you want a 'job' - whether trading or something else - you have to devote your working hours to it. And trading is no different. At first, you may spend just about every waking moment on it actually.

    Good luck!
  4. I'm in the same process right now. I've got a wife and kids, and so being a provider is very important. I would have to be able to replace our current income within a few months. I don't have the luxury of just quitting the day job to go full time.

    Right now, I'm swing trading around working full time. Some of the options I see that are open to me are:

    --Raise enough capital to start full time all at once (~$100k)

    --Get a Prop deal to give me enough buying power to make a living

    --Find some local traders to mentor me and accelerate my learning and profits

    --Find a hedge fund or something that needs someone with an engineering background and technical skills to transition me into the finance world

    The hardest part for me is sticking with the day job while my heart's not in it. Trying to hedge my career by still doing what you have to do to get ahead in a big company--the hypocrisy is killing me.

    I look forward to hearing anyone else's success stories or work-in-progress!

    EDIT: While my handle is "ExEngineer", my job title is not. Not yet, anyway!
  5. Sounds like my exact situation, ExEngineer. Only I'm a current engineer, hoping to be an "ex" engineer.

    I have a wife, kids, and a full time income that's hard to replace with trading. But I'm gradually moving toward that goal with a combination of day and swing trading.
  6. It's important not to go full-time too soon.

    Read Pit Bull by Marty Schwartz and follow his model. Trade part-time until you have raised enough money for a decent grubstake. His level which I think is what you should shoot for is 100k.

    This does a couple of things.

    1. Proves you can actually make it as a trader. That is to say, your system of trading has a positive expectancy and you have time to trade without the added pressure of having to pay for the bills etc while trading. If most people fail at trading full-time do you want to take that bet until you have some evidence to back up the assertion that you will be one of the 5-10%
    that can make it.

    2. You can use 50k of the 100k as living expenses for the first year which takes the pressure of your trading immediately and allows you do what is right by the market and build the capital without monthly withdrawals.

    3. Forget prop. As an ex prop futures trader it is not worth it unless you get paid a salary to support yourself while learning. No salary forget about it. Besides, prop trading creates extra pressure which you don't need when learning.

    There is never any rush. The market will always be there.

  7. I work at night, trade during the day, and recover on the weekends.

    It's grueling, but I love it, and (hopefully) it's only for a couple'a years.

    For the guys with a family to support it's even tougher, I recommend you to continue the swing trading while studying and honing your skills as an intra-day trader.

    It is essentialy that you get a charting service with market playback ability so that you can put in the "screen time" after coming home from work, don't cheat the results, and don't lie, record them every day and track your performance on a weekly basis ...

    ... and remember, if you have a family to take care of, 100K may or maynot go far enough! - A couple of guys on here either get their wife to trade wid'em or she has her own high paying job.

    Good Luck,

  8. you are right about the market, but there is kind of a rush.... im now 51 yo and my kids are headed for college, so i work 8-9 months a year; was gonna be 6 months this year, but r.e. market is slow in Socal. children actually "cost" more as they age, so if you are young, you can crash & burn as a trader, quit and re-enter the real world. few people are gonna hire a 55 yo engineer that hasnt worked in a few years, not at a "market salary" anyway.

    the engineers are smart to transition, i have an EE friend who is brilliant and she makes poop money compared to other people. they always have her working late & weekends for same salary and she is always in fear of lay-off.
  9. Thats why you work out your trading system until it can give you a steady income. The market doesn't lay you off unless you blow out your account.
  10. Trading is hard. For those who wanted to quit their full time job to day trade, I would recommend that you swing trade first. Learn the mechanics of trading and save up some money before you even think about quitting your job.

    I think it would be tougher for those people with family. Trading is not as easy as you think. It takes a year or more to be profitable if you have a good mentor. If your family depends on you to provide the income, then you are in for a rude awakening. You cannot trade and worry about money at the same time.

    It would be hard to explain to someone who has never been trading full time. When you worry about money, you tend to trade scared. You cannot be a profitable trader with this mentality.

    Just some thoughts for those who want to venture into trading. Good luck!
    #10     Aug 18, 2006