trading as a "career"?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by anvil, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. anvil


    Hi there,

    I'm fairly new to trading. I have started trading stocks and index a couple of years ago, trade without strategy, made typical mistake and lose money.

    I do feel a passion about trading, however I do have a question which lingers in the back of my mind, which to a certain degree undermines my determination to 100% commit to trading.

    Does independent trader really makes money? On consistent basis? By independent trader I mean someone who is not an institutional trader, who access the market via their broker.

    I understand there's plenty of prop trading firms which make money, and traders they employed get paid handsomely as well. However what about people who trade independently? If you can success as independent trader, why would someone work for a firm instead of trading one's own account?
    I talked to traders who work for IB swhen they held a info session at uni. They don't have a high regard for independent trader. They basically said nowadays it is very hard to have an edge for independent trader, and even institutions are competing fiercely.
  2. it is possible. Thats all that needs to be said.
  3. "If one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." -Ecclesiastes 4:12

    Unfortunately for most new traders, the stock market is not "one." It's not even "two." It's a threefold cord and is not easily broken. Many would like to believe that a good system is enough to be successful. This is the "one strand" that traders focus on. I believed this, and was not able to win consistently. Now I know the truth. It's a good system, psychology, and money management, all three, bound together. And success will only come if all three are untangled and overcome independently.
    Some prop trading firms are helpful because they teach two of these. Money management, and trading systems. The psychology is not touched upon. Rather, if you get into a bad trade, some firms will cut your loss for you while you're holding and hoping. In this way, they provide a psychological over-ride system (the very reason independ traders usually fail). A successful prop trader who thinks he can do it on his own leaves the firm and promptly learns that he can't manage his own emotions. He either goes back or finds a new industry.
    If you really want to do it on your own, get three journals and keep good notes in each of the three areas, not just on your trading system, position sizing, wins/losses etc, but on your emotions and how they are impacting your decisions. That's a big, tough thing to overcome, and for most traders is not worth the effort. But now that you know the battle, your chances are better (far from over, but better). Don't ignore psychology and emotion management.
  4. its not gonna happen with 5k