Trying to make it on my own

Discussion in 'Journals' started by doublet83, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Hi, starting my own journal here, mostly to procrastinate from doing real work!

    A little background:

    I worked a few years as an analyst at some investment firms after graduating from school, but got laid off year and a half ago.

    Honestly my resume kinda sucks now, been trying to get a job at a fund again, but the market is still tough and I can't seem to find anything decent. Therefore, I've taken up trading.

    Historically I've been a buy and hold type of investor, while I've still been doing that, over the past year and a half I've been mostly focused on an intraday strategy that I developed.

    Attached is the equity curve. X-Axis represents the days that I traded.

    Overall strategy seems to be doing okay, but I'm disheartened that it really seems to have flattened out over the past three months. After having a great first quarter, being up 190k, second quarter is only +28k or so. For some reason the second half of my equity curve seems to be replicating the first half, which also had a long period of flattish performance. However, this should be pure coincidence, as my strategy has evolved significantly since about 9 months ago (which represents around trade 130 on the curve).

    I am also trying to learn programing to work on some other automated strategies. I have some ideas which I am very excited to test out, but with no programing backfround I have a feeling this will be a challenge.

    Finally, I should apologize beforehand, but I don't intend to talk much about my trading strategies. They are not super scaleable, so I'm cautious to protect my edge.
  2. You don't have to be so proper on these boards. If someone asks how you trade and you don't want to say, just tell them to F Off.


    Good luck in your journey! Curve looks good from what you posted. Sometimes there are slower, grind it out times; and others will seem almost too easy.
  3. How long did it take you to figure out that you could make it as a trader?

    Any good books, advice etc?
  4. I think the jury is still out whether I will make it as a trader, although I feel that I probably can continue to at least make some sort of living doing this.

    My last job was at a small hedge fund, and a pretty dysfunctional one at that. There are some legendarily difficult portfoilo managers in the hedge fund world, and my boss was probably up there. Don't know if you heard of the SAC guy who made one of his analyst take estrogen because he thought he was too manly as a trader, but my old PM was almost as bad as that, and in some ways likely worse.

    My last two months there I pretty much wrote off the job, and spent as much time as I could developing and backtesting this strategy that I employ today.

    In actual trading, the strategy didn't end up working as well as it did on paper, but I have since tweaked the strategy dramatically and it hardly resembles what I had originally imagined.

    Some random advise that comes to mind for the aspiring trader would be this:

    -Make sure you thoroughly test your strategy before employing it. It almost never works out as well in real life.

    -Try to keep your day job. (Personally I got laid off). I wouldn't be trading on my own if it weren't the fact that I believe I can make 5x as much doing this as I used to make as an analyst. But there are so many advantages to having a 'real job' that I would probably not be doing this if I only expected to make 2.5x as much.

    -Know what your edge is. My advantage is that I know fundamental analysis pretty well which most traders don't really employ. I also am nimble, which fund managers are not.
  5. how old are you? what school did you graduate from? i've been spending most of my time at my job right now learning about trading, reading as much as i can, and developing a strategy.

    currently reading Al Brook's book on Price Action, its going to take a few reads to absorb most of the material

    plus i've been watching his webinars and going through his analysis

    my ultimate goal is to quit my day job and go at this full time

    i'm 26 (going to be 27 in two days) and i'm an engineer
  6. I'm 27, went to NYU's b-school.

    Good thing about engineer is that you can prob trade a bit on the side. Almost all finance jobs restrict you from doing that.
  7. Someone posted on this site once that good strategies' equity curves show growth interspersed with flat periods/gentle declines and bad strategies show growth, decline, growth, decline, etc., until they ultimately bust. Not sure where that poster got his data from, but it made sense to me, since no equity curve can be a straight line to infinity, so I'd say flat is fine.

    Another thing to consider is whether or not you can begin to identify "false positive" signals by tracking one additional variable for each of your trades. I recently began tracking one more data point per trade and it has made a significant difference because I am now passing on trades I would have taken in prior months. I track what happens to those trade signals as well and they are significantly negative and would have pulled my equity curve down with them. So long as the way you determine which trades fit into this category is objective, I think there is nothing but upside in doing so. If you become subjective and say that you won't take a trade because it doesn't "seem right", I don't think this technique will end up helping you over the long run.
  8. Don't leave your job unless you have enough money to live off of without counting on income from trading. Remember, 95 percent failure rate. And that stat is real.
  9. and you still can't find a job?

    i actually applied to NYU Stern but got rejected...looking to apply again in the future if i fail at trading
  10. Which mindset is most likely to develop a successful trader?

    A. If I fail at trading

    B. When I fail at trading

    C. If I succeed at trading

    D. When I succeed at trading

    Read "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill
    #10     Jul 3, 2011