Who Started Trading Straight Out of College?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by schizo, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. schizo


    1) Anyone started trading fresh out of college? In another word, was trading your first professional career?

    2) How did you get started?

    3) Did you blow up your account and were forced to get a "real" job? If so, have you since made enough to jump back in as a full time trader?

    4) Do you believe that, deep down, you can leave trading for another job now that you have acquired the taste for (financial) freedom and whatnot?

    As for me, I made my debut a couple months before my graduation. This was in the early 90s when the elder Bush was still in the Oval office. As you might recall, the economy was in the gutter back then as well. Not so ironically, the cause was pretty damn similar to the current mess. That's right, savings and loan crisis. Now I wonder who said history wasn't created to be repeated?

    Anyway, the job prospect at that time was dreary to say the least. So you could imagine how I reacted when I heard from a friend that he made a quick $50,000 in the stock market. Hence my odyssey as a trader kicked into a high gear. Unfortunately, I literally drove my trading account into ashes in the first six months. But, with the generous contribution from my aging parents, I have since managed to make a comeback and, believe it or not, still trade actively to this day. I plan to outlive my shelf life as long as possible.

    On the question of whether I can leave this profession for good, I don't think I can. What can I possibly do? I've never held a job in my life. Moreover, I ain't so young any more.
    jenfe and ChipShotTrader like this.
  2. Retief


    Maybe you could paint. Grandma Moses didn't start painting until she was in her seventies.

    "You want to know how to paint a perfect painting? It's easy. Just make yourself perfect and then paint naturally. That's the way all the experts do it. The making of a painting or the fixing of a motorcycle isn't separate from the rest of your existence." --Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
  3. Check.

    Started prior to college, and dropped out of college half way through to fully focus on trading (school was the distraction, not the other way around). That was around ten years ago.
  4. blox87

    blox87 Guest

    When I was 18 I went to college. That lasted 2 years, Started selling used computer components on ebay, made a couple websites that gave me ad revenue. Dropped out of college, started trading after college for two and a half years now . Lost around 10 grand at one point early on, I'm a better trader now but still feel there is room for much improvement. I've recouped my losses and made money since then but nothing to brag about. Had a windfall on May 6th that has impacted my bottom line this year dramatically but still staying small for another few months until I am totally comfortable to up my size. Very psychologically daunting to up size for some reason. I have living expenses covered for a long time , live very frugally, I most certainly am going to be a trader for the rest of my life based on the taste of lifestyle, freedom, and money so far. I know one black swan is all it takes to wipe that dream away so risk management is my #1 priority at all times.

    My last real job was at cub foods pushing carts and cleaning shit off the toilets when i was 18. Cliche as hell, but I read "rich dad poor dad" one day and decided I would never work for anyone but myself for as long as I live. I learned to buy as many assets as I could possibly afford and stay away from liabilities ( fast food, toys, tv's , cars ect. )
  5. Arjun1


    Pro trading is like pro sports - you're never too young to start.
    And the younger you start the better you are able to take advantage of neuroplasticity of the brain.
    Its no secret that no trading firm hires any new traders over the age of 30 unless they have an established track record.
    The sooner you start the sooner you hit that 10000 hour experience level.
    A good mentor is essential though.

    Schizo - I think you started pretty young. I started at 25.
  6. schizo


    The difference between me and the rest of you is that you had the Internet and I didn't. You had the e-mail and I the snail mail. In my days, everyone thought the fax machine was the hottest thing. Yeah, the caveman era. Yaba daba doo!

    Oh, btw, you're lucky the commissions are so much cheaper now. Man, were they expensive back then.
    comagnum likes this.
  7. jashanno


    I graduated in 04 with a programming degree but I was having trouble finding a job. My grandfather suggested that I come live with him and trade futures. He said, "It's the easiest money you will ever make." That sounded like a good idea to me so I went and stayed with him. The day I got there I literally threw my bags down, went to the office, open the trading platform with a fresh $20k account and started sending orders. I lost $150 before I had even unpacked. I did not realize (for awhile) that he was not a profitable trader.

    I tried discretionary trading for awhile but I was then convinced that I should be using my programming knowledge to write strategies. My first strategy that I came up with I let a guy look at it in a chat room that I went to every day. He was going to "help me" improve it. A couple weeks later this guy started a vendor business around my strategy and he was selling it. Needless to say I was furious but the joke was on him because the strategy was curve fit. I ended up trading the strategy some myself with mixed results. I ended up abandoning it before it eventually blew up.

    I ended up lasting around 6 months before I got tired of hearing, "you are not going to make any money at that" and "you need to go get a job" from my parents. I was down maybe $500 at this point.

    I found a job and barely watched the market at this point. Around two months after I quit trading I pulled up some of my old strategies that I had written right before I quit and saw that they were booming. I talked it over with my grandfather and we decided to run them. One month later we were +$10k. One week after that we were back at +$0. Losing $10k in one week was enough for me to give up. These strategies were also curve fit and if I had kept trading them I would have lost a lot of money.

    Since then I have spent the last couple years studying price action on a simulator. I eventually want to give trading another go at point but I am not sure how I am going to get out of the rat race to try it.

    If I knew then what I know now I would have probably made it and appreciated the opportunity that I had much more than I did at the time.
    userque and comagnum like this.
  8. schizo



    Pop me a PM and we can chat more in detail about how best to get you back up on your feet.
  9. You are certainly not alone. That's about the same time as I started.

    The newer generations always have some advantages over the old ones. At least from where I started I didn't have to plot stock charts on a paper manually.
  10. I graduated during the summer of 2006, and became a full-time prop trader in January 2007 after passing the Series 7, 63, & 55 in the fall of 2006. I had a night job for the first 6 months until I became profitable and I've been full-time ever since then through all the ups and downs.
    So, yes, trading has been my first and only professional career.

    2. I got started by researching about 20 different prop firms on the internet and sending out cover letters and resumes to all of them to see which would bite. I had my top picks and I was lucky enough to receive an opportunity with my top-pick and I am still with them until this day.

    3. I didn't blow up my account only because I am 100% prop. Although before initially becoming profitable I was never down more than $4k. You could say I had a relatively inexpensive education. I have had to fight my way out of two $30k holes and one $50k hole since becoming initially profitable.

    4. Deep down, I know I could leave trading for another career ONLY IF I owned my own successful company --- which I am currently working on. But even then, I would certainly still trade my private account.
    #10     Jul 1, 2010
    userque likes this.