NoRhino's Trading Journey

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Old Apr 2, 2010, 7:31pm   #1
 
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NoRhino's Trading Journey

Hey guys,

I have seen a few journals/blogs about people trading at a proprietary firm, but none which have followed someone from the very start of training, i.e day 1. I myself was looking for a blog a couple of months back to give me an insight while I considered quitting my job as a software developer, but never found what I was looking for. I wasn't after the analysis of the market for the day, I was wanting to know what kind of journey this would really be. I am hoping this journal will help those who are considering taking up trading but still entertain the ones who like to follow someone else's progression.

I am 23 and a graduate in computer science, I am the kind of guy who gets heavily into something (perhaps addictive personality) but who also loves to be clubbing with friends, pretty lazy outside what I want to be good at and needs a ton of sleep lol.

I see trading as my second project to master, the first was poker. It took me 4 months to make my first $5000 in poker before losing all of it back over the next 2, where I found myself broke. I went on to play profitable poker for well over a year or about 300,000 hands and paid for tuition fee's and living costs with poker winnings, I came out debt free from university I was quite poor but was truly thankful to be able to make consistent money from the game and teach others around me. Below is my net profit from 888/pacific poker, I made a smaller amount on sites such as pokerstars etc.

Click the image to open in full size.

I soon burnt out from the game after graduating and lost all ambition to improve and quickly found a job as a programmer. During that time I was becoming heavily interested in the markets and global politics. I have always wanted to do a big bet on something with a ton of risk and I thought this time was the best chance I would get, as I was single and living at home. I leveraged myself with IG and put up everything I had (£5000) and on 4th feb (I recall) there was negative news about US jobs, more jobs were lossed than expected, not to my suprise. I saw this as good for gold and hadn't considered closing my bet after reading the news. Thinking about it now, it seems the US stock market plumets for obvious reasons and this causes a flood into the dollar, gold generally has an inverse relation with the dollar as it's priced in dollars so as the dollar strengthens and people also go to the dollar because of risk etc, gold takes a nose dive and people are probably shorting it too... I hadn't tied all this together, I was just bullish on gold for the very long term. Gold was already down on me and after the $45 drop that day I was closed out of gold making me broke for the 2nd time in my life. I was fully aware of the risks and thought I could afford to go broke, as I had a steady job. The following day I got an offer in London to train with a firm and there would be a small chance of getting backed by them after the training. Luckily I have savings tied away that I wasn't fully aware of and although I can make rent payments and whatever without an income I have had to budget myself massively. I do not regret anything and have spent ages mastering money management over the last 2 years and I always understood the bet could definately be considered "stupid" I am just pleased that my ability to control my emotions have really improved since 2 years ago, I hope this will put me in good shape to give myself a good shot at being a successful day trader.

So, I start a training course at a prop house on the 6th of April. I do know roughly what I am trading and what strategies they use but I will write about this once I have more of an insight myself. I do not intend to mention where I am at, but may do at a later date.

I have started to blog this at http://www.norhino.blogspot.com but will update this thread simultaneously, to keep you guys posted.

Updates to follow shortly,

NoRhino
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Old Apr 2, 2010, 8:09pm   #2
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Re: NoRhino's Trading Journey

i'll be reading this one
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Old Apr 2, 2010, 10:14pm   #3
 
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Re: NoRhino's Trading Journey

Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing your experiences in such detail.
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Old Apr 2, 2010, 10:15pm   #4
 
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Re: NoRhino's Trading Journey

Subscribed: Best of luck NoRhino with journal and new job...



Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRhino View Post
Hey guys,

I have seen a few journals/blogs about people trading at a proprietary firm, but none which have followed someone from the very start of training, i.e day 1. I myself was looking for a blog a couple of months back to give me an insight while I considered quitting my job as a software developer, but never found what I was looking for. I wasn't after the analysis of the market for the day, I was wanting to know what kind of journey this would really be. I am hoping this journal will help those who are considering taking up trading but still entertain the ones who like to follow someone else's progression.

I am 23 and a graduate in computer science, I am the kind of guy who gets heavily into something (perhaps addictive personality) but who also loves to be clubbing with friends, pretty lazy outside what I want to be good at and needs a ton of sleep lol.

I see trading as my second project to master, the first was poker. It took me 4 months to make my first $5000 in poker before losing all of it back over the next 2, where I found myself broke. I went on to play profitable poker for well over a year or about 300,000 hands and paid for tuition fee's and living costs with poker winnings, I came out debt free from university I was quite poor but was truly thankful to be able to make consistent money from the game and teach others around me. Below is my net profit from 888/pacific poker, I made a smaller amount on sites such as pokerstars etc.

Click the image to open in full size.

I soon burnt out from the game after graduating and lost all ambition to improve and quickly found a job as a programmer. During that time I was becoming heavily interested in the markets and global politics. I have always wanted to do a big bet on something with a ton of risk and I thought this time was the best chance I would get, as I was single and living at home. I leveraged myself with IG and put up everything I had (£5000) and on 4th feb (I recall) there was negative news about US jobs, more jobs were lossed than expected, not to my suprise. I saw this as good for gold and hadn't considered closing my bet after reading the news. Thinking about it now, it seems the US stock market plumets for obvious reasons and this causes a flood into the dollar, gold generally has an inverse relation with the dollar as it's priced in dollars so as the dollar strengthens and people also go to the dollar because of risk etc, gold takes a nose dive and people are probably shorting it too... I hadn't tied all this together, I was just bullish on gold for the very long term. Gold was already down on me and after the $45 drop that day I was closed out of gold making me broke for the 2nd time in my life. I was fully aware of the risks and thought I could afford to go broke, as I had a steady job. The following day I got an offer in London to train with a firm and there would be a small chance of getting backed by them after the training. Luckily I have savings tied away that I wasn't fully aware of and although I can make rent payments and whatever without an income I have had to budget myself massively. I do not regret anything and have spent ages mastering money management over the last 2 years and I always understood the bet could definately be considered "stupid" I am just pleased that my ability to control my emotions have really improved since 2 years ago, I hope this will put me in good shape to give myself a good shot at being a successful day trader.

So, I start a training course at a prop house on the 6th of April. I do know roughly what I am trading and what strategies they use but I will write about this once I have more of an insight myself. I do not intend to mention where I am at, but may do at a later date.

I have started to blog this at http://www.norhino.blogspot.com but will update this thread simultaneously, to keep you guys posted.

Updates to follow shortly,

NoRhino
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Old Apr 6, 2010, 8:16pm   #5
 
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Re: NoRhino's Trading Journey

NoRhino started this thread Thanks for the comments guys.

Today and yesterday I have been feeling a little unwell but nothing too bad, enough to have an effect on me unfortunately so just hoping I feel completely fine tomorrow. So, today was my first day, it was really good and there were a lot of nice people and I met the guy who set the company up and he came across as a top bloke. Today was quite relaxed but we still got a fair bit done, including keyboard and maths tests, group work and general knowledge of the course. We have a similar test tomorrow and a huge chunk of it was on names of people that I didn't know off by heart, so I am going to have to spend tonight learning these. It seemed to catch everyone out as I did quite bad but still got a little above average. The other tests went well especially the keyboard one but I know I could have done a little better overall if I was feeling 100%. Anyway I really like the atmosphere and definitely enjoyed the day and I am looking forward to learning lots more.
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Old Apr 7, 2010, 8:07pm   #6
 
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Re: NoRhino's Trading Journey

NoRhino started this thread I am feeling a lot better today, which is good!

I decided I am not going to go into huge detail about the company or the course structure in general, at least for now as I don't know the view of others at the company. I wouldn't want to upset anyone but I will do my best to provide enough detail.

I continued to be tested and was more pleased with my results today, I managed to remember almost all the names that I was learning last night. I really don't know how I remembered 38 persons names all in a night, including their first name and surname and when many were foreign. Having stayed up learning information and revising topics ready for tomorrow I didn't get much sleep but it didn't affect me much. It's also great to meet successful traders and to hear about the money they are making, it's definitely motivating and just a great atmosphere to be in. My head feels packed full of information right now, we are learning about spreads which we will soon be using. Were focussing on things like bobl, bund, schatz etc. Just to give you some idea. I am finding the course really informative and I am so glad I applied here.

Also it's great to be back in London and to have lots going on around me, I really feel energized, something I haven't felt like in quite a while.
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 9:44pm   #7
 
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Re: NoRhino's Trading Journey

NoRhino started this thread Day 3:

Wow, I am feeling so tired, I barely have time to write this post. Although we finish at 5 or 6, I am finding I need to study right up until I go to bed. I really learnt so much today, especially what scalping with spread trading is all about. Before today I knew the facts but now I can really appreciate why people spread trade. It’s really all about working the bid and the offer and trying to make the spread (or whatever you call it) on one side of your trade so that you could potentially scratch the market right away (i.e. break even trade). Therefore I can see when I start trading it will be about waiting for opportunities and then about execution and speed, or so it seems.

I have improved my mental maths ability but it’s really draining doing it all day, right now I really need to sleep and wake up early enough to revise some figures about bund, bobl, schatz, euribor and so on.
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 11:04pm   #8
 
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Re: NoRhino's Trading Journey

Great idea man. Glad you're keeping a journal of this experience. Good luck.
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 11:54am   #9
 
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Re: NoRhino's Trading Journey

NoRhino started this thread Day 4:

Yesterday was fun, we finished early and hit the pub and then met up with a friend for drinks afterwards and got back at 2.30am, what made for a long day after a heavy week. The atmosphere at this company is just amazing, I don't know how I could possibly go back to being a software developer, where no one has anything to talk about, you can't really get that excited about code... If this job works out for me, it's going to be pretty full on, but I can't see what else I would enjoy doing. It's going to be tough to get a place with them after training so I just have to go for it and hopefully hard work will pay off.

We set up our trading environments yesterday and watched the bond markets at the moment when it was announced that Greece was downgraded, which was pretty cool to watch. We generally spent the day being tested and improving our skills of quoting the market and different spreads and butterfly's. My keyboard and mental maths scores marginally improved and I am reasonably pleased with my other scores. I have a fair bit going on this weekend but will have to find a fair bit of time to study and read the news.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 9:06pm   #10
 
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Re: NoRhino's Trading Journey

NoRhino started this thread Day 5:

I am now into the 2nd week and getting closer to the first round of elimination. There are 3 rounds of eliminations, the first being at the end of this week and then 1 each week onwards. Looking at it now it does sound a bit crazy to put all my hopes on such a small chance, but the chance seems totally worth the risk. Firstly there is intense competition to get an interview and then it seems about 10% of the people seen are taken on for the training course. Then once on the trading course you have to survive three rounds of eliminations to get a place on their trading floor and be backed by them. Then those select few have a chance just less than 50% of being profitable, based on this companies performance. lol?

Then again this job really does pull together a lot of what I am good at and things I enjoy. To be honest if I don't succeed here I am going to keep trying it's just too perfect. I love the way people trade here and although it's very repetitive, it's also really amazing. I am trying to improve on what I suck at and it looks like the time spent practising my mental maths paid off as I improved my score quite substantially today. Also feel like I am understanding everything we are doing and just can improve on the speed and make sure I can remember all the facts, sometimes it's hard to remember everything in such a short space of time.
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 7:12pm   #11
 
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Re: NoRhino's Trading Journey

NoRhino started this thread Success:

Hi everyone, I have been busy with moving into my new flat and catching up with sleep, but it is great to see that there are people returning to this blog! I have good news which is I passed the first 2 weeks and have progressed to the 3rd week. I am not sure how many people made it through, I only know 2 who made it and 1 who didn't. I still have to get through a tough field of people but I was pleased with how I performed under their tests which are aimed to see how you cope with stress. They even tied us up to a machine to monitor our heart rate but I was really quite focussed and relaxed. I had to execute trades by listening to broker language and it went quite well, the only problem is the mental maths needed in calculating a spread trade, which is slowing me down a little, but it's something for me to focus on improving.

I now have easy access to the internet, so should be table to blog each day. I now know about spreads, bonds and general information around news etc, as well as how to execute trades and what we are trying to achieve. Next week should be interesting except the part where I have to wake up at 5am lol.
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 2:55pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRhino View Post
Success:

Hi everyone, I have been busy with moving into my new flat and catching up with sleep, but it is great to see that there are people returning to this blog! I have good news which is I passed the first 2 weeks and have progressed to the 3rd week. I am not sure how many people made it through, I only know 2 who made it and 1 who didn't. I still have to get through a tough field of people but I was pleased with how I performed under their tests which are aimed to see how you cope with stress. They even tied us up to a machine to monitor our heart rate but I was really quite focussed and relaxed. I had to execute trades by listening to broker language and it went quite well, the only problem is the mental maths needed in calculating a spread trade, which is slowing me down a little, but it's something for me to focus on improving.

I now have easy access to the internet, so should be table to blog each day. I now know about spreads, bonds and general information around news etc, as well as how to execute trades and what we are trying to achieve. Next week should be interesting except the part where I have to wake up at 5am lol.

Nice Journal, Keep it going . . . Enjoy the training at the prop shop - especially the money management and psycological parts Steve teaches - its invaluable and a skill you'll use in trading for ever . . .
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Old Apr 24, 2010, 4:22pm   #13
 
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NoRhino started this thread I haven't been able to blog this week as someone who moved out the flat cancelled BT, so I have had to reconnect but will hopefully have it soon.

The last week was spent mostly on the simulator and even though there were long periods of waiting for opportunities, it was pretty fun. It is really rewarding as a scalper when you take a tick out of the market although right now it feels like quite a challenge. I made the cut this week and will be back for the final week and at the end of next week they will decide if they will take me onto the their trading floor. Next week we will go live with real money, which will be exciting and hopefully I don't lose as much as I did on the simulator lol.
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Old May 2, 2010, 10:20pm   #14
 
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NoRhino started this thread I made it to the floor!!! So happy and to top it all off I was recommended by the people who ran the 4 week course to a successful trader who now manages a team of traders and he decided to take me on. The idea is I should progress faster as I will be sat amongst experienced traders that I can learn from rather than be put with all the other new traders.

A really big turning point in my life, the last 4 weeks have been intense and tiring but probably the best 4 weeks of my life. I spent the last 3 days drinking with different groups of friends and was eventually sick last night, when I couldn't take any more but glad I spent time with everyone I know in London.

My plan for this blog is to blog each day now that I have the internet but I am little unsure. I don't know but hopefully I can provide something reasonably entertaining to follow.

Right now I start on tuesday and should be spreading on the TED spread (the euribor vs schatz) and may well be doing bund/bobl/schatz (10 year, 5 year and 2 year german bonds) we shall see!
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Old May 5, 2010, 6:11pm   #15
 
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NoRhino started this thread First Day Trading!

So yesterday I didn't even get a desk, I just socialized and watched some people trade. Some guy was up 1k by 11 am.. I saw he was trading pretty big volume until they next day when they sat me next to a guy who is trading like 4-5 times that amount. Everyone is really laid back, a lot of young guys mostly in their twenties all joking about or cursing at the screen ^^. The atmosphere is great and I am so glad almost everyone is wearing casual clothes and that I have been put on a team that gives you a lot of freedom.

So today, I was trading by 12.30 and by 2.45 I had hit my daily profit target, which was insane. I was out with a girl till gone midnight so felt pretty tired and after hitting my target I just laid back and went to the shops and chatted to various people. I left at 4pm and that was my day! No way I expect to just go in and be profitable so I will try and prepare my mind to expect to lose but it was great to have a good first day.

The trades themselves involved going long the June11 TED spread, in the morning the Euribor had shot up and the spread was at a high and I wanted to short it at about 11am but I hadn't been given the all clear to trade. Before I traded the guy I report to asked me what my strategy was and I just said sell 10's and buy 8's and he said great. Then when it broke down to 8 and went to 7, I was trying to buy 6's and the guy came over and goes I see you didn't get the 8's, a good thing too etc. So by the time I got in I had chat with the guy next to me and he kind of helped me establish good entry levels. The 8's became too easy to get too fast and so I kinda of waited to see what would happen. So I went long 6's and sold 6.5's for 1/2 a tick profit i.e 25 euros and was a bit annoyed because 7's were really easy to sell and it soon went bid at 8. I waited for it to retrace as I didn't fancy getting involved around the 8.5 to 9 mark when the high was about 11 and the low 7.5. 1 hour later it had come down and I tried to buy 5's and soon as I got filled on the Euribor I hit enter and picked up 4.5's! and sold them for 5.5. I did 1 other trade profitably but nothing too interesting.

Anyway I will be in at 6.30am and can't wait to trade the open. Today was really crazy what with the rumours about Portugal's ratings and at one point it was so tense having my finger poised on the mouse button whilst everything bounces around super fast, so was very pleased to not get caught.
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