Changing career to be a trader.

Mr. Charts

Legendary member
7,370 1,194
In response to the post quoted below, I'll write something over the holidays about how and why I changed career fourteen years ago from dentist to trader; disadvantages (few) and advantages (many).
It'll be a bit of light reading :)
Richard



[Originally Posted by Mr. Charts View Post
...having traded full time for 14 years...]
(Mr C
Has it really been this long? I recall reading that you were formerly a dentist (or was it pharmacist?).

Do you mind sharing the pros & cons of your current occupation in relation to your past practice? Rgds
seguna)
 

BSD

Veteren member
3,819 985
Hi Richard,

should be interesting.

A buddy of mine is a dentist.

German, like me, but doing that in Bucharest.

Carved himself out a niche.

Attracts lot's of customers because people can be a bit dodgy like that, you know, grass being greener on the other side and all, so if he's a foreigner, he must be better than the locals, silly stuff like that, lol.

Be good to hear how you handled the pressure at beginning without a regular income any more.

Think that is the single biggest issue for anyone starting out and wondering where next months rent is going to come from.

Merry Christmas

:)

Christmas-Tree-Nature1024-226431.jpeg
 

BSD

Veteren member
3,819 985
I seriously believe that trading is 90% psychological.

And stress and worries are a serious detriment to keep following your signals even if you've just lost a couple trades.

Bruce Kovner who's a multi Billionaire these days was driving a taxi to geneerate supplemental income when he started out trading.

Not having to worry about next months rent can do wonders to your trading !
 

neil

Legendary member
5,167 748
At the Dentist

Better than dealing with clients like this eh Richard :D
 

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lawrence-lugar

Active member
140 22
My dentist and I started talking about stocks/trading -- just small talk a few years back, at one appointment.

He seemed mighty interested in the markets -- but he was definitely an amateur.

I joked at him...why...are you interested in switching jobs/trading for a living your own account. :sneaky:
It did seem like a boring/depressing job, he had.
 

gerryg

Established member
900 7
In response to the post quoted below, I'll write something over the holidays about how and why I changed career fourteen years ago from dentist to trader; disadvantages (few) and advantages (many).
It'll be a bit of light reading :)
Richard



[Originally Posted by Mr. Charts View Post
...having traded full time for 14 years...]
(Mr C
Has it really been this long? I recall reading that you were formerly a dentist (or was it pharmacist?).

Do you mind sharing the pros & cons of your current occupation in relation to your past practice? Rgds
seguna)

Well to devote yourself entirely for trading one might need good source of passive income, unless he doesn't have a family or other serious expenditures... so vigorous change should be considered, first of all, in the light of future negative consequences, as emotional pressure caused by that won't definitely contribute in positive to your trading progress..
 

EnergyLegger

Junior member
13 0
I seriously believe that trading is 90% psychological.

I used to be of exactly the same opinion when I started out (and for some considerable time after that) however I now agree with Euan Sinclair's thoughts on the matter. He stated 'I know of no other field of endeavor where failure to perform a skill is routinely blamed on psychology. Would you seriously listen to a basketball coach who told you that the main reason you are not in the NBA is was your lack of discipline and desire. While great players are psychologically strong, no amount of desire and resolve will turn you into a professional level player. The reason professional traders make money is because they are playing a totally different game'

If I was into conspiracy theories I would say that this psychology myth is peddled by the industry (including vendors) to keep you in the game and keep you trading. They want people to continue playing the flat directional (delta) game as that is how they get paid.

You should also consider that professional poker players know that the single most important factor in profitability is game selection. If you are at a weak table and a reasonably competent player then you are likely to be profitable.

So what other games can you select? There are a whole host of games where you take out the directional component. i.e. you are delta neutral. Here are 3 examples:

(i) trade people's over excitement. go long volatility into an earnings release, flat into the number. short volatility when the number comes out in line. model which trades are more likely to have more excitement, when excitement (mispricing) starts and ends.

(ii) use stat arb relationships - create highly mean reverting spreads. i wrote about one in some earlier posts.

(iii) market making - capture directional order flow and hedge as you go - complex but doable. This company provide market making training

For the most part professional traders carefully select their games. Yes they develop strong psychology but imo this is not the main reason they succeed.

I am not stating here that directional trading strategies such as the momentum strategy used by the OP. I am saying that when I see psychology being cited I often think game selection couple with reasonable competency in that game would provide better outcomes.

Good Luck.
 

neil

Legendary member
5,167 748
Sums it up methinks BSD

I seriously believe that trading is 90% psychological.

And stress and worries are a serious detriment to keep following your signals even if you've just lost a couple trades.

Bruce Kovner who's a multi Billionaire these days was driving a taxi to geneerate supplemental income when he started out trading.

Not having to worry about next months rent can do wonders to your trading !

Wasn't going to post this week but couldn't resist looking in and saw the above comment.
So very true -once you have found (by hard work) the approach that suits you. the rest is in your head. I don't rely on trading for a living. The little that I do, gets me luxuries like bigger bottles of milk stout (kiddin'):) Pays for he extra's in life. Different ball game I feel if you are under capitalized and/or rely on trading to pay the mortgage and food etc.
 

Mr. Charts

Legendary member
7,370 1,194
Chapter 1 of a the shortest book ever.

Once upon a time in a distant land in the far flung icy North of England (Leeds, actually) lived a typically uncertain teenager lying awake at night thinking about his future and putting off going to our outside loo.
I know that sounds weird as most people of that age in the slums of Northern cities live in a drug induced and drunken on-line haze these days, but it was a long time ago.
I wanted to do something useful which paid well and where I was my own boss, something vaguely scientific. Some sort of work that didn’t involve crawling my way up some company or institution or hospital. I went and had a chat with our GP about doing what he did, but he put me off very effectively. “Do you really want to spend your life working in a grimy, smoky city like Leeds, sticking old men’s piles back in every evening or being coughed over by tubercular smokers?”, he asked .
That’s when I really appreciated the meaning of a rhetorical question.
So with those considerations in mind the only logical choice at the time seemed to be dentistry.
After graduating in an even further flung and icier city in the far North, (Newcastle) where all the girls spoke like Cheryl Cole but didn’t look like her, I entered the brave new world of being a general dental practitioner.
 
 
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