Do I go for it ?


57 0
When I wrote my message this morning it was with a degree of hesitancy.

I am normally someone who deals with decisions such as this alone, but felt some unbiased advice was called for from people who could relate to my situation and maybe have been there themselves(a cry for help perhaps..)

Look at the responses I have received..Outstanding.I am humbled.

Thank you all for your well wishes and advice along with the many meaningful points which must be considered before a final decision is reached.

Trying to cover some of these points..

Yes - downsizing the house has sprung to mind.I currently live in the North West and could move down to a decent 4 bed detached for c£2 -250k..ironically Mrs H. has complained that our house is to big anyway and she is sick of cleaning it.

I am personally loathed to make a move based purely on launching myself into the trading arena full time.

Mrs H. is behind me all the way- I am extremely lucky in this aspect.However whilst I may be prepared to wear rags and live on beans on toast for next year I cannot expect my wife and children to do the same so I intend to do a very candid analysis of how much equity I need to take out of the house to ensure no serious drop in lifestyle..this in my opinion is key to the whole project and once working out how much I will need - and am I comfortable with it !

I am not intending on coming to any conclusion today - don't wish to trade in haste,repent at leisure ! But all of you who are sharing your own thoughts and experiences with me are helping me in considering all the options..and it is for this reason I posted in the first place.


Experienced member
1,071 3
The one thing I would do is write down a proper business plan. Discuss the ramifications with your wife of taking £100k or so out of the house as a trading pot. Why £100k? Because £20k is simply not enough trading capital. Add to that £25k to live for a few months and you are at £45k anyway.


When I started on the floor I was given a £20k account.

If you start at a prop firm the will give you around the same.

When I jacked in the ratrace for a life (again!), I started on just under that.

Im doing fine now.

If you cant trade a $10k account with profit, you wont have a chance with $100k either. FACT.

The biggest problem this guy is going to have is the emotional pressure to provide for third parties (family and bank manager).

Maybe it's time to get the wife working to help relieve the pressure (pay for the mortgage) and use your trading income for other less expensive essentials.

The business plan idea though is a good point.


2,325 16

Something not covered by anyone else so far. First of all, go to the local Citizens Advice Bureau. There are certain things that they may be able to advise you on regarding redundancy payments, and employees have a higher priority on funds (after Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise) than other creditors. There may be government schemes available designed specifically for your predicament - so go along, find out, and even if it's just 200 squid, it's better than nothing at all.

You say you need £2,500 per month for you/your wife and two children to live on. I say this can be drastically reduced. Your mortgage payment, council tax and gas/electricity will take up no more than £1,000 max. Your wife is not working, and you will now be at home all day, so you have plenty of time on your hands and there are lots of ways you can reduce this remaining £1,500 to more like £500.

It's tough, but a real economy drive is absolutely essential. Only one car is needed - get this serviced by a mobile mechanic, and don't bother with the main dealer servicing. Make things like your own bread (and rolls, and pizza bases), cakes, biscuits, jam, meals, etc - batch bake, cut it in slices and shove it in the freezer. It's fun, and it's cheap, it contains no additives or preservaties, and it tastes infinitely better. Go shopping in the evening, where you can take advantage of all the reduced items in Waitrose, Sainsbury, etc. Buy good quality basics, not ready-prepared foods. Don't buy cheap foods, but buy good quality foods, cheaply.

Every time you go to buy something ask yourself if you really need it, or whether you just want it. You'd be surprised if you are disciplined just how much is bought because it is habit, not essential.

Get rid of the gym membership - go on eBay and buy 2nd hand equipment, use the local leisure centre, and take up running. Make do with the clothes you already have - you'll save yourself a fortune anyway because you don't need the best clothes to go to work in.

My neighbour has allotments, and in return for me doing a little weeding now and again I have access to as much free fruit and vegetables as we and the freezer can cope with, every week of the year. Raspberries, blackcurrants, strawberries, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and about 30 other different types of fruit, vegetables and herbs, and it's there in quantities to feed an army! Last night I feasted on a plateful of 1" thick asparagus which I'd picked a few minutes earlier - and all free.

Most allotment holders have too much stuff, and are only happy to give it away, particularly in return for an odd half an hour weeding. Anyone with a couple of apple trees in their garden will happily let you have their excess.

Don't eat out in restaurants - host dinner parties. It's cheaper, fun, and it's an opportunity for you to network. And everyone usually brings a bottle of wine, so you end up with just providing food and ambience.

My friend was in the same situation as you, and she reckoned that £1,900 was the absolute minimum she could live on per month. Two months later I had 'coached' her into being able to live happily and generously on £850. She's happier than she's been for ages, fitter and eats healthier foods (she's now horrified to think that she used to spend £6 a day on a sandwich and latte for lunch).

There's an art in being frugal, and the advantage is that you'll probably end up healthier and happier. The hardest part will probably be getting your wife to adapt. Just make sure that you always look on it as a game - a game of how much fun and frolicks you can have on the smallest outlay.

Then whatever you end up doing, the pressure on you will be minimal because you'll realise just how little you actually need to live on. And at that stage, you will be more relaxed and in a better frame of mind to decide whether trading or working (or a mix of both) is the way to go.
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Experienced member
1,071 3
Skim - Do you live in Surbiton and is your sandwich and latte lunching friend called Margo by any chance? Are you married to Richard Briars? Do you keep chickens in your back garden too? lol - only kidding.


57 0


It comes to down how much I am comfortable in trading with initially.

I am going to have to increase my stake size substantially anyway if I intend to go full time and am aware that do so without gradually phasing it up may affect my performance..from what I have read from other peoples experiences.

This said, make no mistake - IT Recruitment is no walk in the park either.Failure rate is high (just ask ChowClown) and I have been a top fee earner in this industry for many years..the last 5 of which have been pretty much working from home and since 2001 our market has been hit the hardest, yet I have managed to make a living..and have done so on more or less a commission only deal for the past 24 months.

I am no stranger to risk...

Mrs H. has not worked for 4 years now (raising children)..the problem here is simply what she can expect to earn versus the cost of child care..


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Slightly off topic ..........but this is one of the best threads in ages:

For insights into frugal living read:

"The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley

by the way hopefull, fair play to you for posting such an interesting/honest post.


Junior member
49 0
Trading for a living is a business decision on a par with other self employment, such as owning a shop or B&B or ......

You need to decide if you have a passion and ability to undertake it. You need a business plan which defines your business risk as well as what you plan to do in running your business. The business risk is how much you would be willing to put at stake in making the business work. In trading this will be the loss of earned income and the loss of your trading capital and the expense of running your household. You potentially need a time limit as well as a money risk limit in terms of achieving a profitable business. If either of these are breached you then know that you have to do something else to make some money.

However you finance it, the money is "borrowed" - it is money that maybe used up in the course of the business and that you may not get back. If it is your own, you have worked hard to earn it and could have used it for other things that would have enhanced your lifestyle.

Given your age and asset base it appears that you would have a reasonably low risk in trying this for 6 - 12 months, but it depends on how you and your wife view the risk. If it is likely to become a point of contention or pressure then you should not start in this business full time - nothing wipes an account out quicker than feeling an urgent need to win (been there, done that!). Having said that you do need to be "hungry" to succeed - this is not a business to be in because you are bored with the alternatives or want some entertainment.

Hope this helps and good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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Senior member
2,212 274
Get a job ,any job that produces a stop gap salary, sell the house, downsize in agreement with your wife , release equity ,but strictly trade small and learn...when your stats show you are on the right side then start to incrementally up position size with your equity .When the stats will support you and your family with comfort throw the job....


57 0
Skim - Fantastic advice and 'keeping it real in every sense'

Yes, I can cut back - Already cancelled that gym membership this morning (never used it anyway).

Slightly off topic..

When my wife and I first got together we lived in a small flat and made a modest living..we sometimes look back now and laugh at the daft things we did and the care-free attitude we had.

Funny really that when you are younger many of your motives are based on obtaining material possessions then when you work like hell to get them all you realise they are more of a rope to strangle yourself with !



2,325 16
Mr Charts:

Everything I now do is for pleasure. Every day I wake up with a big cheesy grin on my face because I'm not constrained by stress, pressure, or keeping up with the Jones'.

Trading means I can buy the best asparagus in the shops ... but it won't be a patch on the big juicy shoots I've cut myself and which took 2 minutes to cook.

I learnt how to be frugal and yet live like a King from one of the wealthiest people in the world - it was his outlook on life, living, and pleasure which changed my outlook.

I'm now the one driving in the slow lane on motorways, pootling along and noticing the surrounding countryside because I have all the time in the world to get to wherever I'm going. I often laugh at all the stressed-out speed freaks in their latest shiny top of the range cars on the outside lane, getting frustrated because the car in front is only doing 80mph and they're late for their appointment. I laugh because that used to be me.

It's the little things in life which give so much pleasure.


2,325 16

Being frugal is all a game. You imply that you look back longingly at what you used to have - you can have it all again!

If you are fortunate to have two sets of grandparents, then in the summer park your children for a week with each, buy yourselves a bike each from the police lost property sales, and buy one of those 2-3 person tents. Then get on the train with your bikes and spend two delightful weeks cycling and camping around The Netherlands, or go to France. With no children and no car you can drink wine when you feel like it, have immense fun, and recapture all the wonderful things about living with no family ties - for two whole weeks of sheer bliss and self-indulgence.

Mr. Charts

Legendary member
7,370 1,194
I empathise completely, Skim.
Freedom has given me that same long happy smile for the last four years.
Harrods - no, but I had a superb meal with trader friends at the Waterside Inn at Bray last week and I could never have afforded that in my previous life.
Oh, I still like driving fast though ;-)


Legendary member
8,394 1,170
H - one other thing. I note you're using an SB. If you do go down the 'go for it' route - it would be a really good idea for you to consider setting up with a proper broker.
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