Trade for myself or for a prop firm?

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Oct 20, 2008
Hey there guys.... long time lurker here, but figured I'd post after reading much of this career forum.

I'm currently self employed, running two businesses, but with the economic slowdown there is more time to trade now that things are so slow. When things were flying along and we had a ton of staff, I also had quite a bit of time to trade, but either way, I've always loved it.

I can't say that I'm a pro or anything, but I feel I have much more knowledge of the markets, analysis, technicals and the correlations between different markets and instruments. I graduated from a mid-level school in accounting, and am currently pursuing my finance MBA via distance learning. I've thought about trading my own capital, but frankly, it's been diminished quite a bit over the last year as I put some into the businesses. I think I can safely say I'd feel comfortable and OK with trading around $25k right now. I don't need to be at the office (I'd feel better trading at my home office with no distractions) that much, so I could trade the open to close and then run over to the office until say 6-7pm.

In the event I felt OK doing it, I could shut things down and trade full time, which would really be a dream for me. But of course, with only 25k in capital, I don't have a ton with which to get started. To me, it seems like without taking stupid huge risks (which wouldn't fit within my risk management ideas anyway) it may take awhile to get to where I'd need to be to rely on it for an income.

I've also thought of going to prop trading, but I don't know what chances I'd have..... I've heard that Tower Hill has golden handcuffs and may not be the top shop, but if they give me a shot, I can't see it being horrible. In addition to the 25k I feel safe trading, I have enough for roughly a year of expenses at my current lifestyle. I could obviously pare back a bit to enable that capital to last a bit longer, and would be willing to do so in order to be in the markets for a living, but I don't know if that's a realistic expectation, to try to get a prop trader position. I've read some posts that say to graduate Wharton, others that say a passion for the markets and the game is what it takes....

When/what sort of capital did you feel comfortable trading for a living off of?

(Oh, I should probably mention, I've been through the ugly nasty cycle, at least part of it, drawing down my account(s) HUGE 2-3 times in the past couple years of trading.....all learning important lessons about my trading behaviors. I'm currently studying up a bit more about the pyschology, which I've always been a fan of in general business, in addition to the technical in trading, same in business, I feel in-ability to realize your emotions, fears, reactions, filters, etc can affect your success as well. I'm not saying I'm 100% there, but I realize there this is not an easy money road, and I've experienced some of the learning curve already.)


Well-known member
Nov 21, 2008
depends where you live and how much is the monthly living cost. its best if you can trade your own money.i wish i can do that too, but minimum margin i need is a bit high and theres not much choice for me except looking for job as trader or trade someone else money.

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