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Trader survival rate: an actual sample (Tuco Trading)
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Trader survival rate: an actual sample (Tuco Trading)

  #1 (permalink)
Elite Member
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Trader survival rate: an actual sample (Tuco Trading)

90% of traders are unprofitable.

I've heard it so many times, I couldn't cite the source, or even know if one exists.

A sample set of traders
Today I stumbled across a 2008 court case of SEC v Tuco Trading LLC.


Tuco provided day-trading capabilities to over 250 traders. They pooled assets and gave clients 20:1 buying power for any account size (skirting the $25k minimum for pattern day traders and 4:1 leverage offered by most brokers). They also used about $4MM of their client's $10MM to cover expenses and bad trades.

But even though they were trading stocks, the leverage and account sizes (median account size contribution was $10k) were comparable to what we read about in the forums for small retail futures accounts.

Attached is Exhibit A from the case, which gives the account balances, P&L, contributions, and withdrawals of their traders for 2007. I pulled those numbers (as well as OCR would let me) and tabulated them in the sketch below.

The traders are grouped first by "experience". I only have one full year of data, but 40% of the accounts existed prior to 2007 and about 60% opened during the year. So the existing-account clients likely traded the whole year. The "newbs" are impossible to tell.

Then I grouped them by account size: negative balance, $0-10k, $10-50k, $50k+. And I pulled out inactive accounts from the denominator.

Not far from the "90% rule" about 9% of the traders produced results that could pass as income. This was 2007 where the S&P return was 6% (peaking at 11% and two brief periods of -2% negative retracements past the January open). The break evens were about 20% of traders. Larger account sizes tended to fare better than their elfin colleagues.

I am sure many will have their own caveats and "yeah buts". You are smart enough to not run in foolish directions with this data, but I wanted to memorialize in on futures.io (formerly BMT) for future reference.

Awards
A few "awards" for stories we have all heard before:
  • James S wins the busted account: $350,000 account with ending equity $8,486. Ara S gets runner up with $2.60 remaining of his $128,000 account.
  • Dan G wins the double down award: $-$18,360 starting balance, adds $40,062 more, and loses $23,086 over the year.
  • Michael J wins the claw back award: -6,422 beginning balance, P&L: $24,667 for the year. Runner up is Chris H -$2k beginning balance, P&L $25k.
  • Brad G wins best use of leverage: $25,000 account, P&L: $254,508. Quadruple digits.


A side lesson to all of this is: pick your broker carefully, or your trading record could end up part of the public record.

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).



The underlying data I used to create the chart above is below:

 
Code
Name	Beg Equity	P&L	Contrib	Withdraw	End Equity
Abdel Waheb Khedhira	0.00 	(3,054.48)	13,100.00 		10,045.52 
Abe Krieser	10,817.97 	14,087.92 		15,500.00 	9,405.89 
Adam Cooper	0.00 	3,894.29 	20,000.00 		23,894.29 
Adam Melsek	(1,282.27)	0.00 			(1,282.27)
Alan Hoes	0.00 	(19,125.03)	30,000.00 		10,874.97 
Andrew Srebnik (Apas LLC)	0.00 	15,904.28 	360,000.00 		375,904.28 
Ara Shamlian	0.00 	(127,997.40)	128,000.00 		2.60 
Arthur Mullakandov	0.00 	(22,163.84)	50,000.00 		27,836.16 
Ashit Johri	0.00 	(528.83)	19,000.00 		18,471.17 
Atif Haque	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Avi Zimmerman	0.00 	(2,686.52)	4,985.00 		2,298.48 
Barbela Igor	(38.06)	(1,754.13)	1,792.19 		0.00 
Beatrice Pitocco	5,006.50 	(111.72)		5,000.00 	(105.22)
Ben Berrens	(4,975.19)	0.00 			(4,975.19)
Ben Ganger	0.01 	0.00 			0.01 
Benchmarq Trading, LLC Master	0.00 	0.00 	6,940.00 	6,940.00 	0.00 
Berezly Alexey	0.00 	9,517.63 		9,517.63 	0.00 
Bill Raffo	0.00 	(7,605.23)	10,000.00 		2,394.77 
Bo O’Connor	10,271.57 	(8,368.67)			1,902.90 
Bob Byrne	309.07 	0.00 			309.07 
Boldirev Ivan	(65.53)	(3,423.07)	3,488.60 		0.00 
Brad Niles	(11,120.47)	(10.00)	11,130.47 		0.00 
Brad Scott Gray	0.00 	254,508.51 	25,000.00 	134,000.00 	145,508.51 
Brandon Fritz	15,126.63 	4,540.38 	17,800.00 	19,300.00 	18,167.01 
Brandon Hill Crawford	0.00 	(4,056.60)	4,000.00 		(56.60)
Brent Bordic	0.00 	(7,299.06)	10,000.00 	2,700.94 	0.00 
Brenton Woolworth	4,540.12 	(5,970.48)	3,000.00 		1,569.64 
Bruce Montegani	9,857.40 	0.00 			9,857.40 
Bryan Chin	1,341.28 	2,934.23 			4,275.51 
Chernogorcev Alex	0.00 	14,101.18 		14,101.18 	0.00 
Chia Hung	0.00 	(5,022.77)	10,000.00 		4,977.23 
Chris Horning-	(2,375.63)	25,652.12 		7,750.00 	15,526.49 
Chris Loretta	2,594.10 	(2,268.17)		325.93 	0.00 
Chris Shepherd	0.00 	(38,559.36)	38,468.00 		(91.36)
Christine Jothen	3,456.55 	0.00 		3,456.56 	(0.01)
Christopher Read	0.00 	529.00 			529.00 
Christopher Weight	(4,014.83)	0.00 			(4,014.83)
Craig Cloud	0.00 	(271.00)	35,000.00 		34,729.00 
Craig Cowling	0.00 	(4,944.43)	10,000.00 	5,055.57 	0.00 
Craig Lavid	0.00 	95,389.07 	150,000.00 		245,389.07 
Cristina Irion	0.00 	(9,710.01)	10,000.00 		289.99 
Dan Gibby	(18,360.95)	(23,086.61)	40,062.05 		(1,385.51)
Dan Raeihle	10,273.55 	(10,342.04)	5,000.00 	2,000.00 	2,931.51 
Dan Shaltiel	0.00 	(76,956.98)	100,000.00 	22,000.00 	1,043.02 
Dane Baron	9,448.77 	1,159.74 		11,734.90 	(1,126.39)
Daniel Lane	8,000.00 	(23,855.91)	20,000.00 	3,500.00 	644.09 
Daniel Mirkin	0.00 	(2,792.89)	2,792.89 		0.00 
Daniel Vargas	6,511.67 	(11,216.96)	10,948.77 		6,243.48 
Darryl Porter	0.00 	28,314.54 	25,000.00 		53,314.54 
David Allan KinKade	5,075.92 	(60.00)		5,015.92 	0.00 
David Carroll	0.00 	(1,709.20)			(1,709.20)
David Floyd	0.00 	(1,232.40)	15,000.00 		13,767.60 
David Gaetano	0.00 	(13,776.40)	20,500.00 	3,000.00 	3,723.60 
!David Kinkade	12.51 	(10.00)			2.51 
David Rabie	0.00 	(9,209.96)	12,000.00 		2,790.04 
David Readon	24,855.50 	(17,703.28)	15,000.00 		22,152.22 
Debby Hyatt	5,210.73 	(761.52)		4,449.22 	(0.01)
Delland Bartlett	0.00 	(26.00)			(26.00)
Donal Nolan	7,520.34 	(8,839.75)	1,319.40 		(0.01)
Donald Callahan	14,596.53 	(15,209.02)	6,600.00 		5,987.51 
Edward Bluestien	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Eric Grosser	5,055.25 	(1,434.97)		3,620.28 	0.00 
Eric Scheldt	732.52 	(5,966.92)	6,000.00 		765.60 
Fathi Azzalarab	0.00 	(38,842.91)	50,990.00 	11,500.00 	647.09 
Ferdinand Ledesma	(51.82)	0.00 			(51.28)
Fidel Coronado	10,676.77 	(6,929.58)		3,747.19 	0.00 
Frank Rose	(4,253.52)	(86.00)			(4,339.52)
Frank Roth	0.00 	1,083.90 			1,083.90 
Frank Scriveri	0.00 	(531.86)	10,000.00 		9,468.14 
Gary Cormier	0.00 	(8,143.30)	9,000.00 	856.70 	0.00 
Gary Kiebzak	6,905.78 	(6,601.94)	8,000.00 		8,303.84 
Gary Rains	0.00 	(5,888.92)	10,000.00 		4,111.08 
George Ashkar	0.00 	(21,549.91)	28,470.00 	2,500.00 	4,420.09 
George McHugh III	0.00 	(21,319.26)	21,311.47 		(7.79)
Guo Jian Lu (Kevin)	0.00 	(30.83)			(30.83)
Gvaramanze Vadim	(294.27)	(510.89)	805.16 		0.00 
Haggan Henderson	0.00 	(14,042.92)	30,000.00 	6,000.00 	9,957.08 
HarH Kao	0.00 	(2,191.00)	8,000.00 		5,809.00 
Heath Sims	(3,402.89)	0.00 			(3,402.89)
Herb Schwarz	4,095.75 	(20,728.15)	20,000.00 		3,367.60 
IG Trading LLC	46,916.85 	(51,343.94)	344,950.00 	136,785.06 	203,737.85 
Hung Van Thai	0.00 	(16,289.54)	20,000.00 		3,710.46 
Irfan Kamdar	0.00 	(4,039.76)	8,985.00 		4,945.24 
Jacinto Garro Bonilla	0.00 	0.00 	18,000.00 		18,000.00 
Jaime Ramirez	4,218.59 	(2,087.36)			2,131.23 
James Anthony Cambece	0.00 	1,566.17 	50,000.00 		51,566.17 
James Buchanan	0.00 	0.00 	20,000.00 		20,000.00 
James Michalik	0.00 	(149.95)	4,000.00 	3,800.00 	50.05 
James P Stoessel	(67.35)	(4,136.36)	5,637.00 		1,433.29 
James P Wu	0.00 	(12,940.26)	21,250.00 		8,309.74 
James Shaw	0.00 	(341,513.06)	350,000.00 		8,486.94 
Jamie Hodge	0.00 	(8,070.37)			(8,070.37)
Jaquoline Anton	0.00 	(2,642.66)	5,000.00 	2,383.24 	(25.90)
Jarrod Vrazel	0.00 	(6,462.32)	6,562.32 		100.00 
Jason Reyes	0.00 	(1,326.47)			(1,326.47)
Jason Watkins	0.00 	6,721.80 	20,000.00 	14,700.00 	12,021.80 
Jeff Gresham	0.00 	(9,214.52)	25,000.00 		15,785.48 
Jennifer Campbell	0.00 	(1,142.74)			(1,142.74)
Jesse Sullivan	0.00 	16,006.69 	105,000.00 	77,000.00 	44,006.69 
Jesus Dominguez .	0.00 	(1,599.21)	10,000.00 		8,400.79 
Jim Moore	0.00 	(12,827.31)	25,000.00 	12,172.69 	0.00 
Joe Arena	0.00 	931.31 	5,000.00 		5,931.31 
Joe Gilbe~	0.00 	(19,899.89)	19,899.89 		0.00 
Joel Griffith	1,946.12 	(7,418.96)	9,100.00 		3,627.16 
John Crabb	0.00 	250,766.30 	27,828.53 	209,750.00 	68,844.83 
John Emery	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
John Haynes	0.00 	(397.78)	30,000.00 		29,602.22 
John Olorunsuyi	0.00 	(84.10)	10,000.00 		9,915.90 
John Pavidis	(4,669.43)	0.00 			(4,669.43)
John Russell	0.00 	(8.81)	10,000.00 		9,991.19 
John Streng	56,152.88 	242,462.03 		240,000.00 	58,614.91 
John Tolpa	5,450.12 	(321.11)		5,129.00 	0.01 
Jon Bischmann	9,741.98 	(14,332.96)	9,000.00 	3,482.57 	926.45 
Jon Jutstrom	4,218.76 	(3,558.96)		659.80 	0.00 
Jonathan Kirkland	(1,185.49)	0.00 			(1,185.49)
Jonathan Krug	0.00 	17,204.51 	25,050.00 	2,820.00 	39,434.51 
Jonathan Monge	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Jorge Castro	0.00 	(9,134.29)	10,000.00 		865.71 
Jorge Lopez	0.00 	(1,026.81)	10,000.00 		8,973.19 
Joseph C. Machado	(6,422.34)	(1,749.23)			(8,171.57)
Joseph Haynes	0.00 	(6,538.19)	11,000.00 		4,461.81 
Justin Brewer	0.00 	(1,713.18)	1,761.62 		48.44 
Justin Brewer	0.00 	(22.76)			(22.76)
Justin Ceglar	0.00 	(5,597.87)	10,000.00 		4,402.13 
K Holding Account	0.00 	0.00 	500,000.00 	20,611.40 	479,388.60 
Keith McHugh	0.00 	(22,092.71)	35,000.00 		12,907.29 
Kenneth Solecki	0.00 	(2,189.89)	5,000.00 	2,810.11 	0.00 
Kent Morgan	(1,137.77)	(1,022.78)	5,000.00 	2,839.45 	0.00 
Kerem Guneri	0.00 	1,088.39 	50,000.00 	10,000.00 	41,088.39 
Kevin Ciccarelli	(131.88)	(535.40)	5,660.00 		4,992.72 
Kevin Gawle	(659.18)	0.00 			(659.18)
Kevin Kelly	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Kokoshko Maxim	0.00 	(10,536.52)	10,536.52 		0.00 
Kovalenko Yevgen	0.00 	(2,280.82)	2,280.82 		0.00 
Kress Andrey	0.00 	(1,825.68)	1,825.68 		0.00 
Kyle Cleveland	0.00 	18,953.62 			18,953.62 
Laurence Alexander Fleet	4,591.93 	(66,156.90)	62,000.00 		435.03 
Leeland Hrushkin	0.00 	(7,176.57)	7,161.57 		(15.00)
Like Sha	47.42 	(5,764.81)	2,320.00 		(3,397.39)
Lisa Hyatt	16,890.92 	(7,966.42)			8,924.50 
Lucas Gregor	0.00 	(3,999.91)	8,000.00 		4,000.09 
Lynda Nolan	3,523.79 	(294.44)		3,229.35 	0.00 
MAA Trading Co	0.00 	(6,227.53)	20,000.00 		13,772.47 
Mabas, INC	121,485.09 	321,889.16 		404,500.00 	38,874.25 
Marc Firestone	0.00 	(1,536.37)	10,000.00 	8,463.63 	0.00 
Marc Zangari	22,092.53 	17,188.99 	32,000.00 	65,000.00 	6,281.52 
Marcos Connell	21,550.44 	38,175.70 		26,300.00 	33,426.14 
Mark Grossbard	12,615.25 	1,866.15 	42,000.00 	44,500.00 	11,981.40 
Mark Matthews	0.00 	(2,123.62)	25,000.00 	13,000.00 	9,876.38 
Mark Rosalbo	(3,360.17)	0.00 			(3,360.17)
Maruha Alexandr	0.00 	2,172.25 		2,172.25 	0.00 
Matt Armin	0.00 	(753.99)	20,611.40 	20,000.00 	(142.59)
Matt Kumar	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Matt Meacham	0.00 	(1,326.21)	10,000.00 		8,673.79 
Matt Thomas	663.36 	(3,819.72)			(3,156.36)
Matthew Jim Cunningham	779.94 	(576.51)			203.43 
Michael D Bradford	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Michael Donlon	0.00 	(61,475.54)	62,000.00 		524.46 
Michael Feintuch	86,439.78 	7,564.67 	150,481.55 	220,000.00 	24,486.00 
Michael Ferrare	0.00 	(6,828.12)	10,000.00 	3,193.38 	(21.50)
Michael J Carr	(0.01)	0.00 			(0.01)
MichaelJ. Hayes	216.22 	(2,422.40)	4,500.00 		2,293.82 
MichaelJohnson	(6,283.58)	24,667.02 		10,819.31 	7,564.13 
Michael Moore	0.00 	(10,995.10)	16,000.00 		5,004.90 
Michael Saul	0.00 	(72,261.62)	77,000.00 	4,738.38 	0.00 
Michael Steiner	0.00 	1,965.10 	10,000.00 	2,600.00 	9,365.10 
Michael Wright	(2,537.78)	0.00 			(2,537.78)
Mike Hartman	0.00 	8,765.93 	10,000.00 	10,000.00 	8,765.93 
Mike Landers	15,301.61 	(21,071.50)	6,000.00 		230.11 
Mike Parady	0.01 	(649.39)	649.39 		0.01 
Mohamed Osman	0.00 	(3.79)	12,000.00 		11,996.21 
Nan Lin	0.00 	(1,486.07)	5,000.00 		3,513.93 
Nasser Zegar	0.00 	1,794.27 	8,000.00 	9,790.51 	3.76 
Neville C. Pinto	0.00 	1,131.25 	5,000.00 		6,131.25 
Nicolas Anderson	(6,900.54)	0.00 			(6,900.54)
Olexander Bandurchenko	9,627.17 	(829.21)			8,797.96 
Oslpov Alex	0.00 	(708.18)	708.18 		0.00 
Pamela Ombres	570.16 	(331.51)			238.65 
Paul Przelski	6,219.77 	5,168.12 	20,000.00 	10,207.48 	21,180.41 
Pavloskly Nikita	(189.89)	(1,103.19)	1,293.08 		0.00 
Penny Peppier	49,066.10 	193,518.72 	68,400.00 	202,000.00 	108,984.82 
Petrova Valeria	(283.82)	15,436.56 		15,152.74 	0.00 
Phil Kennedy	(1,344.50)	2,751.50 		1,407.00 	0.00 
Phillip Johnson	(352.44)	(623.12)	1,000.00 		24.44 
Phillip Zirges	0.00 	(5,644.76)	20,000.00 		14,355.24 
Phoenix Investing - Chris Jaffe	0.00 	(9,769.23)	10,000.00 		230.77 
P~then Worldwide Inc	0.00 	(19,726.31)	25,000.00 	4,600.00 	673.69 
Prime Directive Investment Fund LP	1,934.56 	0.00 		1,934.56 	0.00 
R&mo Chendu	2,069.42 	(10.00)		2,059.42 	0.00 
Rees Gould	0.01 	0.00 			0.01 
..~.Fginald Cheatham	0.00 	(10.84)	10,000.00 		9,989.16 
Richard Couts	0.00 	(4,375.46)	12,000.00 	3,500.00 	4,124.54 
Richard Herman	0.00 	(1,708.97)	10,000.00 		8,291.03 
Richard Matenaer	(5,549.77)	0.00 			(5,549.77)
Richard W Ennis	1,098.52 	(2,963.59)	2,000.00 		134.93 
Robert Bosler	(3,382.12)	(8,225.90)	13,500.00 		1,891.98 
Robert Davis II	0.00 	(1,428.22)	5,000.00 		3,571.78 
Robert Desualniers	670.10 	0.00 			670.10 
Robert Greene	5,109.65 	(14,399.52)	16,000.00 	1,000.00 	5,710.13 
Robert Kim	4,760.72 	281.97 		5,042.69 	0.00 
Robert Norine	(1,127.35)	(5,974.47)	4,000.00 		(3,101.82)
R.gbert Ornsby	0.00 	(5,067.16)			(5,067.16)
Robert Rains	0.00 	(3,228.92)	10,000.00 		6,771.08 
Rod Henley	0.00 	(10.85)			(10.85)
.R’0drigo Motta	0.00 	(2,154.97)	5,000.00 		2,845.03 
Roman Walter	10,734.32 	(114,940.90)	118,100.00 	10,000.00 	3,893.42 
Ruston Youngb,,!ood	0.00 	(2,334.96)	10,000.00 		7,665.04 
.~’~an Gray	0.00 	(2,527.98)			(2,527.98)
Samuel Grossman	25,141.23 	(30,123.81)			(4,982.58)
S...anjay Singh	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Scott Dingman	0.00 	0.00 	50,000.00 		50,000.00 
Scott Herman	0.00 	33,142.57 			33,142.57 
Scott Hertweck	(0.01)	0.00 			(0.01)
Scott Littlefield	8,598.85 	(3,236.49)	2,300.00 	7,249.39 	412.97 
Scott Moll	4,102.84 	(4,013.13)	500.00 		589.71 
Scott Radzik	6,084.18 	(5,014.53)			1,069.65 
Scott Seggerman	24,343.48 	(59,409.92)	32,833.00 		(2,233.44)
Sean Ahern	(1,658.47)	(70.00)			(1,728.47)
Sean Fritz	(2,361.00)	(13,130.60)	15,500.00 		8.40 
Sean Kerr	0.00 	(166.61)	10,000.00 		9,833.39 
S~an McLaughlin	(1,679.11)	(35.31)			(1,714.42)
Sean Quinn	59,428.08 	248,183.69 		245,000.00 	62,611.77 
S..#rgei Aleshkov	0.00 	(2,372.19)	10,000.00 	7,627.81 	0.00 
Shannon Mann	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Shawn Macdonald	0.00 	(7,021.60)	7,000.00 		(21.68)
Shawn Quinney	0.00 	(251.13)	9,990.00 		9,738.87 
Shchiller, LLC Account 1	0.00 	(20,007.74)	24,980.00 	4,972.26 	0.00 
Shlenova Eugene	(199.21)	(1,088.78)	1,287.99 		0.00 
Shturman Sergey	(384.14)	(1,106.18)	1,490.32 		0.00 
Simon Amos	0.00 	68,060.72 	6,940.00 	62,000.00 	13,000.72 
Solomon Sharbat	0.00 	(42,470.51)	55,000.00 	9,800.00 	2,729.49 
~}an Ungechauer	0.00 	(7,104.31)	13,000.00 		5,895.69 
Stephen Sylvester	0.00 	1,320.80 	41,750.00 	7,400.00 	35,670.80 
Steve Braker	0.00 	(1,820.37)	5,000.00 		3,179.63 
Steven Girden	(6,759.27)	(557.00)			(7,316.27)
g~:even Patterson	3,367.38 	(14,652.05)	12,005.00 	3,000.00 	(2,279.67)
steven Saltman	0.00 	(592.00)	5,000.00 		4,408.00 
~.!0ychev Eugene	0.00 	(3,436.20)	3,436.20 		0.00 
Strelcov Dmitriy	(881.40)	(1,202.58)	2,083.98 		0.00 
Sweetspot Factor, LLC Dom Nguyen	0.00 	118.39 	5,000.00 	5,118.39 	0.00 
Tamara Hamideh	0.00 	(5,563.11)	6,500.00 	1,000.00 	(63.11)
Tanayoos Manophinives	0.00 	9,949.30 	20,000.00 	9,800.00 	20,149.30 
TDA Trading 2	0.00 	(6.54)			(6.54)
Terry Bailey	0.00 	(1,991.44)	20,000.00 		18,008.56 
iThUs Janssen	0.00 	(3,684.93)			(3,684.93)
Todd Combre	(4,422.83)	(824.87)			(5,247.70)
Todd McPherson	0.00 	(12,799.25)	12,000.00 		(799.25)
Tom Ranglas	0.00 	(26.00)			(26.00)
Tomas Vargas	0.01 	4,623.02 	5,500.00 	10,123.03 	0.00 
Trent Fechter	(63.12)	(4,015.77)			(4,078.89)
Trimorush Sasha	(341.35)	(1,903.03)	2,244.38 		0.00 
Valkoni Petr	(182.67)	(778.32)	960.98 		(0.01)
Victor Salamone	10,190.80 	(4,555.45)	5,000.00 	4,000.00 	6,635.35 
Vitality Paseliko	0.00 	(3,271.92)	3,271.92 		0.00 
Vladislav Novak	0.00 	(944.66)			(944.66)
Vlasta Salnikova	0.00 	(469.35)	5,000.00 		4,530.65 
Warren Sulmasy - City Funds, LLC	0.00 	(26.00)	25,000.00 	24,974.00 	0.00 
Wes Micak	10,000.00 	(18,537.79)	10,000.00 	1,462.21 	0.00 
William Burgoyne	0.00 	11,618.44 	10,000.00 		21,618.44 
William Dedelow	0.00 	(3,200.59)	10,000.00 		6,799.41 
William Haynes	0.00 	589,805.69 	95,000.00 	462,000.00 	222,805.69 
William Henderson	0.00 	(11,330.70)	14,600.00 		3,269.30 
William J Tobias	27,551.87 	0.00 		27,521.87 	30.00 
William Ryan Mitchell	17,697.47 	(20,182.26)	15,000.00 		12,515.21 
William Smith	0.00 	(6,368.26)	10,000.00 		3,631.74 
Zashitina Julia	0.00 	627.27 	31.00 	658.27 	0.00

Attached Thumbnails
Trader survival rate: an actual sample (Tuco Trading)-tuco-case.pdf   Trader survival rate: an actual sample (Tuco Trading)-tuco-exhibit-.pdf   Trader survival rate: an actual sample (Tuco Trading)-tuco-exhibit-a2.pdf  
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bijeremiad View Post
90% of traders are unprofitable.

I've heard it so many times, I couldn't cite the source, or even know if one exists.

A sample set of traders
Today I stumbled across a 2008 court case of SEC v Tuco Trading LLC.


Tuco provided day-trading capabilities to over 250 traders. They pooled assets and gave clients 20:1 buying power for any account size (skirting the $25k minimum for pattern day traders and 4:1 leverage offered by most brokers). They also used about $4MM of their client's $10MM to cover expenses and bad trades.

But even though they were trading stocks, the leverage and account sizes (median account size contribution was $10k) were comparable to what we read about in the forums for small retail futures accounts.

Attached is Exhibit A from the case, which gives the account balances, P&L, contributions, and withdrawals of their traders for 2007. I pulled those numbers (as well as OCR would let me) and tabulated them in the sketch below.

The traders are grouped first by "experience". I only have one full year of data, but 40% of the accounts existed prior to 2007 and about 60% opened during the year. So the existing-account clients likely traded the whole year. The "newbs" are impossible to tell.

Then I grouped them by account size: negative balance, $0-10k, $10-50k, $50k+. And I pulled out inactive accounts from the denominator.

Not far from the "90% rule" about 9% of the traders produced results that could pass as income. This was 2007 where the S&P return was 6% (peaking at 11% and two brief periods of -2% negative retracements past the January open). The break evens were about 20% of traders. Larger account sizes tended to fare better than their elfin colleagues.

I am sure many will have their own caveats and "yeah buts". You are smart enough to not run in foolish directions with this data, but I wanted to memorialize in on futures.io (formerly BMT) for future reference.

Awards
A few "awards" for stories we have all heard before:
  • James S wins the busted account: $350,000 account with ending equity $8,486. Ara S gets runner up with $2.60 remaining of his $128,000 account.
  • Dan G wins the double down award: $-$18,360 starting balance, adds $40,062 more, and loses $23,086 over the year.
  • Michael J wins the claw back award: -6,422 beginning balance, P&L: $24,667 for the year. Runner up is Chris H -$2k beginning balance, P&L $25k.
  • Brad G wins best use of leverage: $25,000 account, P&L: $254,508. Quadruple digits.


A side lesson to all of this is: pick your broker carefully, or your trading record could end up part of the public record.

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).



The underlying data I used to create the chart above is below:

 
Code
Name	Beg Equity	P&L	Contrib	Withdraw	End Equity
Abdel Waheb Khedhira	0.00 	(3,054.48)	13,100.00 		10,045.52 
Abe Krieser	10,817.97 	14,087.92 		15,500.00 	9,405.89 
Adam Cooper	0.00 	3,894.29 	20,000.00 		23,894.29 
Adam Melsek	(1,282.27)	0.00 			(1,282.27)
Alan Hoes	0.00 	(19,125.03)	30,000.00 		10,874.97 
Andrew Srebnik (Apas LLC)	0.00 	15,904.28 	360,000.00 		375,904.28 
Ara Shamlian	0.00 	(127,997.40)	128,000.00 		2.60 
Arthur Mullakandov	0.00 	(22,163.84)	50,000.00 		27,836.16 
Ashit Johri	0.00 	(528.83)	19,000.00 		18,471.17 
Atif Haque	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Avi Zimmerman	0.00 	(2,686.52)	4,985.00 		2,298.48 
Barbela Igor	(38.06)	(1,754.13)	1,792.19 		0.00 
Beatrice Pitocco	5,006.50 	(111.72)		5,000.00 	(105.22)
Ben Berrens	(4,975.19)	0.00 			(4,975.19)
Ben Ganger	0.01 	0.00 			0.01 
Benchmarq Trading, LLC Master	0.00 	0.00 	6,940.00 	6,940.00 	0.00 
Berezly Alexey	0.00 	9,517.63 		9,517.63 	0.00 
Bill Raffo	0.00 	(7,605.23)	10,000.00 		2,394.77 
Bo O’Connor	10,271.57 	(8,368.67)			1,902.90 
Bob Byrne	309.07 	0.00 			309.07 
Boldirev Ivan	(65.53)	(3,423.07)	3,488.60 		0.00 
Brad Niles	(11,120.47)	(10.00)	11,130.47 		0.00 
Brad Scott Gray	0.00 	254,508.51 	25,000.00 	134,000.00 	145,508.51 
Brandon Fritz	15,126.63 	4,540.38 	17,800.00 	19,300.00 	18,167.01 
Brandon Hill Crawford	0.00 	(4,056.60)	4,000.00 		(56.60)
Brent Bordic	0.00 	(7,299.06)	10,000.00 	2,700.94 	0.00 
Brenton Woolworth	4,540.12 	(5,970.48)	3,000.00 		1,569.64 
Bruce Montegani	9,857.40 	0.00 			9,857.40 
Bryan Chin	1,341.28 	2,934.23 			4,275.51 
Chernogorcev Alex	0.00 	14,101.18 		14,101.18 	0.00 
Chia Hung	0.00 	(5,022.77)	10,000.00 		4,977.23 
Chris Horning-	(2,375.63)	25,652.12 		7,750.00 	15,526.49 
Chris Loretta	2,594.10 	(2,268.17)		325.93 	0.00 
Chris Shepherd	0.00 	(38,559.36)	38,468.00 		(91.36)
Christine Jothen	3,456.55 	0.00 		3,456.56 	(0.01)
Christopher Read	0.00 	529.00 			529.00 
Christopher Weight	(4,014.83)	0.00 			(4,014.83)
Craig Cloud	0.00 	(271.00)	35,000.00 		34,729.00 
Craig Cowling	0.00 	(4,944.43)	10,000.00 	5,055.57 	0.00 
Craig Lavid	0.00 	95,389.07 	150,000.00 		245,389.07 
Cristina Irion	0.00 	(9,710.01)	10,000.00 		289.99 
Dan Gibby	(18,360.95)	(23,086.61)	40,062.05 		(1,385.51)
Dan Raeihle	10,273.55 	(10,342.04)	5,000.00 	2,000.00 	2,931.51 
Dan Shaltiel	0.00 	(76,956.98)	100,000.00 	22,000.00 	1,043.02 
Dane Baron	9,448.77 	1,159.74 		11,734.90 	(1,126.39)
Daniel Lane	8,000.00 	(23,855.91)	20,000.00 	3,500.00 	644.09 
Daniel Mirkin	0.00 	(2,792.89)	2,792.89 		0.00 
Daniel Vargas	6,511.67 	(11,216.96)	10,948.77 		6,243.48 
Darryl Porter	0.00 	28,314.54 	25,000.00 		53,314.54 
David Allan KinKade	5,075.92 	(60.00)		5,015.92 	0.00 
David Carroll	0.00 	(1,709.20)			(1,709.20)
David Floyd	0.00 	(1,232.40)	15,000.00 		13,767.60 
David Gaetano	0.00 	(13,776.40)	20,500.00 	3,000.00 	3,723.60 
!David Kinkade	12.51 	(10.00)			2.51 
David Rabie	0.00 	(9,209.96)	12,000.00 		2,790.04 
David Readon	24,855.50 	(17,703.28)	15,000.00 		22,152.22 
Debby Hyatt	5,210.73 	(761.52)		4,449.22 	(0.01)
Delland Bartlett	0.00 	(26.00)			(26.00)
Donal Nolan	7,520.34 	(8,839.75)	1,319.40 		(0.01)
Donald Callahan	14,596.53 	(15,209.02)	6,600.00 		5,987.51 
Edward Bluestien	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Eric Grosser	5,055.25 	(1,434.97)		3,620.28 	0.00 
Eric Scheldt	732.52 	(5,966.92)	6,000.00 		765.60 
Fathi Azzalarab	0.00 	(38,842.91)	50,990.00 	11,500.00 	647.09 
Ferdinand Ledesma	(51.82)	0.00 			(51.28)
Fidel Coronado	10,676.77 	(6,929.58)		3,747.19 	0.00 
Frank Rose	(4,253.52)	(86.00)			(4,339.52)
Frank Roth	0.00 	1,083.90 			1,083.90 
Frank Scriveri	0.00 	(531.86)	10,000.00 		9,468.14 
Gary Cormier	0.00 	(8,143.30)	9,000.00 	856.70 	0.00 
Gary Kiebzak	6,905.78 	(6,601.94)	8,000.00 		8,303.84 
Gary Rains	0.00 	(5,888.92)	10,000.00 		4,111.08 
George Ashkar	0.00 	(21,549.91)	28,470.00 	2,500.00 	4,420.09 
George McHugh III	0.00 	(21,319.26)	21,311.47 		(7.79)
Guo Jian Lu (Kevin)	0.00 	(30.83)			(30.83)
Gvaramanze Vadim	(294.27)	(510.89)	805.16 		0.00 
Haggan Henderson	0.00 	(14,042.92)	30,000.00 	6,000.00 	9,957.08 
HarH Kao	0.00 	(2,191.00)	8,000.00 		5,809.00 
Heath Sims	(3,402.89)	0.00 			(3,402.89)
Herb Schwarz	4,095.75 	(20,728.15)	20,000.00 		3,367.60 
IG Trading LLC	46,916.85 	(51,343.94)	344,950.00 	136,785.06 	203,737.85 
Hung Van Thai	0.00 	(16,289.54)	20,000.00 		3,710.46 
Irfan Kamdar	0.00 	(4,039.76)	8,985.00 		4,945.24 
Jacinto Garro Bonilla	0.00 	0.00 	18,000.00 		18,000.00 
Jaime Ramirez	4,218.59 	(2,087.36)			2,131.23 
James Anthony Cambece	0.00 	1,566.17 	50,000.00 		51,566.17 
James Buchanan	0.00 	0.00 	20,000.00 		20,000.00 
James Michalik	0.00 	(149.95)	4,000.00 	3,800.00 	50.05 
James P Stoessel	(67.35)	(4,136.36)	5,637.00 		1,433.29 
James P Wu	0.00 	(12,940.26)	21,250.00 		8,309.74 
James Shaw	0.00 	(341,513.06)	350,000.00 		8,486.94 
Jamie Hodge	0.00 	(8,070.37)			(8,070.37)
Jaquoline Anton	0.00 	(2,642.66)	5,000.00 	2,383.24 	(25.90)
Jarrod Vrazel	0.00 	(6,462.32)	6,562.32 		100.00 
Jason Reyes	0.00 	(1,326.47)			(1,326.47)
Jason Watkins	0.00 	6,721.80 	20,000.00 	14,700.00 	12,021.80 
Jeff Gresham	0.00 	(9,214.52)	25,000.00 		15,785.48 
Jennifer Campbell	0.00 	(1,142.74)			(1,142.74)
Jesse Sullivan	0.00 	16,006.69 	105,000.00 	77,000.00 	44,006.69 
Jesus Dominguez .	0.00 	(1,599.21)	10,000.00 		8,400.79 
Jim Moore	0.00 	(12,827.31)	25,000.00 	12,172.69 	0.00 
Joe Arena	0.00 	931.31 	5,000.00 		5,931.31 
Joe Gilbe~	0.00 	(19,899.89)	19,899.89 		0.00 
Joel Griffith	1,946.12 	(7,418.96)	9,100.00 		3,627.16 
John Crabb	0.00 	250,766.30 	27,828.53 	209,750.00 	68,844.83 
John Emery	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
John Haynes	0.00 	(397.78)	30,000.00 		29,602.22 
John Olorunsuyi	0.00 	(84.10)	10,000.00 		9,915.90 
John Pavidis	(4,669.43)	0.00 			(4,669.43)
John Russell	0.00 	(8.81)	10,000.00 		9,991.19 
John Streng	56,152.88 	242,462.03 		240,000.00 	58,614.91 
John Tolpa	5,450.12 	(321.11)		5,129.00 	0.01 
Jon Bischmann	9,741.98 	(14,332.96)	9,000.00 	3,482.57 	926.45 
Jon Jutstrom	4,218.76 	(3,558.96)		659.80 	0.00 
Jonathan Kirkland	(1,185.49)	0.00 			(1,185.49)
Jonathan Krug	0.00 	17,204.51 	25,050.00 	2,820.00 	39,434.51 
Jonathan Monge	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Jorge Castro	0.00 	(9,134.29)	10,000.00 		865.71 
Jorge Lopez	0.00 	(1,026.81)	10,000.00 		8,973.19 
Joseph C. Machado	(6,422.34)	(1,749.23)			(8,171.57)
Joseph Haynes	0.00 	(6,538.19)	11,000.00 		4,461.81 
Justin Brewer	0.00 	(1,713.18)	1,761.62 		48.44 
Justin Brewer	0.00 	(22.76)			(22.76)
Justin Ceglar	0.00 	(5,597.87)	10,000.00 		4,402.13 
K Holding Account	0.00 	0.00 	500,000.00 	20,611.40 	479,388.60 
Keith McHugh	0.00 	(22,092.71)	35,000.00 		12,907.29 
Kenneth Solecki	0.00 	(2,189.89)	5,000.00 	2,810.11 	0.00 
Kent Morgan	(1,137.77)	(1,022.78)	5,000.00 	2,839.45 	0.00 
Kerem Guneri	0.00 	1,088.39 	50,000.00 	10,000.00 	41,088.39 
Kevin Ciccarelli	(131.88)	(535.40)	5,660.00 		4,992.72 
Kevin Gawle	(659.18)	0.00 			(659.18)
Kevin Kelly	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Kokoshko Maxim	0.00 	(10,536.52)	10,536.52 		0.00 
Kovalenko Yevgen	0.00 	(2,280.82)	2,280.82 		0.00 
Kress Andrey	0.00 	(1,825.68)	1,825.68 		0.00 
Kyle Cleveland	0.00 	18,953.62 			18,953.62 
Laurence Alexander Fleet	4,591.93 	(66,156.90)	62,000.00 		435.03 
Leeland Hrushkin	0.00 	(7,176.57)	7,161.57 		(15.00)
Like Sha	47.42 	(5,764.81)	2,320.00 		(3,397.39)
Lisa Hyatt	16,890.92 	(7,966.42)			8,924.50 
Lucas Gregor	0.00 	(3,999.91)	8,000.00 		4,000.09 
Lynda Nolan	3,523.79 	(294.44)		3,229.35 	0.00 
MAA Trading Co	0.00 	(6,227.53)	20,000.00 		13,772.47 
Mabas, INC	121,485.09 	321,889.16 		404,500.00 	38,874.25 
Marc Firestone	0.00 	(1,536.37)	10,000.00 	8,463.63 	0.00 
Marc Zangari	22,092.53 	17,188.99 	32,000.00 	65,000.00 	6,281.52 
Marcos Connell	21,550.44 	38,175.70 		26,300.00 	33,426.14 
Mark Grossbard	12,615.25 	1,866.15 	42,000.00 	44,500.00 	11,981.40 
Mark Matthews	0.00 	(2,123.62)	25,000.00 	13,000.00 	9,876.38 
Mark Rosalbo	(3,360.17)	0.00 			(3,360.17)
Maruha Alexandr	0.00 	2,172.25 		2,172.25 	0.00 
Matt Armin	0.00 	(753.99)	20,611.40 	20,000.00 	(142.59)
Matt Kumar	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Matt Meacham	0.00 	(1,326.21)	10,000.00 		8,673.79 
Matt Thomas	663.36 	(3,819.72)			(3,156.36)
Matthew Jim Cunningham	779.94 	(576.51)			203.43 
Michael D Bradford	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Michael Donlon	0.00 	(61,475.54)	62,000.00 		524.46 
Michael Feintuch	86,439.78 	7,564.67 	150,481.55 	220,000.00 	24,486.00 
Michael Ferrare	0.00 	(6,828.12)	10,000.00 	3,193.38 	(21.50)
Michael J Carr	(0.01)	0.00 			(0.01)
MichaelJ. Hayes	216.22 	(2,422.40)	4,500.00 		2,293.82 
MichaelJohnson	(6,283.58)	24,667.02 		10,819.31 	7,564.13 
Michael Moore	0.00 	(10,995.10)	16,000.00 		5,004.90 
Michael Saul	0.00 	(72,261.62)	77,000.00 	4,738.38 	0.00 
Michael Steiner	0.00 	1,965.10 	10,000.00 	2,600.00 	9,365.10 
Michael Wright	(2,537.78)	0.00 			(2,537.78)
Mike Hartman	0.00 	8,765.93 	10,000.00 	10,000.00 	8,765.93 
Mike Landers	15,301.61 	(21,071.50)	6,000.00 		230.11 
Mike Parady	0.01 	(649.39)	649.39 		0.01 
Mohamed Osman	0.00 	(3.79)	12,000.00 		11,996.21 
Nan Lin	0.00 	(1,486.07)	5,000.00 		3,513.93 
Nasser Zegar	0.00 	1,794.27 	8,000.00 	9,790.51 	3.76 
Neville C. Pinto	0.00 	1,131.25 	5,000.00 		6,131.25 
Nicolas Anderson	(6,900.54)	0.00 			(6,900.54)
Olexander Bandurchenko	9,627.17 	(829.21)			8,797.96 
Oslpov Alex	0.00 	(708.18)	708.18 		0.00 
Pamela Ombres	570.16 	(331.51)			238.65 
Paul Przelski	6,219.77 	5,168.12 	20,000.00 	10,207.48 	21,180.41 
Pavloskly Nikita	(189.89)	(1,103.19)	1,293.08 		0.00 
Penny Peppier	49,066.10 	193,518.72 	68,400.00 	202,000.00 	108,984.82 
Petrova Valeria	(283.82)	15,436.56 		15,152.74 	0.00 
Phil Kennedy	(1,344.50)	2,751.50 		1,407.00 	0.00 
Phillip Johnson	(352.44)	(623.12)	1,000.00 		24.44 
Phillip Zirges	0.00 	(5,644.76)	20,000.00 		14,355.24 
Phoenix Investing - Chris Jaffe	0.00 	(9,769.23)	10,000.00 		230.77 
P~then Worldwide Inc	0.00 	(19,726.31)	25,000.00 	4,600.00 	673.69 
Prime Directive Investment Fund LP	1,934.56 	0.00 		1,934.56 	0.00 
R&mo Chendu	2,069.42 	(10.00)		2,059.42 	0.00 
Rees Gould	0.01 	0.00 			0.01 
..~.Fginald Cheatham	0.00 	(10.84)	10,000.00 		9,989.16 
Richard Couts	0.00 	(4,375.46)	12,000.00 	3,500.00 	4,124.54 
Richard Herman	0.00 	(1,708.97)	10,000.00 		8,291.03 
Richard Matenaer	(5,549.77)	0.00 			(5,549.77)
Richard W Ennis	1,098.52 	(2,963.59)	2,000.00 		134.93 
Robert Bosler	(3,382.12)	(8,225.90)	13,500.00 		1,891.98 
Robert Davis II	0.00 	(1,428.22)	5,000.00 		3,571.78 
Robert Desualniers	670.10 	0.00 			670.10 
Robert Greene	5,109.65 	(14,399.52)	16,000.00 	1,000.00 	5,710.13 
Robert Kim	4,760.72 	281.97 		5,042.69 	0.00 
Robert Norine	(1,127.35)	(5,974.47)	4,000.00 		(3,101.82)
R.gbert Ornsby	0.00 	(5,067.16)			(5,067.16)
Robert Rains	0.00 	(3,228.92)	10,000.00 		6,771.08 
Rod Henley	0.00 	(10.85)			(10.85)
.R’0drigo Motta	0.00 	(2,154.97)	5,000.00 		2,845.03 
Roman Walter	10,734.32 	(114,940.90)	118,100.00 	10,000.00 	3,893.42 
Ruston Youngb,,!ood	0.00 	(2,334.96)	10,000.00 		7,665.04 
.~’~an Gray	0.00 	(2,527.98)			(2,527.98)
Samuel Grossman	25,141.23 	(30,123.81)			(4,982.58)
S...anjay Singh	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Scott Dingman	0.00 	0.00 	50,000.00 		50,000.00 
Scott Herman	0.00 	33,142.57 			33,142.57 
Scott Hertweck	(0.01)	0.00 			(0.01)
Scott Littlefield	8,598.85 	(3,236.49)	2,300.00 	7,249.39 	412.97 
Scott Moll	4,102.84 	(4,013.13)	500.00 		589.71 
Scott Radzik	6,084.18 	(5,014.53)			1,069.65 
Scott Seggerman	24,343.48 	(59,409.92)	32,833.00 		(2,233.44)
Sean Ahern	(1,658.47)	(70.00)			(1,728.47)
Sean Fritz	(2,361.00)	(13,130.60)	15,500.00 		8.40 
Sean Kerr	0.00 	(166.61)	10,000.00 		9,833.39 
S~an McLaughlin	(1,679.11)	(35.31)			(1,714.42)
Sean Quinn	59,428.08 	248,183.69 		245,000.00 	62,611.77 
S..#rgei Aleshkov	0.00 	(2,372.19)	10,000.00 	7,627.81 	0.00 
Shannon Mann	0.00 	0.00 			0.00 
Shawn Macdonald	0.00 	(7,021.60)	7,000.00 		(21.68)
Shawn Quinney	0.00 	(251.13)	9,990.00 		9,738.87 
Shchiller, LLC Account 1	0.00 	(20,007.74)	24,980.00 	4,972.26 	0.00 
Shlenova Eugene	(199.21)	(1,088.78)	1,287.99 		0.00 
Shturman Sergey	(384.14)	(1,106.18)	1,490.32 		0.00 
Simon Amos	0.00 	68,060.72 	6,940.00 	62,000.00 	13,000.72 
Solomon Sharbat	0.00 	(42,470.51)	55,000.00 	9,800.00 	2,729.49 
~}an Ungechauer	0.00 	(7,104.31)	13,000.00 		5,895.69 
Stephen Sylvester	0.00 	1,320.80 	41,750.00 	7,400.00 	35,670.80 
Steve Braker	0.00 	(1,820.37)	5,000.00 		3,179.63 
Steven Girden	(6,759.27)	(557.00)			(7,316.27)
g~:even Patterson	3,367.38 	(14,652.05)	12,005.00 	3,000.00 	(2,279.67)
steven Saltman	0.00 	(592.00)	5,000.00 		4,408.00 
~.!0ychev Eugene	0.00 	(3,436.20)	3,436.20 		0.00 
Strelcov Dmitriy	(881.40)	(1,202.58)	2,083.98 		0.00 
Sweetspot Factor, LLC Dom Nguyen	0.00 	118.39 	5,000.00 	5,118.39 	0.00 
Tamara Hamideh	0.00 	(5,563.11)	6,500.00 	1,000.00 	(63.11)
Tanayoos Manophinives	0.00 	9,949.30 	20,000.00 	9,800.00 	20,149.30 
TDA Trading 2	0.00 	(6.54)			(6.54)
Terry Bailey	0.00 	(1,991.44)	20,000.00 		18,008.56 
iThUs Janssen	0.00 	(3,684.93)			(3,684.93)
Todd Combre	(4,422.83)	(824.87)			(5,247.70)
Todd McPherson	0.00 	(12,799.25)	12,000.00 		(799.25)
Tom Ranglas	0.00 	(26.00)			(26.00)
Tomas Vargas	0.01 	4,623.02 	5,500.00 	10,123.03 	0.00 
Trent Fechter	(63.12)	(4,015.77)			(4,078.89)
Trimorush Sasha	(341.35)	(1,903.03)	2,244.38 		0.00 
Valkoni Petr	(182.67)	(778.32)	960.98 		(0.01)
Victor Salamone	10,190.80 	(4,555.45)	5,000.00 	4,000.00 	6,635.35 
Vitality Paseliko	0.00 	(3,271.92)	3,271.92 		0.00 
Vladislav Novak	0.00 	(944.66)			(944.66)
Vlasta Salnikova	0.00 	(469.35)	5,000.00 		4,530.65 
Warren Sulmasy - City Funds, LLC	0.00 	(26.00)	25,000.00 	24,974.00 	0.00 
Wes Micak	10,000.00 	(18,537.79)	10,000.00 	1,462.21 	0.00 
William Burgoyne	0.00 	11,618.44 	10,000.00 		21,618.44 
William Dedelow	0.00 	(3,200.59)	10,000.00 		6,799.41 
William Haynes	0.00 	589,805.69 	95,000.00 	462,000.00 	222,805.69 
William Henderson	0.00 	(11,330.70)	14,600.00 		3,269.30 
William J Tobias	27,551.87 	0.00 		27,521.87 	30.00 
William Ryan Mitchell	17,697.47 	(20,182.26)	15,000.00 		12,515.21 
William Smith	0.00 	(6,368.26)	10,000.00 		3,631.74 
Zashitina Julia	0.00 	627.27 	31.00 	658.27 	0.00

Nice findings. I am wondering though if the 9% success rate is the same for experienced traders as it is for newbies then there is no skill involved? Or at least the skill difference between the 2 groups is 0 as you would suspect if the experienced traders were more skilled more of them would end up profitable. Another thing that I am wondering about is usually people say larger accounts give higher chance of success. In the experienced trader category that seems to be the trend as 50k+ had 4 that "got it" vs 2 in every other category. Against the newbies where the smaller account sizes "got it" and no one from 50k + did. All I can deduce from that is the experienced traders knew how to use account size to their advantage but for newbies size didn't matter. or actually starting smaller was better.

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treydog999 View Post
I am wondering though if the 9% success rate is the same for experienced traders as it is for newbies then there is no skill involved?

My definition of "experienced" is lacking. The only difference between the two groups is one had an account open the year before. The "newbs" that open an account in 2007 may have come from somewhere else. I would hope someone who came in with $150k account had an idea of what he was doing, but that is obviously not the case. The success rate is just for one year. Much tougher to say what that is year after year.




treydog999 View Post
Another thing that I am wondering about is usually people say larger accounts give higher chance of success. In the experienced trader category that seems to be the trend as 50k+ had 4 that "got it" vs 2 in every other category. Against the newbies where the smaller account sizes "got it" and no one from 50k + did.

I think proving the concept of trading to yourself can be done with a variety of account sizes. Commissions make it tougher because they don't discriminate between large and small. What isn't clear is if a $10k account "gets it" can he mentally/psychologically scale it to $50k plus and keep the same returns. Does he have the capital. Does his method/market liquidity allow the scaling using the same purchasing power? Who knows. But if you have a 10k account and generate $11k of P&L, I would say you at least have a path before you.

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Here is another sample of "how many traders make money" among FX traders provided by FXCM looking at their customers' accounts. I imagine profitable here is defined as +$1. This is over 1 year from 10/01/2009 to 09/30/2010.

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Last edited by bijeremiad; July 5th, 2013 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Included link to source document
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Also there was some good statistics and material in the last FXCM webinar:

https://futures.io/webinars/june28_2013/fxcm_building_an_edge_spot_forex/

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I have met quite a bit of traders in my life..especially those that quit after some time. There are many traders that are not disciplined and trade on emotion. I am sure they easily take up the majority of the overall traders..and end up giving us that 10% number.

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Here is another loose sample. No underlying numbers, but give you a rough idea.


Quoting 
Maverick is extremely selective in the traders it brings on board to trade the firm's capital, offering positions to between 4% and 5% of applicants. This selectivity has wrought benefits for the firm: its retention rate among traders exceeds 95%.

According to this April 2013 press release, the number of traders is 200+.

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This is actually a great thread for newcomers or even the experienced to show the true darwinian nature of trading or perhaps any competitive field. Although capitalization definitely plays an important part in trader survival, even large firms are not exempt from high attrition rates each year.

Hedgefundnews.com

"However, survivorship is potentially an important issue. We have found that the attrition rate for hedge funds is about 15% per year and that the "half-life" of funds is about 2.5 years."

More Hedge Fund Are Closing - WSJ.com

Globally, 424 funds were liquidated in the first six months of 2012, 14% more than in the same period in 2011, according to data provider Hedge Fund Research. It hasn't yet published figures for the third quarter, but if the six-month pace holds, it would top the number of closures in both 2010 and 2011.

Many funds are struggling to do better than stocks and bonds. The average hedge fund was up 4.53% in the first 10 months of this year, on track to lag returns in major stock markets for the fourth year in a row, according to HFR. The Standard & Poor's 500-share index returned 14.28%, including dividends, in 10 months, while the Barclays Capital Government/Credit Bond Index rose 5.04%.

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Ming80 View Post
This is actually a great thread for newcomers or even the experienced to show the true darwinian nature of trading or perhaps any competitive field. Although capitalization definitely plays an important part in trader survival, even large firms are not exempt from high attrition rates each year.

Hedgefundnews.com

"However, survivorship is potentially an important issue. We have found that the attrition rate for hedge funds is about 15% per year and that the "half-life" of funds is about 2.5 years."

More Hedge Fund Are Closing - WSJ.com

Globally, 424 funds were liquidated in the first six months of 2012, 14% more than in the same period in 2011, according to data provider Hedge Fund Research. It hasn't yet published figures for the third quarter, but if the six-month pace holds, it would top the number of closures in both 2010 and 2011.

Many funds are struggling to do better than stocks and bonds. The average hedge fund was up 4.53% in the first 10 months of this year, on track to lag returns in major stock markets for the fourth year in a row, according to HFR. The Standard & Poor's 500-share index returned 14.28%, including dividends, in 10 months, while the Barclays Capital Government/Credit Bond Index rose 5.04%.

Part of me wonders if the reason for so many failed traders and hedge funds is because of the fixation on the end result (i.e. a specific % of profit) as opposed to first trading to remove risk. Granted, who even knows if these traders or funds have bonafied systems in place to begin with .....

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