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Quitting Day Job for Entry Level Trading Job. Crazy?
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Quitting Day Job for Entry Level Trading Job. Crazy?

  #1 (permalink)
Houston, Texas
Posts: 7 since Nov 2010
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Quitting Day Job for Entry Level Trading Job. Crazy?

I've been thinking about quitting my current job to take ANY entry level job for a trading firm. Anyone thought about doing this to reduce their learning curve? I want to surround my life with trading at all times. I have a passion for trading and my current job is just that, a job, that pays well. Opinions?

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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
Trading Experience: Advanced
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Try WTS Proprietart Trading Group where you can join a "open house" session with only a few thousands in trading-capital (last time I checked) and trade under their wing or SMB Capital if you got the money to pay someone to teach you. That could be a start.

"We may not be able to control the wind, but we can always adjust our sails"
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  #4 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
Trading Experience: None
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eudamonia's Avatar
Posts: 315 since Jul 2010
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Just to make the distinction a retail prop shop isn't the same as an entry level job. Not to say that it can't be a successful path for some people but it isn't a job per se. You pay for the upfront training and you take all the risk.

@Morris what is your education? The days that a shoe shine boy could become a runner on the floor are long over. These days if you don't have a Masters in Physics, Math, Finance, or Computer Science it seems like it is pretty hard to get your foot in the door.

My suggestion would be to essentially work two jobs. Either continue your day job 9-5 and trade the euro session or get a night job and trade during the day. I did this for awhile working 8-5, go to sleep at 7, wake up at 1:00 (6 hours of sleep can be done) rinse and repeat. You don't have much of a life but that is pretty damn realistic if you don't have the capital and confidence to straight up quit on your own. This will give you the trading experience you need and you risk nothing more than your initial capital. Most people won't do it because it is a serious amount of work. This is also why you should do it. Beat out the 95% with work ethic.

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  #5 (permalink)
Houston, Texas
Posts: 7 since Nov 2010
Thanks: 1 given, 0 received

I started sim trading not long ago so I have a long road ahead of me. Figured I might as well submerge my life with everything trading if I want to learn quickly. Most of the vocabulary here is still a different language to me so I have a lot to learn. I agree that working a day job and learning is probably the best solution for me at the moment. It's just my day job cuts into the learning time during market hours.

I'd rather learn from a mentor, someone that I can watch live and ask questions. Until that time comes I can just read books, search the internet and continue sim trading.

If you have any advice as to where I should start that would be great!

I read that BigMike will be making a webinar for beginners like me that I'm greatly looking forward to watching.


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  #6 (permalink)
Fort Myers, Florida
Trading Experience: Master
Platform: TradeStation
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Posts: 25 since May 2015
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Advice to Morris

Get a good sideline that is close to where your passion is. In Houston, go interview companies and try to get into their finance department or computer department. If you can travel, work for internet companies or startups and work in your profession. My passion would be on the floor of the CME in Chicago. I'd have to go to hand signal school and trade in the pits. I read a story of a guy named: Pit Bull. He would buy / sell only one contract at a time. And he kept saving his money. Finally, he had a deep feeling in the pit of his stomach that Monday would be a bad day. So, he bought out of the money puts and when Monday rolled around, he was up in his office trading the puts, while the stock market fell
1000 points. He made 5 million that day. And when he came downstairs to see these traders trying to sell their seat on the CME, he bought a few. Now that's a Jesse Livermore trading day one won't forget!!

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  #7 (permalink)
Posts: 3 since Jun 2015
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Most trading firms here won't hire you unless you have a math/compsci degree, plus an MBA and experience trading. Or a finance degree, technical degree, and trading experience. I wanted to work for a friend of my parents who runs one of these firms and she said that I couldn't work there unless I have those qualifications.

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  #8 (permalink)
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One of my friends did really well in school and applied to bnp paribas and was accepted as being in the top 1% of applicants. He eventually started trading on their behalf. He made good money, but he'd often work 60-80 hours a week. He eventually opted out to work as a programmer for Amazon. He said financial work was incredibly boring and demanding. Now he loves going to work in jeans and a t-shirt.

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  #9 (permalink)
seoul, Korea
Trading Experience: Intermediate
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Quitting your day job for an entry level trading job? hm... depends on how much you make in your day job vs the risk of finding a solid entry level job that would lead to what your end goal is. Not a lot of "retail" prop shops are going to give you the institutional experience it sounds your looking for. The retail props are like trading arcades, you pay to play and maybe you learn and maybe you don't. But you take all the risk and pay up front. While if you get picked up by an investment bank, or fund you will receive this environment and training on their dime. But they take the risk on you, which is why the selection process is so difficult. The days of even the CME floor being the place to go for trading, is over. Any of the books you have read from Jessie Livermore to pit bull no longer apply. Also going from back office to front office transition used to be a viable road but now it is not so much.

I am currently employed at a private fund in Asia doing Strat Dev and Trading. There may be some differences between Asia and current USA environment but from my current understanding they are fairly similar. Graduate degree in Math or Technical fields, either pure mathematics, robotics, engineering, CS, financial engineering etc. At least proficient in 1 prototype language (R, Python, Matlab, Scala, SAS). Proficiency in Java, C ,C++ , C# and previous experience at financial institutions in the USA/Canada or Europe a plus. Not many people do this but if you can bring in a brokerage account that has been profitable for a couple years, its a definitely going to get their attention. That is just to sit down at the interview, and no guarantee you will even get the spot.

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  #10 (permalink)
New York, New York, United States
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS
Favorite Futures: Options
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Posts: 53 since Jul 2015
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Morris View Post
I've been thinking about quitting my current job to take ANY entry level job for a trading firm. Anyone thought about doing this to reduce their learning curve? I want to surround my life with trading at all times. I have a passion for trading and my current job is just that, a job, that pays well. Opinions?

I don't know what the details of your current situation are, but I will tell you I have personally considered what you are considering years ago and even considered quitting my job to spend a few years at home and study fulltime. I am still not where I want to be all these years later so the learning curve is much longer and difficult than you can imagine.

I wish it was true that one can just quit their job, follow their desires and live happily ever after, but it doesn't seem to work that way to me. At the same time, I am sure there are a select few that have positively experienced what I described and if they are out there, please teach me.

Also keep in mind that I live close to Manhattan, New York, one of the most recognized homes of traders. Most, if not all of what people here are saying is true regarding entry-level trading jobs. Sadly it isn't like they pay you $30-50k/year to teach you everything so that they can then give you more money to trade with to make a higher salary.

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