ow my trading all came about. I found this trading course. I saw an advert in a newspaper and it sounded interesting. It cost me $1k and I borrowed off my parents as I really didn't have a penny.
I was lucky because this was not like most of the garbage out there today and the get rich quick nonsense you hear and see all over this industry. I didn't know how bad the industry was for this stuff until later on.
The traders teaching it were successful guys who both wanted to give back to the job that gave them so much.
At night 2 times a week, I would attend this course after my law lectures. I absolutely loved it.
I was 21 at this stage and manage to soak up all the information they provided and got myself started on a demo account. They both came from a great prop firm so I asked them how I would go about getting a job in there.
I remember this really well, I was finishing my degree and was in the middle of exams when I got a call that I was granted an interview. I had an exam on the Monday and Wednesday and the interview was on Tuesday.
To say I was nervous is an understatement. I felt like an impostor. I don't know why I felt that way but I just really wanted this opportunity as I knew what benefits it could bring to my life if I could get through the internship phase.
They prepped me for the interview and just generally assisted me so much. I am forever thankful to them because having been fortunate to get the job, I was in a bootcamp style training course for the summer.
Now, this was a pivotal moment in my life. Here I was at 21, fresh out of college with a law degree in the world of trading.
I had no interest in law but finished the degree as I wanted something to fall back on if this career fell away from me.
9 of us were chosen for the internship out of 400 people so it was competitive. I remember the very first day. They fired the first guy because he showed up late. He lied and said he missed his bus but the reality was he was hungover as was evident from the smell of booze.
Clearly they are not messing around. No excuses, just straight you are not serious about this, we don't want you.
It's great because you've probably read the statistics on the failure rate of traders so anything to give us an edge was welcomed.
Monday to Friday we'd learn everything from how the software worked, the markets we traded, our journalling etc.
On Fridays, we'd have to present and talk through our trades with a group of the head traders and they would offer constructive criticism on where we could improve and get better.
Over the summer, we as a group had many setbacks and tough times as does anyone in the market trading daily. It wasn't easy, both mentally and physically with the long hours. By the end of the summer the group was down to 4 of us.
We had been trading on a simulator during this time period but had to take things very seriously as this was no joke. If we were given live money, then we couldn't mess about.
It was during this time that I learned how to improve my trading and techniques to analyze to assist me in this goal.
Eventually, I think it was September or October, we went live. i.e. we were allowed trade real money. At this point we all had our own unique styles and strategies for trading the markets.
The profit split was terrible. 70-30 in favor of the firm. But we had access to the best traders and the best software and everything we needed to be successful. There was even an in house trading psychologist to talk with.
All through that period, it was incredibly hard and the head traders were super tough on us. But it was definitely necessary. It was exactly what was needed to achieve our goals.
I had one goal after going live. Saving as much money as possible so I could trade independently. So I worked my ass off for a year and a half in there and saved enough cash to move to my own trading business.
I was blessed because when I decided I was going to leave, I was told that I could always come back to the firm and hire a desk in the future. So this was a major relief for me.
Now, I had a solid backup plan with a guaranteed option to come back should something drastic happen while independent. I also had learned from my earlier mistakes in life like the watch brand where I literally went all n with no backup plan.
I won't go into the details of my time independent trading as I've talked about it in detail here.
Needless to say, I'm trading from home for 7 years now. I am by no means a long time expert on trading. I just follow my rules and stick to the plan, however difficult it may be. And hopefully as the years go on, I'll get even better.
There is always room for improvement.
When I went out on my own, I got multiple offers to consult with people who were struggling with trading. I helped family friends and the word got around and I had people offer me thousands for my time to go over their trading and look for areas they could improve.
The bizarre thing is most of these people assumed because I had worked in prop that I had some top secret strategy that was making me money. This couldn't be further from the truth. It's all about keeping things simple.
It's the same as what most people can learn for free. The difference that separated me from others trading the same strategy is my discipline and incredible study of my stats to find simple tweaks. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of good note taking.
The greatest battle a trader faces is with himself. I'm 28 years old now and It is a constant struggle to stay disciplined during the tough times.
So I ask you, what failures have you had and what have you learned from it ?