This trader asks: Should I quit?

From time to time, I receive emails from traders, some I have never met, asking me whether they ought to continue their trading pursuit.  Internally, firm leadership was challenged, whether it was best for some traders not improving at the firm to continue.  Last month, a veteran trader, who was not making enough at the firm but loved trading, resigned to transition into another career.

So as you can see the question of whether to continue touches many traders.

In fact, today I received a DM from a trader wondering whether he ought to continue, seeking my advice,

I’m a struggling trader and now 39 years old.  Been trying to make it since I was 28 years old on and off. Blown out 4 times small accounts of 5-10k. I was mentored by (redacted) a strategy trading opening orders and fishing for good fills on non news stocks looking for inefficiencies.  First time ever I was making money, I made 15k first year and 18k the next year, before my prop firm went under and took my 20k funds with them. This devastated me and only now I am trying to get back trading again.  I can’t trade my basket opening system no longer though unfortunately as no one is offering me the buying power required as it floats orders and cancels if not filled. I am reading your Playbook and wish I found it earlier. I am following (redacted) style, he is a big fan of your work, so I am trying to adapt a completely new style with specific plays now.

4 kids and a wife that depend on me.

I never thought about getting rich like some, I just wanted to be free and replace my income with trading and that’s still very much the vision.  But friends have over taken me now with getting ahead in property and their jobs while I took the chance on trading working out….. I’ve always believed to follow your passions.

Just wanted to ask if you felt I should move on now being 39 or should I keep going trying to adapt and find a niche?

This is a personal decision.  And I shared with this trader, there are probably pro traders who know him better that can offer better advice.

I did share some general thoughts to consider.

  1. Trading is not worth negatively impacting your family financially.
  2. You need passion and talent to prosper and sustain as a trader.  Are you improving as a trader?  By end of Year1, we will see most with talent show progress, with a personal sort of trading edge.  And this progress will continue Year2 and Year3 and Year4 if you have talent.  If you are not showing progress, then this is information to help you make your decision.
  3. We have had less success with older traders with a family surviving a very real learning curve than younger new hires.
  4. This does not have to be a binary decision- should I quit or continue?  You can trade part-time with a new financially stable job.  You can transition into a new career with a secure financial package and employ part-time strategies with edge.  One trader who recently left our firm, and loved trading, did so with this very plan.
  5. Digging your heels in so you do not fail, may not be in your self-interest nor the firm’s.  Having the self-awareness to recognize trading is not my true passion or talent, shows enormous emotional intelligence and also character.  Traits that will be rewarded in your next career pursuit.

*no relevant positions


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