Is there a career for me in this field?
Here is my story. I am in my late 30s. I worked the last 15 years as a data analyst in a scientific field and was recently laid off. I could find work in the same field if I wanted to but thought this might be an opportune time to consider a career change to something I am truly passionate about - investing.
Over the past 15 years I have also actively managed my own investments. My portfolio is now large enough that it is becoming worthwhile to dedicate myself full time to managing it. I trade stocks and options (long and short, on domestic and foreign exchanges). My return in 2011 was over 200% and my return in 2012 YTD is over 20%.
My investment career has been a gradual learning experience. I have no education in finance and for the first several years I was basically investing blind and lost money every year. I started reading Lynch, Buffet, Fisher, Graham, etc, and my returns improved. The last several years I have focused on what I know best and all my experience seems to be paying off as I have been handily outperforming the markets. I went from not knowing how to read an earnings statement to being able to build my own financial models for the companies I invest in. That gives me confidence that my performance of recent years is the truer reflection of my ability.
I have maintained a blog for the past couple of years where I post my trades in real-time and write in-depth reports on my analysis. I have made some contact with professional fund managers through my blog and received praise from them for my work.
So that brings me back to my original question. Is there a career for me in this field? With no formal education in finance do I even have a chance at a job? I have read some of the job postings for traders and am not interested in anything where I have to produce quarterly results - that is not my investment style. Is the only answer to start my own fund? I have read up on this and the process seems straight-forward enough, but honestly I do not have much of a network and am not sure how I would go about finding people to invest in my fund. I will broach the topic with some of the contacts I have made through my blog, but I discovered this forum and thought I might solicit some ideas here first.