Foreign Exchange Trader

Hi guys,
I need your help, please give me an advise. I started trading in the Forex market since 2012. It took 4 years for me to come up with a profitable trading strategy plus 1 year to improve it (overall experience 5 years). Since June 2017 I am up 8% with a max drawdown of 3% and standard deviation of 1%. The problem is, I could complete only 2 years at a community college in 2012, then I understood that it wont make me a profitable trader and decided to invest all my savings into the market and started trading. At the beginning I had only negative numbers, then combination of negative and positive, and now mostly positive. Now I have a solid strategy, a track record since June 2017 (I can wait to make it more lengthy and earn more profits, no doubt about that). I also made investments into the cryptocurrencies and earned 300% return from April 2017 to August 2017. I still have several cryptocurrencies in my portfolio with excellent risk/reward ratio.
Briefly about my strategy: trend-following swing trading, technical analysis, most positions last 2-3 days, some positions last 2-3 weeks depending on the chart I use. Risk/reward ratio per each trade is 1/2.

My questions are:

  1. Do you think it is possible for me to break into the trading industry? (I would be happy to be hired by a large hedge fund, but boutique HFs are also fine)
  2. Will the lack of a degree be an obstacle despite my 5-year experience? (I completed only two years at a college and dont even have an Associate's)
  3. Will the college rank matter? (not an Ivy League, just a small community college)

ps. I am planning to earn a Bachelor's degree in finance from PennState University till 2020. It is a good school and I can afford it.

Any advise regarding Trading industry would be appreciated.

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Comments (6)

Oct 26, 2017 - 5:09pm

If you think that what you've currently done and what you plan to do is enough to cut it. You're wrong. You'd have a better shot at a prop shop. Check the alumni from penn state and then decide if it's worth it. On a side note, 8% isn't impressive. Articulate how you're special compared to others. I made 20% in 8 months this year by trading on a weekly basis and made 37% the prior year.

Oct 27, 2017 - 1:34am

SomePleb, thank you for your reply. Because I've just started to make money, I have a long way to go. But your returns are pretty impressive and I wish I had the same. Just wanted to ask, could you get into the industry with these stats (37% and 20% so far)? And if yes, was it difficult to find a job? Or you never even tried? And if you could recommend me a decent school around PennState's level and cost (not Ivy), that would be great. Thanks in advance.

Oct 27, 2017 - 9:45pm

Got my job via internship, kind of networking but not really (I had a first round interview then found out that I had a secondary connection with someone at the company), and had some "interesting" answers. They don't care about your stock performance that much. Let me put it this way. Assume that there's a 50% chance of a stock going up (given current market conditions it's seems more like 95%). And every time you guess correctly, you earn 10%. In order to get a 20%+ return, you only need to guess correctly twice. So... you have a 25% chance of getting that return randomly for doing essentially nothing. If you had terrible returns, would you put that on your resume? No. So instantly you will have survivorship bias and only get those with positive returns. That means that any return that is posted on a resume is essentially meaningless as a track record. The key to being a good portfolio manager is sadly not how good you are at making money. The key is how good you are at convincing people that you can make money. Tldr: no one gives a fuck about your returns, except the IRS.

Oct 27, 2017 - 9:53pm

If you actually just want to go into trading, think about what type of trading you want to do and focus on that. If you want to do stock trading and think you're the shit, then prove it. Go to T3 trading, they make you trade your own capital and give you leverage. You'll probably need a college degree but any one will do. It's not about connections, it's about luck and emotional control. If you want to do options, get a phd in a quant field and go to Chicago. If you want to do technical analysis, first, realize that it doesn't work on a massive scale when done by humans. You can't translate $5k trades to $500 mm trades. Second, realize that computers do this shit. Third, accept that you have to be good at coding to go down this route. Or you could try to do TA at a prop shop using your own capital and take your chances there. Either way, no hedge fund is taking you out of the gate if your aspirations are penn state. If you prove yourself, that's a different story. But do you have a the balls to take the risk to prove yourself. My guess is that your best bet is to go to a shop like T3 or a prop shop that simply provides leverage and takes a cut. Do it for a few years. If you're still alive, then start reaching out if you want. But to be honest, you're going to earn more at a prop shop than a hedge fund if your returns are good enough to get you into a hedge fund. Do the math and you'll understand.

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