Saturday, August 09, 2008

Valuable Trading Lessons From a Prop Firm

Hats off to Larry Fisher and Reid Valfer, co-founders of TradingRM, a proprietary trading firm in Chicago who have just launched their own blog.

What makes this blog unique is that the posts consist of the same messages they send out to their developing traders during the day as part of their mentorship. The blog thus enables readers to benefit from the same real-world lessons that they might be getting inside a trading firm. For instance, check out their insights into yesterday's upward trend, his take on what traders need to do to prepare for the open; and his way of adjusting trading for the quality of each market day.

I invited Larry to contribute to my upcoming book because TradingRM has an unusual philosophy of mentorship. Everyone calls out their trades to everyone else. This promotes accountability, but it also stimulates learning, because the young traders are seeing how the experienced people are taking positions, stepping back from markets, etc.

There's a saying in medical education: see one, do one, teach one. You learn, first from observation; then from doing; then from teaching others. Larry and Reid have carried that philosophy forward to their mentorship of young traders, and I applaud that.

Oh yes, by the way, what is the cost for their trading education? Zero. You put in your time and effort, you trade very small until you earn size, and the firm earns a percentage of your returns. *That* is how prop firms operate when their interests are fully aligned with those of traders.


SSK said...

Excellent! Thank you, It is nice to see firms like this. Thanks for linking to them, Best, SSK

Brett Steenbarger, Ph.D. said...

Thanks, SSK; I hope to feature other firms in the future--


avinash said...

hey, I'm a MFE student at NTU, Singapore. I had 2 yrs of exp in trading crude oil futures at a prop firm in India. But since the limits were quite low, the highest money i've ever made is around 60k $ in a quarter. How can i show it in a positive light at any of the networking events with banks? I'm interested in continuing trading after graduation.

Brett Steenbarger, Ph.D. said...

Hi Avinash,

It's not the size of the account but the return on the money and the quality of risk management that will impress a firm.