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What Does It Take To Be A Full-time Trader?

Posted by Pete Stolcers on September 6, 2006

Option Trading Question

Today, Don W. asks, “I’ve been trading for a few years with some success. Can you make a living doing this full-time and how much capital does it take?”

Option Trading Answer

I’ll admit that I sat on this question for a few weeks knowing that soon you would be able to read my story in Active Trader Magazine. They asked me give an honest account of what I went through and they made it the September cover story - “All In: Committing To Full-time Trading”

There are many “salesmen” who will tout the glory of trading and sell you their wares. It is anything but easy and what worked yesterday may not work today. Many will try, some will make it. Use the red link above to read about my experience.

If you’ve tried, please share your experience good or bad.

Option Trading Comments

  • On 12/18, SAMBO said:

    i’m just a beginner with a year of options trading but still I have done well. i’ve traded google,baidu and walmart options with 300% to 1300% profits in anywhere from 4-5 days to 18 days trading.i about had a cow when i bought a few contracts on a friday for about $550, turned the pc on monday and they were at $7350! I sold at market, got me some coffee, came back to the pc and the trade was completed!you have to watch the positions and be ready to sell when options get motivated and start moving up.i do not use any programs nor do i have any protection such as stops involved and i only buy calls. at this point though i am considereing the monthly service Dykstra has to improve my wins and try to fine tune a more workable strategy. good luck!

  • On 03/26, mike said:

    what is a single position trade and the difference between a 5-position, 10, or 20 position trade? And does it cost more to take more than one position?

  • On 03/26, Pete Stolcers said:

    Hi Mike,

    Your reference was take out of context and it could mean either of two things. A 5, 10, 20 position refers to how many option contracts you have. This is also know as the position size. Yes, the larger the position, the more it costs to establish.

    If the above reference is talking about unique positions, it is refering to diversification. You are spreading your capital out over as many different stocks as possible to reduce risk. As long as the stocks are uncorrelated, you can usually achieve decent diversification with 10 different stocks.

  • On 06/20, Millionaire said:

    What is quadruple witching? What is the significance of the Put Call Ratios?

  • On 06/22, Pete Stolcers said:

    Quadruple witching is when stock options, futures options, equity index options and stock futures options expire on the same Friday. It is the 3rd Friday of March, June, September and December.

    Put/call ratios show excessive optimism or pessimissm. When they reach extremes, this is used as a contrary indicator and it signals the potential for a change in market direction.

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