You should consider the following points before engaging in proprietary trading.
Proprietary trading can be extremely risky.
Proprietary trading generally is not appropriate for someone of limited resources and limited investment or trading experience and low risk tolerance. You should be prepared to lose all of the funds that you use for prop trading. In particular, you should not fund prop-trading activities with retirement savings, student loans, second mortgages, emergency funds, funds set aside for purposes such as education or home ownership, or funds required to meet your living expenses.
Be cautious of claims of large profits from proprietary trading.
You should be wary of advertisements or other statements that emphasize the potential for large profits in prop trading. Prop trading can also lead to large and immediate financial losses.
Proprietary trading requires knowledge of securities markets.
Prop trading requires in-depth knowledge of the securities markets and trading techniques and strategies. In attempting to profit through prop trading, you must compete with other professional, licensed traders employed by securities firms as well as other computer trading programs. You should have appropriate experience before engaging in prop trading.
Proprietary trading requires knowledge of a firm’s operations.
You should be familiar with a securities firm’s business practices, including the operation of the firm’s order execution systems and procedures. Under certain market conditions, you may find it difficult or impossible to liquidate a position quickly at a reasonable price. This can occur, for example, when the market for a stock suddenly drops, or if trading is halted due to recent news events or unusual trading activity. The more volatile a stock is, the greater the likelihood that problems may be encountered in executing a transaction. In addition to normal market risks, you may experience losses due to system failures.
Proprietary trading will generate substantial trading fees, even if the per share cost is low.
Prop trading often involves aggressive trading, and generally you will pay commissions on each share traded. The total daily trading fees that you pay on your trades will add to your losses or significantly reduce your earnings.
Proprietary trading on margin or short selling may result in losses beyond your initial investment.
When you prop trade with funds borrowed from a firm, you can lose more than the funds you originally placed at risk. A decline in the value of the securities that are purchased may require you to provide additional funds to the firm to avoid the forced sale of those securities or other securities in your account. Short selling as part of your trading strategy may also lead to extraordinary loses, because you may have to purchase a stock at a very high price in order to cover a short position.
All proprietary traders must submit fingerprints and Form U4 (Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer), and have trading privileges as an Associated Person of T3 Trading Group, LLC. Before beginning to trade, all traders must have either a Series 56, 57 or 7 license. If you do not have a license, T3 will sponsor traders to get a Series 57 license.
Option trading has special risks and is not suited for everyone.
There are special risks associated with uncovered option writing that expose the trader to potentially significant losses. The writer of an uncovered call may incur large losses if the value of the underlying security exceeds the exercise price; and the writer of an uncovered put may incur large losses if the value of the underlying security declines below the exercise price. Uncovered option writing is not suitable for everyone. The strategy is only for the knowledgeable trader who understands the risks, has the financial capacity and willingness to incur potentially substantial losses, and has sufficient liquid assets to meet applicable margin requirements.
Proprietary traders are often required to make initial capital contributions in order to become a Class C Member of T3 Trading Group, LLC. There is no guarantee that the trader will be successful, and these capital contributions may be lost. In addition, all capital deposited to a proprietary trading account cannot be withdrawn for twelve months from the date of deposit.
Proprietary traders are not customarily paid any salaried compensation. Instead, traders are entitled to distributions based upon profits from their trading – pursuant to their Class C interests in the firm.