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I'm an Engineer, specialized in signal processing.

Caught interest in the market so started reading "The intelligent Investor" and had a bunch of books queued for reading before deciding to commit any of my savings. Mostly as a hobby, but things might have taken a turn.

Probably because of my background as a programmer I was preselected on a program for fostering traders. Basically they let you gamble manage 10K for a year with no fees on futures transactions. There are some requirements like a minimum of 600 contracts per month and termination upon losing 50% of the principal.

So playing with somebody else's money sounds like fun.

Considering that until the first interview I didn't even knew what a future was:

  • a) Are contracts the equivalent of actions on the futures market?
  • b) How hard is it to reach those 600 contracts per month?
  • c) Is there anything special on the "no fees on futures"? any ideas on how could I exploit this?
  • d) Is there any catch on these sort of programs? Is there anything worth learning on them?
  • e) I don't have much free time, what's the minimum time I'd need for "hobby day trading"

I have half a month to look competent enough to pass the next selection stage and qualify for the program so any reference to a small crash course on financial tools in general, on futures in particular, and references on day trading and algorithmic trading would be appreciated.

closed as off-topic by Dheer, Chris W. Rea, Michael, quid, Nathan L May 26 '17 at 21:36

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  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about personal finance. – Chris W. Rea May 25 '17 at 16:24
  • Reading this, it sounds like a scam. I'm just waiting until they tell you that they just need $X and you can get started. – Brythan May 25 '17 at 23:07
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I am a bit at a loss as to how you can read the same book, that inspired Warren Buffet, and take away that trading 600 contracts per month is a way to prosperity. As a fellow engineer I can say with assurance this speculation scheme is doomed to failure. Crossing out the word gamble was a mistake.

Instead you should focus on two things. The first is your core business, which is signal processing. Work and strive to be the best you can. Seek out opportunities to increase your income while keeping your costs low. As an engineer you have an opportunity to earn an above average salary with very low costs.

Second would be to warehouse some of those earning and let others who are good at other things work for you. You may want to read the Jack Bogle books and seek an asset allocation model. I tend to be more aggressive then he would suggest, but that is a matter of preference.

You don't really have the time, when you focus on your core business, to manage 6 trades a month let alone 600. Put your contributions on auto pilot and a surprisingly short time you will have a pile of cash.

  • I understood the contract quotas were to add liquidity to the market. Not sure if the matket is small enough to be able to do it with less than a million in total. – xvan May 25 '17 at 14:21
  • Any recommendations on where to start reading Bogle?. I got a version of the intelligent investor commented after the dot com bubble, so I guess principles hold, but I've no idea how other finance books date. – xvan May 26 '17 at 3:33
  • Common sense on Mutual Funds dates very well. The intelligent investor, was published in 1949, and it too dates well if it is the one by Benjamin Graham. – Pete B. May 26 '17 at 11:21
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a) Contracts are for future delivery of said underlying. So if you are trading CL (crude oil) futures and don't sell before delivery date, you will be contacted about where you want the oil to be delivered (a warehouse presumably). 1 contract is the equivalent of 1000 barrels.

b) 600 contracts depends entirely on what you are trading and how you are trading. If you are trading ES (S&P 500 e-Mini), you can do the 600 contracts in less than a second.

c) No fees does not make particular sense. It's entirely possible that you are not trading anything, it's just a fake platform so they can judge your performance.

d) The catch typically is that when it's time to pay you, they will avoid you or worst case, disappear.

e) Trading is a full-time job, especially for the first 4-5 years when you're only learning the basics. Remember, in futures trading you are trading against all the other professionals who do only this 24/7 for decades.

If you are only risking your time with the reward being learning and possibly money, it seems like a good deal. There's typically a catch with these things - like you would have to pay for your data which is very expensive or withdrawing funds is possible only months later.

  • I've right to half the earnings, if any, but I can only withdraw them after year. – xvan May 26 '17 at 3:37

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