I'm 34 years old. Twelve years ago, I got a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, and have been working as a computer programmer more-or-less continuously since then.
I also have been investing in the stock market since 1999. I'm very meticulous, and have carefully tracked my investments. Recently, I decide to sit down and really analyze my performance vs. the market.
I threw out the 1999-2002 data because it was mostly filled with my stock options at the company I worked for, and was thus not indicative of my own trading prowess. But since 2002, I've just been a retail investor, investing a self-directed IRA and various brokerage accounts.
From 2002 through today, I've made about $24,000 in net contributions into my various accounts, and today the value of the accounts adds up to about $40,000. I would have had the exact same performance had I been investing in a savings account yielding about 9% - a pretty good return for the past 8 years.
I also did a more detailed comparison, and did a what-if scenario where I just put all of my contributions into (and took my withdrawals from) imaginary stocks that exactly tracked the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500. In those scenarios, I would have ended up with between $19,000 and $21,000, depending on which index I used.
So, I'm pretty good at picking stocks and managing investments; as of today, I have about twice as much money in my various accounts as I would have had I just blindly followed the "index fund" advice, and I have a substantial profit instead of a small but significant loss.
I've been programming for 12 years, and the market for programmers isn't getting any better. Most programming these days is very boring "make the button on the web site a little bit bluer" web development stuff. My current job is a contract position that will end about four months from now.
So, I'm a pretty good investor, will be looking for a job soon, and might be interested in a career change.
I live in Boise, Idaho, not exactly a financial hotbed. I have no desire to move elsewhere.
Is there any way that I can turn my trading prowess into a job as a professional portfolio manager? How would I even begin doing something like that?