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Futures and Options trading as a Full time career

AKSHAY , Last updated: 09 December 2023  


Futures and options trading often carry an aura of excitement, wealth, and freedom. However, this image often masks the harsh realities that most aspiring traders face. This article aims to provide a balanced perspective, highlighting both the potential rewards and the significant risks involved.

From Overconfidence to Reality

Finance professionals often harbor the misconception that their expertise translates to easy success in options trading. This, however, is rarely the case. Everyone starts at zero, and the best teacher is often real-life experience. While paid classes offer valuable insights, nothing beats learning from your own mistakes, provided they are within your risk tolerance.

Misinterpretation of Market Trends

The post-pandemic market boom created a false sense of security, leading many to believe they are adept at equity analysis and can easily navigate the options market. This is a dangerous assumption. The market operates on its own terms and will punish those who underestimate its complexities.

Futures and Options trading as a Full time career

The Lure of Quitting Your Job

Many fantasize about leaving their jobs to trade full-time. While the flexibility and independence are attractive, the practicalities are often overlooked. Let's consider CA Amit who earns Rs. 1,00,000 monthly. To achieve the same income through trading with a Rs. 20 lakh capital, he would need to consistently earn 5% per month, which is nearly impossible.

Realistic Expectations

Even a skilled trader can realistically expect 25-30% annual returns. The data is stark: 94% of traders lose money, and only 1% outperform fixed deposits. Even if you fall within that 1%, maintaining consistent monthly performance is extremely challenging.

Pros and Cons


  • Flexible work schedule and location independence
  • Freedom and ownership
  • Tax benefits on business income and expenses


  • Irregular income
  • Significant losses can impact your mental well-being
  • No guaranteed monthly income
  • Stressful work environment

The Capital Barrier

In reality, even a conservative target of 15-20% annual returns with low risk requires a starting capital of approximately Rs. 80 lakhs. If you don't have this level of capital, leaving a full-time job for trading is not a wise decision.

Alternative Options

For those who are drawn to the world of options but lack the capital, joining a prop desk or an IB firm can offer valuable experience and the opportunity to trade with others' money under supervision. However, this would involve working under someone else's guidance.


While options trading can be lucrative, it's important to temper expectations and consider the significant risks involved. For most individuals, investing and strategically using options to generate regular income or protect their portfolio are more prudent approaches. If you have the significant capital and risk tolerance required, you may consider full-time trading, but always do so with extreme caution.



The allure of the futures and options market is strong, but it's crucial to approach it with realism and a measured perspective. By understanding the challenges and managing your expectations, you can make informed decisions and navigate this complex world with greater awareness and caution.

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