Wednesday June 22nd, 2011
“When I first started trading in the late 1990’s, you sat behind an experienced trader for five days. As we chuckle remembering, you learned through osmosis. You asked questions when they appeared to have time, which was near never.I learned from one of the top fifty greatest day traders of all time (if such a list exists). He traded 10k lots of five different positions at a time. I could tell when things were going bad when he muttered to himself: “Fu$kingmarket makers. Take my stock.” I didn’t know the difference between a bid and an ask and here I was commuting 90 minutes each way from southern CT, with no market background other than being long INTC, MSFT like the rest of the universe, trying to follow this legend. He was often so busy that the lunch sat at his desk cold and unfinished until after the close.
My first nine months of trading were a disaster. Down 36k, with little reason to think I would start getting better, and drowning like many other intraday traders in the Asian Financial Crisis. For the first time in our firm’s history there were firings. Draws were cut routinely, which was the nicer way of letting you go. But then Al Gore created the Internet and everything changed. I walked into a market of opportunity.
Fast-forward to the following year and I had made enough to trade my own money. Back in the day, you got to keep 10-30 percent of what you made for the firm, but my take was more than enough to open my own retail trading account flush with enough BP (buying power) with which to trade. I traded my own money ever since.”