I am an hour away from my presentation at Quant Invest Canada and instead of preparing I thought I would share some thoughts from a few meetings with Canadian traders with whom I met. I take the Coach K approach to presentations. If you cannot get up there and speak on a subject without notes then they probably should not have invited you in the first place. I will have a power point for the presentation but if you have seen me speak I hate speaking from prepared remarks. I prefer to just start, get a feel for the audience’s interest, pivot there and see how that goes.
So yesterday I met with some traders in Toronto who trade US markets. The market is untapped here. There is little quality education according to one trader. Swift Trade left a few years ago so execution deals are different. Prop shops like in NYC do not exist. There is demand for US equities trading and FX without much service shared area traders.
I am sure that will change soon. Toronto according to my cab driver is building more big buildings than NYC. He seems to know what he was talking about. There is a well educated population. The people are sure friendly. People act in a way here that makes you rethink why you live in NYC. If I had a happiness meter it would score higher in Toronto. It is however, cold.
One trader I met with was doing much better than he realized. Trading alone. Trading without tools. Self taught other than the SMB Blog, according to him. Live from the Trading Floor with @sspencer_smb was a huge learning tool for this trader. Trading on a crap execution platform. Trading without appropriate buying power. He was consistently profitable, getting better, and paying the bills and then some. In this no support environment this is exceptional.
But he was leaving a great deal of present and future P&L on the table. During your first three years of trading you want to get the learning part spot on. You are not going to find out how good you can be until after three years. What is most important during these years is a learning environment, value added tools, like minded traders to swap ideas…….building a strong trading base. After that you can worry about the lowest possible execution deal and trading your own money.
The future for the intraday trader will not begin and end with equities trading and negotiating the best execution deal. It will be a future where you can become a multi-product, multi-market, discretionary trader who builds auto trading strategies. That is a lot of work to do. That is five years of work. Keep asking if you giving yourself the best chance to grab this type of career opportunity.
Do not lose track of where you are headed being distracted with a cheaper platform that may save you a few bucks but harm your long term progress. Do not waste time figuring out how to take home 4.5k from the 4k you are making, risking finding out how good you can be after 5 years. The upside to your trading from Year 3 to Year 5 and thereafter is too important.
Gotta go and speak now!