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What It's Like To Be A Prop Trader: The Inside Info

An alma mater of mine owned a throaty Mustang back in college, played online poker for a job once, now listens to Skrillex, and enjoys karaoke nights. Not your ideal trader, huh? Fact is, he's dead serious about trading, picking up where I left off, and in just under two years has become quite successful. I caught up with him this week and asked him to share his experiences and advice with WSO to help you up-and-coming trading newbs and convince the S&T-types to reconsider. Grab a soda, eat some chips, and get comfortable and read the interesting things he had to say...

Why Dishonest Traders Make The Most Money

Once again, anthropologist Joris Luyendijk of The Guardian's Banking Blog is back! This time he brings us a brutally honest story from a fast talking, energetic, 30-something who’s worked as a FI and FX trader in Northern Europe. He talks about the spending lifestyle and the male dominated culture of trading. I've formatted it into a Q&A interview with responses from his monologue, not mine. If you're interested in the trader lifestyle, especially overseas then read on...

The Real Impact of HFT And What You Don't Know

NNT has it right when he talks about fragility in the context of financial markets. For example, in 2010 the Flash Crash caused a near 1K point plunge in the DJIA. In 2012, a rogue algorithm executed on the NASDAQ botched the BATS IPO and caused similar problems again on April 4th. Last August, Knight Capital released it RLP that accidentally went live on NYSE’s system and blew up about $440M of capital in just a few minutes! What's next? Read on to find out more on about a fascinating documentary detailing the impact of HFT…

What Is Algorithmic Trading And How Does It Work?

Big hair, Ray Bans, and cocaine...ah, the 80’s! Gone are the halcyon days of hustling traders verbally duking-it-out and acting like a schoolyard full of hormonal teenage boys. Today, trading consists of Big Data, casual dress, and caffeine. Programs compete on milliseconds for the best execution while playing market games and professional traders hold masters degrees in hard sciences whilst markets fragmented and went dark, thereby increasing their sophistication. Yes, trading is a very different animal from yesteryear and for you Arnuk-and-Saluzzi types as well as newbs, read on see this week’s infograph on how to decode AT...

Laser-In On This One Thing To Be A Successful Trader

It’s said that 90% of traders fail to be successful but I may know a secret that the 10% utilize to dramatically beat the odds! No, it’s not a black market GS algorithm, SAC trading tactics, or listening to Buffett's take on markets & trading like Pavlov's Dog. I came across this when I was rigorously researching and reviewing my trading journal after my short stint. It was quite revealing. What did I find? Read on to learn this one thing long before you ever think of funding your account...

How Ivies Brainwash HS Students Into College Zombies

Like Kyle Massey’s cancer, it's a hoax to believe the ONLY ticket to WS or any great business success is an Ivy degree. It seems that some monkeys out there have been brainwashed & zombified into thinking this way, thanks in part to their glaring brands, ominous prestige, and flawed rankings. However, this post will show you why you’re dead WRONG! Read on to find out the three secrets [and then some] on how you can achieve greatness and save some green without them...

How To Spot An Epic Trade: The £ And Asiana Airlines

Just like the crash landing in San Francisco yesterday, the £ had a similar incident in ‘92. Just as the two associated fatalities are an unfortunate outcome of the crash, a similarly tragic event unfolded at the British Treasury. They say when there's smoke, there’s fire, and George Soros saw smoke in British economic policy and the result...$1B+ profit and a busted BoE! After some scientific research last week on Youtube, I managed to uncover a documentary that explains how Soros capitalized on this black swan event. So, read on to see the “concept” behind how to spot an epic trade of your own...

Futures Trading 101: What Is A Speculator?

So what does it mean exactly to speculate? First there was, John Maynard Keynes speculating as a currency trader in the 1920’s where experience taught him, “The market can stay irrational longer than you can be solvent.” Then there was the hyperbolic oil market of 2008 where the NYMEX weekly close went from $97.91 in January to $145.29 by July 4th! Then, there’s futures trading where a career can be made by taking the other side of a hedger’s trade. But who are these people? For all of you chimps out there, check out this infographic from the CME Group on who exactly speculators are...

Futures Trading 101: What Does Hedging Mean?

So what exactly does it mean to hedge? First, there was Sonic the Hedgehog who repeatedly failed to defeat Dr. Robotnik. Then along came unregulated private funds like Long Term Capital Management which obviously didn’t live up to it’s name sake. Then there’s futures trading, where a career can be made by taking the other side of speculator’s trade. But how does it work? For all of you chimps out there, check out this infographic from Partnership For A Secure Financial Future on how hedging works...

Part II: So You Want To Be A Derivatives Trader?

If you enjoyed last week’s post then...here’s Part II! Straight from the Banking Blog about a 20-something derivatives trader who worked for a MM firm in a small European country and as a quant for a major London institution. I've formatted it into a Q&A interview but last week I was only able to spit out their response to a typical day. This last part wraps up with a couple more questions about their lifestyle and the industry, so read on to pick up where I left off...

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