8/4/15

Surprisingly, I can't find many threads on this topic. There have been many threads on the banker's lifestyle, but not many threads on the trader's lifestyle.
We all know that the myth of models and bottles in banking is a lie. Getting girls has little to do with money, it's all about your game. We also agree that getting girls is one of the most fundamental male motivations. It really sucks when your 100 hours per week job gets in the way of getting girls.
If a trader only works 12 hours a day, he should have a much better work life balance right? He has the rest of the evening to work out, play some poker, go out, and spend time with girls? So traders should be much happier with their general life and sex life than bankers, provided that his PnL is going well.
I see bankers complaining about their lives, but I want to check out the situation on the S&T side. I want money but I also want girls and a good lifestyle.

Mod Note (Andy): #TBT Throwback Thursday - this was originally posted on 5/29/11.

Comments (138)

5/9/11

Depends if the trader is holding overnight positions with his own money or job on the line. I'll admit to the occasional stress dream.

"Dude, not trying to be a dick here, but your shop looks like a frontrunner for the cover of Better Boilerrooms & Chophouses or Bucketshop Quarterly."

-Uncle Eddie

5/16/11
FinancePun:

"Dude, not trying to be a dick here, but your shop looks like a frontrunner for the cover of Better Boilerrooms & Chophouses or Bucketshop Quarterly."

Sidebar: awesome signature. Prop to Uncle E, as well, of course.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

5/9/11

Its tough to generalize because a lot of this depends on whether you are sellside/buyside, prop/flow, product, fund size, etc. I know several PM's and their moods are 100% dictated by their P&L to the point that if they had a bad day they go home and treat their families like shit only to show up the next night with toys and flowers after the market goes up 200 points. The lifestyle is incredibly demanding and there is a reason that many guys get burnt out. Sitting in front of 6 flashing screens for 8-12 hours a day in a stressful environment isnt exactly ideal either but I would choose it over working 100 hours a week in a job that requires turning pitchbooks, formatting working group lists, auditing models, and hours of wasted face time.

My preference would be a value oriented or activist fund because then I could sit in my office reading research and discussing ideas with colleagues all day rather than deal with daily market vol.

Best Response
5/9/11

The issue of getting girls has come up more than once lately. I've been everywhere of recent...out of school close 2 yrs now, so i remember what it was like in college, know how things work in terms of personalities on the street, etc. worked in BO, work in FO,etc. I saw a post a few weeks ago about some kid telling some girl that he worked in the BO and if she wasnt ok with it, he bounced. Or, some kid complaining that he was with "eastern european 9s and 10s" in college and is just settling for 6s now.

Allow me to make this clear.

The large majority of women in New York do not care that you work in Settlements, HR,mergers and Acquisitions, FICC prop trading, what have you. She may know your bank, but trust me, if you think something like telling a girl about your great trade in FX today is going to impress a woman, youre an idiot. By large majority I mean over 90% dont care. I feel like an old man at the tender age of 25 typing here, seeing how illogical what some of you have to say about the subject, for such smart kids otherwise. Throw monkey shit at me fine, I dont care. If you really think a girl is going to look past the fact that a) you have bad breath, b) you dress like a slob and are 40 lbs over weight, c) have no personality, because youre "a ballin banker", you need help. Being a banker doesnt make you "baller". You do. Do you actually think the average woman who works in advertising, PR, law, any other field etc. thinks what you do is any more than what she saw in 10 seconds of Ferris Bueller at the CBOE, or Wall St 2?

Theres also zero chance a college kid was pulling "eastern european 9s and 10s". And chances are, you won't be either. I mean you may, and they may well like you if youre a "ballin MD at a PE shop", but you're all smart kids or you wouldnt be on here..you know why they're around you..... There are plenty of solid 8-9-10s that are around NY that with the right attitude and half a brain, you'll be able to talk to, and chill with, that are solid to date or hang out with.

I know, I know.....you're different..."Nah bro I get mad numbers all the time, model level". wanna know a huge facet of a good trader? Being able to read through the bull.

I forget the story that Uncle Eddie had about his friend that lived in some dump apartment but just met beautiful women all the time. I dont recall him being a banker or a trader. I'll say it a 3rd time, you're all smart and driven to be on here...Realize that being a "banker" or a "trader", or "working at Morgan", etc....isnt a substitute for not looking like a slob, having some confidence in yourself---you all kill yourself to make loads of $ and prestige and blah blah blah, act on the confidence that comes with the things youre killing yourself to achieve , and most importantly, having the cajones to actually man up and talk to the girl you want to.

That all being said, trading does offer a better lifestyle, but as FinancePun said, there are going to be nights youre not going to sleep very well. You may not technically be working, but youll be thinking about it.

I will end this by saying...go into trading or whatever you want to, for you. Not becuase you think it will get you women.

5/9/11
dorsia reservations:

The issue of getting girls has come up more than once lately. I've been everywhere of recent...out of school close 2 yrs now, so i remember what it was like in college, know how things work in terms of personalities on the street, etc. worked in BO, work in FO,etc. I saw a post a few weeks ago about some kid telling some girl that he worked in the BO and if she wasnt ok with it, he bounced. Or, some kid complaining that he was with "eastern european 9s and 10s" in college and is just settling for 6s now.

Allow me to make this clear.

The large majority of women in New York do not care that you work in Settlements, HR,mergers and Acquisitions, FICC prop trading, what have you. She may know your bank, but trust me, if you think something like telling a girl about your great trade in FX today is going to impress a woman, youre an idiot. By large majority I mean over 90% dont care. I feel like an old man at the tender age of 25 typing here, seeing how illogical what some of you have to say about the subject, for such smart kids otherwise. Throw monkey shit at me fine, I dont care. If you really think a girl is going to look past the fact that a) you have bad breath, b) you dress like a slob and are 40 lbs over weight, c) have no personality, because youre "a ballin banker", you need help. Being a banker doesnt make you "baller". You do. Do you actually think the average woman who works in advertising, PR, law, any other field etc. thinks what you do is any more than what she saw in 10 seconds of Ferris Bueller at the CBOE, or Wall St 2?

Theres also zero chance a college kid was pulling "eastern european 9s and 10s". And chances are, you won't be either. I mean you may, and they may well like you if youre a "ballin MD at a PE shop", but you're all smart kids or you wouldnt be on here..you know why they're around you..... There are plenty of solid 8-9-10s that are around NY that with the right attitude and half a brain, you'll be able to talk to, and chill with, that are solid to date or hang out with.

I know, I know.....you're different..."Nah bro I get mad numbers all the time, model level". wanna know a huge facet of a good trader? Being able to read through the bull.

I forget the story that Uncle Eddie had about his friend that lived in some dump apartment but just met beautiful women all the time. I dont recall him being a banker or a trader. I'll say it a 3rd time, you're all smart and driven to be on here...Realize that being a "banker" or a "trader", or "working at Morgan", etc....isnt a substitute for not looking like a slob, having some confidence in yourself---you all kill yourself to make loads of $ and prestige and blah blah blah, act on the confidence that comes with the things youre killing yourself to achieve , and most importantly, having the cajones to actually man up and talk to the girl you want to.

That all being said, trading does offer a better lifestyle, but as FinancePun said, there are going to be nights youre not going to sleep very well. You may not technically be working, but youll be thinking about it.

I will end this by saying...go into trading or whatever you want to, for you. Not becuase you think it will get you women.

+1 if I had some monkey credits

IVY for Life

5/10/11
futuretrader1999:
dorsia reservations:

The issue of getting girls has come up more than once lately. I've been everywhere of recent...out of school close 2 yrs now, so i remember what it was like in college, know how things work in terms of personalities on the street, etc. worked in BO, work in FO,etc. I saw a post a few weeks ago about some kid telling some girl that he worked in the BO and if she wasnt ok with it, he bounced. Or, some kid complaining that he was with "eastern european 9s and 10s" in college and is just settling for 6s now.

Allow me to make this clear.

The large majority of women in New York do not care that you work in Settlements, HR,mergers and Acquisitions, FICC prop trading, what have you. She may know your bank, but trust me, if you think something like telling a girl about your great trade in FX today is going to impress a woman, youre an idiot. By large majority I mean over 90% dont care. I feel like an old man at the tender age of 25 typing here, seeing how illogical what some of you have to say about the subject, for such smart kids otherwise. Throw monkey shit at me fine, I dont care. If you really think a girl is going to look past the fact that a) you have bad breath, b) you dress like a slob and are 40 lbs over weight, c) have no personality, because youre "a ballin banker", you need help. Being a banker doesnt make you "baller". You do. Do you actually think the average woman who works in advertising, PR, law, any other field etc. thinks what you do is any more than what she saw in 10 seconds of Ferris Bueller at the CBOE, or Wall St 2?

Theres also zero chance a college kid was pulling "eastern european 9s and 10s". And chances are, you won't be either. I mean you may, and they may well like you if youre a "ballin MD at a PE shop", but you're all smart kids or you wouldnt be on here..you know why they're around you..... There are plenty of solid 8-9-10s that are around NY that with the right attitude and half a brain, you'll be able to talk to, and chill with, that are solid to date or hang out with.

I know, I know.....you're different..."Nah bro I get mad numbers all the time, model level". wanna know a huge facet of a good trader? Being able to read through the bull.

I forget the story that Uncle Eddie had about his friend that lived in some dump apartment but just met beautiful women all the time. I dont recall him being a banker or a trader. I'll say it a 3rd time, you're all smart and driven to be on here...Realize that being a "banker" or a "trader", or "working at Morgan", etc....isnt a substitute for not looking like a slob, having some confidence in yourself---you all kill yourself to make loads of $ and prestige and blah blah blah, act on the confidence that comes with the things youre killing yourself to achieve , and most importantly, having the cajones to actually man up and talk to the girl you want to.

That all being said, trading does offer a better lifestyle, but as FinancePun said, there are going to be nights youre not going to sleep very well. You may not technically be working, but youll be thinking about it.

I will end this by saying...go into trading or whatever you want to, for you. Not becuase you think it will get you women.

+1 if I had some monkey credits

+1 to you my man

I Got a dollar and a dream...

5/9/11

I agree with comments above in that you have to be more specific. What type of trader? ie What type of firm? and what desk? These are the two big questions that come to mind.

The whole models and bottles thing really pisses me off, period. It's beaten to death in this forum. Your not your job. Women generally gravitate towards successful men, and finance conveys that. That's it. Finance guys are a dime a dozen in NYC, and many of them are socially inept and insecure tools. If you do run into a girl who's completely sold on the fact that your a finance guy, you'd better bring your own condoms because the ones she has at her place will probably have pinholes in them.

I agree OP, carry yourself well, be confident and friendly, and you'll be more than fine....

As for your original question, I'm on a commodity desk (energies) at a HF. If your interested in what my day is like, I'll give you a breakdown.

5/10/11
RagnarDanneskjold:

I agree with comments above in that you have to be more specific. What type of trader? ie What type of firm? and what desk? These are the two big questions that come to mind.

The whole models and bottles thing really pisses me off, period. It's beaten to death in this forum. Your not your job. Women generally gravitate towards successful men, and finance conveys that. That's it. Finance guys are a dime a dozen in NYC, and many of them are socially inept and insecure tools. If you do run into a girl who's completely sold on the fact that your a finance guy, you'd better bring your own condoms because the ones she has at her place will probably have pinholes in them.

I agree OP, carry yourself well, be confident and friendly, and you'll be more than fine....

As for your original question, I'm on a commodity desk (energies) at a HF. If your interested in what my day is like, I'll give you a breakdown.

Curious do you guys take many analysts from nat res IB groups or is it mostly ex-industry guys or those that have worked on energy desks elsewhere?

People tend to think life is a race with other people. They don't realize that every moment they spend sprinting towards the finish line is a moment they lose permanently, and a moment closer to their death.

5/10/11
RagnarDanneskjold:

I agree with comments above in that you have to be more specific. What type of trader? ie What type of firm? and what desk? These are the two big questions that come to mind.

The whole models and bottles thing really pisses me off, period. It's beaten to death in this forum. Your not your job. Women generally gravitate towards successful men, and finance conveys that. That's it. Finance guys are a dime a dozen in NYC, and many of them are socially inept and insecure tools. If you do run into a girl who's completely sold on the fact that your a finance guy, you'd better bring your own condoms because the ones she has at her place will probably have pinholes in them.

I agree OP, carry yourself well, be confident and friendly, and you'll be more than fine....

As for your original question, I'm on a commodity desk (energies) at a HF. If your interested in what my day is like, I'll give you a breakdown.

This would be much appreciated.

5/10/11

Day in the life of a commodities desk trader.

Go.

5/10/11

Going after attractive women, who doesn't?

Selecting a job because of it, is silly in my opinion. I chose to pursue Trading because I think I'll enjoy it and it has been one of very few things that have genuinely grabbed my interest, that also doubles as a viable career.

Not everyone can be an NBA superstar and get paid crazy money to play a game they love as a job. However, you can find a job you like, be happy in that job, and get paid well. That should be the target.

Anybody going after a job with the idea that getting it will get them "models and bottles" is:

A) Insecure, because they are basing their entire self-worth on the acquisition of said models and bottles

B) Misleading themselves, because as mentioned before in this thread, most women don't just go after paychecks and the ones that do are usually crazy

C) Incredibly short-sighted

It's a bi-product of doing a job you enjoy, not the sole reason for doing it.

5/10/11

lol I'd say dating is like cold calling.. complete numbers game.

Just gotta approach a lot of girls just like how we approach lots of boutiques.

Oh and just figure out how to get into asian clubs. Asian girls can be so easy to get. Then go for art school girls, jesus those can be easy too.

5/10/11

One last point.

This was asked to me by a friend of mine about how traders make a lot of money so they always have beautiful women around them.

Youre missing the point if thats what you're thinking. Think its a suprise most traders are ex-military, ex-athlete, and are seen as having guts, etc....? Meaning they can handle fear, pressure, and most importantly, negative feedback (rejection).....

Sound familiar to qualities needed to talk to an attractive woman?

5/10/11

I am a commodities trader so any direct questions can come my way....

I like to win, dont mind earning it and work hard... i also played baseball in college... i didnt have trouble with girls when i was broke or now that I have some $$.... end of day your job does not make you who you are.. and if it does you need to grow a pair...

5/10/11

some sell side traders leave 30 mins after the close of the market. it's pretty low stress and the hours are incredible. then again they will never be rich. I wouldn't want to do it unless I already had a family and was already committed to living in the burbs.

5/10/11
thedude:

some sell side traders leave 30 mins after the close of the market. it's pretty low stress and the hours are incredible. then again they will never be rich. I wouldn't want to do it unless I already had a family and was already committed to living in the burbs.

What?
This post has gaping holes in so many ways.

IVY for Life

5/10/11
futuretrader1999:

What?
This post has gaping holes in so many ways.

how so? someone calls you up and tells you to buy something and a price or range. you plug the order through an algo and press go. its fucking low stress, and they don't make boat loads of money, therefore I would live in the burbs where less can go farther. finally i know several who pull off 9-5 hours, which again is nice if you have a family. Ya, lots of holes.

NOW TAKE A LAP.

5/10/11
thedude:

some sell side traders leave 30 mins after the close of the market. it's pretty low stress and the hours are incredible. then again they will never be rich. I wouldn't want to do it unless I already had a family and was already committed to living in the burbs.

you're an idiot, sell side traders can pull in ridiculous bank, and they do it easier and with less stress than buy side traders.

5/10/11

thedude> You work in this industry? What you are describing is what a broker. Brokers =/= traders/market makers.

If they were a market maker, when that individual calls they would ask for a market and then lift the offer in order to buy. This means the market maker is now short which s/he can either offset in the market/another client if its favorable or hold it in their book. Most sell-side traders I know (FI dept/option MM shops) have huge books where they take a lot of directional risk.

Learn how this industry works before posting.

As for the topic of getting girls> Jesus, did you all join the industry because you wanted to get laid? If so, you are in it for the wrong reasons. You will get laid more being a bartender than by being a trader. You should want to do this job because you are passionate about it and want to win.

5/10/11

alright you win. most sell side traders are all absurdly wealthy. especially the equity ones i was referencing.

5/10/11

can we stray off the getting girls thing for a little bit?

I'm curious about the mentality of a trader when making a large personal purchase? Because his PnL is pretty volatile compared to other industries like banking, medicine and law, will he shy away from huge mortgages that require a pretty steady cash flow? Will he refrain from making grandiose purchases to save up for a rainy day(fin. reg loses him his job or his book blows up)

5/11/11
ambition56:

I'm curious about the mentality of a trader when making a large personal purchase? Because his PnL is pretty volatile compared to other industries like banking, medicine and law, will he shy away from huge mortgages that require a pretty steady cash flow? Will he refrain from making grandiose purchases to save up for a rainy day(fin. reg loses him his job or his book blows up)

Depends on the trader, but yes one cannot spend the same way someone with a more steady cash flow does.

One approach is to live off of last year's bonus this year (plus salary, if you get it). Another approach is live a little more aggressively if you're having a good year; this is riskier clearly.

Also, REALLY LARGE mortgages (multiple millions) aren't that common. Only the first million's interest is tax-deductible (plus another $100k in HELOC), and traders generally too smart to push the limits of mortgage debt/income ratios. That said, one good year and you can buy with cash...

5/11/11
dabanobo:
ambition56:

I'm curious about the mentality of a trader when making a large personal purchase? Because his PnL is pretty volatile compared to other industries like banking, medicine and law, will he shy away from huge mortgages that require a pretty steady cash flow? Will he refrain from making grandiose purchases to save up for a rainy day(fin. reg loses him his job or his book blows up)

Depends on the trader, but yes one cannot spend the same way someone with a more steady cash flow does.

One approach is to live off of last year's bonus this year (plus salary, if you get it). Another approach is live a little more aggressively if you're having a good year; this is riskier clearly.

Also, REALLY LARGE mortgages (multiple millions) aren't that common. Only the first million's interest is tax-deductible (plus another $100k in HELOC), and traders generally too smart to push the limits of mortgage debt/income ratios. That said, one good year and you can buy with cash...

I've always wondered about the mortgage situation of some of my colleagues and how much equity they saved up to put into their home. Does anyone have any idea about the size of the mortgages some of these guys take on, I have never had the balls to ask?

5/10/11

a) you didn't reference you were talking about equity traders. This group also includes options desks, structured desks, HFT, special situations, converts etc. Trading floors are large. Don't generalize based on the role of a few people.
b) most vanilla equity flow nowadays goes through algos (electronic desks etc). they aren't traders in the sense we are talking about here.

way to use definition loopholes to make your point. you look into being a lawyer?

5/10/11

I guess when a phone in my office 3 minutes ago rang with a "Trader" from Citadel asking my "Trader" to buy 1,000,000 shares of a stock everyone on both side was just smoking crack. Or maybe at the open when Third Point called up and asked to buy 200,000 of another stock through our "Trader". Bunch of loons those hedge fund guys are using loopholes to define traders.

I apologize.

5/10/11
thedude:

I guess when a phone in my office 3 minutes ago rang with a "Trader" from Citadel asking my "Trader" to buy 1,000,000 shares of a stock everyone on both side was just smoking crack. Or maybe at the open when Third Point called up and asked to buy 200,000 of another stock through our "Trader". Bunch of loons those hedge fund guys are using loopholes to define traders.

I apologize.

why are you so bitter? pissed you ended up in ops instead of trading? i guess id be upset too...

8/4/16

Says the guy in ER

5/10/11

Read what I wrote about electronic desks. Those "traders" might have the title but at the end of the day if you don't manage risk, you aren't a trader you are a broker. What a trader on an vanilla equity/electronic desk doesn't resemble what a trader in a credit/rates/structured desk does. The latter ones are also sell-side traders...you think their job is as easy as plugging a price in an algo and going home 30 mins post market close? Hell what is market close for the option fx guy who is carrying risk 24/7?

5/11/11
baddebt88:

Hell what is market close for the option fx guy who is carrying risk 24/7?

When they pass the book on to the next time zone.

FX books are generally passed from Asia to London to New York

5/11/11
derivstrading:
baddebt88:

Hell what is market close for the option fx guy who is carrying risk 24/7?

When they pass the book on to the next time zone.

FX books are generally passed from Asia to London to New York

Correct, I work from 6:45-5:15 normally (London), could be later if it's a wild day.

Jack: They're all former investment bankers who were laid off from that economic crisis that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have zero real world skills, but God they work hard.
-30 Rock

5/10/11

i am not a trader num nuts. I do sales and ib. Our sell side traders have pretty fucking easy job's and make lower-mid 6 figures. that's all i was saying. Is a buy-side equity trader at a hedge fund, who essentially spends his day talking to my sell side trader, a trader?

5/10/11

wow u must be at some bullshit ibank (what do u mean sales and ib)
pick one

the dude (please go read liar's poker so u at least get a rudimentary sense of the business)

IVY for Life

5/10/11

thedude: you're talking about equities sales-traders, who don't take on risk; all they do is reroute large orders to exchanges and take a commission. they use the algorithms you mentioned to execute said orders in such a way that they [a] cause minimal disturbances to the market; [b] achieve the best price for their clients. so, they are not traders in the traditional sense, despite having the word "trader" in their title; they are execution specialists.

5/11/11

Excuse the semi hijack, not arguing either side here, but out of curiosity, why out of all places, is there such a strong sentiment on WSO that women do not care about money? I don't care for either side of the argument, just puzzled why WSO would have this particular view.

5/11/11

women care about money after the 1st divorce

5/11/11

I like where this conversation is going... I was wondering if politicians are trying to tax bonuses up the ass, why not just classify bonuses as commissions instead? Surely, car salesmen and real estate brokers wouldn't stand getting taxed 50% on their commissions.

5/21/11

Ok assholes im here!

Lol this thread is a joke at this point... yes there are brokers out there that have layup business where all they do is put the order into an algo and let the computer do the rest but those guys are really few and far between... They tend to be either at the very very top of their game. Trust me you can hate on those guys all you want but thats all your doing is hating because you wish you were making 5 million a year to put orders into an algo.

The vast majority of equity sales-traders are at constant mercy of their clients and doing everything they can to be proactive to build their business. This involves keeping up with the market, getting information from other clients, working orders, networking to find new clients, and a ton of other things. Most orders involve some crapola illiquid name that the client doesnt want to trade or put in the machine themselves.

As for the hours.... 9-5 sales-traders are pikers. An EASY day for me is 5:30am-4:30pm.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

5/22/11

I know the whole "models and bottles" thing is a myth, but my question is: Can you be a trader if you don't drink? That is to say, don't drink at all? Ever met a teetotalist at your workplace? It seems like people get into finance to get models and bottles, so what if you're not into models, but still want to do finance? Would it be accepted or would there be an extreme amount of peer pressure?

5/22/11
John G:

I know the whole "models and bottles" thing is a myth, but my question is: Can you be a trader if you don't drink? That is to say, don't drink at all? Ever met a teetotalist at your workplace? It seems like people get into finance to get models and bottles, so what if you're not into models, but still want to do finance? Would it be accepted or would there be an extreme amount of peer pressure?

It wont be an issue, I work with several Muslim guys who don't drink for religious reasons. In addition, many people on the floor are health nuts and drinking is just not a large part of their life. Seriously, banks today are not like they were in the 80's. Sure if you trade cash equities some guys may go out more, but many of the more structured desks the guys are very level headed.

5/22/11

lots of people on the desk I am on that dont drink.... also a lot of people who drink a ton... its not like the movies....

5/22/11

Thanks, that what I hoped to hear. Yeah, I know it's not like in the movies.

5/22/11

this whole models and bottles thing needs to dissappear, even for majority of people who do drink, its not a focus on models and bottles, generally people are a lot more chill than that.

5/22/11

I'm well aware of the fact that it's a myth, but that doesn't mean teetotalists are accepted. Plenty of people everywhere who have a problem with others who don't want to drink. I'm glad it seems to be okay in S&T.

5/29/12

I know that this thread is somewhat dead, but I have a quick question.
I am somewhat of a math geek, so I would rather work at something that requires me to think than something that requires me to hustle (IB). I heard that working 10-11 hour days is normal, but I have a quick question about that. Is working when the market is closed (weekends, holidays) normal? Because for IB it seems to be very normal and I was wondering if it is the same case for trading.

5/30/12

I would love to see a comparison of lifestyles/personalities of oil traders in Houston to the whole population of traders. That's all.

6/15/12

Can any monkeys comment on the lifestyle of a physical commodities trader working at a trading house? Most of the above posts seem to be for the S&T desk.

6/15/12

Can any monkeys comment on the lifestyle of a physical commodities trader working at a trading house? Most of the above posts seem to be for the S&T desk.

8/6/16

i was a BB rates trader...i made markets to customers and traded a pop book...in my mkt making book, i accumulated a book of about 6bln in balance sheet (hedged longs and shorts...mostly just hedging the customer flow...buying bonds i thought were cheap and hedging them via selling bonds that i thought were rich when i had the chance...which was really an attempt to position ahead of expected client flows...sometimes those flows never materialized..sometimes they did). My time was split 50/50 between mkt making and prop trading...but 90% of my PnL came from my prop trading...and there is nobody to "pass the book to"....it was my book, 24/7....so when i got home at 6pm, you bet i logged in and traded bonds/futures all night long. I had many sleepless nights...many times i was awoke from the Tokyo/London desk calling, asking me to put a price on a large customer trade in my sector.

My comp was directly tied to my PnL. Sure, i could decide to ignore the mkts overnight....but that would not maximize my PnL.

When you become a trader, the market becomes your life...and the mkt is open from 6pm Sunday night (futures open) to 5pm Friday evening (futures close). There were days when i was trading overnight and didn't want to step away for the 30min cummute into the office, so i just traded from home the whole day. You can only do this if you are making enough money prop trading that you essentially make the rules. Otherwise, you will be chained to your desk from 7am -5pm

As a junior on a trading desk, you are everybody else's bitch...in exchange for the opportunity to learn from senior traders who have figured out how to pull money out of the market...and you should expect to be on the desk from before 7am (usually 6am) until 6pm. Eventually, you get a chance to take small risk and they evaluate how you do. Otherwise, you will do misc projects as directed by your superiors...and as a junior on a trading desk EVERYBODY is your superior.

8/10/16

I work in a commodities shop trading energy. 12 hr shifts are no joke but you get used to them, overnight shifts are the most taxing - please reference Circadian rhythm for details- however day shifts are more stressful taking into account the markets are very active, volatility, asset optimization and you have positions on that need to monitored and of course who can forget about the ever-present P&L. Time off is plentiful well at least at my shop and I use it to travel as much as possible at least a vacation every other month. It's Aug and I've traveled to Toronto, Cal (2), Austin, Mia. hmm yeah that about adds up. As far as women are concerned I've always had pretty good luck with them so I haven't noticed a change. As I mentioned time off is plentiful so you can see more women or more of one woman depends on your preference and both can be equally good or bad. You definitely have the opportunity to go out and blow your money on bottles and women if you like and I'd be a lie if I said I hadn't entertained that lifestyle a couple of times. Luckily I landed this role as a more mature adult (I'd like to think) and I don't have the same urges as I did coming right out of college. The job in a nutshell is just like everything else in the world - it is what you make of it.

The purest form of giving is anonymous to anonymous..

8/16/16

not to forget if investing in other market, you have to sleep according to their stock market timings

8/16/16

Great post. Very deep. Really makes you think about what's important in life and how money shouldn't be everything. Silver banana for you and thanks for posting.

8/16/16

I have two friends that are both MD's in S&T at the same BB. They pretty much incessantly complain about money issues. Watch that lifestyle inflation.

Please don't quote Patrick Bateman.

8/16/16

Why is it that this syndrome is so prevalent with traders?

And so it goes

8/16/16

I've always wondered this too. There seems to be a real mentality separation between bankers and traders in some sense. I'm sure that many bankers are just as guilty as traders in most cases of the lifestyle choices mentioned above, but seems very prevalent in the trader stereotype(from what I've ascertained anyways).

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for freedom of thought which they seldom use.

8/16/16

same reason its prevalent with drug dealers - fast money, fast life

8/16/16

I know an ex-banker now C-suit exec who has experienced this in severe terms twice. Mega mansion but then all of a sudden pushed out and can't afford it, struggles until he finds another equal lifestyle position, happens again and finally its so bad has to sell for a huge loss. He has rebounded once again though to his highest level yet in terms of compensation/prestige, C-suite again of a bigger company and is living in just a regular mansion.

I wonder if it is common for these people to rebound and end up turning out okay or if it is more common to just falter and die, basically...

Reminds me of that movie Margin Call

Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."

8/16/16

yeahright:

and is living in just a regular mansion.

Haha, this made me laugh.

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for freedom of thought which they seldom use.

8/16/16

Traders 1) can make more more money more quickly and 2) have more time to spend it.

It's a trap.

Don't fall into the trap, don't wake up with a lifestyle you can't afford.

Get busy living

8/16/16

I believe that this is an issue with traders mostly because they train themselves to dissassociate with money. Do you really want to be worrying about a trade with a notional of 10 million? No, it's just a number.

8/16/16

I have worked with many succesful traders and know very few that fit the above stereotype...to me it reads like a cliche written by someone who doesnt know many traders who have been successful. I have seen traders and other wall st people throw away lots of money, to the point where it has affected their lifestyle, but its almost always on marriages that go south, not on things like cars and handbags for their wives. Buying a car is a nothing compared to having your net worth cut by significantly more then half instantly if you have a divorce with children involved.

8/16/16

Great thought-provoking article. Simply put, poor people spend, while rich people invest.

The Auto Show

8/16/16

From my experience, individuals that came from "poorer" backgrounds usually are the ones that feel the need to flaunt their newly acquired wealth. It may be a psychological response to signal to society that they made it.

Back in the undergrad I interned at a trading firm in CT. There were two trading assistants from blue color Italian families... first generation to go to college kind of thing. Anyways one guy had drove a Audi S5 and the other a Porsche 911 Turbo. One of the principals (who was worth millions from an early investment in ECNs) drove a old Chevy Tahoe and dressed like a guy in a Eddie Bauer magazine. He frequently paid for my group's lunch and brought us out for drinks but based on his appearance you couldn't ever tell he had money. And what made him most happy was visiting Kentucky to go hunting... where he also met his wife.

If someone goes out of their way to flaunt a lifestyle then they most likely are not wealthy, or it is temporary. That firm actually closed several years ago and I have no idea where the TAs are now having only a discretionary trading background.

8/16/16

This is so true. I had a former boss who was worth $15 - 20 million. He never bothered with his appearance, so would occasionally get change from strangers on the subway because he looked homeless with a ratty old ripped down jacket and was unshaven most of the time. He was a real estate investor and not in finance so guess he could get away with looking like a bum. I have noticed that there are many wealthy people that you wouldn't know are wealthy because they dress like Warren Buffett.

8/16/16

Bondarb:

I have worked with many succesful traders and know very few that fit the above stereotype...to me it reads like a cliche written by someone who doesnt know many traders who have been successful. I have seen traders and other wall st people throw away lots of money, to the point where it has affected their lifestyle, but its almost always on marriages that go south, not on things like cars and handbags for their wives. Buying a car is a nothing compared to having your net worth cut by significantly more then half instantly if you have a divorce with children involved.

I agree, I think the title of the post was a bit of a misnomer. Traders are an easy stratum to apply the financial overextension stereotype to given how volatile their annual earnings can be. It's just easier to imagine an overextended 30 year old who raked in $3MM trading mortgages to jobless and in debt the next, as opposed to a corporate finance guy who's only moved a few salary levels since he's left college.

Like you said though, divorce is without a doubt the most expensive mistake a non-criminal can make. My parents went through an amicable divorce in their early thirties (when I was one or two), and I can since recall my dad on multiple occasions thanking God it happened "when he still wasn't making any money." Sure, it's still half your net worth (gains and losses should always be viewed at a % basis), but it stings a lot less than losing millions in your 40's or 50's when you're putting kids through school. Had my parents been partners rather than associates at the time, you can bet your ass there would have been nothing 'amicable' about that split.

8/16/16

Eh, how is this particularly discussion worthy?

It might be an easy stereotype to assign but it's not at all unique to traders. People in every profession can get caught up in it to some degree; something like 78% of NFL players go bankrupt within 5 years of retirement for example. For normal folk, credit card debt is pretty much rampant in this country.

Divorces have the potential to suck for everyone, rich or poor. Losing half of your middle class salary/assets is just as shitty as losing half of your 7 figure net worth, it's just less sensational.

If anything, two of the most disciplined people I know both traders.

8/16/16

Also wait until Basel III hits. You'll be hard pressed to find too many sell side guys w/ "supercars".

Please don't quote Patrick Bateman.

8/16/16

Bondarb:

I have worked with many succesful traders and know very few that fit the above stereotype...to me it reads like a cliche written by someone who doesnt know many traders who have been successful. I have seen traders and other wall st people throw away lots of money, to the point where it has affected their lifestyle, but its almost always on marriages that go south, not on things like cars and handbags for their wives. Buying a car is a nothing compared to having your net worth cut by significantly more then half instantly if you have a divorce with children involved.

I know a handful of guys who were successful and watched a substantial number of bodies float by over the years that I traded. I used trading because it's what I know, but it can be extrapolated elsewhere.

So to your point: could the title have been better? Perhaps.

The article is written, like most of my stuff with a purpose in mind, and that is to give young guys in the business and coming into it, some things to think about.

Thanks for the comment.

8/16/16

ucmaroon47:

Why is it that this syndrome is so prevalent with traders?

Just for context. My background began in the junior spec markets in Canada where I have seen lots of this type of stuff. I have worked through many booms and busts in the resource sector.

It is not unique to traders, and as some have pointed out,more common in other areas. I think one needs to remember that like any business for every successful and responsible one there are 10-20 others (or more in some cases) who didn't make it.

8/16/16

Perhaps I'm just a college noob who doesn't have enough money for such a lifestyle to be an option yet, but I never understood the desire to flaunt one's wealth. All points about expenses and "classlessness" aside, it seems that entering into this boastful way of life just opens one up to competition. One has to have the nicest car...always. The nicest watch...always. The nicest house...always.

But yet beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and when one tries to impress the outside world rather than oneself, it just creates a treadmill where one has to impress everyone at all times, and it's a race everyone is bound to lose. In its purest form, this lifestyle is simply impossible to live.

On the other hand, if someone just cares about personal experiences and a sort of internal happiness, that person can spend as much or as little money as they want...and still come out ahead in some measurable way.

I guess it's just human desire to want to compete. I just hope that when I'm older, and as successful as I believe I may become, that I won't fall prey to a poisonous mindset. I'll have to see. Thanks for the post. Out of bananas though...

8/16/16

"...tossing money around like loose jelly beans at an obesity convention." - sig worthy.

8/16/16

If I had a SB to give, I would give you one. This is an excellent post.

You have to bring out your inner economist and find the point of diminishing marginal returns. Yeah, that $500 suit might be a good one, but is that $5000 really worth 10 times as much? Nope. Same thing with food, there are so many joints where you can get a quality meal for under $20 (even in New York). Why do you need to go to some fancy steak house? Liquor? Why buy a bottle at the club for $500 when you can get a good quality vodka from the liquor store for $60.

8/16/16

Take_It_To_The_Bank:

If I had a SB to give, I would give you one. This is an excellent post.

You have to bring out your inner economist and find the point of diminishing marginal returns. Yeah, that $500 suit might be a good one, but is that $5000 really worth 10 times as much? Nope. Same thing with food, there are so many joints where you can get a quality meal for under $20 (even in New York). Why do you need to go to some fancy steak house? Liquor? Why buy a bottle at the club for $500 when you can get a good quality vodka from the liquor store for $60.

Moderated extravagance is okay as long as you're not going into debt. It can make for a memorable experience. For example, I recently spent ~$1,200 on a dinner for four people at a top NYC restaurant... but it was my mom's bday so it is what it is. I've also bought my dad a zegna suit and cordovan shoes but only b.c. he values those things and with time it will bring sentimental value. Otherwise I'm a scourge when it comes to restaurants and clothes. Gf complains that I won't go to casually eat out and I shun designer labels.

The problem is when 1st year analysts get into a habit of visiting the Meat Packing District for bottle service every week or two. As a group it is affordable but these same clowns have $60k in student loans that they could otherwise be paying off.

The trader stereotype comes from movies and the media. Much has changed since the 1980s... the new breed of trader is increasingly becoming the geek who has better interests than vanity.

8/16/16

Yep. Lifestyle is like a ratchet--easy to move up but very difficult to shift it back down.

I've been trying to go from eating out for lunch every day to bringing lunch from home. Tough at first, but it gets much easier. That's a simple example, but it applies to just about everything else.

Try to eat cheap and live with roommates for as long as possible.

8/16/16

I thought substance abuse would be the #1 killer but I guess it plays into the same mentality of not fully grasping reality, and living in an unsustainable world that is a one mistake away of getting fucked up.

8/16/16

All about perspective, I guess. I'd rather be rich with problems than poor with problems.

8/16/16

yeahright:

I know an ex-banker now C-suit exec who has experienced this in severe terms twice. Mega mansion but then all of a sudden pushed out and can't afford it, struggles until he finds another equal lifestyle position, happens again and finally its so bad has to sell for a huge loss. He has rebounded once again though to his highest level yet in terms of compensation/prestige, C-suite again of a bigger company and is living in just a regular mansion.

I wonder if it is common for these people to rebound and end up turning out okay or if it is more common to just falter and die, basically...

Reminds me of that movie Margin Call

there's a clinical name for this condition, slips my mind at the moment

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

PM me if you're traveling to Buenos Aires in 2016 (I live here) :-)

8/16/16

Excellent insight, SB

"You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right."

-Warren Buffett

8/16/16

One of the most astute reads on WSO

8/16/16

"kissing your ass, you are the ONE. Until you aren't."

This is the take away. Good post.

8/16/16

mb666:

From my experience, individuals that came from "poorer" backgrounds usually are the ones that feel the need to flaunt their newly acquired wealth. It may be a psychological response to signal to society that they made it.

Back in the undergrad I interned at a trading firm in CT. There were two trading assistants from blue color Italian families... first generation to go to college kind of thing. Anyways one guy had drove a Audi S5 and the other a Porsche 911 Turbo. One of the principals (who was worth millions from an early investment in ECNs) drove a old Chevy Tahoe and dressed like a guy in a Eddie Bauer magazine. He frequently paid for my group's lunch and brought us out for drinks but based on his appearance you couldn't ever tell he had money. And what made him most happy was visiting Kentucky to go hunting... where he also met his wife.

If someone goes out of their way to flaunt a lifestyle then they most likely are not wealthy, or it is temporary. That firm actually closed several years ago and I have no idea where the TAs are now having only a discretionary trading background.

thats awesome to hear (about the partner)

the smart rich people understand that life style is a big expense and only when you're a billionaire can you do this kind of thing over a long period of time.

David Einhorn supposedly drives a mini-van

alpha currency trader wanna-be

8/16/16

huanleshalemei:

Great thought-provoking article. Simply put, poor people spend, while rich people invest.

I'd put it another way--foolish people either hoard it all or spend it all, while the smart people invest both for the long term and for some good times.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

8/16/16

I'm a summer this year at a BB and played poker a shit ton. 1/3 nl and was cashing out a couple grand on like 300$ buy ins for a couple days. The fast money really got to me.

Today, 2 months later, I'm almost broke, and lost even what I earned working the summer job. Mostly spending it on stupid shit and losing money in poker. I've been thinking about my spending habits and how I view money for the past couple days and this post really tied things up. Everyone should read this, especially people who don't come from money.

8/16/16

I have been there and way, way worse with poker. the one good thing about going through the ups and downs of that game is that it made me a more humble person and exposed some of my weaknesses. If I hadn't blown up in poker I likely would have blown up running a portfolio. So take some comfort in the fact that you are learning valuable lessons and gaining experience from this, but I would also stay far away from the game from now on particularly if you have a problem with financial discipline and risk taking.

8/16/16

newbprosmonk:

I'm a summer this year at a BB and played poker a shit ton. 1/3 nl and was cashing out a couple grand on like 300$ buy ins for a couple days. The fast money really got to me.

Today, 2 months later, I'm almost broke, and lost even what I earned working the summer job. Mostly spending it on stupid shit and losing money in poker. I've been thinking about my spending habits and how I view money for the past couple days and this post really tied things up. Everyone should read this, especially people who don't come from money.

Good for you that you won't allow gambling to impact your life now.

Coincidentally, earlier this week one of my colleagues told me about his best friend from high school who reached out to him pleading for any financial assistance. Supposedly the guy is 7k in debt, recently divorced and just lost his job (blue collar). He is two weeks from being homeless. The problem is that he is throwing away his life because he is addicted to sports betting. I'm not sure if the divorce and unemployment has to do with gambling, or whether he owes bookies or banks, but that hobby can lead to more good than bad. If he can't find $ and a new job he is considering relocating to Canada to work in an oil field/minerals or something related to dangerous heavy industry.

8/16/16

Bondarb:

I have worked with many succesful traders and know very few that fit the above stereotype...to me it reads like a cliche written by someone who doesnt know many traders who have been successful. I have seen traders and other wall st people throw away lots of money, to the point where it has affected their lifestyle, but its almost always on marriages that go south, not on things like cars and handbags for their wives. Buying a car is a nothing compared to having your net worth cut by significantly more then half instantly if you have a divorce with children involved.

I read the original post when it first went up and thought, this must be written by a 20 year old kid in school who has never worked in the industry. I guess Lone Wolf does work in the industry but my experience has been more like Bondarb's. If you work in the industry for a while you will meet people who have nine figure net worths. I know a few. Not even one of them lives like this post suggests. If you were to pick 100 random people off the street in any major city and try to pick out the super wealthy guy, you wouldn't be able to. The kind of expenditures I'm talking about are 1-2 Mercedes or a Porsche, a nice but not excessive house, a good looking but not supermodel wife, and average to somewhat nice clothes. Actually, a lot of hedge fund people dress like shit to be honest with you. Maybe it's a California thing since no one here wears suits in hedge funds.

8/16/16

Ravenous:

Bondarb:

I have worked with many succesful traders and know very few that fit the above stereotype...to me it reads like a cliche written by someone who doesnt know many traders who have been successful. I have seen traders and other wall st people throw away lots of money, to the point where it has affected their lifestyle, but its almost always on marriages that go south, not on things like cars and handbags for their wives. Buying a car is a nothing compared to having your net worth cut by significantly more then half instantly if you have a divorce with children involved.

I read the original post when it first went up and thought, this must be written by a 20 year old kid in school who has never worked in the industry. I guess Lone Wolf does work in the industry but my experience has been more like Bondarb's. If you work in the industry for a while you will meet people who have nine figure net worths. I know a few. Not even one of them lives like this post suggests. If you were to pick 100 random people off the street in any major city and try to pick out the super wealthy guy, you wouldn't be able to. The kind of expenditures I'm talking about are 1-2 Mercedes or a Porsche, a nice but not excessive house, a good looking but not supermodel wife, and average to somewhat nice clothes. Actually, a lot of hedge fund people dress like shit to be honest with you. Maybe it's a California thing since no one here wears suits in hedge funds.

The most interesting part about wso sometimes is how people read and interpret what is written. Sometimes it seems as if everything is read like a research report. Other times the first paragraph is scanned and a conclusion reached.

I am clearly being a bit facetious (or at least it was what i intended) to make a point, and to generate some thought.

Yes people with real wealth behave and appear differently. They often follow the Medici (senior) rule of boring exterior and opulent interior that no one else can see.

Thanks for your input.

8/16/16

newbprosmonk:

I'm a summer this year at a BB and played poker a shit ton. 1/3 nl and was cashing out a couple grand on like 300$ buy ins for a couple days. The fast money really got to me.

Today, 2 months later, I'm almost broke, and lost even what I earned working the summer job. Mostly spending it on stupid shit and losing money in poker. I've been thinking about my spending habits and how I view money for the past couple days and this post really tied things up. Everyone should read this, especially people who don't come from money.

Been there

8/16/16

Lone Wolf:

Ravenous:
Bondarb:

I have worked with many succesful traders and know very few that fit the above stereotype...to me it reads like a cliche written by someone who doesnt know many traders who have been successful. I have seen traders and other wall st people throw away lots of money, to the point where it has affected their lifestyle, but its almost always on marriages that go south, not on things like cars and handbags for their wives. Buying a car is a nothing compared to having your net worth cut by significantly more then half instantly if you have a divorce with children involved.

I read the original post when it first went up and thought, this must be written by a 20 year old kid in school who has never worked in the industry. I guess Lone Wolf does work in the industry but my experience has been more like Bondarb's. If you work in the industry for a while you will meet people who have nine figure net worths. I know a few. Not even one of them lives like this post suggests. If you were to pick 100 random people off the street in any major city and try to pick out the super wealthy guy, you wouldn't be able to. The kind of expenditures I'm talking about are 1-2 Mercedes or a Porsche, a nice but not excessive house, a good looking but not supermodel wife, and average to somewhat nice clothes. Actually, a lot of hedge fund people dress like shit to be honest with you. Maybe it's a California thing since no one here wears suits in hedge funds.

The most interesting part about wso sometimes is how people read and interpret what is written. Sometimes it seems as if everything is read like a research report. Other times the first paragraph is scanned and a conclusion reached.

I am clearly being a bit facetious (or at least it was what i intended) to make a point, and to generate some thought.

Yes people with real wealth behave and appear differently. They often follow the Medici (senior) rule of boring exterior and opulent interior that no one else can see.

Thanks for your input.

It's not a reading comprehension error when you title it Lifestyle: The Number 1 Killer of Traders and then people interpret it that way.

8/16/16

Ravenous:

Lone Wolf:
Ravenous:
Bondarb:

I have worked with many succesful traders and know very few that fit the above stereotype...to me it reads like a cliche written by someone who doesnt know many traders who have been successful. I have seen traders and other wall st people throw away lots of money, to the point where it has affected their lifestyle, but its almost always on marriages that go south, not on things like cars and handbags for their wives. Buying a car is a nothing compared to having your net worth cut by significantly more then half instantly if you have a divorce with children involved.

I read the original post when it first went up and thought, this must be written by a 20 year old kid in school who has never worked in the industry. I guess Lone Wolf does work in the industry but my experience has been more like Bondarb's. If you work in the industry for a while you will meet people who have nine figure net worths. I know a few. Not even one of them lives like this post suggests. If you were to pick 100 random people off the street in any major city and try to pick out the super wealthy guy, you wouldn't be able to. The kind of expenditures I'm talking about are 1-2 Mercedes or a Porsche, a nice but not excessive house, a good looking but not supermodel wife, and average to somewhat nice clothes. Actually, a lot of hedge fund people dress like shit to be honest with you. Maybe it's a California thing since no one here wears suits in hedge funds.

The most interesting part about wso sometimes is how people read and interpret what is written. Sometimes it seems as if everything is read like a research report. Other times the first paragraph is scanned and a conclusion reached.

I am clearly being a bit facetious (or at least it was what i intended) to make a point, and to generate some thought.

Yes people with real wealth behave and appear differently. They often follow the Medici (senior) rule of boring exterior and opulent interior that no one else can see.

Thanks for your input.

It's not a reading comprehension error when you title it Lifestyle: The Number 1 Killer of Traders and then people interpret it that way.

As per your comment and a couple of others I have adjusted the title to my intended line of thinking.

Thanks for the comment.

8/16/16

there is a difference in downsizing ur lifestyle by choice and getting "killed" by your lifestyle. I know many people who had huge years, lived in a big house/apt and then decided to sell it because they got sick of the carry in years that werent as good...this is hardly the end of the world. Houses are liquid assets and aside for a few months in 2007 NYC apartments never really went down....so you will never hear someone say "damn i went broke buying that NYC apt". Now i know some other people that literally went broke...ie blew it all...like worth millions once and now worth zero or something that rounds to zero. Those situations almost always involve a marital issue with kids involved comibined with a serious career downturn and a substance abuse problem thrown in to boot. I have never heard of someone literally just spending themselves broke on things like bottle service at clubs. Actually spending millions on disposable items like that requires an epic, multi-year orgy of consumption that almost never occurs in people who have amassed that type of money legally.

8/16/16

Houses are not liquid assets, you sure you know the definition of a liquid asset?

8/16/16

Double post.

8/16/16

i think i know the actual disconnect here...iti is about separating fantasy from reality.

if u talk to alot of middle-aged mediocre traders, they will tell you stuff like "oh man i wish i hadnt spent all that money back in my wild days...i'd be rich!". Invariably, these are guys who never really made enough money to be rich, and if you cataloged their actual spending back in those wild days it wouldnt be all that crazy...certainly not enuff to destroy a fortune. These are people who a) want you to see them (and want to see themselves) as being the cool party guy who spent like crazy and b) don't want to admit both to themselves and others that they never really were that great at their job. So younger monkeys hear these fantasies, take them at face value, and we get posts like this.

The Post Should be more accuratelytitled: "Lifestyle: The Number 1 Excuse of Mediocre Traders Trying to Justify Their Lack of Money"

Next time you hear a guy say this stuff, roll your eyes and understand that you are hearing the traders equivalent of the ex-jock telling you how great he once was at football.

8/16/16

Imo, being a trader on the buyside (not S&T, executing trading, flow trading, brokering, etc. on the sell side) is a 24-hour per day kind of job. Great traders seem to be utterly consumed by the markets and don't have time for much of the vanity that would completely engulf an individual.

8/16/16

Bondarb:

i know some other people that literally went broke...ie blew it all...like worth millions once and now worth zero or something that rounds to zero. Those situations almost always involve a marital issue with kids involved comibined with a serious career downturn and a substance abuse problem thrown in to boot.

This must be very rare occurence though, how can someone so intelligent get so fukked up? Really sad.
Anyway, hats off to bondard, right to the point!

The Auto Show

8/16/16

tl;dr- Don't get married and only PIITB.

8/16/16

Great stuff. I appreciate the wisdom. Thank you kindly.

8/16/16

Nowadays everyone knows what is opportunity cost.
But for traders, you know what is trade-off.
In my opinion, a trader's lifestyle is a trade-off to the job the career.

8/16/16

This is true for all high earners. Most people are poor planners and even worse with money management. I gladly saved and invested wisely. Even when I got to 6 figures I took my lunch in to work or stuck to a budget of under PS5 if I couldn't take lunch in.

Tight to some but I had other priorities.

Founder of GirlBankerDotCom, Author of To Become an Investment Banker

8/16/16

mr. scruff:

Houses are not liquid assets, you sure you know the definition of a liquid asset?

how long do you think it takes to sell a NYC apartment?

8/16/16

Lone Wolf:

* What about that wife of yours? I know she's beautiful and amazing. In the beginning she was practical with the $250 purse....and as your success expanded so did her need for purses. You then see the $750 one....then the $5000 one....and wait a god damn minute...how many fucking $5000 purses do you need? Uh, ok, I'll get you a storage locker...sorry a bigger place with 5 extra rooms. Capiche?

This was my favorite part.

But I can relate - I have worked with people who make exactly the same amount I do, and I have always wondered how they can afford their lifestyle on our income. Then again, dive bars and cheap burgers are all it takes to make me happy.

8/16/16

Taking on debt (or having no previous debt), made lucky investments, married into wealthy family, inheritance, royalties, side business, etc. Someone's income is not always a good indicator of their net worth.

That said, the majority of people live far beyond their means. I've known really wealthy (100% wasp) individuals and many of them attempt to hide their true wealth. They appear happy living a relatively frugal lifestyle albeit they have nice homes and vacation spots, a few expensive hobbies and occasionally splurge on some luxuries. They could care less about fashion, clothes & accessories brands, cars, etc. Never overpay for depreciating assets.

8/16/16

mb666:

Taking on debt (or having no previous debt), made lucky investments, married into wealthy family, inheritance, royalties, side business, etc. Someone's income is not always a good indicator of their net worth.

That said, the majority of people live far beyond their means. I've known really wealthy (100% wasp) individuals and many of them attempt to hide their true wealth. They appear happy living a relatively frugal lifestyle albeit they have nice homes and vacation spots, a few expensive hobbies and occasionally splurge on some luxuries. They could care less about fashion, clothes & accessories brands, cars, etc. Never overpay for depreciating assets.

WASP culture is different...i went a pretty waspy school and people go out of their way to not flaunt money to thepoint where it actually was more pretentious then if they just admitted to being rich. I prefer that to places where people show off money, but its really not a whole lot different its just a different social code.

8/16/16

You can still lose a good chunk of change on NYC apartments with high maintenance, especially if you remodel and are forced to take a loss on sale. 15% of asset value doesn't sound bad (and isn't if you paid cash, but with a minimum 20% down payment that's effectively all the equity after transaction costs).

The thing about the wife buying handbags though is that assuming you have a mid 7 figure net worth and no prenup, you are most likely better off financially letting her consume for the remainder of her life.

Leasing cars is also stupid. I get that some people need to do it when they move to Texas or LA for a 2/3 year role, but eating that depreciation sucks, even with current financing.

WASP culture can be taken to absurd extremes, once had a debate about whether it was obnoxious to pay the phone company to not be listed in the phonebook (small enough town that people would notice you weren't listed, deduce you had paid up and chide you for the frivolous expense).

8/16/16

great post thanks for this

8/16/16

Hah, Warren Buffett became of of the richest people in the world because he only drinks cherry coke, eats burgers, plays a banjo, and lives in a $600K house.

8/16/16

-1

8/16/16

7-7

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

8/16/16
Neighbor:

7-7

0?

"Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old"

8/16/16
RichardPennybags:
Neighbor:

7-7

0?

correct.

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

8/16/16

As a wise man once said - trading bonds is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

8/16/16
Sandhurst:

As a wise man once said - trading bonds is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

Especially if you are following Eurozone... Definitely a fun time to trade

"Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old"

8/16/16

Yes you can coach (my dad did). But your actual hours working pale in comparison w/ the amount of time you spend thinking about that shit. Especially if you have personal liability / capital on the line.

8/16/16

more like 6.30-5/4.30 if you're trading US markets... stretches once you trade globally

8/16/16
monito:

more like 6.30-5/4.30 if you're trading US markets... stretches once you trade globally

if your trading us markets that open at 930 then why do you need to get in at 630?

8/16/16
winningduh:
monito:

more like 6.30-5/4.30 if you're trading US markets... stretches once you trade globally

if your trading us markets that open at 930 then why do you need to get in at 630?

Cmon man. Use your head. You really gonna get there when the bell rings? I get to my office at 5:30am at the LATEST. Apparently you have never heard the saying: "early bird gets the wood".

I've seen it happen quite a few times....something good gets offered nice and early, and if you're there early, you can get a bid in on it before is gone. Meanwhile, some guys are getting their 10 min late, pounding their fists on the desk because their bloomberg isn't starting up fast enough.

8/16/16
DontSleep:

Apparently you have never heard the saying: "early bird gets the wood".

What does that even mean? If you get in early, you get a hard-on?

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

8/16/16
TonyPerkis:
DontSleep:

Apparently you have never heard the saying: "early bird gets the wood".

What does that even mean? If you get in early, you get a hard-on?

Wood is markup/commission/sales credit. It is a pretty common saying. I've heard it used on desks at 3 different firms.

8/16/16
TonyPerkis:
DontSleep:

Apparently you have never heard the saying: "early bird gets the wood".

What does that even mean? If you get in early, you get a hard-on?

it's an early bird special

"Sincerity is an overrated virtue" - Milton Friedman

8/16/16
winningduh:
monito:

more like 6.30-5/4.30 if you're trading US markets... stretches once you trade globally

if your trading us markets that open at 930 then why do you need to get in at 630?

Because the US bond market doesn't open at 9:30am...it's OTC...

8/16/16

Analysts are on the desk by 6:15 generally, more senior guys walk on around 6:45 and 7. Remember that most banks have morning credit calls around 7:15-7:30, and the senior guys almost always have to speak at these things - they go through their axes, share their outlook, talk about which counterparties fucked them over, etc.
Senior guys leave from 5-6; analysts leave closer to 7.
The credit research lifestyle is interesting. If they work in client research - research that will be published - they typically come in around 6:30-6:45 and leave around 6. If they do internal research - research that is effectively used for prop trades, and only conveyed to clients through salespeople, not published - they get in closer to 6 and work like machines until 8. I've never seen a role like this outside of the credit space, especially HY and distressed, and they are really important to all credit desks.

8/16/16

im interning at a rates desk where the mkt hours are 9-3 and everyone on the desk come in around 8 40 and leave by 5 30........

8/16/16
purple manicure:

im interning at a rates desk where the mkt hours are 9-3 and everyone on the desk come in around 8 40 and leave by 5 30........

Are you trading, like, Canadian rates or something?

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

8/16/16

No one but a first year analyst would stay past 6pm repeatedly on ANY trade desk.

Besides that depends on the desk and culture. If the desk trades any prop getting in after 6am is quasi-suicide as mentioned since a lot of panic trading could happen early after a night of changing news.

8/16/16

That and news from Europe's starts coming full force relatively quickly ...

8/16/16

No you can't. It's all happening in NY, LDN and HK/TKO.

I'm a trader at a BB and I sit on my ass all day and pretty much never travel. The senior guys do, though.

8/16/16

Thanks puax. I didn't necessarily mean travel for work, I meant living in different places. What about time off? Could you take two weeks off in a row without a problem?

8/16/16

ebence21:
What about time off? Could you take two weeks off in a row without a problem?

Obviously you've never had a real job.

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein

8/16/16

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

8/16/16

Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."

8/16/16
8/16/16

IVY for Life

8/16/16
8/16/16
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