AMA: FX Trader: High Volatility Job, Low Excitement Life

Right,

Assuming you have read the title, this is one of those "I feel sorry for myself" Saturday night posts, it's also an AMA, because I'm bored.

Now that that is out of the way, let me start with a short introduction, I am a trader on the FX desk at a BB in London (I am not going to disclose which one, but I'm sure you can guess). For the last three years I have worked in the same division, climbing through the ranks. I am <25 years old, went to a respectable uni, live alone in quite an empty apartment and own a fast car. Perfect right?, well read on....

My day starts at 4am when I wake, realise I have not died in my sleep, get dressed and consume a liquid breakfast. By the time I have driven to the office and get to my desk it is 5am.

I catch up on the antics (or lack of) in Asia , then proceed to digest what ever the Bloomberg throws at me and my favourite news sites.

By 6am I am up to speed and the fun begins.

1pm, marks the arrival of my lunch, which is consumed at my desk as this is when New York starts to get into gear. From now on the intensity levels increase, as does the opportunity to make some $. Between 1pm and 5pm liquidity is usually highest, that implies all hands on deck.

By 5pm it is easy to tell who as had a good day or a bad one, although the seasoned guys don's how their P&L affects their emotions.

Once 6pm strikes, things are reasonably quiet, most guys are on a call with the GF/wife/toy/accessory and getting ready to leave. I am not, if anything I am calling the car dealer to have yet another issue fixed. (Who said a Porsche is reliable). I go out for an hour walk and try to not to get pi$$ed off with outside life in general, I can be short fused at times, for no apparent reason, for example, a couple who decided to stop in my direction of travel on the footpath and embrace each other were treated to a rather loud "FFS" as I charged past, back to the office.

I am back at my desk and settled in by 8:30pm at the latest after having something quick for dinner. Usually some form of steak. Now I begin to sift through the news again focusing on Asia.

I monitor my positions until about 11pm and then I set off home, as the traffic is usually pretty quiet I am at home in bed by midnight, and wait to see if I will wake up in the morning or not.

So this is all fine and well, apart from the fact I am completely bored outside work, have a short fuse at times and am quite lonely overall. Don't get me wrong, I have quite a few work mates, we do go for drinks (too many, usually) from time to time, but that is the extent of my social life. I don't have to work the late hours in the evening, I have been told this many time by my superiors but I do because I have nothing else. A fact which becomes evident at weekends. I catch up on sleep, get pi$$ed of that others are busy with their GFs or whatever to do anything. By the time 6pm strikes, I am opening my first beer of many and watch a movie, then fall into bed drunk. So for the last two weeks I have not bought any booze for the weekend, to see if it would make a difference.

Result: I realise just how angry and pi$$ed I am at most things outside of my work world and wonder how I can suppress them so well.

Basically, my life can be summarised as follows, I work almost all available hours, considered as "just another arrogant trader" by many and seem to make any girl I bring for dinner/drinks either not answer any text afterwards, despite being quite pleasant, and after paying a lot for dinner, or they stick around for two weeks at hours that suit them, cost me quite a lot of money and bugger off without any action of any sort.

Conclusion, I like my job, I make money, but fck me I'm bored, grumpy, have a pretty fiery temper and have a "fck every else attitude" outside of work (generally), so yeah.

AMA

Region: 
All Asia Pacific
United Kingdom
United States - Northeast

Comments (86)

Nov 26, 2016

This is the part where the experienced guys start posting their epic advice.

    • 3
Dec 30, 2016

mm

Nov 27, 2016

Seems more of a personal issue than work related... I don't think anyone here has the answer for you.

    • 1
Nov 27, 2016

Maybe its time to look for a different gig. Or at least thing of much $$ you want to walk away with and start planning about your exit plan. I know it sounds dumb but maybe you should think about taking up a hobby or transferring to a different office.

On a different flow, do you trade mostly flow? What are your thoughts about algos and how they effect the market?

Nov 27, 2016

@mswoonc-." It is what it is, respectfully I don't need or want personal advice. That's not what this was about.

@nattyphizz My transfer plans are to move to/set up HF an some point in 10-15 years, however given how the ground is moving beneath us, who knows what will happen.

To answer you second point, yes, primarily flow, obviously we deal with a large amount of client orders where we increase our P&L , but I also run a prop book to help get that big bonus. As for algos, I view them like an amplifier in the market, they don't regularly make the size of trades we would, but rather trade small sizes on the ticks. In my view they are not a bad thing, they increase liquidity, and if played correctly, they can be easy to predict and fool, then you make big $$ in a hurry.

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Nov 27, 2016

Do you have an example of an instance where you have predicted and fooled an algo?

Best Response
Nov 27, 2016

An example from almost a year ago:

I get a call from a good HF client looking to sell 100 mil EUR/GBP. The price he wanted was a small push but it could be done, I just wanted to make some money through as it had been a quite morning. Anyways, this is a good client so I take a look at what the quotes for for the cross is. They are fluctuating slightly but remaining essentially net sideways overall. A look at the chart on my bloomberg showed that apparently a lot of smaller orders were coming in thick and fast in both directions. My first thought was that the algos were on scalping duty this afternoon. The lack of news today gave me an extra reason to believe this.

I had a look through our order book, and there had been very little action on the cross today. Okay, in my mind, the algos would have reasonably tight stop losses when scalping (confirmed by some guys from a HFT shop). I announce on the team chat that we are about to very heavy on Eur but not for long. Between myself and two colleagues we buy 550 mil EUR/USD and 40 mil of EUR/GBP. As soon as we we our orders in, boom, stop losses blown out on the cross, prices shoots up, by 0.00130 (such a distinctive number I couldn't forget), this is good, 50 more than my client wanted. I instantly get his order in by sending out 5 x 25mil ( to not to arouse too much attention, and to keep 25 mil for my own book) order through some ecns and to a colleague (an idiot, who has since left), that means I have made around 80k. We then offload all our EUR in a big hurry (think controlled fire sale). The cross takes a beating (I suspect I hit more algo stop losses that were on long EUR positions). The cross was now at trading at 50 lower than we sold at.
I called up my HF client, and before I could speak he just shouted, "DID IT FILL?", when I told him the price we sold at, his response was very positive. I won't say what because it is unique to this client I think (and hope, dark sense of humour)

I closed my short position on the cross, selling the GBP to one of the cable guys. My internal greed monster was satisfied, We had made a lot of money, and it was only 3pm!!

This is probably the most dramatic incidence I can remember playing the algos, but I can't really remember the numbers precisely (sleep deprivation at its best) only the 130 and that fact that our desk as a whole was up almost 2mil at NY close that day.

    • 8
Nov 27, 2016

You should hit the gym, always help me burn off steam. And I'm not in there powerlifting, I break a sweat for 30 minutes tops and I feel so much better for the rest of the day.

    • 1
Nov 27, 2016

I call bullshit. Also lol at showing up at 5. Neither Barclays, JPM nor Deutsche Bank have such gruesome hours (have seen all three of them). Not even the bespoken FX guys, who are closes to be considered M&A'esque investment banking on the floor. No one, I repeat no one (expect interns & analysts) show up before 7am LDN time. Also everyone, I repeat, everyone leaves at 7pm LDN time. Bullshit on your part

    • 1
    • 3
Nov 27, 2016

You forget matey boy, that I can come and go as I please into the office, and so long as I make money for the guys up top no one cares. BTW, I don't work and have never worked for any of the three firms you named but I can assure you, and I will not repeat myself (as its a bad habit, although you like it), that I am not the only guy at the FX desks before 7am. It's not a bragging right, it's nothing to be proud of (some seem to think working every hour in the day is cool, yeah, screw that), it's the way it is.

Also I show up at 5am , because I want to not because I have to, plus I avoid the start of the rush hour shit. So go grab a beer and chill out. Tell you what next time you are in the City, let me know and I will buy you one!

Now that that is out of the way.

@WannabeBankerr That was actually my plan for this week, we shall see how it goes!

    • 2
Nov 29, 2016

Props on controlling that anger towards Bolz!

    • 1
Nov 29, 2016

It's the bullshit you spread to college kids. Hurr durr I am a trader at a BB, I work really hard. We both know that desk politics determine your bonus more so than your own performance. Also lol at monitoring your positions until 11pm. What the fuck is wrong with you? Your book is normally forwarded to NYC? Make a picture of your bloomberg everywhere thingy with your username and upload it to imgur.com. I srs doubt that you have ever been close to a book, let alone traded one... And if yes, you aren't cut for this job.

    • 2
    • 7
Dec 1, 2016

Interesting explanation on the FX market trading environment...

.

Dec 8, 2016
Bolz:

I call bullshit. Also lol at showing up at 5. Neither Barclays, JPM nor Deutsche Bank have such gruesome hours (have seen all three of them). Not even the bespoken FX guys, who are closes to be considered M&A'esque investment banking on the floor. No one, I repeat no one (expect interns & analysts) show up before 7am LDN time. Also everyone, I repeat, everyone leaves at 7pm LDN time. Bullshit on your part

Hahaha I love the amount of poo you got for this. Ya really twisted some undies.... must be some truth to what you said.

Also unless it's a pre 81 airhead porsche, you ain't doing that well.
Mid 2000's carerras are going for like 20k usd.

If you're gonna brag about a car it better be concours level and you get invited to Goodwood.

'77 CB 750
'69 Cortina GT

Apr 16, 2017

Everyone at my desk (FX and FI) starts between 5 and 6am, it is absolutely normal as Europe is one hour ahead of us and you need time to catch up with things that happened overnight.

    • 1
Nov 28, 2016

How long have you been doing it like this?

It's normal to go through a period in your life like this (when you're a young 'un), but if it doesn't get better, there's something wrong.

And, seriously, a Porsche? In London?

    • 1
Nov 28, 2016

Since my final year in uni, still alive though!

Whats's wrong with a Porsche in London, its hardly unique, it gets a glorious 12 mpg . Besides spending too much time with the plebs on the tube in the morning is bad for ones health.

Nov 29, 2016

It's just so, I dunno, stereotypical... A big swinging dick of a banker, driving arnd in his Porsche.

Nov 29, 2016

What do you mean by high volatility?

I have had interest in finance, trading, etc., and perhaps markets, how would someone get started? I have seen a few FX Trader roles (strictly comm), what would you recc'd?

I come from a tech/engineering background, if that helps any.

Nov 29, 2016

90hours/week without weekends in S&T. Sounds like death.

Nov 29, 2016

Isolating yourself like that isn't good man, and it sounds like it's wreaking havoc on the rest of your life. FWIW, having a balanced life...health, relationships and time away from the screens is critical to my performance.

Nov 29, 2016

A couple of things that made me realize I'm not fit for the big bank culture when it comes to trading.

You mention the dead boredom of Asian markets hours and European mornings; I've been trading futures for 3 months now (simulated), I'm from Europe as well, that's one of the first things I noticed. It makes no sense whatsoever for me to stick to the monitor from 4 am.
I set my positions, set the stop losses, go back to sleep. European morning? Same. Set positions, set stop losses, leave to work out, do other stuff. I come back one hour and half before US markets open, stick around 5 hours, go to dinner, check the closing, prepare strategy for the following day, go enjoy the evening.

Compared to your average day, I sleep more, have a decent number of hours of free time, have a meaningful relationship.

Do you think that doesn't affect your chances with girls?
You make a lot of money, that's the only thing you can offer to a girl, give how much you are busy; meaning all you'll be able to find is a goldigger.
Finding a girl in many ways isn't different from finding a friend: you need common hobbies to spend time on, common values. You have zero free time for hobbies, from a friend, just like from a girlfriend perspective you are boring as fuck.

Then again, I'm slightly older than you and unemployed, to each his own.

    • 2
Nov 29, 2016

Calling it now, this guy will be the next Rick Jutting.

    • 1
Nov 29, 2016

Hahahahhaha +1

    • 1
Nov 29, 2016

@thebrofessor I look forward to your response, wise one.

Nov 29, 2016

kinda hard to respond when the guy doesn't have any questions in there. take better care of yourself, learn to detach from your P&L, etc. as martinghoul said, fine to do during your younger days, but if things don't improve, maybe trading isn't for this bro.

Nov 29, 2016

@Asatar Can you take this poor fella for a drink?

...

Nov 29, 2016

Good lord you sound like the typical "money above everything" insecure finance loser. Girls think you're boring because you're not interesting, seemingly have no hobbies, so cash is the only thing you can talk about. Only the moneygrubbers will come after you. You're obviously arrogant just from reading your post and responses. Enjoy the slow painful death!

    • 1
Apr 8, 2017

Look at his recent post. Bet you feel like douche now lol

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

Apr 23, 2017

I feel 0% like a douche. It's pretty amazing how spot on my reply was. This guys lives with only himself in mind, I feel no sympathy for him. He is still even too prideful to recognize the meaning of life while staring death in the face. Latest post proves that:
1) Karma is real and will come back in one form or another
2) Healthy living indeed has an effect on long-term health. Treat your body like a dumpster, gonna be a bad time for you eventually
3) Nobody is invincible

What is sad to me is that I am sure (And hope) someone tried to tell him that he was chasing smoke and he refused to listen.

    • 2
Sep 27, 2019
SunTzu:

Good lord you sound like the typical "money above everything" insecure finance loser. Girls think you're boring because you're not interesting, seemingly have no hobbies, so cash is the only thing you can talk about. Only the moneygrubbers will come after you. You're obviously arrogant just from reading your post and responses. Enjoy the slow painful death!

wtf? what's wrong with you?

Nov 29, 2016

Alright- first of all- you probably don't need to work that many hours. Sounds like you're kind of an avoidant type who hides behind work. Which happens to all of us at some point so whatever, not bad but maybe something to work on.

Actually most of what you wrote makes you sound in general like an avoidant type. You stay at home by yourself, you don't go out much, you don't even like being in traffic with a bunch of other people!

My dating book says that this type usually attract the anxious type, so hahah perhaps just keep looking for the anxious girl of your dreams! (This is really a thing btw, people are either Secure, Anxious, Avoidant and Fearful-Avoidant in their dating life.) (I'm fearful avoidant HAHAHA no just kidding I'm not)

But seriously, when you go on dates, for god's sake don't talk about work the entire time. I've dated my fair share of finance guys and a good portion of them can only talk about work. That's great! But have you seen a cool movie recently? Heard a great song? Any thoughts on Kanye? Something is off if the girls just go out for dinner and nothing more happens.

But dating in general is a numbers game, so get out there more!! Chin UP!

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

    • 3
Nov 30, 2016

For the record, I am not the OP, but my only thought on Kanye is that Kanye is a douchebag...

Is it OK to have no other insights/views?

    • 1
Nov 29, 2016

sounds like you just need to start working weekends

    • 2
Nov 29, 2016

How much do you make?

Nov 29, 2016

Lift, eat healthier, less booze, & get a puppy. When with girls wear better fitting clothes, talk less about work, ask questions, throw in a compliment about her hair, and show pictures of your puppy. Take her home.

To get over your mild-depression go somewhere sunny like Madrid. I have friends there who love it.

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.

    • 3
Nov 29, 2016

a side question: have you thought about moving to prop shops? (DRW / Maven / Tibra)

Observe. Learn. Share.

Nov 29, 2016

You sound legitimately depressed and it doesn't sound entirely work related. Maybe talk to a therapist? Or stop getting drunk by yourself and watching movies with your very limited free time (which I actually enjoy from time to time... especially war movies). Get drunk and go out on the town. I'd love to be in London. I'd do weekend trips all over Europe.

    • 1
Nov 29, 2016

always double down on your decisions. also remember to burn bridges. builds integrity

    • 1
Nov 29, 2016

Bloody Hell, there are a lot of posts to reply to so bear with me:

@Bolz Look mate, I don't know why you have mustard up your ass, I did not come here to start an argument and am not interested in continuing this conversation if that is what it is going to turn into. I am what I am, I never said I was proud if it, I certainly don't brag about it, in fact, I usually never talk to anyone outside of the office about work. The book is only partially forwarded to NYC, I keep some positions my side for a variety of reason. (P.S. IRT Bloomberg, its Anywhere, not everywhere ;) ). Out of curiosity, if you don;t mind me asking what desk are you working at.

@Martinghoul Yeah, well, I guess that's what I get for always going out in the City favourites when in Uni. I hung out with more guys from the City than guys from uni. Some crazy nights though!

@Tech_Vestor I don't know what the best method would be, I was invited for a trial during a half term from uni in my penultimate year, I guess they liked me and I went in full time as soon as I graduated.

@SanityCheck I don't think so, thanks for the vote of confidence through.

@thebrofessor Trading is what I do, I love it, nothing is like it and it keeps my greed monster happy!

@SunTzu I will, don't worry mate.

@tropos Thanks for the reply, I take you points on board. I have met plenty of nice ladies and and many memorable times. I am not really the type to avoid people for no reason, I enjoy chilling with my mates etc. nut traffic is a major PITA when I'm in a hurry or just trying to get somewhere.

@ToWhomItMayConcern No Thanks, not unless a VERY VERY big bonus is offer, (think 7 figures), I need to catch up on sleep at some stage.

@vik2000 Almost enough........

@vik2000 Madrid is good fun (So are the native ladies...............), haven't been in some time though. I couldn't get a dog, it would be on its own most of the time and would not be fair to keep him in an apartment.

@KyloRen Briefly, but I don't honestly know what the comp or atmosphere is like, also I like having the weight of a very large balance sheet behind me. It is oddly satisfying at times knowing you are in control of a book in excess of 1B$.

@Jim_Lahey Funny, you remind you remind me of what one of my bosses once said, "If you are not dead to at least one person, you haven't lived!"

Thanks for all the replies, although now it's time for dinner and some sleep.

Nov 30, 2016

If you don't wanna start an argument, then upload your bloomberg thing to imgur.com and send me home like a retard. Inb4 ain't allowed to make pics on the trading floor.

I'm working at a PTF, but had a stint in BB market making. Currently impleting vol based HFT strategies on EUREX/TOM/EURONEXT, but am allowed to do anything. I never worked longer than 50h a week outside a BB. Average is more like 35-40. At the BB it was like 55-65h tops.
I'd start working less if I were you and fill up my free time with lifting weights. Also chasing girls for long-term relationships (as long as you aren't 40) is stupid... They ain't gonna get you happy - Fuck and forget.

    • 5
Nov 30, 2016

@TripleDown What is the bonus potential at your level? Thanks

Nov 30, 2016

@TripleDown Hey,

I work on a MM desk, though not at a bank (smaller flow but still good size) and cover several product groups. One of my specialities is FX though and I gotta say, although I love the market, I hate the fact it's essentially 365! Do you ever have to cover shifts over xmas/nye etc? Or being at a BB is that usually taken care of by another region?

I agree on your points regarding algos. As FX is so heavily driven by OTC flow still, I don't think they perform as well as they do in more liquid markets. That may well change in the future though.

I'm based in the City (not wharf) so if you're near there and wanna grab a beer any time drop me a pm. Always nice to talk about something other than markets after a long week.

Dec 1, 2016

Although you try to make it sound like your life is miserable, I sense pride and inflated ego from your post. It frequently happens to traders at their first to early third year. And at the end of the day that actually adds to your insecurity.

As someone who went through similar process in the past, my advice is enroll yourself in part-time education, hopefully something that may relate to trading, such as data science. (Work out as well) Unless you keep on self-developing, you will feel worse and worse as a manual trader since that path gets repetitive down the road.

Dec 8, 2016
caeruleus:

Although you try to make it sound like your life is miserable, I sense pride and inflated ego from your post. It frequently happens to traders at their first to early third year. And at the end of the day that actually adds to your insecurity.

As someone who went through similar process in the past, my advice is enroll yourself in part-time education, hopefully something that may relate to trading, such as data science. (Work out as well) Unless you keep on self-developing, you will feel worse and worse as a manual trader since that path gets repetitive down the road.

Yup, can see this a mile away. But you can't blame him. He's young, and from the sounds of it had a really good upbringing.

'77 CB 750
'69 Cortina GT

Dec 1, 2016

Feel sorry to read all these. Increase confidence in yourself, focus on your work and spend quality time with your family.

Adam Smith

Dec 1, 2016

Maybe you might want to go away from the BB for the relaxed culture of a prop shop?

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

Dec 1, 2016

Much of the work you describe could be done from home...why in the world are you sitting at work at 10pm reading news from Asia? That can be done from your couch on a laptop and you would probably be more effective at it. You also need to get more efficient and shave 30 minutes off your arrival time...in NYC I can understand getting in that early but 5am in London is just masochism. Line up some phone calls you can do on your ride in and leave 30 minutes later...if you don't have any contacts who will do this cultivate them through networking. There has to be some 25 year old in Asia doing the same thing that would like to chat with you about markets near the end of his day. Also don't just read for the sake of reading...be critical about your daily reading list and if something isn't adding value eliminate it...I do an "audit" of my reading list and regular phone calls often and usually end up cutting a good 30-40% of it each time with zero loss of value add.

The stuff about social life and women is purely on you and you shouldn't blame your job...you have no weekend hours and with a few simple tweaks you could sneak in a night or two of social stuff during the week also if you so choose.

Also steak most nights and no workout time is obviously a mistake...red meat is a bad mix with a strenuous job because it adds to hyper-tension and high blood pressure which you probably are getting enough of at work. One steak a week and make it a good one...I am a big fan of The Bull Steak Expert which flies a bit under the radar. ( http://thebullsteakexpert.co.uk/ )

Lastly, trading is somewhat of a lonely job that's just the life. Even if you were juggling three women and going out every night of the week with a great group of friends the emotions are still yours alone...no one, not even your girlfriend, really gives a fukk about your PnL and that's just the way it is...hell most people are actually hoping you fail! As Jesse Livermore said, "ive always played a lone hand"...if you are not comfortable with that you may be in the wrong line of work because it doesn't really change.

    • 6
Dec 2, 2016

I can sympathize with this post I have a pretty similar lifestyle/ issues I will give a few things that helped me out a lot.

The most beneficial to me was this: find something to excel at outside of work.
Doesn't matter what it is, could be gym, sport, hobby, a language or anything. Find someway to measure your progress or have a specific goal in a time setting and evaluate. Since the learning and success curve has flattened a lot at work, the quick progress to something whether it's a 160kg dead lift, cooking dinner for 15 people or doing a 360 on a wake board it's crazy how quick these things are to accomplish. Check out these recent posts for ideas on how to make that happen.

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/use-thanksgi... http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/what-are-you...

I'll list a couple others as well:
1. Exercise - even just a couple times a week find something you like and mix it up, sometimes a work out, sometimes run home through the park, sometime go on a massive walk, cycle etc Bonus tip saunas are a game changer for me especially in winter.
2. Cut down drinking a bit- I've cut beer pretty much completely and now only try for good quality alcohol and less quantity (very odd blow out)
3. Travel- I find sporadic trips are great but bigger trips plan and book early, if you're feeling attached to your pnl and generally annoyed knowing you have that Japan or Mexico trip on the horizon really helps
4. Hobbies- similar to above but less about improving and measurement, rock climbing, back gammon, shooting, basketball, football
5. Money- I wouldn't lecture you on how to spend it, but for me the most important is building and knowing your cushion so you can pull that rip chord at any time, are you doing this? If you don't and you have a Porsche you creating your own jail where you can't get out.
6. Charity- in person, getting back into the community talking with people who are from all different walks of life and ages really grounds your perspective (I did the inner city reading project which is only once every two weeks)
7. Reading- biographies/ history books are all amazing at giving yourself context and learning a lot you can apply in your life and even to trading

At the moment you're weighting all your happiness/ self worth against PnL which is sometimes completely out of your hands (well > customer flow anyway). It's crazy if you think about it, you need counterweights to balance your internal happiness calculus. Honestly take some of the advice above especially Bondarb on managing your time better and just pick one thing you want to accomplish in the next 3 months and do it. Evaluate pieces of your life and slowly add/ subtract things and it's amazing where you can be in two years, don't be afraid to ask for help or pull the rip chord on the job- best of luck mate.

    • 3
Dec 2, 2016

How can I practise the skills of a FX trader if I eventually want to become one?

Dec 2, 2016

I wanna be you (at least for a short time) LOL

Dec 2, 2016

You own a Porsche, have "climbed through the ranks," and this is your life. How the hell are you <25!?

I guess if you want a real question or two:

How long did you know you wanted to be a trader?

Which was harder for you: getting into your respectable uni (I'm envisioning Oxford here) or getting on the FX desk?

"A modest man, with much to be modest about"

Dec 10, 2016

He said he was a trader not a supermarket executive

Dec 3, 2016

Okay, Thanks for all the replies, I was really busy, so didn't get a chance to reply so here is another long post. BTW the 18 month old Porsche is now gone because it kept breaking down, even the dealer admitted that "there must have been an issue with the production run for you car, sir", So at the threat of lawyers, they bought it back and will take delivery of a replace from a different manufacturer on Wednesday. (Not saying which model because of how the Porsche went down here)

@ODS-UK
Usually, and is stress the word usually, each region covers its own areas and trading hours but over holiday periods things can get a bit more choppy. Even though volume is down hugely, there are always (as long as I have worked here) some HF guys buying and selling around Christmas and New Years. Personally I elect to work over Christmas and New Years, I have nothing better to do really and I can use it as leverage to get some time off if I need to in the future, besides I get to clean up my books and have everything nice and pretty for when internal auditing begins.
I might just take you up on the offer for some beers, I'll PM you when I get a chance.

@ODS-UK
Ego, well, I can hardly be the judge of that. I don't have time for any non essential educational stuff, I keep up to date with seminars on some big data analytics but otherwise if it doesn't help my PnL, I don't have time for it.

@adamsmiths
Have no real family, only one or two distant relatives, which is something I am not willing to get into here.

@adamsmiths
It is something I do look at from time to time, but I just haven't spoken to enough people to make up my mind.

@Bondarb
You post was very insightful, I agree that I could do a great deal of my reading from at home, but I prefer to keep work away from home. As for driving in early, I like it, London is quite pretty early in the morning. I actually have quite a nice reading list setup and am glad to see that I am not the only one who does a quick audit every month or so on the list. Most of my conversations with colleagues are F2F or else on some chat. I agree with you on the lonely aspect of trading and that no one care about PnL unless your loosing consistently, and then its only so they can pick you off. I generally don't talk about work outside the office, I find that if someone thinks you make a reasonable wage then they assume it is okay to order the PS200 bottle of wine. If I wanted a prossie, I would have asked for one in that case. lol. As for more social stuff, well, perhaps that will be target for the new year.

@wilder
I appreciate your post, and your comment about cushions, and yes, I do keep one for when that very rainy day strikes.
I do read quite a bit and give a little to some very select charities.
But as for cutting down beer, Ocado did that for me themselves this weekend, I mean how can you forget to deliver a box of Peroni on a Friday, it arrived this morning but still, come on guys.

@Toys-R-Soros There are many articles about this online, but if you have specific questions feel free to PM me.

@t4s What size is are your feet?

@t4s
I busted my ass every day since I started and eventually got to where I am now, I am by no means at the top! Getting a (now sold) Porsche is not that hard when you have no family and all you need to pay for is rent and food, no real holidays save a lot.
I have always wanted to be a trader from primary school.
Getting a job on the desk was a great deal harder than getting into uni (not Oxbridge), in fact getting into uni was a walk in the park compared to getting a job on the FX desk and resulted in much fewer sleepless nights wondering if I would ever get a job.

Dec 3, 2016

Thank you for the answer, @TripleDown! I hope you sort out the melancholy in your life soon.

"A modest man, with much to be modest about"

Dec 4, 2016

Do you terribly mind sharing a screenshot of your reading list? Perhaps even PM me if thats something that you are not willing to share on a public forum.

Thanks!

Dec 4, 2016

Ill pm you in a bit

Dec 3, 2016

If you don't like your job, why are you spending your money on cars? Isn't the goal to retire or at least have some financial independence ASAP?

I have a fairly extensive "fun" budget. It works out to $5K/year. It covers SCUBA diving on Lake Michigan, motorcycle racing, and hang gliding. It is probably about half or maybe even one quarter of what you spend on a car on an annualized basis.

Back to my rusty honda (towing an awesome Yamaha R6 on a trailer to the track).

Dec 4, 2016

Had I not gone down riding my CBR a long time ago, I would have had a lot of sympathy with the motorcycle racing. As it is, I am envious, since I just can't take the risk.

Dec 4, 2016

I like fast cars so I don't mind splashing out, but I'm glad you brought up bikes, I do have an 2013 S1000RR that I love, but rarely ride it because of the time it takes putting on and taking off gear, and then having to change into my work cloths when i get to the office.

How long have you raced bikes?

Dec 4, 2016
TripleDown:

I like fast cars so I don't mind splashing out, but I'm glad you brought up bikes, I do have an 2013 S1000RR that I love, but rarely ride it because of the time it takes putting on and taking off gear, and then having to change into my work cloths when i get to the office.

How long have you raced bikes?

Been doing it on and off for seven years. Have an R1 for the street as well.

Here's the secret: bring a backpack. Shoes and jacket go in the backpack, leathers go on over the pants, wrinklefree shirt, and tie. You can change in ~2 minutes, and the wrinkles shake out walking from the garage to work.

Again, if you have enough money to afford a Porsche, and you're bored and miserable, it's your own damn fault.

    • 1
Dec 5, 2016

I'm not advising you to get technical education to help your pnl right now. Your current pnl as a junior level trader is the least important thing for you at the moment. If you think they are "non-essential" that only shows how shortsighted you are. The whole industry has been changing for awhile and you are at the slower side of that change so you might not feel it, but unless you retire in the next five years you will regret. The extra bonus you make right now by spending excessive time at work is nothing compared to what you will make as a senior trader, but with the way you describe yourself and the way you talk in the comments, I dont think you will last long enough to get there. Invest in yourself, on self development.

Dec 5, 2016

Serious post: You can always get professional mental healthcare, might make you more happy, just be sure to get one that is also aligned with your professional goals.

Dec 6, 2016

Bunch of idiots downvoting me because I am spitting out the truth. Go fuck yourselves, idiots. I am leaving this forum for good after 4 years. Hurr durr work a lot bullshit, I totally deserve that GBP 300k bonus as a VP, yet my PNL is pathetic at least. He still didn't show his fucking bloomberg anywhere finger print device? Yet I am the faggot, with 2 years buldge bracket FRONT OFFICE trading floor experience, who gets downvoted for being straight truth? GFY

    • 2
Dec 6, 2016

cya l8r home slice

Dec 6, 2016

He is full of shit.

Dec 7, 2016

This was absolutely fascinating @TripleDown , thank you for sharing.

For what it's worth, I respect how much time you're putting into your job and I bet you're pretty damn good at it. All these people giving you advise but from the way you write, it sounds like you've got a good sense of self-awareness and what you're doing. This thread is a raw and honest look into an individual who has dedicated an intense level of emotion and hard work into his career.

+1 SB on a few of your posts

    • 1
Dec 8, 2016

what do you do to counter the sleep deprivation? And can you even fall asleep after all of the buzz at the office?

Dec 8, 2016

I would gladly answer your question in private. Couldn't find the private message button. Send me one, so I can reply.
New member

Dec 8, 2016

Hope it's ok to ask about your role, rather than your lifestyle (which seems to be the focus here).

I work on a much longer horizon than you do, and was thinking about looking into this FX casually outside of work. Retail FX trading is quite infamous obviously, is it possible to be successful at retail level?

What is more important to understand, macro-economics, or market microstructure and order flow?

Dec 9, 2016

Okay, I'm back after a very long week, so Ill get some replies in,
@IlliniProgrammer R1s are awesome, I had a go on one belonging to a mate of mine before I got my S1000 and it was a complete hooligan machine, so much fun and the engine was always pushing for more and more. BTW, the Porsche broke my heart, and the replacement from a different manufacturer is so much better, no failures in the first week which is one better than the Porsche.

@IlliniProgrammer Thanks for your reply, I understand where you are coming from, and hence I have been schooling myself on some programming to try and get ahead, or a least have something else to offer should I switch positions (maybe after bonus season).

@t4s I could but I won't, while I appreciate your reply, I have many reasons for not going down that route which I really don't want to share. Thanks all the same.

@dedline Thanks for your reply and the SBs, I will admit that I am my no means a role model and many of my colleagues lead very successful lives outside of work, so I am just one of the many types of guys who works on my desk at least.

@Monkey123_214 To counter sleep deprivation, I never really thought of it as that, I just aim to stay awake. To do so I consume a large amount of coffee, some red bull, iced water both down my neck and on my face. I don't buy into the use of any of the harder stimulant, but that's just me. As for falling asleep, that just happens automatically.

@Bonds.Aye Sure, no problem. Macro is really important, understand how Asia thinks to understand how they will react and the same for all the other regions, it's why I am really glad I spent over 2 years of my life in HK as a teen and also in NY before coming home to the UK. As for order flow, spot fx is decentralised so unless you work for a big firm watching order flow won't really help that much, catching a falling knife and all that can result in a lot of blood. Honestly, if I were not trading fx as my day job with the bb balance sheet behind me I don't think I would go retail, besides the prices and spreads they quote are horrible. To cut to the chase, can you be successful at retail?, I'm sure some are but with the prices being quoted and unless you have a real good data feeds and solid research, it would be very difficult.

That's all for now I think, its been a very long and stressful week and it's time for another drink!

Dec 10, 2016
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Apr 9, 2017
Oct 17, 2017
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"The markets are always changing , and they are always the same."

Sep 26, 2019