[Entertainment] So... You Want to Be a Trader?


No, not your Hugo Boss, that's for consultants. I'm talking Pal Zileri, custom fitted and tailored straight from Italy. Trips to Chicago, New York all paid for by your firm. Box seats to games and concerts… and working towards that F-you bonus.


Trips in party buses from your billionaire clients to go see his favourite band. Five star food on board. $1000 bottles. More coke. … and the ladies, you don't even have to tell them what you do because you look so good.

I loved it. I had enough.

I worked commodities. Commodities is F1 racing beside equities Fast Five rice rockets. If you're not on your game EVERY. SINGLE. F***ING SECOND. You lose or clients lose. I'm talking your net worth in 3 minutes for one client (happened) F***ing DAX.

You cant fake it in trading. Everything is taped. If its not the clients fault, (acknowledging and order repeated back even though he wanted something else done) it's your fault. And you pay for it. Your boss asked for a rundown on certain figures and asks you in the most vague way.

For a certain time I worked overnight, trading the Asia and Euro opens. During the crisis in 2009 and 2010, it was exciting to watch the world implode before your eyes while everyone was asleep. Figure that out. He doesn't care. That's why he pays you. To know what he's thinking.

Back to that billionaire.

One night. He was trading AUS/YEN cross' (he sucked) and he didn't like that his stop hit. Typically I pretended to call the trader, then put them on hold and pretend to yell at the trader for the hit (or bad fill). This usually satisfied his ego and it made it look like I was going to bat for him. Not this time. I took a 3 hour berating that continued on to the morning guys.

My boss asked me why I didn't quit after he listened to the tapes. I was confused

"For what?"

"For the way he was yelling at you"

"That's every night"

Every single rookie broker that I saw come in bright eyed thinking he's going to be playing golf everyday and have liquid lunches, while the money rolls in, is gone. Ninety Nine percent of them were gone before their first 12 months.

One common theme with the vast majority of all of our clients is they all lost their money. The smart ones never let their emotions get in the way. There weren't many smart ones.

The markets used to be orderly. It was either an up day, or down day. After 2008 it all changed. Gold can be down $40/oz and 15 minutes later be up $25. That's a lot of money per contract. Accounts wiped. I did a lot of hand holding. Some of the most successful businessmen ever… Got crushed.

Moving on to the present.

In the Olympics past, there was a controversy that the Chinese women's gymnastic team was underage. You have to be 16 to compete but they were forging their documents and 14 year olds were competing. They wanted this because the younger they are, the more risks they take. They fly higher, do bigger flips and spins, which wins them gold. To be a successful trader, you need to be a non-violent sociopath. Even more competitive than A-type Navy Seals.

I eventually made it to where I wanted as an Institutional metals trader with the largest trading firm in the world. I declined. After so many years in this race, I wanted different things. Its a young mans game, just like the gymnasts. I know too many that are still in it wishing they were out.

The lure of money forces them back in if they cannot control their lifestyle.

***Disclaimer this post is from a now retired trader and after reading a few posts on here we thought it would be fun to take a look at the life of a commodities trader. Hope you enjoyed it and have a great weekend monkeys!***

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Comments (13)

Best Response
Mar 27, 2014 - 11:55pm

Not in any way directed at WSPB, because this is not his writing or story, but the hyperbole and grandiose inaccuracy of this makes it sound like some seriously stupid and totally made-up shit. Some of the "best businessmen ever" got crushed...trading gold? How in the world do those two things even go together? The living ones I can think of that are in that conversation are doing just fine, even straight through the worst of it. John Malone, Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs... all just fine, even after accounting for the GLD losses in their Interactive Brokers accounts. And the DAX is what wiped out his client, yet it's an equity index... which of course is crotch rocket shit compared to commodities so it comes as quite a surprise to hear such a thing could happen. Then again, black swans...

Speaking of black swans - the crisis in 2009 and 2010? We couldn't possibly be thinking of the same crisis, right? If not, well... maybe it's a commodity crisis I'm unaware of. Wait, when did metals peak again, I forget?

And this great metaphorical whiff: the Chinese decided to cheat and use younger gymnasts because they'd take more risks, which makes them "fly higher?" What 14 year old do you know that takes exceptionally more risk than a 16 year old? Because you know, those damn Chinese kids are so stubborn when their government politely asks them to do stuff. You use younger gymnasts because they're smaller, lighter, more flexible, and (in the case of China) have already been trained since a ridiculously young age so they're more experienced than most of the 16 year olds anyway. Riskier because they're younger... c'mon now. You coulda done a lot better with a golf analogy there... or really any analogy at all except this one.

Point being, I don't think this is anything like what the trader lifestyle or any finance lifestyle for that matter is really like these days. It sure does sound cool though. Bigger flips and spins, which wins you gold, which unfortunately crushes you because it's so volatile, which ultimately makes you the one of the best businessmen ever... even though you're just a 14 year old girl with a fake ID you can't buy booze with.

I hate victims who respect their executioners
  • 4
Mar 28, 2014 - 9:13am

Ha well you have to factor in two things 1) he is retired 2) this was written for entertainment as noted in the post. Hence the descriptive language and grandiose over-the-top explanations.

It is Friday after all BH.... Will have more intense and actionable posts in the future.

Did you have a bad week? (Joke and hope all is well)


Anytime you see the phrase "Hugo boss and.. Suits" you know the guy is taking it over the top for fun.

  • Anonymous Monkey's picture
  • Anonymous Monkey
  • Rank: Chimp
Mar 29, 2014 - 5:39pm

You used the word entertainment in the title.

I'm not sure you know what that word means.

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Mar 30, 2014 - 12:37pm



Yeah this made me think he's never really traded before.

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

Mar 30, 2014 - 5:50pm

Simple As...:

I'm sure all those Nickelback concerts were fun.

Heyyyy hey I wanna be a rockstar

I hate victims who respect their executioners
Mar 30, 2014 - 6:39pm

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Of course, I would just buy in scales.


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