[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 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!***