What I do for a living.

It is a natural progression in most conversations. What do you do for a living? No one actually calls it a living in my generation; we have the government and our parent’s basements to insure we live. I prefer, what do you want to be when you grow up? My response is I provide liquidity. To the untrained mind, which is the mind commonly found in bars, I am the equivalent to a drug dealer. It is a sketchy professional description, I understand. Know your audience, blah, blah and blah.

If the conversation continues, I explain my job as a future trader is to stabilize prices. I help determine a price in the future, today. Talking about the S&P 500 index does not do much good. I resort to talking about corn or oil, everyone eats and most people have flown before. I explain that without me and others like me, businesses would not be able to set prices. They would go bankrupt or the consumer would not know the price till they were at the cash register or prices would be much higher. I recently had an excruciating conversation and went to great lengths to explain what futures are. I had props for goodness sake, I was the Carrot Top of futures trading for about 30 minutes. I attempted to explain that the cost of goods sold can fluctuate over time. If you buy a plane ticket 6 months in advance the margins can change depending on the price of fuel. An airline will buy futures, assuming they have the cash to do so. If the price of fuel rises they will make money in futures, either actual cash settled or physically delivered cheaper than market prices. I admit for the first 6 months I did not even know what I did.

Thank goodness for the Iphone and youtube. From now on I am just going to show them this video.

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One Response to What I do for a living.

  1. […] someone asks what I do, I usually just tell them I work in finance.  I will explain it a little further if they keep […]

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