What makes trading different.

My resilience and not taking no for an answer has allowed me to meet unique people.  I managed to get one of the very first e-mini traders to be my mentor who learned from one of the best independent traders of all time.  He probably wont like me telling this story but I remember him shaking getting ready to propose to his now wife.  His ice maker handle was stuck in the up position and he did not have any ice for the champagne and I had to run down to the liquor store to get more before she got home from work. I have mentors that have been on countless hours of financial news networks, opening scene of Too Big to Fail, authors,  members of the CME board, Pit committee members, trader turned movie maker, friends that helped put the current president in the office,  and people whose family funded things that have changed the world.  All traders.

I remember picking up lunch that cost $30 and getting to keep the change on $100.  I remember getting invited to lunch and not wanting to go because I did not have the money to pay for my portion and being told it didn’t matter.  I remember going through a tough time and be given $500 to hang some pictures and get through the month.  They knew I would not have taken the money outright.  When I was basically sleeping in my car, they refused to let me trade until I had stable housing.  I remember being told to take time off when my mother died.  Being told that the market will always be there.  I remember them telling me again the market will still be there after I realized I had not dealt with it.  I remember buying lunch because it was my turn and being slipped a few hundred bucks the next day because I couldn’t afford it.  I forgot how many times I have been told to stop being an idiot or you made a mistake but it will be ok or if you keep making that mistake you can’t be a trader.  Countless other times when they forced me to tell them what was bothering me. My trading family knows more about me them my family and friends.  We are bonded by one goal, continuing to become better. I have dealt with other peoples death, divorce, sick children, illness, and just about everything.

Trading is special, traders are special.  There are many stories that will never be told how a trader helped another trader.  How a trader sacrificed money for another trader.  How a trader prevented another trader from blowing up or missing a mortgage payment or going hungry. One of the stories that you may have heard is when trader’s family was flying to Michigan and the plane went missing.  The trader was flying up later.  When he came back, after his family was safe, the pit stopped trading to clap for him.  That is one of the more dramtic stories but there are many similar stories that go untold.

Yes, trading is about creating wealth but there are many times when people come before profits. Those times didn’t make great stories but that does not mean they do not exist, often.  When there is money involved there are always going to be nefarious people but my experience is that traders take care of  each other.

If you have story, please share it in the comment section.

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  • Corbin

    Really like you posts. I have only been trading a few months but have been studying studiously for over a year. I would to know how you went about seeking a mentor? Thanks for your words and sharing your experiences.

    • Thank you for the comment and reading. People, I have found, are always willing to help if you listen, do the things you say you are going to do, and show up on time. 

  • Corbin

    Really like you posts. I have only been trading a few months but have been studying studiously for over a year. I would to know how you went about seeking a mentor? Thanks for your words and sharing your experiences.

  • 1234

    Great story.  All so very true.  The people in my floor broker firm are like family to one and other, despite the screaming/yelling/cursing that ensues during the day. They look out for each other, especially those coming up that are eager to learn. When somebody is granted an opportunity to get on the trading floor/trading desk, they MUST take advantage…because if you are successful, the helpful attitude slows down. 

    I remember the days of being handed $100 bill for food that wasn’t more than $30, and being looked at like I was crazy for offering the change back. Those were good times. That, and many other ways that I was looked after (and still am, in some ways) is now being passed on in how I treat the young guys. 

    I can’t count how many times something has happened to a trader/family member/friend and seen the guys in the pit just reach in their pockets and collect a few thousand in just a couple minutes. 

    The trading community is a family for sure. Just try not to piss anybody off, because they are as ruthless as they are caring.

    • Yes that best explains it, “ruthless as they are caring”.  Thanks for sharing your experience. 

  • Carl

    Dang, your trading family situation makes me feel like an orphan. I’m totally independent and self taught, working on networking IRL with traders. Either way, it’s all about how your picks end up doing.

    • Create your own then. People will leave you even if your picks are good but it is harder to leave a community.  When building a network those two things are equally important. 

  • I have seen some amazing feats of charity.  A bunch of Jewish traders got together once and bought a jet for the Israeli Air Force.  I can’t remember a week where I didn’t write a check to a charity on the floor.  

    I also have seen traders do amazing things at the expense of themselves. Stand down on a trade and let another guy get it so they could survive the next day.  

    Once, I was short around 100 hogs.  I saw a guy sell 500.  There was a big sell order above the market the broker immediately began offering.  When the guy sold his 500, I had laid my position off in another market.  I looked at him and said, “Buy them, I will figure a way out.”.  He did.  The market went limit bid.  Took me a couple of days but I got out of my position.  Made money too. 

    There is karma in pit trading.  No karma on the screen.

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9 Responses to What makes trading different.

  1. Corbin says:

    Really like you posts. I have only been trading a few months but have been studying studiously for over a year. I would to know how you went about seeking a mentor? Thanks for your words and sharing your experiences.

    • Eradke says:

      Thank you for the comment and reading. People, I have found, are always willing to help if you listen, do the things you say you are going to do, and show up on time. 

  2. Corbin says:

    Really like you posts. I have only been trading a few months but have been studying studiously for over a year. I would to know how you went about seeking a mentor? Thanks for your words and sharing your experiences.

  3. 1234 says:

    Great story.  All so very true.  The people in my floor broker firm are like family to one and other, despite the screaming/yelling/cursing that ensues during the day. They look out for each other, especially those coming up that are eager to learn. When somebody is granted an opportunity to get on the trading floor/trading desk, they MUST take advantage…because if you are successful, the helpful attitude slows down. 

    I remember the days of being handed $100 bill for food that wasn’t more than $30, and being looked at like I was crazy for offering the change back. Those were good times. That, and many other ways that I was looked after (and still am, in some ways) is now being passed on in how I treat the young guys. 

    I can’t count how many times something has happened to a trader/family member/friend and seen the guys in the pit just reach in their pockets and collect a few thousand in just a couple minutes. 

    The trading community is a family for sure. Just try not to piss anybody off, because they are as ruthless as they are caring.

  4. Carl says:

    Dang, your trading family situation makes me feel like an orphan. I’m totally independent and self taught, working on networking IRL with traders. Either way, it’s all about how your picks end up doing.

    • Eradke says:

      Create your own then. People will leave you even if your picks are good but it is harder to leave a community.  When building a network those two things are equally important. 

  5. I have seen some amazing feats of charity.  A bunch of Jewish traders got together once and bought a jet for the Israeli Air Force.  I can’t remember a week where I didn’t write a check to a charity on the floor.  

    I also have seen traders do amazing things at the expense of themselves. Stand down on a trade and let another guy get it so they could survive the next day.  

    Once, I was short around 100 hogs.  I saw a guy sell 500.  There was a big sell order above the market the broker immediately began offering.  When the guy sold his 500, I had laid my position off in another market.  I looked at him and said, “Buy them, I will figure a way out.”.  He did.  The market went limit bid.  Took me a couple of days but I got out of my position.  Made money too. 

    There is karma in pit trading.  No karma on the screen.

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