floor trader

Pro revenge by whistle blowing.

(long story)

One of my first jobs out of college wasn’t really a true job. I interviewed at a proprietary trading firm and was offered a job as one of their traders. Looking back, it was naive to join such a firm and this was right before the ‘08 crash. They sold themselves as being pro traders and all you had to do was put up some capital which got added to the group’s pooled fund. After that, you went through training and once the boss thought you were ready, you would 'go live’ with your trading account. There were no paychecks, but you did get to keep most of your profits. Later on, I learned that the bosses of such groups made money by either taking a cut from your profits or by taking a fee from your traded volume. This group skimmed from both sides taking 15% from your profits and a fee from your trading volume which came out to about $1.5 every 100 shares traded.

For months, I spent time learning from the “Pros,” and then I began to realize along with some of the other newbies, that the only person making money was the boss. The turnover for new traders was high. Some people lasted a month, others a year or two. As I got to know people around the office, I began finding out that very few made any money at all. The boss was a micromanager and watched the risk monitor for his group like a hawk. If you hit -$50 in a day, you were locked out and couldn’t trade anymore throughout the day. Also, you were limited to trading stocks up to $40 per share with a max size of 200 shares. It was very difficult to make a living trading like this.

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Ascendance of a Bookworm – 037

The Merchant’s Guild

Currently, I am being held in Benno’s arms as we make our way to the Merchant’s Guild. Originally, I was making every effort to walk there myself, but Benno started to get fed up with my walking speed. “So slow! This is a waste of my time,” he said, and picked me up. Then, he started ranting on and on about the importance of time, which I had no real way to argue against.

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Stock workers took a break outside the New York Stock Exchange after a computer glitch halted trading, July 8, 2015. A software update installed last night at the exchange is suspected of causing the shutdown.

Exchange officials ruled out hackers for the glitch, saying on Twitter, “the issue we are experiencing is an internal technical issue and is not the result of a cyber breach.”

Floor traders milled about inside the exchange, with a few going outside to Wall Street, while officials tried to get systems back up and running.

The glitch is the latest to hit the exchange in the past few years, underscoring how reliant traders have become on software. The unexpected trading outage lasted over three hours before trading resumed.