Algo traders; How do you describe what you do to friends?

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by Baywolf, May 3, 2008.

  1. Baywolf


    Hi all,

    I primarily work on a few of my own ATS'. But I have always found a little frustrating describing exactly what I do to others when the topic arises. I have to wonder if there is a better way to describe what we do than the way I am describing it. It usually plays out something like the following...

    Girl acquaintance: So what do you do for a living?

    Me: I have a day job at a software company, but the bulk of my income is from trading commodities and equity futures.

    Acquaintance: Ah cool! your a daytrader.

    Me: Sort of. I don't actually execute the trades myself. I write software that trades for me. Some call it algorithmic trading or automated trading. Sort of a subset of daytrading if you will.

    [Sometimes a disconnect happens about here. They cant picture software acting on its own, without human intervention, I guess]

    Acquaintance (either intrigued or confused): What? How does the software know when and what to trade?


    So the conversation either ends right there with disinterest, or turns into a longwinded technical explanation of basic ATS concepts (another turnoff I guess). Unless its a guy, who "wants in on it". I am thinking I may just forget the whole explanation and just say, yes, I am a daytrader. But I thought I might get some of your guys approach on how you present your profession.

  2. rosy2


    program all day
  3. doh! someone needs help talking to girls:D

    but seriously, just keep it as simple as their level of interest dictates. i just tell people i'm a stock trader.
  4. Lolz - I was gonna say that - whenever I tell people I'm a trader they think I mean stock broker.

    OP - dude just tell them you're a trader or a hedge fund manager - no need to get technical - unless you get off on that - but it sounds you don't.

    I mean you DO trade after all.

  5. yeah that's the only thing i make sure to clarify. i make sure they understand that i don't have clients and i don't deal with people or make calls. i let them know i have 3 monitors in front of me and i go to work in shorts and a t-shirt lol.
  6. Drew07


    I've come across this a lot lately having just graduated college. This is how most conversations (mostly with girls) go.

    Oh so what are you going to do?

    Do you know anything about futures & commodities markets?


    Ok, do you know anything about the stock market?

    Kind of.

    Okay, I'm going to make short term speculative trades in the stock markert.

    (Confused look)

    (giving up) I'm going to be a stockbroker.

    Oh! My sister's husband's best friend is a stockbroker!

    After a few months of this I've learned that just replying "stock broker" saves some time and confusion.
  7. monte4


    well if you want to explain your job with its IT details, you can always use a chessmaster or deepblue example. and since they are superior programs and they can beat people easily, this also makes your description more exiting and makes you looker cooler =).
    well you are programming some kind of trademaster in the end =).
  8. Just say you are an international speculator.

  9. tell them you're a "Quant".
    Sounds impressive, then send them to Wilmott Forum and that will impress em even more !
  10. Not really a problem.

    he: "I am a trader."

    she: "So tell me what is that like?"

    he: "I write algorithmic programs that help implement my logic forged from years of staring at multiple monitors and take away the emotional factors thus helping me to mechanically extract small to large profits from the commodities markets"

    she: (blank look)

    he: "Need another drink?"
    #10     May 4, 2008