any ex-open outcry traders?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by grasshopper, Dec 16, 2001.

  1. i put this post up earlier but on an inappropriate/different thread...anyway,

    im 32 and have been trading in the pits since '90...futures, options, arbing, spreading...most of the time for prop derivatives houses, but for the last few years on my own (as a 'local' futures scapler/spreader). i make a pretty decent and very consistent living and thus find it hard to break away from the familiarity of the floor. i thrive, inpart, because i am fast, loud and can handle reasonable size.

    my style: i purposely dont use technicals (though i respect them) or read news/fundamentals. i do like to read the pit and place my bets accordingly. my style is high volume (3-10% of pits volume) and quick entry/exit in volatile products. i dont beleive in listening to others advice, or black boxes or any other hocus pocus- just discipline and knowing when to run with/break from the herd.

    that said, im tiring (though i love it) of the sweating, arguing, shouting, slogging and wonder how i can leverage my trading discipline/experience off the floor. my hearing stinks and my voice is always hoarse.

    i used to worry about it (going off the floor), now i, starting to look forward to it as a challenge in rewiring my trading...esp since every year that goes by, i realize that the most important trading skills arent specific to the floor, they apply in any trading arena.

    i'd like to know what experiences and learning curves any ex-openoutcry traders out there have had going to a different platform (i.e. electronic/screen based trading)

    specifically, questions like....what is the best way to make a break from the status quo?
    are there any products that you think suit my style?
    join a house again to learn the intricacies work it out on my own? wht platforms on which exchanges give a trader 'edge'?

    ...the questions are countless. ive even though about becoming a trading mentor or just getting out all together and semi-retiring (doubtful ill be able to stay idle). the money is still important but not as motivating as it used to be.

    any insight or recommendations are appreciated.
  2. I've never been a floor trader but have witnessed the transition of an exchange from open outcry to electronic, which is maybe a little relevant to you.

    Some of the brokers set up electronic trading rooms to cater for the locals, and they were initially packed to capacity. Within 6 months only a couple of ex-locals (out of maybe 50) remained. They found out the hard way what they were doing on the floor didn't work in an electronic market place.

    The ones who survived tended to be option market makers where there was a definable edge, and guys who adapted by lengthening their time frame and learning new techniques.

    Maybe you could try to make the transition slowly, eg trade the eurex during the morning to develop new skills and the floor in the afternoon. As for platforms, doubt that any give you an edge over another, the retail guy with IB sitting in his bedroom has just as much chance as the local with a globex terminal sitting in a broker's office.

    Hope this helps a bit.