Bright Trading class

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by swingtrader101, Feb 4, 2002.

  1. I attended Bright's week long day trading class in Las Vegas that ended on Friday, Feb 1st. It was held at their company headquarters and was taught by Bob and Don Bright and Earl Alstyne.

    From an earlier posting here (which I cannot find now!) I learned enough about the class content to pique my interest. I was a commodity broker / S & P index trader back in the mid 80's and then got out of the game and went a different direction. I've been trading a retail account at home for about one year now, first at NDB and now at IB. Although I have been making money my learning curve is not what I want it to be. I have friends who are retail traders, read several books recommended here at ET and eavesdropped on the chatrooms but am having trouble putting it all together. I like the concepts in Douglas's book 'Trading in the Zone', about finding an edge and trading it over and over to grind out a profit, but didn't have an edge that I felt comfortable trading. :confused:

    So I signed up for their class, hoping to get two things...

    1. an edge
    2. enough information to make a decision on whether to go pro or get serious at home.

    I had reservations about going pro, primarily concerns about the trading environment and some recent posts on ET where some traders feel that "trading is a young man's game" (I'm not). :(

    The students were a diverse group; mostly men (maybe 3 women), some have been trading for years while at least one has never traded, there were young people and retired folks. As were the traders at Bright, some young, some old and everything in between, some experienced, some not.
    The class was well organized and had several Q and A sessions. Don, Bob and Earl made the class fun. They have something like 70 years of experience between them, and the name of the game is to identify and exploit an edge. Four hours a day doesn't sound like much but they covered a lot of information and I don't think that any of us retained it all. I took some notes that I'll be reviewing again.

    And the edge? We discussed several of them. Some edges involve a strategy, such as the placing of automated opening orders where you enter both buy/sell orders premarket. And some edges are gained by the use of tools, like bullets and conversions. I'm anxious to try them out and adopt one or two that I feel most comfortable with, given my personality.

    My decision? I'm going to join up with Bright. As a pro I get some very useful tools that I don't have access to now. And I liked the traders I met and the professional atmosphere in their Vegas office. When I was a broker we had a good, supportive office environment and for me trading at home just isn't the same.

    I realize that I haven't covered much, and I could go on for hours. But I'm busy studying for my Series 7 amongst other things and am feeling some time pressure. If you have some questions ask and I'll try to answer them.
  2. Swingtrader,

    What tools will you have access too with Bright that you can't access now? Will you have to pay your own exchange fees (professional rates) in addition to the desk fee? Thanks for any response.
  3. exce26


    You will be charged exchange fee, ECN fee & commision.
  4. are similar to Swingtrader's. And I came away from the class with two very distinct options (retail vs. pro)where before there had only been one (retail). ANd yes, I came away from the class with some tools that are useful to me as a retail trader.

    As far as joining Bright's traders as a professional, when I was there they didn't offer the "Bright@home" option yet and trading out of one of their offices, unfortunately, wasn't possible for me for logistical reasons. However, now that Bright@home has been launched I need to take another look at the "pro" option.

    I can't write for Swingtrader, but I'll bet he would agree that one comes away from Bright's school with the notion that they really, really want their traders to make money. I wrote about this in the broker review I did on Bright a few months ago on the Elite Trader board so I won't repeat myself here.

  5. My day got off to a great start... I went to log on this morning and - surprise - no internet access. AT&T Broadband's phone recording, "We are experiencing connectivity problems in your area...". Up again in about an hour and a half. The last time they went down due to a local transformer malfunction it was five days before they were up again. My only available backup? A phone line with a 56K modem. This more than anything has pushed me towards daytrading as a means of risk control. Hence my handle as 'Swingtrader' has become a misnomer.


    "Pro tools that I don't have now"

    The ability to place premarket opening orders as discussed on the ET Trading Forum. I can't simultaneously place a buy and a sell order on the same stock in my retail account.
    This goes along with the 'capital edge'. Say I place 20 opening only orders. I will likely only get 2, 3, or 4 fills. But since I could conceivably get filled on all 20, the retail broker would want that possibility covered before accepting my order (even if he could).

    1000 shares X 20 stocks X $50 average/share X just 1 side of the (buy/sell) = $1,000,000

    At a Bright I'm covered at $0 charge for intraday use of firm capital.

    Bullets/conversions: These have been covered at length here in this forum. A lot of the momentum plays are on the short side and what an advantage it can be to go 'short' on a downtick.

    There are several other edges, one of which is an education edge. It helps me to be around successful traders, and I can also learn from people's mistakes as well. And to have access to people who have been Market Makers and Floor Brokers with their understanding of market mechanics... what is that worth?!

    "Will you have to pay ECN fees..."

    I believe that Bright's fees have also been well covered on this forum. When I start out I will be paying the maximum commission of 1 cent per share, as my trading volume will be low. That applies to either listed stocks or Nasdaq. They go down with volume and/or length of stay with the firm. There are no other fees, ECN or otherwise. Exchange fees are covered in the $400 month desk fee.


    Yes, the Bright's do want their traders to make money. They make far more profit from a profitable trader doing size than from someone who is only around for a few months.

    As you know, each trader in the office is independent. None of them owe me anything. I cannot walk in there with a sense of entitlement. I didn't get to meet many traders as most of them were gone by the time our class met each afternoon. But I did meet a few, and they were happy to answer some questions in the little time we had. They liked the firm, why else would they stay there? And based on their experience they offered some advice for me starting out. Once I get there I'll meet people, make some friends and learn a lot more. And for the first few months I'll be working with the office manager as well. But most of what I learn will be through my own trading and the effort I put into it. In the final analysis it is up to me.
  6. Just a point...we do not charge any ECN fees due to our economies of scale we can absorb them. Everyone pays the other fees.

    Thanks for the good words about the make some $$$ :)
  7. Atlanta


    I also attended the Bright Trading Class in Las Vegas that ended on Feb 1st.

    Just as they had advertised, unlike other trading classes I’ve taken or even taught myself, theirs actually exposed me to a few new things instead of rehashing the same material you can find on atleast 50 daytrading books on the shelves of a barnes and noble.

    Here are some of my thoughts for anyone thinking of attending the next one or opening an account with them.

    First I’ll break down what we actually did for the week incase anyone is interested in what exactly went on. As swingtrader101 said, the classes are all taught by Don, Bob, and Earl. He was not kidding when he said these guys have about 70 year’s experiences between them. They have seen it all, the crash, the bubble, fixed rate commissions, etc.

    The first and probably most surprising thing about the class was the EXTREME emphasis on tape reading instead of chart reading. About the only chart they refereed to most of the week was the tick chart on the spoos. For the most part, the class was a, “look this is what we are going to teach because this is the stuff that is making our traders money class”. In other words it was big on the basics.

    This was in large contrast to the classes or presentations I have seen or taken part in elsewhere that emphasize charting techniques, interpretation of the level II, or other methods of trading (mostly technical stuff) that worked fine in the “gravy days” but don’t work so well anymore.

    Anyway on the first day they got the basics out of the way. The class was full and they actually had go get more chairs from upstairs. (The first day covered: terminology, orderflow, otc/nasdaq vs. listed stocks, trade throughs, history of the firm….etc, etc. They ended with a Q and A which they did everyday.

    Day 2. The second day they got into fair value calculations, and open only orders. Ok, before I finished the class this would have caused me to yawn upon seeing it on the curriculum for the week because despite trading about 100 or so thousand shares a day for the last few years, the only time I paid attention to fair value was when CNBC was mentioning it, and I had never done an open only order in my life. The firm I was at didn’t even the capability to them. When I taught new traders how to trade, if someone had asked me about them I would have something, like….. “open what? Fade the open or don’t trade it”. On top of that, everyone at my last firm traded nasdaq’s with the exception of some of the NYSE techs (emc, glw, ter, etc.)

    Well, without being overly dramatic, I was pretty much blown away. I say blown away because I’ve been to a fair amount of classes/seminars on daytrading at a couple of different firms and nobody had spent any time at all on open only orders, and after you learn how they work it becomes immediately apparent that if you are not currently doing them you are missing statistically the best trades of the day.

    The day closed with their Director of Trader Development talking about the different players in stocks (mutuals, specialists, professionals, program traders, etc.) and how you can use the tape (prints) to spot them and get an idea about what they are doing.

    Day 3-4. Days 3 and 4 kind of ran together because they split the class in two and let us come in and watch the open. Earl Van Alstyne (their development guy) spoke again on psychology which was great, but the best part was that he has traded about everywhere, exchanges, option pits, electronically, etc. He has that Art Cashin type personality that allows him to educate with a unique sense of wallstreet humor.

    At this point, most of us were coming in with fair value calculations for the open. (not the cnbc thing they go on and on about, but where value is and where stocks should open with regard to it). So we spent a little more time with that and then we got down to strategies, the absolute best again being the open only orders on the NYSE that in 3 years I never even heard about as a tradable strategy.

    Two traders that trade in the Vegas office then spoke, one a pairs trader who talked about that, and the other was the manager out there, who like myself used to trade nasdaq stocks somewhat unsuccessfully and now is tearing it up with NYSE’s. Again the day ended with Q and A, then they took everyone out for Dinner.

    Day 5. This was the rap up day. They handed out a “duck list” which would have helped me significantly when I first started to traded and they took questions on strategies us in the class might have used. In addition to that broke down very clearly the reasons to trade as a professional instead of at home (I should point out they are letting people trade from home though…as far as I remember this is a fairly new thing for them).

    In addition to the topics I mentioned, they also had an advanced class going on downstairs. (once you have paid for the class, you are allowed to come back anytime for additional training, and there were a few people their, including two managers at the time that were doing just that.).

    As with swingtrader, if anyone has any questions, fire away, this is my first time posting here (Don mentioned one day that he been posting here for a few months so I checked it out this weekend). I will say this if you are trade a lot of volume, I have not seen anyone that can touch these guys as far as commissions go. At my last place I traded at the so-called same rate as the owner…less than a penny per share, but I still paid ecn fees, soes fees, selectnet fees (boy I hated that POS system), etc. The last time I last place was still charing 50 cents for redi cancels. For cancels!!! doesn't sound like much....that's probably 75 bucks a day for some hyper traders just on cancels. :-(

    Here at Bright I’ll be saving about 120,000 on commissions this year if I did the same volume I used to, but I actually expect to do more, because here scalping is more viable and pairs type trading become a lot more viable.

    Also, previously I know this place has been known as anti-nasdaq. They aren’t really anti-naz they are just pro NYSE’s because there are so many advantages (price improvement!!!!) to trading them.

    anyway, those are my thoughts about the training class. I haven't been with them long enough to comment on office specifics. Great class though.


  8. Dustin


    Thanks for the seminar breakdown's guys...I made my reservations today to attend the Feb 25th session.

    Vegas Baby!
  9. rcreal


    Don (or anyone else), please post the times for the March training class.

  10. March 18 is the next class after Feb.
    #10     Feb 8, 2002