Do Traders have a high alcoholic Rate?

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by jsmooth, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. jsmooth


    I was in Chicago last week chatting with a floor trader from the CBOT and he said the Bar next to the CBOT was the busiest bar in all of downtown chicago (they service the most hard liquor and beer in the city). and he said it's not unusual to see traders drinking at 9-10am. I also went to a private baptist college in the south and they encouraged finance majors to not go into trading/market maker careers because they claimed it to be too stressful and they said there was a high risk of alcoholism....then i thought about it, and my drinking habits have really picked up after i started trading full time. Seems like i always need an extra dry martini at 3:05 pm to calm me down from the stress and excitment of the trading day. And all day i constantly think about making money. But despite all of this, this is truely the greatest job someone could have.

    "i trade stocks because it gives me a reason to say 'SHIT' every few hours; without that, life would just be boring"
  2. logikos


    Don't blame the trading for your drinking. Talk to various people working in traditional white collar jobs as an employee and you will see stress too. Companies stretching their employees to the max.

    I trade full time and don't drink at all. I used to drink all the time before I became a trader. Drinking may calm your nerves for a time, but slows your mind down and you feel like crap the next day. Since you feel like crap, you trade poorer than usual which raises your stress level again. You drink again, and the full cycle completes.

    In my office I have a treadmill. I get on it every other day and run for an hour. You wouldn't believe how much better it is in relieving stress than a vodka. Plus it keeps you looking good as you grow older.
  3. mcurto


    Someone has to provide liquidity to the worldwide futures markets on a daily basis and who better to do that than a bunch of drunk Irish, Italian, and Jewish guys in Chicago. Ceres (in the CBOT) can be quite a busy place for the Eurex shift guys at 9am or so after a busy early morning trading. All joking aside, I have found working out every once in awhile can take the edge off a little better than drinking (tend to only drink weekends). I definitely agree with what those have said above, it is tough to trade when tired and hungover, you are not nearly as quick, which is key these days.
  4. FredBloggs

    FredBloggs Guest

    naaah - its taken out of context by those who know nothing of the business.

    i know several 'old timers' who are in their 50' and 60's and are still pro market makers, brokers and fund managers. they are always having a drink at 10:30 - 11ish.

    thing is, they start their day at 6:30 - 7:00 am - a lot earlier than youre 9-5 er, so this 'early drinking' is in fact their lunch hour.

    dont forget that lunch time drinking was the way it was always done 'back then' - especially in an industry like finance where such a lot of it is done by relationships and who you know/socialize with.

    its just the bane of these modern times that all these 'politically correct do-gooders' have to spoil our civil liberties and PERSONAL FREEDOMS with their holier than thou attitudes that are the ruin of modern day life, and the drinks industry.

    also - when you get really used to doing the same thing day in day out, trading, broking, etc comes quite mechanical and you do it without really thinking much anyway - so so what if youve had a drink, as long as youre not off youre rocker and can still sit down without falling off your chair!!

    high octane scalping on the screen is probably the only exception to this though.

    i know loads of guys who would trade and make bucket loads after a good night out or a good lunch hour.
  5. I drink a beer or two maybe once a month and only because i really like the taste with a fine steak. Otherwise, i don't drink at all. I used to drink red wine for health reasons but could not stand the acidity. Too much info. right? lol

    Alcoholics must equate drinking into their trading style--not the physical aspect but chemical desire. I don't know of any that can sustain a long successful trading career. Casual drinking is different but if you cannot go several days without a drink then you will ignore your trading when you must focus and concentrate. Like i said, i don't know any profitable alcoholic traders so my opinion is somewhat limited.

    Interesting thread. Thanks.
  6. FredBloggs

    FredBloggs Guest

    i think there is a big difference between being a drunk, and having a drink or 2 during or after the day.

    (besides, the usa has a dry drunk for a president - so if you can drink and be president, why not a trader?? :D)
  7. when I lived in Chicago and talked to locals the word was
    the CBOT ethnic mix was mainly

    so was their addiction to substances defined based on cultural/ethnic lines.
    Jews seldom get drunk but LOVED coke, pot etc
    Irish drink like fish
    and the Italians did BOTH and more :)
  8. Hey I Have been bartending in an upscale restaurant for 10 yearsin one of the wealthiest towns in the country. Most of my regulars consists of Brokers, traders, CEO's, and some of the wealthiest people in America. I am amazed at how rampant alcoholism is in our society. So many otherwise successful people are wasting a good part of their lives away getting drunk and talking to plain old me. You would not believe how bad it is.
  9. logikos


    Hey, here's another take on drinking and success.

    There has been a study, believe it or not, on drinking and a person's tendency to become wealthy and successful. It found that people who are successful and wealthy tend to be drinkers moreso than those who are not successful.

    No mention was made whether street bums were included in this study! <g>

    Here are some of my thoughts on these results:

    1) The stresses of success cause drinking behavior.

    2) Drinkers, especially alocholics, may have lower moral standards than straight-laced counterparts, and may participate in unethical business practices that boost their wealth.

    3) Drinkers are just wired differently than non-drinkers, including being risk-takers, and this personality trait causes them to take more risks in their personal life (drinking) and their career, which may lead to larger monetary rewards.

    4) An alternative to #2, the wealthy person gained his success and riches at the expense of others, and drinks to mask guilt associated with his shadiness.

    Then again, this can all be just a bunch of rubbish!
  10. Maybe if you didnt think about this all day when you trade, you'd be less stressed out. Whether you made or lost on the trade, your stress level should remain the same. If you have a solid trading strategy, you accept the losers because you know the winners will come.

    Now if I didnt have a viable edge when I traded, then thats what would cause me the most stress.

    #10     Sep 10, 2005