For Serious Traders from Don Bright

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by Don Bright, Oct 29, 2001.

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  1. Don,

    Welcome! You are a brave soul to share your "wisdom" with the professionals on this site. This board's audience is a little more astute than your classroom rookies though. Keep that in mind.

    Your posts provide tinder for a fire of debate. Your spin on things is always amusing. This spin pertains to Bright as much as anything else

    But there are things people should know about Bright Trading.

    Some of your points and some counter-points:

    You say: "We have grown to be the largest firm by being honest, fair, and reputable."
    Fact: You are not the largest firm by far. Schonfeld, for one, dwarfs Bright with over 1000 traders?

    You say: "We have been with the same clearing firm since 1978."
    Fact: Bright Trading has been with First Options so long for reasons other than stability. First Options bailed Bright out a long time ago--now Bright is forever wedded to them. Among other things, this means that Bright traders are stuck with REDI's stale, uninspired, and unreliable order entry system, and its woefully inaqequate infrastrucutre.

    You say: "What I find humorous, is how people are duped by other firms who claim that the software they offer is somehow better or different."
    Fact: The fact is, REDI is an OK platform--but only OK. But there are several better systems--ones that don't consistently go down virtually every week, ones that offer fast Nasdaq trading functionality, ones where a bug fix doesn't take 5 months, etc... What are these systems? Follow the bread crumbs of your departing traders.

    You say: "I know one firm that is mentioned often on this board that simply uses First Alert execution and puts their "brand" on that is just plain silly."
    Fact: You are referring to EchoTrade--they are the only firm using First Alert's Order Entry system--so why not just say it. And you don't like them because they left Bright to start their own shop--might as well add that too.

    You say: "First Alert quotes...come in either satellite or land lines, but they still cannot compete with the direct lines offered by Redi Plus.
    Fact: Although REDI's quotes are generally faster (roughly 400-500 milliseconds) than Hyperfeed's satellite feed, it is not unheard of for REDI's quote servers to be bogged down to a point where Hyperfeed's satellite quotes are happens far too much. On the other hand, Hyperfeed's T1 connection is right on par with direct feeds, but Bright is too frugal for T1 connections. Why is that? Are Bright's competitors just wasting their money of T1 feeds?

    You say: "We are in the position to pick and choose...who we clear with."
    Fact: Not by a long shot...See above

    You say: It's not that I am against the NAZ, it is that I am FOR the traders making money.
    Fact: You may be right, because when compared to Watcher, Gr8Trade, or Blackwood, REDI is not inducive to making money if you're a Nasdaq trader...neither is Bright's notoriously anti-Nasdaq culture.

    You say: "We use both [satellite and T1 data feeds] in some offices, T-1 in some, satellite in some.
    Fact: You use the relatively slower--and much cheaper--satellite feed in most offices.

    You say: We use....mostly redundant systems to help assure that we can get our trades executed.
    Fact: Where were those "redundant" systems this year? Ask any REDI user how often REDI has been down this year--and not only because of the 9/11 tragedy. Does Bright's redundancy consist of the web browser e-REDI site that routes orders to the same servers that go down so suprisingly often?

    You say: Our people pay a maximum of 1 cent per share, no tickets and NO pass throughs like ECN fees.
    Fact: Nasdaq rates are 1.25 cents are they not? Do you not know your own rates Don?

    You say: We only charge a desk fee to keep out the "non-traders"
    Fact: Is this fooling anyone?

    You say: Why go with the new firm [Echo, Van Buren, etc.] rather than the original?
    Fact: Why do you suppose these individuals left Bright? Was it a lack of reliable state-of-the-art technology? Was it because traders had to share a computer because Bright was too cheap to buy each trader their own? Was it because 25% of a trader's profits were kept from them for up to a year? etc, etc....

    You say: I defer to our website regarding capitalization...
    Fact: Hundreds of smart traders have been willing to choose smaller, more risk conscious, more trader oriented firms with far better technology--despite their smaller capital bases. There is a reason for this. Harbor Trading taught everyone a good lesson in risk control so capital is far less of an issue these days--only for giant traders who demand millions in overnight buying power.

    Don, I hate to sound argumentative and I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I believe people should be held accountable for what they say in business--and in life.

    Bright is a low-cost firm and does provide good buying power to those who need it. But competing on price is a loser's game--especially when bad technology costs you more than you save.

    Hopefully the above perspectives help people who are considering least to ask the right questions.

    Trade well...

    #31     Oct 30, 2001
  2. Shrine...thanks for voicing an honest sentiment. Let's talk about trading profitably, you know, fun stuff!!
    #32     Oct 30, 2001
  3. Hey, I'm not here to defend Don or Bright trading but you've made some, shall we say, slightly inflammatory statements with out providing any sources.

    For example, just how do you know that Bright is married to First Options? A bailout "a long time ago." I mean, just where do you come up with this kind of "fact." For all I know, your assertion MAY be correct but will you please back it up?

    You also wrote:
    Among other things, this means that Bright traders are stuck with REDI stale, uninspired, and unreliable order entry system, and its woefully inadequate infrastructure.

    I worked with the REDI software at Bright's LV office and it is not what you've written. There was no down time, the trader I worked with got really, really fast executions, and REDI has a very nice GUI. Easy to learn, easy to operate and it gets the job done quite nicely.

    You also wrote this "fact":

    Fact: You are referring to EchoTrade--they are the only firm using First Alert's Order Entry system--so why not just say it. And you don't like them because they left Bright to start their own shop--might as well add that too.

    Where did this nugget of wisdom come from? Bright has never written anything negatave about his feelings for Echo as far as I know. I believe he referred to them as a spin off, but what's so disingenuous about that?

    There were other "facts" that I believe were also a bit disingenuous and I hope Bright takes the time to address them. I only ask you to refrain from"opinion" and get to the facts...the *real* facts. you know, the kind that can be backed up.

    Your post comes across more as an agenda rather than a factual list of Q & A's. for Gods sake man, if what you assert in your post is REALLY true, please get us the information to back it up. You would be doing your fellow traders a real favor.

    About that $600 desk fee...let's compare it to what a retail trader (that;s me) pays. First, I pay $200 a month to MY ISP#1 for a 128k dedicated line. I pay ISP #2 another $49 for multilink when I need it. It 's $69 a month for Starband and another $100 for the squawk box service. After that, it is $360 to RealTick for my data. Hell, I'm already WAY over the $600 that Bright charges for virtually the same stuff. I think the $600 is a real deal!

    Okay, now for the disclaimer: I went to one of Bright's week long
    seminars and learned some stuff that has helped me formulate strategies that make money for me, as a retail trader. So here's a fact for you: Bright REALLY WANTS their traders to make money...lots of money and when they do, so does Bright. Man, I can't find anything wrong with that!

    Best regards,
    Jim Beckmeyer
    (and yes, that IS my real name) :)

    PS-Before I'm asked "if Bright is so damn good, why aren't you trading with them" one answer boils down to logistics. I am so far away from their nearest office that when an older man asked me one day what I do for a living, and I replied stock-trader, he asked "what kind?" Guernsey or Angus? (not kidding)
    #33     Oct 30, 2001
  4. Mr. Beckmeyer,

    Sorry to inflame you so. :)

    You are right to a degree. Sources add to credibility and I wish that more written sources were available to corroberate the few points that require it.

    Nonetheless, a little research on your own will validate each of the points you question. The additional points below may help further clarify.

    #1: "How do you know that Bright is married to First Options?"
    A: Bob Bright's 1987 debacle is common knowledge among those that traded with him back then, and among those in certain clearing-industry circles. If you want footnotes, start making some telephone calls.

    #2: "I worked with the REDI software at Bright's LV office and it is not what you've written."
    A: Perhaps, you have not worked with it long enough. For every hour you've used it, there are likely 100's of trader-hours of downtime this year alone. REDI has over 20,000 users at last count.

    #3: "REDI has a very nice GUI."
    A: That is all personal preference. A great many would agree/disagree with you. What I take issue with is its reliability?

    #4: "Bright has never written anything negatave about his feelings for Echo as far as I know."
    A: Why would they?

    #5: "I believe he referred to them as a spin-off, but what's so disingenuous about that?"
    A: Nothing except for the fact that Echo has taken dozens of traders from Bright, costing them millions in present and future profits. Would you cuddle up to a "spin-off" competitor?

    #6: "I only ask you to refrain from"opinion" and get to the facts."
    A: See 1st Amendment.

    #7: "Your post comes across more as an agenda rather than a factual list of Q & A's."
    A: You are right. My agenda is to cast light on shady claims throughout the day-trading industry--whether by Bob Bright, you, or anyone else. This is it. I do not compete with Bright. There is nothing else to be gained but the goal of arming traders with the right questions to ask.

    #8: "I think the $600 [overhead charge] is a real deal!
    A: I didn't say it wasn't--only that it's true purpose is obvious--to recoup costs, not "to keep out the 'non-traders.'"

    #9: "Bright REALLY WANTS their traders to make money"
    A: Of course they do. No argument there. But they encourage traders to do things BRIGHT's way. That means that, for one, Nasdaq traders get the shaft. There's more than one way to make money in the market and Bright does not go out of their way to encourage these "alternative" ways. The side effect is that Bright's technology is rarely enough to meet any more than the needs of their core trading methodologies.


    #34     Oct 30, 2001
  5. tntneo

    tntneo Moderator

    See how 'easy' it is to push and have free (good or bad?) advertising.. not ! and that's fine.

    Although this is all interesting. you will always find someone not happy with a company, and maybe several. So we can keep going on like that or may try to talk about trading ideas which is the goal of this forum.
    If it is just me tired of the flaming, go ahead and continue. if others would like a chance to discuss ideas please, you're on.


    PS : some of the comments in the flaming are interesting though.
    Don, would you talk about the trading methodology you want your traders to use ?
    #35     Oct 30, 2001
  6. airspeed,

    Instead of you and John Davis going back and forth about the facts, I think we all should wait and see what Don's response is. After all, these are all questions directed to him. All of these things that John is saying, tons of traders at Bright have heard the same things. John Davis clearly traded at Bright's headquarters in Vegas, I am sure that his info is credible.

    I also would like to hear Don's response to Bright's rumored debacle in 1987. To Don, is it true or not true that First Options bailed them out for over 10 Million??? This could purely be rumor, but the best answer is to let Don tell us. Was there a bailout for any amount???

    Also, for you to say that Redi has no down time tells me that you have not used it in a long long time, I'm sure there are many other Redi users that can expand on this as well.

    Don - there are many questions you have not answered yet, please look over the earlier posts in this thread and respond. I think this is a great opportunity for you to help us seperate fact from fiction.

    Also Don or John Davis, is this a fake name or was there a John Davis that traded in the Bright LV office, and where do you trade now if you don't mind me asking?

    Awaiting Don's pearls of wisdom,


    PS - tntneo - I re-read Don's starting thread in this forum, he wanted to discuss proprietary firms and Bright, I think this is accomplishing what it was intended to. As this is many traders first chance to ask him directly about a lot of things, I am sure this Q & A will work itself out shortly, and he is also more than welcome to start a new thread about trading ideas. But I am sure many users are finding value in hearing about the truth or fiction about Bright, and Don is the best resource to answer these questions. I think this thread is great, and it takes a lot of courage for Don to be here. I think if he wants to talk about trading methodology, that should be in a new thread.
    #36     Oct 30, 2001
  7. tntneo

    tntneo Moderator

    TraderJimR, I think you are right. I also read Don trying several times to talk about trading since then.

    I only want to say that a thread going back and forth between two members usually inflames and becomes less interesting. I am not judging here, I only express what I think like anyone can here.

    However, it is true, and I agree with you Jim, we could start (he, or any member) another thread. And leave this thread running for 'clarifications'.

    #37     Oct 30, 2001
  8. I am preparing a response to all this, and will post it shortly. I will have a very interesting post up soon (I am sorry, but I am a bit busy trading today). But I feel compelled to say that it is absolutely untrue that anyone every bailed out Bright Trading for any amount of money, period! If you are referring to the "crash" of 1987, many of us were called upon to help support the overall marketplace. This included traders, trading firms, clearing firms, banks, and the Fed. I pride myself as being somewhat of a "historian" of the market (certainly old enough :) ... and some of the "inside scoop" of 87 is very interesting. Anyway, no one ever bailed out Bright Trading!

    Back Soon!
    #38     Oct 30, 2001
  9. Here is the long awaited response to the outrageous and the mundane comments about our firm. I would really like everyone to do me the courtesy of reading this (allow me a couple of less than kind comments), and pay attention to the last couple of paragraphs. Then, let's get back to trading!

    First off, thanks to Mr. Beckmeyer..for noticing that those items offered as "facts" are simply "sour grapes" from someone who could not qualify to trade with FOC or SLK (and why would anyone bash these excellent good, in fact that they were acquired by Goldman Sachs...and I suppose GS doesn't know what they're doing either).

    We would like to thank Echo for hiring an ex Bright Trader as their trainer for their recent training school in Vegas. Aly has always had the highest respect for us personally, and our Firm. He and I have just spoken, and I wish him the best. As they say, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"....and I hope to hear from Aly on the board.

    And thanks to JD for actually supporting much of what I have said that Echo is using the F/A order system. (added note: I just found out that F/A has not been posting the NX trades from the NYSE, which is very signicant...but being the "team player that I am, I have pointed that out, and they will have it fixed in a couple of months, per F/A).

    I will point out that I am not against Echo for being formed by ex Bright Traders, it is just the way they went about it. And when FOC/SLK would not clear them, they went elsewhere and then began bad mouthing not only us, but an excellent, reputable Clearing and trading organization.

    Thanks again for supporting me when you said "Although Redi's quotes are generally faster (roughly 400-500 milliseconds) than Hyperfeed's satellite feed..." And, as to not take you out of context, you cleverly point out that sometimes systems go down....well, yes they do, whose doesn't. Bright Trading has been the beta tester for F/A for years now, and we think they are fine, but they go down a lot more than Redi ever has. As far as what Bright's competitors are "wasting money on..." I can't really comment, since I am not privy to what they are wasting money on.

    You say we cannot "pick and choose" who we clear with...well, I must say that you have not been courted by nearly every firm on the street as we have. We choose to stay with the best, we think they are, and obviously Goldman Sachs thinks so.

    As far as our feeling about Nasdaq trading, we have only facts to go on. Most traders do better when they trade listed equities. And since you guys are attempting to teach people some of what we teach about trading, although not current, you seem to be of the same opinion. Heck, even Harvey Houtkin of All-Tech closed all his NAZ trading rooms (I don't need to mention all the other 50 or more NAZ firms now defunct). And, for the record, we allow our traders to trade whatever market they choose....most choose listed, and are doing better. As far as REDI's capabilities for trading NASDAQ, they have all the bells and whistles needed by real traders.

    Your "fact" about satellite in most offices is true, since we upgraded a year ago and found the satellite to be more efficient. Since we use REDI for quotes AND executions, we have the best of both worlds.

    As far as "redundancy" goes, we have REDI access in each office via the Internet, and we of course have phone links and cell capacity.

    Read This:::Yes, you are correct again, we do charge 1.25 cents for NASDAQ trades, but since very few traders bother with NASDAQ it is not really relevant. According to Echo's own pricing sheet they add "pass through" ECN fees that can amount to .40 or more, thus making their price much higher. We don't bother with that, and keep our fees all inclusive. We are, however, negotiating to bring that price down. It seems that many new traders need to be "weaned" off the NASDAQ before they can begin making money.

    Our "desk fee" is rebated back (plus some) to even our "average" traders, thanks for allowing me to point that out.

    You are right again about Harbor, but you failed to mention several other "risk conscious" firms competing with promises of better technology that wooed a few people away, but many came back when they found out the real truth.

    One point I wonder about..."bad technology can cost you more than you can save"...I agree totally, and that is why we constantly striving to keep the best available "stuff"...and, in fact, we now have our F/A technician here to upgrade things. They are responding to their biggest customer, and we thank them for that.

    Perhaps when F/A can assure us that their order entry system compares to Redi, then we may offer both to our traders. As I said, we are tired of "beta testing" software for vendors, we'll let some others do it...and if it offers anything of added value, we will adopt it...simple progress.

    As far as being argumentative, or "hurting my feelings" - well, un-truths and potentially libelous statements from desperate people simply make me smile. It may or may not be your fault, since I don't know who you have listened to. But, gee whiz, talk about an Agenda....WOW!

    I really wish that you and the people at Echo would take a page out of books of the other succussful firms, and at least show some respect for the firm you are trying to emulate, and really, we don't mind competition, as long as it is fair and honest.

    I hope the clarifications leave readers with an understanding of where we are coming from as a firm, and I hope that they will muddle through all the hype and nonsense when choosing the host of their career.

    I will close this long "rebuttle" by simply stating that I hope that our entire "fraternity" (and sorority) of professional traders can work together to keep America's markets strong and stable...wherever they choose hang their hat.

    Good Trading to all!!
    :) :)
    #39     Oct 30, 2001
  10. Don,
    If you can please respond to my question about Bright trading holding 25% of traders profits for a year. Is this still the case?
    #40     Oct 30, 2001
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