I Have Been Trading Since Before The Internet-1990

Discussion in 'Trading' started by dsq, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. that means we are lucky thanks to the internet technology. but also we are not lucky since we get more participants, virtually any one can be a trader. everyone can access information almost at the same time, but in the old times, some people may get the information quicker than others. most people can work and occuasially peek to the quote and do trading!
    #31     Dec 17, 2007
  2. Oh geez, I guess I'll bite, LOL.

    My brother bought our first seat on the PSE Options floor in 1978.

    I came on in April 1979.

    Wake up at 3:30 to run option reports on our Options Research Scanner (Blair Hull's mainframe in S.F.). Scan all options exchanges to find best risk/reward play. Reports ran on an old Texas Instruments TI745 with cups for the Telephone receiver to hook into. Printed at 300 baud on heat sensitive paper (One long roll). I had to tear the sheets into various size reports, and then start making out option spread tickets to give to the clerks on the Exchange floor to call the other exchanges to place orders.

    Then go to the Pit for opening rotation. Fight with the guys over opening prices...who had the best volatility on their sheets... who had sheets, LOL.

    We set up the first booth phone to our equity floor next door. This helped us beat the other market makers to stock purchases. We started our own Bright Securities so we could execute our own equity trades.

    First ITS (Intermarket Trading System) terminal came into being so we could submit orders directly to the NYSE without local Specialist doing it. We had to "ok" any trade with local Specialist AND pick up a phone to "ok" our trade with the L.A. Specialist as well (fun of a dual floor). ONly when they both refused the order could we send to the NYSE. After a while, I just went straight to the ITS machine and told the Specialist..."if you want some too, let me know" - this eliminated the time delay and their front running me to NYSE.

    It goes on and on....enough for now. And, yes, quarters and halves etc. were pretty good...if we only knew then....etc.

    Oh yeah, I was online before the Internet with a thing called the Source, got me hooked on chat rooms (oh no, and I'm still here...aagghhh, LOL). For you youngsters, see below.

    OK, enough for now (for sure this time).


    The Source (Source Telecomputing Corporation) was the name of an early online service. One of the first online services to be oriented toward and available to the general public, The Source was in operation from 1979 to 1989, when it was purchased by rival CompuServe and discontinued sometime after. The Source, based in McLean, Virginia, was owned for most of its existence by Readers' Digest and Control Data Corporation.
    #32     Dec 17, 2007
  3. I can't beat that one.
    #33     Dec 17, 2007
  4. Nothing to "beat" here, just old I guess. It does allow us to bridge that gap between us old floor traders and the latest in technology, which I think has helped our traders over the years. I smile when I read how "daytrading" started in the mid 1990's. I could have sworn the NYSE Specialists have been "daytrading" for centuries, and I'm pretty sure we were doing it in the 1970's.

    And, after all these years, "the more things change, the more they stay the same." So much of the basics still apply, even when developing algo's etc.

    I still run into some guys from the floor(s) back then, and a few are trading with us now.

    OK, enough memory lane for this visit.

    #34     Dec 17, 2007
  5. Traded stock options and stock-index futures off of a Quotron from a Shearson, Lehman, office back in 1981.

    Options orders were sent via the branch key punch operator, stock-index futures were done over the phone as long as you did 5 contracts at a clip.

    Locals on the floor were making 2-sided markets all day long and scalping the "tick" making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

    Not a lot of floor population back in the day for indexes.

    #35     Dec 17, 2007
  6. bighog

    bighog Guest

    Think SP500 over the phone and $500.00 a handle. Think position trading grains seasonals. Think being short crude oil and wake up and some big refinery is in flames. Think of buying a ton of some stock that is tanking and next thing ya know is papers from some law house sending you a few dollars because the analysts on TV said it was a buy when they knew the jig was up, AHHH< the pain of learning curve. Think being stubborn and getting ass kicked. Think of dropping 9 grand in a day and the little Lady asks: Will it always be like this? Think telling her ya hope not. Think she flys the coup and marries a nuclear scientist for more security than a daytrader wannabe. think making every mistake possible and still soldiering on until it all gels.

    Think about paying a hell of a lot of dues. I figure i spent approx $300 grand until i finally "GOT IT"

    Good Luck in new year and keep it simple, simple works.
    #36     Dec 17, 2007
  7. LMAO
    #37     Dec 17, 2007
  8. Anyone remember those Teleregister CRT's
    #38     Dec 17, 2007
  9. Joab


    I've been trading since 1983 (started with a 8 inch green screen monitor) :D :D :D

    Up till about 7 years ago I would ONLY position trade, mostly because the costs of commissions just made daytrading too expensive for my style.

    I honestly believe that Day Trading is now the only way to trade as technology and fee's are FINALLY low enough to turn a substantial profit and make it worth the effort.
    #39     Dec 17, 2007
  10. I been around for a long while but have only been trading for 6 years. It's just mind boggling that the commisions were so high back then. Thanks for the story.
    #40     Dec 17, 2007