I Have Been Trading Since Before The Internet-1990

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

  1. dsq


    i remember if i wanted to make a graph of a stock that i just started to follow i would have to go the library and pull out as many backcopies of the wall st journal and get the daily price quote from there for each trading day.Then i would have to plot a graph later.Oh, those were the pre-historic days- i cant beleive it was just 13 yrs ago that you still had to do that...I remember my friend telling me to use a pencil for graphs for obvious reasons
    ....My quotrek received its signal from dbcc(data broadcasting)-i think.Dont know whatever happened to the quottrek ccompany altho i still used their device til 1998 i think.
    #51     Dec 26, 2007
  2. I'm thinking you just werent spending enough money.LOL. I didn't have to get the prices from Wall St. Journal 13 years ago. I forget who I was with at the time...maybe ESignal via satellite or something like that. But I could get historic prices. But in 1982 I subscribed to the Wall Street Journal, which I saved daily and had for years. I could do a daily chart from them as I needed to.
    #52     Dec 26, 2007
  3. cszulc


    Ahh, I remember going to library and hearding around those S&P stock books that had the charts with moving averages (ooohhhh) in the late 70s and early 80s when I first got interested in the market.
    #53     Dec 26, 2007
  4. I was in the US Army in 1967 - 1968, stationed in Virginia, hardly spoke English, when there was a major article in Playboy on commodities trading. I was already trading stocks but the article got me started in futures. I am one of 5 remaining charter subscribers to Futures Magazine (used to be called Commodities)

    Fired up by the article I have opened an account at DuPont Glore Forgan in Newport News, Virginia (why would they approve a GI with $175 a month income? but they did) and I promptly lost a bunch in egg futures.

    At that time I personally got many calls from members of the CME to solicit business from me. I don't think they would do it now :)

    I did not give up, studied the seasonals in grains and my trading turned around and a few years later I was able to impress the interviewer at ContiCommodities and they hired me as a commodity broker/salesman.

    In the late sixties we got the prices from newspapers and charted by hand.
    In 1969 I went to the Cocoa Exchange in NYC and asked them for some historical price info and they led me to a stand with a leather bound book which contained all the quotes to that day.

    In 1973 I was a broker at Shearson and my partner and I bought a Wang computer (the first non-mainframe computer on the market, cost 25K) It was the size of a desk with a memory of 64K. Our programmer entered data on punch cards but for live trading there was Quotron which had simple charting capability already. Our partnership fell apart (due to losses) and we gave the computer to our programmer who resold it for 2K only 6 months after we purchased it because the IBM PC came out and killed Wang.

    In the late seventies I traded from home and I had a hardwired Western Union Telegraph machine installed with a data feed from the Sugar and Coffee Exchange. This was a huge and noisy box 20"deep 24" wide 36" high, which printed on a wide paper, cost $70 per month. Later I replaced it with a ticker (I forgot the name of the company, Trans-Lux perhaps), that printed prices on a 1" wide thermal paper. I also had a direct line to one of the floorbrokers in the sugar ring.

    Options? They were no listed options. There was a tiny box ad or two in the WSJ from brokers quoting 5 or 6 actively traded stock options.

    In 79 I bought a membership on the Coffee and Sugar Exchange to save on commissions (retail commissions were like $35RT as opposed to clearing floor trades for around $2RT plus the shared salary of a clerk) and when I appeared in front of the Floor Committee they asked me what will I do for a living. I said I was a trader and I traded for a living. They were shocked because I was the first person there who did not support their trading with brokerage. Al those people came through the ranks, clerking first and brokering when they were ready.

    The guarantee for the floor permit was 100K but just after I bought my seat I lost a chunk and did not have the 100 so a clearing broker guaranteed me until I caught up. At some point, I think it was the crash of the gold/silver market, when some guys blew out big and they raised the guarantee to 1mil. After I left the floor in 83 the guarantee has been raised to unlimited, meaning that one would have to be a star trader with backing of a powerful clearing broker or be an employee of a big firm (with strict constrains) to step on the floor.

    I was away from trading for like 16 years and in that time trading evolved into a much easier and efficient deal for everyone. There is liquidity, cheap commissions and instant delivery of data plus cheap and ample computing power and instantaneous order placement.
    People should have nothing to moan about but they do.

    #54     Dec 27, 2007
  5. hughb


    Does anybody know when the WSJ dropped the intraday high and low of stock prices from the stock tables?

    As late as May of 96 I was still hand drawing charts from newspaper stock tables, but before the end of 96 I bought my first computer and charting program. I didn't look at a newspaper again until 2001 or 2002 and I noticed the intraday high and low were gone.
    #55     Dec 27, 2007
  6. cd23


    Did you use 2x1/2's (wood strips) and squeese them together with two wing nuts for back plotting? I kept mine on racks by the quarters and as the years went by just folded them in half in boxes.

    First, I underlined the stocks of the charts I was running. then I leafed through an 11x17 set of charts. They were all flat and held 26 weeks each. I used segments to divide the stack of charts according to where they were in the cycle. It was a fun rotation cycle after cycle. The brokers were really intrigued by my trading. as more people joined me using copies it caused a local stir that spread from Poughkeepsie to NYC.

    If I picked up another stock to trade, I just back plotted 13 weeks to see about three cycles to get my channel set. Made a custom chart in 1957 and brownlined it so I could make blueprints to hand out to others.

    It was weird in those days. Took about three years before my first conversation with the SEC.....lol... Taught MLPF&B to not coattail all over the country.... Frontrunning was really fun in the dark ages. Later it simulated insider trading when they came up with a name for it.

    there were three ways to invest long ago: security, income or growth. TA did not fit any of those and so it was "bad" according to brokers. But they worked for commissions and always did the trades. I spent more a week on commissions than my salary in a very short while. I had to give up working as a consequence. This is my 50th year.
    #56     Dec 28, 2007
  7. I'm just scratching my head at comments like these.

    Guess some people like working harder for less. Must be an ego satisfaction thing or smth.

    Or they just never realized the opportunities of those times which are gone forever.
    #57     Dec 28, 2007
  8. dsq


    you and gurucanduidate take the cake, man!

    you for being around so long doing a bluprint in 57 and gc for his pioneer-like adoption of antiquated computer machines in his home!!!Oh My God!!!GC should set up a traders museum.
    #58     Dec 28, 2007
  9. Banjo


    #59     Dec 28, 2007
  10. In 1988 I paid 12k for an Apple system because I could plug up to 6 monitors into it. Full on plug and play, years before its time. The 19 inch CRT's weren't even color!

    Don't remember exactly, but RAM was something like you'd get in a calculator now, and I told people it had so much power I needed to strap on a seatbelt!
    #60     Dec 28, 2007