Trading in the pre-internet era.

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Debaser82, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. How was it to play the stockmarket when East Kazachstans unemployment numbers of the month werent available one mouse click away?

    Main stream media has been in the pocket of higher interests for ages now so I take it that wasnt the most reliable source either?

    Perhaps some of you oldtimers would care to comment on those times and care to shed some light on the question if you still use some of your 'old fashioned' techniques that served you well back then today despite the availability of the internet.

  2. Keep in mind that access to the mkts was much more limited than it is now and there weren't lightening quick algo's that to arb news or whatever else.

    Read ROASO if you want an old time perspective.
  3. I traded treasuries and closed end funds and did great for years. Then one day...............................:(
  4. It depends how far back you're talking about.

    The other day I was thinking about this little system where you buy the Valu Line on a 4% upswing & sell on a 4% dn swing. I forget the name of the guy who 1st thought of it (Martin Zweig?). Real simple system but very profitable...

    How would you have traded it in the '60's/'70's, there were no small cap indexes available for the public to trade.

    Pre-internet, the market was a lot more 'ineffecient'. If someone had an edge in terms of low, low commish & some technical/market savvy you could really have made serious coin.

    It's a *lot* harder now. The bots chop you all day. Even with the internet it wasn't such a big change. Sometime between 2004-2007 was when the market in US really "changed" its behavior.

    I also remember getting a LOT of calls from commodities "brokers" in the early '80's convincing me to buy call options on gold. This was 1-3 years after gold peaked. These guys were offering $3000 out of the money gold options "backed" by Moccata Metals? or some similar outfit. I used to get a lot of jokers selling shit on the phone.

    Very few people had pc's or access, even to good data. That alone was a good 'edge' for some!

    Some traders back in the '80's were using magnetic tape and voice cassette recorders to store data. Imagine doing that now!

    Or, how about going for a drive in the morning to get the WSJ early so you can chart the market before it opens?

    Dow Jones at one point also sold data to individuals for download on 14-28kbps modems. You could do that at eod and be 'ready' for the next day.

    But mostly, the retail crowd has always been behind the 'pros'/big houses and that's 1 reason people used to always get shafted. That 'pro' advantage has narrowed so that market compensated by changing dynamics in a different way. Now it's BOTS vs. retail/humans.

    I remember calling went something like ...Hi, this is acct #577904, buy me 2 S&P @ market. Guy on desk would usually confirm fill price. Thanks, Bye!

    Only S&P or Value Line were available. No eminis of any sort.

    There was a LOT less manipulation in prices than today. For sure!
  5. Even though "Trading Places" isn't really a trading movie in the true sense it is from the early 80s before the internet. More recent than Livermore at least.