I am curious because the majority of my customers that actively trade, are complete morons who rack up commissions and would be better off holding long.

One time I traded for a couple months and only lost $300. Id say thats pretty successful.

A couple of years ago for a few months I day traded before work and actually made about $4000 for the year after all expenses. When I went back and calculated it, if I had simply held the stocks for that time period, I would have made about triple that because of trading fees and missed gains when I wasnt holding the stock. The market was simply on an upswing at that time and I thought I had figured out the system.

Yes I would say it was worth it. The main thing it taught me was to cut my losses. It turns out I was right with almost every stock and I got out like a day early a bunch of times but cutting my losses saved me from a few big losses.

I worked at a day trading shop for 3 years 2006-2009 straight out of college. I learned that the ups and downs of the job are not right for my mental state and ultimately left to work as investment strategy analyst at a fund of funds hedge fund. However, during those three years I had a span of 3-4 months where I made close to a half a million dollars. Then there were months I made a regular income, 5-15k per month. The problem is I got used to that life style and when I had a span of a few bad months and made nothing, I was borderline suicidal. Really didnt work with my brain chemistry, so I stopped.

The guy that trained me was an animal. He really only traded 4 stocks (the most active at the time were RIMM, BIDU, AAPL, GOOG), and he did it like Tank in the Matrix, he looked at the level 2 quotes and traded solely off of those and feel of momentum. He didnt have down months, ever. He barely had down days. He would make 5-10k in a day, then go to the gym, driving range, bar, etc. He made 50-150k a month, every month, for the three years I was there. It was by far the most consistent trading strategy I had ever seen, but the fact that he did it solely on feel, made it very hard to emulate. He was trading with approx 5 million dollars of the firms money and I never saw him have a day down more than 2-3k. He mostly traded Google, and didnt care about the news, the market, or anything other than those level 2 quotes. He barely even looked at charts, the only time he did was to get an idea of what the levels for the day and for the week were to see where there would be additional buyers and sellers.

There were also others. There was a guy that surrounded himself with like 10 monitors traded on 3 monitors and played poker on 5 monitors all while watching a movie or playing some game on his main monitor. I dunno his strategy because he didnt sit next to me and didnt talk much, but I know he made over 2mil during the first few months of 2008. He was the epitome of patience, and literally NEVER had a position on when I walked by his desk. He just sat there watching his movies and folding poker hands. However, I guess when he saw the right bet (in either poker or the market) he pretty much went all in.

There was also a guy that traded only apple stock… All day. He would rack up 100k shares a day in and out of just apple. I believe he traded it against the QQQ at the time. He essentially took the position that Apple leads the Nasdaq and traded the two off of each other all day. He was the most volatile trader Ive ever seen hed make 300k in a day, then lose 150k in a day, then repeat. I never understood how he slept at night. But, he was consistently a top 10 guy at the firm, making multiple millions a year. There were many others, just not as interesting as the above three.

Overall it was a great experience. I really learned and understood how and why the market does what it does. It taught me that day trading is not for me, but I got a few longer term strategies out of it that I still use today. Just on a much smaller scale and NOT as my sole source of income.

EDIT:Everyone, Im happy someone is interested, my wife hates listening to this shit. I can drone on for hours. I love talking about that time (market was crazy, huge up move, then huge down move), and strategies that I learned and the way I trade now. I posted replies to a few comments. I have something to finish tonight/tomorrow, but if you guys post questions in reply to this, I will try to make a post in the next couple days answering them and discussing whatever else you guys want.

MORE STORIES: (I started writing a lot, then Chrome crashed. This is what I saved from the screengrab. Ill be back with more in a bit.

Other Chars:There were lots of interesting people that worked there. Many people were loners, not sure if thats because they were introverted, because it takes a certain type of personality to be a good trader, or because no one really wanted anyone else to know their strategy. Probably a combination of all of them.

There was a guy that was very mysterious. He came in and talked about his super secret strategy, said he would take 2 new hires, and made us take a test to decide who he was going to take. Very open ended and obscure. (It was a random stock chart with peaks and troughs in a channel that eventually went up. He just said, write down what you think of this. To this day I remember it vividly, and everyone kind of being like W T F should I write, I just want to be picked to be in his fund.) The story was that in the 2005 he made 10 mil, then in 2006, he took 5 mil of his own money and 20 mil of the companys money and made a fund. He already had one guy, and was hiring two more to learn his strategy. I didnt get picked. The two kids that were picked were rarely if ever seen, and they never talked about what he did. I still never found out, I heard he got huge and just trades his own money now.

The overall atmosphere there was interesting, there were lots of clashing personalities. Not as much debauchery as people would think. There were literally no girls. My year had one girl. She lasted exactly the 12 months then left. The overall mentality was that girls are too emotional to trade. In my experience, theres guys that are WAY too emotional to trade. People kept to themselves, but there were little cliques. Interestingly people gathered based on the strategies they traded. There were the Level 2 traders. There were chart guys. There were sitch guys, who traded situations where a stock shot up for some unknown reason. There were longer term traders who were in a different room altogether.

There was a guy who made a team of these sitch (situational) traders. They had like 10000000 different alerts for if stocks went up/down a huge % in a short period of time, or spiked in volatility, or had too many shares trade in a short period of time. Then theyd have guys in the news to figure out if theres something going on. If they didnt find some news they would take the other side of the trade and wait to see if the trades either get broken up by the market for being erroneous, or if they stood. Most of the time the trades got broken up and no one was harmed. What sometimes happens is people make some dumb mistake, mistype a ticker, think the name of a similar company is related to one that is in the news. They would load up on the wrong stock trying to beat the rest of the market, and wed short against it. Over the course of the next few days the stocks would go back to normal, and theyd make the difference, on a HUGE amount of shares. Some guys made a year on a trade like this alone.

Friends just came over. I can go on for days. Will be back tonight.

ONE MORE STORY FOR TONIGHT BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP:

Some guys comment just reminded me of this. So when Bear Stearns was going to 0, I was trading. I remember vividly what was happening that day because it was a real shit show. The numbers are probably off by this point, but the idea is there. I believe this was a Friday, and pre-market we all got the update that BSC (their ticker IIRC) hat some unusual options activity, and went up then down, and was dropping. This was after a week or two of going out every day. Its possible that it happened over two days, and Im confusing it now. Not sure. This was on the day heading into the weekend. I know that for sure.

One of the main strategies that MANY people traded was what we called the rubber band basically, stocks move like rubber bands, they can stretch out really far, but usually will spring back at least some. Others call this same thing by different names, I believe the whole fibbonaci / golden ratio is based on this. I wont get into the underlying theories.

Naturally almost everyone at the firm started buying at the open. Instead of going up, the stock spent the day going from 60 to 30. By noon, half the firm was stopped out of their positions on the way down. Essentially the whole place had a horrible day because most people kept buying on the way down (catching a falling knife). Even the seasoned traders were adding to their positions on the way down saying that this thing HAS TO BOUNCE, it just went down almost 100 points in a day. News or no news, most of us had never seen anything like this with a legit company. So by the end of the day, the stock is in the low 30s, and most of the firm is just sitting around dumbfounded watching CNBC. At this point the only people with positions in BSC were the best traders at the firm. They were LOADED UP, like millions of dollars long, and all essentially TELLING their managers that they were going to hold the position over the weekend. You gotta understand, these are guys that all have made in the millions of dollars to that point in the year, and who the fuck were these managers (many of whom didnt even really trade anymore) to tell them that they couldnt do whatever they wanted.

So its like 3:30-3:45 and the old-head Master Splinter type manager of managers comes out (well call him Master Splinter), and starts arguing with the traders. He was very well respected, usually whatever he said went. He came out and said anyone that is still alive (not stopped out) with a BSC position, isNOTallowed to hold it over the weekend. So these traders start losing their shit, like Ill put my own money up if you need, I know its gonna bounce, its been in the 30s for a while, how much lower can it go… We already down howmany ever hundred thousand, how can you make us take these losses on paper, this fucks our whole year. etc.

So after a few minutes of protesting, master splinter gets real quiet and goes, I dont give a fuck if you write me a check for a million dollars right now, if you want to work here on Monday, you will have 0 shares of BSC in your account by 4pm. If there is 1 share in anyones account of BSC at 4:01, that person has no job on Monday. Dont even bother coming to work, I dont care if you were 1 in the firm last year or if youre up $5mm year to date. No more discussion.

Over TONS of protest, every last trader sold every last share of BSC. As you all know by now, we came in Monday morning and the stock was at $5. Master splinter really earned his stripes that day. The CEO came and praised him for saving the firm millions of dollars, he probably got a couple hundred grand bonus for it. Shit, these traders brought him bottles of champagne and other gifts for saving their asses/years. Master Splinter sat everyone down that Monday and explained that in the end theres only one thing thats important in trading, and thats living to fight another day. When shit like that goes down, its almost always not like anything youve ever seen before. The goal might be to make money, but not that day. That day you should be learning, you should be fluid, and you should not assume that what was true yesterday, and what might be true tomorrow, will be true today.

For those that say that you only hear about the winners…. That day was my second worst day ever. I had something like 3000 shares that I bought throughout the 50s close to the open, it was on its way down and I was thinking it was about to be done going down. Sometimes stocks start volatile down, then shoot back up, especially after news, and weeks of going down, etc. Anyway, it wavered there for a bit, even went up a touch to the point where I was up. Then all the sudden, BOOM, a huge order came in and the thing dropped like $2 at once. I hesitated, because I was pretty much even, just down a bit. I even thought about buying more, then in a few more seconds it dropped another $1.50. I hit the sell button but by the time I got printed, it was down another couple of dollars. I lost like $9k even though my stop limit was $5k. I felt like shit, this literally happened in the first hour or so of trading, and I had to sit there getting barraged by my manger for the rest of the day. It was an example of trying to sell, but the market falling out from underneath you. I hit the sell button on the way down, but by the time I got my print, the stock was wayyyyy below where I pressed the sell button.

Let us know if you ever want to do an iama on WSB, or just want some dick flair.

Dunno much about dick flair, but I dont think Im special enough to do an iama, but would be glad to if thats what the people want.

Maybe not an AMA, but we all would appreciate the stories. Youre getting dick flair regardless.

Got any more stories about the strategies and characters involved? Id even like to hear the less interesting ones you mentioned.

Yes, today is fam day though. I will come back to this in a few hours.

I will be messaging you on2016-02-29 22:32:05 UTCto remind you ofthis link.

29 OTHERS CLICKED THIS LINKto send a PM to also be reminded and to reduce spam.

Parent commenter candelete this message to hide from others.

so, its been a few hours! dont leave us hanging here

ONE MORE STORY FOR TONIGHT BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP:

Some guys comment just reminded me of this. So when Bear Stearns was going to 0, I was trading. I remember vividly what was happening that day because it was a real shit show. The numbers are probably off by this point, but the idea is there. I believe this was a Friday, and pre-market we all got the update that BSC (their ticker IIRC) hat some unusual options activity, and went up then down, and was dropping. This was after a week or two of going out every day. Its possible that it happened over two days, and Im confusing it now. Not sure. This was on the day heading into the weekend. I know that for sure.

One of the main strategies that MANY people traded was what we called the rubber band basically, stocks move like rubber bands, they can stretch out really far, but usually will spring back at least some. Others call this same thing by different names, I believe the whole fibbonaci / golden ratio is based on this. I wont get into the underlying theories.

Naturally almost everyone at the firm started buying at the open. Instead of going up, the stock spent the day going from 60 to 30. By noon, half the firm was stopped out of their positions on the way down. Essentially the whole place had a horrible day because most people kept buying on the way down (catching a falling knife). Even the seasoned traders were adding to their positions on the way down saying that this thing HAS TO BOUNCE, it just went down almost 100 points in a day. News or no news, most of us had never seen anything like this with a legit company. So by the end of the day, the stock is in the low 30s, and most of the firm is just sitting around dumbfounded watching CNBC. At this point the only people with positions in BSC were the best traders at the firm. They were LOADED UP, like millions of dollars long, and all essentially TELLING their managers that they were going to hold the position over the weekend. You gotta understand, these are guys that all have made in the millions of dollars to that point in the year, and who the fuck were these managers (many of whom didnt even really trade anymore) to tell them that they couldnt do whatever they wanted.

So its like 3:30-3:45 and the old-head Master Splinter type manager of managers comes out (well call him Master Splinter), and starts arguing with the traders. He was very well respected, usually whatever he said went. He came out and said anyone that is still alive (not stopped out) with a BSC position, is NOT allowed to hold it over the weekend. So these traders start losing their shit, like Ill put my own money up if you need, I know its gonna bounce, its been in the 30s for a while, how much lower can it go… We already down howmany ever hundred thousand, how can you make us take these losses on paper, this fucks our whole year. etc.

So after a few minutes of protesting, master splinter gets real quiet and goes, I dont give a fuck if you write me a check for a million dollars right now, if you want to work here on Monday, you will have 0 shares of BSC in your account by 4pm. If there is 1 share in anyones account of BSC at 4:01, that person has no job on Monday. Dont even bother coming to work, I dont care if you were 1 in the firm last year or if youre up $5mm year to date. No more discussion.

Over TONS of protest, every last trader sold every last share of BSC. As you all know by now, we came in Monday morning and the stock was at $5. Master splinter really earned his stripes that day. The CEO came and praised him for saving the firm millions of dollars, he probably got a couple hundred grand bonus for it. Shit, these traders brought him bottles of champagne and other gifts for saving their asses/years. Master Splinter sat everyone down that Monday and explained that in the end theres only one thing thats important in trading, and thats living to fight another day. When shit like that goes down, its almost always not like anything youve ever seen before. The goal might be to make money, but not that day. That day you should be learning, you should be fluid, and you should not assume that what was true yesterday, and what might be true tomorrow, will be true today.

For those that say that you only hear about the winners…. That day was my second worst day ever. I had something like 3000 shares that I bought throughout the 50s close to the open, it was on its way down and I was thinking it was about to be done going down. Sometimes stocks start volatile down, then shoot back up, especially after news, and weeks of going down, etc. Anyway, it wavered there for a bit, even went up a touch to the point where I was up. Then all the sudden, BOOM, a huge order came in and the thing dropped like $2 at once. I hesitated, because I was pretty much even, just down a bit. I even thought about buying more, then in a few more seconds it dropped another $1.50. I hit the sell button but by the time I got printed, it was down another couple of dollars. I lost like $9k even though my stop limit was $5k. I felt like shit, this literally happened in the first hour or so of trading, and I had to sit there getting barraged by my manger for the rest of the day. It was an example of trying to sell, but the market falling out from underneath you. I hit the sell button on the way down, but by the time I got my print, the stock was wayyyyy below where I pressed the sell button.

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