After graduating college and suffering through a brief six month stint as a Mutual Fund Salesman for MetLife (LOL), I moved to Florida to live near my father and began my trading career in 1998 at a Proprietary trading firm in Tampa, Florida. In my first four years I was engaged in intraday scalping — primarily NASDAQ stocks — during the final blowoff top of the “dot com bubble” and subsequent tech & internet stocks crash. It was a trial by fire as the stock markets experienced a level of consistent volatility that had previously been unseen, and hasn’t been matched since. I’ve spent the remainder of my now 20 year trading career unlearning all of the bad habits I acquired during those first four formative years.
In 2002, I began exploring the futures markets after learning about and researching the famous “Turtle Trader” story. This fascination and total immersion prompted me to launch a small hedge fund with a handful of investors to execute a trend-following strategy in commodities and financial futures. And this led me to relocate to Chicago to become a Member of the Chicago Board of Trade. Sadly, the largest of my fund’s investors decided to walk away with his 58% returns (net of fees) after only 18 months in business, thusly necessitating the close of my promising fund.
After the fund closed, I took advantage of my location (my office was on the 28th floor of the CBOT building) and exchange membership to try my hand at trading electronic mini-dow futures from a booth on the upper rim of the big Dow Futures pit on the floor of the CBOT. While it was an exciting daily endeavor to step on the floor and be part of the heart of the action, it was a short-lived dalliance. I couldn’t find an edge.
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