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Josh S. - Freshman Trader

Blogging From Beyond

It has been a while since I last blogged, 1 month to be exact, this is solely due to the fact that I no longer work for The Frommer Group. Although I may be in the “RIP” category of the trading blogs I would like to write one last blog discussing my time at TFG, as well as the factors that went into my decision to leave TFG.

I believe that I am a pretty mellow guy, in control of my emotions, and able to predict fairly well how I will feel and react to any given situation. However, I can’t say that I lived up to that billing throughout the resigning process.

A company I had applied to months ago contacted me a few days before I resigned and offered me an analyst type job (not in finance). It included a great annual salary, fantastic hours, great location and an enjoyable culture. On paper I would have thought this was a no brainer, I would have a better quality of life and be able to support my new family (I just got married 4 months ago) no problem, so why was I even thinking about it. To put it into sports terminology, I didn’t want to pull a “Portland” in the 1984 draft, by making my decision based on need (Bowie) rather than potential (Michael Jordan). I think we all know how that story turned out. I loved trading, but it was tough adjusting to that lifestyle when I had gotten married so recently, so when it came down to it I loved the potential of what trading had to offer but couldn’t pass up on this opportunity, I just wish the new job would have waited a few more months so that I could tell if I was going to be a successful trader (editors note: I probably would be). In the end I feel like I made my decision based on both need and potential, similar to the Rockets who took someone by the name Hakeem OlaJuwon. I think if I really miss trading, which I do, I can always go back to it, even if I have to use my own money. But for now I have to admit I am really enjoying my job/life/decision.

Now to plug TFG, I must admit I was surprised by some of the realizations I had about TFG after being able to take a step back and reflect on my time at TFG. It is truly amazing what you can accomplish in such a short amount of time if you really put in your full effort. All things considered, I am a genius and a fantastic trader compared to what I was when I began working for TFG. When I left TFG I was positive 6 out of the 7 previous trading days. The day I left I had met my goal and had my best day yet, and I only traded in the morning, I was really starting to get it. And to think only 2 and half months ago I didn’t know the first thing about trading.

Even if I never trade again these past 2.5 months have taught me more than just how to trade, it taught me how hard work can make you successful in just about anything you set out to accomplish. If you want to be successful then you need merge your work life and your real life (to a certain degree) because who you are as a person shouldn’t change that much if you’re at work or at home. I used to think writing a journal about your thoughts and feelings is for pansies (and it may be) but it is certainly a helpful tool to get to where you want to be at a faster rate, it allows you to learn from your mistakes as well as your successes, I highly recommend it. There are many other things I learned from TFG that I will be taking with me as I continue my working career but I don’t need to get into them, I would suggest just listening to Mark Moskowitz when he speaks, don’t let his goofiness fool you, he really is a wise man.

Sorry for the length of this blog but it is my last blog, so I will continue…

Now that I have had a month to be away from TFG I can make this assessment I don’t miss the lifestyle I was leading but I sure as hell miss trading, it really is the greatest business in the world and I hope one day that I can get back to it.

As for the people I worked with I wish them much success, especially the freshman traders, listen to what the seniors have to say because chances are you will never be in another environment like the one you are in now. Mark M. I think you make for an excellent mentor and I can’t say I am surprised that I miss listening to Dragon Force with you every morning as well as your pearls of trading wisdom. I can honestly say I was SHOCKED! Words really can’t describe how shocked I was, I wish I could put a picture of my face being incredibly shocked just so you could have a small idea of how shocked I was, that I missed Jeremy and Schwartz. Maybe it’s a little like Stockholm’s syndrome, in the nicest way possible of course. But I really didn’t expect to miss you guys, but the truth it you were hard on me and it helped me grow, it’s hard to see it when you are constantly getting berated but in the end it made me grow at a much faster rate, although it wouldn’t hurt if you guys were a little nicer to the traders when the market closes. As for Dean and Judah, you guys are great and I aspire to be like you guys in the future, both from a career standpoint as well as the type of people you are, you were the first to ask and show interest in my new job and I appreciate that. Shine, Kline and Alan I barely knew ya, but I can tell you are all really skilled and I would have learned a lot from you. As for my boys, I hope you guys kill it, I think you can, especially Jeff, that kid can fix a plane engine blindfolded and with his hands tied behind his back. I look forward to working with you guys again one day.

All in all this was a fantastic experience I just wish it could have lasted a little bit longer.

Until we meet again, TradeMasterFlex out!


Notes From Josh 2/11/2010

I thought it was going to be really easy to blog every single day, I figured if Doogie Howser could do it every episode so could I. It’s only my second day and it’s already challenging, yet Dr. Howser was able to do it for 2 full seasons, he really was a child prodigy.
I have been trading for 9 weeks and I feel pretty good about it. The first week was pretty crazy, I had in mind that TFG would be more like “boiler room” than a giant white desk with some interesting characters sitting around it.

When I came here on my first day, it seemed as though TFG was pretty unprepared for taking on a trader with zero experience, as I was the first trader with no trading experience to be hired. They sat me in front of two screen, which I thought was pretty awesome, and just made me watch, listen and research. They never really formally explained anything to me, and that was how I was introduced to the trading culture, eat or be eaten. More on that in the future…

As for today, I had another positive day and again had mixed emotions about it. The senior traders keep telling me that I should be happy and that’s it, there is no reason for me to be disappointed. Their wrong, they can’t tell me how to feel, and I feel disappointed I didn’t make more money. I’m a competitive person and unless I get my max position filled buying the lowest tick and shorting the highest tick I am going to want more. I don’t think anyone here understands how competitive I really am, but that’s the point, show no emotion.

Yesterday I said I think I have a psychological edge, I feel like blogging is taking that away from me, slowly letting people into my head. I’ll have to figure that out, another time.

Until Tomorrow,

Notes from Josh S. 2/10/10

This is my first blog entry (ever):

My name is Josh Stein, I majored in psychology and 2 months ago I couldn’t even name 10 stock symbols. Fast forward to today and I might not be the best trader but I can definitely name 10 stock symbols.

When I finished college I didn’t think I would be trading, I wanted to be working in the marketing and advertising industry. Long story short, an opportunity presented itself, I took it and have never looked back.

I didn’t know much about trading (still don’t) but I did think that I could succeed in anything that I attempted; I am a quick learner and I feel no matter what I do I always have a psychological edge. From my limited understanding a psychological edge can put you ahead of most traders, and I plan to exploit that as much as possible. That is a small piece of my background and every day I will add another little piece about my background until you know more about me than you want to.

As for some thoughts on today’s trading day… today I had one of my best days; I made one of my largest positive PnL days since I got here. I had a talk with Klein and Mark M. last night and they pushed me to trade with a bigger position size, so the plan was to trade 2x the size I usually trade, I did, it worked and I am going home a winner. I made all the right trades and missed a big winner by 2 cents, so I am happy with my trades but disappointed I didn’t make more money. CAN’T WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW MORNING!  

See you tomorrow

You can make all the correct trades and still having a losing day, don’t get discouraged