Traders' Weekly Desk Notes

At TFG Trading Matrix, our CEO, Jeremy Frommer, has created an environment that is filled with education.  The educational process is key to the organic business model we are trying to build.  In order to help each trader here know and understand his role in the company, we are required to keep track of everything we learn and write down all of our responsibilities.  These Weekly Desk Notes are both an archive of what we have accomplished and a road map for what we hope to achieve in the future.                

Taking in-depth daily notes and constantly reviewing them has been the most helpful aspect of working at TFG in contributing to my own personal growth.  There is so much information constantly flowing from the brain-trust of the Principals that it is nearly impossible to process the full extent of terminology, concepts, and overall fundamentals in one grasp.  Taking notes and reviewing them each night before you go to sleep, allows a trainee to solidify the collective knowledge through repetition of the material.  Further, by reviewing one’s notes, questions regarding the material naturally arise and therefore create content for the next day.  Notes also generate ideas and form a fundamental understanding of the markets by having the material to constantly review and delve back into.  Note taking on the daily lessons can be reviewed by the Principal’s and traders alike and will help to build a core curriculum for the next class of trainees. The mind cannot process all of the daily information, which we as trainees and freshmen receive at once.  Only through recording all of the concepts repeatedly and rehashing them with a clear mind can we truly learn and grow.

-Alex P., Freshman

In the beginning my notes were simply a running log of what everyone said on the desk.  I would come in every day with my notebook and try to keep up with everything mentioned on the desk.  In the evenings I would review my notes and with review I started to grasp the repetition I was hearing on the desk.  On the weekends I would type up my notes and comb through the details of the week.  As time has progressed I take the majority of my notes on my computer throughout the day, I find this is more efficient and valuable.  As I have evolved at TFG my notes have as well.  My notes have become more generalized as I have become more accustomed with the culture at TFG.  I no longer find myself writing sentences about confidence being the key to conquering my fear but, I find myself writing down fundamental and technical information Dean and Jeremy Klein go over every morning.  I also write a lot if ideas that Jeremy Frommer and other PM’s have that the freshman traders should be looking into. 

In summary, during my trainee period I took copious notes on intra-day trading, pivots and moving averages, and   the culture of TFG.  As I work through my freshman period my notes have shifted focus to macro technical’s, company fundamentals, and abstract/derivative ideas.  

-Jeff T., Freshman

Our weekly desk notes are designed to record valuable information that will increase our market acumen, keep track of directives from the Senior Partners, serve as a resource for abstract idea generation, and provide a historical record of our progression.  The information that will allow us to grow as members of this firm and as traders is said over the webinar; taking notes on this information allows us to retain what is said and learn from that information.  Keeping track of Seniors’ directives allows us to organize projects and ensure that all assignments are completed.  These directives will lead to deliverables that will allow the firm to grow; they must be tracked meticulously.  Next, looking back over our notes will remind us of the abstract ideas discussed on the desk which will beget abstract ideas of our own.  For example, looking back on today’s notes, I was reminded of our discussion on Banco Popular and will look for other derivative plays in the emerging Spanish-speaking market.  Finally, our notes allow us to track our progress as a trader.  Reviewing old notes allows us to see how far we have come, and to relearn old lessons.

-Zachary G., Freshman

Note-taking is a necessary component to the learning process. When we are at the desk listening to hours of flowing information on the webinar there is no chance we will remember everything. This is because the human brain’s capacity to retain information is limited. When we listen, the only sense turned on is the auditory sense. To enhance the retention of information heard, we must engage other senses. By taking notes on paper or computer we engage our vision and sense of touch into the learning process.

Specifically, the purpose of our weekly desk notes is to increase our idea generation skills, enhance our market knowledge and awareness, and instill trading techniques. So much information is thrown on the desk at all hours of the day, and by having everything on record we can refer back to our notes on a nightly, weekly and monthly basis. Having notes at our disposal helps us prepare for any of the following days’ questions and trades. Information does not stick on the fly. Anyone who ever invented something had to write down that idea. Progress will only come in reviewing old notes.

-Annie F., Trainee 

As TFG trainees and freshmen, our weekly desk notes are expected to be very detailed and content oriented. At the beginning of the training period, we keep track of every word we hear so that we are able to ask questions on everything we don’t know or understand. As we progress through the educational process, our notes evolve from lists of superficial information about specific concepts to in-depth explanations of those and other more complex concepts. Our desk notes consist of everything from organic ideas generated by the group to the firm’s positions and news topics to product ideas. Other topics that are recorded in our notes are protocols, position ideas, upgrades and downgrades, and thoughts and ideas from principals.

-James B., Trainee