Sunday, October 18, 2015

Life of a Trader-1

Search for peace!

After a long hiatus Unplugger is back! Life post MBA has been busy on both personal and professional fronts. Almost all of my friends were in this settle down phase. I joined this commodity trading firm looking for quick and big money. So much fancy it looks from outside but equally stressful and painful it is from within.

After four years in this field and working in different offices across the globe am still looking for that peace. Such peace is long lunches with colleagues which end up in dinners, movies on weekdays, having conf  calls with my wolf pack, a basketball session @ my club, taking my family for a long trip, in short, moving life with ease.

But the clock starts in India @ 6:30 am which means Chinese traders start warming their seats @ their 9 am. This trading world is hungry not for food, not for love, not for friends but only and only for early information. I somehow manage to get up sacrificing my last one hour priceless sleep which I tagged a value by hitting this line. Few calls to my Chinese and Malaysian counterparts and brokers, then you are filled with all Chin Chang Chong stuff happening on the east side of the world.

This is the time for taking my Ipad to loo while skimming thru market openings and placing orders to brokers. Many of them are used to hear my flushes.

6:45 am: good morning call from boss ( did u make money yday call) where you get all the gyan on how to make money today. I sometimes think this guy assumes trading is simply playing candy crush level 1.

I start my morning routine with eyes almost on Bloomberg screens which have become an integral part of my body nowadays. Market openings are few things which you can't afford to miss after your anniversaries. Here are few of them to get you a feel of timeline of a commodity derivatives trader::

Below are a few market opening timings in IST

6:30 am     China
8: am         Malaysia
9 am          India stocks
10 am        Indian commodities
12:30 pm   Europe

And mother of all, US runs except from 12 am to 5:30 am

I have my team spread across the time zones  which works all around from 5:30 am to 1 am IST. That means you could expect calls throughout the day except when you sleep(thanks to overlap of all mkt close with my sleep). It does take a toll on your personal and social life. I did lose a lot in the process which I honestly don't know, is worth it?

Life has been tied to clock which almost gives negligible flexibility in making plans in life on weekdays. When someone asks you to stay for five more mins and you look @ your watch. You have to be shameless in saying 'no', no matter how strong is the urge to stay back. I sometimes feel how helpless I have become. Vellapanti is obsolete. Bakar is history. I miss both of them as they were my majors in MBA.

Then comes the theory of ultimate trade off. 'Future Pleasure vs Current Slog' which I constantly keep on telling myself. The best part of this job is you have a feel of where the world economy is going and how it can shape up in future. It does help me in planning investments a lot. You also get to meet the top notches of all the big firms and attend all the conferences at all the exotic places. Life does shift into forward gears fast.

Salary is not this job for. You don't have to wait for year end for your appraisal. It happens each day, right in your face when you make your daily PnL with bonus calcs(back of the mind).

There are some days when you do make $200K in few mins and some days when you lose $400K in less than a min. I felt like puking on these -400k days. Food is hard to digest. On such days, only thing which makes me smile is some radio murgas/bands while driving back home. But touch-wood, +200k days have by and large outnumbered -400k days. Consistent performance is required to stay afloat and some luck to cruise.

This field does test you both physically and mentally. But I have learnt to cope up on both fronts and with this rigorous routine because I simply love what I do. Trading has become my passion and this is just the beginning as I move to my next pit-stop:: Singapore!!

Take care and God bless!

1 comment:

  1. itni hectic life.. lolz .. itne me insan bhul hi jae apne ap ko..Hats off to u Sirji !