You Can Call Me Trader

“When you trade a system, you take emotions out of it.”

“I don’t trade to get high so I don’t use it to feel horrible either. It is just a chore. It is just like using a microwave oven. I don’t feel brave. Bill Gross and Ronald McDonald both the same weight in my systems which is zero. I couldn’t care less what news or people or commentaries say. Fear etc all not in my system.”

Spoken by a former bank trader, who is not advertising in the papers that he will teach you how to make $50k in 3 days and a million in 6 months.

I was in awe of  him when I started, for he was already a legend then. Regional forex traders were the lynchpins of the little dealing rooms of commercial banks that were mostly subprime untainted back then.

Then the Thai baht crisis struck. Casualties along the way. Old traders left and made room for the new. People like me.

Well, I noticed a spate of ads each day in the papers each day, promising returns the ordinary man would dream of, and sometimes even better than winning the lottery. None of the faces look too familiar though, I have been in banking long enough to know.

After years of the same routine of waking up to check the markets and going into the battlefield of work, besieged by hedge funds, central banks, various funds, insurances and trading houses, you do get a little jaded and cynical, regardless of the comments above. There is NO FREE LUNCH in real trading.

Balance sheet arbitrage is a different matter altogether and we have seen many traders make many a pretty million from the offshore Non Deliverable Forwards market over the years. And there is that all fashionable Swiss franc trade now, borrowing cheap CHF at a hefty negative rate from the USDCHF forwards, squaring off the USD leg with Libor and leaving the CHF in the current account at zero and earning that negative rate becomes a nice positive return.

The numbness these days is engulfing. We all become zombified machines. Face of a poker player, the heart of a strategist general, the mind of a philosopher and the soul of a dead man. That is trading for you.

So if you ask me about the next Forex Seminar out there that promises riches if you sign up for their patented signal software. All for as little as just $9,000 bucks ? I am impressed.

Because I think the banks should be hiring them by the dozens, instead of letting them loose in the streets and teaching people their trade secrets.

Maybe I am just a cynic. And maybe you can call me a trader, though I feel so unworthy.