Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Evolving Trader

   My name is David Spiwak and I am the Evolving Trader.  I am a second generational trader, that has seen the ups and the downs of this industry.  My history in trading has been a blessing and a curse, but  I love trading.  The reason I love trading and investing is because everyday you need to build on your previous experience to succeed in a world that never rests. 

My whole life I have been connected to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  My father was an attorney in 1970, and had just moved to the suburbs of Chicago and got on a train one day and his life changed.  On the train he had an encounter with a gentleman who leaned into him and said these words, "there is a shortage of eggs". The man introduced himself as a neighbor and a trader and somehow convinced my father to give him some money to invest.  A couple of weeks went by and the man gave my father back his money and had doubled it in a few weeks. So my father says "so you say there are no eggs."  He decided to leave the law field and came down to the exchange and became a local at the CME. That same year I was born.

As a kid everyone around me was connected to the exchange.  Most of our family's friends as well as neighbors were traders, and times were good.  At that time trading was much friendlier than it is today.  The guy next to you in the pit was a not your enemy and you never wished him misfortune.  Odds were if he was making money than it meant you were making money.  All around me was incredible wealth, and everyone had wads of cash. As a seven year old in 1977, I used to come downtown and spend the day with my father.  As a kid that meant either sitting in an office and watching tickers with numbers zooming by me or sitting in the exchange's visitors gallery.  The gallery was fascinating, as I looked out I saw hundreds of people in bright colored coats screaming and waving at each other and the quote boards on the walls were flickering numbers with mind blogging fast frequency.  I watched and watched and I became hooked on the excitement in front of my eyes.

As the years went by my knowledge of the industry grew and I witnessed first hand the ups and downs of trading thru my father's career.  I saw that the industry was not all fun and games and trading was becoming more and more competitive.  I saw the same people who were walking around with wads of cash in their pockets lose everything.  I saw marriages and life's destroyed because of trading but the quote boards kept changing. 

Flash forwarded to 1989, I was a college freshman majoring in Radio/TV and I was home for the summer.  I got a job working for a DJ company at night but my days were free so my father asked me if I wanted to clerk for him at the CME.  My father as well as my uncle were down on the floor and had been telling me that trading at the CME was over.  They said the industry was too competitive and was facing its demise.  There was going to be other exchanges stealing the business and there was rumors of trading going electronic. They both said have a nice summer but look for a career away from trading.

  I walked onto the floor for the first time as an adult and felt the rush of the floor.  All around me was a mass of bodies and incredible noise.  In all the chaos in front of me people seemed to be in control and where all performing jobs and none of the craziness seemed to be effecting them at all. I was hooked

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