Several months back, I had the pleasure of spending one evening with a Director of Futures from one of our local brokerages.

He’s an interesting character!

Speaks England with heavy Singlish and lots of Hokkien phrases peppered for added spiciness!

Yup, not a graduate by any stretch of the imagination.

Like most street urchins made good, he stumbled onto the then Simex as a local with $30,000 Sing dollars (his life savings) when he heard how much a local could make from his friends working inside Simex.

He was in his late 20s when he became a local.

Fast forward to today, he’s one of those locals who have successfully made the transition from the trading pits to electronic trading as a scalper. (Have you noticed most professional traders are intraday traders?)

It’s not easy. Many of his local pals have dropped out of trading altogether as they find it hard to adapt in an environment where they can’t read the body language of their competition, and where machines from high frequency trading firms are able to run circles round them…

Now he’s 50 plus years young; still trades his own account and mentors the other prop-traders working for his broker.
Not one to let this opportunity go to waste, I asked him for his views (note: I never said advice, I’ll come back to it later on) on what’s interesting to both of us:

Is that a flick knife?

Right off the bat he was making fun of those “traders” who think they can “trade” with a tablet or smartphone. Limpeh have a 6 screen trading setup! You want to trade against me on the beach? He roared with a throaty laughter.

I reminded him his brokerage has mobile platforms for retail customers. He rolled his eyes, and I nodded with a smile.

Free where got edge?

He was sharing with me excitedly how his US based trading platform is able to put a volume condition to his price stops. For example, most platforms only allow us to put our stops at a specific price level – for eg, 1.35.  So even if this 1.35 gets done with one contract, our stop will be triggered.

This US platform allows him to put another variable like >500 contracts at 1.35 – meaning only more than 500 contracts have traded at price 1.35 would his stop be triggered.

And he is paying for this platform out of his own pocket for several thousands a month.

No, I didn’t ask him why he didn’t consider the “free” professional trading platforms used by the other prop-traders at his brokerage? That would be a dumb question.

CFDs or Futures?

He was dissing traders who trade with CFDs…

Of course he is biased. Taking into account his Simex background and his current position as Director of Futures.

How many big time pro traders trade CFDs? He challenged me.

Well, I know my missing-in-action coconut commenter trades CFDs with hundreds of thousands…

But I know what this Futures senior is driving at.

I started with CFDs before moving on to Futures trading when my trading account got bigger.

The funny thing is next day, I saw in the papers his broker advertising the merits of CFDs. I wonder what the Director of CFDs will think if he knew his Futures colleague is saying behind his back. Talk about internal rivalry! LOL!

2 traders talking shop

Why not advice but his view?

Although this pro trader is many leagues above me in trading account size, we are still 2 traders bantering as peers.

Humility yes. But notice how many wannebe traders and investors advertise themselves as sheep wherever they go?

Do this too often you’ll invite the attention of wolves.

I may be less skilled; but I don’t let others patronise or talk down to me without me giving them a poke or kick.

Think about it. Why would land owners want to have a conversation with sheep?

Want to mix with other shepherds and land owners?

Respect yourself and your craft first.

Singapore Man of Leisure (welcome to my blog; just google it!