There was this trader named Tony at my old firm, back in 2011. He was an accomplished veteran trader and considered one of the core members at the firm. He was also extremely competitive and had no filter–he would say what was on his mind and not hold back, particularly if he was already on edge from the stress of trading. He cursed like a sailor and broke keyboards with the dramatic flair of Gallagher smashing watermelons. I could relate to that. I loved Tony.
Tony also held a lot of grievances. He didn’t like certain people.
In this industry, I think there are some grievances that are valid. Finance is an infinite suck hole of frauds, con artists, charlatans, trolls, schemers and arrogant bullies–real unsavory assholes that actually warrant your complete abhorrence.
Then there are some grievances that maybe aren’t as warranted. Some guy just rubs you the wrong way and you don’t know why. Tony’s grievances, at least from my outside perspective, seemed to fall in the latter category.
There was another well-known trader in the same building in a different firm–let’s call him Boris. Boris would occasionally appear on CNBC for technical analysis segments and his take on the general market direction. He drew pivot lines and used 5 different moving averages. He would smile and tell you to trust the trend. Family man, had a dog. Did a lot of fitness competitions. Native New Yorker who would tweet about how much the Jets sucked. Milquetoast centrist political views–didn’t like Trump’s antics but didn’t like the democrats brand of tax and spend. A totally non-controversial dude. Basic-Ass Boris, the every man’s trader. Who wouldn’t like Boris?
Tony. He really did not like Boris. Here are some things I remember Tony saying, while shit-talking Boris.
Boris is such a fucking piker. Last month he pounded the table ‘long gold, I’m loaded up, full size!’ I went to the risk monitor to find how much he had and it was 200 shares of GLD. That’s full size?! Fucking pathetic bro.
‘Trim and trail’ blah blah blah. Ride the trend ‘fuck off’. All Boris does is spout his dumbass clichés, get a life bro.
Boris gave himself his own nickname–the Bulldog. Who does that bro!?
Boris was (and still is) a legitimate trader. Tony, in one of his refreshing moments of clarity after the rage dissipates, conceded to me that Boris knew what he was doing. I give him a lot of shit because he’s so corny but he’s got a good system. To this day I wonder what he did to get on Tony’s bad side.
I think I’m starting to be more like Tony, and not in a good way because I’m not as funny as he was. I have my own grievances.
There was this stock a couple weeks ago. It doesn’t matter what ticker it was, there’s several of these trades every week. They’re all the same. It’s one of my main bread and butter setup trades. I took the trade and it worked very well. Every confirmation signal occurred, it trended smoothly for hours and closed at the range minimum, exactly where it should. Since I was so deeply in the money, I felt so comfortable in the trade and thus decided to hold a larger than normal position overnight and not even monitor the afterhours action. Lately I felt I had left a lot of money on the table by reducing risk at the close “just to do it”, because 9/10 times the gap continues in the direction of the prior trend on these particular setups. I went to the gym. Another reason why I felt so comfortable is because I have executed and observed this trade setup many, many times–I had a deep understanding of how it plays out.
Then I come back to my computer an hour later. The stock had moved against its closing price by 25%. Very unusual, makes no sense. I reacted to my own disbelief by choosing to re-attack the stock and add back all the risk I had taken off (about half) at those levels. This was a mistake (“I don’t like this move so I’m going to fade it.” DON’T DO IT GUYS)… it went against me in a straight line to a cumulative 50% move. All my profits were gone. What the fuck?
I had to check for news–see if maybe an unexpected headline or filing had caused this extremely unusual afterhours move. I saw nothing on my news feeds. Then I tried twitter. Low and behold, the first result of my search of the ticker’s cash tag, was from a widely followed day trader–let’s call him FuckFaceTrader–who runs a large chatroom. I was very familiar with his trading style, his dialect, his voice, and his background. I think he’s a good trader. I don’t think he’s a bad person. His chatroom is fine. That’s all I will say about that.
I’m not going to copy and paste the exact thing but the tweet was along these lines:
“Man the guys who are doing so and so on $ABC are such pros! I can’t believe anyone still holds these plays overnight! LOL”
Oh. That explains everything.
I flipped my mouse over. I sat back in my seat and chuckled. Yep, of course. *The pro’s* got me. Then I yelled at my screen.
Just reading that tweet was as tilting as losing the money itself.
With nothing making sense and the stock continuing to hold up until the end of afterhours trading at 8pm, I decided to exit my position. Because of the mistake of re-entering at a relatively poor price, I ended up with 5% of my original paper profit marked at the closing price. A pittance. 9/10 times nothing happens afterhours but this had to happen on the day where I leave my screen and carried a larger position. I was not happy about this.
FuckFaceTrader’s tweet lived rent-free in my head for the rest of the evening.
Did he know something?
Did he cause that move by pumping it in his social network?
Is he actually trading this thing or is it just another meaningless commentate after-the-fact bullshit tweet?
It’s gotta be just another hindsight bullshit tweet.
Why tweet that shit though? You make it sound like you’re so fucking smart as if it’s some big fucking scheme that you are privy to.
WHAT IS IT MR. NASDAQ DETECTIVE, WHAT IS THIS SECRET YOU KNOW!?
No, fuck that, he doesn’t know shit. It’s just bad luck that can’t really be explained. My data backs this up.
I want to stab his face right now.
I started shit talking this guy to anyone who would listen.
Did you see what this fuckface tweeted? What a fucking asshole, I hate that guy, I can’t stand him. I hope he blows up and loses every single dollar in his account. Why does he always pretend he knows more than he really does?
I’m sure the people listening to me must think I am insane. Like why am I mad at this innocuous tweet? Why do I care what this fuckface thinks? Why don’t I just move on?
Why? Because I take it as a personal affront when my hard-earned profits get erased on some random bullshit move afterhours, with no news, and there’s some asshole fuckface on twitter suggesting that there’s something so transparent and obvious about it (and that I’m an idiot for not seeing it). GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE MAN!
Grievances. I have a lot of them. You’re a saint if you trade for ten plus years and don’t have any.