All of January 2014 through to December 2016, I had the privilege of working in a small trading office with three other retail traders.
Now that this has come to and end, I thought I share a few thoughts about it…..
The four of us met each other in a pub having a pint at the London Traders Network in central London back in November 2013. We all liked the idea of maybe trading together in an office one day, as opposed to each working alone from home. It just so happened that I came across an office opportunity two days later and before you knew it, we were up and running!
In hindsight, I think we were all very lucky – firstly in the way we happened to bump into each other, and secondly in that all of us got along with each other really well and there were no personality clashes – which could wreak havoc when you are all sitting there for long hours each day attempting to trade head & shoulder patterns, moving averages and reading volume action on the emini.
If you have the opportunity, or want to create the opportunity, to work in a trading office, then I highly recommend it, and thought I share some of the insights we found:
- The more open you are to talk about your trading, the more you will get out of the office setup.
- The more willing you are to talk about psychological issues that you might be battling, the more you will benefit from the office setup.
- Think of times when you had a pint of beer with a fellow traders and got into a real detailed constructive conservation – that can happen on a daily basis in a trading office
- Here is an example of one such conversation
- Trading colleagues can be there to help and encourage when you are going through a performance slump as well as share your celebratory moments!
- Sharing of knowledge and experience will really speed up the learning curve, and also expose traders to different styles and perspectives
- It certainly creates another level of professional environment and minimizes distractions as opposed to working from home.
- It helps not only on a technical level, but also on social one!
- See earlier blog post about not going at it alone!
- Do consider how concentrated you need to be and/or whether you have any extraordinary personality traits/habits that could create an issue in the trading office – they will definitely come out in a trading context!
- It helped that we did not pool trading capital – everybody continued to be their own boss and the only thing we shared was the office space! All came and went as they pleased from day to day.
- Read a bit more about that on this blog post
- It does help if trading styles and/or markets traded are somewhat similar across the traders in a group – most of us were trading forex and indices using discretionary rule-based trading strategies
- In the final year, an emini futures/options trader joined us – but we still had some darn good conversations
There are several avenues for getting into an office arrangement. You might want to start a trading office from scratch, join an existing trading arcade or simply even want to get together with others at each others’ homes from time to time.
The office ended because the venue ceased to be available for us (rather than us getting out the boxing gloves). The silver lining for me was that a friend has offered to give me desk in his hedge fund when he heard that my office was breaking up, which I moved into last week.
Feel free to contact me using the Contact Form if you are thinking about getting into an office setup and have some questions.