A day in the life of a Wall Street strategist who wakes up at 5 a.m. to balance client calls with parenthood

Amy Wu Silverman/RBC Capital MarketsSilverman meets with other members of RBC’s ‘RWomen’ employee resource group.
  • Amy Wu Silverman is the head of derivatives strategy for RBC Capital Markets.
  • The managing director, who recently returned from maternity leave, recently documented her daily routine for Business Insider.

Volatility is back in financial markets, and that means busy days for RBC Capital Market’s head of derivatives strategy, Amy Wu Silverman.

As part of her daily regimen, Silverman closely follows equity volatility related topics in order to relay them to the bank’s clients as well as the media. She regularly appears on networks including CNBC and Bloomberg TV, as well as print and online publications discussing markets stories.

She enjoys the qualitative parts of her job, like visiting clients around the world, as well as the quantitative aspects, such as designing an options trade or analysing a backtest.

Silverman recently documented her daily routine for Business Insider during RBC’s Trade for the Kids day, which donated over $US3 million to youth-focused charities throughout the world, including Storefront School, where she is a board member.

Check it out:


5 a.m.

Amy Wu Silverman/RBC Capital Markets

My day starts early. Our five month-old baby wakes up between 4-5 a.m. and goes back to sleep. I can’t fall asleep again, so I answer emails, read news, check the markets, order diapers and groceries, and get ready for work.


6:30 a.m.

Amy Wu Silverman/RBC Capital Markets

Baby is awake again! We play, read books, and do tummy time. My husband, a partner at an investment firm in Connecticut, sings to her before heading to work.


7 a.m.

Amy Wu Silverman/RBC Capital Markets

I breastfeed the baby and my four-year-old wakes up soon after. The three of us play and read. As our nanny arrives, I prepare the pump items I will need for work. Having returned to work from maternity leave only a month ago, breastfeeding/pumping milk is a regular part of my day.


8:30 a.m.

Amy Wu Silverman/RBC Capital Markets

I arrive at work and the first thing I do is pump before heading to the trading floor. Today our offices are decorated in gold and blue to celebrate our global RBC Trade for the Kids day where we donate more than $US3 million globally to 40 major youth-focused charity partners, including mine, through events across four continents and 23 cities. People ask how I can concentrate on the trading floor but after 15 years I couldn’t imagine it any other way!


9:30 a.m.

RBC Capital Markets / Amy Wu Silverman

Ding ding ding – the market opens! I highlight the Trade for the Kids day to clients as well as a report I wrote discussing how volatility has behaved so far during earnings season and what stocks have cheap options ahead of the earnings catalyst. We talk to clients over the phone and via Bloomberg Terminals.


11 a.m.

Amy Wu Silverman/RBC Capital Markets

I pump at RBC’s lactation room. While I pump I catch up on equity research reports. Tesla reported earnings today and I go over the earnings call, our research, as well as examine how the volatility landscape has shifted.


Noon

Amy Wu Silverman/RBC Capital Markets

Lunch break! Today my colleague, Jeff Shaw, and I are hosting the charities that benefit from Trade for the Kids day.


2 p.m.

Amy Wu Silverman/RBC Capital Markets

My colleague, Steve Gracyalny, and I discuss structuring a downside trade for the Tech sector, protecting an Energy heavy portfolio and overwriting to collect income on high dividend yield stocks. After that I field a few calls with clients. I also have a chat with a reporter on the recent VIX settlement and the February volatility spike’s impact on levered, inverse ETPs.


3 p.m.

Amy Wu Silverman/RBC Capital Markets

The non-glamorous, but absolutely realistic, part of recently returning from maternity leave is that I’m heading back to the pumping room … again!


5 p.m.

Amy Wu Silverman/RBC Capital Markets

After the market close, I wrap up some client work and head out for the day.


5:30 p.m.

Amy Wu Silverman/RBC Capital Markets

I’m home and the kiddos are ready to play! Usually, we hit the playgrounds but today is special: Dad’s birthday. We prepare his present (fancy socks and new shirts).


6 p.m.

Amy Wu Silverman/RBC Capital Markets

Daddy’s home too and we wear hats to celebrate his birthday. My nanny normally leaves around now but is staying over tonight so my husband and I can celebrate his birthday together with dinner out. We have dinner time and then bath time for the kiddos. The baby is asleep by 7pm and my older daughter by 8:30 pm.


8:30 p.m.

Amy Wu Silverman/RBC Capital Markets

Birthday dinner! We enjoy the truffled oysters at Giorgio’s as well as their s’mores bread pudding for dessert… food coma. I’ll definitely need some gym time tomorrow! Soon after, I am home and off to bed.

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