Derivatives Trader: My Job Is The Last Of The Wild West


Last night we had a few drinks with a derivatives trader. We cannot tell you where he works or even how long he’s been in derivatives. Let’s just say he’s a relatively young guy but well beyond the phase where you might say he was green behind the ears.

A couple of thoughts from the derivatives trader.

  • “No one will tell you they are a derivatives trader anymore. It’s like labelling yourself a sex-offender. Whatever we did, I sure hope it was bad. Because we’re getting hell for it.”
  • “Right now no one is doing anything funky. Horse meat derivatives are off the table. It’s all plain vanilla.”
  • “If you need a computer running numbers to tell you how a trade works, it probably doesn’t.”
  • “Derivatives are the last frontier of Wall Street. It’s the last real wild west of investing, the last place where you can make real coin and make a difference. If you are trading equities these days you might as well be selling used cars.”

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