Below are five journal entries followed by a summary. This past week I spent the week at T3 Live, an experience like no other. I wanted to share this with you. Below is what I wrote each evening after I went home from the office for the day. Enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions/comments.
My first day as a intern with T3 Live was full of subways, fingerprints, walking and a good time.
The day started at 4:45 AM. I woke up and began to prepare for what was in my mind one of the most important days of my life. I did not want to be late for it. Once I was prepared I left at 5:55 walked down to the closet Walgreens to grab a pack of gum after that I was off to the subway. This was my first time on a subway all alone but this was not ‘scary’ part. The part I feared was taking the wrong one and winding up in Brooklyn not in Downtown Manhattan. However, this did not happen and I arrived safely in Downtown around 6:25 AM. By this point I knew I was going to be on time so I went ahead and walked over the closet Starbucks (not far, there is one every 100 yards here) to get a cup of black coffee and kill some time because I did not want to be first to the office that day. At 6:45 I began the long walk up the office building. By this point I was becoming a little nervous, this wasn’t trading in my house or alone anymore. This was the professional trading world I had always dreamt about and I was here.
The elevator doors opened up onto the T3 Live floor though all the lights were off. I quickly jumped back into the elevator riding it back down to the first floor with belief that my fear of being the first one of there were true. Once I got to the first floor again I decided I better try again and look one more time to see if anyone was in the office because I remembered John Darsie telling me that Scott Redler got to the office at 6:30 AM every morning. I went back upstairs, knocked on the door a few times and someone welcomed me in.
Scott Redler walked into the foyer shook my hand and introduced himself. It was an honor to finally meet him in person. Shortly after arriving Scott began to finish up the Morning Note (an email that goes out to the subscribers of it – I am on the list). After this was completed we walked into the studio where I met Brittany Umar and watched them tape the Morning Call. This was a great experience because I was looking around for the teleprompter while they were talking and after they were finished I asked Scott where it was and he said they did not use one. This was a surprise to me at first but afterwards it made sense. Using technicals to trade is not a science and something that can’t be easily verbalized before hand, it takes someone who truly knows it (Scott Redler) to be able to verbalize well because using a teleprompter would not allow the viewer to truly understand the concept at Hand. No one liked the teacher that read out of the textbook the entire time, it is the same idea here. No one wants to learn from someone who simply reads other’s words.
After this was over we walked back to Scott’s desk and I met some of the traders around him including Vanessa, Carter and Taylor. They were all very kind people and young enough for me to be able to relate to them.
The market opened.
Scott began to trade in and out of positions within seconds, extremely fast and not even slightly heightened breath. Calm as could be. Before long it was lunch time. I left the office to get my fingers printed (for compliance) and grab a bite to eat. The day is half over yet it feels like it has been two.
The second day was similar to the first day at T3 Live this was likely do to the fact traders are consistent people in and outside of trading (for the most part). I have always heard and been told that a being a trader influences your personality as much as your personality influences your trading (or something along those lines). This phrase was apparent to me today.
The day started at 5:15 AM, I got ready as I always do and walked out the door with my head phones in (like a true ‘New Yorker’) around 6:05. I made way down the number six subway, made a transfer to number four before arriving at the Bowling Green station around 6:35. I made my way to the same Starbucks I did yesterday to get my first Iced Coffee of the day. At 6:45 (like yesterday) I began to walk towards the office. Once I made it to the tenth floor I called Peter to let me in. I am still not sure what Peter’s role is at T3 Live but one thing that stands out the first time you meet him is his kind personality, he seems to always want to encourage you and engage in friendly conversations.
Once in, I put my backpack down at my station and noticed I had beat Scott Redler into the office this morning. I was one of the only ones in at the time and unfortunately still did not have access to the computers therfore I could not run through any charts to generate ideas. Instead of this, I made my way to the window to take a picture of the amazing view of the Statue of Liberty which happens to stand right out from T3 Live’s office.
Shortly after this Scott arrived and immediately began to work and explain why he was in a little later this morning. He only received 3 hours and 45 minutes of sleep the night before yet he was still in the office right around 7:00 to work a full day. This amazes me and goes to show how much enjoying your job can do to provide you with the energy and enthusiasm needed to do it to the best possible way.
I watched the filming of the Morning Call again today (the one I helped create ideas for the evening prior). After this was completed Scott invited me to go to The Street to watch him film a short segment on $BIDU. This was an interesting experience for me for multiple reasons, first off I had never been into a office building that was literally on Wall Street and secondly it was interesting to see The Street in person and to learn more about what they do as company. As soon as we got there it was time to leave, the video only took about 4 minutes to film and afterwards we made our way back to T3 Live arriving about 10 minutes before the opening bell rang.
This morning I watched Marc Sperling trade for about one hour. This was definitely something I will/should remember. The speed in which he thinks and trades is unbelievable. While I am not sure if I will ever (or want to) trade that quickly it was eye opening to see how much conviction and feeling Marc seemed to have. It almost was like he did not look at the chart, he just ‘knew’ what to do.
Later that morning, I was granted access to the computers as my fingerprints were cleared, however I still did not have a log in so I was still unable to use a computer.
Me and Vanessa went to lunch at Flavors today (a chain deli in NYC), which was really good and definitely appeared to be a very popular spot to get lunch. When we returned we of course looked over the charts only to see the $SPX was still chopping around in the lower end of the intraday range as the ‘meat and potatoes’ of the day was already gone. This was likely because $SPX reached .60% down earlier in the morning and is still in a uptrend so the down moves will be more difficult to catch and likely lose traction much quicker relative to up days. $TSLA (Tesla) was also something of focus today as it was down over 14% at one point today. Many traders were trying to catch a bounce in it but it never got one. As Scott always says ‘trade a level versus a level for paper cuts, don’t dollar cost average into a gusher’. This rang true for many traders today on the floor as many got paper cuts but avoided a gusher (for the most part).
There was definitely a lot more emotion on the trading floor today. Witnessing as much emotion related to trading as I did today was not something I was used to. I tried not to think much of it as it appeared no one around me was either, almost like it was a daily occurrence (maybe it is). However, I could not help myself from thinking about it. Because I was not trading or even looking at charts at the time I had a lot of time to think about the emotions that were being shown. After thinking about it for a while I found myself more confused than I was comfortable with it. While I know all traders at some point get emotional because of lost money or opportunity – today’s emotion seemed worse than that. From what I have learned (with my limited knowledge), if you are losing money, having a off day, or not staying calm it is likely a good idea to take the day off. The other thing I was thinking about was IF a trader trusts his process then it is essential to let the losses be treated like a business expense and not let it become emotional. Treat it like paying an electric bill, it is just an expense.
Market closed and shortly afterwards I watched Scott do his Swing Trading Mentor class on the VTF. It seemed like it would be helpful to participate in as you get to ask questions one on one to Scott.
The day in the office ended with a conversation with Vicki (Chart Girl on Twitter) about my trading style and the Off the Charts newsletter she creates. It was nice to talk specifically talk about my process with her and nice to find out we have a very similar trading style.
Day two is ending past 12:30 AM and day three begins at 5:15 AM. I am ready for it regardless of how much sleep I am going to receive.
Day began at the same time and I did the same thing in the morning down to minute. I do this because I enjoy routines and consistency, I feel most comfortable in those environments.
Today was filled with alot of Telsa trading as well as navigating the Bernanke speech and luckily today I was able to view the action on my own monitors which was a nice change. This allowed me to participate much more actively in viewing the market along with the other traders.
Like the other days I went o Flavors for lunch with Vanessa then came back to watch the charts again.
Today was a day in the market that required the trader to be patient with entries and careful not to chase as we were (and are) in a consolidation phase which tends not to bode well for the momentum breakout trades like many traders like to trade.
Around 1:00 I left to meet with Phil Pearlman (Executive Editor at StockTwits), it is always a pleasure to talk with him. He has alot of interesting ways of viewing things and comments that make you think and rethink about them.
When I arrived back to the office Vanessa began to work on the Morning Call run down. I eagerly helped her as I want(ed) to do the most I could in the little amount of time I was here. I wrote the ‘Sector Spotlight’ and ‘In the Trenches’ sections of the run down, both of which Vanessa edited and then sent off.
After the close I began to do my scans that I do every evening while still at the office. There were no A+ set ups that came up today, goes to show the market we are in.
Finally, the day ended typing this and leaving the office at 5:35. I only have two days left of my one week internship at T3 Live and as of right now I can easily say it has been a very eye opening, enjoyable, and a ever lasting experience as it is the first contact I have had with the professional trading world.
Last thing, the office has a much more relaxed feel to it now than it did during market hours, I like that. You think more easily now.
The day began at 5:15 like many of the other days. I arrived at the office at 6:48 AM and began to do some final scans and typed up my watchlist for my website. Afterwards I was able to speak with Peter (spoke about him in an earlier journal), he is a really interesting person with alot of experience in the industry.
I caught the full Morning Call which was nice to see because I wrote about half of it the evening before with Vanessa.
The market opened with a gap higher and then ripped higher without slowing down for about an hour. Almost all the stocks that were no my watchlist shot off without me which was really not something I wanted to see. Today took alot of patience to be able to sit there and watch the stocks that I had gameplaned for leave without me. Around 11 AM the market made a short term intraday top and gave back about half of the early morning gains. As this happened I was pleased that I had followed my rules and remained in my swing trading mentality and did not chase.
The office atmosphere was very light today, maybe it was because it was (for the most part) a solid up day or maybe it was because most people were having a good day. Either way, that was nice to see. Alot more talking took place today relative to other days. The close was rather uneventful but after the close the earnings trades were what took center stage. Microsoft and Google reported and both missed and traded lower in afterhours trading.
Tomorrow is my last day and it is only half a day. Hard to believe it is over, it’s just now starting to feel normal going to office and sitting on the trading floor. Will hopefully be able to do it again sometime.
Day Five. The final day.
The day started a little later than the other days. I woke up at about 6:30 and it felt like I slept in alot because of how early I was waking up all the other days. I arrived at the office at 8:30 versus the usual 6:50. The office has a much more relaxed feel to it on summer Fridays, many more people are in shorts and short sleeved shirts.
The market on Friday gapped lower on the Google earnings report so the question all the traders had in their head was whether or not the market could take in stride or see further weakness. My thesis for the day (from a swing perspective) that I tweeted out was as follows – “My thesis for the day is we try to fill part of this gap down and the fizzle out and do nothing creating a choppy/sloppy daily pattern..$SPY”
I am leaving the office at around 11:30 to catch my flight in the afternoon. This week has been very eye opening and has instilled alot more confidence and understanding of my own personal process. The week has allowed me a short glimpse of what it is like to trade on a trading floor with all the emotion and stress that comes with it.
I am still sorting through what this week all means to me but the couple things I do know are as follows –
- T3 Live is full of great teachers and people.
- Day trading can be extremely draining from a emotional and psychological perspective
- Being patient is a character trait that all traders must understand and master (myself included)
- Having a thesis (for the day, week, month, year) for a trade or not is extremely necessary, without it you do not have anything to guide on what to look for and why.
- Having confidence in your analysis/process (especially when on a floor) is absolutely required.
- Controlling emotions and knowing when to heavy/light will save you alot of emotional and monetary capital (especially important when day trading).
There is still alot that I have yet to learn from my experience here, alot that has not sunk in yet that likely will in the next couple of days. I would like to thank Scott Redler, John Darsie for helping me gain this once in a lifetime experience that many other 18 year olds will never be able to do.
I look forward continuing my relationship with T3 Live and improving and expanding upon my trading knowledge and experience.
Talk to you soon.
My week at T3 Live was amazing in the sense that it was eye opening and an extremely unique experience to have been in.
Many of the days started very early, arriving at the office at around 6:50 every morning. I was happy to do so because I was extremely excited to be there. Scott would prepare his Morning Note and then do the Morning Call. At 9:30 the trading would be began, there would be almost an eerie feeling that went across floor at 9:30. The ‘feeling’ is almost indescribable, it isn’t quiet, it isn’t loud, it isn’t annoying, frustrating, or scary. It is just a tone of seriousness that I have not been in contact with before. This is one of the things that I will always remember about my week at T3 Live.
Around mid-day many of the traders would head out and go to lunch. The popular lunch spot was a deli called “Flavors”, it was amazing, great sandwiches. By 2:00 PM most traders were back in their desk ready to trade the last couple hours. Most of this time in the office I was watching the other traders watch their screens and trade. I of course was watching my own screen but because I am not a day trader there was not much I could do trading wise.
After the close the tone/feeling over the floor would leave just as quickly as it came. Like the traders were in a ‘zone’. Around 4:15 Scott would do his Daily Recap and then head out of the office for the day. Most days I was in the office until at least 5:00 PM helping Vanessa (a trader next to me) prepare the run down for the Morning Call for the next day or scan charts for myself.
The days were all pretty similar which is encouraging to see as a trader, being consistent is good trait to have. Overall, even though I was only an intern for a week it was a week I will not ever forget and I would highly recommend any other student to pursue an opportunity like this one.