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How To Behave Like a Badass Sales Trader/Dealer/Broker

Year end review ... reposting one of the favourites.

Getting into a dealing room is difficult in the first place. After the initiation period, you will have to behave accordingly in order to be a "stockbroker". Most of the behavioural traits will be inculcated via osmosis, but you can always learn some handy tricks.


Yell Occasionally - Its no point being a soft spoken, polite person, in a dealing room. You will be accorded no respect. You have to yell occasionally to voice urgency. Easy targets will be when speaking on the phone to back room or settlements - use phrases like "the deal is done, don't bother me again"; "don't bother me again, just cross it it"; etc... The other easy targets are your execution dealers, some choice phrases include: "just hit the bloody thing to the stupid buyers"; "what do you mean we are still above the average buying price, ..C'MON"; etc...


Foul Language - This is a given, its the vibe, its a must. If you are not using occasional foul language, your bosses and colleagues will think you never do deals big enough or have clients that are big swinging dicks (or dickheads in most cases). No need to do it over the phone as you try not to swear to your clients. Just pick up any research report and exclaim, "these fucking analysts know dick shit", you get the drift ... a good trick is to put the phone down and then yell "Fucker" or "Useless fucker", hey, you might not even be on the line with anyone, but your colleagues and bosses will think you are doing "good work". "Good work" meaning "taking shit from clients".

Slam the phone - You are not a good broker if you have never broken a phone before. Sometimes the PABX system board may be very expensive, in that case, take the receiver and just whack on the table a few times till it can be heard across the room. Nobody will mess with you cause you will be perceived as a badass broker-dealer-trader. Works every time.

Use Useless Abbreviations & Insiders' Lingo - Sprinkle it in your conversation especially among friends not from the industry. Examples: dog with fleas, dead cat bounce, GN4, PN17, ostrich, pig, sheep, DK, Bollinger, arb, bp, CAC40, CFD, DAX30, front loading, front running, alpha, gamma, beta, GTC, RRR, warehousing, Sharpe ratio, theta, XD ...etc..


Badass behaviour in the dealing room is accepted because you are all fighting for the same clients. Some orders you got is some orders the competition did not get. To maintain good service, acute attention must be given to order instructions and execution precision - hence if you have to ensure the down line gets the message, you will yell and shout and curse, as its your head thats on the chopping block, not theirs. 
Getting yelled at by clients are normal, and as the punching bag, you will have to take those punches. Once the phone is down, that accumulated stress has to go somewhere or you will get an early ulcer or some cancerous growth.

Drink like a Fish - Badasses drink almost every other day. Either you have a really bad day in the office - so, need a drink. Or you had a really good day - so, have to drink to celebrate. If you are not a constant drinker when you are a trader/dealer/broker, you'd probably never amount to much. But basically you have to drink like a fish to numb your soul for being around so much money thats not yours, so many assholes, so much false pretences and bad behaviour,and so many devious sycophants. 


If you have read The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, you will know that a badass broker/dealer/trade is a true  Machiavellian. A person  who "views and manipulates others" for "personal gain, often against the other's self-interest". By reputation, stockbrokers have manipulative personalities. So do people who sell cars or houses. Its really hard to differentiate between the three.


How To Comfort Yourself - When your clients lose money, its a terrible thing and you will feel bad (for a little while). This always helped me when I was one, you will snap out of it when you repeat the mantra "Well, it could have been worse, it could have been my money, or it could have been me". Always work wonders.


How To Comfort Clients - When clients faced losses, they need to be handled. Tell them, you also suffered losses in your personal account on the same stock. Tell them another fund/client had even bigger losses than them. 

At the end of the day, a badass broker/dealer/trader is a person with high EQ (when necessary) and thinks that there is a vast gap between truth and untruths. Do you lie ??? ..., well, we don't call it lies when we are withholding some facts, ...we don't call it lying when we over exaggerate the attractiveness of a stock, ... we don't call it lying when we underplay the risk, ... we don't call it lying when we shove a placement down a client's throat because we just have to get the thing off our books.
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Question:
What does a hedge fund manager with no fund to manage say?
Answer:
Would you like fries with that sir?


A stockbroker is someone who invests your money till it's all gone!

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How to know you are not cut out to be badass:
- when you avoid calls from certain clients, if you can't face the music, you don't have the balls for the industry
- when you can't sleep well most nights worrying about positions
- when you look at yourself in the mirror coming home from work and you hate yourself
- when you feel like Spiderman in a bull market but feel like an idiot during a bear market (market cycles should have little effect on you emotionally, just the place you spend your holidays .. Mauritius or Redang)
- when you have no life apart from the markets

In the end, the financial markets, if you work in them, are just places where you help in the movement of funds from one to another. You live by the flickering lights on the screen. You stare at 4 screens the whole day and go home to stare at another screen, and if you are constantly on FB and Whatsapp, make that 6 screens - that is if you do not go to watch a movie, which would be 7 screens, what a life, screens the whole fucking day. In the end, you take your cut (or commission) with the movement of funds. You hope to value add in your service to clients via "good analysis" or "good execution" or "good information flow" ... mainly its all bull shit, and you know it too, and guess what, the client knows it too.

Comments

ronnie said…
What a hilarious but accurate observation of the going ons in a dealing room. I used to work in one for more than 10 years.

It was loud and chaotic especially in the early 90s. Loads of swearing; women who appeared gentle and demure in ordinary life were worse. The venue condoned the letting off of steam by swearing.

There were a couple of occasions I had diarrhoea because of the stress. A colleague once fainted for the same reason.

You are spot on with regards to drinking. My colleagues and I visited the massage parlour in the car park during and after work. My former boss used to live in the parlour.
Unknown said…
Couldn't agree with you more on the happenings and chaos in the dealing room.

I was in the industry in the 90s and it was fun while it lasted. With the amount of bonus being paid out in that era, the stockbrokers and analysts were also known as 'highly paid fortune tellers' then! Those were the crazy days of Repco, NBT etc.

We can do the best analysis but then if the stocks do not move, then they just don't move... JTiasa and EAH just to name a few but also my top holdings.

Can be really frustrating at times... Brr...
bruno said…
Today the dow is down 50 pts and the greenback is down.Risk currencies like the Aussie gain the most against the greenback.The way the currency market is acting is telling us one thing.Risk is on the go again and the stock market will be having a fiesta.

In early Asian trading the Aussie has surged again.The recent central banks easing will be followed by the Feds churning the printing press at full speed.

The markets are telling us that it wants to go higher.So follow the market,short the greenback and go long the market.Forget dow 13,000 and 13,350 resistance.My best guess now is that it will be taken out with ease.
Remnant 888 said…
LOL
Love it ..!
simon_alibaba said…
U bunch of bastard stockbrokers that where my money goes! Better to place money with an investment banker like me which will still screw up couple of times with my derivative trades!
panaceaasia said…
Sadly this is a sunset sector of the financial services industry.

Brokerage rates are 0.1% with cash up front. If you squeeze the stockbroker, 5 basis points is possible

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