Floor Traders: Emini Day Trading, Dow Futures, Commodities and Forex, Part 2


It was very interesting to read the comments from the first video of this series on Floor Traders. For some readers, their image of the floor trader was dramatically altered by viewing that video.

That’s a good thing.

One of my goals in sharing this series is to pull back the curtain on them because I found that many retail traders have the wrong impression of who is (or was) trading on the floors of the exchanges.

They have no super powers and they are not necessarily better than you. So don’t be intimidated by them.

My own first eye-opening experience when I visited the Chicago Mercantile Exchange was how these people were not so different from you and me at all.

I live in the Los Angeles area, and here it seems like every waiter and bar tender is a current or former “actor.”

What I found as I participated in the night life of Chicago was that many of the waiters and bar tenders there were current or former “floor traders!” That really shocked me.

Most of them failed miserably, not unlike most retail traders around the country (and world).

Of course the most successful traders (the vast minority) are very special people. They are very disciplined and treat trading like a business  – but that holds true of screen traders as well.

Anyway, I’ll save more regarding that topic for another post.

In today’s video you’ll get another insider look into what it’s like to trade in the pits. In this video floor traders at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are asked the following questions:

  • What do you remember best about your first day at the Merc?
  • What’s the funniest moment you remember at the Merc?
  • What’s the scariest moment you remember at the Merc?
  • Who is the most famous celebrity you remember visiting the Merc?

Enjoy and click on the “comments” link to leave your comments.


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  4. Barry:

    For me, it was a refresher review of the few hours I spent at the CBOE last January 09. I was with another trader that was teaching a floor trader how to screen trade and between that and your lessons and this video it all boils down to one issue: “Whether you are a floor trader or a screen trader there is a term of payment and learning everyone must go through to make it to the Pro level and most will wash out along the way for whatever reason and that includes even me”

    But, I’m still here and I love your style of teaching and appreciate everything you do for us on this side of the curve. You’re the best out there or should I say out here!


    Gordy Caverly, Michigan

  5. Hi Barry,

    Really enjoyed the video. Its a scary place sometimes, but run by people none the less,and they all have a story.
    Thanks a lot.

  6. before i got my seat i was at the merc for the cattle close and a trader had a heart attack. they traded over his dead body for another min or 2

  7. i loved the characters you meet. my first day on the midam i had a bear spread in bonds making 60 tics over 2 months. heinhold came in buying 5000 and the spread went nuts. scared the crap out of me and i blew out the trade making 20 tics. feels different on the floor.

    one day gold looked bad but a commission house loaded up at the uptrend line with a tight stop. sold it big (for me) and the big broker in the pit told his runner go look for a big player. found him in the bar all skunky drunk, dragged him upstairs and when the stops got hit he bought 3000 $2 below the comex and dumped it all for $40k gain in 3 minutes. biggest cowboys i ever knew

  8. Once you get over the culture shock it does sounds a great place to work. The scary moments was interesting, one guy was down 250 big ones in 5 mins.

  9. Barry, Thanks for the video. I hadn’t seen it. I visited both the Merc and the CBOT back in the 70’s. What an experience! I remember being in the visitors gallery behind what appeared to be bullet proof glass looking down on the trading floor. At the opening bell there was this huge muffeled roar coming through that thick glass that almost physically push you backwards. It was a piece of American history but as a trader, I feel much better about electronic trading. With pit tradding I always had the slight suspicion that I was getting ripped off on the fills.

  10. Hi Chris,

    There’s no reason to have to resubmit your info every time you view my articles and videos. That would indeed be very annoying. I’m not sure why that is happening to you, but if you can give me more detail about it I’ll be happy to look into it.


  11. I agree with Barry that these are “regular folks”. Their time perspective on the market is entiely different than the “retail trader” (very short term).
    But, one should be aware of the instutitional traders off the floor (the Goldmans & large funds), they have a good handle on things and can moves things around a bit.
    The floor is not what it “used to be”.
    Good Trading to all.

  12. Barry,

    Although I am currently on your e-mail list I find it annoying to constantly have to resubmit my info everytime I wish to view your articles or videos. I realize you are promoting yourself and I don’t object to that. Your info is inforative. My time is limited and this procedure causes me to delete articles. If there is a way to bypass this as I study your methods it would be helpful.


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