I get to the office and head to the kitchen for a double shot espresso to start the day. Then I’m ready for twice-weekly mock trading classes and once-weekly poker sessions; both are taught by our Education team. Mock trading allows us to simulate active trading environments and work through different scenarios that we might see on the desk. It’s challenging, but fun too. I really enjoy our poker sessions and often take time after these lessons to analyze my play as a means of improving my decision making skills. So far, we have played limit hold’em, stud hi, stud hi/lo and razz; my favourite has definitely been stud hi/lo.
I head to my desk after breakfast or class to prep for the trading day. I start by catching up on overnight events and any news released that morning. It’s important to know about live macroeconomic events and impactful company releases, as it helps me to think about the trading strategies I’ll bring into the market that day. Next, I reconcile any differences between our positions and what’s being held by our clearing agent, as well as work with our custodian to get stock borrow updates into our systems before trading starts.
The market opens; it’s the busiest time of day. As we go through the opening rotation, traders and researchers are in constant communication, sharing insights swiftly and observing if the markets opens according to our assumptions. Once the market settles down, I collaborate with different departments, like operations, to ensure our trading positions are efficiently financed, are in the correct accounts, and that costs are minimised to reflect the appropriate risk profiles.
What is unique about working as a trader at SIG?
SIG’s commitment to education has given us the reputation of having best-in-class trader development in the industry. We conduct a challenging interview process to identify students who will thrive
in our environment. Once you are here, you will work in a collaborative and collegial atmosphere while learning how to make positive expectancy decisions in the financial markets.
You will learn how to make trading decisions by simulating the floor of an open-outcry exchange. After learning how to approach the trades, you will continue learning
in an electronic trading environment.
At SIG, we believe trading is all about making decisions under uncertainty. You will learn how to apply things like probability, odds, and expectancy by playing strategic games regularly with senior traders.
It’s time for lunch (Korean fried chicken is a favourite!) and to begin working on projects like testing trading ideas or developing new spreadsheets to improve existing processes. Because I work so closely with the traders on the desk, I’m able to ensure that what I build is directly useful and accurate for their needs. I also read over trader recaps from our overseas offices, as they may include interesting trading situations we don’t often see in Australia.
If I have time, I like to shadow senior traders on the desk and go through some of the interesting trading situations that occurred during our trading day. Reviewing the various pricing parameters being used and discussing the reasoning behind running them the way they did is a really useful aspect of my training.
Stocks stop trading as we go into the closing auction. Similar to the opening rotation, there is relatively higher liquidity available for the traders to manage their risk. Once the stocks close, I send out risk scenarios with profit and loss (PnL) mapped across different moves in stock for traders to review. I also take this opportunity to verify that the trades I booked manually over the day are correct.
“After the close, there’s usually a poker game set up in the office and I’ll often join in to play.”
After the close, it’s time to finalise the day’s PnL, get new stock borrow for short stock positions, and let the traders know of any option exercise decisions that need to be made.
There are usually poker and other strategic games set up in the office as well and I’ll often join in to play. If I don’t, you’ll find me heading to SIG’s on-site gym as I definitely prefer to exercise after work (and the extra sleep in the mornings is great too).