TRAVEL HERE: VOOM DID NOT ZOOM
My first day at sea was ending, but Bill was unfortunately just getting started. Not the best way to spend a cruise.
The Trading Day
Many people think that folks who trade stocks are sitting at their computers all day long, buying and selling, and there are traders who do that, but that’s not Bill. He only makes a few trades a day, if any, at very specific times, mostly at the opening of the market. What he does the rest of the day is research, testing systems and writing code. In fact it’s what he does when the markets are closed that is the most important.
At the end of the day, when he knows whether it’s been a good day or a bad day, then Bill has to get ready for the next morning. His systems will tell him whether there are any potential trades coming up, but he has to decide to whether to execute them or not. He also has to be sure there is plenty of money in the accounts to make his purchases and he has to be very careful about his orders. A careless click on the computer or the wrong wording in the order could cost him thousands.
Trading on the Boat
So, as I changed into my pajamas, Bill was firing up the computer to get ready for his morning trades. Even sitting at his desk at home, this can take hours, according to what’s happening in the market. On this particular Monday, the market had been taking a nosedive since the Friday before and Bill had both of his hands tied behind his back. All he had was a laptop and a bad internet connection. Usually he has multiple computers streaming information onto two huge screens and a rocket-face internet connection which he pays a premium for.
While our cabin was plenty big for sleeping, relaxing, grooming and changing clothes, it did not offer Bill a perfect work space. There was a desk-like area for putting on make-up, but it was not ideal for his purposes. He was hyper-aware that he was just a few feet away from his sleeping wife, so he was trying to keep his movements and noises to a minimum. He also had very poor internet connection and was suffering from the speed of the computer and the small screen.
Somewhere in the wee hours of the morning he decided he might have more luck with all of it out in the public areas. He’d find a comfy chair somewhere near an electrical outlet, prop his laptop on his lap and finish up his work. What he found was that comfy chairs were easy to come by, but electrical outlets were not. He tried a little bit of everything, but as soon as he would find something that might work, one of the other twelve people wandering around the ship after the bars closed would come sit next to him and do something distracting – like argue with their girlfriend or clip their toenails or listen to music so loudly that even though they were using headphones, Bill could hear it.
Eventually, he was able to discern there were no trades that had to made in the morning, but that was only half the battle. He needed desperately to do some more research, but it just wasn’t going to happen. He crawled in bed for an hour or two, but no sleep was to be had.
Come back next week for our day at sea.