I like to say that I grew up on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. My first visit was when I was 12 years old. I used to go to work with my father, who was on a trading desk, every year on the day after Thanksgiving.
One year, he took me to the floor of the NYSE where he started as a “runner” in the ‘70s. He literally ran around the floor bringing people their execution reports on a piece of paper. After spending the day there, I decided that it would be an amazing place to work. The action was non-stop even on a “slow” day. I loved the open outcry trading environment. Brokers yelling their bid and offers to the specialist who would make a market in the stock. After getting the lay of the land, I decided that the specialist had a nice gig. I wanted to be one.
When I was 16 years old, I went to work as a summer intern for one of the specialists who I had met a few years earlier. I was invited back every summer until I graduated college and was offered a full-time position. That was in 2000. In 2005, at the age of 27 years old, I became a specialist. Unfortunately, the market structure changed (for the better) and the open outcry, specialist-based market has largely gone away.
I actually saw this coming and left the floor in 2007 to move to a sales and trading desk. The floor is different now. Quieter, calmer, the “algos” do most of the trading. There may be as many members of the media now as there are actual traders. But I still love going there. I get to see some of my old coworkers who are still there. I get to walk past the post where I started. The floor will always be a special place for me.
So, needless to say, I jumped at the chance to do an interview with CNN from the floor of the NYSE. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!