For those of you who are subscribers to the Mr. Top Step IM, you know one main philosophy that is driven home is the idea of mutual contribution for the good of the group. They are always encouraging novice traders and those new to the room to ask questions because that’s how you learn. My father recognized how valuable this service is, and has therefore, been a subscriber since the beginning when Mr. Top Step was still affiliated with Option Monster.
On the IM one day back in May Danny asked the chat room when someone was going to come visit the CME and see the action in person. This led to a conversation between Danny and my father, in which Danny generously offered to take me on as an intern without knowing me personally and only haven spoken to my father via the internet. This act alone shows the mutual level of trust that has been built up, and that Mr. Top Step really does walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
I wanted to document this experience and share it with others because so far it truly has been amazing. I am a 24 year old female who graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Business Administration concentrating in marketing.
Since I heard about the internship I have been preparing by reading the daily Mr. Top Step reports, following the instant messenger, and trading on a simulated account provided by Ninja Trader. I don’t think there is really anything, however, that can prepare you for the experience of actually being on the floor of the exchange. It is a completely different world in which grown men (and a few women) run around like chickens with their heads cut off screaming, and flailing their arms until their faces are red as a beat. Adding to the visual, are the lets say “unique” trading jackets that some have chosen to represent their firms i.e. camouflage, black and white checkered with a bright pink collar, and my personal favorite a polka dotted jacket.
My first day on the floor was this Monday, which as we all know was the first trading day following an unprecedented downgrade of U.S. debt by Standard and Poors from a AAA rating to a rating of AA+. The subsequent 600 point drop only fueled the madness. My second day was almost as historical with the announcement of the Federal Reserve meeting notes following the fourth largest drop in market history!
Honestly, I am still trying to absorb all that happened- it was like a blur there was so much going on. I wasn’t completely overwhelmed mostly due to the exceptional tutelage I have been receiving from Brian Shepard the head of the Vision desk. So far he has shown (or tried to at least) me some of the basics including how to fill out ticket orders and cards, deciphering the meaning of all the streaming numbers circling the entire room, the location of the different trading pits, and trading hand signals or Arb. as it is known. It wasn’t until today when we got into discussing more intricate concepts such as using stops, open interest on bonds, and fair value that my head really did start to spin.
I can’t say whether or not my first couple days were like I expected them to be because I really didn’t know what to expect. I am surprised, however, at how nice (a.k.a. patient) to me everyone has been that associates with Mr. Top Step. The real value I have found in this is getting answers from people who all have different trading styles.
The one thing that can be said for sure was Danny was not joking when he told me the day before I arrived “it was time to put my big girl pants on.” As I look for different pairs that fit, I will continue to chronicle this awesome experience and I hope those who are or were in my shoes enjoy the insight.
- Taylor Maid Trades
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.