For my first job out of business school, I found my way onto the proprietary trading desk of a large broker-dealer.  Despite not knowing how to effectively manage money, I somehow drew the short straw in organizing the group’s recruitment within the firm.  As a result, I met a parade of candidates that spanned a wide range of educational backgrounds and employment experience.  I tailored my interviews appropriately, but asked one specific question to everyone.  After trying to explain my job function (like I said previously, I was clueless), I would open up a new X-Trader window loaded with S&P 500 E-Minis.  I provided a tour of the platform by demonstrating the ease of executing trades for either hedging or speculative purposes.  At that moment, with blood frothing in the water, I would ask innocuously, “So, do you have any issues with the electronic futures market?”

Only one insightful soul out of the dozens queried had the right answer.  He bluntly stated, “It looks like the Continue reading »

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