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Nov 13, 2020

"Stories from a Contrarian Trader" Follow Up

By:Liz Dierking

Meet Liz, and Jenny... two “40 something” suburban moms who drive minivans and are on the school board... oh & did we mention, they are “certified badass” option traders with over 45 years combined trading experience.

In this tradeTALK, Liz discusses the who, what, when, where, and why stories of a contrarian trader and how she is not ‘just a girl standing in-front her trading screen waiting for the bell to ring’…Check out tastytrade’s tradeTALK Episode #9.

Episode Nine.
Stories of a Contrarian Trader.  
*disclosure, my remarks below is a continuation to my tradeTALK. 


You had me at hello…. 

That is how I feel about trading. Let’s take a trip back in time. In 1996, I had my maiden voyage to the trading room floor. My first job was working as a clerk for Bear Sterns on the bond room floor at the Chicago Board of Trade. I got to work early on my first day, and the floor was quiet as a flow of traders wearing brightly colored jackets started to trickle in. It was the ‘90’s, so the traders smelled like smoke and looked like hell. Little did I know that this was the calm before the storm. What I saw after the bell rang changed the course of my life forever. Imagine being in a live hive of bees. That’s what an active trading floor was like. Traders buzzing around the floor in swarms, groups of people piled one on top of the other, yelling and waving their hands towards the middle of each pile. The noise in the room grew to a measurable din that you could feel in the bottom of your shoes. Stadium seating ran up each of the four walls, and the people seated in those seats answered phones and tried valiantly to communicate with the “hive”. 


My job that summer was to take paper orders  into the center of the hives. I had to get from point A to point B without getting stepped on and each trip was an adrenaline inducing adventure. This was trading in the ‘90s. The floor is a crucible of maturity, and that summer I grew up fast. I have always been a fast talker (unusual since I grew up in the Midwest) AND I was the only non-Italian that I knew who would wildy gesticulate whenever I got into a heated conversation with someone. Seriously, my hands should be registered as some sort of weapon. But none of that mattered to floor traders in the ‘90s. You had to be Fast and Furious to stand out in the hive. I had found my people.      


Flash forward to 2020: I tell my kids all the time that people come into your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime.    Those people at that time on the trading floor were a season AND a reason but definitely not a lifetime.   

Tom, Tony, Vonetta, Jenny and ALL of TASTY NATION are my people now. The heartfelt connections that I have made with people all over the world because of our mutual love of trading and the markets has been amazing.   This has been the best decade of my life and we have only just begun. Learning that trading is mechanical and not a competition or a zero-sum game has altered the course of history. I know that tasty nation will be my LIFETIME people and we are just getting started.

So, when I was tasked with writing a blog post, I was a bit reluctant because I have always been more comfortable with numbers than with words. But I really wanted to give it a shot because I had all these ‘feels’ that I wanted to share. I’m reminded of one of the greatest written pieces of all time, from the late writer/director John Hughes that  TASTY NATION truly is the new breakfast club! TASTY NATION is from all over the world and we are all so unique in our backgrounds, experiences, and daily way of life, but we are better together.

Dear Mr. Vernon,

We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong, but we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us—in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.

Sincerely yours,

The Breakfast Club

Watch Episode 9 and tune in next Thursday, November 19th at 3pm CT for the final episode of this tradeTALK series, ‘How to Build A Portfolio Using Complex Options Strategies’, with Tom Sosnoff.

Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before deciding to invest in options.

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