Creating two or three segments to fill 15 minutes of tastytrade airtime 5 days a week - easy, right? Not quite… it takes seven tastytrade researchers to fill these slots week in, week out. Here’s the inside scoop of a day in the life of the tastytrade research team.
6:45AM – 15 minutes ‘til show time!
The research team regroups with Tom for what they call the A.M. pitch. They double-check that Tom knows what the research shows and the various takeaways of any given segment. This is usually broken up by discussions of what anyone ate for dinner last night, assuming it was a game-changing meal. Finally, any sporting event worth noting is debated while any debts are collected. Naturally, the loser is embarrassed moments later on air because they “Loved the Cavs against Boston, -7.”
7AM - 8AM
After a quick feast of protein bars, oatmeal de jour and the caffeinated beverage of choice, it’s down to business! Time for the research monkeys to do what they do best: research and produce content for the next day, or hopefully, the day after that. Dr. Data gets straight down to business, scouring the database for potential new ideas and the rest of the boys start brainstorming, looking into trade ideas for tastybites or Strategies for Your IRA.
8am – 9:15 Live Research Segments
Crank up the volume, Tom and Tony are delivering today’s segments! The point man for each segment has their ears and eyes glued to the live broadcast, making sure it goes off as planned. They have Bat ready on chat, lines pre-filled with talking points and premeditated takeaways.
At 8:30, silence falls on the table as the markets open. Positions are cleaned up, earnings plays closed, with frantic switches between personal and the Tom’s Team accounts.
Alan “Woodman” Wood: “Hey, I closed that GLD Strangle and that FB Jade Lizard for Tom’s Team”
James “Crumpet” Blakeway: “Ok, pushed through BOB, pushing through dough now, was FB an earnings trade?”
Chris “Gracer” Grace: “ Yes, 58% winner on the open”
James “Crumpet” Blakeway: “All good, pushed and curated”
It’s 10-15 minutes of tension and hushed excitement, before it's back to business.
Of course with the two latest additions to the research team, a GoPro and a boom microphone, Tom can go to the research team at any time. “Linda, put the boys up there please” is the cue to throw away beef jerky wrappers and adjust the shirt collars before figuring out what slide Tom wants clarification on. It’s a new dynamic, but it allows for take-aways to be hammered home and can change the pace of the segment.
9:15-11:30 Crunch Time
This is the sweet spot of time for the guys; live research segments are over and markets are open with any earnings plays cleaned up. Ideas are discussed, concepts thought out and the availability of data is contemplated. Any idea is usually met with immediate agreement, followed by a search through the depths of the tastytrade archives to see the last time such a concept was presented or if recent studies were too similar. The team is always looking to hammer home core concepts of the tasty-mantra, but only if it’s not redundant or too fresh. This is always a huge hurdle to face, with comments being thrown around like “No, we looked at 2 standard deviation expected moves a month ago” or “That study may be too similar to the one on 11/4/14.” The point of this devil’s advocacy is to ensure the segment that goes live will be useful and meaningful to the viewers. Once ideas stick, Google Docs are shared. Spreadsheets, PowerPoints - whatever is needed to get segment ideas out of research team brains and make them a reality.
A quick side note: The research team’s daily tasks aren’t limited to researching and writing segments, placing Tom’s Team trades and consuming more M&Ms per capita than the rest of the office. The team also curates segments, providing key words and descriptions to optimize search engine hits. Members also assist the graphics department in building live decks for Tom and now LIZ and JNY, so that they can have the most visually stimulating, concise live presentations possible. Dr. Data works with marketing and our executive producer, Tony V (Bronx not Brooklyn), using our data feeds to analyze which segments are resonating best with our audience.
11:30A.M.-1PM Lunch and Post-Lunch-Pitch
Finally! The boys have been working since 6:30…time for lunch! Whether it's sliders from Choppers or Thai from Penny’s Noodles, the research team is relieved for a quick break to chow down before it's back to the content creation process.
Next, comes a crucial time of day, the post-lunch-pitch. This is where the team convenes with Tom and runs the segments by him for the next day and anything in the pipeline for the rest of the week. The team will sit with bated breath for one of 3 possible responses:
“Sounds good, I like it.”
“What do you mean? Elaborate on that, what will the takeaway be for the viewers?”
“Tony, that’s a 100% close on bond futures… how does daddy do it?! Ok boys, sorry - what’s for Market Measures?”
This process varies in length each day depending on what Tom’s good with, what needs clarifying, and how much he’s trading as the team runs ideas by him. But the result is always helpful, with Tom giving his guidance as to where he wants the segments to go, potential takeaways and what would really give it extra merit.
2:30-3PM T-Minus 30 minutes to The Pitch
Things are wrapping up for the team, segments being finalized and pitching duties being allocated or requested.
Alan “Woodman” Wood: “Ok, Beef. You pitching the Market Measure? You got those takeaways locked up?"
Mike “Beef” Heart: “Yep, got it, and Butler’s got tastybites.”
This segment assignment is followed by Sydney or Alex (tastytrade sound gurus) approaching the desk with the lavaliere microphone for whoever is lucky enough to stand between Tom and Tony that day, usually whoever is pitching the most complex or intricate segment of the next day.
And that’s it! A day in the life for the research team between Pitches!