The Metabolism of Trading | The New Economist

How the mores and daily life of the profession have evolved in 30 years

Photo by Nicholas Cappello, Unsplash

A few years ago, a stranger approached me at a conference. I had been introduced as a stock seller with over 30 years of experience. “Success or failure?” he asked me mischievously. I laughed. When I started in stock brokerage, evolving in the field over 50 was synonymous with failure. If the people concerned had not earned enough money to retire early, they were considered losers. Well I’m still here, and I’m not the only one. There’s a lot more gray hair in sales desks these days.

Growth versus value stocks

This is not the only change. Trading revenue has declined due to regulation and new technologies. The mode of remuneration of sell-side analysts [la partie du secteur qui s’occupe de la création, de la promotion et de la vente d’actions, ndt] and sales people has changed. But the biggest difference is the type of conversations I have, and who I have them with. Twenty years ago, I barely spoke to the public interested in quick wins. Today, I spend most of my days with him. The stock price is set on the margin. And both buyer and seller of margin is a hedge fund manager.

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