Seite 65 - E_2012_01

Basic HTML-Version

North West of England. I started
investing and trading in physical
shares. There was no leverage
and I was paying stamp duty and
commission on each transaction.
I was making money on the
positions so I added money every
week from evening and summer
jobs I was doing. Secondly, I
also chose my A-levels based
around the idea that I wanted a
career in the financial markets.
So I made sure that I chose
Economics. I wanted to learn
about the financial system and
how everything worked.
TRADERS´: When did
you decide to aim for a
professional trading career?
Anton Kreil: After finishing my
A-Levels I studied Economics
at the University of Manchester,
by which time I had managed
to build a decent size portfolio
at the time from trading. I was
not a “typical” student per se.
I hardly ever went to “student
nights” instead preferring to go
out to “local” bars, restaurants
and nightclubs. I also attended
only about one third of all lectures
and tutorials over the three
years I was there. Economics
at Manchester had over four
hundred registered students in
my year. The lecture theatres
were always packed and it was
always difficult to get the seat
at the back that I wanted. This
wonderful thing called the internet
had just become available
and the course administrators
had decided to put the entire
course notes online. So I bought
a personal computer from a
government insolvency auction
for next to nothing and attended
university most days from my
bedroom, choosing to spend the
majority of my time researching
and putting on trades.
TRADERS´: How was your
thinking different compared to
other students?
Anton Kreil: I pretty much
operated on the fringes of the
student community. Beyond the
odd conversation, I just did not
get on with most students. They
all seemed to be at university
because they could not do
anything else or did not know
what else to do. I guess that
is fair enough if daddy or the
government is paying.
Also at university I could not
understand why so many people
wanted to become accountants.
The argument seemed to be
that the average national salary
is £25,000, but if I work for one
of the big accounting firms I will
earn £40,000. My response was
“so what”? That is about £550
per week after tax. Surely if I was
working and living in London as
an accountant I would spend
that? So it is therefore a zero sum
game and a total waste of time! I
realised quickly it was not about
the money for these people. It
was to enable them to do a “safe”
and “respectable” profession that
perhaps mildly impressed their
parents and other people. As long
as those people told themselves
they were “great” then they
all must get some sort of self
affirmation out of that.
TRADERS´: Certainly you would
not have wanted to be an
accountant in the first place.
Anton Kreil: I decided
I was not going to
measure myself on a
relative basis but on
an absolute basis.
All these people
telling each other
that what they were
doing was the right
thing just all seemed
totally wrong. None
of them seemed to
have the ability to think outside
the box. The way I viewed it was
that my downside would be that
I ended up doing an average job
for £25,000 a year, so a £15,000
difference or £200 difference per
week to being an accountant, but
I would also have infinite upside. I
decided to multiply everything by
at least ten before I considered
it so that any opportunity would
have to present me with the
potential to earn ten times the
national average salary within a
few years. So I just focused solely
on my own trading and getting a
job as a trader at an investment
TRADERS´: Did you manage to
get a foot in the door?
Anton Kreil: It worked. In my final
year at university I was given an
unconditional offer to work on the
Goldman Sach’s Pan European
Equities trading desk. I had
basically by-passed the Human
Resources department and had
eight interviews in one day. I was
given the contract to sign at 8pm
in the evening by the head of
TRADERS´: Please tell us about
your training and your first day
on the floor.
Anton Kreil: When I first got
on the trading floor and was
shown my seat at Goldman I
had already been in “training”
in New York for a few months.
The “training” in New York was
not training for becoming a
trader. It was a generic all round
applied finance course, run by
Goldman Executives and outside
contractors. The real education
started when I actually started
doing it. It is really funny looking
back at my first day on the desk.
I sat down and the boss gave
me a $10 million limit. The guy
next to me was told to make
sure that I do not do anything
stupid and to teach me how to
use the system. It was the tech
boom, we were in a massive bull
market and they threw me in at
the deep end. My first
thought when looking
at the screen was
that the bid and the
offer were the other
way round to what I
was used to. I asked
the guy next to me
if that was right and
he said “yes”. I asked
him if that means I
have to now learn
the opposite of everything I
had ever known. He laughed
hilariously and told everyone on
the desk. The message back
was “Absolutely. Try to learn the
opposite of everything you have
ever learnt about trading”. I came
to realise that this was so true!
Soon I found out that the guy I
was sitting next to was one of the
largest tech’ stock traders in the
TRADERS´: So you had the
opportunity to get in touch
with the top traders in the
The guy I was sitting
next to was one of the
largest tech stock
traders in the world.