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Background and Resume

December 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Just about every other week, I get inquiries about how I learned the skills I have used in my coding and trading life. The fact of the matter is that the best way to learn how to do something is to surround yourself with those that have already become successful and to learn as much as you can by DOING rather than just reading about doing something. Just as there are a countless number of trading materials as there are books on the shelves of your local Barnes and Noble, there is nothing that can match the amount of information you will keep in your mind than the act of repetition.

As in any career that requires mental stamina, you can only grow by learning from a base of material, and then executing your plan with creativity, persistence and hard work. I’m often asked what languages I know, where I got my background in computer science, and how it led me to finance. I figured the best way to answer was to lay out exactly what I’ve done and how I’ve progressed in my career. As a result, you can see my credentials and resume below.

If the right person sees this, they can judge for themselves if someone like me is right for an opportunity that lies ahead. Thank you for your time.

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Categories: autobiography

Who is CoderTrader – Part I

November 21, 2011 7 comments

Twitter and tools like @StockTwits have proven to be great tools for building groups of like minded individuals into small communities upon which to form valuable relationships and build a reputation within the community.  As you may have found for yourself, the more you create content and generate ideas for others, the more followers you get.  Word of mouth spreads like wildfire these days, and you get to meet a diverse group of people that you would otherwise have no chance of meeting in random chance.  For whatever reason, people in the physical world tend to just walk on by each other with barely a moment to gain eye contact when walking in the street. In contrast, people feel very comfortable sending a quick tweet to say hi or even ask personal questions about your background, current status or even future goals.

As my own set of followers grows to over 2,400 at the time of this writing, I’m finding a lot of new followers know very little about my background or credentials when it comes to trading in the markets. Some people prefer to stay anonymous, and that’s fine for various reasons.  I tend to lean towards the transparent side of the spectrum; I believe there is a great opportunity for an individual to build their own brand while building the community around them.

I am just a regular 29 year old guy based in Milwaukee, WI.  I am married to a beautiful wife of 7 solid years, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. We are parents to 2 year old daughter named Ruby who provides most of the fuel to my inner fire.  She was born with a multitude of severe health issues, including life threatening ones: Tetralogy of Fallot (4 part severe heart defect), Pulmonary Atresia (missing pulmonary artery) and MAPCAs (multiple aorta pulmonary collateral arteries to get de-oxygenated blood around her body).  She was born with 22q11.2 chromosome deletion, a chromosome defect that affects every part of her DNA and growth process.  She eats only with the use of a feeding tube.  Every day is a challenge for her, but I wouldn’t trade anything for the life experiences that little girl has given me.  Hell hath no fury like a father protecting his little girl from the troubles of the world.

I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Engineering and Applied Science.  My Mathematics courses at the university left me one credit away from a minor in Mathematics, but I assure you 5 years of calculus and applied physics makes you feel close enough.  While attending college, I was hospitalized with meningitis and made it through.

When I started college, I wasn’t satisfied with pure theory. I wanted to put my knowledge to the test by getting a job while going to school full time.  I began work with a Hedge Fund called Stark Investments.  The experience I gained while working with experienced software engineers, research analysts, portfolio managers and all kinds of traders was invaluable.  You cannot buy that kind of experience in any book or classroom.  I have experience with equities, convertible bonds, options, futures, CDOs, CMBS, RMBS, Risk Arb and loads of other strategies.  I wrote algorithms to detect price patterns and make decisions based on certain financial models.  I learned that the further you choose to go down the financial rabbit hole, the less you actually knew about the domain.  Only through rigorous work, sleepless nights and a persistent drive did I get to where I am today, and I am thankful for the people that helped me get there.  I worked with some of the smartest people in Risk management, wrote *extremely* complicated Value At Risk models that plot portfolios of thousands of positions against hundreds of possible scenarios.  Those scenarios and their results were presented to portfolio managers that made trading decisions that affected portfolios worth billions.  This was not taken lightly.  I worked there for TEN years before deciding it was time to branch out and apply what I have learned through personal trading.

I have a deep passion for self-education, idea sharing and growing as a person through continuing to learn and apply what one learns from others while adapting to whatever environment presents itself to you.  I’m the kind of person who feels his word is his honor, and my reputation is always on the line with whatever I say.  When I make a statement, I try not to take it lightly.  There are times when we all joke around in social media, but for the most part, I feel that we should all be building our own brand.  I currently don’t make a dime from what I do on Twitter or StockTwits.  Maybe some day that will change, but for now I am content with using these tools as a way to journal my path along the way.  After all, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.  It definitely is what you make of it.

I welcome your questions, and I’ve already received a few last night. I hope to be able to address them as time goes on.

Categories: autobiography