Although The Modern Trader: Wall Street Traders Reveal Their Formula for Success (Marketplace Books, 2011) is clearly a promotional piece, it’s a good read nonetheless. The five partners in T3 Live, an online education platform for traders, recount how they came to be traders and offer advice on surviving and thriving in the trading business. Admittedly, they’re not simply traders. They have a second revenue stream: if trading falters, educating traders just might pick up the slack. And don’t mock the strategy: it’s savvy entrepreneurial diversification.
And these guys are entrepreneurs, through and through. Sean Hendelman, the CEO of T3 Live and a partner in the T3 Trading Group, claims that “trading is the most entrepreneurial business in the world.” (p. 113) This implies first and foremost that a trader must be proactive. “[T]o be an entrepreneur, … you have to go out and take what you want. A ‘take no prisoners’ approach can lead to limitless success if combined with a sound business plan and thorough preparation.” (p. 114) Being proactive also involves never settling for where you are. “The value of change should never be underestimated and its inevitability cannot be ignored. Circumstances and goals will always change, but the important thing is that you always push forward to learn the necessary lessons for success.” (pp. 121-22)
Don’t expect to find information on developing trading setups or systems in this book. It seems that each partner has his own approach to trading—from black box to discretionary manual order entry. What they have in common is enthusiasm for their business. They brim with self-confidence and optimism. They exhibit discipline. They work hard. Sounds to me like a pretty good model for the successful trader.