Brumfield est un ancien floor trader du CBOT. Il fut le plus gros trader de T-note sur le pit avant de devenir le plus gros trader sur le bund, passant avec succès du pit à l'écran. Pendant près de 10 ans il accomplit une performance à 7-8 chiffres avant de rejoindre et prendre le contrôle d'un éditeur de logiciel, Trading Technologies, qu'il a conseillé dans la création d'une plateforme d'exécution révolutionnaire (notamment le fameux MD Trader). Extraits d'une interview donnée à Active Trader en 2003.
- I went up and down quite a bit - I'd make a lot of money and go back to zero.
- When I started on the floor I was doing a combination of scalping and position trading. I would always have an idea - a basic position - and then I'd trade around it. I still trade like that. I changed stuff all the time, but the style itself - being very active, putting on position trades and scalping around them - never has changed. Trying to come up with techniques - that's a full time job, even today.
- You need to have some kind of game plan. But things evolve so quickly in the market you have to be able to adapt. Combining some kind of systematic foundation with the ability to change things on the fly probably gives you the best of both worlds.
- I would read a lot before the trading day, and even during the day, to find a theme, have a direction and develop a trading bias. No market pattern repeats exactly the same, but you can see a lot of things developing like they did in the past if your memory is good enough and you remember things that have happened repeatedly. But you have to mix things up and adjust for the time. One of the problems I saw is that technical ideas eventually get caught and you have to be able to shift real fast.
- My returns were extremely volatile. I kept expanding my knowledge by pushing the envelope pretty hard in terms of the volume I was trading. It's much harder to trade larger, so any links in your system or approach are exposed that much faster. If I was doing well, I would just keep trading larger and larger.
- I went down to zero at least two, maybe three times - and from very high equity points, too. But it didn't really bother me. I can't describe it. It hurts your feelings for a day, but once you sleep on it, you're OK.
- You need to have confidence all the time. Extremely smart people have a very tough time unless they trade technically. They can't do it fundamentally because none of this stuff is factual. It's just opinion, and from what I've seen, the smartest people deal in factual, statistical terms. It's not in their nature to go with something calculated on the fly and think, "my gut tells me it's a winner." It's really hard for extremely bright people to do that. They are so smart they are thinking about all the things that are wrong with the trade.
- Another part of confidence come from developing your own trading ideas, rather than using someone else's approach or acting randomly on tips and things like that. You've got to do the work yourself. It may mean banging your head against the wall a thousand times to do it, but that's what it takes.
- I think the hardest thing about trading, by the way, is where to take profits. You got in because your expertise told you it made sense to buy or sell - you believe in that direction, so what's going to make you go the other direction and flatten out ? At some point, maybe you think, "it's getting to fair value."