Here’s how it all went down with us and how we are trying to improve the lives of the people around us. We might just happen to work in finance, a business that is often only measured by money, but what we’re really good at is improving the lives of the people we work with. Here’s how it all got started.
“Once upon a time” way back in 2008, Positive Equity rose from the remnants of an algo-focused proprietary trading parent firm that simply failed to make algo trading work. We all started together, a handful of hard working staff, a dozen talented traders and some hungry trainees. It wasn’t all blue skies though. There were some real storms on the horizon for all of us.
“Overcoming a system that only serves to exploit traders”
We were confident in our own unique trading philosophies in Dublin, and optimistic about the future (we are positive after all!). We saw things in this traditional futures trading world that we wanted to change.
- The common proprietary trading model was beginning to break, at the expense of the trader. A myopic focus on trading costs resulted in many trading firms profiting even if that didn’t always mean success for the trader. That is wrong and we wanted to change it.
- Many an electronic day trader was losing his or her competitive trading advantage (‘edge’) but firms continued to profit. One-time successful traders were leaving the industry in droves.
“We are all in this together”
How do we address the old school proprietary trading model? Easy. Part of our story is aligning trader success with company success. If we as traders are not successful, Positive is not successful. We build careers where failures and successes are shared together. All for one and one for all. That might not be the most profitable way for the firm, but its the right way.
“Long term success is the holy grail for all of us”
Even in our brief history we’ve seen our fair share of ups and downs. So early on we sat down and thought about what are the most important aspects of being market professions and what ingredients we need to have. After many sit downs and brain storming sessions and talking to people one item stood high above the rest. Some people said awesome offices. Some people said great office location. Some others said cheap rates. But the one that kept coming up again and again was this: I want to be a trader for a very long time, to avoid burn out and blow outs, and have this career in 20 years time. That is the goal. But how to get there? Well that took a whole other set of beating our heads together.
So again we sat down, banged the heads together, talked to tons of people, and really thought about the ingredients that make for successful long term careers. This is what we came up with.
- We start with our core: hard work and discipline. Without these we are nothing.
- We define our edge and we exploit it: low risk high probability trades are what we live for, whether man, woman, or machine pulls the trigger.
- We Innovate and share: we can’t trade one strategy forever, so we as a collective constantly look to new markets and new strategies. Many hands make light work.
“Improve the lives of the people around you”
Has it worked? We’re still here. We’ve grown up a bit. Our ranks have swelled to 60 people across a couple of offices with more on the way. We are active on a dozen exchanges across 180+ markets. But the real bench mark is that we’ve collectively built careers for dozens of people and improved the lives of many people. In turn each person that has joined our adventure has profoundly changed our lives (for the better). But has it worked? They say you are only as good as your last trade. Better ask us again in 15 years time.
“Will we live happily ever after?”
So long as we always respect our core philosophies, we believe so. There’s nothing sweeter than a solid game plan well executed. That is the Positive way, and that is our story.
If you’ve read this far down, you must be more than casually interested in us. Tune in to our Twitter posts and learn even more about us. https://twitter.com/Positive_Equity