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Who I Am

Hello...and welcome to my newest blog endeavor, The Market Chronicle. I'm excited to share my experiences and insights after more than 30 years on Wall Street, mostly as an equity trader. First and foremost, I'm a trader, not an investment advisor so anything I post that resonates with you should never be construed as investment advice. There are plenty of capable people to seek advice from and I'm more than happy to point you in the direction of a few if you need specific advice.

Initially, I expect to cover broad topics to include the inherent unfairness of the modern fractured marketplace, the effect of technology, and regulation. These views won't be white papers that cause your eyes to glaze over but rather my perspective after surviving in the market trenches for decades. A lot has changed since I began and I imagine a lot more will change before I'm all through.

Before we get to all that, it's probably useful to introduce myself by way of my background. I started on Wall Street while still in high school. The Merrill Lynch mail room and cage was my first stop. After graduating college it was on to First Boston's syndicate operations at the World Trade Center, and eventually to an upstate New York fledgling boutique brokerage. That was 1987. Right in the midst of The Crash. I spent the next 29 years there as an equity trader contributing to the growth of something special. We survived Black Monday, the tech bubble in 2000, the Flash Crash, and the Great Recession caused by the financial crisis of 2008, not to mention all the hiccups in between. When I started, nearly all equity trading took place on the floors of the New York and American Stock Exchanges. People stood shoulder to shoulder on the exchanges, all hell breaking loose around them. Prices were quoted in 1/8's and 1/4's. Specialists were mighty. Phones, paper, and people were the mechanisms of execution. There were no computers yet. Ahhh, how times have changed.

One thing that hasn't changed is the principle that drives Wall Street. Greed. After reading Michael Lewis' book Flash Boys, I was ashamed to be associated with Wall Street. Even the supposed good guys were bad guys. At some point, I'll examine the old Gordon Gekko mantra, "Greed is good." By now, we all know it isn't.

Tomorrow is Monday. When the bell sounds, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 will begin trading from record highs with NASDAQ just a few paces behind. I'm generally an optimist but the broader market is long overdue for a correction. I'm nearly all cash and have been since the run up after Donald Trump's election win. I missed some serious upside, for sure. I'm confident I'll get my shot to buy stocks at my targets though. If I'm wrong, I'll adjust. That's what traders do.