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Typical Day

Money never sleeps so why should you? Remember that this is a crazy job for crazy people. So there is no "day" for Orville Octaneeater. He sleeps when he can, hoping for a few moments of lucidity during the period of time between weekends when money…well, rests. Albeit a cat-nap. 

Orville trades options for a billion dollar hedge fund in Connecticut (most hedge funds moved out of New York because taxes were onerous. Most are heading to Florida or Wyoming now because Connecticut got greedy and the Internet works). He lives and dies on the VIX or Volatility Index, a mathematical measure, kinda, of the volatility of the stock market. The VIX is more or less how options are priced. 

But the pricing of options is rampant with market inefficiencies and Orville gets paid beaucoup bucks for identifying these imperfections. This circadian period, Orville awakens at 3am to un-rent the bottle of Chateau Margaux he drank six hours ago. He checks Europe which will open soon—looks like a mellow day with no big news items hitting the tape. 

He's happy about this fact because he has made a "dead money trade” bet, wherein he sold options on the market, hoping that time would grind away and the premium dollars he collected from nervous nellies for protecting their downside would just expire when the option came due. He would have then kept all of his money and happily moved on. So boring is good.

Do something, nature.

He sleeps another few hours and is up at 7am to zip into the office and listen to the broker voicemails, process trades he'’s thinking about making, and listen to the general walla of the Street. His three partners are each already there and they kibbitz about the Euro (is it dead yet?), Greek unions (boy, I wish I could work 35 hours a week), and the Yankees.

One of Orville's partners bought 14.99% of the shares outstanding of a small shipping company and the CEO is worried that Orville and a few others will go hostile on them, kick out the CEO and so on—so the CEO is on bended knee with Orville's partner. Orville sits in just for the entertainment value—this CEO has been awful and should be fired; it's only a question of how. Orville's firm is high on mentorship and the older partner loves demonstrating slow painful executions. 

Orville spends the next four hours on the phone chatting with pals, competitors (who are really co-opetitors), brokers, management, and anyone else he can find who has an opinion he cares about. He has a few dozen key contacts in the U.S. military and other subscription areas who give good intel about world peace.

There he is. In the flesh.

It's a quiet day and Orville knows he is dragging—he splits the office at 5 as the U.S. market has closed and grabs a quick workout and a dinner with a girl he met through a premium dating service. He thinks she is pretty but doesn't know her that well and knows he'll likely never have the time or interest to really get to know her very well, but she is great to look at between courses. She checks a box.

Before sleeping his daily half dozen, Orville scours the world, looking for bombs—literally. If a terrorist bomb goes off any time in the next three weeks, it'll really ruin Orville's dead-money trade, giving a completely different caste to the term. For Orville, the world revolves around him and his trades; not the other way around. So peace and boredom are a great thing for this trade. And are all that Orville roots for. Until he makes a different trade.