September 16th, 2011
06:07 PM GMT
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Editor’s note: Jim Josephson has spent 15 years in banking, working across Jardine Fleming, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns. He has worked in equity derivatives sales and trading, structured products and flow derivatives. These are his tales from the trading floors.

We ought to discriminate between traders and punters or gamblers, because the distinction is huge. Traders who are successful over time are level-headed people, they have a calmness and method, humility and discipline.

They have a work ethic closer to a religion than anything else. They will not drink in the evening because someone is likely to call at midnight from another time zone.

They get up early and get in front of the screen because the static data they checked over yesterday needs to be checked again today. They don’t embrace risk, they intimately understand their risks.

There is a great analogy, albeit a little cringe-worthy for the true professionals.

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