With my last post I introduced Tradovate, a new and admittedly secretive company that will give futures traders like you an amazing new way to understand, evaluate and trade futures.
I thought I should take a moment to share a little more about my reasons for writing this blog.
As you know, I am the founder and former CEO of Open E Cry, the online futures broker (OEC). OEC was incredibly fast growing, and I’m proud to say that its growth wasn’t the result of million-dollar advertising budgets like other brokers, but instead word of mouth among the active futures traders who were our passionate customers.
However, I sometimes think that keeping to ourselves limited our impact – we did not do enough to make our innovations and service quality the new standard for futures traders.
We won’t make the same mistake with Tradovate.
It’s hard out there for futures traders like you – conflicts of interest are everywhere, there’s too little competition for your business, there are too many different players you have to work with (brokers, IBs, clearing firms, software providers, etc.) and the biggest players are ignoring you.
With Tradovate I want to make the futures world a better place for you.
To understand why I care so much about this, it might make sense to tell my story.
I personally started trading index options in college and continued while working for EDS in the early 1990s. I decided to make a profession out of my passion and left a burgeoning career at EDS to take a commission-only job with a small brokerage specializing in S&P 500 options (OEX)
I hustled for business the old-fashioned way: I built up a network, I called everyone I could find, I wrote daily trading services and I met with individual traders anywhere I could.
Then, in 1997, I went off on my own and transitioned my index options business to futures, becoming an Introducing Broker, or IB. As an IB, I sought out traders and “introduced” them to the brokerage firm that would handle trade execution. In short order, I grew a large book of business advising and helping my clients trade.
During those years the work was manually intensive. I was at it from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., making hundreds of calls each day, holding two phones at a time (one to the exchange, one to my client), watching a large bank of monitors and praying that my satellite dishes kept working.
And I loved every minute.
But even though business was booming and I was making a great living, I had peaked with the clients I could service and the business just wasn't scalable – even if I hired more people they’d have the same capacity limits I had.
So in 2002, I put an incredible team together and launched OEC as a new breed of futures broker. The idea was to give futures traders pro-level tools and incredible customer service. It may not sound revolutionary, but it was.
The rest, as they say, is history, and with Tradovate, we’re trying to make history again.
Tradovate will launch in early 2015. You can be the first to try it out – and to stay informed as we move toward our launch.
P.S. – Now that you know more about me, I’d love to know more about you. What are the pain points in your futures trading experience – Commissions? Exchange fees? Education? Software? Customer service? Asterisks? Some other problem? Just email me at Rick@Tradovate.com, and who knows, maybe Tradovate will think up a way to solve it.