A day in the life of a crypto Options trader (at Duke and Duke)
So you want to be a Crypto Options trader at the biggest institutional desk on Wall Street? Good for you. Welcome to a world which will never be dull, and if you play it right, you could end us as rich as Winthorpe working with Duke & Duke.
To prepare you for taking on this very important role, here’s what you can expect an average day at the firm to be like. We hope this helps you to prepare yourself mentally and physically as you undertake your new position.
Options trading requires mental and physical fortitude, focus, dedication, and an almost zen-like attitude towards risk. Some of our traders say it helps to have an emergency supply of Bolivian marching powder to keep you going when there are high volatility days.
But don’t worry, because you’ll be fully supported by your management team. This is of course as long as your P&L charts are healthily green — Red is a big no-no.
That said, don’t be dismayed if the market’s going against you.
Your line manager has many years of experience (including more stomach ulcers and Gout than you’ll have hot dinners in the next year) and can help you out if you need it. Just make sure you never ask him a question you don’t already have an answer to.
An average day at the firm
0515 am. Wake. Jump out of bed, with the larks. Assuming you managed to get some sleep and aren’t too hungover, you’ve got about 30 minutes to take a shower and cram an espresso (or two for good measure) and, if you’re that way inclined, some toast before jumping into the car.
0545 am. Drive to the office. Check your vitals, and measure your resting pulse rate. If it’s below 170, you’re fine. If it’s any higher, spend the time reciting the “Greeks” mantra, which both settles the trader's nerves, and helps you remember your Delta from your Gamma.
06:00 am. Arrive at the office. Once inside, it’s obligatory to down a couple of espressos to give you a lift. The day now begins with some early morning research of the crypto media.
You’ll also need to spend some time sifting through CeFi platform's earnings reports, quarterly statements, and the latest regulatory requirements. Most of these will be helpful, as they’re generally implemented after lobbying by the firm, and are normally designed to protect retail investors by limiting their access to data.
06:30 am. Time for some deep technical analysis later and you’re ready to face the day. You will need around 3 strong espressos during this time.
07:30 am. The first client requests come flooding in, and, depending on the volatility of the day, this flood may well be biblical. You have around ninety minutes to fulfil them all.
09:00 am. By the time most people are just starting their day at work, your day is actually calming down a little. It’s important to keep your caffeine intake up right about now, as it’s common for late mornings to end up being a doozy.
12:00 am. Well done, you’ve made it to the afternoon, but rather than having a chance to take a breather, there’s a warning on one of your positions — all hell breaks loose, and you’re holding a short gamma position that’s cratering. Not good!
You may start to experience some palpitations at this point and it’s common to question whether this was a good week to give up smoking. And Adderall. (it isn’t).
12:15 pm. After a little bit of rejigging around, you’ve made your call — it’s a hold (and hope for the best). A good trader at this point manages to muster sufficient cognitive dissonance to convince themselves that they made the right play.
You can now spend the rest of the day wondering whether you’ll finish this session up with a pat on the back from your line manager, or be presented with a nondescript cardboard box for your belongings.
12:30 pm. Lunch… Health is so important for the active trader, but not as important as being glued to the charts, so make sure you bring a fish paste sandwich and/or some beef Jerky to eat at your desk, and you’ll need to keep your sugar intake up, so ensure you wash it down with more espresso.
13:00 pm. Time to go through the charts again, and ensure that there haven’t been any particularly nasty surprises, like CEOs getting caught embezzling client funds, DeFi hacks or unauthorised stablecoins depegs.
14:00 pm. With intra-day volatility subsiding, this is the time to take the opportunity and sneak out for a bathroom break. Lock yourself in a cubicle, and take your pulse again. Play a couple of rounds of Candy Crush on your phone to try to ease the tension — it doesn’t work, of course, but you’ll get a few moments of respite before returning to your desk (via the coffee machine) to discover a massive stack of fresh client orders to process.
15:30 pm. As the afternoon wears on, it’s time to start hedging your weaker delta positions, before focusing your attention on larger positions with closer expiry dates. This is an important time to remember your Greeks. You may need another espresso at this point.
16:30 pm. Panic. Bitcoin decided to break out of the tight range it’s been sitting in for the last 3 months. All those Calls you sold are getting crushed, and over 50% of them are now “In the Money”. Immediately offer a whopping great discount on OTM Puts to try to balance liquidity.
17:30 pm. Sheer Panic. Nobody’s buying Puts. Volume has continued to ramp up and Reddit is going nuts with YOLO’ers piling in, so you put in a call to Yahoo Finance to request they run a piece on why crypto investors are falling into a bull trap.
18:45 pm. Bitcoin takes a breather, and a small correction gives you some time to move some funds around to bolster liquidity. Thankfully, because you didn’t call them, few of your clients have exercised, so there’s still time to drop an intelligence report suggesting a fake-out-breakout.
19:30 pm. Your working day is done (assuming we don’t announce an impromptu fire sale). Time to head to the bar next door and join the TradFi floor traders for a swift Nebuchadnezzar.
20:30 pm. Head back to the car. Engage autopilot for safety.
21:00 pm. Back home. Throw some pasta in a pot for 5 minutes. That slightly different feeling you’re getting in your stomach now is called “food”. Eat slowly, almost robotically in front of the TV. It doesn’t matter what channel, you’ll be unlikely to take anything in at this point.
21:30 pm. Open your CoinMarketCap app on your phone. Bitcoin has continued to push whilst you’ve been absent from the office. Sigh, but recognise there’s nothing you can do right now. Tomorrow is another day. (Bonus points for traders who return to the office at this point!)
22:00 pm. Drag yourself up to bed. Some nights, you will be asleep within seconds, but on others, you will be awake until around 4 am replaying the days events in your head. Stupid brain. Make a reminder to yourself that you’ll need to grab an extra coffee when (if) you wake up in the morning.
We hope that this information was useful for new traders, and you’ll find plenty of other helpful stuff pinned on the staff noticeboard next to the coffee maker on your floor, including contact details for the company Psychotherapist, rehab clinic and the nearest emergency room.
Very important note for all Options traders
Under no circumstances whatsoever should you use the DeFi protocol Bumper. Whilst it’s touted as a provably fair, simple, accessible and transparent risk market for cryptocurrencies, offering protection and a new class of DeFi primitive, it is in no way a substitute for an honest day's work at the Duke and Duke offices.
We have discovered many Options traders who have been wasting their time on golf courses, learning to scuba dive, forgetting their Greeks, and even having a normal family life — all because they started using Bumper.
And our research indicates that continued use of the Bumper protocol has been linked with reduced blood-pressure levels, increased Gym attendance, 8-hour deep sleep patterns and stable Circadian Rhythms, and in some cases, has even caused traders to give up Caffeine altogether.
Basically, it’s a disgrace to the good honest name of Wall Street financiers, and no self-respecting Options trader should even try to find out about Bumper.