Choosing a Proprietary Trading Firm

When I left Swift Trade Securities, it was on good terms. In fact, I had been offered a salaried position at that branch of Swift on my return to Toronto, which I would later come to learn was actually an incredibly rare offer to be given to former traders at any non-bank proprietary trading firm.

Despite all the negative publicity related to Swift Trade—or its founder's subsequent entities—in its dealings with Canadian regulators, or the impression that many may have about its trading strategies based on mere word of mouth, Swift Trade Securities was undeniably an excellent place for a trainee to start out in the trading business, especially in the era before and during the early implementation of Reg NMS and the Hybrid NYSE market. On top of that, it would be fair to say that my particular reasons for leaving the company were entirely for practical and personal reasons and in no way reflected how I was treated and trained at the company. In fact, leaving it was probably one of the most selfish decisions I ever made in my career within the securities trading industry—which says quite a bit in a business that's supposed to be driven by primal dynamics of personal gain and cutthroat competition.

As my relationship with Anna progressed, we settled on a transitional period in which she would live in Buffalo, New York—the not-so-beautiful little city that's situated immediately on the U.S. side of the American-Canadian border between ...

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