Trading with Steidlmayer
by Ellen C. Williams
Talking with J. Peter Steidlmayer about the commodities markets is different than talking with any
other trader in the game.
Bonds, soybeans, grains and currencies are metaphors that define Steidlmayer's way of looking at life. A
success on the floor at the Chicago Board of Trade while still in his 20s, Steidlmayer wrote a trader's
manual for the Chicago Board of Trade known as the Market Profile in 1984. In this work, he details how
time, price and sales reflect what goes on while the markets are trading. At the end of each day, the
Liquidity Data Bank summary gives the trader a detailed report of volume, contract month, volume of
each price, including the percent of the volume traded by local traders vs. the percent of volume traded by
commercials at each price.
The CBOT Market Profile is considered innovative work that, to Steidlmayer, tells the story of the
market. Since this is a new way to look at trading, some of the material in the profile takes time to
become part of a trader's methodology.
To understand the market according to Steidlmayer, one must look at trading in a new way. "Life is about
to change," Steidlmayer tells students in a trading seminar at his ranch in Butte Meadow, California. In
his world, nature is a teacher, setting the examples of organization and adaptability. "I don't deserve that
star reputation in bond trading. I'm not such a good trader. What I am is a good money maker. There is a
big difference between being a trader and a money maker."