Trader Courtney Smith has added publisher and editor of Commodity Traders Consumer Report to his long list of accomplishments. S&C spoke with him on why traders lose and how to change that.
So when did you start in the business?
I started trading in the
early 1970s, around the time
that the International Monetary Market
started up on the Chicago Mercantile
Exchange (CME). In fact, some of my
early trades involved making a market
in currency spreads. I was one of the
few people looking at the carrying
charges in the currencies, and I made a
market from off the floor. It was a bit
tough because back then, commissions
were around $60 on my spread transactions.
Iím sure your broker didnít mind. What
did you do after that?
I primarily traded my own account.
Around the mid-1970s, I formed a
money management company with Jack
Grushcow. It was called Grushcow and
Smith, and we managed futures money.
We did that for several years from
Vancouver, British Columbia. Then in
1980, we split up and I moved back to
the United States.
Is that when you went to work for
Yes. I was director of futures research
at Paine Webber. Later, I went to
work on Wall Street for a boutique firm. During 1987, I was the head of the
derivatives operation at Banque Paribas,
the French bank. I did that for two years
and then I was treasurer of the Swiss
bank BSI, until it was taken over by
Swiss Bank Corp. In 1990, I set up my
own company, Pinnacle Capital Management,
which I operated until just
very recently, when I joined Orbitex
Management, which is a mutual fund
and hedge fund company. While I was
running Pinnacle in 1993, I was also
chief executive officer of futures broker Quantum Financial
Services, which was
later taken over by