Stocks & Commodities V. 23:11 (62-68): Interview: Floyd Upperman by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan
Floyd Upperman became interested in the futures market in the early 1990s after investing in stocks and stock options. While working in the high-tech world of semiconductors, Upperman spent his spare time and money researching the investment world. Using his knowledge of statistics and engineering background
combined with his programming skills, he designed his own trading system based on repetitive patterns and conditions characteristic to individual commodities. Using fundamental information supplied by the US government with the commitment of traders data, he has been able to separate the open interest for each commodity into three distinct groups. STOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan interviewed Floyd Upperman via telephone on September 13, 2005.
Q: Tell us how you got started in trading.
A: My background is in electrical engineering, so after I
got my degree, I went to work for Intel in New Mexico. Intel gave me some stock, and I made a lot of money off it. I saw how you could keep making money in stocks, and that got me interested in trading. I started off trading technology stocks in the late 1980s, but I didnít have a lot of money then, and I found out quickly you needed a decent amount of money to trade.
Eventually, I migrated over into options, because 100 shares per option gave me more leverage. But I still found I didnít have any consistency in my trading. I made money sometimes, lost money other times, and didnít really have a system. I couldnít figure out any
order in the market either; even though I knew a lot about technology and what we were doing at Intel, I didnít know why the markets did what they did.
Around that time, I moved to Irvine, CA, to make disk drives at Western Digital. There was this TV station, WKHY, that was similar to CNBC before CNBC got going. They
covered a lot of information on commodities and featured people like Ira Epstein. I remember someone
from a company called Anco talking about wheat, and thatís how I got interested. I made $1,700 trading wheat options.