Stocks & Commodities V. 25:2 (58-63): Interview: John Person by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan
John Person is a 25-year veteran of the futures and options trading industry. Person started on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange back in 1979. He then had the privilege of working with George Lane, the
innovator of stochastics. Person worked his way throughout the industry as a trader, broker, analyst, and branch manager for one of Chicago’s largest discount/full-service firms under the direct supervision of a former chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade.
John Person is the former owner and president of First National Futures Group and is continuing his work as a registered Commodity Trading Advisor. Technical Analysis of STOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Jayanthi
Gopalakrishnan spoke with John Person on December 6, 2006, via phone interview.
Q: John, how did you get interested in trading?
A: I started on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange back in 1977 for a summer job as a runner. I think the excitement, the thrill, the lights, the hustle and the bustle, the people, and the lifestyle were what interested me. One of my first jobs was for a big cattle trader. One day he pulled out a wad of hundred- dollar bills — he probably had about $5,000 or $10,000 — and peeled off a hundred and said, “Go downstairs
and see the bartender — his name is Red — and tell him that Bruce and Ronnie want two specials.”
Q: What were those?
A: They were basically Bloody Marys that had no bloody in the Mary. It was pure vodka in these 16-ounce Styrofoam tumblers. It was about 9:30 am. I came back with exact change, and he said, “Did you tip Red?” I said no. He said, “Here’s $20, keep it for yourself, and
here’s $20, go run it down to [Red].” That was my first job as a runner.
Q: Now let’s back up. How did you get there?
A: I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and around there, a lot of people got jobs as runners on the floor of the exchange for the summer. I was at Loyola University studying economics, and one day I was taking the train and sat down next to George Lane. He lived in Skokie at the time and was in the train going north toward the high-rent district...