Trading And Teaching: Tom Busby by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan & Bruce Faber
Tom Busby’s long career in the markets started as a broker then money
manager with some of the world’s largest wire houses. He then moved into the
private sector and started training others about the global markets. He has
done guest spots on Bloomberg and CNBC and is also the author of two bestselling
books, Winning The Day Trading Game and The Markets Never
Sleep. Busby also hosts a daily online live trading room where traders from
all over the globe join him as he covers the daily action in markets such as the
emini, the Dow Jones and DAX index futures, as well as his personal stock
picks. He is also the host of “The Market Buzz,” a radio show on the Houston,
TX–based BizRadio Network.
Busby holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the
University of Georgia and a juris doctorate degree from Oklahoma City
University School of Law. He was a distinguished graduate of the United States
Air Force Budget Officer School and served seven years in the US Air Force
before becoming a professional securities broker and trader.
Technical Analysis of STOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Jayanthi
Gopalakrishnan (JG) and Staff Writer Bruce Faber (BF) interviewed Tom
Busby via telephone and email on March 31, 2008.
To get things started, can
you give us a summary
of how you got started
I got started in the markets when I
was still in the Air Force. One of the
guys in my squadron was trading pork
bellies. It seemed exciting and so I decided
to open a stock account, not knowing
the difference between pork bellies
and stocks. With that account I bought a
couple of stocks. Both of them have gone
into the history books as not good buys.
JG: What were they?
One was Pan Am and the other Eastern
Airlines. Eventually, I transferred
those stocks into the brokerage office of
Merrill Lynch in Oklahoma City. I was
fortunate. I had a great broker named
Henry, who taught me a lot about the
markets and also taught me about the
option market. Well, I fell in love with
the option market, because I made a
bunch of money real quick. By that time
I was going to law school and Merrill
offered me a job. We worked out a deal
where I could go to law school at night and be a broker during the day. I
started doing it, fell in love with it,
and I am still doing it to this day.
Once the S&P came along in
1982, I knew the S&P market was
for me because there I had a market that I could trade both up and down.
That was a luxury in those days, because
most everybody would trade to
the long side. I was an expert in everything
associated with trading back then.
I was trading stocks, futures, and options,
and doing real well until the crash
of 1987. That wiped me out.
JG: That happened to a lot of people.
It took me a while to get my confidence
back and get together enough
money to start over again. After four or
five years, I started trading again. Then
in 1996 a friend of mine from my Merrill
Lynch days came to me because he had
gone to a school for trading and he was
unhappy because they just took his
money and would not give him any
support. After some prodding, he convinced
me to start the school I currently
run today. He said that it would make me a better trader if I taught other people.
I agreed with that, and now, the more
people I get to meet, the more people I
get to teach, and the better I get.