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Better Know A (Soon To Be, Knock On Wood) Trader: Mike Mooney

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Sponsored by Chicago Board Options Exchange
When Better Know A Trader was conceived (on a kitchen table, a little over nine months ago), it seemed like a great idea, with little-to-no drawbacks. Feature a trader every Friday, get some money from the Chicago Board Options Exchange (love you CBOE!) and maybe, just maybe, entertain our readers with the insightful answers of insightful people answering insightful questions. But soon after this whole thing got underway, we realized something—finding a trader for every Friday, every week takes, like hard work and stuff. And it’s not that we’re lazy or incompetent or lack initiative but, well…[crickets chirping]…[clearing of throats]…[shuffling of papers]…you know.
This particular Friday was like all the other ones since this bitch of a baby was created, in that it rolled in like all the ones before it had and we found ourselves with out a candidate. Kind of sucked. But don’t “kind of sucked”-us yet just because we’re nothing—nothing!—if not lazy, incompetent, lacking initiative people who often find ourselves in the company of an enormous amount of well-timed luck. So, as ‘luck’ would have it, our General Manger remembered that our new neighbors, with whom we’re separated by only a small (but festive looking) deck are traders and, “Hey, look, they’re outside right now! Carney, throw that ball out the window and we’ll make Bess go ask for it in sort of humiliating ‘look I dropped my pencil, oh, I didn’t see you there’ kind of way and then we can parlay that into ‘you wouldn’t want answer some questions and pose for a picture’-type thing so that when we ask for CBOE to give us money, they won’t be in a position to say ‘The deal was money-for-interviews, not money-for-nothing’.”
Anyhow, Mike, who graduated from Sienna in ’04 and is currently working the trader-interview circuit is now standing at our window, desk adjacent, ready and willing, so without further ado, we bring you this week’s Better Know A Trader: Live Blogging Our Neighbor.
How did you get your first job in finance?
I’m currently interviewing for that job.
Describe your trading strategy.
Rather bearish.
If you were starting out in your career now, where would you want to work?
At a top investment bank.
What is your favorite career accomplishment/best trade ever?
To be determined.
Who are your heroes or role models, fictional or real?
Gordon Gekko and Bud Fox.
What is the most important quality a trader should have?
The ability to not get discouraged when losing money.
What is the worst character fault for a trader?
See above.
Tell us about the lowest of low points, the time you thought should just give it all up and take a simpler, easier job?
This moment in time.
What job would you have taken? What's your 'exit strategy'? How long until you retire or move on?
What is your motto?
"Get rich or die trying."
Whose teachings are more useful in your business-Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Jesus Christ or Marquis de Sade? (Feel free to nominate another choice.)
John Maynard Keynes