Friday, 2 March 2012

Miss Red

Life doesn't have to be monochrome when you're trading the markets with financial spread betting

It can be a hard life trading for a living, long hours sometimes when the markets don't immediately show their hand. And especially hard when you're trying to sort out other business interests and manage an exciting new forum and internet trading room. Still, you can't complain, life is good at the moment. Hard, but good, and you are reaping the rewards that your talent for trading brings. Of course it hasn't always been like this, trading is tough at the beginning, but you're not a quitter and in the end we came good.

Tonight though you're all but finished for the day, a quick check through our emails and close a short position on the FTSE and we're done. That single trade alone has reaped over ten pips, and in this business, pips mean prizes, lots of prizes!

Your new Porsche 911 GT2 RS is waiting on the graveled drive outside – ready for a quick blast to the local taverna that does a really great Chicken Cacciatori and a mouth-watering Tiramisu – just what's needed after a hard day in the markets.

You've thought of popping into the local watering hole for a swift shandy first. You never know, that gorgeous-looking lady who you saw months ago might just be there. You've regretted ever since not speaking with her, the beautiful 'Miss Red', especially as she clearly gave you 'the eye' before you left. Still, she was with work friends and you had a lot on your mind – well there's always something to think about with the markets...

Anyway, you know there's not a chance of her being in the pub. So, it's a quick shower and change into your smart but expensively casual polo shirt and jeans and head downstairs to the new car. Porsche only does quality. Well, quality, speed and handling to be precise. Oh, and sound, as the Bose hi-fi blasts Bruce Springsteen into the oh-so-soft glove-leathered interior. God, theses seats are comfortable, and as you press your foot down on the accelerator the turbocharger howls into life. It doesn't take long to get to the taverna, well, you could have gone for a longer drive but time is tight.

The Italian family owners of the taverna know you well, you've become quite a regular there and certainly they always give you one of the best tables in the house. It's not particularly busy here tonight, well Thursday night's never going to be.  But anyway, it doesn't matter, you're seated in the alcove by the window and settle down to enjoy a starter of fried calamari when something, or should I say someone, catches your eye.

Just two tables away, on a candle-lit table sits a woman who, while she has her back to you, seems somewhat familiar. Long tumbling hair and a striking dress, a RED dress.

Now you're used to fate, of course.  Chance and fate in the markets are second nature to you. But this is something different. You're not going to take any chances this time. Arising from your table, in three brisk strides you've crossed the corner of the room to the red-dressed lady's table. You find yourself almost face-to-face with the very same 'Miss Red' who caught your eye in the pub all those months ago . 

The lady look up and meets your eyes for only the second time ever, a half-smile of recognition appears on her full, red, slightly moist lips:  'Hello' she says gently, 'I know you, don't I?'

'Yes' you reply, warmly:  'I saw you in the pub down 'road many months ago and never spoke to you... I rather wish I had'

'Of course' the lady speaks again, softly:  'I remember you well, I thought you were going to come and rescue me from my boring work friends and then when I turned around you'd disappeared into thin air.' she laughs.

'Yes' you reply: 'I had to go back to the office to do something on the markets'

'Oh!' Miss Red exclaims: 'How fascinating. I've always been intrigued by the markets, perhaps you can teach me something about them sometime?'

'Love to, really, love to'  you half-whisper:  'Would you like to see my trading room?'

'Yes, very much. Have you got a large screen?'

'Yes, I have two'

Miss Red looks up at you admiringly: 'I'm speechless'

A moment or two's silence falls and then you find yourself speaking just a touch awkwardly: 'I'm sorry, anyway, you're sitting here alone, I don't want to interrupt your evening when you're waiting for somebody...'

'No, no, no!'  Miss Red quickly replies: 'I was waiting, I mean she hasn't shown up, my sister, and she just called to say she has to work late.'  

A pause... 

'Please, join me?' Miss Red asks: 'I mean, I would so much like to hear more about your work and the markets.'   She hesitates, looking down coyly for the briefest of moments:  'And more about you, too.'  

Miss Red's open, honest eyes gaze up into yours and you feel, for the first the time in a while, something stir deep inside you,

Over by the bar, the husband and wife whose taverna it is, and who have come to know you so well over the months, exchange a little knowing glance.  Perhaps they won't be seeing quite so much of you over the months ahead...


Skiing & trading

Skiing and trading in the Austrain Tyrol - why not?

You're living in the beautiful Austrian Tyrol, with a fabulous chalet overlooking the valleys and mountains. Each day you have to decide whether you fancy Alpine skiing up on the pistes, or high-energy keep-fit sessions of cross-country skiing across the valleys. Or you might prefer to don a set of touring skis and skins and head up the valley via one of the off-piste routes, to make tracks down through the powder on the other side of the mountain.

Depending on which you choose, you'll have to choose either to take lunch in one of the mountain restaurants, or if you go cross-country skiing, in the village taverna on the other side of the valley. If you go off-piste skiing you'll probably take a packed lunch of local sausage and bread, and a flask of hot chocolate laced with a tot or two of rum.

When your exciting day's skiing on the mountain is over, it will be time for a quick 'sun-downer' at the ice-bar and a chat with the local friendly barmaids. Afterwards, it's off home for a steaming shower, followed by a relaxing lie-down in your basement sauna and a change into freshly-laundered casual evening attire.

A saunter down to the Central Hotel leads to an appetising 'steak au poivre' and a half bottle of Chablis at your usual table. The Maitre d' looks after you exceptionally well, because you are, after all, a great guy (you also tip very generously).

It will have been another exhausting day in the mountains, you won't want to be late to bed because the next day you have a special friend visiting you.  An old friend, one half of a couple whose husband was taken prematurely in a terrible accident – very sad – but a friend who you had always found rather alluring and had, you suspected sometimes, been a little keen on you too. 

Of course you never would have dreamt of showing an interest in her while her husband had been alive – that would have been quite beyond the pale. Now though, everything is so different: your extraordinary skills at making money, your beautiful home in the mountains. You had to suggest your friend popped out to visit for a few days, obviously you would buy the flight tickets, first class from Heathrow – what else could you do?

So tonight before bed, an hour in your specially designed 'trading room', a magnificent vaulted-ceilinged space with views right out across the star-lit peaks.  Eight monitors display to your narrowed eyes the charts of the Dow, FTSE, Dax, gold, US Light Crude Oil and the main Forex pairs. Within just a few minutes you have zeroed-in on the evening's best trading opportunity. Why, the Euro-Dollar has formed a double top – an exceptionally easy pattern to spot. You pounce, and shortly your trading account has grown by several percentage points, easy-peasy! Thank heavens you discovered financial spread-betting.

Tomorrow you'll pick up your friend from Salzburg airport in the Aston DB7 – it's always good to fly the flag, even when you're pretty much ex-pat. The Porsche can stay in your vast underground garage along with the Ferrari 458 and Bugatti Veyron.

You've got a strong inkling that your friend may like it in your special mountain home in Austria. Perhaps she'll decide to stay for longer. Delicious expectations surround you as make your way up to bed for the night, this day was good, and tomorrow, thanks to the markets, will be even better...