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PROFILE: Breaking Through: Margie Teller, Part 1

Traders Magazine Online News, September 29, 2017

Kara Grygotis

In this contributed article shared with Traders Magazine, Trading Technologies' Kara Grygotis interviews Margie Teller, a former CME floor trader whose trading achievements earned her a formidable reputation, an induction into the FIA Futures Hall of Fame—and a nickname to boot.

It would be helpful if you took us back to the beginning of how you got started in this industry.

Well, I fell into this industry by accident. I started interviewing for jobs out of collegeI graduated from college in 1984, which was a recession year. I had a lot of fun in college, so I had a middling…I didn’t have the highest GPA, and yet I wanted to get into Wall Street. I really wanted to get into Wall Street. And so I had a wall of rejection letters, and I got one offer from O’Connor and Associates, which later turned into Swiss Bankthe greatest option trading firm in the world. I came to Chicago for the interview, not even knowing that Chicago is on Lake Michigan, and I ended up moving here. I thought I’d be here for a year or two, then get myself back to New York. And it turned out I just had a knack for the business. I started in optionsI traded options for O’Connor for a couple years, and then went on a percentage deal and worked my way up into bigger and bigger percentage deals until I had enough capital to trade on my own. During that procession, I started in Eurodollar options, moved to the Deutsche Mark options almost immediately, and then went in the Deutsche Mark futures pit. All I wanted to do is get over to the Eurodollar pit because in this business, you have to follow the money. But unfortunately, in the interim, I had to have back surgery as I had curvature of the spine. It took about five months of recovery before I was well enough to be able to move into a physical pit. I moved over to Eurodollar futures, and I spent the bulk of my career in the back of that pit trading in the last nine years of the curve. The interest rate futures curve. That’s how I ended up there. And then I retired, and came back. And retired, and came back.

Seems to be a theme.

And retired again, and went over and traded the soybean crush for a little while. Which was fun but not exactly profitable. And finally retired for real in 2010. That was the last time I set foot on the trading floor.

So you retired, came back, retired, came back. Tell me a little bit about that. What kept pulling you back to trading?

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