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Interview with Mike Baghdady (Transcript)

06 April 2011 Written by 

Presenter: So our first guest on the show this morning is none other than Mr Mike Baghdady. Right, put his name in Google, press return and then sit back in amazement because this guy is a big cheese. He is a big cheese in the world of stocks and shares and trading and also training traders. Worked for some of the biggest companies in the world. Well I tell you what… he’s on the show let’s get him to explain everything that he’s done.

Mike Baghdady: Primarily a trader, I started as a physical grain grader back in 1975 and I moved on from physical trading at one of the largest middle east companies to become a technical trader and trading at several proprietary trading desks in one of the largest companies in the United States. And at the peak of my career I was the head technical trader and trainer at the Board of Trade in New York which is an exchange and my job primarily was to instruct the traders on taking positions, buying the market live while in the middle of the heat of the battle. And also train them on how to transition themselves from being floor traders, looking at the charts and making their trades to become technical trades. And now I moved into the United Kingdom and we have two sister companies. One which is Spyglass, which is a training organisation. And we have now Training Traders. That is the flag ship company and we specialise in training traders, taking them and introducing them to a new way of trading which we call technical training based on price behaviour which the technique that I have pioneered. And that technique has now been adopted by major financial institutions around the world. In most of the prime banks in the world I have probably trained a few traders there.

Presenter: Wow. Mike I have got to take you right back to basics now and ask you what you probably will think will be quite a ridiculous question but …… I think for a lot of people it’s probably not. Whenever there is a big stock market story that breaks, they also use stock footage from the London Stock Exchange or wherever it might be across the world. Now, the thing that always fascinates me about this – I don’t… I just don’t understand it well enough myself, but when you’ve got all of those traders in the room, and there is a load of shouting going on, there is a load of hand gestures and movements going on, that they seem to be shouting at somebody else who is standing up on a gantry somewhere doing something.. .can you just in … in really like… simpleton Mark Peter’s from the Business Hub type terms ..Er… explain to me what’s happening there? What’s the communication that’s going on?

Mike Baghdady: This is the most organised madness in the world.

Presenter: {laughing} OK.

Mike Baghdady: OK. They are basic hand signals. If I wave my hand towards myself, this means I am buying. If I wave it away from myself this means I am selling. Each finger denotes a number. OK. So if I wave towards you one finger this means I am selling let’s say a hundred contracts or a hundred shares or a thousand shares based on ….

Presenter: Ok.

Mike Baghdady: OK. Now this is a business that’s built on trust and honour. And credibility and long relationships. So I look at you … you are on the other side of the ring. And I am shouting that… I am waving my hand out, that I am selling a certain number. You point to me and our eyes lock you point your finger that you took the trade. Then both of us write it down. And every 15 minutes a clerk – my clerk or your clerk will come to us and he takes those slips based on the transactions you and I conducted with each other and he goes and records it into the computers. So rarely there is actually any discrepancy and if a trader says …. I mean you can a trade and make a million bucks or take a trade and lose a million bucks you have to honour it because your word is your bond. Now if somebody does renege, then the exchange gets into the middle of it and … once a trader has established that he doesn’t … and this is extremely rare…. Practically doesn’t happen… er that person is … nobody will do business with him anymore. And….

Presenter: Wow. That is a great explanation. I have to say you really have explained that in a way that I have understood. But that is insane! Life on the trading floor like that must be just…. No wonder it get’s stressful?

Mike Baghdady: It is stressful and it’s fascinating. But now this is becoming dying breed I mean it’s er…. yes. This is the electronic trading now and the … it’s taking over the volume of most of the trading floors. And the … when I used to work I mean this is … no longer exists. I meant the reason I went into training is that the exchange was closed in 2008 in February and basically they closed the floor.

Presenter: Mike, you’ve come up with a genius idea – well I think it’s a genius idea, I’ve never seen anybody do this before. Where you’re running a… almost a traders' apprenticeship scheme. You’re looking to recruit people but you’re not looking necessarily for people that have gone through years and years of financial trading and financial training to get there. Talk us through what the opportunity is?

Mike Baghdady: It comes from the premise that I believe that trading is a teachable skill. And anyone that has the passion and the aspiration and the desire and the will to become a successful trader can be. The result of how successful a trader is would differ from one person to another but at the end of the day he or she could be successful. It’s the principle of nurturing somebody to become a successful versus him being a naturally born talent. I believe in that I can nurture a trader to become successful as a trader. And for that… and that’s what we do in Training Traders is that we believe so much in this that we have decide that we are going to recruit ten people from across the UK with any back ground – no gender... completely open for everybody. And we will take… we will choose ten. And those ten will be trained in our offices on everything on how to technically trade. How to become an actual trader. After that we are going to offer them a job as our traders. We are going to fund each person of those ten with about one hundred grand each which they can leverage to a much higher amount. And they will become our hedge fund managers and they will be managing the company fund… the hedge fund for the company. It’s a recruitment and a job application.

Presenter: The application .. process for this is still open so people can still apply for this?

Mike Baghdady: Yes. The application will close on December 31st. We want each applicant to send a photograph and one maximum two paragraphs of why he should be selected.

Presenter: Wow. OK. And give us an insight into the kind of people that have already applied Mike.

Mike Baghdady: I have received applications from all over. I have received an application from a nanny – she is a mother of three, she is … she has traded in the market a little bit and hasn’t had much success. And she is dreaming of financial freedom. So one of the remarkable things, she sent me this CV and she said “Mike, I am a nanny, a mother of three, I work as a nanny, and I am.. I want to become a….but now I have reached the end of the first paragraph, and I know the rule is one paragraph so…I am stopping here. “ It was such a brilliant thing and that is because… now that’s what we are looking for in traders – somebody that will follow the instructions, somebody that will follow the rules, because trading… technical trading is pretty much like er…. a surgeon. I mean he will perform the same surgery, the same way irrespective. And that would ensure that his patients would consistently survive and become you know… successful and healthy. The same thing … your approach to trading, you have to approach it in a specific methodology without any ambiguity or subjectivity. And that …again that was …we have received from a surfer… I received from somebody from Australia, that’s actually willing to come to the UK and live here. From bank managers. From hedge fund traders. Mathematicians. Er…. wide and again…we are opening it to everybody… it is going to be a fair process.

Presenter: Yeah. That’s fantastic. So when you select the ten, what are the benefits that are open to these people? I mean you are talking about bank managers applying, I mean you must be looking at a substantial remuneration package for these people. What can they expect?

Mike Baghdady: Well the remuneration is going to be a profit sharing plus we are going to be paying expenses for them while they are in the training process. In the training process they will be paid for their expenses, for their travel and a small pocket money so that they… once they are hired then they have the funds, they will be taking 20% of all the profits of all the profits that is going to be generated. We are going to bear all the losses. We will be responsible for all the down side so they …and all the up side, they are going to share in. and the more successful and the more consistent, the more funds that this person is going to get and of course the more remuneration so, it’s financially, its big.

Presenter: Yeah. I am sitting here getting more and more wound up and more and more excited about it….

Mike Baghdady: It’s My Fair Lady story kind of thing.

Presenter: That’s it. I might be leaving the show actually, Mike! And filling in my application. So the last thing I need to ask really Mike is where to people go to enter this? How do they get in touch with you?

Mike Baghdady: The website is tradiningtraders.com. And they send a CV to CV@trainingtraders.com.

Presenter: Fantastic. And there’s no cost to enter or anything?

Mike Baghdady: No no zero, nada. This is not a sale, this is a recruitment and there is no financial obligation – zero from anybody.

Presenter: Fantastic. Mike Baghdady, it’s been an absolute pleasure to talk to you today. Honestly … a) I feel like I have a learnt a whole load by having you talk to us today and secondly its been a huge inspiration as well so … Mike Baghdady from training traders.com… its been an absolutely pleasure to have you on the show and I wish you all the best of luck with your recruitment drive and look out for my CV!

Mike Baghdady: Thank you.

Presenter: Take care. Good bye. So thanks very much to Mike Baghdady for joining us on the business hub this morning. What an opportunity! And also clearly whatever happens …hopefully he’s going to make a whole load of money out of it so its not… what I like about it is its not a PR …not strictly a PR stunt. You know what I mean?

Presenter: 2 Yeah, no brilliant.

Presenter: Could you do it, do you think?

Presenter: 2 Er… well I’ve got enough on my plate to do already Mark.

Presenter: Yeah but how much money do you reckon these guys earn? I mean he’s got one hundred grand to give to each one of his ten recruits. You get 20% on everything that make on it. I don’t know, what’s the potential? He was very clever about getting that, but interesting. But what a great opportunity and good luck to you if you go for it. And if you do let us know……

Click here to listen to the interview

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