08 Nov Million Dollar Traders
In May 2008 Anton was approached by the BBC to manage a group of novice traders in the TV series Million Dollar Traders. Anton captured history in the making by filming the only reality trading show during the meltdown of the 2008-2009 global credit crisis. Candidates managed $1mln of capital over a 12-week period in the summer of 2008. Anton managed the group of
novice traders, monitored their risk and mentored them without giving them any specific investment advice.
Candidates were interviewed and chosen based on a set of criteria, laid out by show contributors and the production company. Traders, Hedge Fund Managers, Research Analysts and Technical Analysts were brought in to train the novices over a two-week period. During the training program, Anton organised the Trading Floor simulation and was on hand every day to deal with the group’s questions related to trading and risk management. There were two sides to the office. The TV production side and the trading side. Behind the scenes and on the trading side, the tools that viewers see the traders use (other than Bloomberg) were built by Anton. This involved integrating and building all of the risk systems, spreadsheets and trading procedures.
Each fortnight during filming, Anton and other contributors decided, based on trading performance (Quantitative) and Anton’s feedback (Qualitative), how much capital should be deployed to each trader. Over July and August 2008, the novice traders as a group managed to outperform the Pan European Hedge Fund Return Index (HFRI) by 3%. Caroline Taysom, Ohi
Imoukhuede and Mike Tovell were the star performers of the group. Emile Colman, Sam Duby, Cleopatra Folkes, Amit Jobanputra and Simon Brew all lost money. Anton took capital away from the losers and redistributed it to the successful traders in the final 2 weeks of the show. By doing so they protected the $1mln of capital during the financial crisis and outperformed the HFRI. The show proved two things. Firstly that anyone can trade if they have the right training and they put it into practice properly. Secondly, that not everyone can trade. Some people are just beyond help.