At Daniels Trading, we focus on building trusting relationships with our clients. We believe one of the best ways for you to establish trust with your broker is to learn more about him or her! In our “Get to Know Your Broker” series, we will provide you with insight into the lives of our brokers, from their backgrounds and career paths in trading to their personal favorites and hobbies.
Introducing Don DeBartolo
Text is provided below the video.
What makes you unique in your broker philosophy?
I think it’s my honest and straight forward approach. If a client asks my advice, it won’t be based on ensuring the outcome is a trade. I will provide sound analysis based on the information I have. The same goes for trading recommendations that I provide. I don’t force clients to take trades, but want to provide anyone interested trade setups based on my daily experience and analysis.
Describe your average day.
Thanks to the advent of smart phones and tablets, my day starts the night before and pretty early in the morning with checking overnight market activity and emails. I live downtown in the Loop so luckily I can be in the office within ten minutes. I’m in around 7:30 AM Central Time. The first important task when I sit down at my desk is to reconcile trades from the previous session. That is basically confirming each trade is in the proper account and at the proper fill price. Then I’ll check for overnight fills on all working orders. Followed by reviewing my equity run for margin calls. Margin calls will be made right away to provide clients the time to either liquidate positions or wire funds into their account. If major moves occur overnight I will call on potential stop loss or target order changes. I will dive into the numerous market commentaries and analysis reports that I have access. That is almost a full time job. Some days I’ll record a video discussing a particular market or trade idea. By 8:00 AM, clients start to call in with trades. From then on through the afternoon, I am on the phone, rarely leaving the desk. I’m quoting markets, executing trades, and reporting fills. I will just eat breakfasts and lunches there. In the afternoon, I have more time to speak with clients or prospective clients without much interruption to tackle items such as trading platform questions, website sign-ups, and opening trading accounts. I will spend time reviewing the day’s market activity and publish my trade advisory, Trade Spotlight, if anything has developed. After the markets close at 4:15 PM Central Time I’ll head downstairs to the gym for an hour but will come back upstairs afterward to wrap up my day. That includes reconciling the day’s trading, writing articles or videos for the next day, and reply to the remainder of the emails in my inbox. I’m usually leaving the office about 7 PM Central Time, give or take an hour.
What is the most under-utilized brokerage service?
Price alerts. Some brokers may not allow their clients to use them, but I do. I am sitting at the desk monitoring four screens throughout the trading session. Allow me to monitor your positions and contact you when a futures price or option premium triggers. This is especially important for option contracts where stop loss orders are not permitted by the exchanges.
What are your hobbies or what do you do on your leisure time?
As most of my clients know I play competitive rugby for a club that travels all over the U.S., the Chicago Griffins. There are times when I am sitting at the trade desk either in a cast or icing some part of my body. It does take up most of my free time with practices, weight room sessions, and traveling. But I enjoy the competition and camaraderie very much. In addition, in my free, free time, I am learning Italian and teaching myself to play the Ukulele.
What is the key to being a good broker?
In my opinion, it’s an open line of communication. That doesn’t mean I am the only one speaking though, you have to listen to clients to understand their objectives and goals. I am always accessible by phone or email for a chat.
What do you believe is the biggest myth within the trading industry?
That floor traders or institutional traders know where your personal stop loss is placed in the market. All market participants can see the open interest at price levels, but there is no way to know whether it’s a buy stop to liquidate a short position or buy stop to enter a long position. Yes, there may be automated trading systems seeking out the open interest in a market so I advise clients to view the Depth of Market to analyze where the open interest lies. Set stop losses away from the bulk of that open interest.
Can you change a tire?
I can. I have a funny story, on a road trip to Iowa for a rugby match I blew out a tire. Having an Audi, it came equipped with the small European jack. On the slanted road I pulled over on, I was unable to raise the car on solid footing. So the three mates in my car and eight others from two cars behind me in the caravan lifted the car while the tire was changed. Who needs a jack when you have a rugby team with you.
What is your view on Fundamental and Technical Analysis?
I base my trading analysis and decisions primarily on Technical Analysis. When it comes to Fundamental Analysis, two resources may have contrarian views on the same market in the same time frame. The bull camp and the bear camp each have their own story. So that’s not helpful for our purposes. Though, I am mindful of report days and the numbers those reports produce in connection with my technical analysis.
What are your favorite types of trades or strategies?
I prefer multi-leveled strategies in which a potential profit can be made on either side of the market and more importantly does not require large moves in a market to make that potential profit. For example, using a synthetic futures position in which an option is purchased option on a breakout while simultaneously selling an option in the opposite direction to collect premium. There still is risk involved on both sides of this strategy though. Also, I prefer Neutral Option writing, selling options on either side of the market with protective wings in place. Then using those wings to rollout to the next month to collect additional premium, while still maintaining a level of protection.
Who is your favorite sports team?
The Chicago Cubs. I have season tickets along with my sister. I love baseball in general, all of the stats involved, player contracts, and trading of players. If/when they win a World Series, Chicago will be the place to be. The exchanges might even close the next day.
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