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A Day in the Life of a Trader: Barry Metzger

Schwab’s Senior Manager of Trading Services Education, Kevin Horner, talks to Barry Metzger, SVP of Global, Trader, and Advice about how he prepares for a typical trading day.

Click to show the transcript

Lou Mercer: All right. Thank you, we're going to turn it over to Kevin and Barry Metzger to talk about what it is that they use as a plan for the market. Take it away, Kevin.

Kevin Horner: Appreciate it, Lou. Thanks. Barry, thanks for being here today. Really appreciate having you here, of course. We talked a little bit about the way my morning goes, the way Adam's mornings go. Mine start with a lot of coffee, clearly.

Barry Metzger: Yeah.

Kevin Horner: Adam's start with some coffee, too. And mine starts out doing some research, which I do a lot on Schwab.com and Edge both. But I live in a rural area, standard community. I drive to work every day, rather boring for a lot of us. But you take the train.

Barry Metzger: I do take the train, and I'm not nearly at the level of your coffee acumen. I couldn't – I couldn't get up to eight cups or nine cups a day. But yeah, I do take the train. I think we have a picture of the train as well that I take every morning. And so this is actually my office, if you will, before I get to the office. This is – this is a great time for me to catch up on the markets and catch up on the news.

So typically on the train I'm surrounded by the same people. We seem to all be in our same seats every single day. It's like a little classroom. And a great way to say, "Enough with the conversation," I put on my headphones, get out my mobile app, and I'm actually checking out the market. I'm checking daily insights. I'm looking at my watch list. I'm looking at charts and heat map views of it as well, because this is my time to really engage with the market, because by the time I get to the office, my day has started, and it's back to back meetings all day long. And it's – at that point, you know, it's very difficult to reengage in the market. So that time on the train is incredibly important. It's great to have the mobile applications to really check out what's happening.

Kevin Horner: So you might suggest that your train time is your planning time?

Barry Metzger: Yep.

Kevin Horner:You do your research, you're checking articles, third party research details available on the website, Schwab.com mobile, that kind of stuff?

Barry Metzger: Yeah. Yeah. In fact – in fact, the alerts, I'll get an email from Schwab and Credit Suisse alerts, and just – you know, it's a great way for me to get grounded and see if anything's changed, looking at my own holdings. And look, there's some things I can do before the markets open. There's some orders I can put on. But if I'm going to dive deeper and do more spread trades, for those, I'll wait till I'm in the office, pull Edge up on the monitor, and actually start doing some more trading. But to set the day and set the table, that time on the train using the mobile applications is great.

Kevin Horner: Yeah, I tell you, that – I think that's the takeaway here, is the consistency of opportunity to connect with Schwab in some way, shape, or form, regardless of where you reside, right?

Barry Metzger: Mm-hmm.

Kevin Horner: If that's on the train or in the car. For me – and my ride to work in the morning is only 20 minutes. I spend that time completely away from the market. I listen to other things. I don't pay any attention. It's my chance to kind of refresh. But you're using it to build and plan and be ready to rock and roll when you get into the office.

Barry Metzger: Yep.

Kevin Horner: Which I actually like. And then you get into Edge, and you may build a few trades.

Barry Metzger: Yep.

Kevin Horner: But maybe not excessive, because like you said, a lot of meetings, a lot of work. But you're also in a unique scenario or in a unique position perhaps to kind of outline a little bit about our order writing process. You know, I think as traders, we tend to maybe find ourselves a little removed from this process. I hit that trade button, and I watch it go.

Barry Metzger: Yeah.

Kevin Horner: And I'm good to go. But you in your position, you see it as a trader, but you also see it from behind the scenes.

Barry Metzger: Yeah. It's a great point, because, you know, a lot of what we do at Schwab to build the experience for clients, they'll see it on the front end platform. And we get a lot of feedback from our clients, and we try to add more features and benefits on the platform. But it's the behind the scenes – and you're right. From my vantage point, I get to see all the great work. So when the client hits trade, they don't necessarily know for sure how everything works, nor should they have to.

But the great thing is is we've really improved our trading infrastructure, the behind the scenes of that trade button, and the way we work with our routing vendors, and the way we work with the markets, leads to what we often refer to as price improvement for our clients, so the ability to get price improvement on the trades, you know, the clients don't need to necessarily see how all that has been put together. They just need to get the benefits from the order routing experience. And so whether it's the front end experience or the back end experience, we've really put together a holistic experience to benefit the clients.

Kevin Horner: Yeah. I think that's the key, right? Is you – when you think about it as a trader, you don't want to think about it. You should not be considering, you know, what's happening with this trade. What matters to me as a trader is I've built my process, I have my entry, I have my exits, I hit trade, I want to see that message pop up, trade executed, and I can move on.

Barry Metzger: Yep.

Kevin Horner: I don't want to have to concern myself with all that other stuff and minutiae beneath it.

Barry Metzger:  I agree. In fact, during the day, you know, one of the rules I have is in meetings, I don't want people bringing their mobile devices, but I – but I still have my watch, and when a trade gets – you know, I'll get the alert on my watch, or I get the #Schwabfortraders alert or Randy's alerts.

Kevin Horner: Right.

Barry Metzger:  And I love that about, you know, the technology today, that even though you're definitely looking at other things throughout your day, you can still be connected.

Kevin Horner: Yeah. I really like that about the watch. I don't yet have the watch, but the ability – I think what you're telling me is it's okay to not use my phone, but it's even better to use my watch.

Barry Metzger: Yeah, you can –

Kevin Horner: And if I quickly check my watch, I'm okay, but the phone is a whole different process.

Barry Metzger: Yeah. In our meetings, you can get by with the watch. The phone you'd have to keep in the pocket. You can drink as much coffee as you want, Kevin, but that phone's got to stay, you know, in the holster.

Kevin Horner: Okay. I can adhere to that, I promise. That's good. Any other takeaways you want to leave our clients with today?

Barry Metzger: Yeah, just knowing that – the fact that we're constantly trying to see through our clients' eyes, and we understand that our clients are highly engaged, and we can't thank them enough. And it really brings enjoyment to our team to ensure that we're doing the best for our clients every single day. Events like this are just another staple in a long line of things that we're doing for our clients.

Kevin Horner:   Totally agree, and I appreciate that. You know, we're also traders, everybody – that's what we do. We enjoy it just as much as you do. That's why we're here, and why we offer this up. So thanks for being here, Barry. Really appreciate the time.

Barry Metzger: Thanks for having me, Kevin.

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