In this episode, we’re excited to bring to you a new guest interview on the Mind Over Markets Podcast!

We recently sat down with our colleague and former prop trader, Brad Alcini, for a great chat on what it’s like to be a professional trader.

Brad shares some great insight into how big traders stay alive, what’s required to be successful in this business, as well as examples of seven-figure traders and what they do to win consistently!

If you are looking to level up your trading mindset, this is an interview that you will not want to miss!

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Brad’s trading journey started back in the pits of the Chicago Board of Trade as a clerk in 1995.

In his time as a clerk, Brad worked for several successful traders and was able to learn a lot about trading and mindset from people that were winning on a daily basis.

In 1996, only one year after joining the CBOT as a clerk, Brad was hired on by Goldenberg Hehmeyer to trade firm capital in the 10-year T-note pits as an interest rate trader.

During his time at Goldenberg, Brad was actually at the forefront of the industry’s transition from the open outcry pits to electronic trading on the screens (known as “Project A” in those days).

In fact, he was part of a group of traders that was the first to be able to open a position in the 10-year T-note pit and then close it out (flatten the position) electronically at the end of the session – fungible from pit to screen.

Brad stayed on with Goldenberg Hehmeyer for a full year before making the decision to trade his own capital with the backing of Gelber Group, a Chicago-based prop firm in February 1997.

When he joined on with Gelber, Brad had pretty much transitioned to electronic trading and would meet his mentor – a gentleman that would end up introducing Brad to the world of spread trading.

With the help of his mentor, Brad went on to develop his trading strategy and psychology to a point where he was able to put on trades with size that would make the palms of most retail traders start to sweat just thinking about it!

Brad stayed on with Gelber for four years until an exciting opportunity presented itself out of the blue in 2001.

One of Brad’s old colleagues from the pits that he had a relationship with, Harris Brumfield, was a large angel investor in Trading Technologies at the time.  Harris had some patents on a revolutionary product and was looking to build a team of senior sales managers to become the software of choice in the industry as the transition to electronic trading was in progress.

What was the product you might be wondering? It was called the “Verticle Market Up Trader Ticket” at the time, however, these days it is better known as the DOM or Depth of Market!

Brad spent 5 years in this capacity with Trading Technologies and was part of tremendous growth during that time!

By February of 2006, Brad was running a CPO (Commodity Pool Operator) with a partner while simultaneously consulting to Ransquawk – a news aggregation service for traders.

Brad and his partner decided to go separate ways – his partner became the COO of a well-respected proprietary trading firm in Chicago, while Brad took over the consultancy business to Ransquawk.

In November 2019, Brad become a shareholder of Ransquawk and rebranded the business to Newsquawk, which is our go-to news source here at TRADEPRO Academy.

These days, a majority of Brad’s time is spent on developing and growing the Newsquawk service while passively managing his own investments.

Brad has offered listeners of this podcast an exclusive 10-day free trial to the Newsquawk Multi-Asset Channel! If you want access to the same news service that is used on institutional trading desks then make sure to claim your free trial in the resources section below!

Here is a summary of what we discussed: 

  • How Brad started his trading career 01:15
  • “Project A” & Globex – the transition to electronic trading 02:10
  • The mentor that introduced Brad to spread trading  04:00
  • The exciting opportunity that got Brad to leave trading 06:10
  • How Brad got involved as a consultant to Ransquawk 07:30 
  • How Brad dealt with the initial intimidation of trading in the pits  10:00
  • The one thing that helped Brad scale up his trading in the beginning 12:25
  • The power of scratching trades and learning to not lose money 15:45
  • The factors that led to Brad’s decision to leave the pits and trade electronically 20:00
  • Finding a trading style that suits your personality – the difference between outright and spread trading 24:00
  • Why big money traders consider themselves professional loss takers 27:00
  • How professionals adjust their strategy for high volatility environments 30:36
  • How the average investor can use futures to hedge their portfolio 39:45
  • The qualities Brad would need to see from a trader in order to fund them 41:30
  • The characteristics and behaviors that you want to avoid as a trader 44:55
  • Why you must get rid of emotional baggage if you want to be a good trader 46:32
  • Routine, Exercise & Eating Healthy – The trifecta for protecting your mental capital 48:28
  • How Brad uses visualization as a reset switch 51:35
  • The Newsquawk service and what it is 57:15
  • What TRADEPRO likes about Newsquawk 60:00



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