I just read a great interview on Business Insider with a former trader who made her way through the financial world, climbing from a floor trader to a family office manager in an impressive career. This story highlights the unique career path that many family office managers take. Some family office managers come from accounting, law or wealth management, or others, like the woman profiled in this story, climb the rungs of the finance world to manage a family office.
Having transitioned from floor trader to day trader to hedge fund manager, DA is now spreading her wings in the discreet world of family office management — hence the code name for this interview — where capital allocation runs into the hundreds of millions to billions.
In addition to all the above, DA is a close and dear friend of many years.
So without further ado…
JACK: Why don’t we start at the beginning. How did you get involved in trading?
DEEP ALPHA: Trading was not on my radar in college. I started out studying psychology. I had always been fascinated by human behavior.
But I was disappointed with psychology. It was taught, back then, with an emphasis on dysfunctional traits — slapping on labels with all kinds of scary names. I decided to shift to an area that explored perception, consciousness, and how we know what we know.
I went into a major that was built around general semantics — studying how we think through language — and general systems theory, which helps you think about how systems are organized. How the cells in the body organize themselves… how bees organize themselves… how humans organize themselves in thinking and in groups, and so on.
That combination was very interesting. And then I had the good fortune of spending a summer at a Buddhist school in Colorado, the Naropa Institute. This school was known mainly for cultural arts and poetry. But, the summer I attended, a group of neuroscientists got together at the Naropa Institute to share ideas. They decided to turn those ideas into a course, to study things like the circularity of the mind, how consciousness is created, and so on.
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