You are approaching two decades of brokerage experience; how did you get started, and what has kept you in a business that is infamous for attrition?
I didn't set out for a life in commodities from the get-go. Like most young adults, I was forced to choose a life path before I was ready. As a result, it took me nearly eight years to acquire two separate college degrees; transfers between schools and changes of majors delayed the education process, but looking back, it was the only path that would have taken me to my destination.
Upon graduation, I looked forward to "adulting" in the office environment I had envisioned in my head (probably derived from what I had seen in the media), but in reality, it was 12 or more hours per day in a smoke-filled office that smelled of Italian food and sounded like a men's locker room. Yet, I wouldn't have it any other way. That cutthroat and gritty environment forced me to grow the thick skin needed to survive once I ventured out on my own. I was also allowed to observe all aspects of the commodity brokerage business in such a way that I developed a sense of both how to do things and how not to do something. It was the perfect start to what eventually became a lengthy and rewarding career in commodities. Against all odds, we started DeCarley Trading in August of 2008 with a few desks equipped with midgrade computers in a spare bedroom of a tiny house.