Trader Bill – the writer

Trader Bill

How did Trader Bill originate?

It was conceived by me as a way of providing information summaries of global financial markets so that friends and associates could bring themselves up to speed on events and changing market conditions upon their arrival at work. In addition, it provides information on speakers and economic releases that day with consensus estimates and level of last release so that the reader is prepared to react, or knows how the market might react upon the release of information.

Who is Trader Bill?

Initially any reference to me was as 'i'. This is to remove the aura of ego and to suggest that i am but a humble reporter, albeit with 35 years of investment experience.  Investments are demanding of ego, however, or one would not feel that he was qualified to manage someone else's money in the first instance. Therefore i needed an 'alter-ego'. Like Winchell and Mahoney, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and especially Trader Vic and Mai Tai's! Why Trader Vic? Because he was a likeable man who delivered pleasure to his customers and knew exactly what their desires were. The reason for the alter ego became obvious once I introduced Trader Bill into my commentaries: people started asking what Trader Bill thought. They had never asked me what I thought before, but suddenly they wanted to know what TB thought! Now mind you they KNEW that I was Trader Bill but for some reason he became bigger than life. Maybe it was the small 'I'?

What does Trader Bill try to do?His goal is to educate from his years of experience. Consider that most of the traders and people managing investments weren't even around in 1987 for the crash! Consider that Graham and Dodd, and even Warren Buffet are not relevant to them, too old hat. Their historical perceptions of markets and fundamentals (earnings, price/earnings ratios, bonds, debt service coverage) are irrelevant in this fast moving world. This is the NEW ECONOMY, or is it?

How did your style originate?Years ago i found that i had a knack and talent for writing. In addition, i developed an ability to analyze market news about 15 years ago. It took the Crash of '87. Prior to that i was just listening to what others said about the economy. But bond yields had been soaring in '87 yet the stock market just kept hitting new highs. That was when i began to learn about markets. i have both a dry and witty sense of humor (some call it inane!). Therefore i
attempt to make even the worst news somewhat amusing: whether it is the absurdity of an economic release, or the comments of a CEO. This is trading desk humor (or gallows humor). It isn't politically correct but it does ease tension. Ironically, it is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (in the Navy they say: it's always darkest before it's pitch black!), that allows you to be more objective in your analysis, as bad as a situation is there will still be a tomorrow! You will see that i practice three-dot journalism, a style made famous by San Francisco reporter Herb Caen, whom i idolized. At least to me it is effective.

What is so special about your analysis?Frankly, i don't know that it is special, but at least it beats "the market closed down today on profit taking." What i do know is that most of what you read is spat out without considering whether or not it is rational, like the above statement. Is it right? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, and that is the key to what is different about my analysis: it is meant to make you think. Is Dan Rather right or is Trader Bill right? If it causes you to stop and think about it, regardless of whether you agree, i win! Because THAT is my goal...not to have you think i am a guru, got that? Bet you never heard that ANYWHERE before in my business! Instead they want you to think just how smart they are but remember in this business if you are right 60% of the time you ARE a genius! Another thing that is different is when i am wrong on an analysis i will tell you, not hope you forget what i said. So now you have the tools to do what the speculators and hedge funds do: challenge authority, and if you make money it is because YOU did it not me. i was just a tool, your flunky to do the grunt work and let you decide...course you could be wrong too but at least you looked at the big picture. But the goal is also to have fun! This shouldn't be a business of hushed tones and grim faces. It is a living, breathing thing and nowhere else in the world do you have the odds as much in your favor as here. Just beware of the guy who wants to put his arm around you and tell you he is your friend.

So there you have it. I hope you select me as one of your sources for market information. If you do I promise to work my best for your financial success. 

Trader Bill



  1. Walter Winchel said

    Sending you my top hat to round out your image.

  2. frankal said

    Fabulous stuff! I find myself glued to the screen every morning waiting for Trader Bill to tell it how it is. Thanks for your time and dedication! Now how about letting us know of other sources that are worth reading – the market commentary world is full of so much filth that finding the another TB would make my month!

  3. Simon Knight / MansionMedia said

    Luckily met Bill in a bar in London and have been a keen follower of his writing since, as have numbers of Finance house clients in research. Great to see the blog up : You might find this one of interest too :

  4. Klaus Peter Rosemann said

    Very Good and “educational” work – love reading it.
    Kind Regards,


  5. traderbill said

    I do not know what Bradynet is nor have I ever posted there. Also, I have never heard of Infratrech.

  6. Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so, Excellent post!

    • traderbill said

      Thank you! Much appreciated…not always right but at least tell you what I think! TB

  7. traderbill said

    not sure what to make of this insane market….but decline was most likely due to overall market volatility!

  8. Spazzatura said

    I had a good friend named Kip Nieman who was one of smartest people I ever met. He could always see the reasons why things were changing in the markets. Since he passed away I have suffered from a void of reasoning. You seem to be filling that void with your common sense analysis. I have a question to ask you.
    Is it true that while banks can borrow from the Fed at .25% that there is no law barring them from investing in Treasury Bills? It sure seems that the taxpayers are giving the banks a virtually free profit if that is actually happening. Any thoughts? Thank you and keep writing as your blog is one of my favorites, even though I live in California.

    • traderbill said

      Thank you for the kind comments…true, there are no restrictions on banks simply arbing into TB bills but more likely into 2-5 year treasuries knowing that the Fed will not tighten as the goal is to reliquify and recapitalize the banks…what about the borrowers??? By the way I was California born and raised and will still spend much of the year – but less than six months! – here.

  9. Robin Wilson said


    Seeing the run up of interest rates over the last two weeks or so. Looks like the Fed may have stopped QE and just not told anybody? I’ve been getting very good trades going between TMV and TMF.

    Aloha, Birdman

    • traderbill said

      Good to hear from you again, Robin! Ah but the selloff in bonds began last Friday was due to a Bernanke speech to the Fed that ‘freaked’ the markets. They are not anywhere near stopping buying… where do you think those new mortgages and refi’s are going? Banks write them, sell them to FNMA who in turn sells them to the Fed: the nationalization of the real estate market? They cannot afford to stop or slow down – yet! But when they do watch out below…the market has shown you the risks a 4-1/2 point loss on the 30 year in just five sessions???

      • Robin Wilson said

        and up seven today. Doesn’t make sense. I will continue to just work the fluctuations and hopefully not get caught on the wrong side when the Fed finally stops QE. There seems to be a “vein” on the 30 year between 2.70 and 3.30 that can be mined by going between TMV and TMF. Don’t worry I’m not doing this with serious money.

        Aloha, Let me know if you will be coming west anytime soon. Plan to be in the islands for the first half on June.

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