John Lothian Profiles: Neal Kottke

John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO

Neal Kottke, chairman of Kottke Associates in Chicago, is one of those industry veterans who has done it all in his career, from the commercial side to clearing, to starting his own clearing firm to proprietary trading. His contributions to the futures industry also included a term as chairman of the Board of Trade Clearing Corporation as well as two terms as vice chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade.

Kottke has seen more events and trends than most during a career that now spans four decades. In this John Lothian Profile, JLN explores Kottke’s experiences, how the markets have changed and evolved and how “discipline” is the key feature for successful trading. He also talks about how to manage volatility in the markets, managing risk and Black Swan events.

Neal Kottke Resources

  • Neal Kottke on MarketsWiki (link)
  • Kottke: A lifetime in grain markets – Futures Magazine — November 2010 (link)
  •  Harvesting Knowledge – CME Group Magazine — May 2011 (link)
  • Kottke Associates website (link)

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Sam Gaer’s Open Outcry History Was a Path To Electronic Trading

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Sam Gaer’s foray into the futures industry began at the age of 15 when he sought a summer job and was recruited as a runner on the COMEX. Initially hesitant to wake up at 7 a.m. and commute from his suburban New Jersey home to New York, he swiftly relented upon learning of the $5 cash hourly wage.

His first day saw him working in the COMEX gold pit, running orders to brokers. Despite not really knowing what he was doing, by the end of the summer he had figured out how to chart prices. He also knew about taking orders from phone clerks, running them where they needed to go, what types of orders there were and where the more important orders went. He said, “I just kind of took to it.”

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