Tom Rinaudo was selling real estate when his mother heard about a job at the Chicago Board of Trade. He had no idea what the Board of Trade was all about, but he said yes and was hired by JK McKerr in a back office job. Rinaudo wishes he could have started 10 years earlier as many of the exchange members he got to know and who mentored him were 20 years older than he.
He tried pit trading and filled orders as a pit broker for a while, but he learned that his true passion was being a market analyst. When he first started, he was living at home, and his father would bring him down to the exchange at 3:00 in the morning. Rinaudo would start his daily grind of talking to people around the world about the state of the markets to build his analysis for the day.
The wheat market was his passion and he leased a full membership at the CBOT at one time, but his greatest regret was not buying a seat.
He learned trading the hard way, getting personally blown out of his positions by Les Rosenthal at one point, leaving him with a debit and a doubt about his future. But he came back with the help of some industry friends. He was forced to change clearing firms when he was caught short options when the Chernobyl incident hit. He learned to only trade long options.
Rinaudo made a lot of friends on the CBOT trading floor and in Ceres, the bar in the lobby of the CBOT Building. He was part of a group called the 10:30 club that would visit the bar an hour after the grains opened for a cocktail, back when that was a thing.
Here is the interview with Tom Rinaudo for the MarketsWiki Education Open Outcry Traders History Project.