Commodity and Derivative Advisors is a full service brokerage firm located in Sandusky, OH. While not the financial hub of the U.S. economy, Sandusky was home to one of the largest retail brokerage firms, Lind-Waldock.
My name is Andy Waldock and I have been involved in the futures industry my entire adult life. Two weeks after my eighteenth birthday, I began my career at 5:30 am C.S.T. reconciling trades on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Working for Lind-Waldock allowed me to move from one market’s open to the next…..currencies, meats, stock indices, and rotate backwards for the closes. During my three years of clerking, I was able to learn the ins and outs of customers’ order routing, execution and processing. I also developed many valuable friendships that allow me to keep in touch with the vital workings of the various exchanges. At 21, I began trading for my own account in the S&P 500 pit. Over the next several years, my relationships branched out into executing orders at the retail and institutional level.
Two moments from these years are worth sharing. First, after a particularly grueling day, early on in the S&P 500 pit, I sat down in the members’ break room. My frustration was written all over my face when one of the old, old, blackboard traders, Bill Katz, sat down next to me and asked, “Did you bust out?” I told him that I hadn’t and I just felt like I was never going to quit spinning my wheels. He broke trading down to its most concise and irrefutable law, “As long as you get to trade tomorrow, you’re still in the game.”
The second moment came after I had, kind of, earned my place in the pit. On a slow day, after many of the traders had already left, I was standing next to a guy who was normally two or three bodies away. We had traded next to each other for three or four years and were making casual conversation when he looked at my badge, “ADOC” and said, “Hey, are you any relation to Jack Waldock?” I told him that Jack was my father. He was very surprised to find that, in a world of self-important traders, he had been trading with the largest retail broker’s kid for years and never noticed it.
These are the moments of humility and the dues of long hours and sweat that go into making a family business run with all of the appropriate pride that it deserves. Humility in speech and pride in service have been combined in a 17 year commitment to doing things right, the first time.