Any gifted mental calculators in stock trading? Do you use it in your career?

Hello all,

Quick backstory - my grandma taught me my time tables at 7 years old, two years before the American school system generally does it. I wasn’t allowed to play outside until I memorized 12 * 12 time tables, and I’m now thankful for this. After I memorized these time tables, I was unable to stop thinking about math for months and/or years (it was a long time ago). I would think about, for example, how 48 * 64 came to be 3,072. Over and over and over again. I played classical guitar from 8 years old, often memorizing five pages of music for recitals. This helped immensely with mental computation as I visualize the numbers being split up as I add them together.

Well my friends encouraged me to find a community like this online to get experiences of people with similar skills. I just hit #1 on the leaderboard of mathtrainer.org which motivated me to come here and ask people as well. I can do 3 * 3 multiplication very quickly, and can divide to multiple decimal places. I’ve done up to 11 before. I mainly do multiplication.

Do any of you use this skill in your career? I have an accounting degree and was into researching trading in college, but never went all into it. Has anyone here done so? Any recommendations?

Thank you in advance. I hope to be a regular on this forum.

I used to trade options as a market maker on the Dutch Options Exchange while it was still open outcry.

This was in the time when trading was not yet done by computers and you had to stand in a crowd and scream your prices.
You would have a small piece of paper to write on and maybe a calculator.
Being able to mentally calculate was a great advantage.
Option prices are based on stock prices and if the stock moved you needed to immediately calculate the new option prices.
Also if you bought or sold anything your position changed and thus you needed to immediately calculate the amount of stock you need to buy or sell in order to hedge your position.

Nowadays I work for investment banks - making software - and it still has its advantages.

2 Likes

Thank you for sharing your experience. I dabbled in options trading on a simulator in college but never with actual money. I was thinking options would be where it works best. I want to do whatever has the highest earning potential so I can buy rental homes… If that matters. That’s why I’m open to changing careers if it looks good. I never get tired of doing mental math. Using it to get paid would be amazing.

I’m wondering if there is still benefit to this day in options trading and to what degree? I imagine there still would be.