Written by Austin Maleki ’17 (finance)
He lit up a cigarette and offered me a beer: a timid 19-year-old, I reluctantly declined. Inside the house was his entire team who flew in from New York to participate in this year’s “Neuroscience of Trading” experiment.
Who was he? If you’re interested in finance and stocks, you may follow him on Twitter. His name is Sang Lucci, a notorious New York City trader known for high-risk and high-profitability options trades. And I, Austin Maleki, a humble freshman at Cal State Fullerton, was sitting alone with him on the third-story balcony of a mansion located in the hills of Los Angeles.
As we looked over the entire city, my heart was racing. I’ve followed Lucci and his practice for quite some time now. It’s not every day that a trader opens their books and shows his Twitter audience his daily P-&-L. This is enticing. This, along with his thirst of high risk investments, is what built his following.
I was there to interview Lucci. A couple months ago, I reached out to his office about an internship. This type of request happens to them every day, multiple times a day. But I had something to offer, and it wasn’t until my vision became a reality that I understood the true power of niche. A college student myself with extreme drive and a deep interest in trading, I told Lucci that I could help build his following among my peers. To do this, I sought to spend my summer studying his work and activity, and I could publish this raw, first-hand experience for tens of thousands of students to read. This was enticing; this got Lucci going.
Lucci’s approachability was unexpected, and this “interview” quickly changed to a casual conversation where Lucci channeled his thoughts and life story on how he built his empire. By the tone of his voice, and choice of words, I knew this man was extremely intelligent, but something about his persona reassured me that I was where I needed to be, and all my nerves were suddenly calmed.
And so it began. I cleared my throat and said “State your full name, sir.”
Born and raised in India, Anand Sanghvi, aka “Sang Lucci,” moved to the United States at an early age and earned a degree in finance at the University of Massachusetts. He then began to trade at a proprietary firm called PTG Capital. After two years perfecting the equities market and being named head trader at the firm, Lucci left to manage his own money.
The market crashed in 2009, and most investors’ portfolios were getting massacred. So, Lucci decisively took a long position on the market, and infamously turned $50,000 into more than $2,400,000. By the time he was 25 years old, Lucci was a self-made millionaire and was making a huge name for himself in the trading world.
Shortly after, Lucci created his own blog, SangLucci.com. He worked 16-hour days running online classes and managing almost everything on his own. One day, Lucci was dealt with a massive $300,000 loss on a trade. “Losses like this make you more humble,” he says. “And you learn the invaluable lesson that while being on a winning streak, a losing trade is always around the corner, and the key to constant success is to dodge that bullet.” He realized that working alone was not going to do the job.
Lucci teamed up with some of the most experienced guys in the business: Charlie Bathgate and Peter Zhang (both men were casually inside the house), who both had an extensive background in marketing and finance.
Today, this dream-team manages a huge hedge fund in the heart of New York City and specialize in tape-reading, a strategic way to trade options. Lucci aims at the big, high-volume volatile stocks, like Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL) and Priceline (PCLN).
The most unique feature about SangLucci.com, is that you can find several posts on a daily basis covering everything from market news to trading strategies and recaps from Lucci’s trading day. Unlike other blogs, Lucci brings you the whole package, with genuine information that can be useful to anyone interested in the finance area.
As the sun made its way behind the hills of Los Angeles, I had a feeling of accomplishment. Lucci casually escorted me outside, and my mind was racing with multiple possibilities I could turn this experience into.
Currently, when I am not scanning the markets or researching my next trade, I am studying for my rigorous tests like any other student. This summer I will be living in New York under and enrolled in an eight-week program at NYU. I plan on devoting most of my time to day-trading, as well as reaching out to Lucci for further shadowing. This internship opportunity is still up in the air; regardless, this sun-tanned California boy is going to take Wall Street head on one way or another. You can follow my journey by subscribing to my blog on Instagram @StinsStocks, where I will be posting daily news on market activity throughout summer break.