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Flirting with Models

May 10, 2021

Darrin Johnson is the first independent trader I’ve interviewed for this show and with that distinction he brings an entirely new perspective.

After learning about how Darrin began his career as an independent trader, we get into the bulk of the conversation that circles around his process of shorting volatility in the S&P 500 complex, including options on futures, index options, VIX futures, and VIX ETPs. Darrin provides insights into how he plays certain tenors over others, why knowing when not to be short is the most important key to risk management, why the upside can be riskier than the downside, and thinking through managing a trade over its lifetime.

Towards the end of the interview, Darrin paints a realistic picture of what it means to be an independent trader, in both the opportunities and constraints unique to his position. We finish with the advice Darrin would give to anyone serious about starting a career in independent trading.

I hope you enjoy my conversation with Darrin Johnson.