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February 6, 2017

Chapter 77 in the exclusive series for Dynamic Commodities- becoming a commodities trader

There were lots of perks when working for a U.S. financial institution as an ex-pat in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Perhaps the coolest at that time was the opportunity to travel back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean when business demanded on a supersonic plane.

By the time of my transfer to London, I was already a seasoned traveler. I had become accustomed to the first class cabin which at first was a treat and experience. However, as most people who travel around the world for their jobs know the most important commodity is time and not creature comforts.

I was traveling back and forth to London several times each month and my airline of choice became British Airways for two reasons. The terminal in London was easiest when it came to getting in and out of the airport and they offered an area to shower in Heathrow for first class passengers. That shower saved lots of time as I would arrive first thing in the morning and could hop into a taxi and head straight for the office rather than stopping at a hotel to clean up before a meeting or work. Perhaps more importantly, in their first class cabin British Airways offered passengers my favorite libation, Johnny Walker Blue Label scotch.

On one trip to New York, the person at the first class check in counter asked me if I’d like a free upgrade to Concorde, the supersonic jet that cut the travel time from New York to London from 5 hours almost in half. I jumped at the chance to travel on the SST. At JFK, Concorde had a separate lounge where travelers could board the aircraft directly. As I boarded the sleek plane with the needle nose, the comforts of first class were absent. I am not that tall but even at 5’11’’ I had to lower my head to enter the plane. The leather seats were close together and the layout of the cabin was more like coach than business or first class. The food was top notch and the selection of wines and beverages were top of the line.

As the plane taxied down the runway, it moved a lot faster than any other plane. It took off like a rocket and climbed fast to its cruising altitude of 60,000 feet, almost double the height of 747s or other transatlantic aircraft. The Concorde reached a maximum speed of Mach 2.04, twice the speed of sound. As the plane climbed on my first journey I thought back to my days as a kid on the beaches in Rockaway, Queens. When the Concorde came in there was often a sonic boom and everyone on the beach would stand on the shore and watch the plane as it headed for JFK.

When the plane reached a certain altitude it went supersonic and passengers would feel a slight thrust, I felt my body move slightly forward. One of the coolest things about flying on Concorde was the sight from the small windows. It was twilight so high up and at that height you can see the curvature of the earth. The other cool thing about traveling on the SST was the passengers on board. Over many trips back and forth I met and sat next to move stars, politicians and moguls of industry. For two and one half hours I was in the company of some of the world’s most famous people. On one trip I got to sit next to a former President of the United States.

Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities

Post Series: Origin Of A Commodities Trader

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