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Associate Spotlight: Research—All Buffed Up

January 9, 2017
associate spotlight cruz
Joe Morse

Some good qualities—hard work, loyalty, and accountability—never go out of style, which is why Shawn Cruz, Trader Content Specialist at TD Ameritrade, will always be trendy. He joined the TD Ameritrade client services team straight out of college. He moved on to TradeWise (formerly RED OptionSM), and from there went to Swim LessonsSM. He then lent his insights to product development and became a key player in the economic and market research team. Despite a demanding work life, he still manages to find time to study for his MBA, run, play golf, and share videos that’ll make you head to the gym and show off your six pack abs.

1. Describe a day in the life of Shawn. 

I’m in the Active Trader group. So the focus of my job is to assist JJ Kinahan with any research that needs to be done around market structure and trading. The pace around the office can be quick, with a lot of projects in the works. There’re lots of moving parts, so you have to stay on schedule, especially in product development. When there’s an overload, I help out to avoid any setbacks.

2. Why is TD Ameritrade research so valuable? 

We always make sure the tools we provide clients are functional and useful. We want our technology to be accurate, and naturally backed by relevant data and research. We don’t want to randomly put things out there. We make sure our products help clients make the best use of company resources when we develop something.

3. What are some projects you’re working on for the future? 

One big release that has come up is the addition of economic data to the platform. On thinkorswim® we’ve added the Federal Reserve Economic Database (“FRED”), a massive database with lots of different economic data points used by economists, researchers, and traders. And there are markets that are driven by fundamental and economic data.

4. What are your golden trading rules? 

I like to make sure I know the products I’m trading, especially when it comes to futures. I want to know how the contracts settle. I also have a topdown approach. I start with a high-level economic picture, then drill down into what I think is specific to the particular instrument I’m trading. I don’t want to miss anything when I make a trading decision. Finally, I manage my open positions well, which is something that should be part of any successful trading plan.

5. Hey, rumor has it you have ties to Hollywood? 

My great grandmother was an actress who played roles in a number of popular TV shows and movies. She was Mrs. Philbert in The Wonder Years and Dorothy in Sixteen Candles.

Economic Data Tab

The Economic Data tab enables you to access and use a database of hundreds of thousands economic indicators, or time series, from dozens of sources.

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