|“I used to try to pick tops and bottom all the time, I had an obsession with fighting trends. I have learned to wait and watch for trend development, letting the price action and key price levels guide me. “|
Background Info / Introduction
Q. Can you please start by making a few comments about yourself to include your trading style and what products you trade, your experience in years, and what other things of a trading nature take your time on a regular basis (e.g. writing trading books/contributing to forums/coaching/speaking engagements)?
I have traded professionally as a directional trader since 2004.
I’m primarily a short term trend trader, typically looking to trade breakouts in the direction of the intraday and daily charts trend , alternatively I will trade a “regressive style” , where I look to buy weakness in an rising market or sell strength in a falling market.
In my view there is an element of gut feel attached to successful chart trading. Both of the styles I use train the mind by observing repetitive patterns, which over time gives the mind a certain bias in its decision making, by learning what works and what fails over time. It’s like learning to ride a bike , sooner or later, you remove the training wheels and you don’t have to think about it, it’s just natural.
I trade Index Futures and Spot Currency – ie., USA: the DOW, Russell and S&P 500 E mini futures., Australia: SPI 200 futures, ASIA: Hang Seng futures
In High School, I participated in several share market competitions which sparked my initial interest. I’ve been involved with the markets directly since April 2002 when I placed my first options trade with the $1000 I was given for my 18th birthday. I proceeded to blow my entire stake in 2 months.
To supplement my trading income I educate traders via my website and In addition I have a course on forex price action Pattern Trading which was released in 2008
Q. It is fair to say that most people are initially attracted to trading by money. Is this what initially attracted you or was it something else?
In the beginning, it was purely a hobby which escalated into a lifestyle and serious passion. I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t enjoy it, every day is unique and challenging which is what I need to get me up in the morning. For me, trading is the best job in the world, you can do it from anywhere, even in your underwear from your lounge room in any part of the world.
Most would be lying to themselves if they didn’t think of the money at the end of the line. Personally, growing up in a poor household, there comes a certain drive for financial freedom, but that’s a separate emotion and isn’t attached to my Trading pursuits.
Q. What are some of your good and bad memories of your early trading days?
The worst memory I have is losing 2 months of hard earned profits (over $16,000 AUD) dropping it all on a 10 lot DOW mini position, where I refused to Exit at my stop in the Pre market before the actual DOW opened. I was stubborn, but have learned from my mistake.
The best memory to date would be receiving my first commission payment from the Prop fund I trade for. It was like the completion of the first real journey and a great reward for the many hundreds of hours of hard work I put in to get there.
Q. How would you describe a couple of your biggest mistakes in your early trading days?
I used to try to pick tops and bottom all the time, I had an obsession with fighting trends. I have learned to wait and watch for trend development, letting the price action and key price levels guide me.
Q. Looking back to the beginning, in the face of the usual challenges, what motivated or inspired you to learn to trade well?
I get bored very easily, so working to be profitable at trading is a natural stimulant, similar to a sport , it’s a challenge and a serious game of strategy. I dropped out of university, so finding well paying work was near impossible. The income potential trading also offered helped with day to day motivation.
Getting to a point where you make money to pay your rent and living costs from scratch with no start up capital is typically only available to fund traders, and I am graced with this privilege. The learning journey keeps me going because global markets are always changing.
Q. On reflection, was there a single moment in time or situation that ultimately had the greatest influence on your trading?
I received a phone call from my Prop trading manager in early 2005. This is the guy employed by the fund, who monitors your trading transactions and day to day strategy. He was quite adamant that I was missing out on a fair chunk of profits, and that my trading results could be much better if I made some changes to the way I managed positions.
Even though I was making money at the time, I soon learned that the reason I was not making as much money as the senior traders in the firm was because I was all too often entering trades on the wrong side of the primary trend and I continued to fail to lock in good profits, nor did I move my stops to break even once I was in profit. This conversation was a turning point for me, as I soon learned that trade management was just as important as the entry signal.
The largest change inspired form this conversation was the idea of adding to a profitable position at strategic points as a trade moved in my favor, which quite simply makes sense as your using the markets money to multiply potential gains.