QUESTION – Thank you for taking the time to participate in the Q & A session. Before we start in detail. Would you like to share with everyone who may not know, who you are, what you do, where you live and what trade room (if any) and where you can be found every day.
STEVE – My name is Steve Gomez. I live in southern California and work for Trade Ideas technologies, LLC. I am also user #3 of this award winning platform as the original beta tester in 2003. I started reading books and trading Chicago futures and commodities in 1995 using 20 minute delayed quotes at the time. You can follow me on social media @TodayTrader.
TodayTrader (the brand) was started with Andy Lindloff as an original desktop sharing service back in 2008 after using the technology to mentor Chinese prop shop traders who traded US markets in the middle of the night and needed supervision. For a few years I co-managed a mirrored trading account known as DittoTrade with Andy (who also works alongside at Trade Ideas). This technology allowed subscribers who also had an account at the same broker to automatically follow our trades but in their accounts. Today, we continue to provide market commentary and technical support under the Trade Ideas brand.
QUESTION – Do you trade full time? If not, what do you do for a living? What got you into trading? What are your trading and life goals?
STEVE – Currently only part-time so as to enjoy my favorite time frame (swing trading) along with a salary position for watching and commentating on the market while helping users of Trade Ideas software. I used to day trade full time for over 12 years in a day trading capacity but have down shifted into swing trading with supplementary income since 2012. From 1995-1998 I was also trading with supplementary income but left the job to go full time with the advent of SOES and ECN trading dubbed “Direct Access”. This was the golden era (1998) for retail traders who wanted a level playing field in real time without having to move to New York or Chicago and scream while standing in a pit.
QUESTION – What failure or setback in both trading and life have you experienced that has set you up for latter success?
STEVE – Not learning to adapt fast enough. Change is the only constant in the markets and if you get too stuck in your ways, you will not make it. A great book called “Who moved my Cheese” helped me get out of a trading rut. Long story short; I needed to move back to a longer time frame to adjust to market structure (mainly HFT) and there was a period of difficulty and lack of profits that tested my resolve in trading.
QUESTION – Outside of trading, what strange or unusual habit do you have and enjoy?
STEVE – I like to play music. I like to take a song on as a project and learn it on bass, keyboard or regular guitar and enjoy the process of figuring out that puzzle. I enjoy working on my golf game. I enjoy being outside for the final 30 minutes of light each day on a walk or whatever. I have made many drone videos as a hobbyist. Also, hiking and anything else that challenges me along the way. Painting is a new thing.
QUESTION– How would you describe your trading style? How has it evolved over time?a slow zooming out in time frames and patience levels.
STEVE – It has basically zoomed out in timeframe and in expectations over the course of 20 years. As mentioned above, the switch from day trading to swing trading involved secondary income that is needed for many reasons. When I started trading it was human VS human in a world of fractions. Whoever had the quickest mind and the quickest hand was the person who held the edge. Fast forward to 2008, the game had completely changed to favor computers and those firms who had dished out millions of dollars to invest in the speed of their connections. All of a sudden, they had the advantage. Fair enough (I guess). All one can do is adjust to the new environment and this was the period of major learning and adjustments in my career.
Right now I use a 15 minute candlestick chart along with a daily chart. This is a big departure from when I first started and was staring at 1 minute and 5 minute time frames. I am looking for THE MOVE and hope to ride most of it for 1.5 – 3 days. This is my favorite current strategy. While managing the mirrored trading account at DittoTrade, we coined the term #SwingScalping .
QUESTION – Outside of trading, how do you enjoy spending your time?
STEVE – Answered above in similar question.
QUESTION – What advice would you give your younger self (both in trading & life)
STEVE – I would say that you don’t know anything. That you need to cut your losers faster and NEVER hold on to something because you believe it will turn around. Stubborn stupidity has a lost opportunity cost by keeping our focus on the bad trade loss rather than the next opportunity. Also I would have told myself to be a bit more aggressive as I was not so much so in the earlier days and maybe in hindsight, that has kept me around the business.
QUESTION – What good & bad advice do you hear often in trading?
STEVE – “Play the action” can actually be good and bad advice at one time depending on who is taking it. The unfortunate thing in my opinion is the newbie traders are drawn to the most difficult method of trading before they really have their “sea legs” under them, so to speak. For a new trader, focusing only on low float high volatility setups is like joining a game of musical chairs. You better make sure you have a chair nearby when the music stops. For newer traders, this can be a costly learning situation as a first experience in the trading business.
Now for experienced traders who have been around a bit, this type of methodology can do well if you are adept in that the environment.
Good advice is also to remember that the markets can remain irrational (overbought/oversold) for longer than you can remain solvent. So don’t ever get stubborn. Keep the mind open for all possibilities.
QUESTION – What are your favorite trading & non-trading books to read and why?
STEVE – Reminiscences of a Stock Operator – because it shows us that trading is a timeless endeavor of the human spirit and it does not matter if you are getting your data from a cloudy chalkboard or from a direct digital feed to the exchanges, it is human behavior that drives markets. This book was written for a time before computer terminals and the lessons are timeless.
Trading in the Zone – because trading is 90% mental.
QUESTION – When you have lost your mojo or focus (both in trading and life), what do you do to get back on track? Take a week off and clear the mind with something non-trading related?
STEVE – Exactly! Take a week off. Don’t peek in on the market either. Get away. Unplug. Quiet the mind. The answers will come to you with respect of what needs to be changed or modified. Just get away from it all in order to mentally clear the mind and start with a clean white-board.
QUESTION – If you could have a big billboard with your favorite saying or message on it, what would it be.
STEVE – CEO’s lie. CFO’s lie. Analysts lie. Money managers lie. The Media lies … Price charts never lie.
Charts tell the real story. They are the footprints in the sand showing the direction of the herd. Just like a tracker has good success in the wild, a trader/investor can have better success focusing mostly on the daily charts. Technical analysis is on point. Everything else is most likely misdirection.
Thank you Steve And how can our readers contact you on social media.
STEVE – I am @TodayTrader on Twitter!