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 everyday.
BATS – My name is Batsirayi (Translated to “Help” in native tongue Shona) or “Bats” for short. I am originally from Zimbabwe, the last country in the alphabet and arguably The Bread Basket of Africa (The yeast at present has been somewhat compromised and the dough hasn’t been rising as well as it should). I live in Phoenix, Arizona, home of The Grand Canyon and beef jerky looking geriatric retirees who do nothing but play golf in the blistering heat and get skin cancer. It is Florida without the beach, lizards and humidity. We do, however, have dust storms which are affectionately called Haboobs (Harvey Weinstein knows a lot about those…)
I am a self-taught mentorless trader with my own “modest” Discord group. I can be found on Discord or on Twitter at home (unless I’m travelling) on my intricate trading station… A couch and a laptop; and sometimes a glass of water to combat the Phoenix dry air.
QUESTION – Do you trade full time? If not, what do you do for a living? What are your trading and life goals?
BATS – I am an insomniac (analyzing charts is so fun I can’t sleep) part-time technical trader with full-time privileges since I work from home. My day job is a molecular biologist and automation scientist (Yes, I am a real scientist who wears a lab coat, safety glasses carrying around bubbling test tubes etc)..Essentially I work with Healthcare companies (biotech, pharmaceutical, hospitals and academic research labs) all over the US and program robots to run experiments that isolate DNA/RNA and proteins and exploit cell-based tests/assays like gene editing etc. Sounds exciting on paper but can be tedious especially the travel; waiting at airports, sleeping in strange hotels and sampling every type of food and alcohol that travel has to offer. I’m surprised I still have a functioning liver. My trading goal is simple…Make what I make as a scientist and eventually trade full time for a couple of hours everyday day, in my pajamas and play golf for the other 22 hours. I guess I will also need to sleep, bathe and eat somewhere in there…Sucks…
QUESTION – What failure or setback in both trading and life have you experienced that has set you up for latter success?
BATS – One life setback are my tiny ears that don’t have earlobes. I get teased about them all the time. I always tell people the magic happens inside, plus they will never sag with old age. The inner ear does all the hearing. The outer ear merely funnels the noise into the ear. Have you seen Obama’s ears!!! I’ll take my ears any day…Sometimes smaller is better (That’s what she said…)
One trading setback was learning at the beginning of last year was that I was subject to FINRA 3210 because Foo Bear (my wife) works for JP Morgan Chase, which means I am restricted as to what I can trade day to day. I have ranted about this extensively on Twitter till I went blue in the face. You thought the PDT Rule was bad!! Basically, I need to get permission to trade any stocks and must hold them for at least a month before selling them, if I am even allowed to sell them at the time. I found a loophole…FINRA 3210 exempt Exchange Traded Funds or ETFs. That’s what led me to the SPY and IWM. Add a couple of weeks learning about options and you have a cocktail… for success… most of the time. They gave me lemons and I made lemonade (Beyonce couldn’t make it to support me that day, unfortunately, and chose to do something different with her lemons)
QUESTION – Outside of trading, what strange or unusual habit do you have and enjoy? What is a SPY Puppet Master as you often describe yourself on twitter as?
BATS – Before I got married in 2010, I used to make controversial “African-inspired” YouTube videos. If you thought Dave Chapelle was bad, think again. My alter ego dangerously flirted along racial lines, religion, sex and politics etc. All these “skits” were preformed with a thick African accent and a complete disregard for political correctness. Long story short, my wife threatened to leave me and that all came to an abrupt halt (LMAO). Now I just trade and do my science geeky stuff…It’s safer for everyone.
I call myself The SPY Puppet Master because like the puppeteer Jim Henson, the Father of The Muppets, who was able to manipulate characters like Miss Piggy and Kermit The Frog, I feel that I have mastered trading SPY ETF options which I have traded almost every day since April last year.
QUESTION– How would you describe your trading style? How has it evolved over time?
BATS – I am a technical trader as opposed to a fundamental trader. This means I care about the day to day heartbeat of a stock without worrying about the health of the heart itself. I don’t care whether Warren Buffet is managing the company or if it’s a bald, fat sweaty dude in his basement. I predominantly day trade but have also been known to swing from time to time, much to my wife’s dismay. Back in the day I focused on biotech penny/OTC stocks since everything Healthcare is my field of expertise. I soon left these childish ways behind and graduated to trading options. Options give you the combination of trading stable blue-chip companies with the awesome profitability of penny stocks. I describe myself as long bias countertrend day trader looking primarily for bullish and bearish reversals. I hate following the crowd, so when traders go one way, I go the other way, at times to my peril. Over time I have taught myself to trade options both ways, long and short. To assist me in my trading I use price action (candlestick analysis accompanied by volume etc.) along with basic support and resistance. I like using technical indicators like VWAP, RSI, Fibonacci Retracements, Heikin Ashi and my favorite The Ichimoku Cloud which I taught myself for shits and giggles because it sounded so cool.
QUESTION : What exactly at BAT SCIENTIST. Sounds like a story behind your account name.
BATS – Simple really…My name is Batsirayi and I am a scientist. It is a mashup of Bats and Scientist although I am also known by a few as Batman, the terror that flaps in the night…I am not blind though…far from it…But my ears are small…I don’t have small hands though…
QUESTION – What advice would you give your younger self (both in trading & life)?
BATS – Trading: This was a saying I came up with that keeps me grounded. “When reaching for the stars, remember the flowers at your feet.” In other words when you trade don’t swing for the fences. Consistent singles and doubles are how you make it as a trader. Focus on ow hanging fruit.
Life: Don’t marry someone who works for JP Morgan Chase and don’t take yourself too seriously unless it’s Sirius Satellite Radio
QUESTION – What good & bad advice do you hear often in trading AND life?
BATS – Good Advice: Do your own due diligence. I am not a fan of mentors/gurus, particularly those that charge you an arm and a leg with no concrete results. If you do get a mentor, be sure to gather the concepts and do your own shit, lest you become a slave to your mentor and lack original thought or common sense. You should be the one pulling the strings. DON’T BE A PUPPET!!!
“Repetitio est mater studiorum…Latin saying meaning,” Repetition is the mother of study…You can only get better at something by practicing incessantly… Be a dog with a bone…
Be civil and considerate on social media. Don’t be a troll. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Bad Advice: Don’t use technical indicators because most of them are lagging. Just use price action. Absolutely rubbish!!! Do what works for you and do it well. Study, study and study. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do…
Cut you losses quickly…No, no, no!!!…You should cut your losses intelligently…To different things
QUESTION – What are your favorite books to read and why?
BATS – I have to be honest. I am freaking lazy. I watch YouTube videos. The last books I ever read from beginning to end was Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys back in 1987. Since then, being a scientist, I have only read about metabolic pathways and diseases: Photosynthesis, Glycolysis, Kreb’s Cycle, cell/gene regulation, obesity, cancer and cardiovascular disease and the love my life… STOCKS
My wife often asks what I love more, her or stocks…10 years later I still haven’t given her an answer….
QUESTION – When you have lost your mojo or focus (both in trading and life), what do you do to get back on track?
BATS – I cry like a baby for a few hours…Retreat into a corner, take a nap on the sofa of my trading station, and have a glass or two or three or four of vodka and cranberry juice, in case I have a urinary tract infection from all the crying…Then like a bat out of hell, I get back on that horse and live to trade another day…In October last year I lost 40K (all my profit from September) in one trade because I decided I could trade and travel with work at the same time. Needless to say, time decay’s a bitch. It was a bad idea. Kids, don’t do this at home…. Only trained professionals should wipe out all their hard-earned profits…Stick to being profitable by hiding your profits under your bed…
QUESTION – If you could have a big billboard with your favorite saying or message on it, what would it be?
BATS – I coined this saying a while back…It’s what drives me every day in life and in trading:
“When reaching for the stars, remember the flowers at your feet…”
You can find Bats on Twitter @BatScientist and on Discord (Just DM him and he’ll do the rest…)