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 your role at SpeedTraders
DONALD: SURE! My name is Donald R Hensley JR. My friends and family call me Donnie. I suppose the industry knows me as Donnie from Speedtrader or sometimes; Speedtrader Donnie. I live in Connecticut with my wife and two kids. I grew up in CT but lived in Westchester County, NY for 15 years before moving back 2 years ago. Prior to my role at Speedtrader, I ran Investment Wealth Management for a Regional Bank in CT. My role at Speedtrader is Senior Vice President of Business Development. It’s a really fancy way of saying that I develop ways to make our client’s lives easier. Easier can be defined as perhaps finding new vendors for short locates or perhaps it means advocating better commissions structures for our clients.
I live in Connecticut with my wife and 2 daughters. When not glued in front of my terminals, I enjoy Crossfit and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I also collect wine and currently have about 96 bottles in my cellar, all red. Robert Moses State Park and Misquamicut are a stone’s throw from our house, so in the summertime on the weekends, we pack up the kids and head to the beach for the whole day, it really just depends if we feel like hanging on Long Island or Rhode Island LOL. Other than that, I mow my own lawn and do all the renovations on our house.
QUESTION – Besides being an online brokerage, what if any, is SpeedTraders role in the trading community?
DONALD: We offer Direct Access to the Markets. What we do is route the order directly to the Order Book of the Exchange and cut out the middleman, namely, the market maker. What that gives the trader is the opportunity for a better fill and if you use the routes correctly, a rebate. ARCA and INET rebate on orders that add liquidity $0.002 and $0.0015 per share respectively. In short, if you are an Active Trader, a Day Trader, or a High Net Worth Investor, you absolutely want to be at Speedtrader, no questions about it.
QUESTION – Lets get to know you personally in more detail. What failure or setback in both trading and life have you experienced that has set you up for latter success?
DONALD: That’s an interesting question. I call these the “gloves off” questions. I love it!
Frankly, I do not see failure, only lessons. One of the phrases I took from my experiences as a younger me in US Army Basic Training in Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo was this; “Attention to Detail.” The Devil is in the details as they say. Mistakes happen, but careless mistakes aggravate me like you cannot imagine.
QUESTION – Outside of trading, what strange or unusual habit do you have and enjoy? We see you active on Social Media hanging out with some of the titans of the trading industry. (be careful of J.C. Parets at AllStar Charts as he may get you into trouble. LOL)
DONALD: HAHA JC is a great guy with a GREAT Product. One of my new hobbies is carpentry. I read books on residential construction and finishing all the time. Proud to say I’m a subscriber to Fine Woodworking Magazine. I really enjoy cabinetmaking. We had friends of our buy a home and they were looking at contractors… I’m like, “Hey, I’ll build your kitchen cabinets, custom, for free!” I think it’s because it is a little less risky than trading and I can see my results within a few days. Think about it, if I screw up cabinets, all I’m out is the price of the wood. Versus trading where I could be out thousands!
QUESTION- How would you describe the recent growth of trading on social media – Has it effected the way SpeedTraders operates and delivers customer satisfaction ? How do you see it evolving over time?
DONALD: Oh God haha. Believe it or not, I try to stay off it! Social Media is the Roman Coliseum of public dispute. I think it attracts traders because of it’s safe, in your face potential. People say things on twitter that they wouldn’t dream of saying in person to another’s face and for that reason it’s hilarious.
It’s also free. Many GURUs put their alerts out on twitter for free in an effort to get subs. The lifestyle on Instagram breeds FOMO. You gotta love it.
In terms of delivering customer satisfaction, we have a saying in our office and I think it speaks volumes. We don’t care how big your following is, we are regulated by FINRA so for that reason, we keep the client first, always.
“Treat every person you talk to as if they have 1 Million twitter followers and both their parents work for the SEC.” ~ Craig Manderson, CEO Speedtrader.
QUESTION : We saw that you attended the Trade Ideas Summit in San Diego in October, what was your role? What is your relationship with them (if we may ask)?
DONALD: Dan and David invited me to speak at the event and we wound up sponsoring it. It was a great time! I believe traders should be entitled to every legal advantage they deem appropriate to help them realize their strategy in the markets.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and say that without Trade Ideas, market gains are unlikely, because that’s not accurate. However, many of our clients utilize trade ideas and swear up and down by it. I just went, mainly, to shake the hands of the men and women who work there as a job well done.
QUESTION – What advice would you give your younger self ?
DONALD: There are parallels in life and trading I see now I never saw as a youth. Experience gave me that. As far as advice, I can honestly say I created my own playbook. That is what got me where I am today and I would have it no other way. The mistakes I made were lessons.
I lived my mistake years before Instagram and Twitter were around so, in a lot of ways, I’m lucky there is no evidence of the really embarrassing stuff lol. If I had to say anything to my younger self or anyone else young for that matter, it would be; don’t ever give up on yourself, for any reason, ever.
QUESTION – What good & bad advice do you hear often in trading AND life
DONALD: There are so many on both sides. Any advice that does not fit your strategy would be bad advice. Not having a strategy would be even worse. Educate yourself but be careful who you learn from as they may not be as good as they claim to be.
Just as each person is different, each strategy may be as well. Don’t be afraid to custom fit your set of solutions so the solutions fit your definition of success. Attack each day with vigor and enthusiasm. Most importantly, nobody, and I mean nobody, wins all the time. Always keep a journal of your trades and ask yourself how those trades you just did fit into your strategy.
QUESTION – What are your favorite books to read and why?
DONALD: “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins. The book is incredible. Spoiler alert: Do not adopt the way he treated ultra-marathon running pain to how you as a trader could treat losses, you will lose every dime you trade with, that I can assure you.
QUESTION – When you have lost your mojo or focus at work & life in general, what do you do to get back on track?
DONALD: I try to remember when I have bad days, I’ll have good days if I figure out what went wrong with the day. Bad days are necessary because without them, how would you know what a good day looks like?
There have been deals I blew because I was 15 seconds late to the meeting. I had a hedge fund tell me he didn’t think I was a right fit for him, because he thought Hermes (the necktie I was wearing) are “pretentious French clothes.” True Story! I actually lost the chance to bring on a 90 Million Dollar Hedge Fund over a necktie! Now, was that really the reason he chose another broker over speedtrader? For the sake of his investor’s money, I hope not. It was a Red tie. I still wear it btw lol.
The trick to life and in trading for that matter is consistency. One bad day out of a week of good ones isn’t the end of the world, especially if you are in the black at the end of the month, week, year etc. Quite honestly, treat it as a blessing because maybe you learned something.
I believe the only way to get your mojo back is to exploit your weaknesses. When I have a bad day, I drill down and investigate why I had a bad day. Was it diet related? Was it a time issue? Did I have too much on my plate for the day? Did I not plan out my day and I spent the afternoon improvising? I find out why the day went straight into the sewer. Then, I ask myself how this could be avoided in the future within reason. What I mean by within reason is, if you had a bad day because of a car wreck for example, it doesn’t mean to give up driving and walk all the time. It means, perhaps, be a little more cautious on the road.
In the military, they call it an “After Action Review,” or “AAR” for short. I swear by it. The trick is to AAR every trade you do. Sit with your confirms and AAR every trade you did. Kunal Desai from Bulls On Wall Street asks his students to keep a trading journal. I agree. Everything you do goes into the journal. Celebrate your victories and put them in a spot in your brain reserved for quick access. It can serve as kindling for the blazing fire of passion you use to achieve your goals.
QUESTION – If you could have a big billboard with your favorite saying or message on it, what would it be?
DONALD: Life does not happen to you, you happen to it; so give today the attention it needs, because once and if you wake up tomorrow, you will never see today again.
Thank you for taking the time for our readers to get to know you. How can our readers contact you on social media?
IG – Donnie_hensley_jr
Twitter – @donaldrhensley