More Interviews, Peter Reznicek

Peter Reznicek – Shadow Trader Interview


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, work and your experience in the trading community. (including any Trading Coaching Services you might offer to institutions or individual retail traders)

Peter Reznicek: My name is Peter Reznicek and I am co founder and head trader at is an advisory firm that has been
helping traders since 2006.  Around that time we became the first
outside vendor to be embedded into the thinkorswim platform with our
ShadowTrader Squawkbox which we still operate to this day. We continue
to serve a mix of exclusive content to tos/TD and some content that is
available to everyone on our site.  What started 13 years ago as just me
calling equity daytrades in a chatroom has grown to 3 newsletters,
multiple advisories, coaching,  and content that spans futures, forex,
swing trading, pairs trading, market profile, and trading psychology.
We are based just outside of Philadelphia in Haverford.

QUESTION – What personal or professional failure/setback have you experienced in your life or professional career that has set you up for later success?

Peter Reznicek: I worked in the music business before trading as a producer, promoter, and indie record label owner.  We were doing hip hop before the age of the internet.  Everything was brick and mortar. This meant hanging up
posters, giving out flyers, mailing out actual vinyl singles to college
radio stations and recording music at actual studios.  As you can
imagine, all of this is labor intensive and extremely expensive.
Although I definitely achieved some success on a local level, it became
apparent that I would never be able to take it to the next level without
real financial backing, and thus had to eventually fold up my tent.

While there isn’t a lot that overlaps with trading, there are some
things that definitely set the stage for future success.   The main
thing is that it allowed me to let go and give up something that simply
wasn’t working.  That’s something that comes in very handy in trading
for obvious reasons.  Beyond that it was the exercise of getting
something out of my system that I always wanted to do.  Even though it
didn’t work out, I sleep well knowing I gave it my all and I never have
to wonder “what if”.  A lot of people have unconventional dreams like
that and never pursue them because they are too scared to take the
leap.  As we all know, it’s the things you don’t do that cause the most
regret, not the things you do.

QUESTION – What role model did you have earlier in life? And do you currently have anyone you would consider a mentor?

Peter Reznicek: I would have to say my parents.  I’m a first generation American of Czech descent.  Anybody who has ever been raised in that environment
knows already what it’s all about.  They never made me do a thing around
the house, but seeing how hard they worked to keep everything together
was inspiring and gave me a very strong work ethic. Currently, I would
have to point to James Dalton whom I consider to be the most important
person as far as bringing market profile theory to the masses and
basically taking it further than anyone else.  For me personally, I can
honestly say nobody has taught me more valuable information about how
markets really work than him.

QUESTION- How would you describe what makes a successful Trader – keeping in mind that it has been reported that 90% of traders fail.

Peter Reznicek: I think there are only a handful of key traits that define all
successful traders.  One is discipline which is pretty self
explanatory.  The second is an ability to be fluid and change your mind
often.  The third (which is the most difficult) is to be able to let go
of the common sense, if this then that, rational thought that would be
valuable in almost all other endeavors but is actually detrimental in
trading.  You have to understand the simple concept that supply, demand,
inventory position, and timeframe outlook are the only true drivers of
price and what they do constantly goes against what we think of as
common sense.  Failure in these three areas is what drives that 90% number.

QUESTION : What is the role in having a balance all around life in your day to day activities. What hobbies do you enjoy?

Peter Reznicek: Certainly balance is important because your emotional capital is finite and you simply need to recharge it often to keep going.  That is
something that I learned from Jim (Dalton), that emotional capital is
far more important than financial capital.  You must recharge it often
because it’s needed on a daily basis.

While I maintain a very healthy lifestyle by choice, what’s far more
important is the mental balance that comes from letting go and being
mindful and in the moment no matter what you do.  This is obviously
easier said than done and I am certainly a student rather than a master.

Here’s one of my favorite yarns that explains this perfectly.  A man
walks into a Buddhist monestary because he is interested in meditation.
He goes up to one of the monks and asks “What exactly goes on around
here?”  The monk says, “Well…we walk, we eat, and we sit.”
Incredulously the man says, “That’s it?  I can do all those things at
home!”  To which the monk says, “Yes, but when we walk we walk, when we
eat we eat, and when we sit we sit.”  To me, that is the secret to all
of life right there.

QUESTION – What advice would you give to your younger self as it relates to your personal life. What about advice for your younger trading self?

Peter Reznicek: Younger self (personal): Be more open to listening to others, drink less, sleep more. Younger self (trading): Be more open to new ideas and approaches.

QUESTION – Outside of your own (which you can still list below)…. What are your favorite books to read and why?

Peter Reznicek: Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin LeFevreThe Disciplined Trader by Mark Douglas, Mind Over Markets by James Dalton

Those are my three favorite trading books in that order.  I’ve read them all many times over.  While “Reminiscences” doesn’t teach much in the way of technique, there is still no better book in terms of chronicling the vicissitudes of emotion and p&l that is trading.

QUESTION – When you have lost your mojo or focus , what do you do to get back on track?

Peter Reznicek: Take a pause, stop trading.  Then start again with smaller size to build up confidence again.

QUESTION – If you could have a big billboard with your favorite saying or message on it, what would it be.

Peter Reznicek: Price is an advertising mechanism, time regulates all opportunities, and volume judges the success or failure of an auction.

Thank you for taking the time for our readers to get to know you. How can our readers contact you on social media?

Peter Reznicek:  I am on twitter under the handle: @PeterReznicek


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