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 and your background.
SCOTT – I’m a bit of a jack of all trades. I have always had more interests than time – coupled with ADHD, finding things to focus on was always a challenge, because I wanted to do everything. I started playing the piano as a child, was always musically inclined, so a career in that space was a natural fit. I attended the University of Pennsylvania in the late 90s, when the stock market was cruising and they were handing out Wall Street jobs. Although my interest in markets had been sparked in school, I was more interested in music and chose to forego Wall Street to try out my hand at DJ’ing. I DJ’d for 20 long years, traveling the world and living my dreams. I always invested, because I had down time and found markets fascinating, but I became a “full time” trader after my daughter was born and the travel became too much. So I retired from music and shifted primarily to crypto.
QUESTION – Do you trade just cryptocurrencies? If so, can you explain the types and what is your trading strategy?
SCOTT – I have traded everything, but anyone who follows me knows that I heavily focus on investing and trade with only a small portion of my capital. So I am heavily invested in legacy markets, real estate etc. I primarily trade crypto now, but have been through every market you can imagine at some point.
My strategy is to move slowly. I don’t like spending a lot of time at the screen and prefer to take positions that require no babysitting. So I dollar cost average into markets as an investor and take longer swing trades that suit my lifestyle.
QUESTION – What personal or professional failure/setback have you experienced in your life or professional career that has set you up for later success?
SCOTT – I have failed more times than I would like to admit – as a musician, professionally and more often as a trader. I once went “all in” on a specific stock based on a bad stock tip and lost everything – that was a real eye opening experience, and taught me to take risk management very seriously. As a trader, this was the most important lesson that I ever learned. If you’ve never gone broke, you’ve never truly experienced being a trader.
QUESTION – How would you describe what makes a successful crypto trader (versus that of say a stock day trader)?
SCOTT – Most successful crypto traders were actually early investors who held onto Bitcoin and had the foresight to sell around the all time high. Very, very few people have been successful actively trading in this market. I actually wrote an article in Cointelegraph about the particular difficulties of trading the crypto market, which I believe is far more taxing and stressful for a trader than trading equities. For the few who have actually had real success trading, I believe it’s likely that impeccable risk management is the reason.
QUESTION – What do you feel is the role in having a balance all around life in your day to day activities. What hobbies do you enjoy?
SCOTT – The best crypto traders I know spend very little time trading. This is the case for me as well. I can check a chart, see what areas I am interested in, set alarms and go about my day. That said, I have a lot of free time to spend with my wife and kids, to watch sports, go to the gym, play tennis etc. I love being active, do crossfit 5 days a week and am always on the go. The whole purpose of being a trader is to have more free time, not less. Balance is everything. Without it, you become emotionally attached to your trades at the expense of everything else.
QUESTION – What advice would you give to your younger self?
SCOTT – Save more, earlier. Don’t waste your money on frivolous items. Spend on experiences, not things, although I largely did this. Start producing music at a younger age!
QUESTION – What good or bad advice do you hear often in life?
SCOTT – For markets: bad advice – go “all in” in crypto! I believe in Bitcoin and this market, but it’s extremely risky. Anyone who is telling you otherwise has something to sell. You should never go all in on anything, especially not an asset that carries this much risk. Good advice – diversify your investments, move slowly. Get your money in the market early and often and don’t touch it.
In life, the best advice I can offer is to be grateful for everything that you have. Maintaining a positive mental state while being appreciative is the key to long term happiness.
QUESTION – If you had to give a book or books as a gift to someone, What would you recommend & why?
SCOTT – This answer would be different during every phase of my life. As a younger man, I fancied myself an objectivist so I would say The Fountainhead was my favorite. I’m a complete nerd, so The Lord Of The Rings was my favorite as a kid, and A Song Of Ice And Fire as an adult. I have sent a few books to people in my adult life, A Letter To A Christian Nation being the one shared most often. I’m an atheist, so there’s good reason I chose that one. The Shock Doctrine is another favorite to share.
QUESTION – When you have lost your mojo or focus , what do you do to get back on track?
SCOTT – from whatever I have lost my mojo on, go do something different and come back to it when I’m fresh. As a musician, I sometimes had creative block for days or weeks at a time. Nothing you can do but be patient and focus on other things.
In trading, it’s essential to step away from the charts if you feel you are pushing or getting emotional. You will lose money fast if you are not in the right mindset when you trade.
QUESTION – If you could have a big billboard with your favorite saying or message on it, what would it be?
SCOTT – For markets, the answer is definitely this Einstein quote. “Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.”
Thank you for taking the time for our readers to get to know you. How can our readers contact or follow you on social media?
I am @scottmelker on twitter, which is primarily where you can find me. You can also join the TexasWest Capital Discord discord.gg/kyKvrNg.