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Walter Deemer – Interview

CE5A09A8-4D68-46E3-B1C5-E9CF8C86EBA4QUESTION : 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 very impressive background.Including what boards that you served on in the trading industry?

WALTER : I first got hooked on TA via Joe Granville’s book in early 1962, just in time for the Crash Of 1962 and Cuban Missile Crisis, and learned a lot more in a State College board room that year than I did on Penn State’s campus. I started working for Merrill Lynch’s legendary Bob Farrell in April 1964, joined Gerry Tsai’s Manhattan Fund (“The Go-Go Years”) at the outset in 1966, moved to Boston to head Putnam’s Market Analysis Dept. in 1970, and formed Deemer Technical Research in 1980 to do TA for institutional money managers. Retired in 2016. Along the way, I was a founding member and the sixth president of the MTA (now CMT Association).

 

QUESTION : What and who got you into trading. You traded during what many considered the golden age of trading. I bet you have some great stories of characters that you traded alongside with. Care to share any?

WALTER : Trading? I very quickly learned I don’t have the right psychology to trade; I get too emotionally involved in trades, follow them way too closely, etc., etc. It takes a very special person to be a successful trader; I am not one of them.

Having said that, I am amazed how much easier it is to trade today than back then. People bitch about HFTs clipping fractions of pennies from orders – but specialists used to take eights and quarters out of every trade. Also, executions were far from instantaneous and commissions took a huge chunk out of every trade. The financial markets are constantly proving they are “the creations of man that have most humbled him” [Alan Shaw, Smith Barney], but at least the mechanics are a lot easier to deal with now. (Well, except for all those big overnight gaps.) 

 

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

WALTER : I was really, really lucky to have been in the right places at the right times. I was in Merrill Lynch’s research trainee program in 1964 when Bob Farrell had just a week to replace Arch Crawford; since I had self-taught experience I jumped ahead of more senior candidates. I joined Tsai Management (Manhattan Fund) at the very beginning to experience the Go-Go years first-hand. I was hired at Putnam in 1970 and experienced the Nifty Fifty growth stock bubble first-hand. So I was very, very fortunate – and very, very lucky – not to have to learn via failures/setbacks like virtually everyone else.

Well, there was one memorable setback; Putnam’s investment bosses in the late 1970’s were a lot more focused on their business than investment results. They pushed me out because I told it like it was (the Nifty Fifty were in a post-bubble environment) rather than the way they wanted me to — which, not incidentally, is a trait a successful trader has to have. That’s why I left Putnam and formed my own company in 1980.

 

QUESTION : How would you describe what makes a successful Trader?

WALTER : Totally unemotional; has ice water in his/her veins. Absolutely willing to abandon/reverse a trade if conditions dictate. Analyzes facts; ignores opinions. Questions everything; there are no “infallible” indicators nor 100% certainties in trading. Never, ever fails to heed the message of the markets.

 

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?

WALTER : Maintaining an all-around balance on life is a very, very difficult proposition since just about everything has some sort of impact on one’s financial thinking. Hobbies? I used to be very active in ham radio contests, where we tried to make as many contacts as possible in 10-48 hours.

 

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?

WALTER : Learn everything you can from everyone you can. But question everything; emphatic assertions of absolute truths often aren’t what they’re claimed to be. Keep some hand-drawn charts of key stocks/futures when you start out.  Finally, when you decide to buy something, don’t be cute and try to finesse a better entry price; buy at least half of the position immediately no matter how extended it looks. Most of the time you’ll buy the rest even higher – and if you’ve bought half at least your foot is in the door and you won’t sit there waiting forever for that elusive “better” entry point. (This obviously holds on the selling end, too.)

 

QUESTION : What good or bad advice do you hear often in life (or trading – or both)

WALTER : Laugh a lot; don’t take things – or yourself — too seriously. Realize everyone has a bad day/streak once in a while. Remember that when someone assures you that “This time is different” it virtually never is; those four words, in fact, are the four costliest words in trading. Understand that “Ours is not to reason why; just correctly sell and buy”; the “whys” materialize after the move, not before, and the money is made on the “what”, not the “why”.

 

QUESTION : We understand that you are an author of several popular books. Can you let share some information on them.

WALTER : ”Deemer on Technical Analysis” in 2012. “The Basic Essentials of Technical Analysis” in 2014, an expansion of the “facts of life” lecture I gave to Putnam’s new analysts to make them understand the key role technical analysis plays in the investment process (a stock is not the same as the company; since you buy stocks, you need to analyze them, and technical analysis is what you use to analyze stocks). “When the Time Comes to Buy, You Won’t Want To” last March, a collection of snappy sayings I first started employing at Putnam to hit the fund managers over the head to make a point; 64 short phrases packing a whole heap of wisdom in a very few words – all of them with deep ramifications that leave the reader with something to really ponder. (You’ve just read some of them!)

 

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

WALTER : Watch trains and Great Lakes freighters on YouTube via Virtual Railfan and Streamtime Live. Listen to old-time rock’n’roll on reelradio.com. (Marty Zweig, Bob Prechter, Stan Weinstein, John Brooks and I were all old rock’n’roll trivia enthusiasts who had legendary get-togethers at MTA Seminars.)

 

QUESTION : If you could have a big billboard with your favorite saying or message on it, what would it be. Keep it clean as I know you are from New Jersey. LOL

WALTER : “When the time comes to buy, you won’t want to!”

 

QUESTION : 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?  And feel free to mention any projects or services you like to mention that you are involved with.

WALTER : I maintain an impish presence on Twitter @walterdeemer, where I make “cute” comments and share market observations. (Not predictions, observations; I’m retired and have nothing to sell any more, although I do remind people once in a while that I have books for sale on Amazon. Helps supplement my pension.)

 

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Sharlene Lindsay & Chris Hammett – Co-Founders of Traders Creed – Interview

A4481A7C-AB0A-4D93-9DD3-734610B1F1C7QUESTION – 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 a little bit about your company? 

SHARLENE & CHRIS: We are really excited to be able to get introduced to your audience. Thank you.

My name is Sharlene Lindsay and I am the President and Co-Founder of Traders Creed. My business partner and soon to be Husband! Chris Hammett, the COO and Co-Founder. We are based in Katy, Texas.

Myself (Sharlene) have made a career for the last 20 years and currently in Oil & Gas, specifically in engineering and management roles.

Chris Hammett has made a career for the last 20+ years and currently in the IT industry.

A little about Traders Creed:

We launched the store in June of 2019 as an eCommerce apparel & accessories company. The shared vision of our store is to share with our fellow Traders/Investors our heartfelt passion, humor, and creativity. For this, we invested in the idea of providing the vast trading community with an ROTP(Return on Trading Pride) through the highest quality of apparel and accessories laced with humor intended to empower our community with even deeper feelings of pride, identity, humor, whit or celebration of success for all traders or investors, we invite all to join in our Traders Creed.

We also believe in social and environmental responsibilities and as owners we pride ourselves on having ethically sourced products. As with any true Creed it is not just about the message, it is in the actions! For instance, our designs are sourced to support graphic designers around the world. While our growth and success are shared with the community through various charities; from women’s shelters to animal rescues, and many in between. We Donate $1 from every item sold.

QUESTION – Your company has a very professional looking website and your apparel designs look fantastic. Are you strictly selling online? What is your site URL for our readers to check out?

SHARLENE & CHRIS: We are currently strictly online. In the future, we are looking to strategically place pop up Kiosks and at financial events.

www.traderscreed.com

QUESTION – What got you into trading apparel (or trading in general). Do you trade yourself? Love to hear how this all came about.

SHARLENE & CHRIS: We have been working in the corporate sector for 20+ plus years. Climbing the corporate ladder was less appealing and the reasonable sized pay raises or bonus where the thing of the past. 

Then taking an inward and outward look of the current world environment, our investments, debts, and bank accounts. Then the outlook around the politics, stock market and the economy. Questions raised “When the next bust is going to be (soon) and how long the last bull market will last (2020)?”. Current elected leaders globally set a tone of volatility in the meantime. So that drove some fear inside, but more of how do we change this to meet our goals??? We wanted to make sure we have the security and freedom. We are wanting to retire at age of 55, maybe 60 the latest. Yeah people laughed at us; but we want to make sure we can live it up before we were not able to or 6 feet under.

We started to research ways to have passive or extra income; while keeping the corporate job. Investing & Trading stocks was one that kept popping up. Trading seem to fit our personality and criteria. Started to research more on trading.  We discovered such a rich community of retail traders. Also, many that profess to “Mentors” and “Gurus”. Overall it was great to see the community of retail traders.

Began to study the “How to” and started trading. Mainly day/swing trading. Although not a seasoned trader yet. We continue to keep the account small to maintain a rule set until we are in full control of our trading. Quite honestly, haven’t even learned to short yet. We are better investor! So one step at a time.

Then one of those things, when you are starting something new, excited, euphoria kicking in and diving in the deep…We looked for apparel and accessories. Find products that spoke to us as a trader or investor. We could only find the mentors and gurus own branded T-Shirts. There was a few that had the same candle stick chart with different sayings. Basically, not much out there. Thought about this a lot and still continued to google to find something. The light bulb went off! 

When Traders Creed was born. We wanted to make sure that there was a uniqueness to the  apparel and accessories for the community to have, share, or even show-off their style and success. Also provide a bit of tongue and cheek humor as well. I loved the feeling when I saw that one shirt that produced a giggle or memory or related too. Also, of quality, where the print didn’t flake off or the color washed out quickly.

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

SHARLENE & CHRIS: Whoa, this is a loaded question (for both of us)!!

Sharlene – I started out in the oilfield when women where just starting to be recruited for field positions. It was still very much a boy’s club back then. During those years, it was difficult to fit in regardless of who you are as person and could bring to the table. It was also not structured for women in the field; such as, having a women’s bathroom, separate sleeping quarters, etc. You had to adjust to environment, while keeping yourself safe and sometimes from scandalous rumors! Time management was huge thing to have.

I had to learn to be in control of my emotional intelligence such as how I spoke when feeling frustrated (little too sharp with words), be a champion of change, organized or task orientated and learn to manage money as it was feast or famine in this industry. I even tried my hand at poker in the spare time…I didn’t become a professional, but it taught risk versus reward with entertainment of observing others.

Whether it be from the education in school or industry, there were many setbacks of not getting the promotion, reaching desired goals, learning to network or find/getting the right managers/mentors. The biggest lesson I have learned is that you can grow as person without changing who you are at the core. Each set back came with a lesson and just take a step forward with a new plan.

Chris Being in the IT industry since Intel was less than $3 a share, I have experienced so much on both sides of this question as to fill a book.  I will attempt to sum that book up into a short point of view (this is rare for me) or my Life Creed:  Life itself is very much like investing, but the currency changes with every aspect.  In the case of a Career, this is your long-term investment of Money, Sweat, tears and in some cases blood with the intent of having a high return on your investment when you reach that golden age and retire.  As for a relationship, this can be a “Swing” trade, or a “Bag Holder” trade, and in the best case, a lifelong investment that has a ROI that just does not end (the kind I have now).  As with every day in life, any success or failure builds on the past and impacts future choices, My failures and successes in my career help be identify when I might be getting into a Bull or Bear style corporate environment and to identify when and how to react with greater success or just cut my losses and pull out.  As with all trading however, success is defined by BOTH successful and failed attempts in everything we do.  The best thing I can advise to anyone for a Life Creed is to remember your successes and celebrate them, remember your failures and analyze them; don’t repeat them, in the end do not let either control you but allow them to influence your choices as you move forward and refine your own personal Traders Creed.  

QUESTION– How would you describe what makes a successful small business? What challenges have you come across?

SHARLENE & CHRIS:  Great question. In my opinion they have to passionate about the business(product/service), solving a problem (entrepreneurial), transparent, invest in people, give back to their community, consistent learning and of course willing to fail x many times.

Our adventure starting Traders Creed has been a huge learning curve and full of frustrations. The challenge was building the site and optimizing. Didn’t think there would be coding skills involved. We signed up for classes a Udemy to learn. The next is with marketing and analytics figuring out where our holes in the bucket sort speak were. We recognized the need to outsource some parts to professionals, for now.

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

SHARLENE & CHRIS:

Sharlene – I believe that we need to have balance to remain healthy mentally, physically, and for our family. If you don’t balance it, you won’t be happy. Balance is always a balancing act and a choice.

My hobbies: I am an animal lover – I like to help out dog rescues, playing poker when I can, swing trading (market research).

Chris – Balance in life is truly a precious thing, and elusive. Life has a way of knocking us around, at the end of each day I enjoy reflecting on my choices and opportunities given me to recover from the imbalance life tosses at me.  That helps me refine my choices later, I am horrible with lists and structure so for me it is on the spot or in the moment choices I rely on and reflect on to help me do even better the next day.  This can be anything from maintaining a diet, to deciding where and when to spend my money or if I even need to (which my hobbies often make trouble for me in).  I do believe as Sharlene does, we need balance and that balance is obtained by the choices we make from the moment we wake to the moment we rest.

As for Hobbies, this is a laundry list for me, as a person who lives in the moment, I can take up a hobby on a whim (often knocking Sharlene out of balance) and drop one just as fast.  The few hobbies I have help to however are Radio Controlled devices and Drones; Photography, and Technology Gadgets.  Mostly for me it is Technology, just the joy of tinkering and building, it is a place I go for relaxing and resting through learning and play.  

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

SHARLENE & CHRIS:

Sharlene – Learn everything involving Finance and Coding.

Chris – That is a hard one, because for me I would not take the chance of changing where I am today.  Though I would love to advise my younger self that when your father comes and asks what Technology stock to invest in, get an allowance and buy intel, Microsoft and Apple stocks as much and fast as you can.  Everything else leave it alone because that is what defined me as I am now. I may not be perfect, but the perfect parts of my life may be lost in any change.  

QUESTION – What good or bad advice do you hear often in life (or in trading – or both)?

SHARLENE & CHRIS:

Sharlene – Bad advice: Listen to “Gurus”

     Good Advice: Continually learn & try new things both in life and trading.

Chris – Bad Advice = Just wait for it to happen it will, someone will do it eventually…  (NEVER LISTEN TO THIS)

Good advice = Ok I am about to sound Clichés here, but it rings true:  Treat every day like it was your last, love truly and completely, and never leave thoughts of the heart unsaid.  Things in life will come and go as the wind and water, it is the things of the heart, the love and memories that you make and those you make them with that are truly precious and priceless.

QUESTION – Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?

SHARLENE & CHRIS:

Sharlene – In five years I hope to be retire from industry to travel & trade more, hopefully have that financial freedom! In ten years, fully retired and enjoying future grandkids.

Chris – 5 years, working from home if not retired, making what I love a reality through Traders Creed, I love sharing humor and I have a passion for making people laugh.  I am just learning through Traders Creed how to do so with a twist in trading.

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

SHARLENE & CHRIS:

Sharlene – Depending on how big/bad it is, can range from going for a walk, listening to music or take a vacation to reset.

Chris – For me it ranges, from playing a game on the PC to listening to Music, to playing with the Pups Bella or Queenie.  Honestly, a good play time with Dogs can lighten even the nastiest of days.

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

SHARLENE & CHRIS:

Sharlene – Be the best you and don’t forget to have humor.

Chris – Cliché: Life is to short, spend it laughing, sharing, loving those around you, even those you don’t like.

QUESTION: 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?  And feel free to mention any projects or services that you are involved with.

SHARLENE & CHRIS:

Thank you for having us. We can reach at:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/traders_creed/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Traders_Creed

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TradersCreedLLC/

Contact:

Phone/Text: 1-202-900-9925

Info@traderscreed.com

www.traderscreed.com

We are currently working with Animal Coalition Unlimited to raise funds to pay the bills of rescuing & care of these dogs. Check out the collection here. 100% proceeds go to them!

 

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Scott San Emeterio – BallStreet Trading CEO – Interview

343D5393-AB10-412A-B3E5-1671E4A56375QUESTION – 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 exactly is BallStreet Trading and how it has very good synergy with the trading industry?

SCOTT – Really excited to be able to get introduced to your audience. My name is Scott San Emeterio and I am the CEO and Founder of BallStreet Trading. I live in New York, New York and have spent the last 15 years in Investment Banking, specifically in fixed income trading at Credit Suisse specializing in MBS.

BallStreet is a free-to-play real-time prediction market that lets traders compete against each other as they watch any live event. What we’ve done is create a live market which lets everyone buy and sell shares of teams based on win probability. Our markets trade from 0 to 100 during the game. At the end of the game the shares of the winning team will value at 100 and the shares of the losing team will value at 0, so like a binary option. The goal is simple, create the best trading P&L during the game.

The synergy we’ve created is taking the best of sports and the best of trading and bringing them together. Who hasn’t thought about trading a live game? For anyone who loves sports and trading BallStreet should be a great addition to any game.

 

QUESTION – Why should traders consider joining BallStreet Trading and what does a typical member look like that they would be competing against. Now is a good time to introduce this unique marriage of trading and sports to the social media masses

SCOTT – I think sports, sports betting and trading are worlds that are begging to be brought together. Traders who love sports should really enjoy the platform. We’ve gone our of our way to take the best of trading and remove all of the potential distractions that come with trading markets to really simplify the experience. Our approach is more of a video game and not your typical trading software which leads itself to be more Xbox than Bloomberg. Our priority is to make the market entertaining.

Our traders range from professionals who trade everything from derivatives to commodities to college students who are looking to try out the newest sports app. The markets and our pricing of team shares is driven solely from our traders as they compete against each other and prove their ability to predict and trade the game flow. There is no hiding in our markets, everyone has the same information and ability to buy and sell in real-time.

 

QUESTION – Shifting away for a second from your company. What failure or setback in trading have you experienced that has set you up for latter success? I understand you do have a background in Investment banking?

SCOTT – I spent the last 15 years in investment banking with the last 13 at Credit Suisse working primarily in fixed income. I started at CS in 2005 working in MBS and spent 2007-2010 working on their Sub Prime desk, so the perspective I was given with a front row seat during the crisis is something that has stayed with me.

Those days had a little bit of everything from Credit Suisse’s $3B write down to TARP, Lehman and Bear, I was there watching this all play out in the markets everyday. Looking back you get both the experience of what that time taught you but also the perspective of the destruction the crisis caused on so many levels.

To be that close to the chaos and watch what it did to both my career and countless other people’s careers was a major driving force in exploring options away from financial services and ultimately BallStreet.

 

QUESTION – Outside of trading and sports, what strange or unusual habits do you have and enjoy? What are your goals if any both in life and for BallStreet Trading (future IPO, etc)

SCOTT – I spent a good 3-4 years playing online poker almost everyday back during the boom in the early 2000s which definitely helped create the blue print for BallStreet. Living in New York I don’t get to play as much as I used to but still get to play in a couple home games and city clubs when I can. My wife and I just had our first child in July so with everything going on poker doesn’t get to the top of the list too often anymore.

As far as the goals for BallStreet, right now the focus is directly on scaling our user base and introducing it to as many potential traders as we can. We are building a platform that will look to engage and entertain sports fans on a different level and leverage it as a marketing tool that will bring fans and viewers into the ad model. Brands spend billions of dollars to get exposure during live events and broadcasts but the fans don’t see any of it. We’ve created a system that invites brands to engage fans during these live events in real-time but also welcomes fans to be a part of the process by using the ad spend as the prize pool. It’s a system were everyone wins.

If we can accomplish developing a unique market experience and leverage it as a marketing platform I think for us sky is the limit and anything is possible, even an IPO.

Ideally over the next year we can scale and attract investors who share our vision for the platform and can look to make us a national brand and eventually build out our real money business model. Imagine traders paying a $100 entry fee and if their P&L is inside the top 20% they win $500. All from trading sports.

Once we pull that off, if you need me you can find me on a vineyard in Portugal or Spain.

 

QUESTION- What is one trait that you are currently working on in personally improving in yourself?

SCOTT – I’m definitely a big picture and idea person. Everyday I try to focus more on specific tasks and really look at the details of what drives my decision process and how I can get better at spending the appropriate amount of time to consider all possible angles and outcomes. Sometimes I can get caught up on getting to the next task without giving an issue the attention it deserves.

 

QUESTION – What advice would you give to your younger self? (as we have many young adult viewers of these interviews)

SCOTT – Other than stay out of MBS? I would have to say that everything you do today will ultimately drive how your future is formed. Take the opportunity when you are young to leverage the time you have to make as many good decisions as you can because they all add up over time. It doesn’t matter how small, just make good decisions and they will lead you where you want to be.

Another key to the psychology of the trading world is that most of us are here to make money. It’s not a surprise and people should own that. The concept of money is something I wish I could go back and give myself some advice on. Money’s true value isn’t material. Money’s true value is in the freedom it can afford you when you can buy your own time.

 

QUESTION – What good & bad advice do you hear often in trading, sports betting AND life?

SCOTT – I think here are so many parallels across them all and the best advice is usually the most simple, just be disciplined. The more disciplined you are the better you can expect your outcomes. Be disciplined; have a plan, have a bankroll management system and a clear and defined goal.

As far as bad advice…don’t bet baseball because you’re a Yankee fan. Just because you’re a sports fan doesn’t mean you should be betting sports! The two have little if anything to do which each other. It’s the same with markets, don’t buy Apple because of some news you heard on twitter, there are so many factors in play in the market. Understand them and have a plan when making decisions.

 

QUESTION – What are your favorite books to read and why?

SCOTT – I love books that I can learn from. I just got finished reading David Meltzer’s “Game Time Decision Making” and thought he did a great job outlining how people should be approaching life and business using sports metaphors to really articulate the points he was trying to make.

 

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

SCOTT – I have admittedly been trying to be more mindful and bring meditation into my life. It’s not always easy to find the time to build new routines and it’s something I am definitely trying to do but admit haven’t been able to do as much as I would like.

 

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

SCOTT – Stay far from timid, only make moves when your heart’s in it, and live the phrase ‘sky’s the limit’ – Notorious B.I.G

 

QUESTION – Thank you for taking the time for our readers to get to know you. Is there anything else you like to say or even promote?  How can our readers contact you on social media.

SCOTT – We just really appreciate the opportunity to introduce BallStreet to genuine and traders. For anyone looking to learn more about the platform and our vision to help create real-time markets for any live event they can reach us via:

Home Page: https://www.ballstreettrading.com

Direct to App; https://a.ballst.co/btt

Twitter: @ballstreetapp

My Personal Twitter: @ballstreetceo

Would love to hear from everybody and am happy to answer any questions about finance, investment banking, trading, BallStreet or start up life.

For anyone trading on the exchange we would be beyond appreciative to hear feedback both good and bad. Our goal is to continue to update and upgrade the app every chance we get and the opinions of actual traders are the foundation we hope to build off of.

Thanks again for the time to talk, I really do appreciate it.

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Lukas “TheShortBear” – Interview

56966C4F-23BC-4A0A-90A8-B4E842A7D7CDQUESTION – 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 and where you can be found everyday.

LUKAS – Of course, my name is Lukas aka “TheShortBear” and I am a Daytrader from Germany.

Over the years my strategies and trading changed a lot from a purely technical trader to a more fundamentally based approach.

Over 95% of my trades are on the short side as my primary strategy focuses a lot on dilution and the fundamental state of a company.

Nowadays I am a full time Daytrader and moderator at MadazMoney where I share my approach through text, live audio and video sessions as well as through a complete video library exclusively available for members every single day of the week.

 

QUESTION – Do you trade full time as you are relatively young (may we ask your age). What pro’s and con’s are you finding trading fulltime at such a young age.

LUKAS – Yes, indeed I am a full time Daytrader nowadays. I started trading when I was 13 years old back in 2013. In contrary to other countries the German time zone is very indulgent as the market opens at 3:30pm which allowed me to be able to sit in front of the markets all these years. It may seem as if starting to trade as such a young age might be a negative thing, but it was the best thing I could have done and one of the best decisions I ever made in my entire life. The biggest benefit has to be the mental side. The older you get the harder it gets to learn new principles.(think of it as learning a new language). I grew up trading, making the typical mistakes, I have gone through the blow ups and sleepless nights, but being able to absorb as much new knowledge and understand the mistakes I made helped tremendously.

Otherwise time is a big benefit. When I started studying the markets I studied for 10 hours per day every single day of the week, I was hooked. From the point I came back from school to bed time I was sitting at the desk learning. The last big benefit is the financial side, though you don’t have much capital to start trading with you are usually taken care of regarding the financial side. if you don’t make money in the markets you will still get food on the table or have a bedroom to sleep in. Having that problem lifted off my shoulders and its importance is something I did not realize at the time. The only negative point I can think of is that you need an adult to open your trading account. Not every parent is supportive regarding trading and as the markets stereotypes continue to be present in the society it might be an issue for some young traders out there. My opinion is this, if you can, start learning right away, no matter your age you would have wished you had started earlier like I would have rather started when I was 8 years old!

 

QUESTION – What failure or setback in trading have you experienced that has set you up for latter success?

LUKAS – The ironic thing about trading is the more something hurts, the more you learn. Back in 2013- 2014 I blew up multiple accounts. Those were not major accounts and below 4000$, but let me tell you something, for a young kid this kind of money is everything I had. Every blowup had a clear reason! The main points and mistakes I made were: Thinking it would be as easy, oversizing, not having data or a proven strategy, risk management and revenge trading (emotions). Having those experiences is the best thing that could have happened to me because it led to the making of new rules that are the ground pillars of my trading. Early mistakes feel the worst but help you the most even if you don’t realize it at first. Mistakes and even blowups are part of the journey, so don’t give up because the very pain you gave up because of, might make your success as a trader!

 

QUESTION – Outside of trading, what strange or unusual habit do you have and enjoy? We see you have a strong twitter following. What are your goals if any, for your Twitter account?

LUKAS – As strange as it might sound there are not many things in my life that have nothing to do with trading because there is nothing I enjoy more. I built my life around trading and it helps tremendously! Usually every weekend I work on projects with fellow traders for a minimum of 10 hours per day. I also go to the gym every single day which helps me with my mind-body connection and my discipline right after I create content for the chat members. The only three things I do on a regular basis when I am not trading are cooking, going out to eat every third day and going out to the city on Saturday nights. I wake up every single day with a big smile on my face because I am able to make a good living while doing exactly what I want with the traders and friends I enjoy being around, so i don’t really have or need a lot of habits that don’t involve trading!

At first I created my twitter account to learn . Many traders, even if unintentionally helped me when I was a beginner trader and I didn’t know what I was doing. Sometimes they were hard with me but it is what I needed. In this spirit I continued posting my thoughts on twitter. I believe in giving back and giving before receiving. I wouldn’t be where I am without some traders I met on twitter and I feel like giving back not only saves a lot of traders by learning about the trading reality and not getting suckered in by sales pitches. The plan going forward will be to able to share even more of my knowledge which is why I joined MadazMoney as a moderator! It gives traders a strong and safe platform to learn about trading!

 

QUESTION– How would you describe your trading style? How has it evolved over time?

LUKAS – I would describe myself as a 95% short bias trader, basing my trading and trading thesis around fundamental analysis and executing the idea with technical analysis. Most traders seem to feel like you need to either be a fundamental or a technical trader. I just take the best out of both worlds and put all odds on my side! My trading is based around one thing, DATA! Every decision I make is based on data. it does not matter if I am looking at the fundamentals or the technicals, I need to know how likely the trade idea I have is going to work. No matter if I enter, add, take profits or stop out I am always looking at the data which tells me what to do. Nothing is left to luck, trading is a business!

The main aspect that changed is my fundamental approach, when I first started you could not find one thing about fundamentals. I learned through hard work and learned about it one small piece at a time like a giant puzzle that since, allows me to see the whole picture.

The second aspect is automation. Most of my trading be it tracking, my trading indicators to my data points are coded into my charting platform which allows me to visualize my trading. Every big project I have completed has been coded by my friend @scriptstotrade which helped me not only save time but also to be more precise.

 

QUESTION : Your screen name suggests either you like the Chicago Bears football team, or you like to short stocks. Can you explain the evolution of “Short Bear”?

LUKAS – I chose the name “TheShortBear” for a few reasons. The first reason is that I am a short bias trader. As previously stated I am short 95% of the time which meant I had to choose a name that represented what and who I am. The second reason is pretty ironic. I am 2.02m (6.6 foot) which made the name even more appealing and ironic. I enjoy seeing people look up and wonder why I chose this name. it makes for a great conversation.

 

QUESTION – What advice would you give other young adults looking to get into trading. As statistics show that most will fail and lose money at it.

LUKAS – Successful traders are only the traders that never gave up! Trading is hard, it is probably one of the most difficult things I had to master in my life, still to this day I continuously learn and evolve as a trader. You will make mistakes and you will probably blow up before eventually finding success. See the early mistakes and blowup as tuition. Knowing that should help with trading on the mental side. DO NOT start out with everything you have, only play with what you can lose! Otherwise there is one thing that helps and I mean helps more than anything else. This thing is „DATA“! Data not only minimizes your losses and maximizes your winners, but it also allows you to have mental and emotional control at all times. Track your strategy, track your trading and every aspect if it is quantifiable. It turned my whole trading around.

 

QUESTION – What good & bad advice do you hear often in trading AND life?
In my opinion there are a few misconceptions in life as well as in trading that are either stated wrong or plain and simple wrong.

LUKAS – The first thing is “Green is green” or “Green is always good”. Let me explain the issue with a simple math equation. If you close your gains for a 100$ win because you are afraid of giving it back but always let your losers run and close your trade for -1000$ every time you would need a 90% win rate with a 1/1 risk ratio just to breakeven! Green is not always good, it may feel better, but we all know how emotional traders end up! I would rather have a planned loss than an unplanned winner!

Another thing is the rush of trading, I hear a lot about the trading rush and the need for adrenaline in trading. let me tell you if you feel anything you have either no plan and data or you sized up too big! Trading needs to be as emotionless as possible, data, plan, execution and out, the odds will do the rest.

There are a lot of trading stereotypes but the biggest one must be the involved risk. we all probably heard something like „are you sure? Trading is gambling, get a real job“. This is something I had to deal with as a beginning trader and I still hear it to this day. While employees are only employed as long as their employer needs them, my employer, the market, will still be here tomorrow, a week, a year. Trading is not gambling, when I am trading I am the house. I trade my edge and take the gamblers money. Successful traders are focused on the numbers and don’t let luck navigate them through life, at least I don’t. It always amazes me when I have a complete plan from these next hours to years and decades ahead but the very people saying I am gambling follow what they have learned through the society they live in without questioning the sense.

 

QUESTION – What are your favorite books to read and why?

LUKAS – There are a lot of books I read over the years, but let me tell you which ones really resonated with me:

Trading mindset and process: “Reminiscences of a Stock Operator“
Trading technical analysis: “Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets” by John J. Murphy Trading fundamentals: “Security Analysis: Sixth Edition“ (for big caps)
Trading psychology:
“The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets“
“The Daily Trading Coach: 101 Lessons for Becoming Your Own Trading Psychologist“ “Trading in the Zone – by Mark Douglas“
All around psychology/biography: Market Wizards(all of them)

 

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

LUKAS – Every time I feel like I am losing my edge, focus, take a bigger loss or I don’t feel good because of any giving reason I always do the same things.
First I size down drastically, at that point it is not about making a lot of money but it is about protecting my account and being ready for when either the market picks up again or I am back mentally or/and physically. After and while sizing down I track my trading even more carefully as well as the market. If my performance, my business takes a hit I need to know if it is because I do not respect my plan and strategies, if it is the market or if it is something completely different. Once I feel like I consistent and fully back I will start to size up again until I am back at my full size.

 

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

LUKAS – “Data, data, data!”
“Never give up, you have one life, don’t waste it” “Carpe diem, seize the day”

 

QUESTION – Thank you for taking the time for our readers to get to know you. Is there anything else you like to say or even promote? How can our readers contact you on social media.

LUKAS – I am always available on twitter and my private messages are open for everyone to contact me. Every single day I am moderating in the MadazMoney.com chatroom where I teach my entire approach. We are working hard to provide everyone with the best tools to succeed in this profession all while having a great time, if you want to learn more: http://bit.ly/2QAncY6

Other than that I am constantly trying to provide free content through my YouTube channel “TheShortBear” and always I am reachable through my email:

lukas@madazmoney.com.
Thank you for having me!

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Mark Sear – Interview

73DF75CE-CCF8-4050-B215-6EFB8B24100DQUESTION – 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 Services you might offer to institutions or individual retail traders)

MARK – My name is Mark Sear. I live in the UK, in a small village but not far outside the global financial centre of London. I am Co-founder of Inteligex, which is an algorithm based high speed trading alert system. Inteligex offers a fully automated trading system that runs on your own PC with your own personalised strategy and risk settings. It is a smaller version of the algo trading machines used by hedge funds and banks. I have spent over 20 years in the trading arena including working as a Quant with various big banks as well as Data Scientist roles and leadership in a number of start-ups.

 

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

MARK – I had a number of failures in my early years but if I had to find one that stands out it is when I damaged my leg very badly. That meant I couldn’t fulfil my dream of joining the Parachute Regiment. However, that led me instead into Intelligence where I found my passion for examining, understanding and forecasting data. I guess everything happens for a reason.

 

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

MARK – I grew up in a poor home and wasn’t really looking for a mentor, I was just focused on surviving. My parents did what they could for me and provided great stability and I still look up to my late father. He was a good man, a much better man than me and use his influence to try and become a more decent person every day. Somebody I also hold in very high esteem is the famous WWII cryptologist Alan Turing. His focus, passion and dedication to understanding and interpreting data patterns undoubtedly shortened the war. His subsequent treatment by the UK government was abhorrent, but that’s a different topic.

 

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

MARK – Only 90%? I’d say it’s higher than that, especially for the self taught ones. When I started trading, over 20 years ago, you could get an edge and more easily make money trading. Now it’s hard to get an edge as the majority of trades in most markets are being done automatically. When you start out trading you need to have really clear expectations that it’s a new skill and will take time to learn. Too many people just want it to work now and won’t put in the hard yards.

First, I would say you need a system, something that gives you a trading structure and enables you to set a personalised strategy and risk profile. If you’re doing something consistently and recording it you can see where you are winning and losing and where you need to improve. Second, you need training. I learn something new about the markets every day and I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. Think like a child and absorb everything. Third, exploit technology. Over 80% of stocks traded in the US are automated, why would you want to be in the 20%. Are you still going to work on a horse when everyone else is driving a car!

That’s why we built Inteligex, it augments your human intelligence by using the best bits of AI and algorithms.

 

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

MARK – I think balance is important but the markets trade 24/7 and to be honest I tend to get very focused on them. I love yoga so I make time for that and I’m happy when I’m in nature away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

 

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?

MARK – Be yourself, do what you want to do not what you think others want. Lose the ego, it stops you learning and slows down your development.

 

QUESTION – What good & bad advice do you hear often in life, as well as in trading?

MARK – In these days of social media and constant news there is so much advice about you just need a really good filter. To be honest, my personal view is that there is so much rubbish and fake news, a lot of it you just need to switch off! Let’s face it, when it comes to trading, when it’s in the news you’re already behind the curve and you’ve lost the edge.

I advise giving yourself time to do the thinking and learning and know that you never become an expert, every day is going to be different and you’ll see many challenges so just enjoy the ride! We’re just passing through!

 

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

MARK – I like historical books and am fascinated by the feats that humans have accomplished over the years, often against significant adversity; you could say I align with the underdog. I no longer read many business or finance books but I do like it when somebody comes along with something that aligns to my view of the world. This has recently happened with Simon Sinek, what he has codified is just obvious to me and that’s the beauty of it!

 

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

MARK – I have to be totally alone with my thoughts to get myself back on track, ideally out in nature or by the sea.

 

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

MARK – Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

 

You can FOLLOW Mark Sear on Twitter at @InteligexTrader or visit his company’s website at bit.ly/2JWEw5o

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Anthony M. Denier – Webull CEO – Interview

ED70A448-F889-406A-B92B-3C29FE5A8855QUESTION: 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.

ANTHONY: Thank you for recognizing me and our team at Webull. My name is Anthony Denier and I am the CEO of Webull Financial. Born and raised in New York, I grew up 20 miles east of midtown on Long Island, attended college at Columbia University, and got my first job out of school trading equities for Credit Suisse in New York. Compared to my fintech peers, I probably have a more traditional Wall Street background than most that is heavily rooted in adhering to industry regulation and customer protections.

 

QUESTION: Your company WeBull has burst upon the trading scene recently. Can you briefly describe what you do, your short and long term objectives. And the benefits you feel you bring to day,swing and long term traders.

ANTHONY: Webull provides premium trading, market data, and analytical tools to all investors, regardless of AUM or trade activity for free. No minimums, no fees. Many users don’t know, but Webull started as a free market data app, and we only added the brokerage and trading component in May 2018. We now boast over 10 million global downloads of the app and hundreds of thousands of brokerage accounts in the US. Our short term goal is to provide all the tools we possibly can for our users to make smarter trade decisions. We strive to continue to add new products for our users, like options, and crypto, but want to be sure we roll these products out correctly to our users so Webull can be a place where they grow their money, rather than lose it due to inexperience or lack of information on what they are trading. Eventually, Webull we be the premier destination for free trading and investing tools for users who don’t want to actively trade their own accounts.

 

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

ANTHONY: One of the reasons I love the northeast is the change of seasons, without the darkness and cold of winter, you cannot truly appreciate the light and warmth of summer. The same applies to life experiences. As an institutional trader, I was subject to the boom and bust cycles of the economy and found myself taking lateral jobs across my career because I was confident in what I knew and scared of what I didn’t. In 2012, I was trading equities for the Dutch bank, ING and they decided to close down their equities business in the US. I was devastated as I had a growing family and fears of not being able to provide for them. I knew I needed to adapt and embrace the fear of the unknown so I started my own broker dealer. This turned out to be the path of learning that would bring me to eventually start Webull Financial 5 years later.

 

QUESTION: How would you describe what makes a successful Trader – keeping in mind that it has been reported that 90% of traders fail. And how do you feel WeBull can better those odds for the everyday retail trader.

ANTHONY: A successful trader is someone that can learn from and perhaps more importantly, not repeat past mistakes. The main difference between a trader for an investment bank and a retail trader is information. Retail traders are always at a disadvantage because they simply lack the tools of their institutional counterparts. Webull levels the playing field. Webull provides real time volume analysis, community discussion boards, and stock analysis tools so retail traders are no longer only executing trades on last price and internet searches.

 

QUESTION: Away from your role at WeBull, 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?

ANTHONY: I wear a suit most days and stare at a computer longer than the recommended daily allowance, so when I’m not working I am spending time with children. Most notably, I have been coaching my sons little league teams now for several years. It not only selfishly gets me out of the office early some days, but it gives me a chance to interact with them in a positive way by teaching, instilling confidence, and helping them to overcome failures.

 

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?

ANTHONY: I would tell myself that disappointment and failure are unavoidable, just be sure to take from that a powerful lesson and don’t ever repeat.

 

QUESTION: What good & bad advice do you hear often in life (professional or personal)?

ANTHONY: My wife tells me, “Integrity is hard earned and easily taken away.” There couldn’t be a more succinct piece of advice. Always question anyone or anything that promises you to get rich quick, or success with little to no effort. This is just not true.

 

QUESTION: If you had to give a book or books as a gift to someone,  What would you recommendand why?

ANTHONY: I recently finished Moby Dick from start to finish. Even though I “studied” it in school I only read the parts that needed to be read. In order to fully appreciate the battle and futile dedication of Ahab and his mission the reader has to also endure. Its not an easy beach read, but when your through you have the feeling of accomplishment that only comes after doing something difficult. Such is life.

 

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

ANTHONY: Simple, take a day off and focus on what matters most in your life. In my case, my family. Spending quality time those that mean the most to me always refuels me drive forward and succeed.

 

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

ANTHONY: Without risk, there is rarely reward. – Paul Allen

 

Thanks for allowing our readers to get to know you. To find out more information about Webull visit them at:

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CODY (aka Odds) – Interview

9939CD1C-3E63-4FC7-A0F6-BFB169BC980D.jpegQUESTION – 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.

CODY – My name is Cody (aka Odds), I am a full time Dad who trades for a living. I am Co-creator of the Futures chat room called ThePitTradingFutures. I trade full time and manage multiple accounts. I live just north of the USA, in Canada. My Wife and two daughters are my rock. I always put my family before any business I run, including my own account managements. I believe the basis of my trading is developed on the aspect of “Time.” Having the ability to spend significant time with my daughters is the foundation of why I trade for a living. Although it did not happen over night, I trade without any connection to the financial aspect in the market. I don’t pay attention to my account balance, nor do I worry about making or losing money throughout the day. My primary focus when trading is taking and managing the RIGHT trades. Once I was able to disconnect this way from the money, not only did it improve my trading, but had a significant impact on my personal life.

 

QUESTION – What and who got you into trading. Any mentors and what is your trading focus or speciality (Equities, options, futures, eminis, micros, etc)

CODY – I got into trading back when the OTC (Over the Counter) market was more liquid then it is today, trading the pump and dump pink sheets. I loved the process of trading, what goes into being a full time trader and the competitive factor.  A big mentor of mine was Vwaptrader (JJ) on twitter. I have known him for 8 years now, and he has helped me discover the true meaning of the market and why those markets exists. This has been substantial in my success as a trader through the years. After the Pennystocks OTC volume dried up, I found myself watching Daltons videos on YouTube and learning the Market Profile. I was absolutely hooked. I loved the way he was teaching to see the market. I read his books, watched every free webinar he had on YouTube and then followed up with his intensive. It completely opened my eyes to seeing the market through the structure, instead of some of the other noise we find on candle charts. This completely changed my trading career for the better and I have been trading the ES since.

 

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

CODY – When I first started trading, I opened a 10k min account with a broker in Canada. I found myself trading the penny stocks. It took less then 30 days to blow that account up. I had no idea what I was doing. It was my humbling moment in my trading career, and I’m lucky it happened early on. I was very young when I started, and that first 10k was a large amount of money to me. This took me out of the game immediately and brought me to my knees. This was the defining moment in my trading career, and personal life. It allowed me to fall in love with the process in life, rather then the end product.

 

QUESTION– How would you describe what makes a successful Trader – keeping in mind that it has been reported that 90% of traders fail. And how do you feel one can better those odds for the everyday retail trader.

CODY – I believe self understanding is the most important aspect of becoming a successful trader. Understanding who you are, a fast thinker, a slow thinker? How you respond to stress, failure, pain and emotional situations. Knowing if you are someone who has a lot of patience, a little, or long fuse. Having self understanding allows you to build your trading strategy around your weakest characteristics. I believe retail traders need to have a firm grasp on themselves. Once you are in tune with yourself and your surroundings, you become better at managing your weaknesses. Most retail traders spend time learning systems or trading mythologies. Very few spend the same time on their own personal understanding. No system will ever overcome your short comings in your personal characteristics.

 

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

CODY – Balance is significant in your life no matter the career your in. I always remember a very important quote, we work to live, not live to work. Your life is meant to be enjoyed, and lived to the fullest no matter your financial situation. I spend a lot of time with my children, playing outside, playing dolls, singing, dancing and just quite times together. These are the moments I live for, not the TPO’s on my screen. Having this as my basis along with my faith in God has allowed me the mental awareness to be present when working in my career. When I spend time with myself, I enjoy golfing and snowboarding. Due to where I live, we get 8 months of winter, so snowboarding makes those months a little easier to live through!

 

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?

CODY – Personal – Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd, even when your the only one standing. Don’t lose your faith and rely on God and his plan for you.

Trading – Forget about the money, it comes from successful habits and proper management.

 

QUESTION – What good & bad advice do you hear often in life (professional or personal)?

CODY – Learn by doing, not by seeing. I don’t understand why people believe it is more beneficial to learn through hardships that you can avoid by following the direction of those who have been through it. I believe everyone should find a mentor and listen to their story so they can avoid the same U-turns and Road Blocks.

 

QUESTION – If you had to give a book or books as a gift to someone,  What would you recommend and why?

CODY – Thinking Fast and Slow – fascinating to gain an understanding of how your brain works in making choices throughout different situations.

Reminiscence of a Stock Operator –  I think all traders can agree it’s the best book to read if you have any interest in the stock market as it was written so long ago and still is relevant today.

Mind over Markets/Markets in profile – Dalton is a wealth of knowledge everyone should tap into.

 

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

CODY – Take a walk, take a break. Step away, clear your mind, focus on something completely outside of trading. Working out, shopping, reading, anything to pull your mind away from the struggles you may be feeling. Once I can fully pull myself mentally away from the markets, I am only then ready to return to the chair and get back in the trenches.

 

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

CODY – There are two kinds of traders. Those who are humble, and those who will be humbled.

 

QUESTION – 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?

CODY – You can reach me on Twitter at @mr_c23h

 

 

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Peter Reznicek – Shadow Trader Interview

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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 ShadowTrader.net.  ShadowTrader.net 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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Steven Goldstein (Trading Performance Coach) – Interview

StevenGoldstein

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)

Steven Goldstein: My name is Steven Goldstein I work as a performance coach specializing with traders and investment professionals. I work specifically on the mindset, behavioural and emotional aspects of risk performance, what is termed ‘The Inner game’. The philosophy is that by addressing a trader’s ‘Inner Game aspects’ they can far more effectively and productively execute their ‘Outer Game’.

Though I live and I work in London my clients come from across the world and from all market types and asset classes. My clients include private and retail traders’, buy-side institutional traders and Portfolio Managers from hedge funds and asset management firms, plus sell-side traders from banks, energy and commodity firms.

I have been working as a coach for 10 years now. Prior to that I worked for almost 25 years as an investment bank trader in the rates and FX space. I worked in market-making and proprietary trading roles for banks such as Credit Suisse, Commerce bank and American Express Bank.

 

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

 

Steven Goldstein: I am going to speak quite generally about this.

Many traders experience setbacks and failures which blindside them and leaves them with a feeling of ‘none of this makes sense’. Often, they try to rationalize these feelings, which just leads to further confusion. Herein lies the crux of the matter, we think we can explain the complexity that exists in Financial Markets and reduce it down to a few simple factors. You cannot, and if you never move past that. you are always going to struggle mentally and emotionally as a trader. As a trader, to become successful, at some point you have to learn to let go of that need to explain and judge every outcome, ’letting-go’ of that can become very empowering.

When I think of my trading career, it was in two phases. The second phase was far more productive and was after I learned to ‘let-go’. Perhaps some of the failures of the first half of my career played a part in leading me to this. What also helped was coaching I had in the year 2000. This was to be a major catalyst for self-exploration, new perspectives, and a new energy which I took into the second half of my career.

After this coaching my trading steadily improved, the years 2001 to 2009 were to be the most successful of my career by far.

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

 

Steven Goldstein: I am not sure I had a role model earlier in my life.

In the early/mid-1980s when I started it was pretty much sink or swim. The rates and FX markets had opened only through the early 1980s, and there were relatively few people around me in the banks I worked at who had the experience. We were dealing new products which no one knew much about. My opportunity came when the head of trading at the bank I worked said to me, Steve there are these new products called Forward Rate Agreements and Interest Rate Swaps, if you can work out how they work, you can trade them. – It seems a little insane now, but that is how it was.

I guess if I look back now my trading career, I wish I did have a mentor. I see many successful traders these days who benefited from a guiding hand early in their career.

Nowadays I do have several mentors but there are people from the world of coaching. I have supervisors that help me as a coach, I regularly attend training programs and courses which teach me about certain models and approaches which I then use to help my clients.

 

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

 

Steven Goldstein:  Interesting you say that 90% of traders fail. – I believe the number is significantly higher.

A few years ago, a group of academics from University of California looked at 15 years’ worth of data of traders from a sample size of over 400,000 traders. They found the success rate in any one year among this group was about 20%. however, it was not the same 20% every year. The actual proportion of traders able to achieve sustainable success was close to 1%. Whilst those that made significant excess profits was much smaller at close to 1/8th to 1/4 of 1%.

One can compare this to sport, where only a small fraction of those who decide to pursue a career in a particular sport ever makes a successful career out of it, with a much smaller fraction become super successful.

So, what makes a successful trader. Often the difference is mental and emotional skills, at least as much as technical skill, and possibly much more so.

I believe there are several key factors which I have identified as common among the really successful traders and investment professionals I have worked with over the years

But there is one other important point to make. Whilst only a small percentage will ever be able to hold down a long-term career in trading, I think everyone has the ability and potential to succeed.

The first factor is Self-awareness at a level which is incredibly rare to achieve combined with a humbleness that allows you to divorce yourself from your ego and see your real self.

Very few traders have this or allow themselves to develop this.

I’m going to layout an example: Several years ago, I was asked by a large US investment bank to work with their trading businesses in Hong Kong. I started working with a small group of traders who had volunteered for the coaching.

Among them with an individual I was told was the best trader in the entire firm which had some 2000 traders globally. Before I started working with him, I met his manager to get some insight on him and his needs. This trader’s manager said that as far as he was concerned this individual had no challenges. So, I asked him why he wants coaching? He said he thinks he can get a lot better.

This is the same mindset as elite athletes. They don’t like to think of themselves as good enough, they believe they can always get better: They like to use coaches to help them get there.

This attitude is known as ‘growth mindset’. A growth mindset is where you believe that with effort and hard work you can always get better, you can always increase your potential, and you make the effort to make this happen.

The opposite of this is a fixed mindset. The fixed mindset sees talent as a fixed quantity, there is little you can do to change that. You believe you are either good enough and deserve or are entitled to success, or you believe are not good enough and don’t deserve success. Either way, it’s an extremely restricting and damaging mindset where failure is bad luck, someone else’s fault, a conspiracy or some other extraneous factor. Trading seems to attract a lot of ‘Fixed Mindset’ people, or it shifts people from a Growth to a Fixed Mindset.

Some other aspects I believe make a successful trader, in no particular order, include: Developing your edge:

It’s unlikely you really have one edge but instead a series of micro-edges which combine and compound to create a much larger edge. I call it the ‘law of multiples small edges’.

It is vital you find and understand your edges then learn how to optimise and leverage them. If you are not finding, developing and leveraging your edge, then it’s highly likely you are paying for the privilege of competing with those that are.

Working congruent to personality.

It is vital to work in ways which are congruent to your personality, not in ways that conflict with it. I use athletics as an analogy. A tall wiry runner is unlikely to succeed if he opts to become a sprinter, but he is far more likely to succeed if he opts for long-distance racing.

Cultivating a Mindset for Uncertainty

I alluded to this earlier: Most people come to trading with a mindset which believes there is a formula you can crack which will give you the answers to help you succeed. Our entire education, and dominant philosophy, seeks to solve problems and always explain ‘why’ something happened. It sees the world as deterministic. That may be ok in most fields, but not in trading and investing.

Financial markets are inherently uncertain, complex, emergent and adaptive. There is always cause and effect, but it’s incredibly hard to ever know it in real time, or anything remotely resembling real-time, with any high degree of certainty.

Thinking in Emergent Probabilities

Closely linked to the above, is the ability to think in emergent and adaptive probabilities.

Sound Money Management
If you aren’t doing this, you better start. Any success without it is down to luck. And luck is not a traveling companion you can rely on.

Process over outcomes or results.

Judging yourself on results will mislead you. Many of the best traders I work with evaluate their processes more than their results.

Getting used to deferred gratification
Virtually every successful trader that I worked with has developed the ability to think in terms of deferred gratification, this it makes it possible to accept that they may not make money today, tomorrow, next week, next month or even this year, but they will succeed over-time.

I could go on, but I realize this is an interview, not a book.

 

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

 

Steven Goldstein: Balance is vital: The mind is like a muscle; it tires and when it tires it doesn’t work well. – Your mind is your number one weapon as a trader, it needs nourishment and rest. Without it you will start to lose objectivity and your mind will function sub-optimally.

You cannot be at the screens 12-14 hours a day and expect to remain balanced in your decision-making capabilities. There has been much research on this which found that as we progress through the day, our ability to be an optimal decision-maker diminishes. And if you are sub-optimal, you are against those who are optimal, they have a major edge over you.

When I traded, I would leave the office late morning to go running. I believe that helped my trading: – The ‘law of multiples small edges’.

Many of my clients practice meditation, other choose activities which helps bring refreshment to the mind, gym workouts, running, cycling, long walks. Changing the scenery also clears the mind.

Football is my non trading hobby. I’m a huge Arsenal fan I’ve been going to Arsenal since 1970 when I was just 6 years old. I also enjoy tennis and running.

 

 

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?

 

Steven Goldstein: This idea of letting go of the need to explain and judge everything: Cultivating a mindset which is geared towards uncertainty and not needing to know the answer.

Purely based on observation, I have noticed there seems to be a group of people who do come to trading with this attitude. They are people who have suffered some sort of early life trauma. My theory for this is that people who suffer early life trauma learn at a very early age that the world will not bend to their needs.

I guess the point here is that you want to somehow develop a mindset for uncertainty as early as possible. That is a mindset which does not seek certainty but embraces uncertainty, not knowing, and where failure is an inevitable.

Related to this, but worth emphasizing, is ‘letting go’ of ‘worrying what others will think of me’. I see this time and time again; it never ends well. I was very affected by this in my early trading years, and whilst it motivated me at times, it also stifled me, particularly in relation to risk.

 

 

QUESTION – What good & bad advice do you hear often in life, as well as in trading?

 

Steven Goldstein: There’s plenty of well-meaning advice, much of it is particular to the person giving it, but it may not be true for the person receiving it.

As a coach, paradoxically I rarely give advice. My coaching approach is non-directive. The philosophy is that if you give the person the answer, it’s your solution not theirs. Instead you work with them, using various techniques to help them find their answers. This is far more empowering and resources them to grow and to manage when you are not around.

If I was working as an ‘Outer game’ coach, where direction and instruction is more pertinent, then it may be different.

Some advice I do like however would be:

Plan your trades: It’s unusual or unlikely that markets will go to plan, but it will still give you a road map.

Always practice robust ‘Money Management’. If you don’t you are setting yourself up to fail.

Keep a journal: People are unaware how powerful a journal can be as a growth tool. Its equivalent to doing the hard yards in sport. – Its tedious, boring, time-consuming, but the results will benefit you in the long run if maintained and used effectively.

 

 

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

 

Steven Goldstein: When trading, I read the Market Wizards series about every 2 or 3 years. I also read ‘Reminiscences of a Stock Operator’ which I think every trader should read that at some point.

Other great books on trading include the Mark Douglas’s books, ‘The Way of the Turtle’ by Curtis Faith, ‘Market Mind Games’ by Denise Shull, ‘The Hour Between Dog and Wolf’ which goes more into the neuroscience behind trading. There was a brilliant book last year by Daniel Crosby called ‘The Behavorial Investor’ which though more focused more on investing than trading, the lessons within it are outstanding. There is also a terrific book I loved by hedge fund manager Garth Friesen about his journey into trading called ‘Bite the Ass off a Bear’.

One book which is under-read in my opinion is the ‘Psychology of Trading’ by Brett Steenbarger. This is a deep book, which may challenge some people looking for a lighter read, but it is outstanding.

There are also many non-trading books which can have a hugely positive influence on traders. Top on my list is a book by Stamford psychologist Carol Dreck called ‘Mindset’. I would urge every trader to read this, keep it near their trading desk, then re-read it again at some point. ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman is brilliant. Also ‘The 7 habits of Highly Effective People’ and ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhardt Tolle, which is more spiritual book and tackles the issue of Ego.

Another excellent, yet little heard of book, is ‘Risk Intelligence: How to Live with Uncertainty’ by Dylan Evans.

 

 

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

 

Steven Goldstein: Step away, step back, take a break, make space, try not even to reflect for a little, maybe do something different, play sport, watch something on TV, remove yourself from the environment.

You need to get closure on whatever has happened. In 2007 I had an experience which felt like the end of the world. I did that process and came back stronger than ever.

A couple of years go an oil trading client who got himself in a dreadful period of drawdown, compounded by the fact that the market was doing exactly what he hoped for. In a two-month period he surrendered 6 months of P&L equivalent to about $500k. He took a break for a couple of days, didn’t enter the office, put up shelves at home, took the kids to school. He didn’t even look at the market. – We then had a coaching session to discuss the situation and help him get closure. He went back in on Monday with fresh eyes, a clear mind, and a renewed perspective. Over the next 3 months he made $3mio, more than twice what he had ever made in an entire year in 15 years of trading.

 

 

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

‘It’s not the mountain you conquer’ it’s yourself’, by Sir Edmund Hillary

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

 

Steven Goldstein:  Best way to contact me is via my business email steven.goldstein@alpharcubed.com or email@alpharcubed.com

I can be followed on social media through
twitter@alphamind101
Instagram Alphamind_101

Also checkout out the AlphaMind Podcast series where myself and market veteran Mark Randall discuss and explore the Mindset of Trading. Go to alpha-mind.net or check out AlphaMind on itunes

More Interviews, Uncategorized

Dave Mabe – Interview

8203768F-B79C-4E4B-89D1-FAEDF4447A48QUESTION – 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 trading as we understand you started at a very young age.

DAVE: My name is Dave Mabe and I work at Trade-Ideas.  I created a lot of the things you see in Trade-Ideas: the Holly AI, charts, Brokerage+, etc.  I grew up in Pfafftown, a small town in North Carolina outside of Winston-Salem.  I live in Carrboro, NC just outside of Chapel Hill (Go Heels!).  I’ve been trading for ~17 years or so.  As I was growing up my parents instilled in me a saving/investing mindset.  My dad was always investing in something – in fact, we had some cattle on our postage stamp sized property for a few years as an investment.  I learned the value of this mindset early on and it’s stuck with me ever since.  I started the online trading journal StockTickr which I sold to Trade-Ideas in 2011 and have been with Trade-Ideas ever since.

 

QUESTION – We understand you are considered by many as a data scientist. Can you explain in more detail what exactly that is – and how it relates to trading. And improving one’s trading performance

DAVE: I started using the term “data scientist” before it was cool to describe the way I think about trading the markets.  I have a programming background so I was pretty quickly drawn to backtesting.  I think it’s always good to be skeptical about lots of things and number one on that list is trading advice.  Hear someone promoting a trading technique?  Create a backtest for it and let’s see exactly how well it’s done over a long time period and a large number of trades.  This sometimes feels like a superpower and you quickly gain a lot of experience in the market without actually putting money at risk.  Even when strategies sometimes turn out to be a dead end, the knowledge you gain from learning that might pay off down the road in ways that are not obvious at the time.  Having a backtest as a reference point is hugely valuable.  When an inevitable drawdown comes, being able to refer to a backtest to determine the current health of the strategy is really important – without it I feel like I’m simply trusting my gut which I learned long ago is a bad idea!

 

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

DAVE: There’s not a single setback that stands out but lots of smaller ones.  I’ve traded lots of strategies that ended up not working.  I’ve been successful because I’ve always measured strategy performance like a hawk and while paper trading has its place, it’s way more valuable to take what I call “pilot trades” – real trades with tiny risk to start the feedback loop for improving.  I describe my process in some detail in a post on my Medium blog: https://medium.com/@davemabe/my-approach-to-trading-with-bigger-size-1a99564293db

 

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

DAVE: My wife Joan made a living running and coached herself to the U.S. Olympic Team in Track and Field (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Nesbit).  I often joke with her that she’d be a terrible trader but she’s a great coach!  She’s not afraid to deliver difficult advice that you don’t want to hear.  Although running and trading are obviously very different there’s a good bit of overlap with any activity where you’re trying to be the best you can be.  Our personalities are very different which makes her perspective really valuable for me.

 

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

DAVE: My experience creating and running StockTickr showed me that there are a lot of ways to be successful in the markets.  So why do most traders fail?  It’s a variety of reasons with the main one being: it’s really hard!  You have to treat it like a full time job.  You have to be honest with yourself and oftentimes the truth hurts!  The best traders I’ve been around are meticulous record keepers.  They know their trading edge backwards and forwards.  A successful trader takes years to create through persistence and experience – most people aren’t able to consistently do anything for the length of time required, much less the risk of trading.

 

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

DAVE:I consider daily exercise part of my trading edge.  I run or bike every day and I take it seriously.  It provides the perfect kind of distraction I need to think about tough problems and performs a mental reset almost every time I exercise.  It’s a lot easier to do it when you treat it competitively.  If you’re going to do something you may as well try to be the best you can be at it.  I surround myself with friends who also enjoy exercise and being competitive which makes it all the more fun.

 

QUESTION – What advice would you give to your peers looking to enter the trading profession ?

DAVE: I’ve gotten this question quite a bit over the years and I also hear other traders gets asked this question.  I always emphasize just how hard it is – basically the opposite of snake oil.  If they’re still interested then I tell them to have another source of income and always trade money you don’t need.  If you’re not there yet then there’s probably things you can do in your financial life that would provide a better immediate return than trading would.  Once you get there and start trading, lower your expectations for success.  Set goals that are very attainable and way, way lower than your wildest dreams.

 

QUESTION – What are your favorite books to read and why?

DAVE: I’ve read a lot of trading books over the years and I find them not as useful as I once did.  My favorite genre is books that I think might relate to trading but only tangentially.  Books like Annie Duke’s Thinking in Bets – it doesn’t mention trading but there’s a lot traders can learn from a book like that.  Another one I can recommend is The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin.

 

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

DAVE: When one of my strategies has a drawdown, the first thing I do is compare my journal results with the backtest results.  Sometimes I find some tweak to make that can get things back on track.  Other times I realize that the drawdown is “normal” and no changes need to be made.  Every time I do this analysis, though, one thing definitely happens: I learn something.  It may not be applicable immediately but it very likely will be one day when you least suspect.  I think of it like this: I have a library of trading ideas that I’m constantly adding to and cultivating over time.  As time goes on I have more knowledge that I can apply to future strategies that I haven’t even thought of yet.  This is the kind of mindset that works for me.

 

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

DAVE: One of my favorites is from Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”

 

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

DAVE: I always enjoy connecting with people on Twitter: @davemabe  Thanks so much for this interview!