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 you are, what you do & where you live?
DeAndree: Hi! First of all – thank you very much for inviting me to the interview!
In the trading world, I go by the name of DeAndree. I come from a small country in Northern Europe.
Initially, I started as an algotrader. I wasted a lot of time searching for perfect indicators and overcomplicating systems. I tried neural networks, reinforcement learning, collecting tick data, and using orderbook imbalances only to eventually settle for some of the simplest systems you can imagine. Simple works, and often it’s the best as far as effort vs reward vs robustness is considered. Recently, I’ve been learning and practicing manual trading (Price Action style) to complement my skills and eventually improve my algo strategies.
QUESTION – We understand you have been a frequent poster in the trading community on Medium. Can you shed some light on what you typical post. And do you have a blog site that our readers can visit?
DeAndree: the main theme of my posts has been dealing with common misconceptions in Crypto trading by backtesting strategies and analyzing results.
It all started when I began my algotrading journey by picking Gekko as my strategy platform and joining their Discord. It was a super popular open-source platform at that time (mid-2018). I saw a lot of overfitted and unrealistic backtest results being thrown around in Discord, a lot of hype about neural network strategies without understanding what they were doing, a lot of questions about which strategies to use, etc.
I wanted to bring some clarity. I wanted to show that you can’t just pick a single basic indicator and hope to be profitable, that neural networks are not a magic silver bullet that somehow predicts the future, that Buy&Hold is not the best strategy. I wanted to show what happens when you backtest for a significant time period, not just 3 months. That simple works, and sometimes works the best.
Over everything else, I wanted to show that whatever you do – you absolutely have to backtest before running it live!99% of ideas will be thrown out right after the test without ever losing a cent.
QUESTION – What personal or professional failure/setback have you experienced in your life or professional career that has set you up for later success? (any since your last interview worth noting)
DeAndree: The worst personal setback I’ve had was tearing my ACL (a ligament in the knee). It’s one of the worst injuries as an athlete. I was an avid football player driven by huge competitiveness – I was living to play. I had the surgery, but unfortunately, the recovery didn’t go too well – I was never able to return to 100%. And if I can’t play 100%, I’d rather not play at all.
The thing is, I was not a pro player. I was an amateur and quite average even for “Sunday league” standards. The blessing in disguise here was that I was forced out of the activity that I was mediocre at. That competitive energy had to go somewhere else the next logical choice was to go all-in with my professional career – software development.
Development can be extremely competitive with the mental and intellectual battles, competing who comes up with the best, fastest, and most efficient solution.
But soon that wasn’t enough. I wanted something even more competitive with more direct money involvement and more comparable results. I wanted to play the ultimate sport as Mark Cuban put it.
My newfound interest in Crypto mixed with my deep-rooted interest in finance/money led me into trading. That’s my game for now.
QUESTION- We understand you have developed a very interesting trading app. Would love to know more about it and how our readers can download.
DeAndree: While I originally started as an algotrader, at one point I wanted to fill a void in my trading skills – learning how to trade manually Price Action style.
I was looking for an app that would help me practice trading, something that could replay historical candles and trade on them at a point in time, kind of like a trading simulator. I couldn’t find anything that really suited my needs. I wanted something super quick to start with (no install etc), has super easy UI/UX, and throws you into random asset/time and hides them, so your lookahead bias is reduced. I asked around and realized that many others would be interested in this kind of app too.
So, I created TradingGYM (https://tradinggym.app). It’s a WebApp, so no need to download or install – you can get started in seconds. When you open the app, it selects and shows you a chart of random asset at a random point in time (real data from exchanges), and you know neither one of them.
You make trades and fast-forward time to see how it played out, making your feedback/learning loop many times faster compared to paper trading. What’s also super important is that your lookahead bias is reduced, because you don’t know which asset/time you are trading.
For now, all the assets included are Crypto, since I already had the data, and that’s the asset class I’m most familiar with. I’m open to adding other data sources (Stocks/Forex) if there will be enough demand.
I’m building a community, so if you want to follow the development and discuss/suggest new features, you are very welcome to join our Discord – https://discord.com/invite/aqRFcb2pME
We launched the app just over a month ago, so we are in the early stages. Many exciting features coming up, like indicators and challenge/1vs1 mode.
QUESTION : This is becoming a favorite question for many – plus readers get some good gift ideas from it. What purchase of less than $100 haveyou made in the past year that you simple could not live without now?
DeAndree: I just realized I almost haven’t bought anything this year. There is one thing though – The Razer Deathadder V2 mouse.It’s the next version of one of the best and most legendary mouses there is (esports gamers will know what I’m talking about). Not only is it super light (81g), it also has a great ergonomic shape and the coolest braided cable.
QUESTION – What advice would you give to your younger self – and what advice would you give to a young high school or college graduate?
DeAndree: Myself (life general)
- Take more calculated risks.
- More shots taken = more opportunities = more luck.
- Focus more on what you want and what excites you.
- Care less of what others want from you.
- Trust the process. Focus on the next step, don’t get overwhelmed by the mountain of tasks ahead of you.
- Stop caring too much about the things that you can’t control. Focus on taking the action, not the outcome.
- Cut scope (your to-do list) relentlessly. Focus on the essential.
- Less reading, more action.
- Start before you are ready because you will never be ready.
- Don’t wait for the sunny days. Embrace the rain.
- Start with the basics. Learn price action trading.
- Stop looking for the perfect indicator. It doesn’t exist.
- Go with statistics and probability. Learn how to calculate edge. Learn what is positive expectancy. Risk/Reward and Win%.
- Stop overcomplicating your trading.
- Run your algo/system live ASAP. You’ll learn 10x faster from there.
Graduate (assuming it’s career-related) – understand where the money comes from and why employers pay you anything. Adjust your career accordingly. Following your dreams is totally fine as long as you realize there is a chance of being a starving artist. The world doesn’t owe you anything.
QUESTION – What are some of your hobbies? How do you escape from the real world during these crazy times that we have been experiencing in 2020?
DeAndree: Doing sports – going to the gym, playing football, running, biking.Going to concerts and festivals.Watching really good movies (think Inception).Watching sports, mainly football (Champions League) and basketball (NBA).Listening to music at way too high volume.ESports gaming – CS, Overwatch, FIFA.
QUESTION – How has the Covid situation effected you both professionally and personally. And did any positive come out of it for you?
DeAndree: Once I realized the severity of Covid and that there will be lockdowns and restrictions for a considerable amount of time, I decided to move from the city to my hometown.
With all the restrictions, this has been a perfect time for me to focus on myself, work on my trading, work on my projects, and be with my family. Fewer distractions and temptation to do other stuff, because there’s not much to do – just work work work.
Hard to call any of this positive, but at least I’m using this unusual time as efficiently as possible.
QUESTION – When you have lost your mojo or focus , what do you do to get back on track?
DeAndree: First of all, when you’re feeling off, it’s very important to ask yourself – am I having a breakdown or a breakthrough. Sometimes you need to push through. Often, action creates motivation and must come first, not the other way around.
If there really is a problem, the fix depends on severity.
Here are some quick fixes for me:
- Contrast showers.
- Power Naps. An amazing way to restart your day when it’s not going your way.
- Doing something physical – go to the gym, run, bike.
- Watch a movie from my best-of list – Inception, Dark Knight, Matrix, etc.
- Meditation and breathing exercises.
When it’s more severe, I’m forced to take time off and do some deep self-reflection. I go back to my notes of core lessons of life that I’ve learned, remember why I’m doing all this and what I want to accomplish.
And when it’s an absolute low – sometimes you have to realize that the old you is no longer serving the path that’s ahead. Then you rebuild.
QUESTION – If you could have a big billboard with your favorite saying or message on it, what would it be.
DeAndree: There is no spoon.– The Matrix
QUESTION- Thank you for taking the time for this interview. How can our readers contact you, including on social media. And is there anything else you like for our readers to know about you?
DeAndree: Thank you very much for the interview, these were some great questions!
Best way to follow me and keep up is on Twitter https://twitter.com/___deandreeI started there just recently, but this will be my main place for posting in the future.
You can also find my blog on Medium – https://deandree.medium.com
Thanks for reading and best of luck!
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