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 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.