DeAndree, More Interviews

DeAndree – Interview

QUESTION – Thank you for taking the time to participate in the Q & A session. Before we start in detail. Would you like to share with everyone who 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.

For the past 10 years, I’ve been a full-stack software developer (mostly JavaScript, Node and React), but for the past 2+ years, I’ve been transitioning to the world of Crypto – trading, writing, and building apps for traders. I’ve always been interested in finance, so when I heard about Crypto, I knew instantly that it’s a perfect mix of the things that I’m excited about – money, tech, software development, game theory, probabilities, statistics, etc.
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.

I used to mainly write on Medium – https://deandree.medium.comBut my main focus going forward will be on Twitter – https://twitter.com/___deandree

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.

Myself (trading)

  • 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

Also, check out the TradingGYM app (https://tradinggym.app) and join the Discord community (https://discord.com/invite/aqRFcb2pME) if you want to keep up with the development.

Thanks for reading and best of luck!

Beyond The Trades is now sponsored by the Educational Trading Room Communities listed below 

HOLIDAY SPECIAL Rates being offered on the below – Get both rooms for only $59!

EquitiesETC Trading Room       (for stocks & options trading)

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Diana Peña, More Interviews

Diana Peña – Interview

QUESTION – Thank you for taking the time to participate in the Q & A session. Before we start in detail. Would you like to share with everyone who may not know, who you are, where you live and what is your current occupation? 

DIANA: Before I begin I’d like to thank the Beyond The Trades team for this opportunity, and I’d like to thank the readers for taking the time to get to know me.

My name is Diana Peña. I am born and raised from the Dominican Republic. I moved to New Jersey when I was 16 years old, at 25 I moved to Puerto Rico and at 30 I moved to North Carolina where I currently reside with my family. If I had to pick a favorite place from the 4 places I’ve lived at, it would be a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico named Culebra, it doesn’t only have one of the top 10 beaches in the world (Flamenco Beach), but it’s the most peaceful place I’ve ever been to, plus the food and the people there are amazing.

I am a retail trader and retail worker with many dreams and one set goal, which is to be successful and happy in life. I am currently in an entrepreneurship journey developing my own iOS app which is being designed to help the trading community. I am planning on releasing this app in the upcoming months. I also have a service to help traders get setup with their Sierra Chart application. Finally, I have a full time job, day trade futures and have a wonderful supportive family.

QUESTION – We understand you and the folks at Beyond The Trades have been friends for years now. How did you meet the team and are you part of their trading community – if so how?

DIANA: The Beyond The Trades folks have been a real blessing for me. I actually met Steven, the Beyond The Trades founder, through his wife Dolores or as we know her by Dee. They are truly like my distant adoptive family. I have been very fortunate to have met them during my first years of trading, because since day one they’ve always encouraged me to keep pushing forward and to not give up when I had rough days. They have also introduced me to so many awesome individuals which have been a key part on my trading journey, like JJ (VWAPTRADER1) whom is our trading mentor at the MicroeFutures trading community.

I have been a part of the MicroeFutures trading community for a year, since day one. As I reflect back on this past year, I find that I have grown so much as a trader, I have more control of my trades and emotions because I have a much better understanding of the market, all thanks to this awesome community.

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

DIANA: Long story short… On December 15th, 2015 I was fired from my job, for about 6 month, then they hired me back. The very first day after I was let go, I started looking for “work from home” jobs. My husband had a brilliant idea, he said: “Why don’t you try trading?, There are people that make a lot of money doing that.” So, thanks to him, here I am and loving it even more every day. I am not in the six figures club, yet. But, I will. My husband has been so supportive I cant even thank him enough, every day I’ve had a bad trading day, he tells me: “You have put too many hours into this, you can’t give up now”. He is now learning how to trade as well.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from that setback is that family always comes first, that every time we get knocked down we must get up and fight again and again. Never forget that every door that closes in our face opens a brand new opportunity, we just have to go and find the right door, because you’ll never find that one opportunity by seating at home crying. Like my mentor told me: “You cry today all you want, but tomorrow you get up and be done with it, move forward”.

QUESTION– Do you trade yourself actively. If so, what instruments and method (day, swing, investor, etc)

DIANA: I do trade actively as much as I can. Sometimes is hard because of my fulltime job, family and the two other projects I am currently working on.

After trying to trade Penny Stocks and then options, I currently day trade the ES/MES futures only. I find it better to just focus all my attention on one market, and that has proven to work for me. Sometimes I try lotto options, but they are not my strong suit.

QUESTION : What purchase of less than $100 have you made in the past year that you simple could not live without now?

DIANA:: I read this question to my husband and he started laughing…

So, I bought an Air-fryer about a month ago and I have used it every single day since I bought it. I think the air-fryer is one of the best inventions since sliced bread. Try making some Margaritaville Jerk Shrimp in there as an appetizer, you’ll thank me later. lol

QUESTION – What advice would you give to your younger self – and what advice would you give to a young high school or college graduate?

DIANA: To my younger self: Hold on to the $INTC and $AMD stocks my husband and I bought on January 2008, do more research about the Stock Market and learn how to trade for a living.

To a young high school or college graduate: If you ever have an idea or think about an invention that you think could provide a solution to any given issues that we currently face, or that it could make life better, JUST GO FOR IT. Once you go for it, then see it through. The only regrets you could have in life would be not to have tried or to give up at the first try.

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?

DIANA: My favorite thing to do is to go out on family trips and playing video games with my kids from time to time, because I love seeing their happy faces when they ask me to play with them and I say yes.

2020 has been a crazy year and it has certainly brought out the best and the worst in people. I think to keep our sanity we must rely on our family now more than ever, reach out to our loved ones that we might have not talk to in a while and make sure they are also doing fine. “This too shall pass”.

QUESTION – We understand you are a “Sierra Chart” Whisperer (aka expert). Can you explain to our audience who may not know, what is Sierra Charts as we understand you have launched a high

quality, yet affordable “buy me a cup of coffee” program with their charting software. And how it can benefit the serious trader.

DIANA: Sierra Chart is one of those awesome software with great performance, but not very user friendly per today’s graphics standards. I think what differentiates Sierra Chart from other trading/charting software is that it has such a simple and robust design, it runs supper smooth on almost any Windows computer, and they have little to no downtime. I certainly never seen it lag or delay data, not even during the crazy Covid panic back in March 2020.

That being said, Sierra Chart could be challenging and at times frustrating if you’ve never used it and/or don’t have the time to try to figure it out. And if you try to look for videos and help on how to use Sierra Chart, they are very few, and many don’t go into details.

So, I decided to create a “Buy Me a Coffee” website to help people setup their Sierra Chart through remote support, get them up and running in no time, and help them automate some of the most used levels from the TPO Charts. You can also find customized charts and request custom made charts.

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

DIANA: The best thing for me to do is to take a step back, have some family time and then come back the next day with a fresh mindset. For example: at times I’d be working on the iOS app I am currently developing, I might get an error that could take me hours to figure out, I usually have to turn everything off, come back the following day, do some research and then I get it right.

One of the best feelings in the world is the feeling of success after trying and failing so many times.

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

DIANA: “We don’t sleep when we are tired, we sleep when we are done”

-Dr. Eric Thomas

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? Including information on your Sierra Chart Charting service.

DIANA: For more info on my Sierra Chart Charting service, please visit:

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/zerosuit

You can contact me @:

Twitter: ArtemisX23

Discord: Zero Suit#3915

YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/yyd49xzb

Beyond The Trades is now sponsored by the Educational Trading Room Communities listed below  *Use The Diana’s Interview Special Discount Code to get 20% off the below: StTF1iXs

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Kim Ann Curtin, More Interviews

Kim Ann Curtin – Founder of The Wall Street Coach – Interview

QUESTION – Thank you for taking the time to participate in the Q & A session. Before
we start in detail, would you like to share with everyone who may not know, who you
are, where you live, and what is your current occupation?

KIM: I am Kim Ann Curtin, the founder of The Wall Street Coach, an executive coaching, consulting, and strategy firm. Born in Brooklyn, I’m now a former New Yorker who lives in Hawaii. I moved here full time four years ago. I initially came to Hawaii to house-sit so I could save some money while I wrote my book, Transforming Wall Street, but I fell in love with The Big Island, its people, and the spirit of aloha. My coaching team and I specialize in working with traders and executives. So while we do work a lot with finance professionals and finance firms, we work in all industries. I’ve been a coach for fourteen years and worked in the finance industry ten years prior to that. I am the cohost of The SteadyTrade Podcast and I host bi-monthly webinars for TrueTrader.

QUESTION – We came upon you after listening to you on a recent Confessions of a Market Maker podcast. I must say you have to be one of the best kept secrets in the retail trading community. After listening, it does not surprise us that you have helped many individual traders succeed in their trading (like co-host Ray of the pod). What got you into coaching traders and what do you feel their biggest challenge mentally or emotionally is to overcome to succeed?

KIM: While I have worked with retail traders on and off for years, there certainly has been an increase in working with them over the past year or so, and I’m sure that is because of my cohosting The SteadyTrade Podcast.

One of the biggest obstacles new retail traders face is they don’t take seriously enough just how emotionally and physiologically wired they are to do the opposite of what is in their trading account’s best interests. Many newbies think the “baked in bias” won’t apply to them, so they don’t adequately prepare for it. The more experienced traders know better, but even they can forget on occasion. I also see those who have been trading for a while can get caught up in the comparison game. There is so much hype and bravado out there online that even those who are successful can find themselves looking at other successful traders and feel inadequate. I think it’s human nature to compare, but to engage in it rarely will be an accurate comparison, and it almost never encourages better trading in yourself. I often repeat the phrase: compare = despair.

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

KIM: Well, how I came to find myself named, The Wall Street Coach, for one! In 2006, I walked away from one of the largest hedge funds in the world to start my own coaching practice and then the crash of 2008 happened, and everyone seemed to stop spending money on coaching. I remember thinking, “Oh, my God, what have I done?” I could see my revenue begin to shrink, and it scared the hell out of me. After crying on a friend’s shoulder, she suggested something unusual. To just start coaching for free if necessary. So on October 7, 2008, I sat on a bench outside the NYSE with a homemade sign that said “The Coach Is In,” and I very unexpectedly had a line of people who wanted to do speed-coaching sessions with me. That day, the 2008 crisis began, so my timing was quite synchronistic. Weeks later, a reporter interviewed me on my bench outside the exchange, and in the article, he called me “The Wall Street Coach,” which I had not once called myself! That woke me up to the potential of a brand and the finance world as my niche. It started with buying the domain and then eventually trademarking the term. So this harrowing start birthed my brand. I am so grateful now for that experience because it led me down a path I may not have pursued otherwise.

QUESTION – Do you actively trade yourself? If so, what instruments and method (day, swing, investor, etc.) do you use?

KIM: I consider myself a baby trader, still in my infancy. I am interested in becoming a trader, but to do so, I have to give more time to reading and studying. Currently, I am still learning to use StocksToTrade’s charting and scans before I place my first trade. They generously provided me with access and a lot of learning material, so I am confident it will happen eventually. Coaching clients, managing my team and coaching firm, recording podcasts, hosting webinars, and recording classes fill up most of my days! But I am happy to report that I just purchased a large desk monitor to help me get online more often. Bryce Davis, one of the amazing trainers at StocksToTrade, is urging me to dive in, so with his coaching and encouragement, I slowly but surely am moving forward to become one.

QUESTION: What purchase of less than $100 have you made in the past year that you simply could not live without now?

KIM: Blue Light Blocking eyeglasses! I love them so much that I bought three pairs to have them in my office and two pairs at home. I even gifted a pair to my cohost Tim Bohen, who is also always online. Anyone who is on their computer or phone a lot should have a pair of these to help with eyestrain. They are about ten or twenty dollars a pair.

QUESTION – What advice would you give to your younger self—and what advice would you give to a young high school or college graduate?

KIM: To my younger self, I would say, “Be patient and trust the process. It will all work out in the end!” And to a young graduate, I would say, “Travel globally as much as you possibly can—once it is available again—and be sure to experience countries and cultures quite different from your own. Also, volunteer…a lot. If possible, volunteer where you are face to face with those in poverty or those who struggle with addiction or have been previously incarcerated or in a gang, because no matter what you’ve lived through, you will walk away grateful for the journey you have not had to endure. Additionally, it will increase your empathy and help you drop any judgments about those who have navigated these challenges.”

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?

KIM: My hobbies are reading, music, paddling, meditation, and hiking. I read a lot. Nonfiction and fiction. Often more than one book at a time. Books are always in my bag, my car, my office and in every room of my home. Books are like friends to me. Whatever mood I am in, I have a book that suits it. Thanks to living in Hawaii, I have been introduced to outrigger canoe paddling; it is the state sport actually! There is nothing quite like going out on the ocean after a long day in a six-man canoe, where talking is forbidden, and you just pour all your stress and tension into the ocean. I feel revived after every paddle. Plus, it’s one helluva workout! The bonus is that my canoe club, located in Kawaihae, is on the northwest coastline of The Big Island, which is the waterway that the humpback whales pass through in the winter months to give birth to their calves. So come January, in addition to paddling with spinner dolphins, turtles, and manta rays, these divine creatures will be out there with us. Paddling helps remind me to keep my troubles in check and pay close attention to how vast and sacred Mother Nature is and how truly fortunate I am.

QUESTION – What do you feel are your greatest professional and personal achievements?

KIM: Professionally, that I am still in business after fourteen years! LOL. Running a business is hard. So, while coaching itself is not, running a business is. It requires much more blood, sweat, and tears than I imagined when I began. So, I am very proud to still be here.

I’d say the greatest personal achievement, in addition to taking care of my mother for many years during her illness, is that I wrote and self-published my book, Transforming Wall Street. Writing it was one of the most challenging tasks I have ever taken on. I had to slay a lot of internal critics along the way. It took three years and gave me quite a few gray hairs, but holding it for the first time in my hands when it came out was a moment I will never forget. It still makes me smile!

What is one bucket list item you must complete before your time on earth is done? I will give you two! Visit Egypt and experience the great pyramids of Giza and experience a 2-3 month safari in Africa.

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

KIM: First, I will offer myself empathy that I am not in a good place. Then I will let myself feel whatever feelings are going on or coming up for me. I will let them out, either through writing them in a journal or sharing them with a good friend. The kind of friend who knows how to listen and hold space without trying to fix anything or “silver line” it. I will also connect with The Divine, either through meditation or just sitting in stillness. I know that losing mojo or focus is never permanent, even if it seems to last a long time. I will remind myself that nothing lasts forever, even this, so I lean into that truth. If I am really stuck and cannot shift, I will contemplate how many other people in the world might be feeling the exact same way, and I will focus on sending them loving kindness. Doing that reminds me that at least I’m not alone in it.

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

KIM: I would quote Rumi, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

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 would like for our readers to know about you—like the book you had published or any other projects you may be working on?

KIM: Thank you so much for the opportunity to share some of my journey with you and your community! My website is TheWallStreetCoach.com and my book is Transforming Wall Street: A Conscious Path for a New Future. You can find it on Amazon in hardcover and ebook. I’m launching a new online course via http://www.TradingHeroJourney.com soon where I will offer courses for traders on how to increase your emotional intelligence as well as how to be the hero of your own trading journey. My social media links are: @kimanncurtin on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Beyond The Trades is now sponsored by the Educational Trading Room Communities listed below 

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The Middle of The Path, Trading Essays

Trading Essays – “The Middle of the Path” by AllxDayxRay

One of the hardest things for the human mind is too detach itself from the results of an outcome. Winning trade = a job well done; Bad trade = I did something wrong—not necessarily the case in either outcome. For the new trader, you’re going to experience the natural swing of emotion that occurs when learning a new endeavor. You’re going to have your “breakthroughs” and bouts of success—mostly temporary—and you’re going to experience mental blocks and the inevitable loss of money– hopefully mitigated by proper risk management. Throughout this mental and emotional rollercoaster, you must maintain a moderate temperament; not getting too high at your highs, nor too low at your lows. A good rule of thumb that was taught to me that helps me stay grounded: you’re never as good as you think you are—usually referring to when you’re on a hot streak—and never as bad as you may think you are: you’re going to fall somewhere in between. Cultivating this type of mindset is the pursuit of objectivity—a crucial skill at analyzing your participation in the market. 

Being a part of a trading community I’ve been able to see this concept in full display. You’ll have your traders who are on cloud 9, experiencing a winning streak of sorts. They start talking more definitively– an aura of pride in their speech. I’ve seen a trader boast how he makes more than certain prestigious professions– which was a blasphemous statement due to the sample size from what he was drawing from: it was laughably small. Because people can’t properly attribute the factor that luck plays into their success, they overrate their abilities, which as a risk taker, is one of the most dangerous places to be mentally. You also have the flip side of the coin, traders who berate themselves. This serves no purpose other than the twisted comfort you get from self-loathing. You’re going to fail a lot in this business. Ok, a trade idea didn’t work? Figure out where you went wrong, if you even went wrong in the first place—whether on the spot or aftermarket hours, as long as your heads clear—and move on! I’m ruthless with the thoughts that I let sit in my mind while trading. If it’s not serving your trading, there is no use for them. The feeling of winning money is elating and ego boosting, while losing money strikes at our insecurities. Take the middle path, the moderate approach, not succumbing to the extreme emotions that pull at us and serve as distractions from refining our process. 

I hate it when I hear people say you must have no emotions trading. That phrase right there shows you the persons lack of understanding. We can’t turn our emotions off. We’re participating in an activity that releases a copious amount of chemical reactions in our bodies– good luck stopping that. Rather, what people who spew that phrase are really looking to say is, don’t let your emotions dictate your actions or thinking. Again, that’s something that needs to be addressed away from market hours. I recently spoke with best-selling author and legendary hedge fund trader Turney Duff on the “Confessions of a Market Maker” podcast. He implied one of his edges as a trader came from his inability to feel the highs and lows of life or a trade: a medical condition he has. It’s a condition that I’m sure he’s struggled with in his greater life, but when it came to trading it served him well. Most of us are not in Turney’s position but this really struck home the impediment our emotions present.   

Being objective doesn’t come naturally to humans. Being moderate doesn’t come naturally for some: myself included. These are things that must be worked on away from the market. The market will reveal too you who you are and specifically your flaws; if you’re a passive person, it will manifest itself in your execution and tentativeness; if you’re a do first, think second type, it will manifest itself in huge losses, blown up accounts, and high susceptibility to FOMO; if you’re an emotional type, feeling the highs of your success’s—not to mention the pride that accompanies winning which is detrimental—and the gut wrenching pain of your losses will leave you with no emotional capital. These are generalizations and individuals are more nuanced, but I wanted to put an emphasis on how the market will reveal your demons. This endeavor can be mentally and emotionally trying but strive for the middle path and ignore the extremes; whether it be exuberance; self-loathing; pride; depression: focus with unwavering intent on the process. Focus on the results, and you have a trader with a faulty process; Focus on the process, and you have a trader who produces results. 

If you’d like to be apart of a pleasant and supportive trading community, trade along side Ray & 20 year market maker turned retail trader, @vwaptrader1 visit www.microefutures.com

Gaspar, More Interviews

Gaspar – Interview

IMG_7345QUESTION – 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, where you live and what is your current occupation or student status is?

GASPAR: My name is Gaspar. I am currently I’m living in south Mexico, it’s very nice tropical weather all year around and it’s the safest place in the country to be living in, I’m currently in my 3rd year of college getting a degree in accounting and finance.

 

QUESTION – Do you trade full-time, part-time.

GASPAR: I trade full time since my school hours are now in the evening. I trade one options strategy in the SPY ETF with a weekly outlook and day trade futures in the Emini S&P 500.

 

QUESTION – What our your goals and ambitions as a trader, career and personal life?

GASPAR: I want to be a full time trader and hopefully manage money for clients eventually moving to the USA.

 

QUESTION- How would you describe what makes a successful trader. Good traits, bad traits?

GASPAR: Successful trading requires a lot of discipline, focus on what you are doing, mindfulness, you can’t become complacent in any situation and always be with the guard up, being creative and able to evolve is key.   

 

QUESTION : We understand from your Twitter feed you are now into weight lifting, any other hobbies outside of trading?

GASPAR:I started a weight loss program about 2 years ago have since lost more than 80lb and now I am lifting weights to gain muscle mass. Taking care of the body is important since it’s the vessel that helps you achieve your goals, training the mind to be stronger and push trough hard situations, I used to play video games but I have stoped doing that since it’s extensively time consuming. I would say my hobby is watching basketball. I like teams such as the Houston Rockets, Lakers, Clippers and Mavericks.

 

QUESTION – Do you have a mentor in trading?  What role do you feel a mentor and being part of a trading community in your learning and success?

GASPAR: I never had a real mentor before JJ @Vwaptrader1 at Microefutures.com Educational Trading Room. I would say learning from someone who has done it for a long time is a key advantage in speeding up your learning curve especially when you have most of the technical stuff down and you need to develop your execution to achieve your goals.

 

QUESTION – Outside of your career & trading, what are some of your hobbies? How do you escape from the real world during these crazy times?

GASPAR: Well I loved to spend time with my friends, go to parties, and the beach. Since all of that has been impossible for the last 5 months or more, I have now just put more focus on my new healthy life style, keeping track of all the nutrients and supplements I eat and working out, lifting, biking and taking my dog on walks in open air. It helps clear the mind and balance out the adrenaline one can build up while day trading.

 

QUESTION – If you could meet and hang out with any trader(s) out on the town, who would it be and why?

GASPAR: I would have dinner with JJ and other guys in the microefutures room. I like that everybody is older than me (I’m 21). I get a lot of knowledge from them, not only about trading but also in life. I would also like to meet Tic Toc Tick in person I have followed him for 2 years and think he is very talented and funny.

 

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

GASPAR: I don’t like going back and studying since I already have a very good solid understanding of the mechanics and I feel that doing that just overloads you more. I like to distance myself from trading for a couple of days and get my head right. I do some other stuff, build up some confidence, and then come back and keep at it with a good attitude.

 

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

GASPAR: “A investment in knowledge always pays the best dividends”

 

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?

GASPAR: I have sacrificed a lot of time hanging with friends and going to parties. My first 2 years of trading, I would stay up all weekend watching replays, reading charts, going over what I did wrong during that week, and really train intensely. I’m a very intense person, I don’t like things done mediocrely. I like being the best, I like being proficient, and that takes a lot of effort. It’s not going to come from a book or a couple of hours of videos on YouTube. You really have to train like an all star sports player. We play a performance game and we can always get better. That’s what I love from trading; it’s a place where I can take myself to the limit and push myself everyday to be the best I can be. The score (money) is just there to confirm I’m training hard and working hard, that’s what I love. I hate seeing people come in and just ask for stuff black and white  and act like they know all the answers. I automatically know that trader still has a couple years and bad stories before the start to get a grasp for the game.

Beyond The Trades is now sponsored by the Educational Trading Room Communities listed below 

EquitiesETC Trading Room       (for stocks & options trading)

Microefutures Trading Room   (for ES futures & Market Profile trading)

Jorge Salazar, More Interviews

Jorge Salazar “@FunkTrader” – Interview

CgEFMS3h_400x400 (1)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, where you live and what is your current occupation?  

JORGE: Before I begin, I would like to thank you for this opportunity; I am truly grateful. My name is Jorge Salazar, and I am currently living in Ventura, California.  I am member of the U.S Navy who has served close to 21 years and who is getting to ready to retire.   

 

QUESTION – Do you trade full-time, part-time. What trading instrument and are you part of any Trading Community you like to share with our audience?

JORGE: I trade futures contracts primarily the micro ES.  I am a part of a trading community called MicroEfutures.  I have to say this is the best group of people I have come across in the trading world.  As we all know there is no lack of trading rooms/communities out there.  As a matter of fact, I have been part of a couple.  But this one is different.  It is lead by JJ who has this indescribable desire and passion to help other traders who have the desire to learn and work hard.  When he interacts with you, you feel as if you are the only person in the room.  It is all about education in there. You are almost guaranteed to walk away with a new piece of knowledge everyday you are in the room.

I need to mention all the wonderful traders in there too.  We have some talented individuals in there who consistently help other traders. The support for one another feels like family.  Trading is tough and can be lonely at times.  Having people around you with a like minded mentality really helps in this journey.  I could not do it alone.

 

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

JORGE: This is a very good question and I was talking to my wife exactly about this subject.  What has set me back in my professional career is the lack of believing in myself.  I have put limitations on myself because I either thought I was not good enough or I was afraid of rejection and failure.  Now that I have realized that and understand how it has affected me, I can use it to my advantage.  Without any action you end up without any results.  Not taking any risks because you want to protect your feelings, you will end up saying “what if”. I have decided that I will not be that person anymore and it is only pure growth from here on out. 

 

QUESTION– How would you describe what makes a successful trader. Good traits, bad traits?

JORGE: What is helping me become a successful trader is my support system.  My wife and family.  They have been there my whole 21 years in the Navy and I would not be where I am today without them.  The work ethic, passion, and discipline that I learned while in the service help in my trading as well.  Now I have many things to work on.  This is an ever-improving endeavor.  Perhaps the hardest thing I have ever done.  But I need to learn to be more patient and put aside my emotions.  

 

QUESTION : What purchase of less than $100 have you made in the past year that you simple could not live without now?

JORGE: My music streaming subscription.  I cannot live without music.  Good times and bad times music has always been there for me.

 

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?

JORGE: Believe in yourself and do not be afraid of failure.  You will never truly know what you are capable of without discovery.  The advice I would give to my younger trading self would be to focus on one trading instrument or stock.  Learn its characteristics and get familiar with it before attempting to tackle multiple things at once.

 

QUESTION – Outside of your career * trading, what are some of your hobbies? How do you escape from the real world during these crazy times?

JORGE: Cycling, hiking, swimming, coffee roasting, working out, music and reading.  Anything that gets me out of the house and around nature I am there.  But my favorite thing to do from that list is cycling by far.  To me there is no better feeling than the one I get after completing a 50 plus mile ride. It is only you and the road and there is no quitting.   

 

QUESTION – Where do you see yourself in 5 years – then 10 years?

JORGE: I see myself having a successful micro-coffee roasting business. Coffee and trading make for a perfect combination.  The first five years will focus on getting established locally and then years 6-10 move into the e-commerce space. 

I also want to have an impactful role in the community I am going to be living in.  This will be the first time I am going to be living in the same location for more than three years. I am a firm believer that to have a strong community you need to do your part.  I want to give back wherever I can. 

 

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

JORGE: I remove myself from whatever current environment I am in because if I do not, I tend to force things.  Then I reach out to those who have helped me along this ride called life.  Talking things out has always had its benefits, it provides me with a different perspective, or it identifies a small but important detail I might have been missing.  Then being able to see things more clearly, I get back on the bicycle saddle.

 

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

JORGE: “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever.”  -A Bronx Tale

 

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?

JORGE: Thank you! I am currently only active on Twitter where I go by @FunkTrader.  The last thing would be that I love hip-hop and don’t forget to support your vets.

And feel free to join me in the microefutures.com trading room where I am a member.

More Interviews

Shana Sissel – Interview

ShanaQUESTION: 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, where you live and what is your current occupation?  Do you actually trade, invest, etc.

SHANA: Sure. My name is Shana Sissel and I am the Chief Investment Officer of Spotlight Asset Group, an RIA located in the greater Chicago Area. I am originally from Worcester, Massachusetts and relocated to the Chicago area in 2016 with my husband Jason, our son Gabriel, and our dog Teeko. 

As Spotlight’s CIO, I oversee all aspects of the firm’s investment platform ranging from overall strategy, implementation, and communication to clients and prospects. As part of my role I am responsible for leading the Investment Policy Committee and implementing enhanced due diligence for investment selection.

I have been in the investment management industry for nearly two decades. Prior to joining Spotlight, I served as Director of Investment Due Diligence & a Senior Portfolio Manager with Orion Advisor Solutions. At Orion, I was tasked with building the firm’s in-house due diligence group. Establishing the framework on investment strategy review & analysis for the Orion Portfolio Solutions Turnkey Asset Management Program & Model Marketplace. In addition, I served as co-manager for the firm’s tax-managed direct indexing suite of separately managed accounts & was the firm’s subject matter expert on Alternative Investments.

 

QUESTION: You have an interesting Twitter profile.  What actually is a masshole? What are your goals (if any) on social media?

SHANA: 😊 A masshole is generally considered a derogatory term used by outsiders (usually northern New Englanders) for people from Massachusetts. It’s usually in reference to our very aggressive and some might say “wreckless” driving and tendency to be loud and outspoken. Native Massachusetts folks wear the term as a badge of honor. While intended to be an insult, we consider it the ultimate compliment. 

In terms of social media, the way I leverage the various social media platforms has evolved over time. In 2018 I was abruptly laid off from the job that actually brought me from Boston to Chicago. I spend 7 long months unemployed and it was a very dark time in my life. When I finally landed my role at Orion I swore to myself that I would use the opportunity to build my personal brand within the industry to serve as a way to reduce the risk that I would experience that type of career setback again. Reputational equity was important for me. In addition, it has really helped me build my public profile. Influencers are growing in demand and media outlets and corporations look to work with those who they believe have significant reach and influence across their target demographics. 

 

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

SHANA: I have experienced plenty of failure in my life and career. In my opinion, failure is the key to success. Failure allows you to learn, keeps you humble and helps you develop resilience. There is a big difference between regret and failure. As I look back on my career, I regret nothing, not even the decisions I made that led to failure. As I eluded to earlier, being laid off in 2018 was probably the biggest failure/setback I’ve faced to date. My husband is an entrepreneur and runs a charity called the Endure to Cure Pediatric Cancer Foundation. The stability of my employment and income is the key to his ability to take risk as an entrepreneur. As the primary breadwinner supporting the family, I struggled with feeling like I was letting them down. At times I wondered if I’d ever get the opportunity to be in the investment industry again. I felt like the career I loved and that I had worked hard to progress in had been taken away. At a time when the unemployment rate was at all time lows, I struggled to get even initial interviews. I felt really lost. That said, had it not been for that experience I would not be where I am today. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I was given at Orion and the way it helped drive me to focus on building my personal brand.

 

QUESTION: How would you describe what makes a successful financial professional. Good traits, bad traits?

SHANA: Hubris is the absolute worst trait if you want to succeed in the world of finance. The markets are unforgiving. No matter how smart you think you are the markets have a way of humbling you whenever you think you have it all figured out. Another bad trait for success in finance is being close minded. The most successful investors in the business seek out opposing views to help them better understand the weaknesses in their approach and make them better at assessing risk.

On the flip side, having a short memory and a resilient attitude is a key to success. Like the very best athletes in the world, you can’t dwell on your mistakes as an investor. Being willing to learn from every mistake, and not let it hinder you from moving forward is key. 

 

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

SHANA: Honestly, I don’t believe work-life balance is a real think. For me there are times where work takes priority and there are times where other aspects of my life take priority. Realizing that has significantly reduced my stress levels. 

 

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?

SHANA: My advice would be the same in both cases. Don’t worry or stress too much about what the future holds, everything will work out the way it is meant to. 

My early life was not easy, if you had told 22 year old Shana that I would be the CIO of a major investment advisory firm who makes frequent media appearances and travels the world speaking at financial industry conferences, I don’t think I could have grasped that. It’s beyond what I ever thought could be possible based on the world that surrounded me then.

 

QUESTION: Outside of works, what are some of your hobbies? How do you escape from the real world during these crazy times?

SHANA: I really enjoy horseback riding, yoga, downhill ski racing and genealogical research. During the quarantine I’ve actually started coloring, as weird as it sounds, adult coloring books are really calming.

 

QUESTION: Where do you see yourself in 5 years – then 10 years?

SHANA: It’s hard for me to even think about where I could be 5-10 years from now honestly. I hope that I’ve continued to progress in my career. On a more personal level, I’d love to have a house I love in the next 5 years and hopefully get back into horseback riding more regularly. I’d love to own my own horse again.

 

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

SHANA: There have been so many times in my life I’ve felt lost. As I’ve already mentioned when I abruptly lost my job in March 2018 and spent 7 long months looking for a new opportunity was particularly difficult. I had only moved to Chicago 18 months prior and was still recovering from a very bad car accident that occurred in June 2017. Most of my family and friends were still back east and I was deeply depressed. I spent a lot of time soul searching, rediscovered my faith in God and did a lot of meditation and yoga. It helped to remind myself that I had a little boy to look out for and I had survived multiple terrorist attacks and overcome other significant obstacles in life before. I knew eventually I would look back and understand why I had to go through that. Looking back now, the entire period made me stronger and I wouldn’t be where I am today had that not happened to me.

 

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

SHANA: Teddy Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena Quote is my personal mantra. I think it’s an important reminder that taking risks is important and failure is the key to success. 

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

 

QUESTION: Thank you Shana 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?

SHANA: Well I’m excited to be the reigning Mrs. Illinois International and will competing at the Mrs. International pageant in a few short weeks! The opportunity has been amazing. I’ve really earned a valuable platform to help further one of my great passions in life: Improving financial literacy rates for women and underserved minority communities. I’m really excited to continue to bring financial literacy education to more communities, especially those beyond the major city financial hubs. I know pageantry is associated with some many negative stereotypes, but I’ve found competing to be a tremendous source of personal growth even as I’ve gotten older. I’m not sure if people realize the amount of impact and influence titleholders can have and a focus on service to others is a huge component of pageantry. I would not be where I am today had I not discovered pageants. When I was in my 20s, I used to try to downplay my participation, but honestly as I’ve gotten older, I’ve stopped caring about people judging me about it. People will always find ways to try to cut you down, if someone decides my voice isn’t of value because of it, that’s not really a reflection of who I am, it says more about who they are. Embracing all aspects of who I am is something I’ve gotten better at doing as I’ve gotten older. 

If people are interested in following me on social media, my twitter handle is @shanas621, they can also find me on Instagram @financequeen2020.

More Interviews, Valerie Sanchez

Valerie Sanchez – Interview

ValQUESTION: 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, where you live and what is your current occupation?

VALERIE: Of course! Thank you so much for the opportunity. I am thrilled to be here. My name is Valerie Sanchez and I am a proud Latina, born and raised on the west side of Chicago. I am a mom, I love to volunteer and serve the Lord, I love music, cooking and being with family. My husband and I currently reside in Union County, NJ. I am an advisor; a financial education warrior and I am co-founder of Divine Asset Management.

 

QUESTION: What is it like being in management at a Wall Street woman owned trading firm. Care to share any positives, as well as negatives you experienced over the years up until the present?

VALERIE: I joined the Capital Markets division of Divine in 2014 and since the first day the experience has been like nothing I have ever experienced during my 29 years in this industry. We are like family. There is a top down culture of inclusivity and true respect and care for everyone at the firm. Any negatives I experienced were before I got to Divine. Starting out incredibly young, I never felt like I had very many female role models while I was growing up in this business. I had a couple exceedingly early on and then It was not until later in my career that I had another female boss who I felt was someone I could emulate. I admired and respected for her work ethic and tenacity. That is not to say that I did not have amazing male bosses and/or role models who guided me along my career, but the women were few. And now of course, my partner, Danielle and I have become like sisters! We have known each other since we both sat on the trading desk at MH Meyerson in 1993! It is wonderful to have such a like-minded and strong partner on this journey. We aspire to be the role models we did not see early on. I have to say that I have been incredibly blessed while on Wall Street because the positives have far outweighed the negatives.

 

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

VALERIE: In 2010 I suffered 2 tragic losses back to back. My 13-year-old nephew was shot and killed in Chicago, and 10 days later my grandfather (who had helped raise me) passed away. The pain was unbearable and added to the already tumultuous personal struggles I was experiencing. I had to take a leave from my high-paced career to finally focus on my family and my health. When it was time to return to work, I realized that I could not stay in that position and maintain a healthy lifestyle and home. So, I resigned. At the time everyone thought I was crazy (including me!), but it set me up for the journey I am now on. I would have never joined Divine Capital and I would have never co- founded Divine Asset Management had I not paid attention to the tug on my spirit and stayed on the previous path.

 

QUESTION: How would you describe what makes a successful Trader. What do you look for in a new recruit at your firm?

VALERIE: I believe a successful trader or sales trader, or any employee, is someone who understands their craft but is still teachable. Whatever you do – do it well but know that you always have room for improvement. Someone will always know more than you and that is ok – learn from them. It does not have to be a competition. It is not a zero-sum game – we can all “win”. When we look for a new hire we want someone who has industry knowledge and expertise, and/or a strong desire to learn. They must be likeable, trustworthy, a self-starter and problem solver.

 

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?

VALERIE: I think it is a challenge to have overall balance. I feel like some days I am amazing at my career, some days I am amazing at being a mom, wife, or friend. The days are few and far between when I am killing the game in BOTH. However, I do not beat myself up for having off days at either one. I also must remind myself that self-care is critical. Whether that is reading a good book, reading a devotional, resting, or creating one of my DIY projects. I need me time because I cannot pour from an empty cup.

 

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?

VALERIE: Personally, I would tell younger Val – “Trust yourself. You are doing great, keep going!” I am such a detail-oriented person that I can get sucked into a place where I need to know everything about something before I act, or I question myself to death even when I know what I am doing. I realize afterward that my initial gut reaction is always right. I must remind myself that I am an expert at some things and what I say and do matters, it carries weight. I can be confident and stand in that truth.
I would tell my younger sales trader self – “Do not let anyone make you feel inadequate, you are exactly where you belong.”

 

QUESTION: You are part of an impressive Women in Finance Initiative. Can you share with our readers exactly what this is about?

VALERIE: Absolutely! Divine Asset Management is a full-service financial firm with a focus on women and education around money. We want to guide women to be their best, most enlightened financial self and align with their desires. We want all women to understand that they are the engine of the economy and we have so much financial power. Women are in control of more financial decisions than ever before, but they are also locked out of the bigger picture of wealth. A lot of women feel left out from conversations about financial decisions and isolated because of the shame associated with facing the unknowns in our finances. We work with our clients to change that. Change the narrative and harness our financial prowess. And how we do this is through an online educational program, blogs, Youtube videos, weekly virtual group meetings, one on one planning, and asset management.

 

QUESTION: Where do you see yourself in 5 years – then 10 years?

VALERIE: Personally – I see myself enjoying all the things I enjoy now. God, family, food, travel, DIY projects and friends. Professionally – I see our firm building our client base, growing investable assets, recruiting amazing advisors, and continuing the mission of transforming people’s relationships with their finances and creating their legacy.

 

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

VALERIE: Any time I am out of sorts or need to recalibrate I go to a place of gratitude. I immediately think of 3 things that I am grateful for and it helps realign my mind and spirit.

 

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

VALERIE: “If you get, give. If you learn, teach.” -Maya Angelou

 

QUESTION: Thank you Valerie for taking the time for this interview. How can our readers contact you, including on social media?

VALERIE: Thank you so much for having me!
We can be reached:

Phone: 212.344.5867.
Email: vsanchez@divineassetmgt.com,
Our Website http://www.divineassetmgt.com.
FB: https://www.facebook.com/divineassetmgt/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/divineassetmgt
Twitter: @gathergrowgive or @divinevalsan

Readers can also sign up for one of our weekly “WealthWise Wednesday chats with Dani and Val” HERE.

 

Beyond The Trades is now sponsored by EquitiesETC Educational Trading Room  at http://www.EquitiesETC.com 

…….and their sister site Microefutures Trading Room at http://www.Microefutures.com 

Jessica McCarthy, More Interviews

Jessica McCarthy – Interview

EFC39D16-B661-4405-95C5-039BCADB3933QUESTION: 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, where you live and what is your current occupation?

JESSICA: Thanks for reaching out! My name is Jessica McCarthy. I live in Nova Scotia Canada with my fiance Mike and our adorable pup Winston. I’ve been a registered dental hygienist for almost 10 years but since the pandemic started 3 months ago, I have started my own little journey into learning how to trade.

 

QUESTION: We understand you are getting married to Michael Nauss, a recent guest on the Confessions Of A Market Maker podcast (as well as a previous interview here at Beyond The Trades last year). How has Michael played a role in your development as a trader. We Understand that using backtesting strategies is a major focus in your trading

JESSICA: To be honest I never thought I’d be giving the trading thing a go. Mike has tried and tried over the years to get me interested in the financial markets but I was always intimidated and overwhelmed by what I saw. All that data, so many numbers and so much risk I just always thought of it as another way to gamble! Mike does a lot of work on building algos and backtesting with Trade Ideas and he takes his work almost everywhere, so I’ve been able to see A LOT of it. He is a total nerd with all the math that goes into building all that and it totally goes over my head. I’m actually more interested in the technical side of things. I like looking at charts and patterns, it just makes more sense to me. Once we get further along he will be teaching me the rundown on the backtester and you can be sure we’ll have all the hows and why’s posted to my channel.

 

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

JESSICA: One of the biggest ass-kickings of my life was when I decided that I was going to run my own mobile dental hygiene clinic and service mostly nursing homes and long term care facilities. It was an awesome idea! Low overhead, little competition, scaleable, and something I knew I was good at. So, once the financials looked good I started buying equipment and contacting facilities that I knew needed me. Although I was gaining traction the job itself was way more mentally and emotionally taxing than I could have ever imagined. Most of my clients were riddled with cognitive decline and extensive medical issues and it was SAD. I thought I would get used to it after a while but I would cry every single day I left. Had I done any kind of research on what it was like to work in long term care or perhaps decided to visit one for more than 5 minutes I might have known that it takes a very special type of person to work with this population day in, day out. Instead, I was blinded by what I thought was my perfect opportunity to become my own boss without truly getting into what running that type of business would take. My ego and heart are both bruised on this one.

 

QUESTION: You appear to be documenting your journey as a trader on your YouTube Channel called “Trading with Jess”. What are you goals and ambition for these videos

JESSICA: My main goal is to be a resource to those just starting out. Social media is so flooded with the “trade like me and make a million dollars in 15 minutes” videos that I just wanted to make something real. I’m hoping that my journey might resonate with the people who are just starting to look into the markets or starting to look at charts and are thinking what the f* is going on? What do I do? Just like I was! I am still so very very far from being steady on my feet but I am certainly more confident now. If anyone is following along learning with me and they also get to experience these little moments of hey! I can spot that pattern and I know how I am going to trade it! I totally think that’s mission accomplished.

 

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?

JESSICA: I think balance is the key to a happy life. Taking care of yourself so you can function at your personal and professional best is very important. I just started gardening and I have found it has been great for clearing my head. Winston is always down for a hike or walks in the woods so I spend as much time as I can outside. Also, drinking wine, I’m really great at that!

 

QUESTION: What advice would you give to your younger self?

JESSICA: Be patient! With everything! Life, career, yourself, and others.

 

QUESTION: If you had to give up to three books as gifts to someone. What three books would they be (and why)?

JESSICA: Hmmm… I have to be honest here. I’m really not much of a reader and the only time I pick up a book is to read something about serial killers or some true-crime scary stuff. I’m more likely to gift a bottle of booze instead!

 

QUESTION: Where do you see yourself in 5 years – then 10 years?

JESSICA: Oh my, what a question! In 5 years I’d like to be able to work from home 100% of the time. I have a few little projects I’m working on to hopefully accomplish that and trading would be an awesome supplement. 10 years? I’ll guess I’ll wait and see! I’d love to be settled down with a career I love and be surrounded by lots of family. But who knows what the tide will bring!

 

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

JESSICA: If I have a task that needs to be done that I’m not super pumped about I actually have a really hard time focusing. I actually consider this one of my biggest personal flaws. I need to take breaks (sometimes lots and lots of breaks) and switch to other tasks I find easier or more fulfilling before I can come back and say ok let’s do this.

 

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

JESSICA: The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.

 

QUESTION: Thank you Jess for taking the time for this interview. How can our readers contact you, including on social media and your YouTube channel.

JESSICA: You can find me on twitter @tradingwithjess or on Youtube at youtube.com/tradingwithjess. Thanks!!

 

Beyond The Trades is now sponsored by  http://www.EquitiesETC.com (Educational Trading Community) & their sister site at http://www.Microefutures.com 

Aaron Miles, More Interviews

Aaron Miles – Interview

image0QUESTION: 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, where you live and what is your current occupation?

Aaron: My name is Aaron Miles, I’m a Data Scientist based in Columbus, Ohio. I live with my wife, two sons (5 and 8), dog, and rabbit.

 

QUESTION: You have a very unique background as a data scientist now getting involved in retail trading. I sense you will be incorporating both skill sets in the near future. Can you explain?

Aaron: The two skills I think apply best to trading are distributional modeling and automation. With distributional modeling (as detailed in some blog posts here), I can get insight into the expected range and skewness of a security, and trade in such a way to profit from it.

Another skill I hope to use is automation. There are thousands of securities traded on the major exchanges, with the software skills I’ve learned throughout my career, I can set up a system where stocks are automatically scanned, profitable trades identified, and those trades executed, all at the touch of a button. In a nutshell, I hope to be able to identify and execute profitable trades in an automated way.

 

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

Aaron: One of the most disheartening things I hear in my career is ‘you build exactly what we told you to, but we can’t use it for [reasons]’. In these cases, my team and I built what we thought was an awesome system with exact detail to client specifications, but some barrier that nobody anticipated prevents the system from actually being used.

In trading, I’ve built models that estimate a security’s movement from one day’s close to the next, and they are fairly accurate for a trading model. However, this is no guarantee of profitability at all, you have to think about after and before hours movement, entry points, etc. in order to actually profit. In my career, it’s easy to just think about a model’s accuracy, but that’s only a small part of the picture.

 

QUESTION: How would you describe what makes a successful Trader as it relates to making correct decisions based on statistical math probabilities?

Aaron: Two things, seemingly contradictory. First is a trust in your model. If you don’t trust your model, or the probabilities you’re working with, you shouldn’t be using them at all. One paradigm I’ve heard is that a good model is better than no model, and no model is better than a bad model.

Second is an almost paranoid attitude to your model being wrong. Every model is based on underlying assumptions, and you need to have a critical view of whether those underlying assumptions are still being met. The 2008 crash is a great example. Renaissance Technologies is the gold standard for quantitative funds; they definitely produce good models. But when some of the underlying assumptions of financial markets stopped being valid, Jim Simons had them halt trading, according to Greg Zuckerman’s book. Always be thinking critically about your model, this will both allow you to quickly identify and act on changes, and also build your own belief in your model when things are going smoothly.

 

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?

Aaron: You have to have balance. Your brain simply cannot focus on one thing all the time. My main hobbies are golf, exercise and weightlifting, video games, and wrestling with my kids. Many of my breakthroughs in work have happened when I’m doing these activities and not mainly thinking about work.

 

QUESTION: As a data scientist, what attracted you into the world of Trading?

Aaron: Conceptually, one thing I love about my data science in general is when I’m able to systematically predict the future, or the outcome of an event. There’s nowhere that’s more profitable than in trading. It’s also REALLY hard, and has kind of become my white whale. Whenever I learn a new technology for my job, I think about how it can be applied in the trading world.

How did it become my white whale? A few events kind of pushed me toward where I’m at now. First, we met with a wealth management firm for work, and I was fascinated by the data they were using, how they were making predictions, and what they were doing in general. Shortly after this, I went to the ODSC conference in Boston and attended some financial modeling workshops. Sitting in these workshops, I remember having the thought that ‘I can do this.’ and I got work that night.

Another pivotal event was the Big Data Bowl held by the NFL. The goal of this competition was to predict an entire distribution of possible rushing outcomes. This wasn’t a type of modeling I had done before, and thankfully I work with some awesome people who taught me a lot about it. I immediately saw an application to trading and have been working on a distributional modeling system ever since.

 

QUESTION: What good or bad advice do you hear often in life?

Aaron: I might just be an ornery contrarian, but I kind of cringe at how often I hear ‘Focus on process over results’ when it comes to trading. I get the idea of this quote, a trader who struck gold on a single YOLO trade is likely a worse trader than the person who is systematically extracting a half a percent from the market, even though p/l might way otherwise. But you always need to be focusing on whether or not your process is a good or bad process. If you’re following your process and consistently losing, then you probably need to ditch the process and find a new one!

 

QUESTION: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Aaron: Still moving along in my data science career, and having trading be a consistent supplementary income. Other than that, wherever the wind blows me!

 

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

Aaron: Some kind of exercise, it helps me focus and slow down all the things going on in my mind. Most of the time when I’ve lost my focus it’s because I’m restless and I need to get that energy out. Yes, I’m kind of a 5 year old in that regard.

 

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

Aaron: ’You have to play to win.’ I don’t know if trading will ever be as consistent a money maker as I want it to be, but I know it WON’T be if I just sit on the sidelines.

 

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?

Aaron: I’m most active on twitter at @_aaronmiles. I’m also on LinkedIn. I try to regularly write at my blog, where I post about things I’m learning about probability, data science, finance, and fantasy sports.

 

Beyond The Trades is now sponsored by  http://www.EquitiesETC.com (Educational Trading Community) & their sister site at http://www.Microefutures.com