1. How long have you been trading and how did you get into forex trading?
I went live 1/13 /2009 almost 1 yr and 9 months.
I started trading forex in a demo acct with Oanda 12/4/2008, a Thursday, at 2:59 PM, scared to death! I knew it was a demo account but it was so foreign to me, but I pushed myself and fumbled through it anyway.
I always thought about trading forex since attending the Traders Expo in Las Vegas. I bought one forex book, opened it up, and as I was glancing through the book I saw the words “pips” and “margin”. I was so afraid of margin calls. I closed the book and put it away. I wasn’t ready for forex.
I understood the stock market; this currency stuff wasn’t for me. I would see the price change 0.001 pips and think, “I got what? Oh no, I don’t think so.” I was making [money] trading penny stocks. Pink Sheet stocks were even better!
During my first four years of trading I experienced losses of $5,000. I dreaded tax time. It was so painful, but I was determined to become profitable.
In December 1999 my trading took a drastic turn. My account grew from $6,999 to $201,000 within two months. All my cyber friends and I were making outrageous amounts of money. My self-confidence went through the roof!
Then in March 2000 something happened. I couldn’t figure it out. The rally party was over!! My last profitable trade was over $9,000 from risking only $216. The money stopped rolling in.
Months later I learned President Bush Jr. ordered Cox not to regulate the stock market. Bush allowed the offshore banks and brokerage firms to wipe out companies, traders and investors.
Stocks were allowed to be shorted into the ground, never to be covered. The firms didn’t have to worry about making delivery, which turned in to FTD’s (fails to deliver). The stock market became an unfair advantage in favor for the hedge funds, offshore bankers and brokerage firms. I had to learn something else, so I returned back to forex.
I posted a postcard to my monitor - my goal was to figure out how to make it happen. I love a challenge. I know money loves speed; for me greed, in my opinion, is good if I keep my ego in check.
I need to make this amount of money daily.
1,000 X 21 trading days $21,000 a month X 12 = $252,000
4,000 X 250 days 250 times per year = $1,000,000.00
I heard more about forex trading and that it couldn’t be manipulated. In my demo account I was making a killing. One night, $3,500, with one standard lot, in less than an hour, not days. I found the answer to my goal - Forex trading, this is it!!
2. What’s your most memorable trading experience?
I worked so hard to make a $100 profitable trade. Well, the money didn’t come as quickly trading live. In March 2009 the markets were waiting for Geithner to speak about his plan to heal the economy, the media pumped up the event days prior. Geithner did say what was expected, all hell broke loose, which spilled over into the currency market. The $100 I just made was gone in seconds. I was sitting in front of my computer like a deer in headlights. This was not cool!
3. Was there ever a time when you suffered a huge drawdown and thought of giving up? How did you get through that phase?
No, never. Giving up means going back to swapping hours for dollars and losing my freedom. It’s the American dream.
I had to figure out a strategy to protect my funds against the unexpected. And I also had to figure out how to fix the trade and my emotions. Losses are part of doing business! I realized quickly if I can’t handle events like this I need to get out of the business. It’s that simple - forex is no place for wimps. That event was my most memorable trading experience. I didn’t know how to respond quickly to protect my funds. A trader can get wiped out in a situation like that.
Thinking about my goal of $4,000 per day, I promised myself I’d fix it, because the money was fast and furious. I needed the speed of forex to make money quickly. Going back to being on the employee grid wasn’t an option. I stopped trading until I found the solution to void losses or control my risk.
I can’t control people but I can control what I do and how I think. Cut the loss, look at the chart, read the candlestick stick with the 4 hour chart, and let the market come to me, don’t chase it.
My other solution for my mental trading problem is not to think about forex as currency, but like a penny stock. I’m comfortable with stocks.
Also, I cut my position to micro lot size each time I make a profit. I add more lots, I trade, and I’m up. I use the dollar cost average like I do when trading in the stock market. I only trade one pair, GBP/USD, so I focus more towards consistency and the profits will come.
I found an easy way to follow the Fibonacci to determine the support and resistance, to maybe void drawdowns. I don’t like drawing on the chart since I follow the 4 hour chart to execute my order and track it on the 5, 15, 30 minute, and 1 hour time frames.
So every four hours I’ll write down the open+ high + low + close and volume for each candlestick starting with Sunday 22:00, 00:00, 04:00, 08:00, 12:00, 16:00 and 20:00. At the next day close, I repeat the sequence. I write down my buys and sells with date, price SL, TP and Pips. I prefer my TP gets hit so I can see the green banner.
I can easily review the open, highs, lows close and volume. The volume signals the deep pocket whales are arriving and a clue on how long they stay, as if the volume increase or decrease.
My time frames
That’s how I manipulated my mind to pull it all together to get through that phase. Lately, I feel more disciplined, patient and in control. Trading smaller sizes, I have more options if the price direction goes against me. I can afford to wait it out. I observe my chart setup and make notes in my journal. When the market closes Friday I’ll have an idea of what I need to study over the weekend.
4. What’s the most challenging part of trading for you?
Setting my stops and how to judge when to enter a trade near or at the support level. Looking for a platform I can easily understand is another challenge.
5. When would you say you feel you are successful as a trader?
I can say it was when the nervousness went away. I can walk away from my computer when my trade goes against me without fear. More importantly, I mastered consistency. So far, 9 straight profitable trades from 08/25-10/5/2010, with no losses to date.
Trust me, I earned every dime! Before I buy I calculate the net outcome and try to remain within the middle of the current price. My three favorite overlays and market indicators are Zigzag, Parabolic SAR and Alligator’s.
The Alligator’s lips begin to cross over its teeth and jaws, below both. I like to see all of the time frames with the Parabolic SAR dots under the price on all time frames if it’s in an uptrend and under the price if it’s in a downtrend. I found that when all the time frames are in agreement with the Parabolic SAR, a breakout follows.
If I build up my gut I’ll jump in if the price takes a huge dive that’s usually when the whales, snipers, scalpers are all at war. I sit back and wait to see who wins the war, hahaha, up, down or sideways. I let the market come to me. I believe I can safely say I’m a semi-professional as of 10/1/2010. It feels great. However, education is a daily event!
6. Do you think anyone can become a successful trader? Why or why not?
Yes, if they have the desire, heart and passion to learn the business. I spend 24 hours sometimes. This week I’ve already done two overnighters because I’m hungry. My dreams and goals are too big not to be.
There are no shortcuts if a person is really willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. They will become a top trader. That’s what I’m shooting for. Why not? There’s no excuse not to become a great trader. So many free websites exist, like Babypips.com - excellent website for newbies and professionals. There’s so much help. Actually, I read a thread regarding Fibonacci and Zigzag. That thread gave me the idea to write down the time frame I shared above. If you study, ideas will flow if you really want to learn.
7. How does your personality match your trading style?
I’m a high-energy, positive thinking person. I ride the quickness and the high probabilities to earn $100-5,000 a day. If I have done my math correctly, during 8/25-9/10, my take home pay was a nice payday, $6,620, not including my profits for October. A fixed salary for me is no more.
8. If you could give just one piece of advice to newbie traders, what would it be?
There are no shortcuts if a person is really willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. They can become the trader of their dreams. That’s what I’m shooting for.
Why not? There’s no excuse not to become a great trader so many free websites like Babypips.com with excellent educational threads for traders to take advantage of.
9. Describe your typical day as a forex trader.
My day starts with going to Dana Point beach when it’s sunny. I like to do a ritual with my spiritual guide for some grounding and meditation to release stress.
After dinner on Sundays before the market opens I finish my assignment and surf around so I can get a feel of what the market is expecting. I check the calendar for the week. I may or may not take any action if I still have open orders.
By 22:00 I start recording my data from the candlesticks. Getting a feel of the GBP/USD, I check the midnight range, supports, resistance, and target prices provided from my software. I also check the live community that’s on my broker’s platform.
On newsy days like today I was so disciplined waiting for the ADP at 5:15 AM EST at my desk, with my watch, looking at my 4 hour GBP/USD. I waited for a nice drop after the ADP. Trading stood still for about 3 minutes, not one pipe moved. I took no action until the price dropped below 1.5850, my open order price. I was off 9+ pips executed at 1.5859. I was aware of the current lows. I saved one order for Geithner for a short position, because when he opens his mouth, the markets drops.
I hang out with my cyber friends and my son, who suggested I checkout the 4 hour chart.
“Slow down from the fast lane.” We call the 5 minute chart that.
“Slow down, Mom!” I took his advice. I’m so happy I did, because I’m not stressed out anymore.
I introduced my son to forex trading. We went live trading at the same time. It’s funny; he doesn’t call me for help, hahaaa. He saw the money; that was it.
I ask him, “Did you trade today?”
“Yes, Mom. I traded the AUD/USD.”
He’s doing really great trading forex!
10. Who’s your favorite Forex character?
I have many that I follow, but Joel Kruger, I found, has daily videos, technical currency strategies and commentary posted early in the morning. It’s easy for me to gather what I need to post on my Facebook Notes. And there are so many others - I’m all over the place.