1. How long have you been trading and how did you get into forex trading?
I have been trading forex for 2 years now. How?? I worked in Japan for 18 years as a surveyor for a real estate company until the sub-prime crisis and the Lehman collapse forced our company into bankruptcy, to make the long story short, I went back to my home country, the Philippines in 2009, but even before then, I have heard of Forex trading but had no time to go into the details because I was so busy back then.
In Japan, almost all housewives are into the so-called carry trade, the so-called Mrs. Watanabe. And when I came back, I had all the time in the world to venture in this risky business called Foreign Exchange Trading, but I knew then, as I know now, that it wouldn’t be an easy task - you have to be prepared mentally and financially for subsequent losses. To stay in this business, you must have to learn continuously, as no one can master the unpredictability of the markets, whether they are forex, stocks, options, futures etc.
2. What’s your most memorable trading experience?
Memorable?? This was not a good trade, but on the contrary, this was my worst trade until now.
One time, there was a UK major news release but I completely forgot the time of the release and to make matters worse, I opened my short position on cable at the exact time as the news release, and before my order got filled, my stop-loss already got hit. Imagine hitting your stop-loss without getting your order filled.
I was shocked…I told myself “What the heck happened?”, and at the same time, the results of the data were all over the wires, and I knew my timing was so wrong I could just surrender into submission.
The specifics, it was a 51 pip loss in less than 1 minute, I wanted to kick myself in the butt but now I learned through my painful mistake, DO NOT EVER FORGET THE TIME OF MAJOR NEWS ANNOUNCEMENTS.
3. Was there ever a time when you suffered a huge drawdown and thought of giving up? How did you get through that phase?
Drawdown?? Of course, it is part of trading, like the saying goes “You can’t win em’ all”, this was when I just couldn’t do anything right, losses kept coming, and probability wise, a win is just around the corner. But I thought, I am in this business TO STAY in this business, UNLESS of course this is just my hobby. So I have to re-assess my losses - where did it go wrong? And was there any hint that it is not going in my favor? And could I have done something to cut my losses WITHOUT compromising my own rules of trading??
To get through that seemingly endless tunnel, I just stayed on course, did not deviate from my own rules and instead continued to follow them. I also did not try to seek other holy grails of trading, I did not try to learn a new indicator which would otherwise only give me conflicting signals…in other words I tried to keep my trading plan as simple as possible.
4. What’s the most challenging part of trading for you?
The challenge now for me is, how to be consistent in my trades, whether it be a daily, weekly or monthly performance. Being a consistently profitable trader is a must given that you follow strict money management principles.
5. When would you say you feel you are successful as a trader?
No, not yet I guess…like is said in the previous statement, I still am not in the consistent phase of my trading, but I am optimistic that I will be there sooner if not later.
6. Do you think anyone can become a successful trader? Why or why not?
I think people have different personalities and as such, I think people who are very emotional will not succeed. To be successful in this business, you have to get rid of your emotions, anger, greed, fear, etc. and if you can master that, you have a fairly good chance of making it.
7. How does your personality match your trading style?
I am a day trader or maybe a swing trader or I would like to think of my style as such. I do not scalp the markets and am not comfortable with faster time frames e.g. M15, M5, M1 but I base my decisions on Daily, H4 and H1.
In other words I just can’t handle the fast lanes.
8. If you could give just one piece of advice to newbie traders, what would it be?
Plan your trades WELL before they happen, meaning it should have an entry, stop-loss and take-profit. Make sure you stick to your plan thru thick and thin, meaning of course, win or lose…stick to the plan!
Your entry can be S&R levels, SMA’s or EMA’s bounces or breach, Fibonacci levels, Pivot Levels, anything for that matter, but your entry is a prerequisite to knowing your stop-loss and profit target. Without knowing these 3 key elements, there would be no guaranteed success, but of course, one could get lucky a few times, but if you want to stay in this business for the long haul, I would strongly advise to know these points before entering a trade. All of the above means DO NOT ENTER A TRADE ON IMPULSE, OR BASED ON YOUR HUNCH, OR GUT FEELING THAT IT WILL GO YOUR WAY.
9. Describe your typical day as a forex trader.
I always look at the economic calendar for the day and also the next, and then I look for relevant news that might affect the day’s trade, and also I am glued to my Bloomberg and CNBC broadcast. I also look at fx options expiry and bond rates, treasury yield, gold, oil, SPX and other indices, and lastly I look at the daily chart of the major FX pairs.
10. Who’s your favorite Forex character?
Who else??? But of course…FOREX GUMP!!! He educates all of us in such a way that even a 6 year old kid can understand with a touch of humor. I am very privileged to be his acquantance, I wish him and his team at BabyPips.com all the best and more power!!