From Hobby to Hustle: Discover This Adventurous Trader’s Small Account Challenge in Forex Trading

We have the pleasure of featuring a trader with a fascinating journey and a passion for forex trading. An adventurous soul, DanLondon was born and raised in the East End of London and has experienced life in various locations. From making a living playing poker to jumping right into the thrilling world of forex trading, this trader’s story is just as diverse as the markets he trades.

The journey into forex trading began in a unique way for DanLondon. Having previously played poker professionally, he discovered forex trading through a chance encounter with an old poker buddy. The excitement and thrill surrounding forex intrigued him, so he decided to explore the trading world. Initially, he viewed it as a hobby, but his perspective on money changed after a health problem, causing him to reconsider the significance of financial stability.

Showcasing his unique trading approach, he’s taken up a “Small Account Challenge” and is now actively sharing his progress with the members of the community. Through this challenge, he aims to demonstrate that success in trading is attainable even with limited resources.

Let’s get to know more of his awesome hobbies, trading strategies, and the exciting small account challenge he’s taking on. Stick around, stay motivated, and be inspired as he shares his insights and goals for the future.

Without further ado, we welcome you, @DanLondon!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?

I was born in East London during the 1970s. Back then the East End was still dirt poor. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the winds of change came and gentrification started sweeping away the dilapidated buildings and leaving trendy loft apartments and fashionable cafes in their place.

The money washing along the Thames did little to help poor families like my own. We were still as poor as we ever were, even during the supposedly booming eighties.

Eventually, like a lot of other families from the East End, my family moved out to Essex. I spent a couple of years there with them before deciding to move on. I would have liked to have moved back to the East End but, by that time, the poor and working class were being priced out.

So, I decided to move to a completely different part of the country and I’ve been moving around ever since. It’s certainly been an adventure. Now in my mid-forties, I have lived all over the country and I’m still on the move. Within the next few months, for example, my wife and I will be heading to Lincoln where we’ll probably stay for six months to a year before moving on somewhere else.

That said, London still is and always will be my favourite place in the world of course!

2. What are your hobbies and interests?

I have a wide range of hobbies and interests.

I love learning new things so I spend a lot of time reading. Through reading, I can delve into different worlds, gain new insights, and generally broaden my perspectives.

When I’m not reading, I’m usually trying to learn a new skill of some kind. Nothing too serious, just anything that catches my fancy really. I’m currently learning contact juggling for example. This unique form of performance art captivates me with its mesmerising movements and coordination. Watching myself in a mirror as I make a ball float, I can’t help feeling a bit like Neo in the Matrix!

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is absolutely essential to me. Engaging in physical exercise not only keeps me fit but also helps me clear my mind and relieve stress. I eat clean, go to the gym and enjoy jogging. I like to keep my fitness regimen diverse and engaging so it never gets boring.

For me, true joy in life comes from spending quality time with my wife. Nothing makes me feel happier than seeing her smile.

3. How long have you been trading and how did you get into forex trading?

I’ve already told this story elsewhere but in my early twenties I used to play poker for a living. That was back in the late-nineties and early-noughties. Thanks to its growing popularity on television at the time, there were plenty of new people coming into the game which meant that the poker economy was growing fast. Then the internet came about and, with it, an online version of the game that everyone had been watching on television. The game’s popularity exploded both on and off line.

For already experienced players like myself, it was a glorious time to play live poker. Everyone and their neighbour started to fancy their chances at the tables. In reality, most of them were complete fish.

Inevitably, the fish eventually got tired of losing and the general level of ability started to increase rapidly. In short, the games became much harder to beat.

I still play occasionally, mainly at Aspers in London and Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham but I have neither the skill nor ambition to try and grind a living from it these days. The level of skill and ability has increased geometrically over the years and left me way behind!

Fast forward a decade or two to about five or six years ago, I bumped into an old poker buddy. Like me, he had long since stopped playing poker regularly but he was gassed about this new thing he had found called Forex. At the time, I didn’t have a Scooby-Doo what that even was but his buzz and adrenaline for it piqued my interest.

Being a Buddhist and from humble origins, I have never really been money-motivated. Up until this point, trading has been little more than a hobby for me. I think of it as a kind of puzzle that I enjoy solving from time to time.

However, after a recent and serious health issue, I’m starting to reevaluate the importance of money. I have all the education and skills necessary to theoretically extract large amounts of money from the market but my theories are worthless if they don’t work in practical application. It’s time to test them out. Talk’s cheap, money buys houses as my dear old grandfather used to say.

4. Can you tell us more about your “Small Account Challenge” Trading Journal and the trading strategy you use?

I normally eschew social media but the reason I decided to ‘go public’ with my small account challenge is because I think a lot of people in this space talk utter nonsense. I won’t mention any specific names but I’m talking about popular influencers with sometimes thousands of followers. I listen to some of them talking about risk management, for example, and it’s very clear they haven’t got a Scooby.

I’m currently in the process of writing a book about the optimal way to grow small accounts. I know exactly how that should work in theory and it bears little resemblance to the standard advice spammed all over the internet.

My small account challenge is primarily about proving to myself that my knowledge is valid and actually worth something and that I am capable of producing extraordinary results in my life. It would also add credibility and kudos to my theories, of course, which is always welcome!

To recap, here are the three phases of my account challenge:

Phase One: $250 to $12,500 then withdraw $10,000 and start again with $2,000.

Phase Two: $2,000 to $50,000 then withdraw $40,000 and start again with $10,000

Phase Three: $10,000 to $1,000,000!

In effect, these are actually three separate challenges but, overall, the idea is to turn $250 into $1.000,000! Go big or go home as the Americans say!

I’ve already more than tripled the account and withdrawn $500, so I’m now freerolling on this first attempt. As I stated in my thread, it may take more than one attempt to complete this challenge, so the more attempts I get for ‘free’ the better! As a trader the preservation of capital should always be paramount.

I won’t go into the exact details of the strategies I use just yet but they are all based on key levels, moving averages and the Kelly criterion.

5. How do you stay motivated and inspired throughout the small account challenge?

My motivation hasn’t really dipped throughout my small account challenge so far.

I kind of divorce myself from the process so the swings in my balance don’t really affect me.

In effect my strategy is an algorithm that I am initiating and then simply watching play out in slow motion. Sure, I click a few buttons here and there but I try to get involved with the process as little as possible. In fact, it’s when I start tinkering with the process that my results tend to take a nosedive.

To casual observers the swings in my balance must look like pure gambling. In reality, they are well within the normal parameters of the particular money management method I am using so I don’t let them bother me.

This morning I tweeted a quote from Mark Douglas:

“Since I don’t know what the market is actually going to do next, I’m going to execute the signal my edge calls for and make myself available to either win and collect my profits or pay my expenses. Either way, I’m fine.”

I live and trade by that quote. Every trader should have a framed copy of it above their monitors.

6. Have you encountered any significant challenges or setbacks in your trading journey? How did you overcome them?

I haven’t really encountered any significant challenges or setbacks with my trading journey. I lost a few quid in the first few months when I first started out but my profits, though modest, have been fairly regular ever since.

What I would say is this: If you are experiencing challenges or setbacks, it’s either because you don’t understand something as well as you thought you did or you’ve gone wrong somewhere along the line. Take time to review your progress and, if necessary, revisit the basics.

Profitable trading is not a difficult concept to understand.

It’s not as complicated as people make out.

It’s not rocket science.

7. How do you stay updated on market trends and news that may impact your trades?

Babypips, obviously!

I get the newsletter, consult the economic calendar and occasionally look at MarketMilk.

8. Have you ever traded or invested in cryptocurrencies? If so, what has been your experience, and what advice would you give to others interested in this market?

Being somewhat of an idealist, I like the ideology behind cryptocurrencies, particularly their potential to decentralise money and reduce the influence of warmongering governments but, in practice and since their inception, they haven’t even nearly lived up to that ideology.

As Warren Buffett told CNBC in 2021, cryptocurrencies have no unique value and they have attracted plenty of charlatans and people with questionable motives. The sad reality, despite the distorted image often presented, is that a lot of people have lost a lot of money playing with cryptocurrencies.

As for trading them, they are, in my humble opinion, simply too volatile. Volatility is a bit like Vitamin C, you need it but too much is toxic. Your strategy might be working well with cryptocurrencies but any sustained period of super high volatility will soon enough wipe you out altogether.

9. Do you have any preferred resources, such as books, websites, or trading tools, that have been instrumental in your trading success? If yes, could you share some of them?

I read a lot of books but three I particularly recommend are:

  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  • Fortune’s Formula by William Poundstone
  • Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Shroeder

As for websites, it has to be Babypips! I’m currently teaching my wife to trade and I’m using the Babypips course to help structure her learning. The fact that Babypips offer this sort of high quality education for free is refreshing in a space filled with self-proclaimed experts selling overpriced and practically useless courses.

I don’t really use any specific trading tools, apart from TradingView perhaps with three or four indicators.

I look for the trades on my Asus Chromebox then place them through the MT4/5 android app on my phone.

As I start establishing funded accounts this year I’m thinking of investing in a good trade copier perhaps.

10. What are your long-term goals and aspirations as a trader? How do you plan to achieve them?

I tend to structure my goals into five year plans. My top three trading-related objectives are:

Achieve $1,000,000 in funded accounts.
Build my personal accounts up to around $1,000,000.
Write at least three gambling theory-related books.

Getting $1,000,000 of funded accounts should be easy enough (He says looking at the first blown $100K FTMO challenge!). I’ll achieve this by taking more $100K challenges with FTMO and joining the 5ers Instant Funding program.

Building my personal accounts up to around $1,000,000 should follow as a natural result of managing so much funded capital and investing my returns straight into my personal accounts.

As for writing three books, I try to write every day. I’d like to complete the first book by the end of the year. That said, it will never see the light of day unless I actually achieve the challenge. Always keeping it real!

11. What’s something in your bucket list that you think you’ll be able to accomplish in the next 5 years?

My wife is Brazilian and since I don’t have any family here in the UK, it makes sense for us to emigrate there and be with her family, something we were poignantly reminded of after my recent health issue.

I’m really looking forward to eventually relocating there, being with my in-laws and exploring such a beautiful country.


thanks, Jess - and many thanks, Dan, for one of the most interesting Member Spotlights i’ve had the pleasure of reading, here

hoping you’re doing much better, now, after your health crisis, which i remember you mentioning recently in one of your threads - a lot of the forum are wishing you well with your various challenges (health, relocation and funding company ones, too!)

do you speak any Portuguese yet? im told its not an easy one to learn unless you already speak Spanish?

i see FTMO recently brought the minimum time-limit down from 10 days to 4, for the first stage? i can see that encouraging a lot of people, but maybe also encouraging some reckless trading, too - what do you think?

(am also wondering whether people here who are unfamiliar with London/Essex will be mystified by your use of the term “Scooby” but i guess they can Google it, if they need to?!)


Interesting read. Our views are similar as it relates to cryptocurrencies and as stated forex trading is not rocket science or anywhere as difficult as some would have you believe. I suspect we are also on the same page regarding small accounts as well.
I have a yes or no question for you @DanLondon.
Would you call forex trading gambling?



As traders, we speculate on uncertain outcomes and so, by definition, we are indeed gambling.


Thanks for the kind comments @flamingoproxy

Not to put a downer on things but my health issue is still very much there, threatening to wipe me out. I’ve just been for yet another scan today actually. The doctors assure me that this will be the last before they can offer some sort of guidance on what treatment paths are available to me. Thank you for the well wishes, I sincerely appreciate it.

I don’t speak much Portuguese just yet but I do speak fluent Spanish and because they are similar, I understand far more Portuguese than I can actually speak.

FTMO - I’m only just getting started with prop firms. If you use Twitter, you’ll see I just updated my prop journey so far, which I’m going to do at the end of every month. In May I failed three challenges - the $100,000 FTMO and two small MFF challenges.

I’ve since come up with a better strategy specifically designed to pass challenges and so far it’s doing really well.

I’ve passed phase one with the 5ers $5K High Stakes and I am just about to pass verification. I’m also about halfway there with a $5K MFF challenge. I started these challenges on the 1st June so I’ve took my time with this. Four days will definitely encourage people to punt rather than trade I think.

“Scooby” is short for Scooby Doo, the cartoon dog. It is cockney rhyming slang for “clue”.

“That geezer hasn’t got a Scooby” = That man hasn’t got a clue!



It never ceases to amaze me, the difficulty people have in grasping that simple simple simple concept.


I think it betrays their lack of understanding.

What never ceases to amaze me is how defensive people become about it. It’s almost as though they see gambling as beneath them.

There are two types of gambler of course - degenerates and professionals.

Degenerates can’t wrap their heads around the concept of value much less develop an edge.

Professionals, on the other hand, they look for value propositions and have a clearly defined edge before ever even placing a bet (or trade).

It doesn’t matter if you are playing poker, betting on sports or horses, or trading the financial markets. Your edge comes from finding valuable risk to reward opportunities. Recognising that is what really separates the winners from the losers.


When people like me say all you’ve said people push back and hard. Now if Elon Musk or Warren Buffet said the same thing I guarantee there would be a different reaction. But listen, leave it where it is before they jump down your throat, lol.


Great post. Your edge comes from finding valuable risk to reward opportunities.

Well, life’s a gamble isn’t it. My opportunities are as follows:

RRR should be chucked in the garbage bin as it’s a guesswork gamble. What is important is (mainly in a trend) where the order flow and consequently the price action is most likely to reach, and place a T/P BELOW where losing traders close their trades or get stopped out.

Winning traders have the luxury to wait and see.

The S/L should act as a max risk exposure, my only control, and should be given enough breathing space to resist a small retracement. That’s a controlled gamble.

If I am correct - apologies if not - medical scientists I read somewhere have stated that all cancers could be treated and would be eliminated by 2030. Which, if possible, would be another entry towards solving other health issues.

Cheers from another Londoner who spent the first 6 months following his birth waiting for entrance into Great Ormand Street hospital for stomach surgery. Not easy in WW2 with Hitler attacking London…


Thank you for sharing your story with the community. :ok_hand:

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Great interview!!

I love the happy ending about Brazil!!

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Thanks for this. Great interview!

what a great read! thanks for sharing

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Following, what a lot of great info in a short time!

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this was truly inspiring and encouraging.
thanks Jess

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Ooh what’s been your favorite book so far?

This is really the trend now I see!

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Thank you @DanLondon for sharing your story with us! I wish you the best of luck in achieving your long-term goals!

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