We’re kicking off this year’s member feature series with an exciting one!
A wise and inspiring presence, always ready to lend a helping hand – Blackduck has been a valued member of the community for what will soon be a decade!
As someone who has been through many years of trading different instruments and has clocked in her fair share of losses (you gotta read about what happened to her during the GFC in 2008!), Blackduck has been raking in invaluable trading knowledge and experience. Despite the challenges that come with learning how to trade and losing many trades, she did not let any of this shake her spirit. Powered by grit and resilience, Blackduck kept soldiering on, slowly but surely turning into the inspiring trader that she is today.
Whether she’s answering newbie questions or hanging around in the lobby, Blackduck is always eager to share her thoughts and opinions with the BabyPips community. We love that about her!
Today, we learn more about her journey, and how the pandemic has changed her approach to forex trading.
Without further ado, we give you @Blackduck!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What are your hobbies, interests, favorites?
I currently live in Sydney Australia, however, I was born and lived most of my life in a small town in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Once I graduated from school I attended university and graduated with a law degree. During my working career, I worked in the legal profession as a solicitor and the police force. I finished my working life as a prosecutor in the local courts.
I enjoy reading and I mostly read books that teach me something rather than fiction. I enjoy golf. I am a political junky and I enjoy discussing politics with anyone who cares to engage me on that subject. I enjoy fine wine and especially a bold red with my favourite dish spaghetti. In my spare time, I am learning to speak German.
2. How were you introduced to forex trading? What were you doing before you discovered forex? What’s the story behind your name “Blackduck”?
I have always had an interest in trading stemming from my days of studying economics at school. I started trading in my early 30s trading stocks. Back then there were no computers and all trades were verbally articulated to a broker who then charged me $100 commission to enter and exit that trade. I was quite successful at trading stocks until the crash in 2008 that saw me lose $30,000. Once I recovered from that loss I had the good fortune to speak to a work colleague who was trading Forex. I did some exploring on how to trade Forex and became hooked. Since that time I have spent many hours studying everything, I could about Forex.
I know my Babypips name has raised some eyebrows so i will elaborate on how I came to use that name. As a child, I loved watching Daffy Duck a cartoon character who was a black duck. Daffy always had a saying that he used all the time. That saying was “Not this little black duck” That saying entered my vocabulary and I still use it today. So when thinking of a name I thought “Little Black Duck” was too long so I just shortened it to “Blackduck”.
3. Can you tell us more about the strategy you use to trade the market? How did this strategy come about? Are you trading any other markets?
I don’t really have one set strategy that I use and I would call myself a discretionary trader with several methods of entering and exiting trades. I am firstly a price action trader but I also swing and position trade. I day trade using price action on a 5 min chart both scalping and swing trading. However, I position trade on a daily chart using options.
I not only trade Forex I also trade Futures and Options. Whilst I live in the Asian timeframe I rarely trade that timeframe. I mostly trade the London session and the US session.
4. What’s the biggest lesson forex trading has taught you and why?
When I first started to trade Forex it was the first time I had ever heard of shorting the market. With stocks, it was just buy and hold. Now I had an opportunity to also sell. At first, I made all the rookie mistakes. I had never encountered using leverage and margin and at first did not realise the impact this has on trading.
It was also frustrating to continually lose trade after trade after trade. But I think this is whatever the trader has to go through. There is no easy way and there are no free lunches. The biggest lesson I have learnt is just how resilient you have to be a successful trader. The old saying of “If at first, you don’t succeed try, try, try again until you do,” is very appropriate.
5. What was your journey like to get to where you are today?
I have been trading Forex now for about six years. The first three years were tough and very frustrating. I wasted a lot of money doing courses that were not relevant to my trading style and personality. I hate losing money and a lot of courses teach long-term strategies where at times you will suffer drawdowns. I found drawdowns hard to handle and big losses even harder to handle.
I started to have success once I did a Day Trading Course with Sterling Suhru. He taught a very mechanical style of trading but it was a style that made sense and a style that allowed me to at last start to see some profit. This made me realise that Day Trading was right for me. After that, I explored other day trading methods and found Al Brooks. Al Brooks is a scalper and swing trader and is strictly price action. He has been a huge inspiration as I believe he is the best price action trader there is. It took a long time to study his method and I am still learning but he has made a huge difference to my trading skill level. His course has taught me how to read the market and understand who is doing what.
6. What would be your advice for someone just starting out in the market?
If I had to advise a new trader my advice would be “take your time and study hard.” Trading is a game that no one should enter into if they are not passionate about trading and are not prepared to take the hard knocks to achieve success. A wise gentleman said to me once, “The man standing on top of the mountain did not just fall there” and I will leave traders to ponder the meaning of that statement.
7. Name one inspiring trader who you look up to and why?
Just one! There have been several that I have admired. In Forex without a doubt Al Brooks. However, I admire Lan Turner who introduced me to Futures and options and one hell of a trader. Through Lan, I had the pleasure of meeting David Duty who is a very good position trader and I consider him to be one of my best mentors. We talk every day and a group of us including Dave meet half an hour before the start of the US session and discuss our trades. How good is zoom meeting??
8. Do you think it’s important to have female trader role models in the forex market? Why?
For me personally, I have never considered gender when looking for someone to teach me something. I want, who I believe, is the best man or woman for the job. Having said that the world of trading is very intimidating to some people especially if they lack some confidence and self belief. So in that instance, a girl who was looking to become a trader may feel more comfortable with a female role model. And that’s ok. The important thing is that a new trader feels confident and comfortable with their role model.
9. With all that is happening in the world, what are your thoughts on where the market is heading?
This is the 64 million dollar question. We just never know what markets will do. I don’t want to run off into conspiracy theories but I am concerned about the world markets as I continue to watch governments of all western nations spending like drunken sailors in an effort to keep their economies afloat.
Everyone keeps telling me that whilst interest rates are low this borrowing is not a problem and governments will be able to pay it back once their economies improve. Remember no one thought the housing market would crash and yet it did.
Greed and stupidity are strong market forces that see rational people make irrational decisions. It is not only the level of debt held by governments that is an issue, it is also the high level of debt held on an individual level. People have over extended themselves thanks to cheap money and low interest rates. However, interest rates have a habit of going up and that is when things get interesting. As for 2021, I will watch very cautiously as we really don’t know what the Democrats will do.
10. Which among the BabyPips forum threads (that are not your own) do you find the most interesting? How valuable is it to be a part of a trading community?
I like the thread for newbies to introduce themselves. They arrive at BabyPips all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to go. I like their enthusiasm as their journey begins. The political thread has also been very interesting for obvious reasons.
11. Has the pandemic changed anything about how you approach trading forex (or other markets)?
The pandemic has made trading a nightmare. Lockdowns and re-opens along with the anticipation of whether a vaccine is available or not creates a lot of uncertainty. However, that is trading.
There will always be events that affect market conditions. With this in mind, I have been trading far less as I am now very methodical in trade selection. It has not only been the pandemic but it has also been the uncertainty around Brexit. If the vaccine is successful I believe we will see a lot of confidence return to the market and that will be good.
I will finish with one of my mottos. “Life is not a dress rehearsal, you don’t get to come back and do it all again.” So live life to the full and enjoy every moment.