Honorary Member Q&A: mastergunner99

[B]mastergunner99 a.k.a Shawn Cannon[/B]

###1. Tell us something about yourself that you haven’t told anyone in the forums yet.

I’m a published author. I’ve ghostwritten two books, have had articles published, and had a short story fiction series published. Writing has been a passion of mine since I was a kid. I recall writing the “Adventures of Richard Kidd” when I was ten years old. I am in the process of publishing my first novel by the end of this year. Keeping up with the wave of technology, it will be released in as an e-book.

###2. Do you consider yourself a successful trader?

The word success is completely subjective. It would really depend on what one would define as success. I trade profitability. Therefore, I assume that is probably the best measure of success a trader can have. However, simply because one might not be trading profitability, does not mean they are without success. Success is never the end goal, it’s the process to get where you want to go.

###3. What’s your biggest trading disappointment so far?

My biggest trading disappointment would have been trading when I wasn’t ready to trade with real money. I was too eager and impatient and I had no prior record of success. I jumped from trading system to trading system, never sticking to any one thing. I was in search of the Holy Grail. The very one that everyone tells you doesn’t exist, yet so many seek it out anyways.

###4. Is there anything you’re doing to further improve your trading?

Yes. I am able to take my mind off trading. For a while my mind was consumed with charts. I overanalyzed and overtrading. Trading is as simple as you can make it to be. Win more than you lose. By stepping away from the charts, I am able to clear my mind properly and not overthink the process.

###5. What made you decide to come up with your own forex trading methodology?

Trading is psychological and it’s very personal. There is a reason that two people can trade the same system and one wins, while the other loses. I’ve seen it countless times.

I decided to trade a methodology that was my own. Something I was comfortable with, so I needed to create it. I call it a methodology because it’s not confided to a set of rules, but rather opened up by ideas of trading. I focus on the art as opposed to the science. I look at the simple aspects of trading. Sometimes it can be as simple as looking at a single candlestick and asking, “Why do you look like you do? What are you telling me about price?”

I also developed it publicly to contribute back to Babypips. Price Action is largely ignored because it requires thought. Something people don’t want to do. They want to find a system that they can create rules for and then develop an EA around those rules and hope for the best. It just doesn’t work like that. Not for me at least, and by seeing the number of frustrated traders out there, it doesn’t seem to be working for them either.

###6. You mentioned events a few times throughout the Price Action Hero thread. Do you mostly check it out to see if there will be an increase in volatility or just to keep yourself from being blindsided by a major event? And if you don’t feel that looking at the events gives you any edge, why is that?

I largely ignore the news. I trade on larger time frames, so if price moves, I can see the overall picture of it. I’m not trying to pick up 10 pips because someone said there is more corn than usual grown in Uruguay. That’s just overcomplicating the process to me. Furthermore it also feels more like gambling, than actually trading. And I prefer to gamble in a casino where at least I’m given free drinks by busty waitresses, then sitting in my underwear under the blue glow of my computer screen.

###7. What are your thoughts on scalping?

It takes someone very skilled to scalp. You have to really have your pulse on the market to be a successful scalper. You have to be prepared to violate standard money management practices to do so. That’s too much for me. Too complex. Too nerve wrecking.

You have to trade in larger lot sizes to make it worthwhile and if price goes nuts fast, you can lose your cash just as fast. In a larger time table, if price freaks out, it can still recover within the confines of my trading parameters and I have far less to lose when price goes a little nutty. Scalping is also expensive. If I capture 50 pips from the market and paid the same spread as the guy who capture 5 pips out of the market, who got a better deal? It’s expensive to scalp. I’d rather put those dollars to my use, rather than into the pockets of my broker.

###8. What advice would you give to a newbie who wants to make a living out of forex trading?

Don’t. If you are new, you should not try to make a living. Your focus should be on successfully trading forex first. If you have a large enough bankroll where you can live off the interest of the bankroll itself, then I think that’s the only appropriate time to make a living off of it. Until then, forget it. Trading can be mentally tough as it is. I could not imagine what the psychological effects would be if my mortgage payments depended on how well I placed my trades.

###9. Aside from trading, what else do you like doing?

As mentioned before, I like to write. A byproduct of writing, is that I also like to read. I always have a good book, be it fiction or nonfiction that I’m enjoying in my free moments. I appreciate that I can even read a book on my cellphone, iPad, Kindle, laptop, and desktop. The mobility I have with reading allows me to even read more, and as a result my writing has improved as well. I’m a father of twin two year old daughters.

When I’m not working, and not trading, I’m earning my rights to be called the best father in the world. They are so much fun, have so much love to give, and so much to receive. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than being there for them as much as I can.

###10. If we were to go to your hometown, where would you recommend us to go and what should we try doing?

I live in a suburb of Milwaukee. There’s plenty to do around here. If I were to make the most of a day with you, we would have to stop by a brewery tour. I know… off hand it sounds boring, but it’s ridiculously fascinating watching how beer is mass produced. And if you’re a beer drinker, the best is yet to come at the end of the tour when you get to sample the goods. You’ll never have a beer as fresh as they day they brewed it anywhere but in a brewery tour.

After that, we’d swing over to Milwaukee County Zoo. It’s one of the best in the US. Plenty of fun, great food, and catch some good sun. You could spend all day there, but we’ll be sure to see the monkeys and all that good stuff before we take off to the baseball game at Miller Park. It’s an incredible stadium, and even though the team isn’t that great, the stadium sure is. I could probably even swing us some box seats from one of my clients or my wife’s employer. And finally, we’ll end the night on Water Street. We’ll pub hub along the Milwaukee River, swing by and take pictures with the bronzed Fonz from Happy Days. It’ll be good times. Especially since you’ll be paying for the both of us.