1. Tell us little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What are your hobbies?
I’m 37, born in New York, just outside the City and still living in the area. Music production would be first on the list of hobbies. I have a recording studio and mainly work with singer/songwriters to produce their sound. This is what I originally intended to do for a career but the music industry is well…hard to get into. I think it’s worked out for the best because I can choose what projects I want to do with independent artists and not think about making money, so it’s more like a hobby now. Besides that, I enjoy a bit of online gaming after my daily duties are done.
2.When/why did you start trading forex? What resources did you use to learn how to trade (websites, books, apps, mentors, etc.)?
I got my first demo account in 2003 after seeing an infomercial on TV. Back then there were no forums or trading rooms. I remember doing a google search and found nothing. So it was slow going for a while and I went through all the usual stuff, blowing my first two $350 accounts. I practiced and learned on and off over the years and by 2006 I was finding more help. I just soaked up everything I could, trading a combination of technical analysis and indicators. I was winning more than losing but was still dealing with inconsistency until I discovered VSA which is still the basis of my trading today.
3. What do your friends and family think about you trading currencies?
I guess they think it’s cool but when I explain it to most they get this blank look on their face LOL. Luckily my wife was pretty supportive. I remember her telling me to go for it and letting me have my endless hours of chart time.
4. What were your first strategies in forex trading? How are they different from your strategies today?
I tried a lot of different methods in the beginning years including combinations of standard and customized indicators. The way they would give me great signals for a time, only to give the profit back on losses was frustrating. I got to the point where I really wanted to know more about what is actually going on in the market rather than working off an average of price movement over time.
I remember drawing out chart patterns that I saw that nobody was really talking about, until I found material from Richard Wyckoff. He had drawn out the same pattens I had, 100 years ago. His drawings had explanations and names for things. That eventually led me to Volume Spread Analysis (VSA).
In short, VSA helps me track the activity of large players who know how to work a market. Buying as prices move down and selling as prices move up. If that sounds backwards just think of when you would want to buy and sell in the real estate market. You would buy as prices go down and sell as prices go up to make a profit. These are basic principles for any market. Supply and demand fluctuation is the cause of price movement and that must be understood as well.
5. Describe your current daily or weekly trading routine. What do you do before you trade?
Being in New York, I used to wake up at 2-3 am to trade from London open through mid New York. I couldn’t keep that up after a few years. Now I start at 8:30 am. I get less trades now but it’s quality, not quantity that matters.
I do take a moment before I open my charts to get in the right frame of mind. One of the best things I can tell myself is to not have any preconceived ideas about what I’ll be trading and just let the analysis show me. I also remind myself that if there is no setup, that’s OK. I don’t have to take a trade today.
At this point trading is a very small part of my life, although it’s my main income. I trade only a few hours a day, 3 days a week on average and I really don’t think about it besides that. I paid my dues for years putting in the time and that experience goes a long way. Unless there is a short cut I don’t know about, it takes years to master this skill just like anything else. Then, you make it look easy.
6. What are some of your most unforgettable trades and trading moments?
Meltdown 2008! I was mainly trading the GBP/JPY at that time. I remember at one point my spread was 35 pips!! It didn’t matter though, once you felt the ground shaking again (price moving down quickly) you could grab 50-100 pips in a blink. I did not trade my main account though, I went to a small account and I think I nearly doubled it in a few days just selling that pair. Besides that, win streaks are pretty memorable LOL.
7. Did you ever have trouble using common chart indicators? Which do you think were easiest to use and which ones did you need help with?
Not really. The only thing that comes to mind is where to draw my fibs. I eventually realized that if a fib is measuring the retracement percentage of a trending move, then it should be drawn only over the trending move high/low and not over noisy, rangy price action prior to the move. I only use the .50-61.8 levels.
8.What do you think is the biggest mistake that newbies out there are currently making?
Probably trading with too much money too soon. If you can’t make a small account grow consistently, your performance will only get worse if you are trading larger due to the psychological effect. Slow and steady is the way.
Reward yourself for growing a small account by adding an extra $50-100 to it, but if you are in drawn down, you should make it back or you are not ready to risk any more yet. I believe that is the best way to build a small account.
9. Forex trading is not an easy business. What motivates you to continue trading when in a trading slump?
Good question. At this point I think of all the other times I’ve gotten out of a slump and it’s just part of trading, plus they are not as bad they used to be. I just remember that good setups and win streaks will return. They always do.
10. Do you have any advice for trading newbies out there?
Well I do have a few threads and about 35 youtube videos at this point, so I’ve given lots of advice but something short and sweet? Don’t think about the money. Just enjoy the process of learning and analyzing the charts and if an opportunity happens to come, take it and follow the plan. Never have the mindset that you NEED to make money. The market is not a vending machine. Patience pays.