It’s been a while, but we’re back with another exciting feature!
Despite being relatively new to the community, UK trader @Johnscott31 has already contributed so many meaningful insights to countless discussions in the forums. This time though, it’s all about his trading knowledge and experiences! From recommended indicators to new traders’ biggest challenges – this Q&A is packed with all the good stuff.
With over fifteen years of experience trading multiple markets (from metals to forex), John has earned a level of trading wisdom and understanding that we’re all very grateful to have access to in the community. If you read through this Q&A though, you’ll find that those years weren’t exactly a breeze.
Countless hurdles and frustrations later, here he is today, generously taking us through his journey.
Without further ado, we give you @Johnscott31!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What are your hobbies?
My name is John. I’m from the UK. Hobbies: I like to read about philosophy, politics, history.
I also like learning languages, currently struggling with Mandarin. Also try to keep on top of my fitness, but it’s a bit hit and miss. Lol
2. How were you introduced to forex trading? What were you doing before you discovered forex?
I made money on a property a long time back and was wondering where to invest it. I picked up a copy of Investors Chronical and saw adverts on Financial Spreadbetting.
I bought a small course advertised, opened an account with CMC markets and was hooked!
Before trading I was working in the hospitality industry and was growing to hate it. I was looking for a way out.
Where I worked was frequented by a lot of the guys working in the City of London. I got to know a few of them and realized they weren’t any smarter than me. In hindsight I doubt any of them were actually traders but I knew I wanted to do some work like they did.
3. You’ve mentioned that you’ve been actively trading Forex and CFDs since 2003, can you give us an overview of what you did over the first 3 years?
It’s hard to give you a rundown of all I have done in those years, but I spent many years trading just Silver, I was a big proponent that it was going to ‘da moon’. I was a full-on precious metals bug.
I’m still good at trading gold and silver, and to this date the best money I have ever made is on those big silver parabolic moves that happen from time to time, but that isn’t my main focus now.
In my years of trading I’ve tried it all. Day trading, Forex, Indices (still my favourite), Oil, must have also tried most technical methods as well.
4. Could you please describe a typical day in your trading life?
A typical day? Hmm
I usually wake up early, I live in Thailand much of the year so it’s a lot cooler when I wake up at 4.00am or 5.00am.
I try to fill my mind with something positive in the morning, some spiritual or metaphysics book and or meditation.
I then start reading all the latest goings on in the world, I follow a lot of the political goings on in the UK.
For me the markets don’t really get going until about 2.00pm in the afternoon, but I sometimes do look at what’s going on in China.
The only real set trading routines I have are monitoring the charts at 12.00pm and 8pm.
I trade a lot of 8-hour charts so those times are important. I trade specific price action strategies, and so it’s important to be there after each session completes.
But the rest of the time I’m just learning things, or working on my new trading blog.
5. What has been your biggest challenge in forex trading? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was figuring out who I was as a trader. I flipped and changed my methods so many times.
But the biggest one was actually deciding to no longer take short side trades – this was massive.
I lost more money shorting than anything else, but occasionally would have these massive wins too. The big wins were actually detrimental, without them I would have given up the short side much earlier.
When I finally did my P&L sky-rocketed.
My head just can’t grasp both sides of the market.
6. How has trading changed your life and what have you learned about being a Forex trader?
How has trading changed my life and what have I learned? Great question.
Money aside, it has made me a much better person. It has taught me resilience, it has taught me how to be more stoic.
Overall I’m a much more confident, effective human being than when I first began.
Trading brings you face to face with your shadow, it’s an epic struggle but when you come out the other side you’re a changed person.
7. What would be your advice for someone just starting out in the market?
So my advice is for a beginner to recognize how unconsciously incompetent you actually are. You are complete cannon fodder for the market.
This might sound negative but it’s not. If you recognize this then it makes you aware, you don’t get nearly so overconfident in your own ability.
Read books like the Market Wizards series, Reminisces of a Stock operator at least once a year. Read Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. Learn about performance psychology, books by Brett Steenbarger and Mark Douglas.
And don’t fall into the mistaken belief the more you trade, the more you make!
8. How do you handle the stress of a losing trade?
I used to handle the stress of a losing trade by having a beer. But you can imagine how that ended up!
I think that over time you just get used to having losers. As someone who once had about 50 losing trades in a row the occasional loser is nothing like those dark days.
In my earlier days I really came from a mindset of lack of abundance in my life. What you fear in life you tend to attract, and so adopting a mindset of abundance actually meant when I had a loser it wasn’t such a big deal. Consequently you become a better trader.
9. If you had to recommend just one book and one movie to a trader (either newbie or experienced), what would they be and why?
One book – Enhancing Trading Performance by Brett Steenbarger, man this taught me so much about the process of learning. It really put me on a new trading (and life) trajectory.
One movie – Hmm I’m going to say the Big Short. Because it shows how messed up things can be if you trade purely on fundamentals. The protagonist has the right idea, but the timing is wrong. He was so close to getting his company shut down. Lucky for him (and not for many) the market did actually catch on. Great movie.
Incidentally, the author also wrote Liars Poker – such a hilarious true account of the beginnings of the mortgage backed security market.
10. What non-trading activities are you into when you’re not trading?
I live in Chiang Mai and there are so many great spots outside the city for motorbiking, trekking, walking or just visiting. There is a real sense of peace when I do all that.