1. Tell us little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What are your hobbies?
I am from Rome, Italy. I initially came to the UK to study, after finishing high school in Italy aged eighteen. I fly to Rome four times a year to see my parents and some friends. I currently live in Aberdeen, Scotland, and teach music full time.
2.When/why did you start trading forex? What resources did you use to learn how to trade (websites, books, apps, mentors, etc.)?
I started trading Forex in September 2012, by opening a 50k demo account with FXCM; I went live with them in August 2013 and opened my first live trade last Christmas Eve. It was thanks to my mother, who told me that she had (secretly) tried being a Forex trader, that I started on this journey!
I found Babypips on an internet search and ended up being hooked, trying to learn everything at once, in typical newbie style...Eventually, I did buy Kathy Lien's book Day Trading and Swing Trading the Currency Market (2008): she is an inspirational FX trader and I recommend that book. She used to be Chief Strategist at DailyFX.com, until John Kicklighter took over; I follow his videos on a daily basis now, as well as a few other at DailyFX.com. My recent reads are Mark Douglas' Trading in the Zone, which was recommended to me by Honorary FX-Woman PipNRoll here at Babypips, and it is a great read. That is it!
3. How do people around you usually react when you say that you’re into currency trading?
I have not told many people about my currency trading... These are the reasons: 1) at work, I do not want people to think I spend too much time on my own personal interests within work time; 2) in my social life, I respect the fact that people have strong feelings about the financial sector and its failings before and after the 2008 crash...3) as for the most important person in my life, my girlfriend, it was hard for her to accept this 'hobby' of mine, which she saw as gambling... People whom I told have generally reacted with some genuine interest, and I tried not to bore them stiff with the full details...
4. What were your first strategies in forex trading? How are they different from your strategies today?
In summer of last year I trialled a 'Seven Majors' system, basically a USD basket of my own making, which looked promising but did not seem to have much of an edge, so I went through more experimentation until two weeks ago (February 2014) when I started trialling my current system, the 'Forex4', which uses four unrelated currency pairs covering all eight majors, in a bid to achieve a system that minimizes time spent on my mobile trading platform or desktop trading station - a better life/trading balance is what I am after.
To sum it up, I tried trend trading, swing trading, scalping, intra-day trading, Fibo and S/R tactics, bridle/grid trading, and a few other things! I am currently swinging in favour of longer-term trading, but the system trial is still ongoing, so I am waiting to see how it performs.
5. Describe your current daily or weekly trading routine. What do you do before you trade?
In the last two weeks, my new system trial had me preparing all the values for entry orders and enter them all together just minutes before the London open (8am, GMT); I did this twice over, on the live and demo accounts, with slight variations to compare results. I now have switched to week-long trades, so I only entered the trades once, on Monday morning, and will have to wait until the end of the week.
In the meantime, I monitor my account daily to see when the trades will be triggered and how they will perform. I do, however, spend about an hour or so every morning watching and listening to DailyFX John Kicklighter's trading videos, and, several times a day, I dip into the BabyPips forums to see what is being discussed and write some replies.
6. What are some of your most unforgettable trades and trading moments?
The best trading moment was...telling my girlfriend what I was going live! It was great being able to share, and she is such a huge part of my life, that if she had not being supportive I would not have chosen to continue trading. She was nervous about this, at first, but now she sees that it is not like casino gambling, and we have an understanding.
Apart from this, I would say that going live was also unforgettable because my first live trade was on Christmas Eve of last year, which was a conscious choice to make it more memorable. Hopefully there will be many more happy memories in my FX journey!
7. Complete the sentence: “If I hadn’t learned about forex trading, I would probably _______.”
If I hadn’t learned about forex trading, I would probably have missed out on something very powerful and inspirational. When I first watched Anton Kreil's 'Million Dollar Traders' on the BBC, I knew that I wanted to be involved in trading, but I just did not know how; finding BabyPips and forex trading just made a vague dream become reality.”
8. Have you ever used a mechanical trading system? If you have, how was your experience?
I would like to ultimately find a mechanized system or EA that works for me. I would like to have my current system coded, but I am still in testing phase. My previous system ('Seven Majors') was the perfect example of a mechanical system traded manually, which was hugely time-consuming; however, I stuck with it for two months and it was then that I started thinking how much easier my mornings (and evenings) would have been if a robot would have done all the house-work, so to speak!
9. Forex trading is not an easy business. What motivates you to continue trading when in a trading slump?
What motivates me into trading past a bad phase is seeing how many more people have pulled through. Reading books on trading or forum threads about other people's journeys helped me tremendously in times of self-doubt, and, ultimately, I have truly come to believe that trading is for me a small business investment that I should treat seriously and integrate into my daily life.
I cannot call myself a 'trader' because my full-time job is tied to a completely different field (music), but inside I have this private pride that gives me a focus through difficult days in my life; knowing that the current system is successful will be a tremendous feeling, which will give me a sense of purpose in life generally.
When I have (and have had) bad trading days or made bad trading decisions, it has really affected me emotionally, so it was during those times that I had to do some soul-searching to find out if I wanted to continue with this or not: trading can be a lonely business, and as you are the sole commander of your ship, it is easy to become demotivated or lose focus. The Babypips forums were definitely a huge help in those moments, and I am very grateful for their existence!
10. Do you have any advice for trading newbies out there?
My advice to newbie traders would be this: start with a demo account and learn to trade safely first. It is better to burn out 10k of virtual money on a crazy system or impulsive trades (or even one mega-trade gone horribly wrong) than to blow out your first live account when you are still too emotionally involved in your trading or still 'trading from the hip.’
Again, everyone is different, so it may be that some newbies will do everything right on their first live account and nurture it forever more into a respectable size. On the whole, however, I greatly recommend demo trading first on one or two accounts, to trial strategies over a period of time. The greatest difficulty when you are a newbie, at least from my own experience, is the impatience that runs through your mind: everything must happen NOW, especially making money! After a while, you realize that not taking trades is as important as getting into the market, because if you look at the weekly calendar of high-impact events, there is always something that is going to move the markets. Next time you miss out on that great EUR/USD Non-Farm Payrolls move, rest assured that there may be something just as market moving the following day, week, or month, and then you should be ready to trade it.
Also, money management and newbie trading can be uneasy bed-fellows. It is like the parent telling his/her teenage offspring not to do something that they know is bad for them...The teenage knows it is bad for them, but listening and agreeing to the parent is SO out of the question... The newbie is made to rebel against good advice, because he/she must find his/her own feet, and I believe that this is entirely right.
We must make our own mistakes, before we understand WHY the advice given to us by people with more experience is actually valuable. . . as long as a newbie is trying things out on a demo account, then there is no reason why not.
11. What do you think of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general?
I have been following the BitCoin craze from afar, and I have no personal interest to get involved just yet. Some forum threads have clearly made a case that, just like gold or other commodities, if enough people place a value on something, no matter how unusual that something may be at first, eventually it will acquire more value, and the more value it will acquire, the more real investment it will attract, until all markets will eventually pay attention and trade it.
I will say one thing, though: when the Euro first came out as a currency, for example, it implanted itself onto existing historical currencies and tied to a common European market, but even so it took a while for it to 'settle' into the various economies. How many people thought the Euro projects would work or last? A decade later, we are still trading it as one of the most liquid currencies in the world. Maybe the BitCoin will be next?