The Inner Musings of InnerCircleTrader

You can also find this post on our blog.

InnerCircleTrader has been with the BabyPips.com Community for over a year now. He’s been pretty generous with the help and knowledge that he’s been sharing with our fellow traders in the Forums. He’s well known for his webinars and for his What Every New or Aspiring FX Trader Wants To Know thread. Not to mention, hordes of his followers flock whenever he goes in the BabyPips.com chat room. That’s why we figured; why not take a closer look on why everyone’s so interested in him? So we asked him if he’d say yes to a feature. Lucky for us (and to all you ICT followers), he said yes!

Without further ado we give you, Michael Huddleston!


First and foremost I would like to thank you for featuring me in this issue. I am honored as I thought only the FX-Men level members are selected so I will take this as a compliment!

My Typical Day

I have to admit there is a very strict routine I adhere to on a daily basis. Not only am I a Babypips contributor and Forex Mentor… I also am a husband & father of five children! I have the same daily chores anyone else has when it comes to parenting, so I understand how tough it can be to juggle family life and forex trading… and if you have a job on top of it… I know your struggles.

As for my typical day, I have to be awake for London Open on average as it is my session of choice. So I wake around 12:30 – 1 am EST after napping a few hours. I like to see where Asia moved the markets and check my levels and see if my anticipated setups are still likely to unfold in London Open. If I get confirmation for a trade in London Open I stay up long enough to take initial profits and bring my protective stops to breakeven… then I try as best I can to sleep. I wake around 6 am to see how the markets have fared and manage my positions and prepare for the New York Open and the beginning of ICT the Father.

After I have managed my open positions or closed them… I wake my kids and get them ready for school. I have limit orders resting for New York Open should my entries get tripped as I commute my kids to school. If I get a fill my handy-dandy iPhone sends me a text message to inform me that I have an open position. I manage my stops via iPhone and finish my task of Dad-Taxi driver. Once I get home my morning is spent managing any positions and or scouting a London Close setup. If I made a handsome gain in London and or New York Open… I generally skip the London Close. I use the London Close as a last ditch for profits on a day I slept in on or scratched on in London or New York.

Later in the day… around 12 noon I try to nap. After school the homework and dinner hours go by and family time until 7 pm. Then I check Asia to see where we are trading and scout any potential setups. I sleep very little and the majority of the time it is during the hours 9 pm- midnight and the afternoon hours when the kids are in school. That’s a typical ICT day.

The Name InnerCircleTrader


I was fortunate enough early in my trading career to learn from some really knowledgeable traders and one such trader was Larry Williams. He used to conduct seminars and he titled these seminars his Inner Circle Futures Trading Seminars. I liked the terms “Inner Circle” as it conjured up images of secret or privileged information and I coined it as my alias on America Online. I had several nicknames in the late 1990’s but the most memorable one and the one I am most known for is… InnerCircleTrader.

Before some reading this assume I feel I am an elitist and someone that thinks highly of himself… that is not the reason I kept the name. I feel it more accurately defines my perspective as a trader… as I have since the 1990’s learned a great deal about myself as a trader. I have not mastered the markets… no; rather I have mastered my Inner Circle of influence. I control the destructive things I once allowed to harm my equity and I focus on the internal more than the external factors. So by definition… I am the Inner Circle Trader. However, if you want the short answer… the name is just cool and I like being cool! :wink:

Growing Up

I was born and raised in a modest family. I wasn’t given a silver spoon or anything free by any means. My family worked blue-collar jobs and my grandparents essentially raised me. I had a grandfather that filled the void as my father as I never really knew my biological father… he found himself in prison when I was a young child. So I believed when I grew up I would work in a lumberyard like my grandfather or work in some similar occupation. I hit my teens and while I was in the eleventh grade my Uncle Stan sat with me one Sunday afternoon at the kitchen table and told me… “Michael, when you grow up and graduate… get a career learn a trade… save money and learn to trade options and futures“. I recall him saying, “The richest people in the world trade futures and options”. That was the seed that started it all.

Where My Inspiration Originated

I would have to say my first exposure to trading in general would be contributed by my Uncle who traded himself and actually was a stock broker as well. I went to school while living with my grandparents and received an education in Computer Programming and Information Systems. Unfortunately, I was never able to utilize this education in the working work but it did impress… about three folks I grew up with. So I guess it wasn’t a complete waste?

However, my Uncle had a nice home and this inspired me to do well and to strive to eventually get somewhere in life. After my grandfather passed away and I no longer had to be his live in hospice nurse, I moved in with my Uncle and Aunt. I paid room and board while working average jobs.

Soon after moving in with my Aunt and Uncle I went to work for a family that owned a vending business and that is when I realized I had an entrepreneurial spirit. I went to work for this family at the age of nineteen and worked thirteen – fourteen hours per day for very little money mind you. I actually liked being around all that money… it inspired me. I came from a background where five hundred dollars was a lot of money back then. So there is I was one day after completing my route… I watched my boss count the money and belt it up for the bank deposit I made for him every day… and I noticed a magazine on his desk.

The magazine was Entrepreneur Magazine. I asked if I could read it and in the back of this magazine were hundreds of tiny classified ads promising the best opportunity to start your own business… and with very little money. One ad stood out over all the rest and it simply read… “Turn three hundred dollars into five thousand dollars in four months, turn one hundred fifty dollars into twenty-five hundred dollars in two weeks”… or something very close to that. So I asked if I could take the magazine home and I did. I read this thing all night long and this stupid ad kept haunting me, until I gave in and called the toll free hotline! As it turned out it was Ken Roberts a guru well known for introducing more people to trading commodities than probably anyone else on the planet?

My Initiation into the World of Loss

I ended up buying his material and lost my money right off the bat. I traded Orange Juice and I bought a Put Option… right when it went vertical and I closed the trade for less than half of the cost of the option. I was scared… I figured if I could lose seven hundred dollars in one day I could lose a lot more if I didn’t learn how to actually do this correctly. It suddenly occurred to me that if I was right… had I be correct in my trade; I would have made the same seven hundred dollars in profit! So I bought books like anyone else and spent countless hours studying price and historical charts. Then one day I received a mailing from Larry Williams himself.


I was invited to spend five thousand dollars of my hard earned money to have the honor or learning from the guy who publicly turned ten grand into over one million dollars in one year trading commodities! So I did what any level headed newbie with five grand to waste would do… I bought into it. Man was that the best choice I ever made as a trader! I learned how to see price action and discovered an entity behind major price swings that could be tracked and here is the best part… mimicked! Suddenly, I had the missing pieces to price action I was looking for. I could see trends… I no problem in that department… but when would they end and when would they begin… that was my hang up as a new trader.

I spent all my free time in study. I had to be at work every morning by six and the commute was forty minutes when driven at the legal speed… which I typically made in half the time. It would not be uncommon for me to be up until three in the morning studying charts of futures and stocks and napping for an hour or so then go to work. I lived on the hope I would crack the markets and someday I wouldn’t have to run this rat race any more.


I needed more time to trade and study and the vending route consumed all my time. I eventually went into restaurant Management and found myself as a Domino’s Pizza Manager… yes… ICT the Pizza Guy! Before you laugh… let me fill you in on something about that job choice. I knew it would provide me the schedule to trade and I wouldn’t work hard and I would have more energy to study and I did it like a maniac.

Before long I was trading on the clock at work and I was doing well. I consistently made solid returns but I wasn’t where I knew I could be. There was something missing… one piece of the puzzle that eluded me. It was money management… and when I understood this principle… things went from good to ridiculous.

In A Nutshell

I adopted some of Larry William’s best tools and blended it with the price action concepts I learned by simple study of price itself and I had an incredible edge. I later learned some concepts from George Angell and Alexander Elder and a long list of great authors and incorporated intraday price action and seasonal tendencies and I quickly became a dynamo! I was able to see price making tops and bottoms with consistency and trends I was able to ride these moves for seventy to eighty percent of their duration. I couldn’t believe it… what started out, as a plan to save a thousand dollars per month for an early retirement… became a seventeen thousand dollar per week adventure!

I was unstoppable… America Online allowed me to have my own message board and I went viral. I posted trades on all futures and T Bonds and currencies and then the CFTC discovered me… and the party came to a screeching halt. It seems I needed to be a Certified Trade Advisor and I was not. Long story short, my message board, chat room, website and newsletters… all were discontinued immediately. I went under the radar so to speak.

I spent the next two years trading with partners for fear the CFTC would close my account and I built the nerve up to create a MIRC chat room and developed a following of approximately one thousand followers who joined me daily and I commented real time on the Spoos {S&P 500 contract} intraday for day trading. When we traded… it moved the market… albeit briefly… but you knew when we moved… it was great. I discovered many folks wanted to learn how I traded and I sat with people for hours every night teaching them about Price action and I discovered the more I shared the more I actually learned. I discovered things that Authors didn’t write about and mentors probably never thought of… and I was hooked on the “moment of astonishment” new traders experienced when they had their eyes opened. I moved from S&P 500 trading and T-bond trading into forex a few years ago. I am so glad I made the move from futures into forex. The liquidity and leverage control is in your hands and you can trade with greater risk management to best utilize your equity and not overleverage at the same time.

It’s more rewarding to me to see a newbie learn how to trade consistently than it is to make profitable trades anymore… it pales in comparison. I began trading in 1994 and never looked back. So I was a mentor born in the 1990’s and the story continues today…

Why I Chose To Invade BabyPips.com

I read the forums for over a year without joining the website. I was humored by some of the characters we see on these mediums… you know they types. Average Joe who probably just started trading a demo account and made a few lucky trades and suddenly he is a veteran and wants to advise others how to do it… the “right way”. Or how about this character… “Watch me run my $500 account up to $100,000.00 in 3 months” and they blow it up all right. You never see them post again… and their thread fades away.

I used the forums as a sentiment indicator for months. When the forums would get chatty about the Cable {GBP/USD}…. I knew we’d be close to a tradable high or low based on the amount of excitement in the posts. Then one day I was reading and it hit me… why don’t I share something simple with them. Something they can use and not have it hinge on the use of useless indicators or some archaic analysis concept. I knew if I posted a really honest opening post I would strike a few nerves… and brother did I!

I’m not sure if you realize it or not… but I have about 30-50 emails per day since beginning my adventures with Babypips.com. This is considered a light day… in 2010 I was getting over 120 per day… every day. So I went from posting segments of material in text… to making videos. It made it easier to forward folks to the videos and I wouldn’t spend my time repeating things to several dozen new readers to the thread.

I wanted to give the average newbie trader an honest boost in their learning curve and I knew this forum wasn’t getting this level of information from anyone else… so why not me? I always promised myself… if there would be a day when I believed I had finally cracked it… I would share it. So you see that promise come to pass… I share it.

…More of his answers below.

2 Likes

My Long Term Plans

I like the friends I have made on Babypips.com. Some of these folks are real fun to converse with. I enjoy building them up and giving them hope and tools to empower themselves and improve their understanding in trading the markets. I will remain active with Babypips.com as long as there is a genuine interest in my material and the welcome mat is laid before me. I guess the answer lies with Babypips.com and the readers we have… they ultimately make the choice on whether I am encouraged to contribute or not. I aim to help and as long as there is a need… I don’t mind assisting.

A Dream within a Dream


I didn’t think I would be a trader… I thought I would drive a dump truck or drive a bulldozer… come on, I was a little boy. Growing up I always asked God to bless me and make me wealthy. This was a child’s prayer softly whispered over the pillow case every night… and as God saw fit… I believe I am wealthy. As I grew up my prayers changed from materialist to that of asking for opportunities to teach. Granted, I wanted to teach others about God and His love however, I see His answer in that prayer in how I teach trading. Everything comes together for good in the end and I thank Him for the opportunity to teach others and hopefully encourage each of you to spend some of your personal time and resources to bless somebody else… with no reward aside from the joy of merely doing it for a “Thank You”. It truly does come back to you in ever increasing proportions!

Is There a Retirement for ICT

I teach folks to have goals and these goals should be modular. Long term to short term goals are important mile markers in life. I have goals of my own on the long term and it simply is… should I make a net $20,000,000.00… I will retire. Until I reach that goal or I can no longer profitably trade I can’t see myself stopping what I enjoy doing so much.

I want to buy Island property and retire there… Hawaii or Bermuda is in the cards right now. However, I have time to change my mind as I am certain I will. I have traveled to paradise before and I absolutely intend to tour the world when my children grow up. A world tour is something I don’t want to bring children on.

ICT’s Top Four Things a Trader Wants to Know

I believe that every trader is it seasoned or newbie wants to know they can trade consistently profitable. It is the driving force that makes traders trade. The knowledge that is required to trade profitably is awesome and every trader wants to know he or she possesses this ability.

I believe that every trader wants to know they will achieve financial freedom. Most if not all traders aspire to leave the life sentence of working a J.O.B. for their income. It would be a safe bet that 100% of traders trading today whether in real accounts or demo… aspire to quit their jobs as the top reason for trading.

I believe that every trader wants to know when to enter markets with the lowest risk and highest probability of success. It is the topic that new traders foolishly rush into and it is the easiest. Getting into a trade is cake… it is what you do after you’re in the trade that matters!

I believe that every trader wants to know how to build wealth with their equity. They want to be rich and rich beyond their wildest dreams. I also believe traders do not consider how easily this goal can be achieved and realized when they remove the impulse to rush the process.

If Santa Were Real What Would ICT Ask For

I remember the day I discovered Santa was in fact… my stepfather! Santa came to visit me and my sister on Christmas Eve and he came wearing my stepfather’s work boots! He also had the same wedding ring and the same eyebrows under the fake one’s that were pasted on. Magic happens for a child at Christmas and hopes and dreams are energized around that holiday… I for one miss that as a child. If Santa were real and I could ask for anything and have it come true… I would ask that somehow… some way… my efforts would bless someone I never will meet and they in turn would bless someone else with it.

The Sky Is the Limit

If you just started trading and have failed or are struggling… do not give up. You can do this if you set your mind to it and accept failure from time to time… and more so in the beginning. Yes, you can make a fortune in this business and you do not need a large amount of money to start. As surprising as it may be… there is somebody out there that knows what they are doing and is willing to share freely with you. I’m sure many who have followed me on Babypips.com have had a blast thus far. I know I have dragged many of you down a long painful learning process on the journey to patience. I promised you a barnburner of a climax and it comes in 2012. I guess one could say… in a funny way of looking at it… Santa does exist after all!

GLGT

1 Like

Hi,

First of all I wanted to say it is a pleasure to have read this article. I came to babypips to learn forex but it has been an adventure to read the thoughts of ICT. And although I am most impressed on what you say about the markets my favourite ‘post’ has been this one.

It really has filled me with hope. Not just regarding the immediate issue of forex but also regarding the longer term issue of happiness. I think it’s wonderful that you keep your feet on the ground expecially with regard to your faith which is often considered to be at odds with commercial interests. It adds a wonderful extra dimension to your character.

I think it’s a breath of fresh air to have someone as successful as yourself keeping your priorities such as family in the right order. It sets a great example. It is also a gift that you choose to give up something as precious as your time to teach people who you have no obligation towards.

Anyway, enough of this installment of the ICT Appreciation Society!!! But please understand that this is a genuine response. No false pleasantries. My time too is precious and I would not waste it on such false pleasantries.

As we say in Ireland…Go Raibh Mile Maith Agat (One thousand thanks),

Padraic

This is precisely why I do this… thank you very much for that and I sincerely wish you success with the concepts and tools I share.

[B]GLGT [/B]:57:

20 Million?

By my calculations you should be at least half way there lol.

Michael great article! I really enjoyed the insight into who you are and why you teach so freely. Thank you. Btw I can say with pure honesty that you have profoundly affected my trading since you started posting here. I’m one of the silent lurkers on your thread :d

You are a true inspiration ICT.

I was reading your thread and also saw some of your video, first time I saw your video on YouTube, I was looking for trading strategy on YouTube and your video came up, I was watching one by one I spent almost 2 hours, from that day I was looking for you, I was always thinking if I can meet with you once I will ask you to teach me how to trade, but I was afraid about your fees,may be you will ask ridiculous amount of money to teach. I was always thinking how much money will you have, what can I give him to teach me.
I did not find anything to give you I stop Looking for you, As you said if you have faith in Allah/God you will get it today or tomorrow. Now I am learning from you and not giving you anything not a single penny.

For your effort and time I can only give you thank you, And pray for you and your family to get all the happiness in the world.

Very nice, I wish you the best of luck getting to your target.

“I have not mastered the markets… no”

Is it possible to ever master the markets and if so, is it possible to do so without personal coaching of a trader who knows and understands the inner-workings of the entities that drive and influence the markets the most?

I’m trying to create a holistic view of the markets for myself, by reading up on the liquidity model and VSA, could you point me to other sources of information that will help me grasp the market place as a whole in more detail?

No, I do not believe anyone will ever “master” the markets… but certainly themselves.

As for VSA, I do not trade it… but I’m sure Petefader on Babypips forums can direct you in it’s use in trading.

[B]GLGT [/B]:57:

I’ve only recently discovered your videos and am working through them at a hour or so a night…thank you very very much for putting all this work into trying to educate a bunch of forex noobs! I also respect finding time for all this while being a farther of five, I only have one with another on the way but its great to find an example of someone else making family and trading work.

Thanks again,

Hamno

Thank you so much for this thread. I am a big FAN of babypips and I started trading a year ago. There is a lot of stuff on forex online but a few goodies that one can rely on.Glad I bumped into this one. Look forward for more posts from you. Def following you:)

Id just like to say Thank you! You story is great, and I really do appreciate the videos you post and all the help you’ve provided to new traders.

Could you direct me to where I can view your videos please.

You can find the thread and videos on the Babypips Forums.

Click Forum tab
Click Newbie Island
Search for the thread titled “What Every New and Or Aspiring Forex Trader… Still Wants To Know”.

Look forward to seeing your involvement.

GLGT :57:

Many thanks. I’m only starting so I have a long way to go.

Michael - thanks for the great insight and all your useful contributions on this forum. It’s nice to hear you have balanced family life and trading. Quick question - do you keep in physical shape (ie exercise) to help optimise your trading?

Yes I am a non-smoker, non-drinker, Martial Artist and currently beginning Yoga… It’s part of the balance of a healthy fullfilling life as I believe God intended us to be. I do drink too much Mc Donald’s Sweet Tea though… but hey we all have our vices.

:27:

Michael, in this interview you posted a pic of Larry Williams, but there’s no label on the pic.
So I walked around for a few weeks thinking that was you in the pic, until I googled Larry Williams and thought, hey, isn’t
that Michael ?

(its funnier in my head)

LOL that’s funny!

Here I will tweet a ICT mug shot…