Why we need more (good) female traders

@Falstaff I have no bones to pick with your argument but I think we are coming from it at different angles and, while they overlap, they do not coincide. What we achieved is civil, respectful debate, and that is what will make me think in days and weeks to come: without different angles and views, there would be no learning.

I have one or possibly more interviews with women traders/investors coming up on this thread, so excuse if it may feel like I ‘shut’ the door on your concerns, but it will only be because the focus of the thread is after all quite simply women traders/investors and I only have so many hours in the day.

Happy to talk through PM with you, though, if you feel that there is more to explore.

Happy Trading

Yes and a little one to look after and (possibly) some reading to do :sunglasses:

That’s ok mate - :slight_smile:

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@Falstaff Yes, you know it, you’ve been a dad too… it takes over your life :slight_smile:

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@Penelopip @Ananais @Pipstradamus @ria_rose @PipNRoll @FundamentallyFlawed

Hello traders,

you may remember that some time ago I posted about Bryanna McDermott :

the founder of Fearless Female Traders

Well, I had been listening to many episodes of Chat With Traders in the last couple of years and I thought it would be interesting to ask a few women traders/investors some questions of my own, and publish them here.

Bryanna McDermott was quick to respond and she kindly agreed to do this written interview, which I am now posting here for you both within this message and as an attached document.


/////////////////////// START OF INTERVIEW TEXT//////////////////

Ten questions to Bryanna McDermott, founder of Fearless Female Traders

  1. How did you first get interested in investing, and how did FFT start?

To most people, I had it all. Great job, healthy disposable income, new outfit most weeks and a yearly overseas trip that made Instagram posting a sport. Sydney’s social life had me by her talons and I was loving every minute of it. Heck, I was single and in my early 20’s, who wouldn’t be? The only problem was, I was drowning in debt. And I don’t mean paddling around in it, I mean head under water, can’t breathe, scene out of The Godfather kind of drowning! It had consumed my life like a recurring nightmare and despite having flashes of an adult conscience, I just kept spending.

The truth is, I was on a dangerous spiral into a future addicted to debt and the only person I could blame was myself. I was 23. I knew I had to go cold turkey. I knew I had to get sober. And that’s exactly what I did. I cut up my credit cards, all of them. And I started writing about my journey to becoming debt-free. What I didn’t take into account is what would happen when I finally got there and had money in the bank. I started with a small goal to cash savings, then it was a bigger goal, followed by investing in shares and then buying a house.

Turns out that other women were in a position just like me and wanted to learn more about investing…so I kept writing about my experiences and Fearless Female Traders was born. I’ve also recently released a mini e-book on the ‘5-step debt diet’ available as a download on my website!

  1. What is a common trait/issue among women who come to FFT?

A lot of women who have joined the ‘FFT Tribe’ always send me one question – “Bryanna, how the hell do I start investing? I know what a share is, but how do I start, what’s the first step? It’s all so confusing!”

3) Is FFT similar or different to sites like Girls On The Money and High Heeled Traders, and how?

I’m a big believer in creating a community of female partnerships who share a common goal – to help women invest! I love following ‘Girls on the Money’ and ‘High Heeled Traders’ and give them my biggest web-high-five for everything they’re doing for female investors. I guess where FFT may differ slightly is that all the blogs, vlogs and partnerships are curated from my personal experience with money. FFT started as a collection of anecdotes from my personal financial journey – kinda like a private journal - and turned into a public diary where I share my experiences into what worked for me, what didn’t, what I failed at, what I didn’t enjoy and what I loved. Money, shares and investing is so personal, I believe it always needs a personal touch.

4) What kind of advice do you give to women who perceive investing as too risky?

For many women the word “risk” means something to avoid at all costs. And when it comes to investing “risky” is almost always an immediate association! There’s also three myths that I try to bust when talking about risk -

Mistake 1: Cash is safe!

I often here the line “I am going to put all my money into the bank because I want it to be safe”. It is certainly true that cash-based investments make sense if you have short-term objectives like saving for a deposit for a house in 3 years. However, if you have long-term goals like saving for your retirement in 30 years-time, investing in cash is risky. Why? You won’t get capital growth and the value of your investments will be eaten away by that blood sucking leach know as inflation.

Mistake 2: Freaking out over negative returns

When people look at their investment returns with their super or share trading account and see negative numbers over 1 year they sometimes freak out and decide to make drastic changes by switching to something more “conservative”. Believe it or not, this approach isn’t really conservative. Some of the best days in markets can come at a time when it seems everything has turned to custard as we saw in the GFC. By getting out during volatile times you can miss out when markets do recover. Think of it this way – by trying to avoid disasters you can unintentionally create a disaster.

Mistake 3: Forgetting that time heals wounds

When you see how shares can move up and down, the reaction can be “this is not for me because it’s too risky”. The fact of the matter is that investing over the long term helps smooth out those “bumps” you see in markets, especially shares. As Warren Buffett pointed out in the 20th Century, the global economy went through 2 world wars, numerous military conflicts throughout Asia and the Middle East, a great depression and a flu epidemic that killed around 3% of the world’s population. Yet despite these horrific events, the American stock market (the Dow) rose from 68 to 11,722 – a return of 17,107%.

5) As well as ETPs, have you considered other forms of trading/investing?

Great question! I have definitely considered other forms of trading and investing and in fact have added a few other products/ items in my portfolio more recently. Of course, an exchange traded fund is a cost-effective entry point for new investors that is diversified, well-performing and great for a long-term investment.

But I can’t ignore my passion for healthcare (where my career started) and regularly find myself researching smaller biotechnology companies who are either about to patent or have just entered early phase (I or II) clinical trials in humans to prove safety and efficacy. Usually once it hits this point, you have a good idea as to whether it will meet it’s post-marketing application and hit the market prior to the patent expiring (i.e. before competitors can get their hands on the compound).

I have invested in three health/medical based companies as individual investments and have money in a small managed fund through my bank. Even with all of my research, reading and experience in investing, it has still taken me a while to build my portfolio.

6) As a BSc and MBA graduate, how (if at all) has this helped your investing?

Definitely! Coming from a science background, my brain tends to go to the logical before the emotional, which helps when you’re investing. As I say, “you should never get emotionally invested in your shares”, it will only break your heart! I also think the constant report writing from labs has set me up with some solid researching skills that I still use today when looking at a new company, share market or report. As for the MBA, well that really solidified my financial skills and gave me fantastic insight into the basics of the share market and investing from a business perspective.

7) Do you think retail investing in Australia is a viable alternative while the RBA holds at 1.5%?

Given the recent announcement that the cash rate is being held at 1.5%, I have also read speculation from investors that this is expected to remain at 1.5% up until November 2019! This has two effects, 1. Any investment in cash (for example an interest-earning savings account) is likely to suffer. In Australia, we have a popular online cash account called ‘ING’. With their rules (5 purchases a month, minimum $1000 deposit per month etc), the maximum interest rate return is 2.8%, and 2. It’s great for anyone planning on applying for a loan or with a current loan because it means the interest rates will remain low for some time to come and thus repayments will remain low.

In my opinion (and this is just mine #disclaimer!), retail investing in Australia is most certainly a viable alternative, especially since the interest-earned on current cash investments is forecast to remain low for at least another year. Although compound interest is our friend, compound on cash investments will not be able to compete with potential dividends and growth expected in the Australian market in ETF’s and individual companies – for example, in the data sector. I found a gem that I’m thinking of putting some money into, purely because my cash investments aren’t going to grow as much as I would like over the next 12-18months.

8) The voice of women on trading forums seems in the minority: why do you think this is?

The fact is that the share market, investing, the trading floors has been a very male dominated environment since the inception of trading began. And for many reasons, it’s remained this way right up until today’s socially-driven progressive environment. I’m not sure there is one answer to this, but I’ll attempt to give mine…with a few thoughts:
When shares were traded on the floor of a large room some many many years ago, with men yelling at one another, it represented the ‘hunt and gather’ behaviours of our ancestors. It was very pre-historic and wasn’t a place that women were necessarily attracted to.
Fast forward to today, the environment seems to still struggle with the idea of women in trading. Is it sexism? Is it competition? Or is it a lack of awareness? Perhaps it’s a bit of all three but in my opinion, it’s a lack of knowledge. Money and finance has always target the male market, and has completely missed the opportunity to market the female market. The fact is, evidence-based research has unequivocally shown that women are better investors…now we just need to market it to them better!

9) You posted strong comments on cryptocurrencies: what do you see as the future of investing?

Yes. Well, those opinions still exist! I won’t rant and rave about my disapproval for cryptocurrencies and rather put my energy into blockchain. That right there, is the future of investing! It is estimated to be valued at over $7B by 2022, but I think it will go beyond that. Every major bank and company will be using blockchain as a transparent, regulator-loving, audit-trail for any and all online transactions. I’m looking at blockchain technology now and can’t wait to finish my research so I can invest!

10) What is your next project with FFT, or after it?

I have recently published my first mini e-book “5-STEP DEBT DIET PLAN”, and I’m in the process of planning and building my “Investment VLOG series”, coming to FFT by the end of July. I’m also writing a full e-book…but with a full-time job, that is happening slowly!

I have been published in​ Girlboss (US),​ Mamamia, ​​Huffington Post, Women’s Health Australia, Collective Hub, Kidspot, 9Honey and appeared on Australia’s Channel 9’s A Current Affair Program (to air this week), been the guest speaker on events and panels and recently recorded my first podcast with one of Brisbane’s leading financial planners - it was an absolute hoot! ​Link here: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/its-not-polite-to-talk-about-money/id1353825664?mt=2​

Interview by Francesco Sani (a.k.a. @PipMeHappy )
June 2018

InterviewWithBryannaMcDermott(FFT)_BM responses.doc (47 KB)


Following on from post no. 653, here is an interview with said woman, Lauren Simmons, the only

full-time female trader in the NYSE:

Also, a further interview is here:

Hello traders!

You may recall that about two years ago I posted on this thread about

Linda Raschke :

I got in touch with her this month and she was happy to be interviewed for this thread.

Here is the text of the interview, followed by the document download at the bottom.


@Pipstradamus @Penelopip @Ananais


Ten questions to Linda Bradford Raschke, independent futures/commodities trader.

1) What impact has your love of trading had on your personal life? You come across as a well-rounded person, but you do talk about trading as something that can become more like a ‘hobby’ in the sense that it is more than just a job as it spills over into every waking hour of your mind and can take over your life - a giant game that one constantly seeks to win. Trader/coach Mandi Pour Rafsendjani talked on Desire To Trade podcast about traders who come to her because of their lifestyle taking a toll on their minds and bodies – basically getting burnt out – and it seems clear that without some due care there can be a very real impact to one’s well-being from too much time spent staring at charts. How can people who are new to financial trading keep a balance between sitting in front of their computer screen for hours on end and achieving a healthy lifestyle, including physical exercise and time for friends/family? Do all traders need to be leading a lonely life in order to be successful at this game?

First, trading is my profession. It is not a matter of love, like or hate. Every profession has aspects that are enjoyable and other aspects that are not. To excel in any profession, you must prioritize it, eliminate distractions and put in the hours and commitment to do the proper practice/marketing/research/residency…insert appropriate word for the appropriate profession. I am married, raised a wonderful daughter, have 4 horses I ride and train, and I have always ridden and competed my horses. I love gardening and working out at the gym, so a personal life is very important to keeping some type of balance as well as stress relief. No trader has to live a lonely life. With that said there are musicians and artists and sports professionals who prefer to be more introverts or less social that extroverts but that has nothing to do with the trading profession. Digital mediums can have addictive properties so perhaps certain personality types might be more susceptible to this than others.

2) Should private individuals seeking to understand and exploit ‘the markets’ approach them as investors or traders? I know that you have made this distinction very clear when talking about your own three-decade-plus involvement in financial markets, but sometimes the boundary seems blurred: for example, if one entered some USD/TRY long positions five years ago he/she would have done very well for him/herself. Yet currency trading is usually not approached in this way by individuals and it is more like buy-and-hold investing in stocks/shares/indices. Is this distinction just a matter of semantics or is it an important one to make early on in one’s journey?

“Exploit” the markets? That is a dangerous, meaningless word. Approach the markets with that framework and they will exploit your bottom line. Speculation takes lots of work and research to find an edge and even then, edges can disappear in the noise. “Investment” implies something you do with excess cash reserves you have saved up. Good investments can make an extra return on your money above what a savings account will pay. “The higher the return, the more risk” - is a general guideline for asset classes. And, there will always be periods in history where stocks can outperform and other times where they underperform so refrain from straight line thinking or projecting returns from the past into the future. Most all professional traders that I know treat currencies, stocks, bonds, commodities in the same way – markets where the constant shifting tides of supply and demand creates tradable swings of durations anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to a few days, and on some occasions a few weeks.

3) In one of your interviews with Andrew Swanscott (Better System Trader podcast) you talked about your extensive experience in working on different system modelling with Steve Moore, for example showing how most of a trading session’s volatility concentrates in the first few minutes (especially during moves on the short side): how much weight and time do you think individual retail traders should give to systems/ modelling if they had no programming expertise and/or wanted to take a discretionary approach to trading (from planning to execution)?

I don’t know how to program. All my early work I did by hand. A trader could simply keep a notebook that had 20-40 chart examples of each of their favourite patterns. The point is to find a methodology you can do consistently without behavioural biases interfering. A retail trader should start off learning to do one thing in one market well. You can then build from there. It is a long slow process. Research can help pass the time.

4) In Sue Herera’s book Women of the Street – Making it on Wall Street (1997), in which you were interviewed, she talked about the gendered difficulties faced by women in financial institutions: do you think that the shift from the more macho outcry trading to the quieter electronic exchanges in the last thirty years has gradually eroded that pit-style culture and given more space to women, and if so, which sector do you think has most benefited them (e.g. wealth management, private trading/investing, etc.)?

I left the trading floor in 1987. The pit culture died out 15 -20 years ago. Nobody knows if you are a male or a female when you are behind a screen. Why should it matter? Trading is a bottom line business, not one where you are trying to gather clients or do marketing.

5) In your interview with Kara Grygotis (VP at Trading Technologies) you mentioned that nobody cares if you are a man or woman when it comes to the bottom line (i.e. can you make money or not), yet when you look at the public visibility of women in the trading space, whether it is at an institutional level (Stacey Cunningham will be the first woman president of the NYSE in all of its 226 years; Lauren Simmons is the only full-time female trader at the NYSE; and so on) or in the trading analysis/courses websites and even on traders’ forums, it is almost entirely drowned out by male voices. How welcoming then is the financial sector in terms of gender (or ethnicity, etc.) and could more diversity actually help creating a different culture of ‘success’?

You are wrong in your statistics. There have been many full time female traders at the NYSE as well as every other exchange over the years. One of the richest persons in America the last two decades before the turn of the 20th century was a female trader who made her money trading. Her name was Hetty Green. She had made $94 million in trading profits when she died in 1916. The financial sector does not care your race, gender, or religion. We are talking TRADING here, remember? I know dozens of talented male traders who are very quiet and reserved. You will never see or hear them and they are probably ten times more successful than the visible males with a voice that you mention. Be very careful about stereotyping.

6) Studies show that men have a higher tolerance for risk-taking than women, which by extension translates into male-dominated financial institutions experiencing boom-and-bust cycles: given that a growing body of evidence also shows that women have made great returns as wealth managers and investors and out-performed men by most metrics in recent samples, why do you think that a lot of women still shy away from investing or trading their own money (and try to beat a low-interest-rate environment) and view it as too risky?

You are risking making many false assumptions in your generalizations. Some females might have a higher tolerance for risk taking than some males. Boom Bust cycles are not the result of male dominated financial institutions. Statistics showing women generating better returns might be fraught with survivorship bias. There are many flaws to throwing around generalized observations or just citing one study. Females traditionally build the nest, meaning raise and nurture the young while the male provides for the household. There is nothing wrong with this – it has been a fact for hundreds of centuries. It does not mean that there aren’t females who choose not to raise a family and instead want to generate money as a professional trader. I was fortunate in that my husband was Mr. Mom while I was the one who worked. There are about the same percentage of successful female traders as there are neurosurgeons or in the mining or construction business.

7) Babypips is a website dedicated to foreign exchange trading: you mentioned in your interview with Aaron Fifield (Chat With Traders podcast) that if you do not keep up with evolution you will become a dinosaur in the markets, meaning that if one particular product or system is no longer performing you will face extinction if you do not keep an open mind and learn to adapt. In a hypothetical scenario where you had to drop trading commodities or indices and jump into currency trading because of better opportunities there, would you approach it in exactly the same way as for the instruments that you now trade, and if not, what would you think you would need to learn before trading currencies (either spot fx or futures)?

I am not sure I used those words, dinosaur, etc. in my interview with Fifield. But, most “systems” have a half-life where they decay beyond their usefulness. A good market has liquidity and many market participants on multiple time frames – from short term speculators to long term commercials and institutions, etc. The SP futures, currency futures, gold, crude oil, bond futures, etc. They are all the same to me. The Currency futures and Forex spot market trade identical. I treat them all exactly the same. If I showed you a 3 minute bar chart of EUR /USD and a 10 minute chart of the Nasdaq futures and you did not know the time frames or the markets, I doubt you would be able to tell them apart. They both trend, form consolidation periods, have reactions and retests, and noisy periods where there is not so much volume.

8) As a musician with an interest in financial markets, I am keen to hear more about people like Adam Grimes (CIO at Waverly Advisors) and Jess Greenberg (Analyst at Winton Group) who have a strong musical background yet are also in financial careers: with your own daughter now working as a wealth manager at UBS after training as an opera singer, do you think that it is becoming more acceptable or even desirable to have hybrid skills/careers spanning these seemingly antithetic fields (e.g. creative arts and corporate finance)?

People who have been professional athletes or musicians have experienced following a consistent process or staying in the moment which is important for consistent trading. They probably have practised many hours as well. I think having hybrid careers is irrelevant.

9) You have been consistent in stressing that you do not sell any courses or systems, and that people in the public domain should carefully distinguish between actual traders and those who sell courses but have no verified/audited trading record showing profitability: how can someone starting as a self-taught, aspiring trader in the financial markets find a genuine mentor?

There is no better mentor than the market itself. Keep a journal every day. Write down your observations. Print off charts. Draw trend lines and mark them up. Write down what you think is going to happen each day as well as important levels. Then see how it plays out the next day. Nobody knows what is going to happen. A mentor doesn’t know any better than you. Only you can learn what it feels like when a trade is working in your favour or when it is starting to go against you. What is a mentor going to tell you that you can’t find on the internet regarding technical anlaysis? Wyckoff provided a great framework for price action. Great traders can make a lot of much money trading but there are very few great traders. I don’t believe there are “mentors” out there who can make a great living trading. That is why they are selling stuff. Everyone is selling something because they can’t support themselves trading. The best traders go on to manage money and make well into the 7 digits. People need to wake up and quit thinking that someone else knows all the secrets. If they did, they certainly would not be selling them to you. And I don’t buy the BS that they are doing it out of the goodness of their heart or as payback for someone helping them out. They are doing it because they are selling you something and they get money in return. There can be value in having a trading coach who does not pretend to be a trader. A good coach can be gentle reminder for when you are losing self-control and going on “tilt”. Or deviating from your proven methodology because you are not paying attention to other things going on in your life such as too much stress. A good coach can be a good listener, or give you feedback on developing a consistent process or routine. But then again, you can order a good book called The Checklist Manifesto on the internet and might find this helpful instead.

10) You were one of Jack Schwager’s New Market Wizards (1992) and were interviewed in James Allen Smith’s documentary Floored (2009): is there anything more of this kind in the pipeline. e.g. a forthcoming book/documentary about you and/or your trading?

I have had 6 books outlined for 15 years but never found the time to write anything! It really is a matter of choosing between trading and writing. But I retired from managing money 3 years ago and have a small book that I have been working on at night – it is nothing technical, but fun stories about how I have been on the wrong side of every major outlier and gotten my ass handed to me. Like shorting 1200 SP futures the Friday afternoon that the Fed announced they were going to step in and take over FNM. Then having them gap up against me 40 handles Sunday night. Or being long 600 live hog future when they announced swine flu one weekend. Fun stories like that! How do you manage THOSE times! “Ya know, here are all my worst case scenarios that happened to me but hey- I am still around!” And still smiling……

Interview by Francesco Sani (a.k.a. @PipMeHappy), June 2018


InterviewWithLindaRaschke(FINAL)withAnswers.doc (41 KB)


Oh wow. This is gold! Thank you for sharing this! I love how straightforward she is in her answers. Her answer to #5 is pretty interesting. I agree with the way you phrased the question (and even had examples) but I wish we had data to work with also. Many is different from 20% or 2% or 50%. The 1916 example is also not very recent but I suppose lots of people would like to keep this type of info on the down low.

Your Q&A here made me think of how fun it would be if we could also have like an AMA here!


What a brilliant mind !

I feel honoured to have been a reader of that interview !

That “@retail” is what the real opposition thinks like - Confident, incisive and right !

Can you (or I ) outhink that brain ?

Not a hope in hell methinks.

Thank you for managing to get access to such a trader @PipMeHappy

And if you read this LBR - Thank you !


@Ananais Linda did clarify later that she did not see that I meant ‘currently’ in respect of full-time female traders on the NYSE floor. There are statistics out there but in the end one can choose to take a view that trading financial instruments is democratic and sees no race nor gender as a barrier. However it is not so clear-cut because we have no hard data, for example, on how many retail traders are male.or female…I asked FXCM, but they had no statistics of this kind.

@Falstaff yes, a great mind, and you can follow my link further up the thread where I posted two of her interviews (one on Chat With Traders and one on Better System Trader).


Wow. Excellent stuff there @PipMeHappy.
Well done for getting this interview. Very grateful to get some words of wisdom from a Linda. She seems like a very practical, straight talking person.

Some actionable things that I’ve picked up are:

  • Find a methodology you can do consistently without behavioural biases interfering
  • Start off learning to do one thing in one market well
  • Keep a journal every day.
  • Read The Checklist Manifesto.

Thanks to Linda for taking time to share her thoughts and thanks @PipMeHappy for putting this together.


@BrentJB Thanks, Brent, and I am glad that you found this useful.

Your action points sound really good… I look forward to talking with you about these soon, face to face!


It is good to see the “British Soaps” (Coronation St and Eastenders )Taking a real look at Gender based issues recently :relaxed:

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Women account for only about 12 - 15% of trading roles, and only about 28% of investment roles

in financial institutions (e.g. banks) in the US:

I think that articles like these are telling, in light of what Linda Raschke was dismissing as a no-issue:

it may be the case that it is not an issue for those who already have a secure place behind a trading desk,

but such low percentages of women traders are not due only to a lack of willingness but also to a ‘right-fit’

scenario. If a company only recruits based on what they think would a be a ‘right-fit’ for their trading team,

then if the trading team is not particularly diverse it will likely only recruit people in the same ethnic, gender,

and even age category.

Linda also said that bubbles are nothing to do with male trading, but the fact that ON THE WHOLE it has

been shown again and again (and I quoted a few studies in this thread, but there are more) that women traders

are less risk averse and therefore incur in fewer losses, have steadier equity curves etc. is exactly to the point,

that companies with a more gender-diverse trading desk are not just paying lip-service to some secret leftist

gender agenda but actually increasing profits. The old concept that only high-risk alpha males can make profits

in Wall Street is unwilling to give way, EVEN IN THE FACE of data suggesting that actually that kind of high-risk

model often leads to bigger disasters further down the way. Of course, trading and investing is not so simplistic,

but even with automated risk management software and all kinds of new technologies, if at the core of a business

is the old high-risk, pit-trading attitude, then what would a more gender-diverse business model look like?

There are a lot of issues to unpack here, of course, including working hours and maternity leave for women in

trading jobs that may include anti-social hours, etc. We seem to have a sort of ‘holy’ view of financial markets

where only fit, non-child-bearing, never-sick men can lead to higher profits, and where only profits matter: but

actually, a healthier culture could lead to fewer high losses and heart attacks, less cocaine addiction and imbalance, more children without absent fathers and mothers, and so on.

The age of diversity in finance has begun, and it cannot be but a good thing for all concerned…

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Why would I agree that a place that I would not consider working, in a job I would not consider applying for, should be employing more women?

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Update on post no.138:

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Um, I’m not sure how this news is related to the fact she is a woman actually. I don’t see any connection here.

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Jamea,you are right, but I sometimes give updates on traders that I featured earlier on this thread,be them positive or negative…

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I think that’s not only very fair @PipMeHappy but also demonstrates that “they” can be just as “bent” as some men can. :laughing:


THanks, Falstaff.

Yes, indeed, and may I remind everyone that the thread title is ‘why we need more (good) female traders’, which means that we certainly do not want bad traders (of any gender)!