My most endearing memory of university was meeting a stunning brunette who, after several futile attempts at getting her to accept a date, succumbed to my then boyish charm. Several years later she became my wife, and we went on to have two children, a girl and a boy now 22 and 19 respectively.
After university, I followed my parents’ path into the NHS, albeit, I was interested in management not nursing. Initially, I became involved in hospital management in a junior capacity and worked my way through several management tiers, ending up at Health Authority level. After several years, I tired of the red tape and bureaucratic practices which strangled any entrepreneurial flair to make improvements to the system, so l took a major decision to leave and set up my own business.
Trading – the early years
Armed with an over flowing confidence and with finances in place, I was off to milk the markets dry. I remember thinking, “surely it can’t be difficult”. I set up my charts, which in all honesty looked great, but only as a piece of art. There were so many indicators and trend lines etc. which, on reflection, made them completely impossible to interpret. In reality, I hadn’t a clue what I was doing. The result: two pots of cash blown.
After dusting myself down, I reviewed my actions. The stark reality was I’d been a complete fool. Unlike my business activity, I hadn’t even made a trading plan, I had no strategy and I had no system: I was doomed to fail.
I was determined to succeed in the trading arena as I’d not experienced failure in business and I was determined I wasn’t going to in the markets either. I went back to basics, applied my business acumen to my trading and over time I ‘found myself’. I knew the products I wanted to trade and the timeframes I was comfortable with. I knew my entry and exit criteria, I knew how to manage a trade and I considered risk and reward (R&R) etc. In other words I made a trading plan and, armed with that, I moved forward.
My preference is Index trading, although I’m not averse to FX or commodities, should the conditions prevail, and I also invest for my SIPP. (Self-Invested Personal Pension.)
I day trade only, start flat, trade through the day and close flat. I trade the confluence of two time frames, aiming to achieve between three to five trades a day.
I’ve learnt never to assume, expect, predict or try to guess what’s likely to happen. I trade momentum as per the timeframes employed, any time frame higher than my strategy is of no value to me. I use price action to good effect, to identify when and where the price is trending. I like to jump in after the move has started and jump out before the move slows.
I also like to get my stop loss close to breakeven as soon as is realistically possible and, depending on the time of day, I trade different R&R’s to reflect the volatility of the markets.
To carry on trading as per my trading plan. Eventually, to sell on my business, retire and reduce my trading activity to one or two trades a day to boost the pension!
Tips to pass on
- Never trade without a plan. It should encapsulate every aspect of your trading: the good, the bad and the ugly.
- Aim to be consistent in your approach; replication of a successful fully tested system will bring the rewards.
- Willpower and self discipline are needed to succeed, what you want to happen may not happen unless you remain 100% focused.
- Never listen to another’s trading advice or opinion, focus on your plan.
- Don’t get greedy.
- Always use a stop loss; it’s your insurance policy to protect you against capital loss.
- And finally, keep your system simple, less really is more! I use a confluence of Heiken Ashi candles from both time frames, following the trend line on my upper timeframe, confirmed by one (bespoke) indicator on my lower timeframe.
And finally . . .
Don’t lose heart, whilst initially the mountain might appear insurmountable, ascending it, is not impossible. How you deal with the emotional factors is key, remaining calm and in control of your actions are paramount, and before you know it you’ll will have started to gain confidence, and hopefully your P&L will start to fill out.
There are some good threads on T2W to help you on your journey, and many good members who will help you with any questions you have.
Good Trading Rob