Hundreds of people come through the doors of Learn to Trade every month looking to learn to trade, we recently spoke to Aldrin Llamas, an FX and commodities market trader and Trading Floor Manager, about being a trader and the characteristics that make a good one.
How did you get into trading?
It was about four years ago, I was quite curious with how the FX markets work and interested to see if I could make money from it. I self studied through various websites, books and articles but found the results were not as good as expected. Later in 2014, I went to join some of my family who had recently moved to Australia and came across Learn To Trade and undertook one of the courses in Sydney. I was amazed with how simple risk managed trading could be effective. From then I kept learning and trading for a time and even got the opportunity to coach some Filipino clients in Australia myself, right before the office in the Philippines opened and I took on the trading manager job here.
What time is the best time to trade?
For most traders, it’s when markets are about to open as there is more volatility and proper setups (where certain market conditions are met). Personally, it’s when I’m totally free from any distraction, so I can focus on my technical analysis, combined with trading strategies. Wednesday nights are usually good for me as I usually find good movement on crude oil inventories.
What are the common mistakes you see traders starting out make?
There are a few, but the main ones are over trading, getting greedy, unsupported and underfunded. Patience and discipline go a long way with successfully trading the currency markets.
We know many trading decisions are influenced by emotions, how can people go about managing this?
Through experience mostly. It is far easier to learn technical and fundamental analysis, than managing your emotions when trading. But, without the right trading mindset, you will find trading very difficult. People need to be in the right trading environment, be well guided and have a larger perspective with how the market flows. It’s important to remember that nobody can predict the market, so it is ultimately up to the trader to ensure they make all their trading decisions on analysis, not emotion.
What does it take to be a successful trader?
You must stick to proper risk management, I cannot stress how important that is. You must learn to manage trades based on account size, be properly educated and guided and develop the right trading psychology. The market will flow as it will, chasing wins and getting emotional about it will get you nowhere.
What tips would you give to someone starting out trading?
It helps to be well funded and educated in trading, but it’s important to remember that like any new craft, learning to trade and understanding it takes time and effort to learn, and then master.
What tips do you have for a more experienced trader?
Try not to complicate trading. Most seasoned traders use a ton of indicators and strategies that may not be totally applicable to a given situation. A far deeper understanding of the markets paired with even a simple strategy could mean better profits in the long run.
Can everyone learn to trade?
Yes, absolutely anyone. With proper education and guidance, plus a bit of effort, anyone can learn the skills needed to start trading.
How has trading changed over the past 10 years?
20 years ago the only people trading where found in large trading rooms, and it was for rich people who had the right connections and access. These days, anyone who has a WiFi connection and a laptop can trade.
Is it possible to always get your trades right?
You will not always get your way in the market, when this happens it’s important to understand what happened and learn any lessons that can help you be a better trader. By being careful at managing your risks you give yourself the best chance of being a successful trader overall.