I reminisce about the day I walked into the GT247.com trading room for the very first time many years ago. I was a complete noob to trading (and a bit muddled about why bulls and bears had anything to do with trading the markets?!)
In all truth, for a few split seconds, it felt as if i walked into a movie like The Boiler Room or Wolf of Wallstreet. Computer screens, hundreds of them, graphs, green and red numbers ticking up and ticking down, each terminal manned by a trader with a headset on, guiding clients, engaging, questioning, answering.... what a buzz and a complete sensory overload of "gees"!
Having just started my own personal trading journey I always looked towards the trading desk as if it was an area of the office that was inhabited by mythical creatures, gatekeepers to the secret of eternal wealth... how do i get them to share their knowledge? I must make friends!
Traders on their way out for lunch...
In the days and months that followed, I managed to spend some time with the traders, striking up conversations during lunch hour in the canteen and timing my smoke breaks just right.
What i came to realise was that these mythical creatures are just like you and me. They have their ups and downs in trading, need to sleep, eat, drink (far too much RedBull), are constantly learning and refining their craft; and, they set goals and have ambitions which any novice trader can learn and relate too.
I decided to have a short chat with some of the GT247.com traders and get some insight into what their goals and thoughts are for the year 2018, maybe YOU can relate?
2018 sentiment: Bullish
You can catch Musa on some of our morning podcasts and he also contributes actively to technical research published on our blog.
Musa believes 2018 is the year of the bull. Last year Musa felt that he was fighting the trend in his trading strategy... in his own words "If there is anything that 2017 has taught me, it is that what goes up DOES NOT have to come down. The Dow Jones and the S&P indices are very good examples."
2018 sentiment - Bullish
Odwa is from the Eastern Cape, a mechanical engineer by trade and a self taught trader who has found his passion to be at the trading desk rather than the former.
Chatting to Odwa about 2018 and his goals it is clear that his priority focus will be on practicing his patience, discipline when entering trades and setting stops and take profits.
He emphasizes how important it is to on cut out the noise of other traders opinions and to focus on your own strategy and stick to it. "Don't compare your chapter3 to someone else's chapter5."
2018 sentiment - Bull or Bear, Barry will take advantage of whichever way the market moves
After a stellar 2017 of achieving over 70% returns on his trading portfolio, Barry confidently states that his goal this year is to increase the success rates on his trades... (guess there is always room for improvement?)
When asked what advice he has for traders out there he nonchalantly replies "Just follow @BEEF_FINMARKETS trade notes on Twitter".
While confidence is clearly oozing from Barry this new year he still stresses that all traders need to practice discipline and patience in their trading with a strong focus on risk management.
2018 sentiment - Bullish
I have known Bryan for many years. He is super switched on and has a diverse background which incorporates auditing, financial accounting, human physiology and biochemistry. He is analytical by nature so you will find that his trading style is cautious often with long waits between his technical notes. When chatting to him this new year he has confirmed that he will be refining his strategy even more with a "less Maverick and more Yoda approach".
Bryan's advice to novice traders is "Focus on the basics, stay disciplined and increase the probability of successful trades."
Looking back at the beginning of my own trading journey and after paying a decent amount of "school fees" I have learnt the following:
- NOISE - don't try to trade on other traders tweet opinions unless you know they are legit traders and not posers. Rather follow guys who do this for a living. You can follow the GT247.com traders on twitter. They put out good Technical Notes after first doing their research.
- FOMO - You dont have to trade every day. Don't get sucked into being "busy" trading. Be patient, there will always be doubt in a trade but use your gut feel and rather pass if you don't have confidence in your trade idea. There will always be another opportunity.
- COMMIT - "Plan your trade, trade you plan". Don't sit staring at the 5-min chart after going into a trade. With proper risk management, your stop loss and take profit levels will see you through. There can be only two outcomes, win or lose but I guarantee you will lose more than win if you get jittery and close a trade because it's not going your way within the first few minutes.
- EMOTION - After a big win or a big loss, don't just jump into another trade. Give it 24 hours at least. Reflect on your strategy, refine it and come back with fresh eyes.
- LEARN - You won't get rich overnight trading, if you do, the chances are that you pulled a Hail Mary and that you would risk all that gain out of greed and over confidence. Take the time to learn, start small, don't overextend yourself. Most IMPORTANTLY, have fun and never put yourself in a situation where you can't sleep at night because you've lost money that you could not afford to lose in the first place.
After my short chat with the guys on the desk, I can see risk management and patience is one of the key factors to succeeding in trading... and... that it doesn't matter whether you are a novice or pro trader, we all have alot more in common than just being human...
Until next time, I wish you profitable trading!