Q: What is the biggest challenge aspiring traders need to meet?
A: Learning how to speed up their thought process. Lots of information and events are condensed into smaller timeframes. Working more hours or calling time-out is not an option. Behaviors causing the brain to filter, process, and apply information most effectively need to be developed and strengthened.
Q: What is the next biggest challenge?
A: Aspiring traders need to understand who they are competing against. This is tough because they must dig way deeper than identifying who the enemy is to understand strengths and weaknesses.
Q: Anything else?
A: Aspiring traders need to understand their own strengths and weaknesses. Again this takes time. Some are obvious but the most threatening weaknesses only reveal themselves through trading experience.
Q: How long should an aspiring trader plan for their development?
A: It’s different for everyone. Each brings their own unique aptitude, desire, and commitment. Each have unique experiences and supporting environments. Each has different objectives, pressures, and motivation. The expectation should be to treat trading like any other profession. Recognize it requires a structured learning program; and daily guidance and reinforcement to support development and practical application of trading strategies.
Q: What do you think about simulated trading?
A: It is an essential part of trader development and central to validating basic understanding before placing capital at risk. However there are some minimum requirements (identify market state, understand strategy logic, and precisely defined triggers) that should be satisfied before you begin. If they are not met then bad habits will be embedded and they will require way more work to remove and reprogram than taking the time upfront to neutralize risk for their development.
Q: How optimistic are you about the opportunity for futures traders?
A: The foundation has been laid for tremendous growth and that will create the capital to steadily increase speculative risk. The Tax Cut and Job Act, renegotiating of trade, roll-back of EPA regulations, looming infrastructure spending on a national level, plus the rebirth of manufacturing in the U.S. will lead to sustainable growth with GDP staying well above 4 % for years not months. Those who take the time to develop foundational knowledge and competencies futures trading requires will position themselves well over the long-term. Those who keep looking for short-cuts will always struggle.
Q: What is the best advice you have for aspiring traders?
A: Measure yourself by your ability to consistently make good decisions. This will earn you the feedback that will lead you to the work that matters most and prepare to do it best. Unfortunately aspiring traders most often measure themselves based on P&L and end up on an emotional roller coaster instead of developing behaviors securing long-term trading success.
Q: What about traders who are struggling?
A: They have likely lost the patience to wait for the market to align with their strategy and the conviction to consistently execute. First take some time off to develop fresh perspective then return when you have conviction for your strategy. This will give you the energy you need to patiently wait for market alignment and the trust to execute as intended.
Q: Do you have a favorite charting platform?
A: Technology is so competitive they are all strong. It comes down to personal preference. The most important thing is the speed and reliability of your internet connection; and having the phone number of your trading desk on speed dial so you can act quickly when service is interrupted.
Q: How do you see the markets finishing out the year and heading into 2019?
A: Strong and stronger due to the underpinning provided by tax, trade, EPA reform, looming infrastructure investment, and the rebirth of manufacturing.