Interview with Stock Trader Richard Joyson (Mr Charts)
PM: = Paul Mullen (Interviewer)
RJ: = Richard Joyson (Mr Charts)
PM: What markets do you trade and what do you do?
RJ: I trade almost entirely U.S. shares on a day trading basis. I'm in trades for really anything from half a minute to as long as two or three hours. So, there isn't an average length of time that I'm in a trade. I'm in a trade as long as it's going my way, and if I get a signal to exit the trade, I take the signal. If the signal comes a minute after I enter, then I exit. If a signal doesn't come for another two hours, then that's when I exit.
Basically, I trade the U.K. afternoon, (which is the U.S. morning). Occasionally, I trade in the evening, but generally not. I used to trade the evening and the evening only, when I was a dentist in practice but I packed in dentistry many years ago now, and I trade fulltime. Before that, I was trading the evenings only and on my afternoon off. But, I enjoyed it so much that I eventually gave up dentistry several years ago to trade fulltime. I make my money in the afternoon and do social things in the evening. It's a nice, easy, enjoyable life and my only regret is that I didn't do it years before.
PM: What you're saying is you've developed the approach you have to trading from when you were originally trading in the evening, when you were working in dentistry, to where you're primarily now working in the afternoon, and you spend the evenings doing more leisurable things or other activities. How did you get started doing this? Many people have different ways of coming to it but how did you get started?
RJ: I can't say I had a great interest in trading years and years ago. It was triggered in the 1980's by the Thatcher privatizations. I'd read what they were saying in the financial papers and newspapers and gradually became interested. I bought some shares in the privatizations, and gradually got more and more interested. I started trading U.K. shares on a swing trading basis. This was back in the days when you could do something called T25 which was to buy or sell a share and you didn't actually have to settle the account until 23 days later, 2 days before the 25 days elapsed.
I traded like that for a while, on a swing trading basis. That proved successful and I quite enjoyed that. I also traded some FTSE futures and also some fairly simple options trades. Again, I seemed to be able to do those okay. Eventually it dawned on me, probably later than it should have done, that when the U.K. market opened it often gapped. The reason for that is the U.S. market was trading the previous evening, not to mention the Far East and so on; it struck me that what I was doing was to trade the tail rather than trade the dog.
I then began to look at U.S. shares. There were set ups and triggers and ways of looking at things, which I had been using successfully with U.K. shares, so I simply started off in the same way with the U.S. shares, testing the same concepts, testing the same methods to see how well they worked. I started out thinking they probably wouldn't work as well and to my surprise I found that they worked better.
That basically enabled me to start thinking about short-term trading, where the capital I had could, in reality, be almost geared through re-use; I could use it repeatedly rather than it being tied up for a period of time. I found that trading in the evenings was working and very well. I'd come home after a long day at dentistry, and was trading some evenings. Obviously, some evenings were family orientated, but I found that I could do it. Things were working. My set ups and triggers were working, and I carried on doing that.
After a while, I began to realize this could actually be my living. I could get out of dentistry, which was beginning to pall a bit in the sense of the responsibilities of it: the regulations, the fact that you had to achieve a high turnover before you even broke even, all of these pressures, stresses, and commuting and so on.
I began to think seriously about trading for a living. That was something I should have done earlier than I did do, but at the time when I made the decision to give up dentistry, our children were 19, 16, and 12, so they were entering a period of time when they were going to be very expensive. I was reluctant to give up the practice.
I phased things in and got somebody to work for me part time. I did two or three days of fulltime trading. That worked well, so eventually with a great deal of hesitation I gave up dentistry and started trading for a living.
PM: One of thing things you said there, Richard, was after you explained the progression from how you got started, through to where you currently are now, you're obviously known as a day trader. How long have you been doing the day trading aspect, and how long have you been doing it completely professionally, in terms of just time?
RJ: I've been doing it fulltime for 10 years now.
PM: You've had two parts to the way you've set up your trading career. The first part, you were within dentistry still and you were trading in the evening. You switched at some point to trading fulltime. How long had you been doing it part time and then how long have you been doing it fulltime?
RJ: I was doing it part time, trading U.S. shares, for about a year or two. Then when I was satisfied that what I was doing was essentially working, basically whatever the market itself was doing, whatever the market was trending up, trending down, ranging, basically going nowhere, grinding up slowly, grinding down slowly; once I was convinced that the different set of methods I was using would be effective in all those markets, then I made the decision to go fulltime.
I sold the practice in 1999. I kept on working for two mornings per month to keep my hand in, just in case anything went wrong with trading. I did that until 2004, which is almost seven years ago. In other words, in 2000 I had been trading fulltime, day trading U.S. shares and a little bit of U.K. shares to begin within that period. I certainly did quite a few shorts after the tech market rolled over in March of 2000. I've been fulltime for about ten years.