I was born into a gambling family. My dad and grandfather were Bookmakers back in the 60s & 70s and they were also very successful professional gamblers (mainly horse racing). I used to sit in their back office as a toddler using a toy phone so I could pretend to take/make bets like all the other people sitting around me. Then, when I was a little older, I was on the phones for real to make some extra pocket money.
By thirteen, dad set me up with one of his accounts to bet my own money on the horses and my education went to the next level. It sounds crazy and irresponsible, but they always monitored me closely and I was going to do it anyway….. they wouldn’t have been able to stop me!
By the late 70s I was seventeen and a veteran, but really needed to focus on my ‘A’ levels and finding a proper job, as my mother had laid down the law about me not going into the bookmaking business.
I eventually joined Shell International in London and became an Accountant, utilizing those numbers that were always bouncing around in my head!
I still am an Accountant to this day and thank my mum for her wise words as it still pays the bills. I would recommend that everyone have something in their armoury that pays the bills – and I don’t mean trading!
Trading – the early years
I was introduced to trading in the 80s as a trainee accountant supporting the guys on the Shell trading floors….. Nothing full time or serious and I never found my true groove until the early 2000s when I discovered forex and, more specifically, using ‘Strengthmeter’ analysis to look at the forex market. There was nothing around on this subject in those days – just some basic indicators on the MetaTrader home site and a handful of programmers/traders playing with open source generic MT4 indicators. I created my own ‘FXCorrelator’, using various pieces of information. Yes, the FXCorrelator is my Frankenstein monster and I have never looked back: I’ve been a Strengthmeter nut ever since!
Fourteen years on, I have met many great mentors, programmers and traders that have all helped me on my path….. too many to mention but they know who they are – thanks guys!
I trade (still part time) across all timeframes – and still use my original FXCorrelator (alongside hundreds of derivatives I’ve developed over the years). I still work full time so, sadly, I don’t put in the hours I really need to in order to become a pro – perhaps one day!
I have absolutely no idea! I will go with the flow and see where the trading path takes me. I believe that flexibility is key in this game, so don’t get into a rut or groove in mindset, especially if you are not making consistent money. Adapt, change and experiment to progress (as in life). I doubt if I will ever leave the forex Strengthmeter arena though, as it’s in my trading DNA these days and as natural to me as breathing.
Tips to pass on
Spend time (years) researching, experimenting and learning all you can about trading before you decide to specialize. You cannot make rational decisions unless you have been around the block a bit. I cannot emphasize strongly enough how you have to walk this long path to arrive back at the same place – but then as a different person and ready to become a good trader.Don’t pay out fortunes to find the Holy Grail during this time – it’s not there and, even if it was, you would not be experienced enough to spot it anyway! Don’t beat yourself up too much when you splash the cash on worthless training and courses – we’ve all done it – just keep the costs to a reasonable level so you can stay in the game.
Once you have been around the block a few times you will realize that most of the standard methodologies all signal the same moves at pretty much the same time. The key to making this pay over the long term is to perfect your execution of the approach you use. Execution is all – ask any pro in any business or sport.
Take responsibility for yourself and any others that rely on you….. do not trade if this ever puts you and their financial livelihood/living standards at risk. Trading is a choice for people with the money to lose on it without suffering any significant financial hardships. If you can’t afford to do it then don’t do it – please!
Be realistic on your trading goals and profitability expectations – don’t believe the hype – trading is hard and only the best and most dedicated make money (see all my earlier comments on the path).
Don’t make trading your life. It’s just part of the big puzzle, so get out there and spend time with family and friends as we won’t all be here forever!
Finally . . .
if you want to discuss Strengthmeters, I am always reachable at [email protected] or post to my threads here on T2W (links below), and I will be happy to respond.