Chris has been in the markets for 50 years and became a senior trader at the age of 22. Chris became a prop trader at 31 using his own capital, and over time expanded his trading into all asset classes. He holds long-term strategies as well as intraday trading. During his career, he created trading signals as well as using time-tested strategies that have been used by pro traders since the 80s. Chris believes in combining his considerable fundamental knowledge with technical analysis to help identify those high-probability trades. During his career, he found time to work in Italy for an Italian bank as a market maker as well as consulting for the London Stock Exchange Group. Apart from trading, Chris spends his time sharing his knowledge and trading skills with those coming through the Symax Fintech Trading Academy. He trains all levels from beginners to those with decades of experience. If you possess an inner trader, he will help you discover it. He regularly writes articles for various media, presents webinars, and creates weekly YouTube videos to help traders prepare for the week ahead. Symax Fintech is committed to supporting traders at all levels to help them on their trading journey.
Since Covid the financial and commodity markets have been extremely volatile at times; especially as the geopolitical landscape becomes more strained with Russia invading Ukraine and Israel responding to an attack by Hamas. Supply chain risks helped push inflation and interest rates higher as central banks attempted to balance demand with supply.
Trading requires discipline and this is essential to creating longevity and avoiding the emotional rollercoaster many traders experience. Controlling losses and maximising profits help with your win/loss ratio and risk-reward. If you manage to maintain a risk-reward of 1:2, meaning double the profit of any potential loss, then even being right in half of your trades will still deliver a profit. The emotions triggered in trading and how you manage them could be the difference between making it as a trader or failing. I have 50 years in the markets, and I still have one side of my brain telling me to “take the profit” as my fear is triggered and the other side of my brain crying out “Not yet, not yet!” which comes from my greed. Who wins depends on the trade and my confidence in the position! Possibly the most dangerous emotion is hope. In life we need hope, yet in trading, it can destroy your account. You buy and the markets drops so you buy more (dollar cost averaging), and perhaps even a third time and all you are hoping for is for that one bounce in the market to get it back to your average, so you get out without a loss. Of course, sometimes this happens but when it gets to your breakeven you start to look for a profit as the greed takes over, and then the market drops and stops you out! Other times the market just continues to go against you, and you end with a BIG loss.
Higher volatility in markets requires stronger risk management in trading, as losses can quickly increase. As I have been in the markets for 50 years, I know most trades will go against me before going in my favour…if they are going to! It’s the ones that do not turn we have to control and ensure they do not damage our capital too much! When volatility increases, I reduce my volume (I call it the 3 Vs = Volume versus Volatility) and use wider stop losses. Therefore, the potential loss remains the same, but I am giving my trade more time for the market to turn.
When the market does move in my favour and enters my profit zone, I tend to reduce my position slowly, by 5 to 10% at each level. Then, when I only have around 20% left, I will pause and wait and see how far the market wants to go. I will often make more on the final 20% than I did on the 80%, however, the reason I trade this way is you never when or if the market will reverse. After all, we need to have winning trades to cover the inevitable losses. I always calculate where my stop loss will be before entering a trade, as this helps with position sizing, and then I look for where I would take profit and as long this provides at least twice as much potential profit, I will take the trade (risk-reward 1:2 minimum).
If/when I do get stopped out and take a loss, I simply accept it. It’s just the cost of doing business and I know I will not get every trade right. I do not look to rush into another trade straight away as this leads to revenge trading. If you find this happens to you, make a rule that once you are stopped out you will not trade again for an hour. This should be enough time to calm down and analyse the market objectively, looking for that next high-probability trade. There will always be another opportunity, so why rush?
What I consider another form of revenge trading is when you have taken profit, then the market continues further and you think, wow, I could have made more, then it goes even further, and now you feel as though you lost money because you could have achieved double the profit! Then as it goes even further, you think, this is too much so you go against the trend, and of course, the market continues in the same direction, and you are stopped out, potentially giving back all the profits from the original trade. I consider this revenge trading, not against the market, but more against yourself for taking the profits too early and then trying to improve the trade hoping to cover this trade by exiting at the level you took the earlier profit, thereby trying to lock in the whole move just to satisfy your ego…don’t do it!
It is advisable before you start risking your capital to practise, and then practise some more to help hone your trading skills. There is so much more to trading than most expect, and understanding the fundamental drivers is useful as they determine trend and volatility with technical analysis assisting with the timing of our entries/exits and where to place our stop loss, plus, it provides a visual picture of where the market has been and where it is possibly heading.
A stop loss is either a financial decision, a technical decision, or possibly a combination of both. Always calculate the potential loss first, ensure if you are using technical analysis that your trend lines are extremely accurate as it could be the difference between a profit or a loss! Analyse to determine support and resistance, and then set your prices…let the market come to you, which means you need patience. Learn to manage your emotions, create a trading plan…and follow it. Find the markets that best fit your character and risk appetite and persevere…on a demo account. Do not rush to trade live, prove you can be consistently profitable, and it really helps if you have another regular income or savings to cover the bills and any emergency costs for at least 12 months. Wanting to make money is fine, needing to make money from day one is generally too much pressure and why many fail…along with being underfunded or having no real idea what trading is!
It is so simple to open an account to trade that most believe they will make money from day one. This is amazing as I cannot think of one career path that does not entail some degree of training. It is the main reason why we at the Symax Fintech Academy offer workshops, courses, and masterclasses. We are dedicated to helping as many as possible understand the fundamentals and various trading techniques available to provide them with the best chance of turning trading into their next career.