I did my first trade June 20:th 2011, bought a couple of shares in Lundin
Petroleum, at market of course, I held it for about 5 minutes…. An intraday trader
At the time, I didn´t know what long or short was. For me it was just buy or sell,
and I couldn´t undersatnd how you could sell something you haven´t bought in
the first place, very strange too me. Futures, we shouldn´t even talk about what I
thought that was.
Things have changed since June, and I owe so much to my mentor Mark Holstead.
If it wasn´t for him, I wouldn´t be where I am today.
I found Mark´s website thedaytradingroom.com when I googled for tape reading.
There aren´t so much to read about tape reading it seems, but I was pretty
convinced that tape reading and short term trading was my game. I´ve been a
system developer all my career, so for me to have absolute control is very natural.
For me there was three choices, if I wanted to learn more about trading: SMB
training program, Bidhitter.com prop trading with mentorship or Mark as a
The choice was easy for me, after the first time Mark and I talked over the phone. I
found mr Holstead a very calm and humble human being, with tons of knowledge.
How could I ever learn all that we talked about, I think I learned more in two
hours talking with Mark, than reading three or four books.
I would say that, if you´re serious about this trade and want to get up to speed fast,
before all your trading capital is lost, mentorship is the way to go.
When it comes to mentorship and chosing a mentor, I would say that chemistry is
very important. You have to trust you mentor, what he teaches you, and also be
able to be honest with him, especially when everything is not going your way.
I have decided to go all in, full time trading from March 2012. It´s a bit scary and
at the same time it´s gonna be so much interesting to really explore what you can
do in this extremly hard business.
After 9 month of trading, I would say that, now I realize how big this world is and
how important it is to be a specialist. Mark told me that being a specialist is the
only way, and I didn´t really believe him first, because I was more of a generalist in
my profession, and thought that you have to know everything. Now I´m a believer.
My primary instrument is DOW futures and that I trade on an intraday basis, but
I´ve started to have my eyes on Crude oil lately. I think it might be good to have at
least two instuments to trade if your primary instrument becomes too narrow in
What I´ve learned so far
Money management: ( Three M´s borrowed from Dr Alexander Elder )
I would say that most important is Money management and risk management.
It´s so important to protect yourself against be totally wiped out, especially in the
beginning. When you think about it, if you have a good money management
strategy, you can afford to do all the mistakes in the world, and still continue
trading. You´ll learn from your mistakes and with time you will hopefully not do
them again. It takes time in front of your monitors to get a good feel for the
market, excessive time. So it´s crucial to not spend all your trading capital before
you even have started for reel.
You have to really work on your money management though, and you must
follow it to the letter, else you´re doomed to failure. I wrote my MM document
and my partner is now my accountant, I wouldn´t dare make one single slip, and
that has saved my account several times.
Second most important, or equally important is your own psychology. You have to
be mentally stable, or you won´t stand a chance. The trading environment,
especially this short term stuff, offers too much action. You just get sucked in, it´s
like being hypnothized. So, you have to be calm and at the same time extremly
alert, not get too excited and at the same time not too hard on yourself.
You have to have the discipline to follow your money management plan, and
that´s easier said than done. When you´re down on the day, and you just know
you´re right. You might think that you should double the size and make up for the
loss, just this one trade. When you feel the rush or feeling down, just close the
computer and go outside or whatever. At least then you have control over your
I have been struggling with chasing and making the same mistakes over and over
again. You know what to do but don´t do what you know.
After realizing that I´m just human, I went to see a therapist. I go there every
wednesday. Whatever it takes, you know.
Technique and feel for the market. All this will come when you have a good money
management plan and a stable psyche. I promise!
Spend time in front of your screens, preferably live, no market replay. If you don´t
have that much time, take the laptop to the sofa and just watch a 15 min chart
while wathing the tellie with your partner. Well, I´m not so sure about that one.
I´ve been making things more complex than they really are, and that´s not good.
You have to try to simply all the time. Concentrate on one setup only. It´s sounds
stupid to just have one setup, but believe me, that´s the way to go. Be an expert on
one setup before you go to the next, even if it takes months of practice.
For me it was love at first sight, I haven´t looked back ever since. Every day, I
think about market and how other people (traders) think. It´s beautiful! Don´t let it
become an obsession though.
Would I recommend this business to other people? Absolutly not. If you don´t
know instantly that it´s your game, it probably isn´t.