I had always had an interest in markets but hadn’t ever thought that I would have enough spare money to trade nor the access to financial markets, at best I had hoped to be a value investor through a pension scheme. In 2007 the financial crash saw fantastic opportunities for people with cash to purchase cheap assets but I was not one of them. I did however sign up for a demo share dealing account and create portfolios mainly centred around value  a with one based on biotech startups that I had researched as a part of my degree. Over the coming years all did well with Anpario performing exceptionally unfortunately however this was all paper traders but it did validate my methodology at the time. Looking back I do reflect that with the 2007 low most companies survivoring have rebounded well besides those distrupted by new technologies.


Most people at some point have wondered what it would be like to be a big money wall street/city trader, whilst studying for my post grad I was introduced to the concept of equities being valued above or below the value of their balance sheet, and how PE ratios used to  value companies enabled modest changes in profit to dramatically change the market value of the company. Having research Anpario for the degree (they produced a cattle feed that stopped the cattle from producing as much methane at a time that the EU was looking to reduce such emissions) I felt confident that with enough work and due diligence I would be able to find cheap growth stocks to hold for several years for a significant return.


I have tried both trading and copying others on the eToro platform but having constructed well diversified portfolios of traders, I personally found that outsourcing money management was not satisfying. The concept of the wisdom of the crowd was also somewhat challenging given that over 80% of retail traders on spread betting platforms lose money. My money was invested at a time on which a crisis in China led to increased volatility and it became clear that some of the traders were quite comfortable in low volatility conditions but were not suited for the environment of the time and would chase trader and revenge trade. Since that time the platform has introduced far stricter risk management controls for those who are copied in order to better protect those who copy. In the long term I do aim to trade on one of the social platforms eToro, Ayondo or Zulu Trade but for the moment I will retain the bulk of my capital under my own control with my suite of trading algorithms on the IG platform.


I have tried trading Gurus in the swing trading service from Bulls On Wall Street, an AFDVN Guru and Peter Brandt but I found that for myself the traders that they shared were valuable learning experiences but that I was not comfortable holding positions suggested by others, when they made gains it was my expertise in picking them but when the trade lost it was them and this was not sustainable. I learnt a lot from Brandt in particular about technical analysis however long term following Gurus is not for me.


Automated trading is the trading style that I have been most comfortable with, I have found that it allows me to overcome both weaknesses in my own trading psychology but also in that of the amount of time that I can dedicate to sitting in front of trading screens. Automation allows me to take trades when I am asleep, traveling and working precisely following my strategy and without the desire to sit and watch the screen and sweat through the ups and downs of price movements until the trade closes. Following working on the Pro Real Time platform and interacting with the Pro Real Code community I read the book Building Winning Algorithmic Trading Systems by Kevin J Davey (Link), developed the Robo Futures Trader process and it has all clicked into place.


In the next couple of years there are a couple of challenges that I have set for myself:

Have a strategy on Cloudquant
Attend the Amplify Trading Career Course

Take the Institute of Portfolio Management Course

Visit the City of London and Wallstreet

Develop a methodology to translate my automated trading onto a social trading platform