This week I visited another trader in London. He was kind enough to host me for a few days and helped me meet other traders both retail and bigger players from the prop world. Here are a few things I’ve observed from that trip.
Some of the following will sound cliché, but clichés are such for a reason, most of the time it’s because it’s true.
- Tom Dante is everything you’d expect him to be: a proper ledge, dedicated to helping other traders, even if he’s the worst organized person I’ve ever met, “balls deep” everything (trading, food, mentoring, everything!), to the point where I’d sometimes not know what “balls deep” we’d be in. If it sounds weird it’s because it is, and I can’t even begin to tell you what else I’ve heard over the week.
- Meeting people and other traders is crucial to your development. It’s virtually impossible to “make it” alone without pushing forward and expanding your network.
- You make your own luck. Success is the child of preparation and luck when opportunity knocks. But usually it doesn’t even knock, you have to kick the door to get in. Get outside your comfort zone. Etc, etc…
- Surround yourself by people who’ve walked the walk before you. If you’re the ledge in the room: congrats! You’re in the wrong room!
- Don’t believe everything you see on the internet. And I’m not talking about Tom here. As a general rule: the quieter the Twitter feed, the better the trader.
- You’ll get what you want from the market. Whether it’s excitement, losing your savings, being able to boost your ego by saying “I’m a trader”, whatever you subconsciously want, you’ll get. Therefore…
- Radical honesty is paramount to your success. Someone told me point blank what his problem was, acknowledged it, and in the following sentence said he refused to do the work and change. This trader is wasting his time.
- While I’m on the subject of time: pay attention to what and who you spend your most precious commodity on. It is very easy to get distracted. Choose carefully. Because you can never make it back.
- Big players make their money on news and big events such as central banks announcements. Not a price action pattern, being patient, waiting for it and trading it over and over and over again. Essentially the opposite of what is taught in the retail world. Worth mentioning though they have tools unavailable to a retail trader. Anyone who has seen their FX ladder knows what I’m talking about. The point is: don’t try to act like a big boy if you’re not a big boy. Know your place. Corollary: don’t try and trade like the bank you used to work for if you’re a retail trader now.
- They can trade 5 millions like it’s nothing and then lose their shit for a 50£ card game
- A hoodie, a t-shirt, jeans (or even shorts) and a pair of sneakers seems to be the proper way to dress when you’re trading size.
I can’t thank Tom enough for this opportunity, it was a great enriching experience, full of promises for the future. I can’t wait for what’s coming next.