Interview with Carousel46 (DARWIN $SLR)
If you use our “Promising DARWINS” filter, SLR will probably catch your eye: > 9 in Risk Management and > 9 in Performance… not bad!
We thought it’d be good to have a brief interview with the trader behind the H4H1extreme trading strategy… enjoy!
1. So, tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started and how long have you been trading for?
My very first experience with trading/investing was in 2005 when I invested in a couple of mutual funds. Everything went up those days and I doubled my investment in 2 years. I sold it before market collapsed in 2008. Then I bought some gold when it was at 800USD and sold for 1850USD in 2009. Again, this was a pure luck as I did not know much about investing. The profits allowed me to focus on trading and before I started to take this business seriously, I went through the usual process of copying other people’s strategies, testing indicators, etc. After some time I got from a losing period to a break even period where I got stuck for a long time. Regular profits started to come after I sorted out some issues, mostly psychological.
2. About your trading strategy: what pairs do you usually trade? Do you always trade the same timeframes?
I look for moves that markets can achieve any time, while trending or in consolidation. I usually aim for about 40% of average daily range. I look for places at the extreme of H4 swings that price will probably test and if the test is successful, I enter. I closely watch average daily range to adjust my SL and target. Volatility changes quickly, e.g. two months ago, ADR for the last 20 days in GBPAUD was above 330 pips, now it is 170. Price is not be able to hit my previous targets, I need to adjust them.
I trade 10-12 pairs, 6 majors and a couple of crosspairs to balance the portfolio.
I look at trends at D1 and H4 and a final decision is made on H1.
3. As a trader, what would you say is your greatest strength?
There are a couple of personality traits that used to be my weaknesses in the past, but I have managed to turn them into strengths. Perseverance and discipline being two of them. I have had a very hard times back in late 2014 and in January 2015 – the infamous unexpected SNB decision to stop pegging the Swiss franc. In 2014 I had a very profitable strategy that stopped working and I have lost most of the profits during fall of 2014. In mid January 2015 I was caught on the wrong side of GBPCHF trade and while I was getting myself a coffee, the black swan came. I remember vividly that I went away to get myself a coffee and when I came back to my screen, I could not believe my eyes that my account was wiped out completely. I felt absolutely devastated. I was on the brink of quitting. I even had an interview to get a regular job (they did not accept me). After I got out of the mental hole, I started to work on my trading again.
As for discipline, I never deviate from my plan. I imagine myself as a pilot. If he starts to experiment and make mistakes, he will not survive for very long.
4. And your biggest weakness?
In the past I have had a mentor that helped me very much to overcome some mental and psychological obstacles. It took me 2-3 years to get rid of them. One of them has stayed with me though. I struggle having long losing streaks. Six or more successive losses can influence my peace of mind. That’s why I do not watch my results until late in the week. It is the traders that enter the market after me that determine if I have a profit or a loss. If they enter in my direction, good. If not, I have no control over them so I will not bite my nails watching price move against me. I want to stay emotionally detached. It is also much harder to handle the losses when you keep hearing the sounds from your platform when yet another stoploss was just hit.
5. Our algos tell you are very good at when it comes to managing your risk. Any ideas for other traders who need to improve on those attributes?
My risk management is very simple, as is my trading method. I risk 1% of my equity on each trade. I never risk more than that just because there is a A++ setup that has all confluences. The most obvious setups are often traps and there are stophunts and fakeouts. I adjust my stoploss size in pips every week and I also consider pip value in individual markets and volatility. There may be more sophisticated ways of risk management but I believe that simple ideas are the most robust.
6. What is the most important lesson you have learnt in your trading career?
Trading has given me many lessons. It made me a better person, I think. I learned a lot about myself during the hardest moments.
A big lesson is that you can never win the war. You can only win a battle after battle. You have to prove your results day in day out. Once you think you won the war, you are dead. Markets evolve, traders evolve, everything moves forward. You need to work harder than everyone to stay on top. You need to keep that burning desire to succeed that you had when you started. Even when you have the best week or month so far, work even harder or shut down your computer and go on vacation. Because complacency attracts disasters and a big hit is usually just around the corner. Stay humble.
As I am writing this, my results for the past two weeks are mediocre. It looks like I hit a glass ceiling that I need to break. It makes me a little nervous at the moment, but I know that probabilities will show their strength and more good results will follow shortly. I try to stay positive no matter what.
7. Finally, any comment you’d like to share with the fellow traders who read this?
Never give up. Find your own style that will suit your personality. Invest your time in the screentime. You will find many ideas for your testing. Trading is a lonely job, so try to find a coach, a mentor or a trading buddy. Trade small. If you feel pain when you have a loss, you trade too big. If your starting capital is 10 000, deposit only a fraction of it to you live account and trade small. If you lose a small account you will have additional resources, but if you lose 80% of your 10000 capital, you will have to make 500% just to get to break even. That will be next to impossible with your current skills. We are here not to win today but protect our capital to be here tomorrow.
Markets are brilliant in delivering endless stream of frustration. You have to learn how to live with it and not let it discourage you. So again, do not give up. Sooner or later you will start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. For some it may takes many years, but it’s worth it.
As a final word, I would like to thank the Darwinex team for their excellent services they provide for us traders and investors. I have learned about Darwinex more than two years ago and I just asked myself recently: why did it take me so long to join?