Chat With Traders | Weekly interviews with profitable & successful stock market traders.

Chat With Traders | Weekly interviews with profitable & successful stock market traders.

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Chat With Traders is your key to the minds of trading's elite performers. Start listening to learn how a diverse mix of traders went from zero to hero, how they successfully trade markets today, and get their best tips 'n pointers for profitable performance, plus much more. Note: You are responsible for your own trading decisions—this is not financial advice.

Episodes

142: Bert Mouler – Using creative thought and automation to bypass human flaws  

It was exactly 100-episodes ago when I first had Bert Mouler on the podcast. This week, I’m joined by him again for a second interview…

Bert is an algorithmic trader with a serious focus on machine learning. His trading decisions are driven purely by data, and he goes to great lengths to remove human bias and flaws through the use of automation.

So, coming up over the next 60-minutes or so, you'll hear about:

Bert's increasing efforts to automate as many decisions as possible The attraction of markets and areas with less sophisticated participants Other potential sources of edge—beyond alpha A peek into Bert's high frequency market making strategy And that's certainly not all...

While listening, I encourage you to keep an open mind and mull over Bert’s creative thoughts!

141: Erik Townsend – Software millionaire fooled by ‘the dream’ and saved by global macro  

Featuring on this episode is former software entrepreneur turned hedge fund manager, Erik Townsend. I’m sure some will already be quite familiar with Erik—in particular the macro investing crowd, as Erik also hosts the Macro Voices podcast.

After selling his company in 1998, Erik made a few lifestyle and investing decisions which he soon began to question, but took ownership of his situation and the discovery of global macro set him sailing in a new direction…

Major talking points we cross off, include; how Erik uses the concept of The Fourth Turning and major cycles to guide his macro outlook. And one possible scenario for the future of cryptocurrencies—I'm sure some of you won't like what you hear, but I think it's well worth listening to!

140: Jimmy Soni – The life and times of genius problem solver, Claude Shannon  

My guest on this episode is Jimmy Soni—who, with his co-author Rob Goodman, recently wrote the biography of Claude Shannon, titled; A Mind at Play.

Shannon was born in 1916 and became one of the foremost intellects of the twentieth century, before passing away in 2001. He was a mathematician, a scientist, an inventor and also, a stock market investor…

Although he’s widely unknown by the general public, Shannon is responsible for Information Theory—a revolutionary method of measuring information which stands behind much of the technology we use all day everyday.

Shannon’s other achievements, discoveries and inventions range from artificial intelligence to cryptography and fire breathing trumpets to chess playing machines and the world’s first wearable computer, and that’s not all!

139: Bobby Cho – Making way for the 'whales' of cryptocurrency markets  

Bobby Cho is a cryptocurrency trader at Cumberland Mining—which is a company of DRW Trading. Ever since getting involved in financial markets, during 2008, he has gravitated towards mostly illiquid/difficult-to-trade products…

So, in some ways, it was inevitable that Bobby would begin to explore Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This was around 2013, while Vice President at SecondMarket.

In 2014, Bobby became Director at Bitcoin exchange, itBit, and then in 2016, joined Cumberland Mining—one of the largest institutional liquidity providers in cryptocurrency markets (predominately Bitcoin and Ethereum).

During the episode, Bobby and I got speaking about some pretty interesting topics, which ranged from; the infrastructure of crypto markets to the curiosity and entrepreneurial mindset which powers DRW, and the challenges of exchange arbitrage to the real world value of Blockchain technology.

138: Kevin Muir – In search of the next great trade—with The Macro Tourist  

During the 90’s, Kevin Muir was a proprietary derivatives trader for RBC Dominion Securities. In 2000, Kevin branched out to begin trading independently, and since 2014, he’s been writing a daily blog, The Macro Tourist.

Kevin’s unique in the sense that he fits the bill of two largely different trading types; an intraday trader and a global macro trader. He also doesn’t specialize in one particular thing, or certainly not to the extent that many traders do…

Kevin can be quoted as saying, “I never know where I’m going to make money next year.” And that’s because he’s someone who’s continually seeking out the next great trade. In the past, Kevin’s great trades have come in the form of; risk arbitrage, mining Bitcoin, convertible bonds and day trading futures—amongst many other things!

137: Dr. William Ziemba – The horse bettor exploiting anomalies in financial markets  

Dr. William Ziemba’s an academic, a practitioner, gambler, trader and an author. He’s worked with and consulted to many well-respected names in the field, such as; Edward Thorp, Blair Hull and the very successful horse bettor, Bill Benter.

In the beginning, horse betting was William’s field of expertise (he even published a book titled, Beat The Racetrack!) And in many ways, for William, horse betting worked as a gateway to trading financial markets—which he’s been doing since 1983.

Now in current times, William manages a fund; Alpha Z Advisors—which started trading in July 2013 and as of May 2017, has returned 527%.

Much of William's trading revolves around calendar anomalies, arbitrage strategies and behavioral biases. We spend a good amount of time discussing these few things, plus William shares one anomaly he's been trading for many years.

In the later part of this episode, we also talk about position sizing, the Kelly Criterion and finally, horse racing.

136: Mike Agne – Take care of the short term; take care of the long term  

I first interviewed Mike at CWTNYC, in May 2017. The 100-listeners (give or take) who attended, will already be very familiar with Mike and there may be a few moments of déjà vu throughout this episode. But for everyone else…

Mike came into trading around 20-years ago, beginning at Chicago prop firm, TransMarket Group, where he ultimately spent 12-years of his career. Over the course of his time there, Mike became one of their largest 30-year Treasury basis traders, both in terms of volume and performance.

Now days, Mike is trading a relative value strategy through his own book, and building out a track record with the aim to launch a hedge fund in the coming years…

But you’ll hear more about all of this, the things which have helped Mike get to where he is now, and how he trades bonds using a relative value strategy during this episode.

135: Sheelah Kolhatkar – How mastermind trader, Steven Cohen, bent rules and made billions  

Sheelah Kolhatkar is a writer at the The New Yorker, who was previously a journalist at Bloomberg Businessweek, and prior to that, a hedge fund analyst.

She’s also the author of New York Times bestseller, Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street.

Of course, the most wanted man being referred to, is the ultra-wealthy hedge fund legend, Steven Cohen of S.A.C. Capital Advisors—someone who Sheelah has become very familiar with, through much of her own tireless and strenuous research…

During our conversation, Sheelah gives color to; where Steven started out in life and how he became an ultra-wealthy multi-billionaire—with, might I add, an elaborate art collection, how S.A.C. became the target of one of histories greatest insider trading investigations, and ultimately, how it all played out...

134: BTCVIX – Bitcoin—the magic internet money you can no longer ignore  

On this episode, I have a returning guest—who first appeared on episode 53. His name is a mystery, but he goes by the handle: @BTCVIX

Episode 53 was the first time I covered Bitcoin on this podcast, and that was at the very end of 2015. As you’re probably aware, the cryptocurrency markets have evolved a lot since then, so BTCVIX is here to fill us in on what’s been happening and, potentially, what lies ahead…

We also cover how to acquire various cryptocurrencies, best practises for protecting your coins, is Bitcoin in a bubble, the frenzy surrounding ICO's, and much much more.

133: James King – Using sports science to stack probability in favor of trading success  

Up until recently, James King was the Performance Director at a commodity trading firm in London, Mandara Capital. And it was here that he implemented scientific methods to stack probability in the favour of success—by using techniques he learned from his education in Applied Sports Science and Performance Psychology.

Now, James is setting out on a new venture, Project Thor, which aims to support talented retail traders with extra capital and other beneficial resources—which we discuss briefly towards the end of the episode.

But for the most part, we discuss; principals for success, testing for resilience, ensuring you’re motivated and focusing on the right things, how ‘stretch goals’ can be used to massively multiply results, routines and heaps more.

132: Mark Gardner – Still adapting after 80,000+ hours of screen time  

Mark Gardner began working in the field at 17-years old, straight out of high school. Initially he began with back office duties, before broking on the floor of the Sydney Futures Exchange (SFE). Then later he was picked up by a large Bank Bills trader to exclusively execute trades, and who he learned a great deal from.

Around 2005, Mark started trading his own book. Over the 10-years that followed, Mark had only two losing months—and to date, he’s never encountered a losing year. Though in 2015 he did suffer a substantial blow, losing months and months worth of gains in the space of just a few short hours.

Today, Mark is also a partner and the chairman of Genesis Trading (one of the larger prop firms in Australia). He’s also leading a new venture, 42Trading, as a foray into quantitative trading. And to top it off, Mark is the president of the Australian Securities Traders Association too.

Throughout this episode we speak about Mark's insane work ethic (and no, that's not exaggeration!) We also get into lessons from his past, why he sees a future in quantitative trading and more...

131: Morgan Slade – Strategy development, powered by machine learning  

Morgan’s career as a trader and portfolio manager began 20-years back, and since then he’s worked at many prominent firms and funds—to name just a few; Millburn Ridgefield, Merrill Lynch, Citadel and Allston Trading.

He’s currently the CEO of CloudQuant, a cloud-based algo development platform and fund.

During our conversation, Morgan explains why he feels as though the ‘common’ approach to strategy development can be counter intuitive, and he gives an alternative 3-step formula. We also spend time discussing how machine learning fits into a traders toolbox

130: Ben Mallah – How to own 100’s of millions of dollars of real estate  

Ben Mallah is a trader of a different kind—he doesn’t trade stocks and bonds, he trades in real estate. You could probably call him a property developer, although he doesn’t build from scratch; he buys distressed apartment buildings, hotels and shopping centers, fixes them up, and then sells to make a profit.

He grew up in one of the roughest areas of New York and had a very tough upbringing, but Ben is the true definition of a ‘rags to riches’ story…

During his early 20’s, as a side hustle while working in the military, Ben began getting into real estate. Thirty years have since passed, and in that time, he’s built up a real estate empire worth (approximately) $200,000,000.

129: Victor Haghani – Optimal bet sizing—lessons from a biased coin flip experiment  

Victor Haghani began his career at Salomon Brothers in 1984, starting out in a research role before joining their prop trading desk. In 1992, Victor left Salomon to become one of the founding partners of Long Term Capital Management…

LTCM was an incredibly successful hedge fund, up until 1998, when it failed in a spectacular fashion. Causing the Federal Reserve to step in and organize a bailout, in order to prevent the possibility of a collapse in the global financial system.

Victor took a ten year sabbatical after the dust settled, and in 2010 he founded an active index investing fund, Elm Partners.

For this episode, much of our discussion is in reference to an experiment Victor carried out (with some involvement from Edward Thorp), on the patterns of how 61 participants would bet on a biased coin.

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128: Andy Kershner – Risk tolerance, daily habits and trade critiques  

Andy has been an active stock trader since the early 90’s, and in 2001 he founded Kershner Trading Group—a proprietary trading and technology firm in Austin (Texas) and, through a partnership with SMB Capital, Kershner Trading have a second office in Midtown (Manhattan) too.

So, what did we talk about? Andy's ability to take pain on adverse positions, whether or not this has been a key ingredient to his trading success, and do traders with higher risk tolerances make more money. Andy also shares his daily habits and critiques a trade which didn't go so well from the session prior to recording this episode. And naturally, we cover a few other things too...

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Sponsored by TradeStation.com: Very few online brokers offer the services, tools and technology (all-in-one!) – for active traders – like TradeStation do.

127: Nell Sloane – Becoming a CTA—how to begin managing money  

Though not a trader herself, Nell Sloane has been in and around markets and exchanges for roughly 30-years, mostly working in roles that assisted commodity traders and brokers in one way or another.

Then since 2006, Nell has been the Principal of Capital Trading Group—a Chicago investment firm, which she co-founded with Patrick Lafferty. And this is the reason why I asked Nell to come on the podcast; because the role of CTG is to support traders who wish to expand their operation by managing money for others as a CTA.

CTG do also offer services to professional and individual investors to help them navigate managed futures. But for this episode, we focus on…

What does it mean to be a CTA, the incentives to become a CTA and where to begin, fee structures, the requirements and regulations, how to attract capital from investors, and other related subjects.

126: Jonathan (@HF_Trader) – The demeanor of an unstoppable futures trader  

Jonathan (@HF_Trader) got into trading after a sports-related injury changed his life trajectory. He was fortunate enough to meet and be mentored, early on, by one of the first people to be hired at Steve Cohen’s S.A.C. Capital Advisors—where this person ran a multi-billion dollar statistical arbitrage fund.

After getting a dual degree in economics and quantitative finance, Jonathan landed a job within a hedge fund and was promoted to head trader within the space of about 6-months. Over the course of several years, while Jonathan worked at the fund, their assets under management grew by several billion dollars.

In 2014, Jonathan cashed out and began trading for himself. He loaded $260,000 into an account and has since compounded this amount into more than $2,000,000. Using an intraday system he’s developed, Jonathan trades Crude Oil and E-Mini S&P 500…

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Sponsored by TradeStation: Very few online brokers offer the services, tools and technology (all-in-one!) – for active traders – like TradeStation do.

125: Matthew Hoyle – Getting hired—who trading firms and hedge funds are seeking out  

Matthew Hoyle was once a trader, or more specifically, an options market maker. And he started at a very young age, on the exchange floor in Amsterdam. But since 2003, he’s been in the headhunting (or recruiting) business. His firm, Matthew Hoyle Financial Markets.

Essentially, Matthew finds the best candidates for hard to fill roles. He’s contracted by banks, hedge funds and all sorts of trading firms—for example; Tibra, Optiver, Tower Research, Citadel, Millennium Partners, amongst many others.

Matthew’s deeply knowledgeable on the industry, and he’s won many awards for doing what he does…

During this episode we get talking about; tips for getting hired, the skills which are most in demand, what firms are looking for, also, how firms attempt to attract and retain talent, various compensation structures – and everything in between!

124: Max (@Madaznfootballr) – When chasing a quick buck becomes making a quick buck  

Max got into trading about six years ago, after a co-worker pulled up in a brand new Lotus Elise—paid for with gains from trading BP stock. Working as an engineer at the time, with average pay, it wasn’t long before Max opened his first trading account and got to work…

Having now developed a unique style of his own, which he describes as a scalping method—focusing on NASDAQ listed stocks, Max has become very consistent and profitable. (If you’re interested, max regularly posts PnL on his Twitter account.)

To mention a few of the things we discussed; how traders can benefit from being independent thinkers, the nature of scalping strategies, optimizing your workflow, mindset and improving your psychological game, and plenty more.

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Sponsored by TradeStation.com: Very few online brokers offer the services and technology (all-in-one!) – for active traders – like TradeStation do…

123: Darren Reed – Grit, hustle, intent—and environment  

Darren Reed (@LiftTheOffer) has been a stock broker, the head trader at a $300M hedge fund, and an active prop trader at Australian firms, Propex, Aliom and Gensis. At the later two, he also mentored traders as part of his role in trader development.

But this year (2017), Darren has returned to Perth—on the west coast of Australia, to establish a new proprietary trading firm with a few partners; Cygnet Trading.

The main focus of this episode can be summarized with just a few words; grit, hustle and intent. Further, Darren speaks about paying your dues, why environment is everything, and a window into the life of a discretionary prop trader.

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