November 4, 2017


The October Monthly Candles: Part 1 (video)

Hey Traders,

Here’s part 1 of the October Monthly Candles – focusing on the GBP & EUR FX Pairs.

Apologies for the sound quality.


September 19, 2017


Pride comes before a fall….

Hello traders,

I wanted to draw your attention to this rather surreal interview on Bloomberg last week. Former celeb fund manager Hugh Hendry was on there talking about him closing down his Eclectica fund after 15 years. Having made a fortune, and a name for himself shorting banks during the GFC he’s found the going since then rather tougher.  His fund was at one time approx. $1.3bn AUM, but he’s managed to whittle that down to his last $30 million. That will no longer allow him to cover his fees and other commitments so he’s shutting up shop and handing the pennies back (whilst presumably keeping his fees.)

The clip below is a shortened version of the full interview, but personally I think it’s TV gold. It gives us some great insight into how hubris can get us into trouble. How believing your own bullshit leads you down the path of eventual ruin. How easily it is for us to become euphoric and over-confident after a period of success. And why demonstrating humility, and good grace for your successes, is always the right path.


A few points that annoyed me about this….

  1. “I died in active combat…”  No you didn’t chumpy. You f**ked up, quite spectacularly, that’s what you did.  As a Veteran I take umbrage at this. Watching numbers on a screen, is not active combat, its nothing like it at all. It’s disrespectful to use such words, and shows me how out of touch you’d become.
  2. “The markets are wrong!”  No buddy, they are not. They maybe irrational, they maybe totally outside of your comprehension, but they’re never wrong. To think that your view and bias of the markets is the correct one is the kind of page 1 mistake I expect from a complete beginner, not from a seasoned professional. Another example of believing your own bullshit. The map is not the territory. As Keynes said “The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.” That’s a perfect quote for what happened here.
  3. “If I succeeded at anything, I succeeded at being idle.”  Listen up Hugh, perhaps if you’d put a shift in, then maybe you wouldn’t be sat on huge losses and having to close your fund. I know that success is a personal thing, however if I was one of the investors in Hendry’s fund I’d be livid at that comment. I’d be getting ready to sue him for professional negligence! Anyway after this debacle Hugh is, I suspect, going to be spending a lot more time being ‘successful’ at home on his own.
  4. Absolutely no contrition – for a man who has just spunked $1 billion up the wall you’d think he’d be somewhat contrite or at least humble?  I saw no evidence of this – filled with his own hubris he blamed North Korea, Trump, Governments, Central banks etc for his woes. Not once did I catch any real admission of guilt. There was to be no mea culpa.

I felt not one ounce of sympathy for the man after watching that. I wondered why he’d go on TV and be like that? Maybe he’d become accustomed, or even addicted, to the celeb status he’d acquired? To the attention of fawning finance sycophants around him?  Who knows – but he’s going to have a lot of time to reflect upon that from now on.

One of the reasons I started trading and investing for myself was for characters like Hugh. In an earlier role and life I used to spend time with fund-managers, and analysts, and was so often left underwhelmed by the experience. Lots of plummy talk, lots of fake bonhomie, lots of grandiose ideas, and bragging. All to cover up for having very little talent.  As the Americans would say, all hat and no cattle.

I remember thinking to myself “If you can’t join them, beat them.” And so it became not about beating the market (a term I’ve never liked) – but about beating the cheesy, talentless players who filled up lots of fund-management roles back then. In many ways it was the worst decision I’ve ever made. In many ways it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

So what can we take away?

  1. You’re only as good as your last trade/month/quarter – never get complacent thinking you’re the bees knees.
  2. Stay learning – the moment you think you know it all is the moment you’re about to get smacked in the face. Stay humble, and stay addicted to learning. Stay curious about markets.
  3. Your biggest drawdown is the one you’re yet to have – having that sort of mindset will help you focus on risk management and minding your business.
  4. Have a good network around you that keep you grounded and level-headed. It’s easy to surround yourself with people who share the same view as you (this could be about every element of life: trading, relationships, politics, whatever) but this is fatal. Make sure you have friends from all side of the spectrum. Engage in good constructive debate about your ideas with these people. Enjoy it, learn from it, hone your ideas and sharpen your edge upon them.
  5. Youre only human – during the time of the Roman Empire whenever a general or leader won a great victory or had a great prize bestowed upon them they would have a lowly servant ride in the chariot with them at the victory parade. The servants job was to whisper in their ear “you’re not a god, you’re merely a mortal human-being.” This was to remind them of the vanity of honours and for them to be vigilant about their behaviour lest it destroy themselves. It’s pretty clear Hugh never had that slave in his chariot. Who’s the slave in your chariot?
  6. When a major bear is routed and throws in the towel to join the bulls….is that the sign of a top? Discuss.

Anyway, rant over – I hope you can take some learnings from my words. By all means let me know what you think – perhaps you disagree? That’s ok, I’m happy to hear that – (see point 4 above!)

I’m going to be touching upon Hugh, and markets in my presentation at the London Traders Forum this coming Saturday in London. Come along if you want to hear more of my rants!

Trade well,


September 15, 2017


Developing Trader Performance: On Managing Self and Money

Fellow Traders,
This October and November I shall be running a stage of The VTP that focuses on Managing Self and becoming a Money Manager.

It’ll will be split into 2 sections namely:  The first half on managing self. How do you manage and enhance your own trading performance? What kind of network and support structure do you need to create around you? How do you deal with those inevitable slumps?

The second half is on managing money – namely other peoples. The truth is that most independent traders are under-capitalised, and they need to find ways to increase their Trading Capital. You may or may not have dreams of becoming a money-manager. However remember we reach for our goals but we settle for our standards. Acting as if you are a fund manager is never a bad thing in your own trading business because it holds you to that higher standard in your own behaviour.


This whole stage will be focused on what you need to do to build your own trading business that will put you in the right credible space to seek funding (if that is your wish).

It will consist of working together for 4-6 sessions over 2-3 months
– 4 x half day sessions (probably over 2-3 days)
– 2 x online sessions
For a total of 19-20 hours working together

So as always there’s a cost: Because I am allowed to use a corporate clients office it means that I can keep costs low and accessible for Independent Traders. For members of the London Traders Network the cost will be £397. This is a great reward:risk trade as what you’ll learn, and the pitfalls you’ll avoid, will save you the fee many times over.

There are plenty of training courses out there that focus on trading strategies. For most people its not more strategies they require – but an understanding of how to manage themselves and their business.   There’s few, if any, that focus on supporting Independent Traders to manage their performance and transition towards fund management.

I’ll only run this once a year and there is an opportunity for you to join us. We only operate in small groups as it allows the traders to share their experience. So if you’d like to learn more about how to manage your trading performance and learn about what it takes to become a money manager then get in touch by replying here or mailing me: . As always the slots go on a first-come first-served basis.
Trade well,


September 5, 2017


September 2017 Monthly Candles Part 3: Indices (Video)

Here’s part 3 of my monthly analysis – focusing on Indices and Commodities.

Enjoy and trade well,


September 4, 2017


September 2017 Monthly Candles Part 2: USD, JPY, CHF & Comdolls (video)

Here’s part 2 of the Monthly candle analysis featuring he rest of the 28 pairs I focus on.

Trade well,


September 4, 2017


September 2017 Monthly Candles Part1: GBP & EUR (video)

Hello Traders,

Here’s part 1 of my monthly analysis focusing on GBP & EUR pairs.

Trade well,


August 14, 2017


The Emperor writes: How should you be?


Durdle Door

(For those of you not aware, this is the magnificent Durdle Door on Dorset’s Jurassic Coastline. The reason for the photo will become apparent later on in this piece.)

Hello Traders….well that was an interesting start to August. Hopefully now everyone is flat and sunning themselves away from markets. Or crying into their beer.

As you know every so often I ask you to indulge me in my writings/posts. This is trading related, but is mostly just a rambling piece that will only end up reminding and inspiring myself. So either bear with me, or stop reading now.

I recently read an article on that came from George White’s Twitter Feed which is a good feed to follow (he’s even sometimes complimentary to me!)

Anyway the Medium post was written by a guy called Sean McLaughlin – and it would appear that Sean is having a tough time of it. That’s nothing new, all traders have had, and will continue to have, challenging periods (if they tell you they don’t, or never have, then don’t listen to them.)

Seans piece was entitled The Career Risk Traders Are Unaware Of. Its an honest, well thought-out, and well written piece that addresses one of the unspoken issues – namely that of Opportunity Cost. Is it a valuable use of your time to trade for a living? What happens if it doesn’t work out?

One of the sessions on Stage 4 of the VTP starts out with quoting Teddy Roosevelt: “With Victory Comes Great Sacrifice” and we pose the question: what would you sacrifice to become a successful world-class trader?

If you don’t know what you would sacrifice then maybe this weekend provides you with an opportunity to consider that question. Let me assure you: there is a price to be paid.

I don’t know if there’s a definitive right answer, as everyone’s situation is different, but I know there are plenty of wrong answers to the question.

I don’t know Sean, and I don’t know the details of his situation, but he alludes to some poor life and financial decisions which may have contributed to his present circumstances.  I believe that we create our own peaks and valleys in our lives. He also talks about under-capitalisation and he’s spot-on there, most private traders are under-capitalised for their goals and expectations.  I see and hear it time and again. I have lost count of the times I’ve seen private traders do one of the following:

  • Wannabe traders trying to live an Instagram-lifestyle on start-up wages.
  • Private traders spending 500-2000 a month of operating expenses (offices, computers, fancy platforms – let me assure you, to private traders having a Bloomberg terminal is just a vanity project)
  • Private traders having a period of success, and then ramping up their position size ten-fold to chase the moolah (this never ends well)
  • Wannabe traders trying to replicate their comfortable monthly corporate wages off a 5k account. Can you do this? Yes, anything is possible. However, what’s the probability of you achieving this month-in-month-out? Low, exceptionally low. Do yourself a favour – give yourself a fighting chance to succeed.

I’m sure you could add plenty of other examples of your own. Overall this is a business, keep your expenses and mistakes small, and work on ways to increase your profit margins.

In my old military job you were “only one bad sortie away from “the chop”, or being an IDRO.” When I worked in the City you were only one quarter away from demotion/sack. In Trading you’re only one trade away from being out of the game.  If you think about it, that’s a lot of pressure to have on your shoulders, so its no wonder that some people really struggle with it.

So what can you do to help yourself if you are under-capitalised and struggling?

  • Put money into a pension, or long term savings plan, that you cant touch. Ever. Think of it like building a Strategic Reserve. Even Jesse Livermore did this and it helped him after his blow-ups.
  • Living life like George Best may look fun – but it rarely ends well. You don’t need a helicopter or a speedboat. Well no-more than one at any rate.
  • Get a wife and a life – honestly do yourself a favour, sort this out. Get a life outside of trading. (Note to self: follow your own advice.)
  • Don’t give up the day job until you have to. If you’re hoping that leaving your hated job to become a trader will work then I assure you it wont. If you hate your job then deal with that first. Then trade, if you still want to, which you may not want to once you’ve sorted out your shitty job.
  • Leverage your skills elsewhere. One of the reasons I coach is that I have in the past educated and coached fighter pilots, CEO’s, Sales-People, Volunteers, Sports stars etc. It turns out that I enjoy it, it gives me some socialisation, and makes me a better trader/person generally. (I don’t care how introverted you tell me you are – being at home all day on your own is not healthy!)
  • If you have a business that creates income then find a way to make it continue paying you whilst you learn how to trade. (I know that maybe harder than it sounds.) You want to be in a position that when you sit down to trade you are there trading for opportunity, rather than trading to generate money….to pay your bills. That never ends well.
  • Keep your life cheap and cheerful. I still do.  I have learnt that my time is precious and better spent with people who’s company I enjoy rather than flying to the other side of the world to take a selfie. (I cant abide airports these days.) I realised that autonomy was more important to me than a flash car.


I was sorry to read of Seans situation, and I genuinely wish him well and hope that he creates a better life for himself. That he can turn his valley into a peak. Anyone who has traded live for a career has my respect – it’s not easy.

I’m sure Sean has it all covered and is working his arse off to get back on track and get some forward momentum. If I could help then I will – I’m like that.

It will probably provide no help to him or other like him, but I have recently been introduced to the writings of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius – via the Prime drama Black Sails (if you haven’t watched it then do yourself a favour and watch it – brilliant drama.)

One of the episodes ends with the reading of a chapter from the Emperors Handbook and it struck me as a fantastic piece of writing. I loved it from the moment I heard it. My enjoyment of it has only increased since my exposure to it, and now I have it written up in my Winners Bible and also in a frame on my Trading Desk.  Here is the dialogue…


The Emperor writes: How should you be?
Be like a rocky promontory against which the restless surf continuously pounds; it stands fast while the churning sea is lulled to sleep at its feet.
I hear you say, “How unlucky that this should happen to me!”
Not at all.
Say instead, “How lucky I am that I am not broken by what has happened and am not afraid of what is to happen. The same blow might have struck any one, but not many would have absorbed it without capitulation and complaint.”
The Emperors Handbook – Marcus Aurelius


Well it may not bring solace to many – but it certainly resonates with me. The more I read it, the more I enjoy it.  I think its a fantastic piece and I will refer to it for the rest of my days. It helps shape my attitude on challenging days.

Apologies for the rambling. Nevertheless whatever your trading situation is I wish you every success. Make sure you have a good network around you, and leverage their strengths if you’re having a challenging time.  Take some time off (if you can) and go away and refresh and re-charge your batteries this August . I have a feeling that from September onwards markets are going to be a bit tasty!




For those of you who do not know what a Rocky Promontory is; its a point of highland that juts out into the sea; a headland. And to finish it off here’s me in front of Durdles Door – you can walk from Weymouth station to Lulworth Cove (a beautiful spot next door to Durdle Door) its about a 16 mile hike up and down the coastline but on a glorious day is a sight to behold. If you’re in the UK go and see it. If you’re elsewhere go and find your own Rocky Promontory.

Jurassic Coast


August 2, 2017


1st August Monthly Candles Part 3 Indices (video)

Here you go traders, part 3 of the monthly candle analysis focusing on Indices and Commodities.

Trade well!


August 2, 2017


1st August Monthly Candle Analysis Part 2 (video)

Hey Traders,

Here’s Part 2 of the monthly candles analysis – focusing on USD, JPY, CHF, AUD, NZD & CAD.



August 2, 2017


1st August Monthly Candles Part 1 (video)

Hey Traders,

Here’s the 1st part of the monthly candles analysis focusing on GBP & EUR. For those new to it Part 2 focuses on USD, JPY, CHF, AUD, CAD, NZD. The 3rd part focuses on Indices and commodities.

Trade well!