John is a market ‘veteran’ – in much the same way as US survivors of wars are referred to! Yes indeed – at first, trading the public financial markets is akin to fighting a war: a series of battles with the worst sides of your personality.
And even though you may eventually win the war, there are always battles lost along the way – that is the tuition fee for your trading education, John’s included. He admits he has learned more from his losing trades than from the winners.
Now. with years of trading experience, John’s aim is to make each trader’s tuition fee as small as possible – and get you on the right track from the very start.
John is the on-line Trader for one of Britain’s largest financial publications, and his methods have been taught to thousands of traders from novices to those more experienced. He regularly receives emails of thanks from grateful followers who are finally trading with success – and with less stress.
His over-riding theme is KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid.
It is so tempting to be seduced by the highly technical systems on the market. But just as a tool is only as good as the person using it, it is not the road to easy riches for most.
That is why John advocates using simple, stress-free methods, such as his own Tramline Trading Method – all based on chart action. This gives you the degree of control that is lacking in ‘black box’ systems.
Just recently, it was reported that one of the largest public hedge funds in the UK, which uses a ‘sophisticated’ black box trading system, continues to lose billions for investors. Their share price has plummeted from 350p two years ago to less than 50p today.
That is one reason John likes trading against hedge funds, and monitors their market activities closely.
And if you ask any good trader after a successful campaign why he or she took that trade, they will be able to explain it in one or two
easy-to-understand sentences. Complex maths, which lies at the heart of hedge fund algo systems, isn’t needed. What a relief!
And finally, John’s entire ethos is transparency and integrity. John admits his failing trades and does not gloat over his winners. He treats trading as a business and advocates all traders develop this attitude.
Now, let John tell you in his own words how he got into the wonderful world of trading:
“I am not a born trader – very few people are. At school, I wanted to be a great scientist and was fascinated by how the world works. I even
took my studies to University where I gained a PhD in physics, and where I studied the properties of matter at very low temperatures. Following that, I went to work for NASA on the Manned Mars Exploration Team.
“While at NASA, I discovered the futures markets! And that changed my life’s direction for ever. Happily, I could use my rigorous scientific
training to study the markets – but the one missing factor was the human element, and that, as I have discovered, is the missing link in achieving either success or failure for many.
“I well remember my first introduction to trading, and it was in the late 1960s through a colleague at NASA who kept meticulous charts (by
hand of course, in those pre-PC days) of the spread between October and February Live Cattle futures traded on the Chicago Merc. He opened his chart book and slowly turned each page, representing a year’s trading.
“As he turned each page, he asked me: “john, do you see anything unusual about the charts?”.
“Being a scientist, I had seen a great many charts, and instantly spotted that all fourteen of them showed a rising bias – some very steep, and others not so much. But they all sloped upwards.
“I quickly realized that if I had bought the bull spread on the same date each year, and then sold it on a later date in every year, I could have
made profits in every year with 100% success.
“It seemed like magic to a young man – and easy money! So I just had to open a brokerage account (with the grand sum of $2,000, I recall) – and then buy a book on trading (there were very few in those days).
“Armed with my can’t miss plans, my first trade was in corn futures – one of the biggest markets at the time. Having learned from the book
that the trend is your friend, I saw that corn was in a bear market. So the sure-fire trade was to short corn, no?
“I rang my broker and asked for a quote. I didn’t really care what corn was trading at – I just gave him the order to short two contracts of corn at the market.
“Having also learned that that I must use a stop-loss order, I entered my stop two cents above my entry. And then I waited for the money to roll in.
“I’m sure you have guessed the outcome already. Yes, a few days later, my broker rang to tell me I had been stopped out for a loss.
“I couldn’t believe it! The market was clearly going down and I had followed the rules religiously. How could that happen?
“And while I was nursing my loss in a state of confusion, the market meanwhile continued its path south – and without me on board, adding insult to injury.
“Of course, I had made two cardinal errors. The first was to have no trading plan, such as only shorting a bear market on rallies. The second was having too close a stop. (The third was ignoring the loss and getting back in.)
“But I was hooked on trading, despite the initial loss and decided to try to get to the bottom of the art of trading. Plainly, there was a lot more to it than met my eye.
“I did put on that cattle spread on the anointed date – and I’m sure you have guessed that result too – that was the first year it didn’t work! So my first lesson was that there is no easy money in the markets, after all.
“And since then, I have been a CTA with a California boutique brokerage, and then a large gap where I had businesses unrelated to trading. In recent years, the lure of the markets has been too strong to resist, and with the wonderful facilities provided by the web, I have developed my Tramline Trading System.
“But while working for the brokerage, I saw at first hand how badly many otherwise intelligent and successful people handle their trading
accounts. And so one of my missions now as a trading veteran is to help interested traders to achieve the success they desire.
“That is why I am now writing on the markets and the techniques of trading and giving workshops. With Tramline Traders, my goal is to
encourage and train traders how to use my simple approach – and there is no better way to learn than to follow my trades in real time.
“If your goal is a second (or even first) income, I sincerely believe you can achieve this with a disciplined application of my methods, and a
ruthless policy of strict money management.”
Today, John is a full-time trader and educator. But that doesn’t mean he is always in the markets. There are times when he feels there are no
major low-risk opportunities. He is also independent of any organization – he does not need to toe a particular party line, unlike many gurus and market advisors.
John calls them as he sees them – and that is what he encourages in all traders. He says: “Ignore the noise around the markets – just make your own minds up based on an honest appraisal of what you see.”
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