It's been a while since I last made a post with some Student Updates but now seemed as good a time as any. The last year has been a whirlwind of activity for myself and for the group of traders within Samurai Trading Academy, to the point that it's been difficult to maintain a consistent update schedule on the public side of the site.
The last year has seen me working with a small selection of highly motivated people and it's been a major effort helping them towards their trading goals, but I've been extremely pleased with the progress I've seen from the students in the program. I've seen multiple people transition into becoming professional full time traders (see the video with Niv at the end of the post for an example), others have been trading with consistent results and are working towards a full transition out of their current professions, and others are just getting started in their trading journey but are seeing exceptional results early on that open up fantastic possibilities for the future.
During this time, I've also been travelling extensively and making the most of the flexible lifestyle that being a profession trader provides. As many of you know from my previous post called My Decision to Become a Day Trader, I took a trip to Thailand in August that became a multi-month exploration of a number of Asian countries. I had the pleasure of exploring all around Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, amongst others, and even had the opportunity to fit in a month long trip throughout Japan which was an absolutely fantastic experience.
For this entire period I continued to trade and work with the STA students. Well, with the exception of a brief trip to Laos because as you might have guessed the internet reliability there leaves something to be desired for the professional trader. Perhaps one day they will "catch up", but I wouldn't count on it any time soon. Still, it's a fascinating and beautiful country to visit, even if it doesn't really lend itself to long-term stays. Outside of that brief venture and a short stay in Phuket, it was pretty smooth sailing overall for trading and teaching with the STA approach and I absolutely love the flexibility that having an online profession provides.
Ultimately that sort of flexibility is what being a day trader is all about to me. I'm not saying that everyone needs to be a world traveller and jump from country to country for months at a time like I do but knowing you have the option is a huge benefit.
It's about having the choice.
Do you work from home and have your afternoons free to spend with the family? Do you trade from the other side of the world for a few months a year to avoid an ugly winter climate and enjoy a season of beach weather instead? Are you like me and just want to have the flexibility to experience other cultures for months at a time without a boss, employees, or clients dragging you back home?
What I think is important to realize here is that having this flexibility isn't unattainable but in order to get there you need to have a dream. Having big financial goals that draw you into trading is one thing, but those who manage sustained success in this business want more. They want something that is beyond what money can buy, that gives them the freedom and flexibility to live life on their terms.
If you are only focused on the financial aspects of this business, how do you sustain yourself when things get tough? How do you push through thick and thin? No matter how good your methodology might be there WILL be those tough days or even weeks, so it's important that you have something that continues to drive you forward rather than just your immediate financial results. Those who have a greater goal and a true passion for trading and the freedom it offers are the ones who persevere and ultimately find success.
Now that my brief lecture is over, let's look at some recent student results from some of the newer traders I'm working with at Samurai Trading Academy.
Right off the bat, it's only fair for me to say that JJJ isn't your typical beginner trader. JJJ is someone who has been following the markets for years but it's not until very recently that he's decided to enter the world of day trading futures.
It's still early in his development but so far all signs with JJJ's trading are quite positive. He is settling more and more into his comfort zone, minimizing his "experimental" and riskier trades, and is growing his confidence exponentially.
But what is it that really seems to drive his results? Above all - PASSION. He is extremely passionate about the markets and is absolutely loving every minute of his journey to being a consistently profitable day trader and that's what it's all about. Some prior trading experience is a useful asset and there's some personal traits that lend themselves well to success in this business, but when it comes down to it those who have a burning passion for this business are the ones who tend to achieve a high level of consistent profitability the fastest.
Since JJJ is still very new to day trading and has seen good initial success, the biggest thing he now needs to be wary of is over-confidence as he continues to develop his trading skills. It's natural when things are going well to want to become more aggressive because you feel you can "do no wrong", but as soon as you start indulging this behaviour then it usually leads to a quick reality check in the form of a rapidly dropping equity curve that shows what you still have to learn.
These results and charts from Zach are a good balance to the ones from JJJ above. Unlike JJJ, Zach has had limited trading time and was only able to manage three days of focused trading in the market last week. Still, the consistency and end results stand out.
You don't NEED to trade 40 times a week like JJJ did to make good profits in the market. Even with less than 10 carefully selected trades, a trader can bank decent profits that would be the envy of most and can be built into an excellent result over the course of month. This is the power of trading expectancy and a strong reward to risk ratio.
The point is that it's important to understand that each trader is an individual. Some have more of a scalper's mentality and some are more conservative. Some can deal easily with the psychological pressures of trading many contracts at once, while others have to put a lot of effort into increasing size.
When it comes down to it though, this isn't a competition and all that matters is your own consistency and confidence in your trading ability and your trading edge. As long as you have that and can churn out good profits on a weekly basis, the sky is the limit in this business.
Niv's STA Testimonial
I thought I would end this lengthy post with a brief acknowledgement to Niv and his recent move into full time trading. I met Niv in an unlikely way when I was living in Bangkok but we quickly connected through our passion for trading and the markets.
Congratulations on your recent transition into being a full time trader, Niv!