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James' Holy Grail Tour

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Guest profile:

James, a Singaporean trader and trainer, has instructed more than 800 study and training programs internationally. He prefers swing trading and believes in using purely technical charts and unique methods of identifying turning areas to grasp the first signs of trends. He only conducts the lowest 1:1 risk-reward transaction, and through patience to allow his transaction to reach the full potential of the rest, he has realized multiple 1:10 risk-reward transactions.

1.When did you first start trading? Was it self-taught or did you have a mentor?

James: I started trading when I was serving my national service (服兵役) at the age of around 22 or 23. During my national service, my job was to do some admin work and I had plenty of free time. I started to do some research on trading and look at forums to learn some strategy and system. I would say that my learning journey is a mixture of both self-study and guide. Guide in a sense that there is someone showing you a strategy or system and self-study to observe, understand the thought process of how other successful traders execute the trades based on the guide.

2.What is your starting capital for trading? What is the current size of your trading funds? What is the situation of the first profit and the first loss?

James: I remember clearly that the first live account that I started trading with is $500, which occurred after I joined a course and felt confident that I can make money from it. The instructor did mention that if certain set up would appear, 99% it would go towards the targeted direction. My account got a margin call soon because as a new trader, I trusted that instructor teaching and trade calls.
Current size of funds I am trading with is a high 6-figure-account that I have been trading with for a long time.

3.What is your biggest profit and loss in trading?

James: I can’t remember an exact moment on which the biggest loss or profit were made in trading. But the most memorable gains and loss that I could remember clearly was in my early stage of trading, when I made 30k usd by shorting the German Dax after praying in the temple. It was a short 15 minutes or so when Dax price dropped sharply and my account grow tremendously. Because of the profits I made, I traded excessively and lost my entire gains along with the capital in the next 3 days.

4. Do you prefer technical analysis or fundamental analysis? Which trading varieties are you good at? Can you describe your trading strategy or trading style in detail?

James: If COT is considered fundamental analysis, I would say I am a 75% technical analysis trader and 25% fundamental analysis trader. However, I do not rely on news, interest rates or any other fundamental data to trade.
My trading method is only either swing trading or intraday. I tried scalping in the past and realized that it is not suitable for me. On the other hand, in terms of position trading, I seldom trade such a high timeframe as I do not have the patience to hold a trade for such a long period of time. However, If the trade is going as per my favor and the COT data is backing the trade, I would hold on to it.
My trading style for swing trading would be to spot area of high activity to act as support and resistance, and wait for the structure to give signs of turning before taking a position.
For intraday, it would be to trade from extreme price to the fair price or from a fair price to another fair price.

5.Many of your transactions have made considerable gains. What do you think is the core factor that makes you such a good trading result?

James: I think that my personality helps greatly when I first started trading. Since young, whenever I am interested in something, I would dive deeply into it and ask around the experts. I would then do my research, watch videos, and read more about it. After experiencing all of the above, I am quite experienced in judging what is a good strategy that suits different trading style.
To be able to make money in trading, it is very important to act like a robot. When the set up appears, you should be able to execute the trades with risk management but not to put your emotions in the trade.
In short, finding a system or strategy that suits your trading personality and executing the trade when the system set up shows up without emotions but proper risk management.

6.When you first came into contact with trading, which trading books helped you the most? Can you recommend some to the readers?

James: Phantom of the pits. It is a free book that you could get online, and I think it is the only book that you should read. It has nothing to do with strategy or system. It does not have many pages and is very easy to read.

7.In your past trading career, are there any unforgettable things for you? Can you share it with the readers?

James: I would never forget the time when I join an ex-hedge fund manager in Thailand. Back in the early days when I am still learning around. I get to know this ex-fund manager who is very well known in Thailand. I drop him a message on Facebook, and he allows me to join him and his course for free. The only cost that I must pay is my air ticket. Accommodation would be provided – which is to stay in his own hotel and food will also be provided.
Training there is not easy, we start trading from 7am until 1am and if we stop out twice in a day, we would not have food for the next day but only soya milk. There is also a time when all the traders have to be blindfold during trading and we have to remember where we would want to enter a trade or exit.
As a scalper there, we have to keep our mind and body strong. On Sunday morning, we drive up to the swimming pool to do our laps within a certain timing.
It is the most unforgettable memories that got to do with trading, and I am extremely thankful for having this opportunity.

8.Which one do you think is more important in the trading, psychology or system? Can you talk about it based on your own experience?

James: Both are important when it comes to trading. A right system cater to your personality/character would bring you good results, however, it is the psychology that will allow you to be consistently profitable in the long run.
All traders start off looking for the holy grail strategy in trading, a system that would give them 100% hit rate. Only after a period of time, they then realize that there is no such strategy. They would stick to a profitable one, but why some could be profitable while others can’t? It all boils down to the psychology. Like I mentioned above, a good trader has to possess certain qualities such as the ability to stay focus, execute trades without emotions etc..
Personally, I find that doing sports is something that could build up good qualities of a trader. For example, in the sports that I am doing, we can’ t show our emotions on our faces. So, over time it helped me greatly in trading. What I need to do is just to find a good system and follow its rules and execute it when the setup is right.

9.Did you encounter any difficulties in the new trading period? How did you persevere?

James: Like others, I struggle to find a suitable system to fit my personality. I have been through Bollinger band trading, scalping by using moving average, position trading through micro and macro analysis but couldn’t find the right system. Eventually, after asking around more experts and spending more time analyzing the market and chatting with professional traders, I came up with a trading schedule that suits me well.
I would just have to do my analysis over the weekend for the upcoming week and monitor the set up every morning. Should there be any trades to execute, I would key in the entry and exit price and would stop looking at the trade.
Without excessive time spent on the chart, I would not be affected by the volatility but instead just stick to what I have planned to do over the weekend.

10. What will you do if there is a loss in the transaction? Do you usually set a stop loss for trading? What do you think about stop loss?

James: Stop loss is a must! You need to set one no matter it is placed near or far. It is like a check telling you that you are wrong in this trade, and you would have to close your position.
In my trading, there is a stop loss, either a hard stop or a psychological stop, and there is a price area on which if the price hits, I am wrong and I have to accept my loss and move on.
A loss in trading is common. If you cannot accept a loss, do not even get started with trading.

11.Does the trading work affect your normal family life? How do you deal with the balance between the two?

James: There is no conflict between trading work and family life as my trading schedule is fixed. Sunday evening would be the time to plan for the upcoming weeks about which product to perchase, where to enter and where should I exit if I am wrong or right. This only takes up about 30 minutes of my time and in the trading days, I will just look at the chart in the morning to decide if I have to enter or not.
Sometimes, my trading alert would let me know if the price has reached a level of my interest for me to execute or exit. I think the problem of other people is that they are overly obsessive over trading. They think that the more they trade, the more benefits they will get. But they never think that the more one trade, the more one could also lose.

12.Learning from others or exploring on your own, which one do you think will make you grow faster? Please share your understanding with us.

James: Learning from other people about the success method and failure experience will expedite your learning plan. But it usually costs a lot. If you would like to save some money, you can learn by yourself, as in the present era, all the information could be easily accessible through the internet. However, you might need to spend longer time in reaching that destination as compared to others who have someone to guide them. Time or money, which is more important? You make the choice.

13.Please use a few sentences to briefly summarize your current transaction status.

James: I am in a good state when it comes to trading. Losses and winning is no longer something that I am focusing much on, sticking to my trading plan and abiding to the rules set by myself is exactly of key importance.
I am also finding more ways to improve my trading such as making it semi-automatic by using software and learning more from other successful traders about trading system and thought process.

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  • He was lucky to get the holy grail of trade, and it was the result of persistence.

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  • Losing all profits and principal in three days, James was not in awe of the market. So the market beat us up. The longer you trade, the more you know to be in awe of the market.

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  • 很高興看到 James的分享,果然年輕有為。希望以後能看到他更詳細的交易策略分享。

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  • Phantom of the pits, okay, I got it. Maybe we can have a look sometime.

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  • For me,Trading discipline stems from deep experience of trading losses.

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  • Every trader has a different growth path, each has its own situation, and each has its own growth trajectory. They are all examples for us to learn from.

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  • "Phantom of the Pits" is indeed a good book, and traders are advised to read more.

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  • I once listened to his training courses and it was very rewarding.

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