I spent 20 years working in the financial industry, specialising in asset and liability management (ALM) for large corporate and global banking institutions. I have a B.Comm (Math) degree, a B.Hons (Financial Engineering) degree, and a Masters degree in Bank Risk Management. In 2015 I founded my company, Paladin Private Wealth, which is a proprietary trading company, moved my family back to South Africa, and dedicated myself full time to trading the financial markets from my home office. Trading has always been my biggest passion, so for me, it was a dream come true.
What motivated you to become a funded trader?
In late 2019 I applied for the experienced trader program at Alphachain Capital, which is a funded trader position. I was accepted and started trading for them in January this year. My motivation were two-fold: Firstly, trading from home can leave you very isolated. Becoming part of a larger trading community with an established infrastructure and network has many benefits, not least of which is access to their performance coach. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the markets will attest to the fact that success in the markets depends greatly on psychological factors, so having access to a performance coach and a platform where you can interact with other traders is very useful. The support offered by Alphachain is really excellent. Secondly, there are obvious financial benefits to be had from trading other people’s funds in addition to my own, and it also fits into my longer term ambitions of managing money.
What has been your best performing day and why?
As a trader you experience a rollercoaster of good days and bad days, with the aim of having more good days than bad ones. If you can achieve that, you will make money. If not, you will lose money. However, you have to be careful about how you define a good or a bad day. Obviously, it feels good to make money on the day, but if you cannot do it with at least some degree of consistency, it is just luck, and it won’t benefit you long term. I define a good day as one where I have not made any mistakes in relation to my trading strategy and rules, regardless of whether I made or lost money. A day on which I have gained new insight, which is often the result from a loss, is an excellent day. A bad day is one where I have made mistakes, either technical or psychological.
What challenges have you faced?
My main focus when trading my own accounts is equity index derivatives, but for Alphachain I trade forex. That transition has been both very difficult and very rewarding for me. I have made that transition during the worst global crash the world has seen in a century, caused by the pandemic, and although it was a very rocky ride, I have managed to stay profitable and have learned invaluable lessons that I believe made me a much better trader than before. It is in such times of turmoil, being thrown in at the deep end, having to swim or drown, that you learn and grow the most.
When do you feel stressed and why?
My best time at Alphachain was when, after a poor start, I started to see some good progress with positive results. Then, unfortunately, I started to get impatient. I felt that although my system was producing good results, I wasn’t getting enough good opportunities, i.e. I wasn’t trading enough. In a classic psychology 101 pitfall (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it) I started chopping and changing to try to speed things up, with disastrous consequences. This was the worst and most stressful time I had with Alphachain. My equity curve is still positive, but the damage I’ve done set me way back on achieving my targets. So instead of speeding things up, I slowed them way down. Lesson learned!
I have now reverted back to the approach I had before and will hopefully be back on track very soon. If all goes well I should have significantly more capital to manage a year from now and also be in a position to expand my company.
Thank you Alphachain for this great opportunity!