Dec 12, 2022
Cactus is a calm and calculated high timeframe trader.
Tell us how you got into trading?
I was previously a game developer with a few charting Apple and Android games. I graduated and got interested in personal wealth generation, stocks and investing. First heard about bitcoin in probably 2014 but life got in the way, and didn't start taking it seriously until the end of the bull-run is 2017. At the time, I thought I had missed my chance and just waited until the market crashed before diving deep into the market and CT.
I then spent three years mainly trading ETH, growing my position size as much as possible. I also launched two marketing companies that helped provide copy-writing and research reports in the early days, this gave me a major advantage in the space. I found a niche that let me provide value to over 300+ crypto projects in return for ETH which worked out as planned when we finally got to see $4000 ETH in 2021.
What attracted you to trading?
Trading always attracts the same type of people, in my opinion, those who want to make a lot of money and usually want to make a lot of money fast. Nobody just stumbles into trading, especially in today's world, where social media makes it sound like a money-making machine that anyone can just start printing from.
Just like everyone else, I wanted to be a millionaire; that was my dream since I was 6/7 years old. I studied and built my life around being a game developer. I spent my entire childhood playing video games and studied for 6 years for building them, but I tried trading once, and I found a lot of similarities between trading and gaming, except money is the object that gets you on the leaderboards. I was pretty much hooked after that.
Just like everyone else, I wanted to be a millionaire; that was my dream since I was 6/7 years old.
How long have you been trading, and what markets have you traded over your career?
I have been trading on/off for about 4 years, I usually trade very high timeframes, and I would call myself a long-term value investor. I spent a year dabbling in stocks & forex while first trying to understand TA, but since about 4 years ago, I’ve only traded solely crypto.
How long did it take you to become profitable?
I was unprofitable probably easily for the first two years, I actually moved to Bali and blew my entire trading account in 3 months because I got comfortable with a certain % win rate. After that shakeout, I was pretty much profitable in the following years, I removed pretty much all indicators from my charts, removed noise from trading algorithms and focused solely on just trading raw price action with volume. I focused a lot of time on FA, and I focused on trading only projects that had underlying value, once I found projects I liked, I used PA to determine entry and exit prices. I have used this method of trading ever since, I will not trade a project if I do not like the fundamentals of a project, no matter the TA setup.
Once I started removing noise and focusing on trading projects that I liked as long-term value bets, this is where I found my trades started to become significantly more successful.
I moved to Bali and blew my entire trading account in 3 months
What does a typical day look like for you?
Wake up around mid-day, order a coffee, check emails, check crypto markets, head to the gym/boxing, shower, scan macro econ/markets, then spend an hour or two either writing my weekly newsletter or general investment management, dinner, or movie. I head to sleep around 3am.
Otherwise, I don't have a daily structure, I just hang out with my dog and fiance, enjoy the day and handle what work is required on that day. Usually, if the markets are moving, I am entering or exiting positions, but the most important aspect is just general portfolio management.
I do focus and try my best on releasing a free weekly newsletter covering the crypto markets, macro conditions and just general BTC / ETH price action, this is usually released at the end of the week to about 5000 readers and takes up maybe a few hours at the end of each week.
Who did you look up to when you first started trading?
CryptoCred’s Technical Analysis YouTube series is an absolute must-watch for anyone even thinking about getting into trading, this is probably one of the first things.
I also really enjoyed The Altcoin Trader's Handbook by Nik Patel and followed him on Twitter pretty religiously back in the day, but to be completely honest, trading is a pretty individual activity. Everyone has a completely different and separate journey.
trading is a pretty individual activity. Everyone has a completely different and separate journey.
Tell us about your most memorable trade.
I think I could probably give some answers about positions that have done 10/20/50x profits, but honestly, in the mania of ICO, IDO’s and whatever other quick flip projects are always booming, but they are pretty forgettable after the time has passed.
My most memorable trade is easily buying ETH at $104 and holding it until $4000. I will remember it for the rest of my life. I posted it all on Twitter, made a viral post about how ETH will reach $3000 in the next 2 years, and it happened, I sold pretty damn close to the top.
What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?
Pivot into your strength and never let outside voices influence your setup.
What drives you to keep trading?
As I have mentioned, I have played video games since I was 2 or 3 years old. I am a deeply competitive person who wants to win and be at the top of the leaderboards. I want to make sure my family, future children and future grandchildren do not have to worry about the small things in life. Making sure they are provided for and will always have some type of financial support is probably the most important thing to me.
Would you say you’ve ‘made it’? What does ‘making it’ look like to you?
This is a question people ask all the time, not to me specifically, but to people who, from the outside, seem to have it all. The answer to the question is that you will never make it.
When I had $800 in savings, if I only dreamed of having $100,000 I would have made it, life would be so much easier, and I would be able to be free and relax. You get to $100,000, and nothing changes. Life moves on, and you dream of $500,000 or a million dollars. You think to yourself, “wow a million dollars, that has always been my dream, ever since I was a little kid”. You get a million dollars, and yeah, sure, life is good, you can relax a bit, but there is always something on the horizon, someone always has a nicer watch, someone has a yacht, his house is bigger, her house is bigger. This is a question that will take years off your life.
Sure, I have ‘Made It’, but now making it is always just the next step away.
someone always has a nicer watch, someone has a yacht, his house is bigger, her house is bigger
What's the most important quality in a trader?
Easy question - patience. Patience is the key to a successful trader, in my opinion. Plain and simple, this is the underlying trait I have seen over and over again in successful traders.
How would you describe the way you trade?
I trade long term, high-time frame swing positions, probably holding positions from as low as a week to maybe 6 months a year. I realised early on that day-trading and scalping intraday time frames were hurting my portfolio, so I stopped and cut it out as soon as possible.
I realised early on that day-trading and scalping intraday time frames were hurting my portfolio, so I stopped
Has the way you trade changed over time?
Yeah, certainly. I started probably like most traders. Trying to learn all the indicators, to maximise data and use as many different tools as possible to increase my win rate. I think this also happens to a lot of people. Over time, you just learn that most indicators are just noise, and you can easily trade much more clearly with only price action.
Of course, I also used to try trading intraday, but I hated that style. It pretty much sucks your life away for no good reason. Switched to high-timeframe swing trading probably three years ago.
Why do you think you have success trading?
I have a lot of patience and am an easygoing person. I have no emotional connection to a position, I have watched positions drop 80/70% in market corrections, and it honestly doesn't even bother me at all. I know the projects that I have money in are key players in the space. Time is the only currency that I need to be able to hold a position back into the green.
Patience and being able to detach emotion make it very easy for me to trade without bias.
Time is the only currency that I need to be able to hold a position back into the green.
What's the worst thing about trading and why?
The worst thing about trading is probably the absorption of time, trading (depending on timeframe and dedication) IS a huge time sink for anyone, and the unfortunate truth is that only a tiny percentage of those are profitable traders. Personally, this time was taken away from family and friends. For years I put everything on the back burner and gave up any type of normal life to chase profits.
The constant candlestick grind and dedication to this space pretty much means that anyone who is dedicating their time and effort to learning, studying and hustling in this space has to dedicate pretty much all their time to it. This is especially true when you are already working a 9-5 job and trading is a side hustle. Spending every night and evening after work trying to trade and learn and be involved in the space, time seems to just slip away.
What's something you've learned in the last 6 months that has made you a better trader?
The last 6 months have been pretty volatile, macro markets and global economies are being crushed, and we are in very uncertain times with so much unrest around the world. Everything you have worked so hard to build can be taken away swiftly, and nothing lasts forever. It is very important to know when to trade and when to take a step back. So probably, understanding macro conditions, stopping all low time frame trading and deploying patience on a much deeper level is probably something that has saved me money and my mind.
deploying patience on a much deeper level is probably something that has saved me money and my mind.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading?
Sometimes everyone likes to try and ride some momentum, getting excited based on news of wider macro conditions. We have seen this a lot over the past 6 months. CT, myself included, loves to trade off the back of CPI and Inflation data. So probably my biggest mistake is getting excited to trade highly anticipated news. Of course, in times like that, you can generate substantial revenue just off the back of market-wide hype.
I think it's important to remain focused on the underlying thesis of the portfolio and not spend time trying to change your trading style for a quick profit. This can easily be avoided if you play to your strengths and do not change the overall game plan.
don't spend time trying to change your trading style for a quick profit
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
I feel as though the most important piece of advice that I ever personally got was to view trading as a marathon and not a sprint. Patience is the most important attribute that I have used and seen become a defining factor over the past few years to build a substantial portfolio. Slow and steady always wins the race.
Anyone can luckily stumble into quick wealth if the timing is correct, but usually, most will lose that wealth when the tides start to shift in the opposite direction. For this reason alone, you will never see me trading with any leverage on my positions. I have traded spot-only for the past few years. Leverage is a tool that will make you, and then break you if you allow it to become something you rely on for profits.
Anyone can luckily stumble into quick wealth if the timing is correct, but usually, most will lose it when the tides start to shift in the opposite direction
What goals do you set for your trading?
In terms of goals, I am super focused on the macro. Over the next 10 years, I want to make sure that my family is completely safe and secure in terms of monetary needs. I do not live with having a weekly, monthly or yearly target for trading profit, I am happy deploying patience and not taking high-risk trades.
Fill in the blanks
Most traders would be better off not taking a trade.
What separates the pros from the rest is discipline
A good trader should never listen to the echo of others
The biggest misconception about trading is trading is profitable