Feb 27, 2023
UB is a crypto trader and investor, active since 2017 and primarily focussing on equities and cryptocurrency.
What attracted you to trading?
It seemed so interesting from the outside looking in. Why some would pay X price for an asset while others would sell at the same price. “It couldn’t be too difficult to buy stuff and sell it for a higher price”
I was investing in equities for a while, following crypto prices but still waiting on the sidelines. Eventually, it was time to chase the volatility and move my primary focus to crypto. I don’t remember when I was exactly exposed to trading. It was always something I was always involved in. In my friend group for equities, people began to talk about crypto more and more.
How long have you been trading?
I have been actively trading full-time for 6 years. I dabbled in FX a bit over the years, but it’s something I just didn’t enjoy. I much prefer trading equities and crypto.
How long did it take you to become profitable? Were there any major milestones where things just started to click?
I was an investor before I was actively trading. The mindset I had originally was whatever I was investing was effectively being lit on fire. Not necessarily because they were bad investments, but I quickly realised if I was emotionally connected to money in any way, my investments didn’t go well. I sometimes convinced myself of a certain play because I was more exposed to the stock. It took me a while to manage my risk properly. Many people make the mistake of learning how to draw lines on a chart but skip learning how to manage risk.
I quickly realised if I was emotionally connected to money in any way, my investments didn’t go well.
Tell us a bit about your learning journey.
The transition from investing to trading more regularly took a few months. Changing my mindset from a HTF one to a shorter time horizon was difficult. Risk management was never really an issue. I knew that if I had no capital left to invest, then I couldn’t invest or trade. I enjoyed investing, so I obviously wanted capital to do so.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I try not to check my phone until I have breakfast. I noticed I was wasting a lot of time in the morning by simply scrolling through social media. Working out is something I also have to do. It helps a lot with stress, and trying my best to maintain some kind of healthy lifestyle despite being on the computer a lot.
Who did you look up to when you first started trading?
When I first started trading, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people who had invested/traded for years. I looked up to them. Nowadays, I look up to people like CBS, Pierre, Loma, Krillin, and Jim. The way CBS can run up small accounts quickly never ceases to amaze me.
The way CBS can run up small accounts quickly never ceases to amaze me.
Tell us about your most memorable trade?
Shorting Ethereum on BitMEX until it was a double-digit shitcoin while being paid funding to do so. An XRP long where I was auto-deleveraged at the pico top. I think that was around 2019? These were purely technical trades. I don’t take into account anything FA related.
What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?
Don’t let losses impact you emotionally. Traders are professional losers. I don’t remember who said that first, but it’s an opinion I share often. It’s truly how I feel about it. Someone who I spoke to early in my trading career would always say “the market doesn’t care about how you feel”. It doesn’t matter if *you* want something to play out. Look at the chart and get that information. Don’t make up the narrative you *want* to play out.
“the market doesn’t care about how you feel”. It doesn’t matter if you want something to play out. Look at the chart and get that information.
What drives you to keep trading?
I like playing video games. Although I haven’t been able to find a game that keeps me locked in for months at a time. With that being said, trading is very similar to a video game. I enjoy “playing the game” of trading. I’ll never stop trading. I think detachment is really helpful for something like this. Seeing PNL as some sort of scoreboard is helpful mentally.
Would you say you’ve ‘made it’? If not, what does ‘making it’ look like to you?
I’ve realised that “making it” means different things to different people. “Making it” from a monetary point of view is the most common, but there’s so much more to life than just chasing monetary dreams. You eventually hit a point and think, “Now what?” You need something to do with your time, or you’ll become miserable. Regardless, I’m not the type of person that can sit back and do nothing anyway. My main goal now is to continue to grow The Haven and have it be the top crypto educational platform in the space.
I did not expect The Haven to grow as large as it has. I wanted to offer a great product from traders that were highly respected in the community. I wanted to help with the stigma that all paid services are scams.
I wanted to build a place that was accepting, helpful and inspiring to others. It’s something that I would have wanted when I first started trading. A community filled with like-minded people is extremely powerful and motivating.
My main goal now is to continue to grow The Haven and have it be the top crypto educational platform in the space.
What's the most important quality in a trader, and why?
Emotional toughness. Trading is so much more than drawing lines on a chart. You have to be able to take an emotional beating sometimes. You have to deal with losing streaks. You have to ignore what may be going on in your life that could impact your trading. You have to be in the zone at all times. It’s difficult.
How would you describe the way you trade?
Boring. There’s nothing flashy about it. There’s no footprints, indicators, or anything cool. Just lines on a chart and the occasional box here and there when I’m feeling frisky. It’s a popular style now, but all trading styles goes through cycles in social media. Naked PA is on the current cycle. Next month, order flow will be cool again, the month after that, it’ll be RSI. I think what attracts people to naked PA is no distractions through indicators. Sometimes newer traders will get a decent signal from pure Price Action but won’t take it due to whatever lagging indicator they have on their chart.
all trading styles goes through cycles in social media. Naked PA is on the current cycle. Next month, order flow will be cool again.
Has the way you trade changed over time?
No. Although I can appreciate other trading styles and maybe take analysis that will support my argument, my personal trading style hasn’t changed. The confluence I look for is LTF price action at key HTF levels. I really would like to learn more about orderflow because it seems interesting, but I don’t want to deviate from a course that’s clearly working and has been for years.
Why do you think you have success trading?
I trade the same setups. I’ve journaled and have a library of different setups that will likely play out. Depending on past data of these setups, I can associate a certain risk % for the trade. For example, in a setup with a high probability of playing out, I’ll risk something like 8%. Account % risk depending on a trade setup itself is something really beneficial. Journaling is a pain in the ass at first, but you eventually get to the point where you have your setups, your risk % for these setups, and you don’t have to think about it anymore. It’s very mechanical. I don’t mind having a boring trading approach or style as long as it works.
What's the worst thing about trading and why?
It’s awful to have to be “switched on” at all times when you’re trading. Maybe one day I’m angry because of something that has nothing to do with trading. If I let that emotion get into my analysis, I may enter trades too early or too late. Things like that.
What's something you've learned in the last 6 months that has made you a better trader?
I don’t necessarily have something in particular that I’ve learned in the last 6 months that made me a better trader. Working out more and being active has made me a better trader. Having an outlet to destress has been big. Also, having a certain period of time where I’m not checking the charts or the market, in general, helps a lot. I can get fresh eyes on charts after my workout, and I have more clarity.
Working out more and being active has made me a better trader. Having an outlet to destress has been big.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading?
I think many people make the mistake of only having one argument for a specific setup. They don’t think about the other side of the argument. Sure, you may feel bullish, but what’s the bearish argument here? Is the other argument stronger than your own? If so, why are you bullish?
many people make the mistake of only having one argument for a specific setup. They don’t think about the other side of the argument.
Isn’t that a bit like playing chess against yourself? You’ll always know which side you really ‘want’ to win?
It’s absolutely like playing chess against yourself. That’s another reason why I truly enjoy trading. You have no one to blame except for yourself. You have no one to thank for being successful except for yourself.
With that being said, this could also be extremely difficult if you’re a losing trader or on a losing streak. The constant self-blame is a downside, BUT during those times, you learn the most about yourself, in my opinion.
The constant self-blame is a downside, BUT during those times, you learn the most about yourself, in my opinion.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
Manage your risk and become comfortable with losing. Remember that trading is a marathon and not a sprint. If you have no capital left, it’s game over.
How would you describe your relationship with risk?
I found a risk number that I’m comfortable with, and I don’t go above it. I’m very disciplined with my risk. I've reached my cap for size on my trading. My portfolio continues to grow, but I use that to invest in other things to continue to diversify myself.
What goals do you set for your trading?
I don’t set any monetary goals for trading. Goals like this could increase your pressure, thus not giving you a clear analysis on a chart.
Fill in the blanks
Most traders would be better off… if they kept their risk in check. For those that don’t, remember how it feels to lose a significant portion of your trading stack on a trade. Remember the feeling, and don’t let it happen again. Eventually, you’ll get tired of “the feeling”, and you’ll be in a much better place.
What separates the pros from the rest is… I know I’ve mentioned Risk management a lot, but I believe the answer to this is also risk management.
A good trader should never… think their analysis is correct all of the time. Be open to analysis from a different point of view. Just because someone doesn’t have the same argument as you doesn’t mean they’re incorrect.
The biggest misconception about trading… is that you’ll be a multimillionaire within a year. Or that you’ll never have losing days or streaks.