Jul 24, 2023
Awawat is a momentum trader who trades primarily altcoins. He likes to keep his trading simple and enjoys crafting narratives to try and make sense of the chaos of the crypto markets.
What attracted you to trading?
It was first a desire to optimise my experience in crypto. As part of the 2017 wave, I was a newcomer, and I did well holding some altcoins that went up a lot during the mania phase but ended up roundtripping some of those gains after the market topped early 2018. I decided to start trading more actively to avoid such pitfalls in the future.
How long have you been trading, and what markets have you traded over your career?
I have been trading actively since 2019. I've only traded crypto until now. I observe traditional markets since they're increasingly relevant for price movements on majors. US markets, in particular, look super fun to trade primarily because they have long periods of up only. The only issue is that they're not easily accessible for non-US persons, which is why I haven't taken the leap yet.
US markets, in particular, look super fun to trade primarily because they have long periods of up only.
How long did it take you to become profitable?
It took me quite a long time! I started active trading during the 2018-2019 bear market, and things were excruciatingly slow. I had to adjust my expectations to range trading and bearish chop. I was trying to trade the same coins as everyone else, the same way, and didn't have my own edge.
I started finding my own edge in late 2020. The market was obviously in better shape by then, which helped. However, even when conditions are good, trading can be challenging if you don't know what you are looking for. During the first half of 2020, I kept looking for small technical setups and struggled to find trades that made a difference PnL wise. Things changed when I started focusing on large expansionary moves (breakouts or sustained trends), which I found easier to trade and more profitable.
I was trying to trade the same coins as everyone else, the same way, and didn't have my own edge.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I have a family and three kids, so typically, I wake up early to get things done before everyone is up. Then I make breakfast for the kids. Then I catch up on both work and trading. Beyond trading, I also run a company, so I mostly stick to office hours to address clients' needs. Trading fits in as needed. I'll take trades if something pops up, and I am available. I keep some time for the kids in the afternoon and evening. I used to dedicate a few hours a day to myself (for sports most of the time), but that time has been shrinking recently due to other commitments.
Who did you look up to when you first started trading?
When I first joined Twitter, I enjoyed the posts from Loomdart, Donalt, Stardust, and others. However, I wasn't very active myself. Then I started following Hsaka and everyone he interacted with at the time (Sim, SM17, etc.), and I started engaging more often with these accounts, learning as much as possible from the trades they shared. Su Zhu, Light, CMS, Andrew Kang were also influential later.
While it's easy to simply follow quietly and lurk on Twitter, I always encourage people to comment and engage actively. You never know where a simple post might take you. Good things can happen at any time.
Building a network is incredibly useful. Crypto is a 24/7 market where things move seemingly randomly at any moment, it's hard to keep track of everything. Having a tight group of friends who pay attention to the same data can help to stay on top of things.
You never know where a simple post might take you. Good things can happen at any time.
Tell us about your most memorable trade.
I really enjoyed what we called "Binance Season" in 2022. I spent most of that year trading counter-trend on the long side, which sounds silly, but my edge is to look for short squeezes and trade around them. Even 2022 had many such opportunities. June 2022 was particularly great, since many Binance coins pumped aggressively. My most memorable trade was a trade on UNFI. I fell asleep while TWAP-ing a 15k position and woke up to a 6-figure PnL.
There were many other great trending coins at that time: RUNE, WAVES, KNC… Even when the market is bearish, there are always outliers to trade on the long side, and that's where my focus usually is.
I fell asleep while TWAP-ing a 15k position and woke up to a 6-figure PnL.
What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?
Buy what goes up, sell what goes down. It's very simple advice, but many people fail to follow it by buying coins they are personally attached to instead of coins showing strength.
What drives you to keep trading?
I want to earn more money from trading and keep getting better at it. I finally enjoy trading as things make sense, and it's a shared process and experience with a tight group of friends, and an even larger circle of acquaintances on Twitter, which also turns into a good amount of motivation to keep trading.
Would you say you’ve ‘made it’? If not, what does ‘making it’ look like to you?
Making it is going offline for two years and sailing the world on a boat with my family. I am not there yet.
What's the most important quality in a trader?
Intuition. This is how you find the outstanding trades, and also what protects you from taking bad trades. GCR or Hsaka are great intuitive traders, for example.
Intuition is how you find the outstanding trades, and also what protects you from taking bad trades.
How would you describe the way you trade?
Opportunistic, aggressive, intuitive.
Has the way you trade changed over time?
My trading style has changed a lot, in line with market conditions. Originally, I idealised being a swing trader or a hodler taking advantage of the rising tide. Nowadays, I take advantage of specific conditions that only last for a few hours or days at most.
Originally, I idealised being a swing trader or a hodler taking advantage of the rising tide. Nowadays, I take advantage of specific conditions that only last for a few hours or days at most.
Why do you think you have success trading?
Information. Being well connected and knowing who is doing what helps tremendously.
What's the worst thing about trading and why?
You can put in a lot of work and not be rewarded for a long period of time. It happened to me when I started trading, and it can still happen when the market is not suited to the kind of trading I'd like to do (for example, when price action is very choppy).
In that case, the only thing to do is to wait things out and burn as little capital as possible.
What's something you've learned in the last six months that has made you a better trader?
Being selective about when to trade. During the last six months, I have become highly aware of when trading conditions are good vs when they're predatory and not fun. I focus less and less on price and more and more on time.
For example, some days of the week have much higher returns than others statistically. Regardless of where the price is, I prefer to trade during those days when the odds are on my side.
During the last six months, I have become highly aware of when trading conditions are good vs when they're predatory. I focus less and less on price and more and more on time.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading? Any tips to avoid it?
Over-trading. Having a set number of trades you can take per day, or a maximum drawdown or risk per day can help avoid it.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice what would it be and why?
Start small so you don't lose a lot initially. Trading is tough, and it will take time for things to work out. I don't necessarily think everyone has to blow up a few accounts before finding something that works, but it happened to me in the past and to many people I know.
How would you describe your relationship with risk?
I have a high-risk tolerance, mostly because I am confident in my ability to get out of any situation. The same goes for my professional life: I would rather choose a more exciting and potentially rewarding path than a safer one.
I have a high-risk tolerance, mostly because I am confident in my ability to get out of any situation.
What goals do you set for your trading?
I set simple long-term goals. I don't believe in daily or weekly targets, which might force you to trade in suboptimal conditions. My goal is to trade only when the conditions are most suited to my personal style.
My goal is to trade only when the conditions are most suited to my personal style.
Fill in the blanks
Most traders would be better off trading only a few days a month.
What separates the pros from the rest is dedication.
A good trader should never lose everything.
The biggest misconception about trading is that it's easy.