Oct 16, 2023
ObviousStops is a crypto ‘trader’ since 2017 who’s embraced the uncertainty of the game.
What attracted you to trading?
The promises of glorious riches at first, but really it's the mental game of it all - playing chess while the board shifts without reason. Once you accept the board can shift without rhyme or reason and embrace uncertainty. A good example is the Alameda fat finger post. I was long and got slipped hard lol. You just never know when someone with size will decide at a whim to sell or buy a huge block and move the market.
You just never know when someone with size will decide at a whim to sell or buy
How long have you been trading and what markets have you traded over your career?
Been trading since mid to late 2017, but looking back wouldn’t really call what I did then trading - it was just beginner’s luck in a bull market. I gave back about 95% of my original spot buys.
How long did it take you to become profitable? Were there any major milestones where things just started to click?
Consistently - about 4 years. I naturally gravitate towards gunslinging so there is a risk of big losses. Getting that under control took a long time. If things are good, I tend to push it to the limits.
Tell us about your most memorable trade
In a discord with some other CT names, and one morning Adam (Abetrade) posts a link to Tesla’s BTC holding document asking ‘is this real’? I checked the chart, and it was flat. Within 20 seconds, I had decided this was probably real or at least will do the rounds on Twitter soon and longed massively. 2 minutes later, we popped on the news. It was a huge, huge trade which I owe Adam for - but again right place, surrounded by good sources of info and the ability to act quickly with size, is an edge in itself.
Abetrade posts a link to Tesla’s BTC holding document asking ‘is this real’?
What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?
It's an art form, not a science. One person will trade vastly differently from another using a different set of rules but others might say their strategy uses footprints. People draw a level on a chart and say that's resistance but it's only resistance if enough people with size make it resistance at the right time. Rather than being super rigid and scientific about it all, I'd rather keep some fluidity - we’re operating in grey areas here.
Rather than being super rigid and scientific about it all, I'd rather keep some fluidity - we’re operating in grey areas here.
What drives you to keep trading?
I enjoy the method, the repetition of it all - part of the Ikigai at this stage.
What's the most important quality in a trader and why?
Being able to be tight and aggressive. When what you want to see is not there, do nothing, but when it IS there, play hard, play fast. Add to the position etc. Why take the foot off the gas? As an example, taking a long based on us finding liquidity below a bunch of lows, adding as we give positive markers for reversal, adding on signs the market starting to try move upwards out of the drop etc. then if some positive news comes out while sitting in the trade, add huge. A great example of the above was the BlackRock ETF announcement - see the action before it.
Why take the foot off the gas?
How would you describe the way you trade?
Hmmm, I think gunslinger is probably best. In the trade, I’m going to keep loading rounds, adding to a ‘winning’ position even when it feels uncomfortable to do so.
Do you ever fire more rounds into losing trades?
No. If it's giving negative markers (as I see them) then I'll just start cutting and cutting.
Has the way you trade changed over time?
At its core, no, but the system and approach, very much so. Again I view it now as an art form. Your reasons for entering a trade are largely fugazi - they’re just structures which allow you to view the market in a frame that suits your mind. For me, this means not being rigid in my approach and being willing to be fluid. There are of course certain rules to it but there are times when the rules can be bent somewhat - like when there is a news or outlier event e.g. fresh tether solvency FUD.
Your reasons for entering a trade are largely fugazi - they’re just structures which allow you to view the market in a frame that suits your mind.
Why do you think you have success trading?
Too stubborn to quit.
What's something you've learned in the last 6 months that has made you a better trader?
Embracing the grey areas - you can be sure of very little in your analysis, embrace the uncertainty. The deeper you go down trying to solve for everything, the more you realise you can’t. You just have to play your hand when it comes up to the absolute hilt, knowing it's not a certainty.
The deeper you go down trying to solve for everything, the more you realise you can’t.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading?
Doubt when in a position - to avoid, watch a lot of positions that would have been winners run away after you’ve cut early. Taking profit when the market tells you to definitely helps, but again it's a subjective reading of where one should get out. There’s obviously going to be a lot of times when it keeps going higher than where I got out - sometimes by a little and sometimes by a lot.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice what would it be and why?
Figure out your own path, and that might mean going through ten different systems that other people use that are profitable. You’ll most likely take bits and sections from each to build your own that suits how your brain works.