27 Altcoin Pepe
Jun 13, 2022
AltcoinPepe is a full-time trader primarily focused on crypto markets.
What attracted you to trading?
To be honest it was the money. But not to buy fancy things, more so for the freedom it brings. Freedom to do what you want and to be able to do something you enjoy. I have a passion for trading so it’s a win-win. I will say though, money and freedom didn’t come until many years later. I thought I’d have it all figured out within a few months. How naive I was.
How long did it take you to get profitable?
It took me around 2-3 years to see consistent results. I’d go through decent periods where I’d win a lot but I’d eventually end up giving it all back through lack of discipline. It’s my 7th year in this game and it’s only recently that I’ve started to become comfortable and confident in my ability as a trader. In the beginning, you’re sold a dream but in reality, it’s very different. Those Youtube ads you see of people in Lamborghini's and trading on their phone sitting by the pool is far from the reality of an everyday trader's typical lifestyle. It’s a business just like any other business and if you want to be successful it needs to be taken seriously.
I thought I’d have it all figured out within a few months. How naive I was.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I workout around 5am every morning. It’s important I start my day with something challenging, not just for the body but for the mind also. I find that exercise first thing in the morning gives you a boost and prepares you for whatever you may be faced with that day. I’m definitely not as sharp throughout the day if I don’t move my body in the morning.
After a workout, I fuel my body with a healthy meal and then check the charts to see what happened overnight. The rest of the day is spent planning, researching, backtesting, preparing and waiting for setups. If the market is slow I will step away from the charts and go for a walk or spend time with my partner, do things around the house etc.
One thing I neglected was my sleep but I’ve since sorted that out. I now try to go to bed at the same time every day and wake up at the same time every day. It has been an absolute game changer and I now find myself falling asleep as soon as I hit the pillow. Sleep is important, it keeps you sharp between the ears and improves every aspect of your life, don’t neglect it like I once did.
Sleep is important, it keeps you sharp between the ears and improves every aspect of your life
How much of your time is spent planning/testing/analysing vs actually trading?
The majority of my time is spent doing these things. I usually spend around an hour analysing the markets first thing in the day, marking key areas where I’d like to do business and then sit and wait for price to come to my levels. It can be quite boring, to be honest, so if the market is slow I’ll usually spend that time backtesting new ideas.
What's the worst thing about trading?
Having a plan, following the plan but not getting an entry. Whether that be due to front running of a limit order or price not entering the zone and reversing just ahead of it. Nothing more frustrating than being right on an idea but having no way of getting on board.
Don’t you ever just market in if your idea looks to have been validated? If not, why not?
I do but quite often the risk-reward has diminished significantly by that time so there is no longer a valid trade. If the risk-reward is there and I see something compelling then I’ll take the trade but if I’m forced to break my rules to do that then I’ll step aside. The reason the risk-reward diminishes is that I sometimes have no safe place to put my stop loss. If I’m expecting price to come to a level and it turns just ahead of it, I can’t move my stop loss down from where it would originally go because it would then be in and around the area where I wanted to execute the trade in the first place. I’d basically be a sitting duck. So I’d rather be patient and wait, follow my plan and if I don’t get the entry then it is what it is, albeit frustrating.
Tell us about your most memorable trade?
It would have to be a trade I took in May 21 that lead to me losing 50% of my net worth in a day. The trade is etched in the back of my mind and still haunts me. In hindsight, it was the most ridiculous decision I have ever made in my career as a trader and one that lead to a change in how I approached the markets moving forward. So although at the time it was one of the worst days of my life, it ultimately changed the course of my career and made me the trader I am today.
It was May 2021, BTC topped out and alts dumped 50% + within a few days. I had my bull goggles on and was oblivious to the fact that when BTC dumps, alts dump too but much harder. In typical rookie style, I thought I was smarter than the market and decided to consolidate all my positions into one and put all my money into RUNE. At this time, RUNE was holding up relative to the rest of the market and I saw that as a sign of strength. Given how the chart was looking at the time and what I know now, this was a completely stupid decision. I came back to my desk a few hours later to see RUNE dumping hard. I can’t quite describe the feeling of seeing your money disappear at such velocity. I didn’t even know what to do. I refused to take the loss and watched it dump even further. As the day closed out I lost almost 50% of my money. It isn’t all bad as I initially bought RUNE for under $1 but when you see that amount of unrealised gains disappear in less than a day it hurts.
That day changed everything for me and looking back I’m thankful for the experience. It taught me the importance of paying yourself, managing risk and always preparing for the worse. It taught me the importance of having a plan and one that protects the downside first and foremost. I truly believe every successful trader needs to go through hardship at some point and feel the pain of losing. Moments like that either make or break you. I refused to quit and here I am today having the best year I’ve ever had as a trader. In a bear market too.
I didn’t even know what to do. I refused to take the loss and watched it dump even further.
What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?
Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles. I don’t remember who said it or where it came from but it is something I think about all the time. The minute I started focusing on the long game rather than trying to make it in one trade, the better my results were. If you just focus on the downside, the upside will take care of itself and your account will grow quicker than you’d imagine.
What does making it look like for you?
Being able to consistently take money from the market. That’s the ultimate goal of a trader right? If you can do that, be it big or small then you’ve made it in my eyes.
Was there anyone you consider a mentor that helped you learn to trade?
Yes, Tom Dante. He was my first mentor and without his guidance, I definitely don’t think I’d be where I am today. He taught me the importance of having data and trading based on probabilities. His honesty and attention to detail are what I admire the most. I think a little bit of tough love is what’s needed to bring you back to reality and he did that for me. Special mention to TraderXO. I learned a ton from him over the last several months. He has played a key role in the way I trade markets today.
What's the most important quality in a trader?
Patience. The ability to be able to wait for price to come to you and not chase it. Every trader needs it. Without it, you won’t last long. It’s hard to teach. I think the only way to improve in this area is chart time and lots of it. You have to understand how price moves. Once you do, patience comes naturally.
Another thing that’ll help with patience is knowing your system/strategy inside out. If you know the ins and outs of a particular pattern then waiting for the optimal entry is easy because you know based on the data you’ve collected, how likely something is going to play out.
For example, impatience may lead to a not-so-favourable entry resulting in you being underwater more often than you’d like or even worse, taking an unnecessary loss. Data can help you find the optimal entry leading to better execution.
Patience and execution go hand in hand. If you have the data then you can develop an IF-THEN approach which gives you clear entries and targets. The more data you have the more patient you’ll be in your execution and execution is everything when it comes to profitable trading.
Why do you think you have success trading?
I have an overwhelming amount of self-belief. I don’t know where I get it from but I’ve always had it. I just always knew I’d be successful one day. In my mind, there was never any doubt. I think without it you’ll struggle. Self-belief drives action. I’ve also put in the work and it’s been consistent for many years. Trading has become an obsession. At one point, I was staring at charts for upwards of 12 hours a day, watching them move tick by tick. You do that for long enough and you begin to get a feel for what will likely happen next. This is where my intuition comes into play.
Intuition is by far my biggest edge. I always listen to it and let it guide me. Pair that with a solid system in terms of both risk management/strategy-wise and It has served me well over the last several months. Another thing you can’t teach and is really only developed through countless hours of chart time.
What's something you've learned in the last 6 months that has made you a better trader?
What goes up will eventually come down and a lot faster so always be looking to pay yourself. Back in May 21, I lost half my net worth in a single day. Although I’d been trading for many years prior to that, crypto was a whole other beast and moved completely different to anything I’d ever seen. I got caught up in the bull hopium and failed to see what was actually going on. I’m thankful for the lessons it taught me and I’m a better trader for it. I’ll never marry a bag again.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading?
Taking profit too early. Still very much a work in progress. If I take profit early the trade goes much further than anticipated. If I don’t, I end up round-tripping my entries as Jim would say. Still trying to find the sweet spot and again, it comes down to having the data to give me the confidence to know whether the probability of holding for longer is in my favour or not. I’ve handled this better over the last few months.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice what would it be?
Do not expect too much too soon. Trading is like any other career. The same way in which people go to University for 3-4 years to learn something, trading is no different. Stick at it and trust in the process. We all started out as a noob.
Looking back, was there anything, in particular, you realise held you back as a novice trader?
Yes, system hopping. Probably the worst thing you can do. I did it for a number of years, tried various courses and searched far and wide for the perfect system. It doesn’t exist. Just find something simple, backtest it, create some rules around it and follow it. That’s really all I do. It can be anything you like. Moving averages, basic structure principles, market profile. There is an edge in all of them. The real edge comes down to you and your ability to follow a system.
I tried various courses and searched far and wide for the perfect system. It doesn’t exist.
Fill in the blanks
Most traders would be better off using a systematic approach.
What separates the pros from the rest is having a plan and following it.
A good trader should never expect to win every trade.
The biggest misconception about trading is that it’s easy and anyone can do it.
Any other comments you'd like to share: