10 Jim Talbot
Feb 14, 2022
Jimtalbot is a crypto trader, streamer, artist and cat meme enthusiast.
What first attracted you to trading?
Initially, I was drawn in by Bitcoin's potential as a store of value but soon realised its best use case was for intraday trading. This is down to the cyclical mechanical nature of how price moves and how prominent algos are in the market.
How can you tell how prominent algos are?
Structurally, assets like BTC that have a lot of algo trading become very cyclical over time. Algo heavy markets are very predatory, and the orderflow is often equal, whereas an active market moves more impulsively. In BTC, these periods are few and far between.
How long have you been actively trading?
I've been trading for almost four years now - exclusively in crypto. I'm not against trading equities, but I think there's more fun in trading crypto for now.
How long did it take you to become profitable?
It took me about 18 months. During that time, I fluctuated between profit and giving it back out of mistakes. My big epiphany came when I turned my system into a more mechanical one with fixed setup parameters that I could execute repeatedly.
So is it an automated system?
It's not automated. I remain disciplined in waiting for my established parameters and then use discretion based on orderflow and levels to judge if I want to take the trade or not. As time goes on, I become more discretionary in my trade setups, and my tools are more supplementary now to give me confluence and conviction.
You have a reputation for being a permabear; does that ever bother you?
I don't care what people think, for the most part. I'm very confident in my system, so I let it do the talking for me. As someone who trades a mechanical system, I simply take the setups it tells me to take - my underlying bias has no bearing on my intraday trades. My bias informs how I play multi-year cycles.
What is your underlying bias?
I believe we are in a period of downtime - whether that resolves in a sideways manner or downwards, I'm not so sure. I don't think I am missing a generational entry any time soon, and I am happy to wait and trade intraday.
“I DON’T THINK I AM MISSING A GENERATIONAL ENTRY ANY TIME SOON, AND I AM HAPPY TO WAIT AND TRADE INTRADAY.”
— Jim Talbot
How did you come to communicate exclusively through cat memes?
As someone on the spectrum and quite dyslexic, I find it easier to communicate with pictures than words.
How many memes have you collected over the years?
A lot - probably like 3-4 GB I think, lol.
What's the best trading advice you've been given?
Journal every trade and also journal your emotional state. The greatest human trait is self-awareness, in my opinion.
For the most part, getting it out on paper helps me decompress and keeps my brain from storing too much data. The only time I will go back and review it is if I spot recurring behaviour that needs addressing.
What's the worst thing about trading?
Probably that it can be very dull. There's a lot of waiting, which can make it mentally challenging to maintain discipline. I value the downtime and find ways to stay productive, like making art while I'm at the screen waiting for things to play out.
But in all honesty, the challenge is part of why I love it so much. I'm definitely drawn in by the fact it's unbelievably difficult.
Would you share with us your most memorable trade?
No memorable ones. I couldn't distinguish one trade from the next. I think getting overly excited about trades is detrimental to performance.
I journal every trade, and if I find repeated mistakes, I'll dig deeper and look for underlying causes, whether market or mental.
“I THINK GETTING OVERLY EXCITED ABOUT TRADES IS DETRIMENTAL TO PERFORMANCE.”
— Jim Talbot
What's the most crucial quality in a trader and why?
Patience - markets always give you more time than you think you have.
Why do you think you have success trading?
I'm obsessive by nature, have an intense work ethic, strong pattern recognition and ability to read microstructure.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading?
I still get impatient from time to time and enter early. I think you're generally better off entering late than early. I have always found it better to wait for an entry and risk missing the trade than entering before my level is tested.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
If your main objective is to make easy money, go do something else. For me, it's a passion and a hobby first and foremost.
“IF YOUR MAIN OBJECTIVE IS TO MAKE EASY MONEY, GO DO SOMETHING ELSE.”
— Jim Talbot
FILL IN THE BLANKS
Most traders would be better off building out a mechanical system with fixed parameters for setups and forward test with strict journaling. Most people that call themselves traders here are trading favourable conditions and can probably not tell you the statistical advantage they have other than the market goes up mostly.
What separates the pros from the rest is they know their setups, are patient, disciplined and execute robotically with minimal emotions. Excitement and sadness are two emotions that will hinder you as a trader.
The biggest misconception about trading is that people see big profits and assume trading is an easy profession. I think it's one of the most demanding jobs in the world; it takes immense discipline both in front of and away from the chart to be a successful trader.