Aug 8, 2022
Mattomattik is a full-time prop trader splitting his time between indexes, forex, commodities and crypto.
What attracted you to trading?
A new challenge to myself and trying to learn more about the profession of my mentor. He taught me the basics of supply and demand, resistance and support etc. He was very kind and took the time to answer all my questions. Funnily enough, the roles reversed over time, and he came to me asking about DeFi yield and options strategies.
Tell us a bit about your mentor.
He was a jack of all trades. He made everything so ridiculously simple. He’d say, “that’s resistance, and here’s support”. That’d be it. He was mainly a swing trader, but somehow he had the incredible ability to pull some great intraday trades.
He’d say, “that’s resistance, and here’s support”. That’d be it.
Do you trade the same way as him?
In some ways, it’s the same - defining buyer and seller imbalances by identifying resistance and support, but I use orderflow.
How long have you been trading?
I’ve been trading since November 2019. Until 2021 I was only trading crypto, then I started to trade CAC40/DAX/SPX/ForEx, and in 2022 I began in commodities (metal, oil, gas).
Why the switch towards commodities?
I switched to commodities due to apparent demand following the breakout of the Russian war, particular regarding gas and oil. I find crypto very slow and lacking fundamentals, a giant online casino for an unregulated group of people.
How long did it take you to become profitable?
I don’t know how to define ‘profitable’ precisely, but I first withdrew profit from my account in October 2020. So about 11 months. March 2020 is where everything changed for me. My mentor told me to short overnight; I did and 3x’d my account in a single night. The volatility meant the spread was terrible, and I could click non-stop. It is easily one of the only months where I hit 100,000 orders.
This is the actual trade:
What does a typical day look like for you?
I jump on PC first thing to check the market, Twitter, and Discord. Then I make a quick coffee and breakfast before trading for about an hour. Then I get on with my work, taking a break mid-NY session to spend time with my wife. Then I trade until NY close, take a two-hour break playing video games before trading Asian session through to the London open. Then I sleep and do it all over again. I don’t have that much time outside the market; I’m a part of it, after all.
Why do you think you have success trading?
Because my father gave me a very strict education, there is no such thing as good enough. You can always do better.
Would you describe yourself as a perfectionist? Is that a good trait in a trader?
I wouldn’t say perfectionist because I’m way lazier than my father. Still, if I do something, I will do it correctly and not allow myself to make mistakes. I think it’s a good trait in a trader if controlled.
How does working at a prop firm differ from managing your own money?
I’m lucky with the firm I am at. I don’t think it differs that much. For me, trading has been my job for a while, so I respect all money, mine and other people's. Some parameters differ, such as limit risk and limit in tools. Because I’m French, I have access to all exchanges, while my prop is limited by Canadian regulators. Overall, it’s the same for me every day, just tighter risk and fewer exchanges.
I respect all money, mine and other people's.
Tell us about your most memorable trade.
Around the end of 2020, BTC tried to break ATH but failed to do so and retraced to 16,800. I went all in at 17,200 and had to sit in the position for about a month, before taking profit at 21,000. It was on high leverage, which made it very stressful, but once my target hit, my whole life changed in terms of money.
How do your risk management rules allow you to go all in like that?
I still don’t have the answer, but I can say that while risk management is important, the EV is even more critical. In this case, my stupidly high conviction played out well and changed my life. That’s what matters at the end of the day. Since March 2021, I’ve never disregarded my usual risk rules for myself or a client. My prop desk boss often reminds me about my quality; I’m very clean with my risk and respect it.
What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?
I have got a lot of good trading advice, but the one that comes to mind is when my boss at the prop desk said: “the beautiful thing I learned as a trader along the years is that every day could be your best day ever.”
What drives you to keep trading?
I love it; it’s like a competitive video game, where you must adapt to every new meta. I don’t think I do it for money anymore. I’m just in love with the market and how my day is built around it.
What conditions do you struggle in?
The condition I’ve struggled in the most is mainly very, very directional because my system is about farming volume and deleting volatility, so directional can catch me off-guard.
my system is about farming volume and deleting volatility, so directional can catch me off-guard.
Would you say you’ve ‘made it’?
In terms of knowledge, no. Depending on your country, it’s not hard to make it - it just takes patience. Luckily, when it comes to knowledge, you can learn something every day, which is the beautiful thing about the market.
What’s something you learned recently that surprised you?
It was a discussion with a good friend of mine, ‘eos’, and he explained that, as investors, it was natural to be down 50/70% in a bear market. As somebody who maintains tight risk parameters, it shocked me.
What's the most important quality in a trader and why?
Patience and discipline, because if you aren’t, time will burn your wings.
Have you ever had your ego “burned” by the market?
Not really. I’m 28 years old, and life has slapped me around enough for me not to go through it again!
If you could go back and tell your younger self one thing to accelerate your progress what would it be?
Instead of being a jack of all trades, master just one. Once you’ve mastered it, move on to the next thing. I wish me of two years ago could figure this out, but I guess experience only comes with time and mistakes.
What's the worst thing about trading and why?
The feeling that everybody can do it, and it’s not hard. It’s unbelievably difficult, and every cycle top, normies flood in thinking they’re skilled investors because they lucked out on a x100 altcoin. Retail dies fast in this market. Few stay.
What's something you've learned in the last six months that has made you a better trader?
Options flow has provided me with another layer of knowledge, allowing me to see an order book instead of raw options data.
What’s the next thing you’d like to learn?
Optimize my algo. If I were a better coder, my PNL doing volume would be up x2/x3
If I were a better coder, my PNL doing volume would be up x2/x3
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading?
I tend to get drawn into scalping instead of swing trading. People tend to want to swing every low because, “ oh, it’s cheap “, but the market doesn’t care about your notion of cheap or expensive. Be more patient; a good setup can take months to appear.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice what would it be?
Don’t be a trader; it’s the only job where you can work for 100 hours and lose money. It will also take you a month to recover from a significant loss. If you have talent outside of trading, find inside yourself what you are good at, and then leverage your capacity to become a business or the best in that domain.
Don’t be a trader; it’s the only job where you can work for 100 hours and lose money.
Fill in the blanks
Most traders would be better off leverage
What separates the pros from the rest is discipline
A good trader should never be emotional
The biggest misconception about trading is free money
Any other comments you'd like to share:
“I threw my cup away when I saw a child drinking from his hands” don’t let money change who you are