Feb 7, 2022
@phoenix_ash3s is a crypto trader, investor and regular analyst contributor to @coinmarketcap.
What first attracted you to trading?
Bitcoin. It was meant as an investment in 2017, but when I saw the charts and ‘numbers go up’ back in 2017, I was fascinated. I simply DCA’d in during the summer of 2017. For some reason, I took out my initials in mid-December, when Bitcoin was trading at 16K. Close to the top, but that was, with hindsight, pure luck.
How long have you been actively trading?
For a bit more than 4 years, however, you can’t really call the first months trading, as it was ‘everyone's a genius in a bull market’. Before crypto, I had no experience in trading. I never traded stocks or forex. Crypto was the trigger for me to take a deep dive into investing in general. It kinda sucked me into the whole financial system, stocks, etc. Crypto is nowadays still by far the market I trade the most.
How long did it take you to become profitable?
As a trader, it took me slightly under two years. The bear market of 2018 was a time when I constantly added to my bags, on almost every dip. Looking back, that bear market was the best experience a beginner trader could have had. Make mistakes and learn from them.
The turnaround of the markets in 2019 was when things started rolling for me. I was mostly swing trading at the time, after blowing two relatively small portfolios on Bitmex in the months prior. I also learned by experience to not touch leverage until you’ve been profitable for some time.
These swings felt good, and my risk management was getting better by the day. After losing a good bunch of money in 2018, 2019 was the year where I became profitable and managed to more than 10x my portfolio - which was amazing at that time.
“LOOKING BACK, THAT BEAR MARKET WAS THE BEST EXPERIENCE A BEGINNER TRADER COULD HAVE HAD.”
Do you have a set daily routine?
Not really, because I do have a ‘normal’ job outside the crypto space which takes most of my daily hours. It’s also not a standard 9-5 job and because of that, the number of hours still available for crypto differs quite a bit.
Lack of dedicated time is also the main reason why 85% of my portfolio is in long term holdings and swing trades. I only use 15% of my portfolio for scalps/short term trades.
The main focus for me is Bitcoin. I try to play the macro trend and I do use a lot of on-chain metrics to get a general view of how the market as a whole is positioned and whether it’s better to be risk-on or risk-off.
I’d say I spend around three hours per day on crypto/trading.
What is your most memorable trade?
Most memorable is a ‘trade’ during the early days: Verge. I was a rookie, but bought the literal bottom in December 2017, to watch it pull a 40X in the next 2 weeks. But, obviously, I didn’t sell.
Somewhere in 2018, I sold it for a relatively small profit as I was scared it would dump more. That was the bottom for Verge back then, little did I know! With hindsight, it was actually the best lesson of: What goes up, does go down.
Your own experience is the best counsellor.
What's the best trading advice you've been given?
Avoid leverage until you are profitable for at least 6 months straight. People want to get rich quick and the leverage button is their ‘shortcut’ towards that goal. However, it most often is their undoing.
“PEOPLE WANT TO GET RICH QUICK AND THE LEVERAGE BUTTON IS THEIR ‘SHORTCUT’ TOWARDS THAT GOAL. HOWEVER, IT MOST OFTEN IS THEIR UNDOING.”
What's the most important quality in a trader?
Having the discipline to plan your trade, trade your plan and be patient in the meantime.
Why do you think you have success trading?
Because I never stop learning. I dedicate loads and loads of hours to the markets/trading, in general, every week. I’m always hungry for more. I read a lot about on-chain metrics when it comes to Bitcoin, I backcheck them, and try to dive in and get a clear picture.
Also, used correctly, Crypto Twitter is a goldmine of knowledge. There is a lot of value to be found there.
What's something you've learned in the last six months that has made you a better trader?
I took a deep dive into on-chain analysis. I’d looked at it before but it was especially interesting after the harsh drop in May. Bitcoin had almost never been so bullish on-chain, yet it wasn’t reflected in the price - which was down 50% from the top. I knew it would reflect in the price someday, so I just used the low 30Ks to re-accumulate BTC and Alts. It has been rewarding so far.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading?
Cut your losers early, but don’t cut your position if your trade hasn’t been invalidated. Your invalidation should fit the system you are using - i.e. exhaustion of a trend (EMA’s), Fibonacci levels, support/resistance or simply market structure.
What drives you to keep trading?
What drives me is that I’ve made a good amount of money so far, because I never stop learning. 2018 was the make-or-break point. Your first bear market can make you either: walk away, or learn a shit-ton. I chose the latter and so far it has been very rewarding.
What does ‘making it’ look like to you?
I don’t really have materialistic goals to show off to the community or something. So, what does ‘making it’ look like? Generating enough passive income each month to be able to enjoy life outside of trading/investing as much as possible.
FILL IN THE BLANKS
Most traders would be better off using spot alone.
What separates the pros from the rest is that they have a strict routine/risk management and a trading journal where they write down every trade.
A good trader should never laugh about rookies, because we all started like that.
The biggest misconception about trading is that it’s an easy way to make money.