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Like every degenerate trader, Glim came out of university wanting to be a trader while trying to appease a migrant family wanting him to go down the traditional investment banking route. He joined an Australian prop trading firm during the bull run of 2017 and terrorised Bitmex participants for years. A scalper at heart, he finds it difficult to be in a position for longer than a few minutes. He’s in and out before you decide where to place your stop.
What attracted you to trading?
I was confused about my career path. I was coming to the end of my economics/finance degree and needed to decide which direction to take. I watched the 2016 US elections and was fascinated by the wild swings in FX markets. Monitoring the impact on the markets was hypnotising.
If you hadn’t become a trader, what would you be doing?
In a parallel world, there’s no doubt I would’ve fallen into an economist role for some sleazy hedge fund. The markets and global macro are passions of mine, and I’d be working with them somehow.
How long have you been trading?
Trading has been a hobby for eight years, and I’ve been trading full-time professionally for five years now. Initially, I traded FX markets, but now I focus solely on crypto.
My trading is a weird mixture of logic and instinct.
How would you describe the way you trade?
My trading is a weird mixture of logic and instinct. As a scalper, you develop these logical ways you perceive the market to move (right or wrong, who knows?), but this becomes second nature to you over time and instinct kicks in.
How long did it take you to become profitable?
As soon as I joined a professional trading firm, things started to click pretty quickly. Before that, I’d considered myself a gambler trader, not knowing what I was doing. I specifically remember being down 40% of my account within the first month of working at a professional firm. By the time I was able to claw myself out of that hole, I was pretty confident that I’d be fine and was able to really ‘make it’ as a trader.
I specifically remember being down 40% of my account within the first month of working at a professional firm.
What’s the biggest difference between working inside a firm to trading for yourself?
Within a prop firm, there are ‘built-in edges’ that you can utilize until you become confident enough to find your own, giving you ample time to ‘figure it out’. Other than a bit more structure and a support network, which are both critical when starting, nothing really changes once you leave. That said, I would HIGHLY recommend everyone join a prop firm when starting their trading journey. The experience is unquantifiable.
What does a typical day look like for you?
This has drastically changed over the years. For the first few years, trading was every waking hour of my life, seven days a week and multiple times a night, waking up to alarms. Especially at the beginning of your journey, it’s critical to get as much screen time as possible. These days it’s much more sustainable, similar to a regular job, roughly 8 am to 7 pm on weekdays and the occasional weekend.
Especially at the beginning of your journey, it’s critical to get as much screen time as possible.
Tell us about your most memorable trade
1st of April 2019 - BTC was breaking to the upside of 4.2k. I had been waiting for this particular moment to occur for days - a classic breakout of a very tight range. The thing that made it so memorable was understanding that at a certain point, BTC was going to launch, and I was able to bring the price up to that level and take all the liquidity myself. Something about being up 60 BTC in less than a minute is pretty fun.
Something about being up 60 BTC in less than a minute is pretty fun.
What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?
You don’t always have to be right.
What drives you to keep trading?
Competitive drive to be the best at something. I don’t think I’ll ever find anything else in this world that gives me the same satisfaction, adrenalin and drive as working to be better at trading. So long as I’m liquid enough to afford to trade, I can’t see why I’d stop.
What does ‘making it’ look like to you?
That is forever changing, ‘making it’ now is wholly individual and isn’t a function of how much you’ve made, but how happy you are. As cliche as it sounds, it’s true.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading?
I still get irritated with negative PnL, which translates into bad trading decisions. I find it much easier to cover my PnL OR denominate in a currency outside of $, i.e. BTC. It’s helpful to look at your PnL as a points system rather than something tangible you can exchange for real-life goods.
What's the most important quality in a trader and why?
I’d say it’s critical thinking. Looking to understand the reasons for market action/dynamics, and not just taking them as a given. This logic doesn’t necessarily have to be correct, but don’t blindly just click buttons all day trading without thinking about what's going on underneath the hood.
don’t blindly just click buttons all day trading without thinking
Why do you think you have success trading?
My ability to think critically about market dynamics. I can’t stress this enough. When we take on new traders, I can tell who will be a good trader on their first day of trading based purely on their willingness to listen and desire to understand what is happening.
What’s the most common flaw/mistake you see novices making?
Letting their egos get in the way. An unwillingness to adapt because ‘the market is wrong, I’m right. The one common trait I’ve found in traders that are profitable vs unprofitable is how open they are to learning and whether they ask questions or talk at you?
90% of new traders tell me about their strategies, how they work, why they work, how much money they’ve made, etc. These guys ALWAYS FAIL. The 10% who ask extremely concise questions about how I view the market and probe are ALWAYS the ones who make good money in trading.
What's the worst thing about trading and why?
The non-stop nature of trading, especially in the crypto market.
What's something you've learned in the last six months that has made you a better trader?
Coding. It helps with building logic, and it has given me an understanding of how a large portion of trades occur. I view code as an execution tool to aid my trading efficiency and set-up. I think that every trader needs to learn how to code at some point because automation will kill you otherwise.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
Think outside the box. Don’t get trapped into drawing pretty lines on charts. If you’d really love to be a trader, just go for it. It isn’t easy, but the journey is worth it, and you’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process.
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