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Jackis has been a full-time trader for a decade, focussed on FX, Indices, and now crypto. He runs ‘The Crypto Hounds’ educational group with @daancrypto.
What attracted you to trading?
The lure of quick bucks through the internet at first, then I fell in love with it. When I started, I was a student, then I did a few jobs that weren’t as time-consuming so that I would have enough time to study charts and everything trading related such as psychology. It took many years before I could trade full-time. I was terrified to make that leap, even though I was making good money trading.
What was your motivation to make the switch?
I wanted to have enough time in my life. Nothing buys you time like money. And you are never really free unless you have both time and money. In the process, I realized I actually love to trade. Even though I sometimes hate it, haha!
you are never really free unless you have both time and money.
How long have you been trading and what markets have you traded?
I’ve been trading for around a decade now. I started on FX, then e-mini, and now I’m full-time crypto.
Looking back, I’d say FX is the most robotic, manipulated asset. A trader’s paradise. Indexes are mostly up only cause of the money printer. I definitely liked the trading hours there, mostly just trading the NY session.
Finally, crypto has a special place in my heart, especially BTC, cause it represents libertarianism. Trading-wise, it has great volatility as it’s an emerging asset. There are lots of new opportunities, and you can trade spot well. The negative for me is that I have positive feelings towards BTC, which gives me an inherent bias. Luckily I have no such feelings towards shitcoins.
How long did it take you to become profitable? Were there any major milestones where things just started to click?
It took around five years to be consistently profitable. I was a young, slow learner and made all the mistakes you could imagine. Also, back then, there was not as much information available as today.
I have considered giving up many times. But I kept coming back to the same feeling - I love doing this. That’s the most critical part. You have to love what you do so that when failures come, you don't give up and start over.
I was a young, slow learner and made all the mistakes you could imagine.
What’s the biggest mistake that you can remember making as a beginner?
Biggest mistake? Not taking early profits, always thinking I have to squeeze the max out of this opportunity and then roundtripping the uPnL. It takes time to realize that the markets are gonna be here for the next hundred years, and there are insane opportunities in the market every single year/month/week. When u truly understand this, not just read it and say, “yeah, it's true”, but truly feel it, then you just take what you can and let the rest run without you.
Funny hey? Most of the time, you hear, “cut your losers early and let your profits run”. I think it’s not that easy. Cut your losers early? Sure, but do you know where? You have to have a system with invalidation and follow it. Let your profits run? Sure, but how far? If you do that too much, you’ll roundtrip many trades.
So I’d adjust that saying to “cut your losers, book your profits early.”
It takes time to realize that the markets are gonna be here for the next hundred years
Tell us about your most memorable trade
Probably ETH on 25th Jan 2020. I took a LTF entry in a mid-TF setup and rode it for HTF TP. Not something I’d do today, but it made me about 40R, which was insane!
What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?
Taking profits, early profits, partial profits. Do not look to sell the top. Look to reward yourself. You will not catch the top (most of the time).
What drives you to keep trading?
I really enjoy it. I enjoy discovering the mysteries of the chart, discovering myself, my mistakes and seeing my own development. I enjoy helping others and seeing them grow. Life for me is a never-ending road to seek the truth and it helps that it makes a nice living.
I enjoy discovering the mysteries of the chart, discovering myself, my mistakes and seeing my own development.
What does ‘making it’ look like to you?
For me, “making it” means doing what I enjoy and spending most of the day doing what I love or what makes me happy. Regarding “making it” in trading, I think it’s enough to make a regular income, just like any other profession. The good part is it doesn't have a wage ceiling. You do not really need to make millions. You need to make enough so that you can afford to pay for the life experiences that make you happy. It buys you time as well.
Who did you look up to when you started trading?
A few Czech traders, you wouldn’t have heard of, most likely, haha! In terms of well known traders, probably “ICT” in the early days. I liked how he tried to think like the big guys, thinking where the smaller ones are wrong. It builds the 20/80 mentality, not 80/20. Although I always had that mentality.
Who do you look up to now?
I don’t really look up to anyone, but I still learn from many. Once you stop learning you are finished. Apart from trading, anyone who is able to think outside the box, outside of the “system”. You could say that I like contrarians, especially anarcho-capitalists lately. It makes sense if you commit enough time to understand it.
What's the most important quality in a trader?
Patience, emotion control. Because that’s how markets move. Markets move based on liquidity. Liquidity is then the product of emotion; fear & greed.
How would you describe the way you trade?
Liquidity, Gaps, Market Structure. Market cycles & correlations. Neither is more important than another; all are essential. Confluence and context is everything.
Confluence and context is everything.
Why do you think you have success trading?
Perseverance in learning and not giving up. I always keep updating my system. I never start as a winner but always do my best to end up that way. It takes time. I'm a slow but patient learner.
I believe persistence can be taught. With some pain and struggle and surrounded by the right people.
What's the worst thing about trading and why?
It can be more stressful than anything, and also can be overwhelming for a new trader. It only really dissipates through experience, achieved by proper risk control.
What's something you've learned in the last six months that has made you a better trader?
I’ve learned so much; inter-market analysis, more advanced stop-loss placement, and execution. I spent about three months in the Fall of 2022 just optimizing my stops. I’ve made insane progress and many members of “@TheCryptoHounds” group (that I run with Daancrypto) have said it’s been a huge help.
Inter-market analysis is where you compare correlated assets and trade based on their divergencies or supports and resistances.These new skills led me to nail the macro asset tops and bottoms ahead of time not in hindsight. Huge differences people that should learn to distinguish.
I spent about three months in the Fall of 2022 just optimizing my stops.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading?
Each one is different. Markets are a mirror to your soul and your faults will get exposed. But generally, tight stops are the biggest problem. Getting stopped even if you get the direction right is the worst feeling.
It’s driven by greed or fear of a larger loss. If you use a wider stop, then you have to reduce your position size, which means smaller profits. So, in the end, it truly is all about FEAR & GREED.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
You’ll most likely regret it for a long time until you’ll find it was the best decision of your life (maybe). Make sure you commit, as it will likely take years, and you’ll need to give it 110% and still might not make it.
you’ll need to give it 110% and still might not make it.
And the lure of quick bucks that got you in the first place?
Forget quick bucks. Make it your profession, not a hobby. Journal everything, how you feel, what you did before and after and so on. Start trading with small capital until you start consistently making money. When you become more confident, you can commit more capital. Losing 1-3 first trading portfolios is healthy but cannot be done on purpose. It needs to come from your mistakes, like doubling down. You need to feel it.