#68 Ameba_NM

April 10, 2023


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Ameba is a regular guy who stumbled across crypto trading & investing in 2019. Accomplished in my career outside of trading and with a young family I found the pandemic as a very unique opportunity to throw myself into sharpening a skill (trading) that I am passionate about. I’ve since been grinding the crypto and FX markets making an extra buck on something I really enjoy doing.

What attracted you to trading? 

Initially, I saw it as a challenge, something completely different from my background that I wanted to learn… I think the gamification of it made it attractive thereafter… the concept of me vs me vs the market makes it interesting every day. 

How long have you been trading, and what markets have you traded over your career?

I started getting involved with trading in 2019 when BTC broke out of the 3-4k range. But I only started taking it more seriously in 2020, once I found myself with a lot of time from being locked down during the pandemic.

How long did it take you to become profitable?

I started trading at the start of a bull market, so profitability wasn’t really an issue - luckily, I didn’t fall for the “this is easy” mentality and used the bull market to learn the craft as much as I could, as I listened to the survivors of the bear market talking about how ruthless it could be. 

Incorporating liquidity in my trading helped me immensely in understanding why price moves in certain ways and was definitely a U-turn in the quality of my setups.

The other key points were having a good understanding of what’s happening outside of the market you trade (Macro) to when macro shifts in momentum could take place.

Lastly, continuing to study price action from people that have been doing this much longer than I have. I always think being surrounded by people you can learn from makes you better at your craft.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Besides trading, I’m an exec for a business unrelated to finance/crypto (partly why I keep my trading profile anonymous) so my days are rather busy as I also have a family with small children.

Typically I wake up early and go for a swim to keep my head clear for the day ahead. Come back, and break down markets to see what I have to work with on the day as I have breakfast. I’m typically at the desk doing work and waiting for triggers from 8.30 - 18.30. At night I usually chill out with the kids, and if the markets look ripe, I still have a laptop by the sofa to keep an eye on things. At weekends I try to switch off from trading and focus on my life outside of it.

Who did you look up to when you first started trading?

The first person I learned from was Tyler D. Coates (@sawcrutheez), a very low-key account that’s not even active anymore these days - I learned a lot from watching him, especially about basic trading concepts.

The most influential ones, though, were @crypto_ISO (introduced me to liquidity theory) and @trader1sz (I learned so much from him about PA, ranges, mindset, etc.) - my current system is a mix of things I learned from them, really and for that, I’m really grateful.

Tell us about your most memorable trade

SUSHI last year was great - it wasn’t a single trade, but a succession of them both ways from August to October 2022 - it felt like I was reading the market exactly as it was being played using liquidity analysis. Very profitable days. 

What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?

Something I learnt from SZ is to focus on the move itself rather than try to catch a knife at the exact bottom or top, let PA tell you it’s moving and bet with the move to catch the lion’s share.

What drives you to keep trading?

I really enjoy the process, seeing progress, continuously learning and getting better results from continuous self-improvement.

I really enjoy the process, seeing progress, continuously learning and getting better results from continuous self-improvement.

Would you say you’ve ‘made it’? If not, what does ‘making it’ look like to you?

I think I still have a long way to go before considering myself in that league… I’d like to achieve much more consistency than I currently have in trading; I still find myself entering trades for the wrong reasons and situations where I have more drawdowns than I should allow. Definitely a work in progress.

What's the most important quality in a trader?

I think that mindset is amongst the most important pillars to have. Lots of self-discipline and honesty about oneself. Trading taught me how impatient I can be, especially when dealing with the unknown that can affect you - something I still work to improve, waiting for setups, being comfortable missing out, etc.

Trading taught me how impatient I can be, especially when dealing with the unknown

How would you describe the way you trade?

Liquidity-driven trading around ranges is my bread and butter. There are two teams in trading, buyers and sellers, for every buyer, there’s a seller and viceversa. 

Additionally, there are also key levels where an asset changes hands from one team to the other:  those are the liquid areas where big players get involved as it allows them to buy or sell without consuming the entirety of the books, build big positions and sit on them for an upcoming markup or markdown.

In that context, liquidity theory allows you to find those levels, understanding where those big orders may come in so that you can do the same and piggyback on the move they’re effectively engineering.

Has the way you trade changed over time?

Definitely - I started with very basic concepts around supply and demand with EMAs at the core… I then added liquidity theory, and over the last 18 months or so, I added a lot of concepts around ranges, with techniques to maximise PA within ranges (which is what markets do most of the time)

Why do you think you have success trading?

I rarely give up on things… so when I have setbacks (and in trading, I have had many) I so far have always come back… and the beauty of trading is that as long as you don’t blow up your account, there’s always a next trade to grind back. 

It’s inevitable that you’ll hit a dry patch, loser after loser… those periods are mentally draining and really demotivating. It never made me want to quit, but it does affect you, stepping away and coming back fresh a few days later can help reset the score.

the beauty of trading is that as long as you don’t blow up your account, there’s always a next trade to grind back. 

What's the worst thing about trading and why?

The 24/7 nature of crypto markets can be exhausting… especially during the bull market I found myself really tired at times… found it difficult to disconnect. 

Trading is very engaging, so not being present in family life is something I’m very aware of - this is why I try not to trade on weekends, completely disconnect and spend time with my loved ones. The upside though is that I do it from home, so in that respect, it’s not as bad as going away for the whole week like I used to do when I was younger working in consultancy.

What's something you've learned in the last 6 months that has made you a better trader?

Lately I’ve been working on taking profits more aggressively - even if a trade doesn’t hit target, I find that in bear markets, booking profits (even if partials) is key as the market is not as forgiving as when it trends upwards. This obviously requires a complete emotional detachment from trades. 

If I take profits and the trade keeps going there’s always that thought of “how much have I missed”, but once I take profits, I just try to focus on the next trade rather than dwelling too much on the previous one.

there’s always that thought of “how much have I missed”, but once I take profits, I just try to focus on the next trade

What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading? Any tips to avoid it?

Don’t jump into trades without a plan or rationale. Have a set of rules to enter, and only enter when those conditions are met… otherwise you’re just gambling.

If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice what would it be and why?

Start small, focus on the process and not the results. Only when you’re comfortable with the process and it gives you results start adding size. This could be months or years… but certainly worth it in the end.

If you’re starting from scratch, use CT to your advantage, be kind to people and don’t ask lazy questions you can Google yourself. I didn’t know anyone in my life that could mentor me on how to trade, so the connections I made through CT were (and still are) invaluable in my journey.

Start small, focus on the process and not the results.

How would you describe your relationship with risk?

Very black and white - I define risk before entering a trade, I almost see that risk as the cost of the trade, which is budgeted for before I enter the trade, and I book it in the journal that way… it’s a lost trade until profits are booked (or not). 

It’s an incomplete entry, but the potential loss is entered as a full loss until I key in the exit price and the journal calculates the net loss or profit for the trade. So every time I enter a trade I see it as buying a lottery ticket… the money is gone until I exit and hopefully make money (or lose less than the full SL)

What goals do you set for your trading?

To achieve more consistency - I feel I have a long way to go in this aspect, avoid the emotional/rushed decisions and trade in a more robotic consistent way that hopefully delivers better results. I don’t have a routine for journalling my trades, but I find myself journaling and reviewing a lot more when I see bad results. Less so when trading well and getting good results.

Fill in the blanks

  • Most traders would be better off not using leverage, sticking to spot trading with wider stops
  • What separates the pros from the rest is mindset. Knowing when you’re wrong, accepting it and action it accordingly. Removing emotions completely from trading.
  • A good trader should never marry their bias.
  • The biggest misconception about trading is that you’ll get rich quickly.