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@Rektproof is a price action trader that has been trading since 2016 across forex and crypto markets. In his 2021 degen challenge, he publicly traded $500 to up over $350,000.
What attracted you to trading?
I went the traditional route of going to college, graduating and getting a job in the political sector. Throughout my career, I met some top people who ran/worked for top firms and would always try to recruit me. They tried to sell me the idea of what financial freedom looked like, but none of it resonated with me.
Going the traditional route was something I needed to do in order to realize what I didn’t want to do and find something that worked for me.
How does that stack up with having “the market” as a boss?
It's only what you make out to be. I see the market as nothing more than a means of making money to support your ideal lifestyle.
“I SEE THE MARKET AS NOTHING MORE THAN A MEANS OF MAKING MONEY TO SUPPORT YOUR IDEAL LIFESTYLE. ”
How long have you been trading?
Since early 2016. I started in the FX markets but quickly transitioned into crypto. I heard about BTC through my broker once they introduced crypto withdrawals. I started using it as a place to store funds and then got introduced to BitMEX by a friend.
How did you settle on a trading style? Did you trade FX the same way you trade crypto?
Absolutely not. In FX only certain concepts work for certain pairs; it doesn't move how crypto moves. For instance, USDCHF was all about structure/ranges while in GBPUSD I could only execute with standard supply/demand. For whatever reason, all the concepts I use seem to work across all crypto assets.
How long did it take you to become profitable?
Almost instantly. I’ve always had a very strict risk management understanding. I used to play Runescape back in the day and that game gave me a solid understanding of managing my funds via Risk x Reward.
What does a day look like for RektProof?
I wake up early 5-6 am and have my first meal. I like to have a peaceful morning before diving into any market-related activities. I’ll have a quick glance at the markets but won't do anything actionable until after I go to the gym and take care of other important business.
Health over wealth.
First I take care of my well being and get into a good headspace so that I can tackle the markets with a clear mind and level head.
Sounds like you’re not in front of the screens a whole lot. How do you stay on top of the markets?
I usually set several alerts for the setups that I’m interested in. When those alerts hit it’s time to focus, I don't care what happens in between.
“WHEN THOSE ALERTS HIT IT’S TIME TO FOCUS, I DON’T CARE WHAT HAPPENS IN BETWEEN. ”
What's the worst thing about trading?
Honestly, it’s the need to stay on top of a 24/7 market. Missing a few days can be detrimental to your performance over the next several weeks. I think it can be helpful to set a percentage monthly profit goal that once you meet, you take time off and come back fresh next month. It can help avoid burnout.
When you’re not live trading, how much backtesting or studying do you do?
When price breaks out of consolidation I often go back and try to figure out what could have been done differently. That way, the next time we are in a similar area of price action, I already have an idea of how I could approach it. I like to think of it as doing my backtesting as price develops, rather than sitting down and working on it in isolation.
How important is risk management in your eyes?
I personally believe even a bad trader can be profitable if you are disciplined enough. When you mix trading concepts things get more complex. The more you know, the less you execute since you are looking for more. That’s why simple is better.
While you are learning, you trade more but with less. Once you’re competent, you trade less but with more. The more you know, the less you execute.
Tell us about your most memorable trade?
While I have had several memorable good and bad trades, the one that really stands out is one that I took back in February 2017.
There’s a huge difference between understanding a trading concept and having the confidence to execute on it. This was the trade that changed that for me. It was the very first time I took my understanding of price concepts and had a valid execution that played out.
The feeling that the trade gave me instilled me with the confidence to trust my system whether it's right or wrong.
What’s the best trading advice you’ve been given?
What's coming is better than what is gone. Don't chase losses, they are part of the game. Stay disciplined, compound and watch your account gradually grow.
What's the most important quality in a trader?
Patience. The market will always provide and you will always forget your last missed trade setup. Don’t chase setups, just allow the market to produce what makes sense for you and execute accordingly.
Why do you think you have success trading?
I love what I do and I’m in a good headspace. I understand when I need to step away and when I need to be hands-on.
What's something you've learned in the last 6 months that has made you a better trader?
With everything going on in the world and being a sort of figure within CT, I get a lot of messages from people expressing their gratitude but even more messages of people who have made mistakes or lost their savings because of trading.
I have slightly stepped away from sharing public PNL and returned to working in silence. I don’t think it's fair or helpful for those going through financial or real-world hardships to see my public PNL floating around.
It’s allowed me to focus on what I need to do for myself without any external worries which helps reduce stress for me as well.
What's the mistake you find hardest to avoid when trading?
Profits aren’t profits until it hits your bank account. We get so tied up to the numbers on our screen that we forget to enjoy it. Taking profit, spending it on yourself, your family or whatever can feel like the toughest thing one can do.
What kind of things do you enjoy outside of trading?
I'm extremely active. Surf, fitness, basketball leagues, taking the dogs out and going on road trips.
If you could give someone starting trading tomorrow one piece of advice what would it be?
Take it slow and paper trade for several months before putting any large amounts into trading. Just because someone or many people are successful doesn't mean you will be.
If you can’t grow a small account you for sure won't be able to handle the psyops of a larger account.
Have no more than 10% of your account in your futures account. If you are using a risk management plan you shouldn't be risking more than 1-2% per trade and no more than 5% at a given time. 10% of your account is more than enough to cover your set risk. Having all your funds parked in one place allows you to tilt and revenge trade.
Accept that you will get stopped out, lose and crumble under pressure. As long as you know how to move forward every new day will be a new beginning.
“IF YOU CAN’T GROW A SMALL ACCOUNT YOU FOR SURE WON’T BE ABLE TO HANDLE THE PSYOPS OF A LARGER ACCOUNT. ”
What drives you to keep trading?
I started with nothing and came from a below-average income household. As mentioned, going the traditional route helped me understand what worked and didn't work for me. Aside from the financial freedom trading has given me it has also given me a platform to be able to help those who just need a little bump or guidance.
I’m still young enough to understand I’m just getting started and what is coming is better than what is gone.
What does ‘making it’ look like for you?
Being able to buy my mom a house, easy enough. I was able to retire her early on and now it's a matter of paying it forward.
I don’t need fancy cars, a fancy lifestyle. I have been fortunate enough to live in several parts of the world, travel and experience several things. Now it's just a matter of taking care of those within my circle.
In 2021, RektProof publicly traded $500 into more than $350,000 in 70 trades in what he called The Degen Challenge. It took him a little over 3 months.
How did the degen challenge play out vs your expectations?
It exceeded them. At first, I expected to grow the account and tier down to 1-5% risk to show what proper risk management looked like on any account whether small or big. When the market kept giving me opportunities that were my absolute bread and butter, it was a no brainer to risk more.
Did you learn anything specifically about trading or yourself from it?
Not anything I already didn’t know, but every time I’d enter a new trade on a large quantity I'd remind myself that this account is only 500$ risk at the end of the day since that was the starting balance.
It was probably the first account in a while where I had no concerns should it go south, since I had no emotional ties to it.
Has its success influenced how you’ll trade moving forward?
Yeah, I’d say so. It reminded me that it’s all numbers on a screen. Don’t ever put yourself in a situation where the numbers become so important to you that you can’t live your own life outside of trading. Part of me wanted the account to fail since it had drawn a lot of attention, which brings pressure to perform. I just wanted to get back to the norm but I guess it worked out to my benefit.