Has anyone gotten rich through day trading
Trader Taghikhan: "It's the hardest way to make money easily"
Trading or going straight to the casino? Ali Taghikhan, managing director of ATT Trading, defends himself against this image and explains why it takes a lot of discipline and few emotions to be successful.
Die Presse: Your latest book is called "How Successful Traders Act and Think". What makes a successful trader anyway?
Ali Taghikhan: For me, a successful trader is someone who can live from his trading, teach it to others and, in the next step, can also manage external capital.
Can anyone become a trader in principle?
Anyone can become one. Trading is an education like any other. You just have to learn it and it takes time. It is an illusion to believe that by opening an account with a broker, watching a few videos and attending a seminar, you can learn to trade and get rich right away.
What does an apprenticeship look like?
We (ATT Trading, editor's note) offer a different kind of training than is perhaps the norm. Unlike other providers who offer one-week courses, we do not only focus on an intensive week in which we go through the basics, but it is much more important that we add three months of supervision.
What does that mean?
This means that we also apply the material that we have covered in the intensive week with the course participants. We sit together with our students every day and practice it. We look for set-ups, values, etc. on the market in order to then work with the knowledge. Because the biggest problem for everyone is: You sit alone in front of the computer while trading and receive no feedback. Why didn't I get this right, why was I stopped, why did I lose? You can't ask anyone. And here we are in demand.
How many students do you have?
We started two years ago and are in the three-digit range. But we don't offer the courses that often either, due to the three-month "supervision phase". For us, however, the focus is not on training; we are looking for talent. We look closely and if we see talent, we take them on for an internship. With the aim of working for us in the company.
So a recruiting center.
Yes, that's how I see it.
Ali Taghikhan has been a private day trader since 2005. He has been professionally involved in day trading since 2011. Taghikhan is the managing director of ATT Trading, which also offers education and training for aspiring day traders.
What kind of "types" are these traders?
It was shocking to me when I went public to see how many schizophrenic people are walking around here. They pretend to be professionals, but they're not. You can make a lot of money with the naivety of people. There are those who offer, come to my course for four days or a week, go to a broker, earn money. Most people are naive and then fall on their faces.
On the other hand, there are the people who are serious about the profession, they are very disciplined. Trading just takes a lot of discipline. We see that with our students too. Half of them are employed. That means they have a normal job during the day and sit down with us in the evening and go through their values. Sacrifice their free time to get closer to their dream. A professional trader is therefore a person with an enormous amount of self-discipline.
How many professional traders are there in Austria?
I can't tell you that. Because those who make a private living from it trade very quietly and quietly. The job is still not a welcome one in public. One is decried as a gamer.
People are not concerned with what is really trading. If you did that, you would know that this is not a gamble, but work. Otherwise you could go to the casino. Many also hide it from those around them that they are trading, because as soon as one is successful, friends and acquaintances come and want to have their money invested. For this reason, many keep very quiet. In Austria the scene is generally not that big. If you look at the German-speaking countries, Germany is the pioneer when it comes to trading.
Unlike in America ...
In the US you are like a rock star when you say I make a living from trading. It simply has a completely different status. Wall Street and the dream of big money on the stock exchanges, one is not ashamed of that.
Where does it come from?
Of course, envy plays a certain role in Austria. But the way of thinking in the US is just very different. They know that if you want to be successful, you have a long way to go. Here you pose, you just sit at home, press a few buttons and gamble on the stock market. While people in the US know that is different. The image of an investment banker or asset manager is also sold differently there. Practically anyone can make it there if they consistently follow the path. So it is not surprising that the top university graduates want a job at the major investment banks.
In 2005 you started day trading privately. In 2011 you ran it professionally. What made you take the step?
In my previous job, I traveled a lot, had a supervisor, and many things didn't go as I wanted them to, even if I earned very well. I then decided that I wanted to be self-employed and not dependent on anyone. And that's where the huge advantage lies in trading: I can trade anywhere in the world and all I need is actually just a laptop and internet. Of course I'm not completely independent, after all, there are still trading hours, so you just have to be on the computer. But it's different from a classic office job.
Day traders - what is that anyway?
Lately it has become more of a media word. Day traders, people believe that they go in and out of the market quickly during the day, to put it bluntly. In other words, they believe that I am now opening a position for a short time and then getting out again quickly - with practically no risk of having to hold a position overnight and otherwise being exposed to little fluctuations. A day trader has to have practically the whole day to get into this small time window where there is movement.
While, if you go to larger time units (such as day or hourly chart), you can cash in the trades relatively relaxed without being at the computer all the time. We call this trend sizes.
How may I understand that?
Of course, if I have all day, the chance that the market will move is greater. But when I come home at seven after work and try to somehow get in for the three hours that the US market has open, I set myself a shorter period of time to invest my money.
It therefore takes movement on the stock exchanges to make money with short-term financial bets. What does the daily work of a professional trader look like?
The European stock exchanges open at nine, which means that I try to be in front of the computer before nine and look at the news and scan my values. For example, if I know that the ECB is going to present a report, I can assume that I shouldn't act the day before because the market will wait and see.
What is screening?
Screening is a trader's main job. That means going through the markets and looking for setups and sorting them out. You ask yourself: Where are my setups, how is the market doing. That should then be combined with the news, general market conditions and company reports. One must not act haphazardly when a company publishes a report. Movements mainly happen at night and then they have a gap, that is, a price gap against them and that can end very badly.
The European trading hours are from 9 am to 11 am, then we actually take a break and are back online around 3 pm when the US market opens. The main trading hours are between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm because both markets are open there. Then it calms down a bit. In theory, you can say you have a five-hour day.
But that sounds very relaxed ...
I always say "it's the hardest way to make money easily". You need time to get there, until you have mastered the technology in such a way that you then, and that is the essential point, psychologically, have this consolidation to be able to trade in the markets or to know when you should not act. That's actually the more important part.
Discipline, tenacity, what else does it take to become a successful trader?
Apart from the training, you need the discipline and what no one can give you directly, the psychological strength. When you watch professional traders trade, you never know if they have made or lost money. And that's what it takes to trade: You can't have any emotions. Because then you make mistakes. And it would be a mistake to act according to opinions, not setups.
Setups are, so to speak, a kind of instruction manual. Charts are analyzed by the trader for predefined patterns.
Correct. We follow a trend. That is, when we pick a stock, we are trading the one from a correction. Correction means that a stock has risen, for example, and that will correct at some point. Because people or companies who own this share want to take their profits with them, then the share will also go down again, that is, that is the correction and we will try to get out of this correction as cheaply as possible.
No emotions - are robots the better traders?
No. There are many software programs that you can buy. But they can never summarize everything on the market. I also sit there sometimes and make trades based on a feeling. This is due to the fact that I have seen this picture on the market several times and I think something like this could happen again. But emotions in the sense of sad, aggressive, which happens to many at the beginning, must be avoided.
Let's go back to the start. Assuming I want to get into the trading business, how much money should I budget?
That depends on whether you want to practice or do it professionally. To practice you should have at least 1000 to 2000 euros in your account. You can then implement trades in real life and learn to deal with emotions right away. Trading a small account is relatively easy. The difficulty then is to get larger sums of money into the market. When I have a million, it doesn't necessarily make it easier to get them to market.
If you want to make a living from it, you have to set aside capital that you reserve for their fixed costs. There are phases in the market where you cannot make any money because the market is moving sideways. Like last summer, for example; the market had a range of 400-500 points, that is not enough. Wanting to live on it with less than 50,000 euros is not realistic.
How much time should I plan?
In the beginning, you shouldn't sit at the computer for more than four hours a day.
Which financial products are suitable?
There are a few products that shouldn't be touched as a beginner. Because they cost a lot and are risky. These are futures, for example indexes. They are very expensive. For example the Dax. It costs you 25 euros per point. If you take two contacts and it goes against you. then you can do the math: every point times two; that already adds up. The Dax is very volatile because it can happen that 20-30 points per second run against you.
We recommend Forex (trading on the international currency markets, editor's note). This is safest for beginners, as these run 24 hours and you don't have to be so nervous if it's overnight.
What about stocks?
Trading stocks directly, whether professional or beginner, I would only do that if you have the account to do so. In addition, I would do without penny stocks, that's gamble.
Warrants, knock-out certificates, we do not trade any of these products. You should trade what is directly on the stock exchange, where you are not dependent on the issuer, a broker or the bank.
And raw materials?
I'm actually the oil expert with us, but even I rarely trade oil. Because it's just a very politically driven product. And that is very dangerous. Because then setups are completely unnecessary. When OPEC is sitting together, you don't even need to look at the chart, because then it depends on the OPEC decision. Oil was already at 150 and we were already at 26 so the movements are very extreme.
When can I speak of the first success?
If you get over 50 percent hit rate. After three to four months, it is usually so far that you have more and more positive trades.
Do trades still give you a thrill?
Hardly any more now. It's relatively relaxed when I'm alone. Then I read a book when I'm at the market. I have a lot of time to read. It's different with beginners, you keep checking your cell phone, looking at the courses, thinking to yourself, hopefully that'll work out. If you ever go the professional way, then it is completely emotionless. It has to be too.
What kind of book are you currently reading?
John le Carré "The eternal gardener", something that has nothing to do with trading.
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