Becoming a trader
Becoming a trader is choosing to stand in the middle, as well as to stand aside.
A large number of retail traders call themselves professional traders because they have opened a live account and have traded real money. Most of them have a job, they work in an office and consider trading as a secondary activity, they trade for a few hours and might eventually generate a complementary income. A minority even takes this more as a gambling activity…… but that’s another story.
I consider myself as a professional trader because I do it for a living. I had a choice, I made this choice and I grew a new business.
Some professions look fun, some look tiring, some look horrible, some look annoying, some look respectable. Trading normally falls into the first category: it looks fun (and not especially respectable). Newspapers love punctual, short-term success, they love to highlight risk, challenges, crazingly high amount of money. What they never include however is who they talk about and what sort of business their lines cover. A trader employed in a speculation firm doesn't play his own money, he follows in-house systems. A trader who risks his own house in each trade is gambling, not trading.
Professional private traders are rather discreet, they are normal persons who take it seriously and control risk to perfection.
Just my own story
I studied mathematics at the Sorbonne in Paris and chose Computer science and Algorithmics as a speciality. After a few years in software development with a few large companies, I decided to come back to school to become an engineer. Then started a long series of challenging roles in different countries, as a software engineer, and then functional analyst / IT business analyst in Financial Services.
A few personal events made me realise that an office job was not for me anymore. A solid background in science, a specialisation in integration of Finance systems…. and I started to think a different way. The door to speculation is easily opened nowadays compared to 20 years ago, and I crossed it because I believe that on top of having built a clean ground of finance, science and computers, I have a vision which is often integrative and personal. Everything is interrelated.
Getting a trading business off the ground
During my journey in learning market mechanics, trading jargon, investment principles, speculation platforms etc, I also came across a number of disgusting facts. Brokers are not friends. Trading software / platforms, proprietary languages, standards, APIs, are there to help but there are people behind and they don’t especially want me to grow a business.
Just an example of this is the level of “quality” in both free and commercial MQL programmes: disappointing.
This is why I started to write my own software. Quality code, reliable, scalable, maintainable. Using well written tools, the good ones, the ones that work on risk and money management, proved to be the key in building trading systems and plans.
On the other side, in my safe journey I passed a number of stone markers that Alexander Elder would classify into the good trader’s findings:
I learnt that other good traders can be my partners. I learnt that there is no limit in the markets because markets are people. Nothing sure, nothing predefined, exactly the world that you see with good eyes when you cross the street and choose to go running, or meet a friend, or go to the travel agency.
Whatever your level of interest in trading is, I hope the tools sold on this website will help you in your adventure.