My name is Mike Ormesher. I’m English and live in the North of England; Harrogate to be precise. I love golf, cricket and football. In that order.
I’ve worked in technology & computer software for the past 30 years, the last 20 of which I’ve been self-employed with my own business. During that time I’ve learned to become self sufficient, and to drive my own path. Sometimes it’s gone well; at other times not so well. If I’ve learned just one thing over that time it’s that business is not easy, and to succeed you need to be 100% committed and make your own luck.
I’m now looking to change the way I work. Probably like many people I’m looking for a better work / life balance, and intend to work away from home on occasion, when the mood takes me.
Which is why I’ve decided to make a clean break from my historic work and to trade full time.
Watch the interview on the video below:
Brief background about your trading
I’ve been trading manually for the last 7 years or so. Starting off with a book someone lent me on Candlestick patterns, something about trading caught my attention. So I started by trading the FTSE100 index using candlestick patterns alone. Nothing else. No indicators. Just the candles. And looking back I think it gave me a really solid grounding in the markets and how they operate. But I was inconsistent and lost money!
So I invested time in learning a 3-timeframe breakout / moving average / stochastic system that a friend of mine used. Which was much more consistent. I traded nothing but the six major FX pairs, day-in day-out, and started making a little money. However the problem now was that I had other demands on my time and I found it frustrating when trades moved against me and I wasn’t in front of my screen to react.
Then by chance I came across an MT4 Algo Trading forum that looked interesting, and I decided to monitor a handful of signals to get a better feel for it. Some signals looked to perform quite well however one that had performed well over a couple of years suddenly had a catastrophic drawdown that pretty much wiped out their account, and I decided there and then that if I was to make this work I needed to do it myself. And my search led me to Trade View!
That was 18 months ago, and I set myself the target of a 2 year ‘apprenticeship’ to become an Algo Trader.
What you learnt at Trade View
There are some things that spring to mind immediately, which tend to be around the technical aspects of Algo Trading: defining an effective strategy, programming it, testing it, and then analyzing it. Really, things that I thought I was doing previously in my manual trading which, in reality, were much less structured.
And I’ve learned a lot about understanding and assessing the risk of individual Algos. Followed by how to reduce that risk further by blending different Algos together in the right way, with the right products, to construct a portfolio.
Then there are those less tangible things that I’ve appreciated, on reflection. Being in the UK I was initially concerned that I may struggle to get quality product support. But that has not been the case. Everyone at Trade View has gone out of their way to provide really excellent out of hours support, and with a little flexibility on both parts we’ve learned to make this work.
And I’ve learned not to talk about cricket when the Ashes are on!
Please share some of your successes and failures while learning to trade
Casting my mind back the thing that strikes me is that the successes and failures seem to have come as a bit of a surprise to me, and to have been related to each other. For instance, I can think of times where I’ve had a run of successful trades and I’ve been lulled into a sense of overconfidence, resulting in me slipping into overtrading, and then losing money! It’s a capricious thing, trading. Which is also why its so beguiling. But Algo trading has helped me in this regard.
In the early days with my manual trading I used to find it too easy to cut profits short, and let losses run in the hope that they’d turn around! I can recall an occasion where I’d had a number of small winning trades one after an other, say 20, then took a losing trade that I subsequently added to, and added to, which became a significant losing trade that wiped out all the gains of the previous 20, and more besides! That hurt, but was a good lesson.
I’d like to think that the technical aspects of trading, and of trade management comes more naturally to me than the psychological side. One thing that helps me is that I’ve put together a simple methodology for building, testing and trading Algos. Its nothing grand, however it stops me from taking shortcuts, and playing to my own particular weaknesses.
Conclusions: What are your future Goals?
Its worth pointing out from the outset that this is a long term ongoing focus for me. And so I see my goals broken down into a number of bite-sized targets:
- Complete my ‘Apprenticeship’ in order to reach a basic level of core competence.
- Take time to build a critical mass of EAs that perform consistently through following my methodology.
- Work my way through the Trade View Prop Trading programme.
- Work with Trade View to operate as a fully functioning professional Prop Trading business that can operate from any location.
And along the way I want to enjoy it!