What course did you attend with Amplify?

I attended the three-month Career Program in September 2017.

What was your background before starting the course?

I’ve just graduated from university, where I had been trading part-time. I started with the interest in stocks and investing at school and at the start of university but overtime this morphed into looking to trade spot FX and finally trading futures – namely the Bund market. I still smile when I remember attempting to trade Bunds with a one lot before I came to Amplify.

What have you been doing since completing the Amplify programme?

I’ve been trading my own account since I finished the program in November. The programme at Amplify was hugely important in terms of my evolution as a trader on two fronts. I’m no longer blind and ignorant to the importance of macroeconomic context and daily sentiment and use it as part of my trading bias and edge. Secondly, the program acted as great psychological reinforcement to know that the way I’m trading is not so wildly far off the ‘mark’, in other words I am much more confident in the way I approach trading. Since then I’ve been focusing on developing my trading as a skill and further reinforcing what I’ve learnt from Amplify.

What do you find is the most challenging part of trading?

After you overcome the obvious and more ‘common’ challenges beginners face, the issues become a lot subtler and insidious. For example, once you internalise that it is completely fine to sit tight and only trade when you have an edge, you instantly become more patient and selective. Erring on over-selectiveness has a cost, and I’ve found that after sitting on the sidelines a while, especially a few days, my standards for what constitutes as a great trade starts to drop. Rationalisation slowly creeps in on weak trades which suddenly look like great trades to take and ‘look’ like they are part of my trading plan. Of course, they end up taking a toll on your PnL. Only after a lot of sober review did I realise I even had this issue!

What is your objective over the next 12-months?

The main objective is to reach a nice level of consistency. I’ve narrowed in on this since trading full time after Amplify. I find this an important and more urgent goal than trying to hit big but improbable trades here and there. This is even more important if you are trying to be at a level where you can trade for a living.

Do you still have any contact with the Amplify team?

I use Amplify’s Trading Live platform, where I can talk to the team and other traders, so I still have contact daily. The team’s Daily Briefing is essential to make sure I’m up to speed with all things macro, context and sentiment. Throughout the day it’s great to be connected with others watching the markets in case you are missing the obvious.  Moreover, if you trade from home its great to see someone on the other side of the video feed, since you at least know the world hasn’t ended.

Any advice you can offer for people considering a career in trading?

It’s been said before, but it is critical to not come in with expectations on what trading is or what it can do for you. Non – traders, the media, academic textbooks and at its worst – fake ‘luxury trading lifestyle’ marketing all distort your perceptions of trading. This will not only lead to trading frustrations down the road but make you expect the markets to give you something which they never can do, or not for very long. I think a lot of people give up too soon when trading reality scares them away as it differs wildly from their warped expectations.

 

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Anthony Cheung
Anthony is a leading market commentator with over a decade of experience accumulated as Head of Market Analysis at a leading news and analysis organisation, and now a Director of Amplify Trading.