Visit to Forex Trading-room in Elstree, UK
In November 2012 I attended a one-day Forex seminar in Elstree, just North of London, together with my wife. It was after having experienced Marcus de Maria on-stage at the RAI convention centre in Amsterdam earlier that year, that I was triggered to find out more about trading from him. We signed up for a 1-day introduction event and flew the night before with a Piper from Lelystad to the nearby local Elstree Aerodrome (EGTR for insiders/pilots). The trading room of Marcus de Marcia and his Investment Mastery company was just a 10 minute drive away from the aerodrome.
During this 1-day event we met Avi Hirani, one of the traders working for Marcus de Maria. Avi had earned a staggering 457% in 12 months trading at that time (later earnings were lower but still impressive). It almost seemed unreal, with most investment/mutual funds making at most 6 and 9% per year for you. Marcus de Maria inspired me to invest good time and effort in learning how to trade. Now, December 2014, I was invited for a business breakfast in his trading room! I took the invitation and flew out to Elstree once again to find out how Avi and his fellow traders were doing.
Flight: Rotterdam to Elstree
Rotterdam-The Hague International airport is open daily from 07.00 o’clock in the morning until 23.00 in the evening. December 5 is a special day in The Netherlands with ‘Sinterklaas’ coming to Dutch homes and families, delivering presents and gifts through the chimney. My wife pressed me to be home in time for diner that night and not to miss out on ‘Sinterklaas’ with about all our own children and our first grand-child there to celebrate.
This time we exchanged the Piper Archer 3 for the faster Cirrus SR22 Turbo aircraft. The Cirrus took us in a little bit more than one hour from Rotterdam to Elstree. We took off at 7.35 from Rotterdam and landed at 7.45 (British time, one hour earlier than at the continent) in Elstree. We were right in time for breakfast with the traders!
It was great to be back in the same room where Marcus de Maria inspired me to become a forex trader two years ago. I was curious to find out how my trading approach was the same or different from that of the guys in Elstree. Now I had an opportunity to talk to them during breakfast to find out!
After a great typical English breakfast, I was all ears as to how the they were trading and what strategies and tools they were using. The guys were using more or less the same tools and software as I use in the trading room that day. Hrishi Vadgama, one of the traders working there, said that he preferred to work with Ninja Trader instead of MT4 if given the choice. I noticed that they were using price-action-trading (PAT) or also called ‘naked trading’ as their main strategy. In this view, all information is available in the candlestick itself on the price chart. With PAT there is no need to add support/resistance lines, volume-bars, moving averages or other indicators to the chart. The price-action view is that most of these additional indicators are lagging indicators and thus are lagging behind the real price-action and thus of no real value when reading the charts.
I agree fully with the guys that reading and interpreting bare candlestick charts is what is most important. The action, emotion and fear is right there on the chart. The candlesticks reveal information that can not be found (or too late!) using lagging indicators. However, I use several indicators such as the volume-bars indicator to validate any price-move and consider volume to be a non-lagging indicator. Volume information is not found in the candlestick itself. For a discussion on volume as a lagging or non-lagging indicator, have a look at the discussion on the Babypips forum or read the book Volume Price Analysis (VPA) from Anna Coulling. In Forex there is no real volume as there is no central exchange. The volume I use is the activity-volume. Instead of drawing support and resistance lines myself manually, I use an indicator from Quantum Trading to draw them for me dynamically. Where the guys in Elstree trade at most 5 to 8 different currency-pairs, I use a currency strength meter/indicator (also from Quantum Trading) to help me spot potential interesting trades in all the 28 major/minor currency pairs. The price-chart is still the essential tool for me to analyse potential trade setups. However, additional indicators help me find the potentials faster. In the end it is you and the market, where you have to find yourself a strategy that works for you personally and consistently and makes you money.
News Sniper Strategy
One interesting strategy that was shared by the traders that morning was a news-trading strategy which they named ‘News Sniper’. I had tried trading the news before, but did not succeed so far and thus stayed away from news events. Trading on the faster time-charts generally means that news events can easily stop you out. I would therefore make sure I would have closed out all my open positions by the time a major news event would take place. These news events are announced on the Forex Factory website and appear in my FX Synergy trading software as well. I had thought before of a similar strategy as the News Sniper strategy explained to us in Elstree and will try it out to see if this strategy works for me.
Above you see a news event taking place where the price drops instantly on the news announcement. The broad idea is to wait for the first 5 minute candle to close after the news announcement and then to see if the candlestick is in between 20 and 60 pips in height. Then to do a calculation on the entry price and to place 2 pending orders: one long and the other short. If one of the orders is triggered, the other pending order is cancelled out. If both are not triggered within 15-20 minutes after the orders are placed, both pending orders are cancelled. It is a strategy where a ‘good’ risk-to-reward ratio is of less importance than in other potential setups. I personally do not work with fixed risk-to-reward ratios as the market gives what it can give and I look more towards support & resistance levels where potentially the price might slow down or stop/reverse. More details on this ‘News Sniper’ stratey are covered during the trading workshops offered at Investment-mastery.com in Elstree.
I started playing around with this strategy this morning. As you can see above, I placed two pending orders (a stop-sell and stop-buy order) which are linked together in a group. The OCO in the group title bar means ‘One-Cancels-Other,’ thus that if one order is triggered, the other pending order is cancelled. Also note that the pending orders are set to expire at 10.00, which is roughly 15-20 minutes after the news announcement. It is certainly an interesting strategy to test. The setup did not qualify (less than 20 pips in the ‘news’ candlestick and would not prefer to trade EURCHF).
Trip Back Home
After a coffee at Costa Coffee, we returned to the airfield for our flight back home. The return flight took us again just a little more than an hour, but this time the time difference between the UK and continental Europe was working against us. By 16.00 local Dutch time we landed at Rotterdam Airport in time for ‘Sinterklaas’ at home with the family.
If you want to learn how to trade forex and don’t want to waste time and money learning irrelevant stuff, then Investment Mastery is a good place to start. They offer a 2-day intensive Masterclass that gets you started. Next, they give you all the help and personal coaching you need and even offer you 10.000 UK pounds in trading money to start trading with. You then split the profits with them 50/50.