The 1:10 Q&A with Ioan Smith
Name: Ioan Smith
Job: Macro analyst
1. What or who got you into trading?
I started off in the product management group at Lehman Brothers, photocopying morning packs, basically being a gopher (getting teas, coffees, breakfast, lunch) for the sales desk, before moving into research and eventually sales trading.
2. When was that?
3. What market do you trade most and why?
Major indices over single stocks. Faster paced and more opportunities for the most part.
4. How do you decide to enter or exit a trade?
Magic 8 Ball. Only joking. At the moment I have a more position/investment approach so trades can vary from days/weeks to weeks/months. So my entry points are not as rigid as if I was day or swing trading. Obviously everything depends on market conditions but I will use resistance/support levels as basis for entry/exit for the most part. If you stay disciplined within your own set of guidelines you’ll get more confidence over your own strategies.
5. Which trading influencers do you follow?
I wouldn’t say I follow influencers per se. I have found a niche group of people, funnily enough from Twitter, who we constantly bounce ideas off.
6. What was your most successful trade?
The Fed’s emergency rate cut back in 2008. I had been tracking the 6M T-bill and noticed that the Fed tended to make decisions based on outsized moves in the yield. We bought the e-mini’s which saw a 300+ point move but as always in hindsight on successful trades, the position size wasn’t nearly big enough!
7. What was your worst trade?
Took an overnight pre-earnings release long position in a renewable energy stock which promptly decided to issue a profit warning half an hour before the market opened for the day. Stock opened -10% in a hole and it took me weeks to make up the loss.
8. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from trading?
Don’t be afraid of losing trades. It’s all part of the learning curve and helps set up the profitable ones. Once you acknowledge that losing on some trades is inevitable you can deal with them quickly and move on without any emotional baggage. I heard a great trader at one of the banks I used to work at always say “I score runs, don’t worry about what my batting average looks like”.
9. What do you think are some of the biggest myths about trading?
More buyers than sellers or vice versa. I hate the term. There can be more buyers than sellers and the market still move in the other direction. Could just well be that sellers are more motivated!
10. What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone just starting?
Be disciplined. It’s all about keeping good records, specialise in a few markets, don't spread yourself too thin and stay patient.