Currencies and stocks trader, author, public speaker at trading / investing events all over the world. AMA

stuartmcphee
Mar 18, 2018

I have been a private trader for more than 20 years working out of a home office in Melbourne, Australia. 

I am lucky to have traveled the world extensively during this time speaking at events everywhere helping other aspiring traders on their journey.  

My book 'Trading in a Nutshell' is now in its 4th edition and continues to sell 17 years after the 1st edition was published.  

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What events have you spoken at? Which ones did you enjoy the most?
Mar 24, 9:38AM EDT0
What were you doing before you started working as a private trader?
Mar 24, 8:24AM EDT0
Where do the high profile/frequency stock traders get their database to predict the trend computationally?
Mar 24, 6:11AM EDT0
What are some good stocks to buy into?
Mar 23, 11:21AM EDT0

Hi Stuart,

There is no question that you are an expert in your area, but I have a question for you.

You said ' When it comes to this industry, I don't necessarily agree with "you get what you pay for" I have seen too many workshops / courses with price tags of thousands of dollars that are simply not worth the money ... just my two cents worth. '

why do you think that your book is different from the others you mentioned?

Thanks and good wishes

Ali

Mar 23, 6:45AM EDT0
How often do you travel for events?
Mar 23, 3:41AM EDT0
Do you think that the stock market is for everyone? When should someone not be involved in the stock market?
Mar 22, 8:13PM EDT0
For someone that gets anxiety about public speaking, can you offer them some advice?
Mar 22, 6:57PM EDT0

Hello, thanks for your question and being open.

I have never subscribed to the theory of picturing everyone in the audience in their underwear (I have heard that before many times).

I think preparation is key.  I think understanding and knowing your audience is very important as this allows you to talk in a way that resonates with them.  I always believe the presentation is all about them and not me.  

It is important to note that in most cases, they are there by choice and really want to hear what you have to say - this is good news.  They are willing participants and are excited about hearing what you have to say.  

I will always thank the people who invited me to speak and thank the audience at the end for their time and attention.  

I also tend to speak in a more relxaed conversational style and I find this very comfortable.   Also, be yourself and just pretend you are talking to two close friends about it. 

I always try to be funny on a few occasions but I am sure this won't work for everyone.  I have a few "tried" opening stories/jokes that is related to the topic and gets people laughing and this is a very effective way of breaking the ice and making everyone (including you) more comfortable.   Sometimes these are the first words out of my mouth before I have even said, "good morning" or "good afternoon".  

Talk about your own experiences in the presentation as this will allow them to relate to you better - it demonstrates that you know what information or help they are seeking or yearning for.  

Slow down your talk ... when nervous we generally speak a lot faster so if you consciously slow down you probably end up talking at a normal comfortable pace.  I always use pauses for effect.  After a really important point, I will stop for seconds and let it sink in.  I might also even stress that point, by saying something like, "I hope you just realized how important that point was".  Then summarise again briefly.  

I also believe eye contact is important.  Make eye contact with people one by one.  

Thanks for your question as public speaking is something I love doing.  I hope these points help you.  

Last edited @ Mar 22, 7:12PM EDT.
Mar 22, 7:11PM EDT0
What are your favourite countries that you have travelled to?
Mar 22, 3:34PM EDT0
Do you think the public should be informed of how stock trading works ? Does it have any effect on people's everyday life?
Mar 22, 7:32AM EDT0
Have you written any other books? If yes, what books have you written?
Mar 22, 1:38AM EDT0
How important do you think is the knowledge of maths and statistics for a modern Wall Street stock trader?
Mar 22, 12:53AM EDT0

Hello, thanks for your question.

I do believe maths / numbers is important as you are often dealing in numbers, with price, trade sizes, setting exits etc.  I think it is preferable to have a comfort level with numbers.

However trading is a 100% psychological endeavour.  Psychology is obviously who we are however in trading it is really important as your money is involved, and that triggers many emotions inside us.

When most people start trading, they never consider whether they are well prepared and have the necessary skills and attributes to be successful. This is likely to be one of the last things on their mind. Somewhere along the path of trading, however, most people come to a realisation that trading is probably not as easy as they first thought.

With this humbling realisation comes a search and investigation into what makes a successful trader. They seek out what they need to do and learn about, in order to make all this money they dreamed of initially.

It is probably only when people start trading for real, with their own real money, that they begin to feel the emotional strains and pressures and then realise that they themselves may be a bigger part of the overall equation than they had initially thought.

My important character attributes for traders include attitude, confidence, patience, discipline, decisiveness, humility, emotionally stable, passionate, persistent, focused, flexible / agile, conservative, inquisitive, and honesty.  

Mar 22, 1:09AM EDT0
How does a person become a stock trader?
Mar 21, 7:55AM EDT0

Hello, thanks for your question.

There is gerenally no barrier to entry into trading except what age you can open an account with a broker in your country.  After that, deposit some funds.

However ... 

there is so much to learn with regards to analysis, risk management, trading psychology and the list goes on.  Please read my response to the question of "How important do you think is the knowledge of maths and statistics for a modern Wall Street stock trader?"

Which is why there is such a large industry of companies helping people become traders.  When it comes to this industry, I don't necessarily agree with "you get what you pay for"  I have seen too many workshops / courses with price tags of thousands of dollars that are simply not worth the money ... just my two cents worth.

Last edited @ Mar 22, 1:10AM EDT.
Mar 21, 11:41PM EDT0
What is the difference between a forex trader and a stock trader?
Mar 21, 4:38AM EDT0

Hello, thanks for your question.

Simply put, what financial product they trade.

In more detail, trading those diffirent products requires different approaches.  The way you identify new trading opportunities, set exit levels, determine the size of your trade (trading FX / currencies generally involves leverage) etc etc.

Mar 21, 11:34PM EDT0

Which is your most memorable event ?

Mar 21, 3:55AM EDT0

Hello, thanks for your question.

This is a great question and one I had never considered before.  I will submit two events.  One in China and one in the USA.

The China event I attended and spoke at was in Shenzhen and it was memorable for the amount of buzz around the event, the opening ceremony was incredible, the dinner honouring the speakers was very special.  

The other would be a Traders Expo I attended and spoke at in New York.  That was exciting because I hadn't been to NY for many years and I invited my brother to come along.  That US trip for us was the first of another 10 or so annual US trips we have made together.  That event was special because of the buzz - the atmosphere in the rooms was incredible, just electric.  

Mar 21, 11:55PM EDT0
Would you consider the lifestyle of a stock trader stressful? If so, why?
Mar 20, 2:49PM EDT1

Hello, thanks for your question.

Yes and no.  If you know what you are doing, trading isn't overly stressful.  Good trading is all about following rules, systems and a process.  For this reason, it isn't necessarily exciting or stressful.  

On the other hand, it can be if you are not well prepared to deal with periods of time of underperformance and losing money.  You cannot make money every day, week and month.  I know I can't anyway.  

When you are starting out and don't know what you are doing, it can be incredibly stressful because things happen in the market you cannot explain and you don't have the experience to deal with them.

Mar 21, 10:56PM EDT0
Which is the best forum for Stock Traders In Asia?
Mar 20, 8:07AM EDT0

Hello, thanks for your question.

Unfortunately, I really have no idea.  I don't visit forums, read them or contribute to them. 

My friend in Singapore runs a great forum for FX traders in Asia but not for stock traders.    

Mar 21, 11:51PM EDT0

Hi Stuart, thank you for your AMA. That's very nice.

I like your life style and your way of life as a Trader. Can you tell me (us) how badas a successful Trader's life style. How to achieve it based on your experience. How do you manage your trading time vs. family/ fun time. That's all for this time and wish you luck always. 

Mar 20, 6:42AM EDT0
Does a person need to have a background in economics or stock trading to be able to understand your book?
Mar 19, 8:58PM EDT0

Hello, thanks for your question.

Defintely not to either.  You definitely don't need any background in economics or anything similar to understand my book.  When I wrote my book, I assumed the reader would understand what a company / stock is, that is about it.  

Mar 21, 11:46PM EDT0
What do you love the most about private trading?
Mar 19, 9:57AM EDT0

Hello, thanks for your question.

What I love is everything else I can do in my life.  It isn't the trading, it is what trading allows me to do.  The freedom I have with my time and being able to do what ever I want when I want to.  I play golf every Wednesday morning - people with a normal job working Mon-Fri 9 - 5 cannot do this.  I can, quite easily.  

When I book holidays for my family, I don't have to worry about whether I will be able to get time off work or if I have enough leave to take - I just book it.

That is definitely what I enjoy most.  

Last edited @ Mar 21, 11:44PM EDT.
Mar 21, 11:44PM EDT0
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