I’ve been an avid podcast listener for quite a while. One day I finally put two and two together. I realized there must be podcasts on trading out there! After a little research it didn’t take long to realize “Chat With Traders” was one of the top contenders in the category.
Up until this point, my self-education on the stock market had been scattershot. I’d come across a random phrase on Twitter or a forum and try to figure out what it meant. Usually I could suss out something about it, but often it didn’t matter because I didn’t have any context around what I was reading.
Then I found “Chat With Traders.” Because I am a completionist, I started listening from the very beginning. From that very first interview, I learned new things about trading. More importantly, because of the conversational format, and host Aaron Fifield’s great questions, I was understanding the new information.
Aaron gets his interviewees to really relax and actually have a chat. His questions always lead to more clarity, and even when you can tell he knows what his guest is talking about, he makes sure to pull more explanation out for those in his audience who are still new to the world and language of trade.
“Chat With Traders” is easy to listen to. My favorite part of each episode is usually the beginning when the guest will tell the story of how they got started. It’s amazing to hear how many successful traders started in so many other disciplines. Some of them knew they wanted to be in finance, or they had a family member who exposed them to the markets at an early age, but many others only found trading a little later in life.
What I Learned
Aaron interviews traders of all stripes on his podcast. Day traders, institutional traders, stock market traders, Forex traders, options traders, foreign market traders, commodity traders, futures traders, cryptocurrency traders . . . you get the idea. If they trade a market successfully, he interviews them.
Every one of these traders had their own methods and strategies that worked for them. One woman might use exponential moving averages and crossovers to day trade, while another man might use order flow to make his decisions. While I learned a lot of information about different styles, the important things you will learn from this podcast are not the individual strategies. The real gold is what every single one of these traders has in common. Across hundreds of episodes, topics, and styles every trader talked about the importance of risk management, discipline, and having an edge.
Risk management can also be called capital allocation, not putting all your eggs in one basket, or any other number of similar phrases. All it really means is don’t put too much money into one position. Depending on the size of your trading account this can be as much as 5% or as little as 1% of your capital. It’s easy to understand, and hard to stick to. I’ve learned the hard way that following this one principle can be the difference between life and death. It’s been proven time and time again that if a trader only risks even as much as 5% per trade (or position) it is almost impossible for them to blow up their account.
Risk management leads nicely into Discipline. If you don’t have to the discipline to stick to your positions size, you will blow up your account. Discipline can also be referred to as psychology. Every trader interviewed on “Chat With Traders” talks about the importance of discipline or psychology. Again, it is a simple concept, but one that takes time and effort to develop. Sometimes sticking with a plan or a strategy is the hardest thing to do when your account is down, or you think you can make a better trade outside of the strategy you’ve developed. You won’t see consistent results until you have the discipline to stick to a plan.
Having an edge is more than a simple plan or a strategy. It took me a long time to fully wrap my head around everything that is contained in this one word. Again, it was a topic of much conversation on this podcast. What I’ve come to understand as having an edge boils down to this: Making a trade that is statistically in your favor. This can either be because the risk/reward works for you. It can be as simple as 51% of the time you make one dollar and only lose a dollar 49% of the time. Whatever the edge is, low win rates with high rewards when the trade works, or high win rates with small, consistent profits, the only thing that matters is that you have this “edge” over the market. And of course the discipline to stick to it. And the proper management of your risk.
So, no matter what kind of trader you are or want to be, you will find plenty of informational and inspirational content in this podcast. You can check out the website here, or search for “Chat With Traders” on your favorite podcast app.