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An Interview With DarthTrader
In our TraderTalk series, we interview some of the most interesting and best performing investors from the worlds of social media, CopyTrading platforms, traditional asset management and private traders. Below is an interview with DarthTrader (@DarthTrader00). Darth is a moderator within the MoneyLine trading group and offers great daily insight and education into the market.
AP: To begin, could you give us a bit of background on how you first got into trading/investing?
I got into the markets in early 2019, simply buying and holding large-cap equities with the money I had saved in college. I was the Residence Advisor on a basketball scholarship and worked a part-time job out of season, so I was constantly funnelling money into my Robinhood account at the time, buying large-cap names that I thought would do well long-term, like AAPL and TSLA.
I kind of “hit it big” (for that period of my life) because I have a lot of close friends and family in immunology and infectious diseases. After talking to them a lot about COVID prior to it becoming such a large-scale issue, I began to accumulate mRNA and make my first real money in the market in a relatively short time period. From that point forward, I was pretty much hooked! Early 2020 began my day trading journey, and thankfully, I had the foresight at the time to understand that options were where I perceived the longevity to be and threw myself into it with a total obsession.
AP: Where do you start when looking for a new trade? Is it technical, fundamental, momentum?
I have criteria I talk about often regarding what I am looking for before entering a trade. I am strictly a technical trader, so I don’t concern myself much with fundamentals or news. In essence, I’m looking for these things to confirm the type of conditions + signals I want to see prior to putting on a trade.
An obvious intraday trend backed by volume
Trading above / below key levels (supply and demand zones)
Technical pattern / EMA retest
An area I can enter the trend where risk makes sense
In totality, range expansion with confluence at key levels supported by volume and minimal risk pullbacks is the bread and butter of my trading system.
AP: Do you trade options or shares? Is there a preference?
I primarily just trade options! I used to swing trade more often, but I’ve found a lot of peace and fulfilment in my daily trading process, simply looking to flip premium from an intraday momentum standpoint.
AP: Are there any psychological aspects that you had to change to progress your trading?
I could probably write a book about this one day due to the challenges I experienced attempting to overcome myself as a trader. Ultimately, I discovered my emotions in trading (as most people do) were truly the only thing holding me back from consistency once I was about 12 months or so into that journey. I “hijacked” my mind and my entire life and decided to commit myself to a standard of excellence in everything I do outside of the markets—fitness, business, relationships, etc. As I started to hold myself to an entirely new standard (mind you, I was pretty disciplined before this as well), I noticed slow but very significant changes in my trading. It’s not that I no longer felt FOMO, greed, or hesitation; I was now equipped with the mental faculties to make conscious choices that served me instead of harming me.
Most people look at charts all day in an attempt to solve their problems in trading; furthermore, I actually believe this becomes a cyclical cycle of self-depreciation because the effort they perceive to give daily doesn’t yield results directly proportional to that same effort. My proposition is to get everything outside of the market in your life in proper order prior to attempting to day trade at a high level. At least for me, that made all the difference in the world.
AP: What do you think is the biggest mistake that a new retail trader makes in the stock market?
Failure to identify their niche and specialize in 1 specific style of trading. Most people have a goal of “making money” – my goal is to master my craft as an intraday momentum trader. You need to develop 1-2 A+ setups with a positive expectancy. Find what speaks to you as a trader and seek to master it before spreading yourself too thin.
AP: What is one good habit you have as a part of your trading?
I have a very clearly defined and optimized morning routine that prepares me psychologically and technically for the day. I genuinely believe this is a cornerstone of my trading process that allows me to maintain a high degree of mental dexterity and consistency.
AP: If you could give one piece of advice to those reading this, what would it be?
Consistency is a state of mind. Most people don’t need to know everything under the sun about day trading to produce consistent results. Commit yourself to an identity of excellence and find exactly which vertical suits you best. Futures or options, indicators or no indicators, supply and demand or key levels, the trick is it all works! The human brain is incapable of performing at a high level in the trading arena when constantly attempting to logic out the “why” behind every fluctuation in price. Develop a system, develop rules focused on risk management, and hold yourself to a standard of excellence in your specific niche! Trading is a skill and can become a very profitable business model when respected like one.
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