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An Interview With Rips
From how he got started to creating a platform to educate and share his knowledge, this is how SellingRips became the trader he is today.
To begin, could you give us a bit of background on how you first got into trading?
My introduction to trading came through a close friend of mine who visited my offices for one of the businesses I was running back in 2012. This friend, a fellow entrepreneur like myself, was eager to show me how he traded two leveraged ETFs for gold miners.
Initially, his trading activities were a mystery to me. Nonetheless, as I observed his trading routines over the subsequent days, I began to decode and comprehend his trading process. Before long, I established my own brokerage account and embarked on personal trading with these ETFs.
My early trading endeavors were notably successful, with one transaction alone bringing in a five-figure sum. This early victory in my foray of trading not only yielded a decent financial gain but also ignited a lasting fascination within the vast world of trading.
Where do you start when looking for a new trade? Is it technical, fundamental, or momentum?
Momentum trading is undoubtedly my favorite technique and it always gives me tremendous satisfaction. Throughout 2020 and 2021, I focused primarily on this style of trading. This approach was not only exhilarating, but it also played a crucial role in sharpening my skills in tape reading. I take significant pride in the breadth of my trading expertise, having explored a variety of asset classes.
My trading journey has seen me delve into large caps, small caps, futures, options, foreign exchange, and even cryptocurrency. My engagement with these varied market sectors and instruments has enriched my trading skill set, providing me with distinctive abilities that might be hard to attain for someone who has solely traded in, for instance, small-cap equities.
Is there something that you have implemented into your trading this year?
For the first half of 2023, my primary focus has been on trading the indexes, specifically the S&P and Nasdaq 100 indexes. By narrowing my focus to a few particular facets of the market, it becomes simpler to filter out any potential distractions that might arise from other market sectors.
In the late 2010s, I collaborated with a few of my close friends to formulate a unique strategy that allowed me to exploit price, volume, and options flow to my advantage. This methodology aided me in identifying areas where significant activity was anticipated, predominantly in large-cap tickers and the indexes. Utilizing this formula, I can identify precise price levels, which act as a navigational aid for my trades, similar to how a GPS guides you to your destination. To help others on their trading journeys, I share these crucial levels in my educational platform, the Market Clubhouse, on a daily basis.
Do you enforce any habits/rules to improve your trading?
I firmly believe that discipline and self-respect stand as my most crucial qualities. In the realm of trading, the only person capable of truly helping you achieve your goals is yourself. During the initial phase of my trading journey, I grappled with a lack of discipline, often leading me to self-deception. This manifested itself in the form of altering my stops or failing to close a losing trade, actions I eventually recognized as indicative of a lack of self-respect and discipline.
It required numerous setbacks, blowing accounts, and a significant amount of time before I came to a profound understanding: “No one is coming to save you. Absolutely no one. You are the only one who has the power to help yourself.” This revelation was harsh, but it finally struck a chord with me. Now, the thought of trading without discipline and self-respect is simply inconceivable. I also believe it's vital to exhibit discipline consistently across all facets of your life. For instance, if you fail to maintain a healthy diet, neglect your physical well-being, or lack stringent discipline in various life aspects, it will invariably impact your trading performance negatively.
Are there any psychological aspects that you had to change to progress your trading?
Undoubtedly, the psychological dimensions of trading played a critical role in shaping my journey. As I delved deeper into the world of trading, I came to realize that trading is as much about managing one's emotions as it is about understanding charts and financial metrics. There were several psychological aspects that I needed to modify to advance my trading capabilities.
Initially, one of my significant challenges was dealing with the fear of missing out or FOMO. The constant fear of missing a lucrative trade often led me to make hasty decisions, jumping into trades without proper analysis or planning. I had to consciously work on this aspect, learning to accept that the market would always present new opportunities and that it was better to miss a trade than to enter one unprepared.
Another critical area was handling losses. In the early stages, I had a tendency to hold onto losing positions, hoping they would turn around. This often resulted in significant losses. I had to train myself to view losses as a part of the trading process and, more importantly, to not let them affect my emotional equilibrium. Accepting that losses are an inevitable part of trading, and learning to cut losses quickly, was a significant psychological shift that I had to make.
Lastly, the realm of trading often stirs up a whirlpool of emotions – from exhilaration to despair. I realized the importance of maintaining emotional stability, regardless of the market conditions. Cultivating a sense of detachment, treating both profits and losses as outcomes of a strategy rather than personal victories or defeats, has been a pivotal psychological change in my trading journey.
In essence, trading has required me to develop a robust psychological framework, one that emphasizes patience, emotional balance, and acceptance of both wins and losses as part of the process. The journey towards becoming a successful trader is not just about learning the mechanics of the market, but also about being a complete master of one's emotions.
What do you think is the biggest mistake that a new retail trader makes in the stock market?
In my opinion, the worst error a novice retail trader tends to commit in the stock market is entering the trading arena underprepared and driven by unrealistic expectations. Many newcomers approach trading with a mindset akin to gambling, fueled by the aspiration of making quick, substantial profits. They often perceive trading as a get-rich-quick scheme, and this misconception can lead to detrimental decisions.
The stock market is a complex and organic ecosystem that requires a thorough understanding of various factors, including, but not limited to, market trends, company fundamentals, economic indicators, and geopolitical macro events. A lack of comprehensive knowledge and a solid trading plan can leave a trader vulnerable to the volatile swings of the market.
Additionally, many new traders often neglect the psychological aspect of trading. Trading is an endeavor that demands mental fortitude, discipline, and emotional control. The inability to manage one's emotions during a trading session can lead to impulsive decisions, such as chasing losses or becoming overly greedy when winning. This is where the importance of having a strict disciplined approach comes into play, which includes setting realistic profit targets, adhering to stop-loss levels, and knowing when to exit a trade. I know it’s very much a common platitude, but trading is not a sprint, but a marathon. It requires continuous learning, meticulous planning, and emotional resilience.
You've become a very successful trader. What is your goal going forward?
Indeed, I've been fortunate enough to find significant success in my trading journey. As I contemplate my future goals, the spotlight invariably falls on education within the trading space. Since early 2020, I found myself privately mentoring about 20 individuals, and this experience brought me an immense sense of fulfillment and gratitude.
When I saw the tangible benefits of my mentorship on other traders' journeys, it was profoundly rewarding. It dawned on me that my passion lies not only in executing successful trades but also in empowering others with the knowledge I've accumulated over the years. This realization, however, comes with the understanding that mentoring requires a substantial investment of my time, time that could otherwise be devoted to different ventures.
Balancing these considerations, I made the conscious decision to dedicate the bulk of my time outside my personal trading to the creation of the Market Clubhouse at the beginning of 2023. The platform is a manifestation of my deep-seated desire to mentor and create educational content.
Going forward, my primary objective is to guide as many traders as possible on their respective trading paths. I aspire to share the wealth of knowledge and insights I've gathered throughout my extensive trading journey. My aim is not only to aid traders in achieving financial success but also to empower them with the skills and mental resilience needed to navigate the complexities of the trading world.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Looking back on my path and the insights I've garnered over the years, the main piece of advice I'd offer up to my younger self would be a primary focus on cultivating patience and fostering unwavering discipline.
The art of trading requires a realization that the market's movements are beyond our control. The only variables within our power to influence a positive return are our own actions and how we manage our trades. To me, patience and discipline are the twin pillars that underpin my trading success. These elements are integral in navigating the volatility of the markets, and I would stress this unequivocally to my younger self.
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