INTERVIEW | JOHN LONDON — MENTOR OF THE RUNNER-UP TEAM
Tips from team mentors Oct 11, 2019
“For my style of trading, I really need stocks to pick trends, but when they cross over and under the VWAP staying neutral, it is very hard to get out ahead.”
We continue our series of interviews with mentors who won WSDT I.
We have already published an interview with #1 team leader Stelios Stelianou and today we present an interview with a very talented mentor, founder of Beginner Trading, whose team placed second — John London.
How does it feel to be an accomplished Team Leader of WSDT? Does it feel like an important milestone in your mentoring career?
It was definitely a fun and competitive experience. I do feel like it was a great moment in my trading career especially considering how well our team did. I hope we can do another one soon and that the team can get together again. I know we only came in 2nd, but that is a great feat for us . We will try to win the next one.
How would you describe your overall experience with the competition? Was it more of a challenge that you took seriously or more of an entertainment event for you and your team?
It was definitely a challenge I took seriously - but I also tried to have fun. I really think that is what the WSDT is about. Having some pressure to win, and not the full pressure of a live account was a great middle-ground for new traders to get started. Since beginner trading is a resource for traders, I felt like it was important to do my best to help the team succeed.
Become a Team Leader in WSDT II
Do you have any message for your team at this very moment?
I am proud of everyone and hope they will join our team for the next one!
What advice would you give to novice traders who have tested the waters of day trading with you in the competition and are preparing to tackle the challenges of the real world?
My suggestion to new traders is to take it slow, but not to be afraid to give it a try with a live account. Paper trading can be beneficial, but you will not be able to give yourself the proper rules and accurately analyze your emotions for yourself without using a live funded account
Was it hard to coordinate such a great amount of traders? What are the new challenges that you had as a mentor?
It was tough but very cool to lead a team as large as we had. Since we had so many talented traders on the team, we all helped each other which made it easier I think. Still, having discord app and emails to relay messages definitely made my job go smooth.
What kind of feedback did you get from your team? Will it affect your approach to leading and mentoring in the future?
So I did get a lot of support and kindness from the members of our team.
Still, I really want to try and build a more detailed trading plan for our members next time. Since this was my first team leading experience, I think time will help me improve more and more as a leader overall.
What was the overall sentiment within a team? Were they competing with each other, or preferred to help each other out?
They mostly helped each other and were not too competitive. Beginner Trading is all about helping traders, so we came together as a family and pushed for growth, learning and having fun. That is really what we are about.
How was paper trading during the competition different from trading on a real account?
In terms of emotions and technicalities.
I know for myself I was much less disciplined with my paper account for the
WSDT. Overall I think that is pretty common, which is why I recommend checking out the live funded accounts for new traders. Those are what really help new traders grow and learn. infact, the WSDT taught me a lot about myself and my trading as a whole. I have consequently built new rules for my personality tradewise.
Did you change your trading strategy to adapt to the competition? Maybe took more risks or played safer than usual?
I definitely took more risks with the WSDT trading. I think you have to,for the most part. Since the goal is to make as much as you can as fast as you can, playing it too safe, while it might feel good, will not win you the competition. You have to take large swings to have a decent shot at winning. You can try for moderate growth. Instead, you must go big in these.
Was there anything special about the market during the competition? Any events that affected your strategy?
So the market was pretty slow and choppy the entire week. I was looking
forward to my usual VWAP strategies but since we had choppy trends it was tough. For my style of trading, I really need stocks to pick trends, but when they cross over and under the VWAP staying neutral, it is very hard to get out ahead.
Mentoring during the WSDT
Describe your strategy during the competition - did you have a plan, or decided to take advantage of the situation on the spot?
My strategy for the WSDT was to take it slow the first couple of days, analyze the leaderboards and P/L summary the first day or two, then use that to determine appropriate share sizing for taking larger trades. That seemed to work out well for many of our team members.
Were there any key moments that set you on the path to where your team ended up - planned decisions, luck or crucial mistakes?
I would like to think that some traders took my advice about taking it slow the first few days to see where we stand. That seemed to benefit many. I know for my trading specifically I simply took too small of sizing from the start but will learn from it and adjust accordingly for next time. Still, our team was filled with great traders and so they did an amazing job regardless.
What did you have to change in your mentoring style to adapt to the competition conditions? (Change your communication channels, engage with your team more than usual, change your trading strategy, etc.)
So I had to stay more on top of our Discord channel and other social media during the WSDT for sure. Since our team was big, I just wanted to give all the traders a chance to be heard if they had questions or concerns. Overall I think we all managed it well for the most part.
What factors, in your opinion, kept you from taking the first place?
For me, market conditions. I know lots of our traders focus on VWAP strategies and the overall market was just not favorable for those patterns during the week of WSDT. Bad luck and I am sure next time we will get a better run. I still think our traders did an amazing job and came extremely close to winning. After all, we had 6 traders alone in the top 20 from our team.
John's website: https://beginnertrading.net/