Chat With Traders | Weekly interviews with profitable & successful stock market traders. (trading)

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August 2017
S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

For this episode I spoke with fund manager, Dario Mofardin.

Dario went from a finance degree, straight into a market analyst and then trader position at a private global macro hedge fund, during the early 90’s. He then went into investment banking for 13 years, working with mergers and acquisitions from various locations around the globe. And since 2008, Dario has been trading independently, but has recently begun trading external funds also.

Some of the key points we chat about during this episode include; seeing the whole board as a global macro trader, how to build a body of evidence, why Dario went from short-term trading to higher timeframes, plus trade management and checklists too.

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Craig Scott is someone who has been trading and investing for most of his life, first starting in school when he participated in a year long stock picking competition.

Once completing a double major in finance and accounting, Craig spent many years as an auditor and an accountant, and later on, the entrepreneur within had him start and grow several businesses (doing similar things) along the way.

As Craig describes his style of trading and investing; it’s a hybrid of fundamentals, momentum, sentiment and instinct. He uses options for short-term positions and for mid/longer-term positions he uses stocks. And worth mentioning; Craig’s very adamant about the fact that he does not use charts!

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For this episode I’m joined by Michael Halls-Moore, who runs QuantStart.com—a site well-known by many algorithmic traders.

Prior to trading, Michael studied computational fluid dynamics and was the co-founder of a tech startup, before getting involved a small equity fund as a quant developer—where his key role was cleansing data.

Now, independently, Michael trades his own short-term algorithmic strategies, consults to hedge funds on machine learning and quant infrastructure, and also has a keen interest in space exploration.

We discussed a whole range of topics, including; the need for quality data, thinking about risk from a portfolio level, trading multiple automated strategies, the role of common sense in parameter optimization, learning to program, and more.

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Blake Morrow (otherwise known as @PipCzar on Twitter) started out as a stock broker in 1995, but this only lasted for a short period of time, before becoming a trader…

A wealthy friend put up $50,000 in starting capital, which Blake lost about $30,000 of it within the first six months. Though, before wiping out, Blake was able to turn that remaining $20,000 into roughly $1.5M in the next few years that followed.

He’s since been involved in various trading and technology firms, but today, Blake is the Chief Currency Strategist for WizeTrade, co-founder of Forex Analytix, and an independent forex trader.

Over the course of this episode you’ll hear about Blake’s story in greater detail, how he navigates forex markets—using charts and technical analysis as well as economic drivers, some tips for beginning traders using leverage, and plenty more.

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Dave Lauer is a former-high frequency trader for firms such as Citadel and Allston Trading. He’s worked specifically in various areas of the HFT pipeline, including; research and modelling, building hardware, and programming and operating strategies—which are measured in millionths of a second (or microseconds).

Following the Flash Crash, Dave left his role as a trader (for various reasons we discuss during this episode) and now, as a partner of KOR Group, consults to institutional managers on market structure and best execution.

Dave was also featured in the VPRO documentary, The Wall Street Code, along with other Chat With Traders guests; Haim Bodek, Eric Hunsader, and Blair Hull.

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This week on the podcast, I spoke with Tom Sosnoff, who many of you will already know—he’s pretty close to a household name name in this industry. But if you don’t…

Tom was a floor trader at the CBOE for 20 years, later going on to co-found thinkorswim—a widely popular online brokerage. In 2009, thinkorswim was sold to TD Ameritrade for approximately $606M, and Tom left the company shortly after to start financial news show, tastytrade.

In this episode we hit on; the issue with being too risk adverse in markets and in life, Tom’s extensive trading career, plenty of talk about options, the value of intellectually challenging ourselves (with respect to finance), and more.

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Jared Tendler is an internationally recognized mental game coach. His clients include world champion poker players, the #1 ranked pool player in the world, professional golfers, and more recently, traders too.

If Jared was to summarize exactly what he does (and what he specializes in), it would be; removing negative and excessive emotion from decision making.

So naturally, this serves as the underlying theme throughout our conversation, but we also discuss higher-level topics like; variance, the major crossovers between high-stakes poker and trading, how psychology has been oversold and when it really matters, plus how to identify various types of “tilt.”


Blair Hull has been labeled by Forbes as, “One of the most successful traders of the last 40 years,” and he was also profiled in Jack Schwager’s, The New Market Wizards.

Prior to trading, Blair was a serious Blackjack player for 5-years during the 70’s. From there he took his winnings to the the Pacific Exchange to trade mispriced options, and in 1985, he founded one of the world’s premier market-making firms, Hull Trading.

At its peak, Hull Trading was active on 28 exchanges in nine countries. Then in 1999, the firm was acquired by Goldman Sachs for $531 million dollars.

Today, Blair is the founder of Hull Investments—the parent company of an actively managed ETF, Hull Trading Asset Allocation, and proprietary firm, Ketchum Trading.

Listening to this interview, you’re going to hear more about Blair’s career and his observations as a trader, why he believes great things happen in teams, and why everything revolves around having an edge.

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This episode features Dr. Yves Hilpisch—the founder of The Python Quants.

TPQ do a lot of good for those involved in quantitative finance, they; frequently host meet-ups and workshops, have developed platforms and analytics libraries, and often contract to exchanges, banks and hedge funds for custom Python development.

Yves is also a three-time published author, with his most notable title probably being “Python for Finance” which was released through O’Reilly. He regularly gives presentations and speaks at events on the subject of quant finance, and lectures at Universities too.

Over the next sixty minutes, you’ll hear us unpack many subjects related to being a quant and why programming in Python can be a useful skill to have in your toolbox.

Note, some of the discussion in the later part may be a little heavy for non-programmers. So if there is something that doesn’t make sense or you’d like more context around, please just write in the comments at the bottom of this page and I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.


The trader I interviewed for this episode is; Ryan Moffett from Blackpier Capital.

Having been involved with markets for about 12 years now, Ryan has experience in trading, strategy design, portfolio construction and even alternative investments—all, while working for several firms (one of which, managed upwards of $2B).

More recently though, Ryan’s ventured out to start a fund of his own, where he wears the badge of Lead Investment Manager.

Some of the subjects we check off during this episode, include; the snapping point that lead Ryan to pursue trading and cold-call 50 fund managers for guidance. How he was able to form various mentoring relationships, the first steps of starting a fund and the unseen challenges.

Plus we discuss options, strategies and research, but the highlight for myself was hearing Ryan’s insight on deliberate practice and mental discomfort.