This time with us in TradersTalk: Dirk Hagemann.
As “plustick”, the trained computer scientist/programmer implements several trading strategies on wikifolio.com as “plustick”.
We will learn how he discovered trading and what experience he has gained in doing so.
Please tell us your name.
My name is Dirk Hagemann.
Under which username can you be found on wikifolio.com?
I already changed my username twice, but I believe I will stick with “plustick” now.
What is your profession?
I studied computer science and worked as a programmer at an automotive group for nearly ten years. After a hiatus of several years during which I devoted myself to day trading and extensive travels, I first worked as a supervisory board member for five years, then as an executive of an IT services company and a financial services company for five years. Since the end these activities last year, I get to catch up on what I missed out on in the past years, such as devoting myself to my wikifolios and other things.
How did you get into trading?
I can’t remember today what the exact trigger was at that time almost 20 years ago. Perhaps it was the low savings deposit rates, although that seems totally ridiculous from today’s zero interest rate-perspective. In any case, I started studying the stock exchange prices and thought about how I could find out which stocks will rise in the future. I ended up in an IRC chat, where day traders met and discussed things with each other. In 1997, I then bought my first stocks: Netscape Communications – a company the younger generation probably no longer knows, but a monument to the frenzied boom of Internet stocks. It was a crazy time then.
What does your typical trading day look like?
I get up at 7 a.m. and sit at my desk shortly after. I open my 15 websites on the computer, from finviz.com to boersengefluester.de, which are important sources of information for me. For a couple of hours, I am engaged in the evaluation of this information and may perform a couple of trades. If it is a busy trading day, I stay on the ball all day – otherwise I deal with other things that have nothing to do with the stock exchange: Shopping, doing sports, watching “Mad Men” on amazon prime. Such a day goes by fast! At night, I observe the US market “in passing” and jot down a couple of notes for the next day.How many wikifolios do you currently manage? Are you already a “Real Money” trader?
I have two wikifolios at the starting line. One is intended for the long-term, relatively conservative investor. The other one has more of a speculative nature where I try to avoid generating huge daily fluctuations. The position size is small, which is easy on my nerves and those of the investors. The speculative-oriented wikifolio has the “Real-Money Status”.
What are the reasons for you to publish your trading strategy as wikifolio?
In late 2012, I came across wikifolio.com, I found the idea interesting and created a brokerage account without giving it too much thought. At that time, I was under a lot of pressure professionally and more or less forgot about the wikifolio for half a year. After the end of my principal professional activity, I was finally able to devote the necessary attention to the matter, without thinking ahead where exactly this “experiment” would lead me. When I felt confident enough on the platform, I initiated the issuance of the first certificate. It is and remains exciting and challenging to be able to compete with the strategies of other wikifolio holder and above all also to understand how they achieved their performance.
How would you roughly outline your trading style (on wikifolio.com)?
Since I have two very different wikifolios, I can only describe the trading style in general terms: Cool, calm and collected. Limiting profits, letting losses develop – or was it the other way round? In any case, never blame "the market” when something goes wrong. Never mourn after lost profits, because tomorrow is a new day of the opportunities that I don’t even know anything about today.
Are you satisfied with the development of your wikifolios?
As far as my conservative wikifolio is concerned, I am in a significantly better position than the 110-companies HDAX since the issuance. The observation period of nine months is of course very short. For starters, I am satisfied – if I can keep this outperformance going for five more years, I would be happy.
What was your trading highlight of the past 360 days? A subscription warrant for Gilead Sciences with an increase of 300% in a few months. But unfortunately that one was not included in the investment universe of wikifolio.How do you assess the stock market year 2014? After the rally of the past few years, I was skeptical with regards to 2014 and hence I have probably been proven right, although for different reasons than I had envisioned. I think it was primarily Mr Putin and Mr Draghi who moved the prices this year. This is starting to get boring, I am hoping for more variety in 2015. Perhaps, the sharp decline in energy prices will become the dominant topic.
Which markets are the most fun / make the most sense?
Every market makes sense, since opportunities can be found on all of them. The US market is the most fun for me. Compared to the German market, the quantity and quality of freely available information is simply much higher there, even for stocks that lie completely outside the mainstream.Which stocks or securities do you currently favor in the medium term?
A stock that one can put under one’s pillow: Gilead Sciences.
A stock, for which one must be a little crazy: Geron.
A stock one can brag about: Advantag AG.
What was the hardest lesson you had to learn on the market?
A seemingly reputable publisher of a market letter who unfortunately must remain unnamed and remains active today, badly tricked me (and many other investors) many years ago. At that time, I learned to question recommendations more thoroughly.
What advice would you give to a novice trader?
If you want to enter the stock market, you need to take a lot of time as a trader or long-term investor. It is not enough to just read a book real quick. You should observe for a long time how other traders act on the market (with wikifolio.com, one can do this very well indeed) and then develop a feeling for your own trading style.
Which book can you recommend to other traders?
Traders read too many books about trading.
Therefore: “1979” from Christian Kracht.