In the current TradersTalk, we talked with Michael Flender about his life as a professional trader. He provides us an insight into his life on and with the stock market, into his harshest defeats, and he gives us his opinion on how to rather not learn how to trade.
Please tell us your name.
What is your user name on wikifolio.com?
What is your profession?
I am a full-time trader.
How did you discover trading?
My interest in the stock exchange grew during my studies, but I already liked to write down and compare stock prices when I was still in school. During my studies, I started to trade for real. Initially haphazardly with Penny stocks and advice from various forums, then later following my own intuition.
What does your typical trading day look like?
Shortly after 7:00 a.m., I sit down at my computer and check the pre-market prices, go through the messages that came in overnight and also look at the charts of stocks in order to spot any potential opportunities. At noon I’m usually on the road, and from the US opening until 5:30 p.m., I am usually at my computer. But I also still follow the prices via smartphone during lunch and dinner.
How many wikifolios do you currently manage? Are you already a “Real Money” trader?
I currently have one investable wikifolio where I also invested my own money, plus a published one which I would like to start during the course of the year.
What are your reasons for publishing your trading strategy as a wikifolio?
I followed some wikifolios for an extended period of time and then eventually wanted to give it a try, since I thought the platform was excellent and the representation of the wiki by a certificate also made more sense to me than by CFDs or the like. The great thing about it is the complete transparency.
How would roughly outline your trading style (on wikifolio.com)?
I try to go along with the trend when it comes to stocks. In the case of exaggerations, which often occur at the moment, I also like to snatch falling prices from time to time.
Are you satisfied with the development of your wikifolios?
Things can of course always go better, one passes by many opportunities, often one has bad luck – but that’s just the nature of the stock exchange. Overall, I am therefore satisfied after all.
What was your trading highlight of the past 360 days?
In a rush only Ströer comes to mind – which I bought under 40 after the accusations and a few minutes later, I was 10% in the minus but was able to sell at a good profit a few hours later.
What developments do you expect from the stock exchange year 2016?
It will probably remain turbulent with exaggerations in all directions.
I anticipate that things go upwards – as long as there are no external shocks (Brexit, extreme euro appreciation, etc.)
Which markets are currently the most fun / make the most sense?
I primarily trade on the German stock market and only rarely on the US market. All in all, I hardly earn any money with all the other markets, so I will leave these to others
Which stocks and securities do you currently favor in the medium term?
Very difficult to say, since the opinion on stocks / industries is changing very fast at the moment. I believe auto securities such as Daimler and BMW as well as Conti as a supplier have potential, provided that China stabilizes and that there are no further legal actions from the US.
What was the hardest lesson you had to learn on the market?
Volkswagen short, when it went to 1,000 and I was more than 100% in the minus. One reads sometimes that one can lose more than 100% with shorts. I could never imagine that this could ever happen. But here I learned: nothing is impossible ;-)
What advice would you give to a novice trader?
Do not try to read massive amounts of books and attend seminars, but trade yourself, gain experience. Sometimes less is more – it does not take 10 indicators and 100 lines in a chart to make a trade. Try out different markets and focus on the one in which you have the most success.
What book can you recommend to other traders?
Honestly: Books have not really helped me and even seminars were only of limited help. Of course, you must know the markets and how they work, but most importantly: Trade with real money yourself, gain your own experiences, recognize errors and correct them. All the stuff written in books and told at seminars sounds great – but in practice, it all does’nt quite work out really ;-)