INTERVIEW WITH GARY K | #10 in Overall Ranking
Competitors' stories Oct 03, 2019
Country: United States
Trading Profit: $16,887
“I figured out that my formula is 80% psychology, 15% technique, and 5% luck.”
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?
I am from Mission Viejo, California.
How, when and why did you start day trading?
I was introduced to the Robinhood trading app around March 2018 and tried some other brokers but I lost over 30k of money trading penny stocks, so I am sticking to it because I am looking for a trading career in the near future. At the moment, I am working as a contractor in California, a highly demanding physical job.
How did you learn about WSDT?
I learned about it through the morning chat room at Tradenet with Meir Barak, Scott Malatesta, through emails and phone calls from my account manager.
Why did you decide to join the competition?
I decided to join because I am a natural-born competitor having been ranked in the world standings of discus throw and being preselected for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic. In my life, I tend to go all or nothing so this is another opportunity for my claim to fame as I been through hardships and being both at the top and bottom. I love the team of people at Tradenet, feeling that I can always get any kind of silly question answered during the mornings.
What was going through your mind when you learned that you had become the winner of WSDT?
I thought: “Oh wow, I’m still in the Top 10”.
Did you really expect to become the winner? Was it your ultimate purpose?
After the 4th day, on Friday, I was in 2nd place overall. I would have secured my third position if I had not overtraded, as I saw my 3rd position slip through my fingers but I thought that, that was not me and that I always strive to become the best.
What were your trading style and strategy for this competition?
I chose a breakout and breakdown trading strategy which aimed at finding stocks that are moving and then hit the gas pedal once the stock showed a violent pattern in one direction or another. The breakdown style got me the highest gains during the competition.
What were your favorite hours of trading?
Well, I have been trading for a bit over a year and I might do so early in the morning or from the opening till the closing time if I have enough time.
Which stocks did you trade?
ROKU was my big winner while other moves were a couple of stocks on the top 20 trades with the guys in the morning as well as oil, gas and gold stocks from DRIP & JNUG when they were in play.
Were you trading your real account while trading a demo account in the competition?
I saw simultaneous trading as distracting although I did a small swing move right before
Emotional well-being and future participation
Moving on to your winning odds. How did you manage to win this competition? What helped you?
I took 2000 shares, all in buying power, from ROKU at 116 when I had already 400 at open and then I covered them at 106. I figured out that my formula is 80% psychology, 15% technique, and 5% luck. After going all-in ROKU at 116 I left for a job that took a few hours, went for lunch with a cushion of 6-7k dollars and then came back and covered the position. I guess I would have covered it earlier if I had been staring at my computer screen.
My move on ROKU moved my status to the 2nd place by the 4th day. It was a crazy trade, moved 10 points with my maxed-out position but my last day was awful. I could not even get one green trade, became very frustrated and kept trading until I almost hit the maximum daily loss.
Was there a point you thought you might blow the account?
At least 3 times but I walked away before making another trade around the minus 3200 loss or so.
How did you manage your confidence as well as your psychological tension?
I was confident but it was hard to manage the tension as I was up at 3:00 am every day (trading starts at 6:30 am in California) thinking and looking to see what my next trade was and formulating a plan. I knew I did not have to let myself stop out and hit my daily max loss. I came close, but I was self-disciplined enough to stop for the day when I was very close to the maximum daily loss. I was only unsure of finding a stock that could move a tremendous amount.
I felt great knowing that my plan for my best trade brought me to the top 10! On the other hand, I was displeased with my performance after the 4th day and was kicking myself the 5th and 6th day for making so many errors as I looked back and saw how many tickets I had. Overtrading and trying to force trades was a bane to my existence in my last 2 days.
Will you take part in the competition next time?
Absolutely, I will definitely take part in the competition again as it is a great test for a competitive individual to get in and out positions pushing the pedal to the metal.
Wrapping up, I’d like to ask you about your final thoughts on the WSDT competition. What would you recommend to the WSDT team to make the competition better?
I’d simply suggest that a reminder could be set up to close all positions by 4:00 because that might be the reason why some people accidentally hold them overnight and then get disqualified.
Thank you. I had a very wild emotional roller coaster ride in this test of nerves! Thank you all that put this incredible competition into play! I certainly learned quite a bit, especially my mounting frustration as I overtraded the last 2 days.
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