Interview | Stelios — mentor of the winning team
Tips from team mentors Oct 07, 2019
“Everyone has a strategy… But not everyone has a winning strategy, no matter what they think.”
As the WSDT I competition is over, we are more than happy to receive feedback from our competitors and team leaders. And the most valuable feedback is always the one that is from the winners.
Read the interview with Stelios Stylianou, a founder of Stocklock and a trading mentor, whose team won WSDT I. Learn which strategies he used, how he managed to be in touch with so many contestants, and his advice to future competitors.
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 a great accomplishment to be the leader of the winning team and a great reward for all my efforts as a mentor for all these years. Success never comes overnight. But only after a lot of hard work.
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?
Personally, it was both. A serious competition but fun and exciting at the same time. I was trading my account as well during the competition because I still needed to pay the bills… Hehe. But yeah my team and I took it seriously and we set our goal from day one to be in the first place. We are very competitive as a team and as a group in our free chatroom.
Do you have any message for your team at this very moment?
I want to congratulate every single member of our team who participated. In the WSDT, even if they didn’t make the top 20. Stay with me, master our strategies and you’ll do great In the next competition.
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?
Nothing comes easy in this life.. And especially in trading. You need to put in the hours to become successful as a trader. You also need the right tools, the right mentor, the right broker and the right strategies with risk management rules. But if you are reading this you are already on the right path.
Was it hard to coordinate such a great amount of traders? What are the new challenges that you had as a mentor?
It was a challenge but I had help. People that I mentored and have become self-sufficient now help a lot in our chatroom. My biggest challenge was to offer consistent value to the people who trusted me as their leader. That is the reason why I was doing live videos on Youtube every day before they open, to help everyone build a watchlist and know which stocks were in play. Also, it was a challenge to provide consistent winning alerts in the chatroom. But I am used to this kind of pressure cause I‘ve been doing this for quite a few years
What kind of feedback did you get from your team? Will it affect your approach to leading and mentoring in the future?
I heard only positive comments so I am looking forward to leading my team again with the same determination.
What was the overall sentiment within the team? Were they competing with each other, or preferred to help each other out?
People were still calling trade ideas and setups all day during the competition, helping each other, especially the more experienced traders. And they were really excited at the end of every day seeing our team in the first place.
How was paper trading during the competition different from trading with a real account?
In terms of emotions and technicalities. Everything changes when real money is on the table… It's a different ball game. Your emotions are different and your reactions are different. You can't compare the two. For me, it was easier to take risks on the competition account, risks I would never take with my money.
Did you change your trading strategy to adapt to the competition? Maybe took more risks or played safer than usually?
I took riskier trades for sure.
Was there anything special about the market during the competition? Any events that affected your strategy?
I specialize in trading earnings gaps. Earnings seasons appear 4 times a year and the WSDT competition took place outside of that period. For that reason, the opportunities we had were less than usual. But we still managed to find good setups to trade. We use 9 different strategies, so our arsenal is big enough to make us money even during quiet periods.
Describe your strategy during the competition – did you have a plan, or decided to take advantage of the situation on the spot?
As I mentioned before we didn’t use just one strategy, but nine… Depending on what the market gave us. We know exactly what we want to see before we enter a trade, so we just wait for the market to come to us. We trade like snipers, waiting for the right opportunity to take the killer shot.
Were there any key moments that set you on the path to where your team ended up – planned decisions, luck or crucial mistakes?
Yes, I believe how we handled red trades or even red days made the difference. You can’t let a red trade mess with your mind. If you do then you lost the game. So it’s all in the way you handle a red trade and bounce back with confidence.
What did you have to change in your mentoring style to adapt to the
First of all, I started doing live YouTube videos to help my team see the market from my perspective. That was something I 've never done before and I really enjoyed it. Usually, I trade for 1-2 hours and call it a day. But during the competition, I tried to stay connected all day to help my team.
What were the key factors, in your opinion, that helped you to achieve victory?
There are three key factors: Strategy, Discipline, Rules. All three are equal. Everyone has a strategy. But not everyone has a winning strategy, no matter what they think. We have a winning system and that gives us confidence. We know if we trade the system with discipline and follow the rules, the outcome will be positive. It’s pure math.
Stelios's website: https://www.stocklocktrading.com
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Not all countries are allowed to the WSDT competition. Look through the list of eligible countries.