#001: Stephen Vettorel from FXES Trader

EP 001
Traderview Ep 001 Stephen Vettorel - FXES Trader

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Show Notes


Q: Tell us about yourself.

  • Steve talks about his childhood

Q: Who or what inspired you to become a trader?

  • Steve tells story about how his father’s death influenced him to become a trader
  • While bartending at a country club, Steve made one connection that helped jumpstart his career
  • While working at Fidelity, he got to see many “epiphanies” of the market firsthand
  • Steve traded for the Johnson family and Peter Lynch
  • Steve shifted his focus from brokerage to learning how to trade

Q: At what point did trading become your primary source of income?

  • In 2002, Steve was recruited away from Fidelity by Fisher
  • Steve began to grow unhappy with making money for other people and joined forces with colleagues to make a change

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

  • A typical day for Steve starts with a methodical morning prep routine
  • Although he doesn’t trade all day, he always has his trading systems on in the background to monitor what is going on with the market
  • Steve will do one thing differently on days when the market is particularly volatile

Q: Do you remember your first big winning trade? What did you do with the money?

  • While still in college, Steve made his first winning trade on a popular technology brand and made his first big purchase

Q: What is your favorite memory or trading story?

  • Steve had a chance encounter that would ultimately lead to his career in trading taking off

Q: What do you like most about trading and what do you like the least?

  • Steve started his business in part to address one of the biggest problems he sees with the industry
  • Steve believes the new DOL fiduciary rule is going to be a game-changer in terms of retirement accounts when it goes live

Q: Was there a specific turning point where you went from consistently losing money to being consistently profitable?

  • Steve has never had a losing streak, which he attributes to one key factor
  • Steve believes one of the biggest problems facing traders is what he calls the “inner monkey”

Q: Tell us about your best month as a trader. What was your worst month?

  • Steve suggests measuring success by win-rate percentage and there is one software he recommends for this
  • Steve’s best month was a 6-figure month

Q: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your 20-year- old self?

  • Steve’s advice to his 20-year old self is to get a degree – preferably in finance – and get a jr. analyst job or find a mentor to learn from.

Q: How do you measure success in life?

  • Steve says he measures success by being able to have a lot of fun in life and provide his children with a good education

Q: What have you had to sacrifice to get where you are today?

  • Golf!

Q: What is the biggest difference between successful traders and unsuccessful traders?

  • In Steve’s opinion, the biggest difference between successful traders and unsuccessful traders is dedication
  • Having your family’s support and understanding is important for professional traders

Q: What is the most important piece of advice that you would give to new traders?

  • Steve recommends new traders start by reading James Dalton’s books
  • Self-reflection is an important component before starting the journey to become a trader
  • Steve stresses the importance of looking back on losing trades
  • Most of Steve’s unsuccessful trades were the result of one key factor
  • Steve had a young trader shadow him at one point, and this student ended up becoming very successful and this was a form of inspiration behind forming FXES Trader

Q: How should someone handle losing streaks?

  • If you are in a losing streak, stop trading, switch into sim and figure out what you’re doing wrong by looking at key factors

Q: How important is mindset and how has your mindset evolved over time?

  • Neurolinguistic programming is Steve’s idea of a quintessential definition of mindset
  • Steve talks about his all-time favorite trading blog post

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about trading for a living?

  • The best thing about trading for a living is being your own boss!
  • Steve does not believe in trading wirelessly or on a mobile device. He prefers a fiber optic connection

Q: What would you make required reading for every high school senior?

  • Steve believes everyone on the planet should have to read the book How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • There are a number of other resources that Steve recommends people read
  • Steve recommends using a CFA over a CFP to manage your portfolio

Q: What markets do you trade and why?

  • Steve’s firm trades futures (oil, ES, DAX, 6E) and doesn’t like trading forex
  • The IRS has more favorable tax treatment for futures

Q: What is your favorite trading strategy in today’s market?

  • The answer to this should be related to metrics, but there is one specific strategy Steve recommends for all new traders
  • The instrument used is also a key component
  • Steve believes students should learn to trade in the ES or DAX first

Q: What is different about your approach compared to other traders?

  • Steve didn’t get into trading to reinvent the wheel, rather he aims to mimic a level of success that he sees from some of his peers
  • It’s critical to always be learning

Q: How would you trade a $5,000 account differently than a $50,000 account?

  • With a $5K account, Steve would make trades that had higher statistical odds of being a winning trade
  • With a $50K account, he might take more risk

Q: What is your approach to money management and limiting risk?

  • Steve uses the same kind of metrics that any fund-to- fund or hedge fund would use to measure risk

Q: How does your strategy differ for income versus building wealth?

  • There would be no difference in strategy

Q: What trading platform do you use primarily?

  • Steve uses X Trader as his platform but also likes Ninja Trader

Q: Which indicator could you not live without?

  • The footprint

Q: Do you have a written trading plan?

  • Steve has 3 versions of his trading plan: a 30 pager, a 5-10 pager and a bullet pointed plan that he looks at

Q: Do you keep a trading journal?

  • In the past, Steve kept a trading journal in which he documented mistakes that he made
  • He recommends new traders keep a journal consistently

Audience Q+A

Q: What gain, stop, risk, reward ratio does Steve prefer?

  • Steve directs the listener to a blog post on his website

Q: What is Steve’s email?

  • steve@fxestrader.com

Q: Where can we see the Market Profile, trade station IB, separate charting product?

  • Google Market Profile and watch the videos
  • Purchase James Dalton’s books

Q: Is more focus on the FX or ES?

  • ES

Q: What matrix do you base to get out of a losing trade?

  • Steve offers examples of different approaches
  • Steve’s advice to newer students is to trade the extreme outs and not the chop in the middle

Q: Beyond the course, how do you help ensure the success of your students?

  • That is up to the student
  • Steve will review his students’ trading plan or sim trading logs to help set them up for success

Q: How important do you consider trade management?

  • It’s critical.

Q: What is the next step in your evolution as a trader?

  • Steve’s next goals are to get to a 100% win-rate, build a benchmark firm with over $100MM of AUM, and get to 100 consistently profitable students

Q: How do you see the profession of trading evolving over the next 5-10 years?

  • Steve focuses on the growth he’d like to see for his firm and his family

Q: What is the best way to get in touch with you?

  • Steve’s email is steve@fxestrader.com and he encourages people to reach out with questions

Q: What are 3 action steps you recommend to be more profitable?

  • Steve provides his action steps for people looking to learn to trade


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“I made it a point to develop courses that traders can use to become consistently profitable.”

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“I never had a losing streak.”

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“Make sure you always look back on the trades that didn’t work.”

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“If you are in a significant losing streak, there’s something that you’re doing wrong.”

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“Don’t be tripping on nickels on the way to dollars.”

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3 Action Steps

  1. Be capitalized
  2. Check your ego at the door
  3. Find a mentor

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How to Get More Free Training from Stephen Vettorel

For more free training from Steve, visit his website at www.FXESTrader.com

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Resources and Links

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About Stephen Vettorel

Stephen Vettorel is the Founder, Head Trader and Portfolio Manager of Benchmark Wealth Advisors, LLC, a fee-only, CA Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). He is a recognized expert in Auction Market Theory and its practical implementation in framing the market via Market Profile®. He shares his knowledge with his large following on social media.

Steve graduated from Xavier University in 1995 with a BS in Finance. He began his career in 1996 with Fidelity Investments, Inc., a division of Boston based FMR Corp. Steve worked on the option/equity trading desk, later in portfolio management, and was awarded the coveted President’s Circle award twice.

Steve was recruited away by Fisher Investments, Inc. out of Woodside, CA to serve as Regional Vice President. Over the following 4 years he raised $140 million for the firm and was proud to work alongside famed investor and Forbes columnist Ken Fisher.

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