Interview with MC, PinoyTRADER

February 5th, 2007

For the next interview in the StockTickr Interview Series (RSS feed), I spoke with MC, a.k.a. PinoyTRADER. I discovered MC’s site after Trader Mike linked to it a few weeks ago. MC’s performance is spectacular – which apparently brings with it a lot of criticism.

It’s disappointing to see anonymous criticism of someone’s success. It sounds like someone has taken some recent painful losses in the market and they’re trying to take it out on someone who’s apparently quite successful. I’m glad to see others in the community come to his defense.

Read on for more about how MC trades, more about his background, and how he backtests. Submit your questions in the comments and I’ll see if MC can answer them.

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StockTickr: Tell us a little about yourself, MC.

MC: My name is MC, I’m 36 years old and was born and raised in the Philippines. I now reside in New Jersey with my two unbelievably wonderful kids and beautiful wife. They have always been supportive of my efforts to better myself as a trader and I thank them a lot for that.

I hold a bachelors degree in computer science and currently works as an IT professional. I’m not a full-time trader by choice but I treat trading as my business.

StockTickr: How did you get started trading stocks?

MC: When I arrived here in the US in 1994, the day trading craze had started and I wanted to be part of it. I heard stories of people turning millionaires overnight and so that was enough reason for me to just jump in. I did not have any idea about what trading is but I was determined to learn.

My first foray into trading was by scalping using level 2, which was the coolest tool at that time. I did not really make any money scalping but it felt like I was part of something new. I evolved from scalper to swing trader into option trader and then momentum trader. It’s been a long learning process and there are more to be studied but I’m glad that I finally found a system that works for me.

StockTickr: Most traders have a horror story about losing their shirt when they first started trading. What’s yours?

MC: No big horror story for me, except maybe during the market drop after the big bull market. Waking up in the morning and seeing your positions drop 30-50 points was quite traumatic.

StockTickr: Do you trade for a living now?

MC: No. I trade part-time but I treat it as a full-time business. I rely heavily on automated trading (trade triggers) orders for my execution. My style of trading does not require me to sit in front of the computer all day watching the streaming charts. I prefer to be in an office environment where there are people I can interact with. I tried trading full-time for a few days and the experience did not really appeal to me.

StockTickr: What single lesson did you learn along the way that has helped you the most in your trading?

MC: To keep my losses small and to let my profits run. I also like to keep my methods simple and easy.

StockTickr: Describe your style of trading. How long do you typically hold stocks?

MC: I’m a combination of day-trader, position/trend trader, swing trader and I also buy options for leverage.

My intra-day trades are just offshoot of my analysis base on daily charts. I could trade intra-day breakout from channels or the narrow range bar which is an art, perfected by Maoxian into a DUMMY trading science (big thanks to the fellow for sharing). I use 30-minute timeframe most of the time except for highly volatile stocks where I sometimes switch to 15-min chart.

Most of my position trades are based on pattern breakouts or pivot point trend turns and could last more than 3 weeks. I studied Darvas’ and Livermore’s trading styles for a long time and it helped me a lot. For swing trades, I look for pullbacks and the trades can last 1-10 days.

StockTickr: How did you go about developing your current style of trading?

MC: It was a long journey for me, jumping around from one strategy to another until the method became me. My guess is that while I was trying out all these different styles, intuitively, I just picked up the best qualities from these styles that I’m comfortable with.

StockTickr: What’s your exit strategy for winning and losing trades?

MC: Getting out of losing trades is easy. When the stop is crossed, I just get out. It’s almost automatic. Getting out of profitable trades was difficult until I learned to just let these positions go and let the trend/move take me out. I employ trailing stops on most of my positions.

StockTickr: What 3 books do you recommend traders read?


How I Made $2,000,000 In The Stock Market How to Trade In Stocks How To Make Money In Stocks: A Winning System in Good Times or Bad, 3rd Edition

StockTickr: What are your 3 favorite sites?

Maoxian, Trader Mike, Ugly because they were the first sites that I discovered and frequented. But there are a lot of other blogs now that gives very good and well thought information on trading and investing.

StockTickr: What is your typical R value per trade? i.e. what % of your portfolio do you risk with each trade?

MC: Right now I tend to risk a fix amount for each day trade position or a maximum of X number of shares, which is difficult to translate to a fix percentage. I want to keep things simple and easy to remember. For example if a setup comes up and it requires me to risk .50 only, it does not mean that I can now double my position size. Capping my position size allows me the flexibility to take on more trades which increases the probability of winning big and lessens the probability of blowing out or getting stuck in a trade that is not going anywhere. For long- term positions trades, I usually close the position if it is down by more than 5%.

StockTickr: What technical indicators could you not live without?

MC: 5,10,30 moving averages, volume and 20-day volume average. I visually scan several hundreds of chart every night so I learned to keep my charts clutter free and simple.

StockTickr: How do you think the market has changed over the last several years? How have you adapted?

MC: The market is choppier than ever. We are getting too many program buy/sell transactions and the worse part is that they do basket trades, which tend to drag the whole sector. On days where we have sudden and violent reversals, I just keep my long-term positions provided that these are already in positive territory. These sudden reversals caused by silicon trades, usually corrects itself the next trading day into the direction of the primary trend. For astute traders, they can exploit this moves to add positions or enter trades that may have ran away from them

StockTickr: Do you backtest and if not, how do you instill belief in your system?

MC: I have back-tested systems but not in the traditional way of running simulation programs to trade the signals. I usually back-test a system by just setting my charting program date back to say 10 years ago and the just scroll the date forward 1 day at a time and record entry/exit prices. This way I get a feel of what signals I would take and signals that I will just ignore.

StockTickr: What advice can you offer traders who are just starting out?

MC: That trading is a just basic probability and if they trade long enough, they will find their edge where statistically over a certain period of time or number of repetitions, their edge will come out ahead.

StockTickr: What do you like best about trading?

MC: The whole preparation process: screening/looking for the stock, planning the whole trade (entry, exit). The execution part is just mechanical for me now so there’s no excitement there. I almost forgot about the money.

StockTickr: When did you start your blog and what prompted you to do so?

MC: I started to blog a few years ago but it was only this year when I started to rely on it as a replacement of my paper-and-pen journal. It made me realize how much time and effort the bloggers put in to give us very valuable contents.

StockTickr: Thanks, MC!

MC: Sure, Dave.

Stay tuned – there are several interviews on the way. You can subscribe to these interviews via RSS feed.

Previous interviews in the StockTickr Interview Series (RSS feed):

Do you have suggestions for other traders you’d like to see an interview with? Let us know!


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