As you can probably tell by the @BubbleBoyTrader moniker in the title, I learned about this guy on Twitter. I liked his Tweets so I checked out his blog.
He is a professional trader who trades for himself from his home in Toronto Canada. His blog primarily focuses on the psychological aspects of trading, his extensive experience in the markets and how trading should fit into a balanced life.
You can click here to read the complete bio on his blog, but the short story of his trading career is that he has been a futures broker, hedge fund manager and individual trader.
What really drew me to the blog was the fact that he believes in “holistic finance.” That basically means that he primarily trades for the lifestyle and the freedom, not only the money.
We kicked it old school, doing the interview over Instant Messenger (IM). We discuss topics such as how he found a mentor, how he makes a living trading and if he can prove the existence of God with his Philosophy degree.
It was a great interview, check it out:
Hugh Kimura: So, how did the name “Bubble Boy” come about?
Bubble Boy: Got the idea from Seinfeld. As a trader, you have to be careful of what enters into your sphere of operation in mind, body and other relevant dynamics.
Otherwise, “pollution” will distort the true reality which is necessary to be profitable over the long term. You need a bubble to survive.
Hugh Kimura: Ah, I see. That's very true. What made you want to start the blog?
Bubble Boy: As a horrific writer and with the ease of setting up a website — there was no better way for a lousy writer to express his eccentric ideas and improve his writing than starting a blog
Hugh Kimura: Haha, well you are doing pretty well so far. Do you have any goals for it or is it just more of a creative outlet?
Bubble Boy: Eventually, I would like to take the blog a little bit more serious. With the newborn throwing a curve ball into things, it's best that I don't make any unreasonable goals until I get into the groove of being a new father. Trading is tough enough.
Being a new father is whole new level. The blog for now will be just a creative outlet.
Hugh Kimura: I read on your blog that one of your first experiences in trading was losing almost all of your parent’s money in a penny stock trade. How did that experience change you as a person and as a trader?
Bubble Boy: Psychological devastation, or more accurately emotional suicide. It was so traumatic that I still carry, whispers of the pain and humiliation during trading losses. The idea that I got back on the horse and sought out a mentor was a changing point in my life.
When you fall and face financial death…it is the quintessential experience of humility. My ego was exposed as the villain. My mentor helped me reshape the mental and emotional landscape.
Hugh Kimura: How did you find your mentor?
Bubble Boy: By the divine poweres of improbably outcomes. Some call it “synchcroncity” or luck.
Honestly, hours of cold calling…
Hugh Kimura: Interesting, so you just called up a bunch of traders and asked them to mentor you?
Bubble Boy: Many rejections. The trader that finally took me on didn't want to mentor me.
He was only interested in talking to me because of I was a Philosophy major and he was in the process of finishing up a book on proving the existence of God — or his unified theory of everything. He was missing a piece of the puzzle and was hoping I could fill in the blanks. The guy was a real genius.
Hugh Kimura: Well, that is the first time I have heard of someone making money with their Philosophy degree. About how long did it take you to get to the point where you could trade for a living?
Bubble Boy: Firstly, it depends on what you mean by trading for a living?
I was trading as a broker for a living and I hated it. The emotional management of clients wore me down.
Then I was trading as a hedge fund manager. The regulatory and institutional head aches were difficult and challenging. Even though the fund was profitable and successful.
And finally I gave it all up to trade exclusively for myself and family about 5 years ago.
Hugh Kimura: I guess I would consider managing the hedge fund trading for a living.
Bubble Boy: Once I had the experience of a few years of trading, it was a matter of diving into all the legal, accounting and regulatory maze and get a fund up and running. The trick was finding the “right” clients.
All in all it took probably 3-5 years from when I started
Hugh Kimura: What markets and on what time frame(s) to do you trade?
Bubble Boy: Currently, I trade U.S futures. Primarily the indicies.
I also trade energies, metals, currencies and ETF's. If the day presents something I'll take a day trade. But I like to hold things at least a few days to sometimes a week.
Hugh Kimura: What do you consider your biggest character strengths and weaknesses and how is that reflected in your trading style?
Bubble Boy: I have a high level of focus and intense scrutiny of myself and the markets. This can border on the obsessive, which can result in complete intoxication of the markets. There was a point when I was running the fund, I would trade around the clock.
I'd sleep from 4:15pm to the opening of the asian market and trade around the clock until the U.S markets would open.
It kills your sex life and social interactions. I know better now. No more frenetic day trading
Hugh Kimura: So I guess that is what led to the more “lifestyle trader” approach to the markets. What are your other interests outside of trading?
Bubble Boy: Yes.
Bubble Boy: Martial Arts, Reading, Chi Kung Meditation, Travelling, Volleyball…that's what comes to mind at the moment.
Hugh Kimura: Cool, one last one…So going back to the unified theory, were you able to help prove the existance of God?
Bubble Boy: LOLOLOL…..The only thing I came to prove was how insignificant we all are, and that we are not special. Our ego deludes us. God or no God, it's about understanding yourself — our deepest faults and weaknesses should be no more dear to our hearts than our strengths and gifts.
I really appreciate him taking the time out to share his experiences with us.
In the short chat we had, he struck me as being a really down to earth guy who had seen some of the highest highs and lowest lows that trading has to offer. Out of those experiences he found the happy medium and his place in the world.
In my opinion, one of the biggest lessons of this interview was his resolve to become a professional trader. There were a couple times where most people would have quit, but he didn't.
To learn more from him, check out his blog at BubbleBoyTrader.com or follow him on Twitter: @BubbleBoyTrader.
I would love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below.