Nicola Delic started off as a C++ developer who turned his hand to trading after clicking on a Youtube link purely by chance. As a focused and determined young man he gave 100% commitment to learning how to trade, spending 18 hours a day mastering Elliot Wave trading.
Nicola hails from Serbia and has been trading Forex and Stocks since 2008. He’s worked as a trader and analyst, for a number brokerage firms and hedge funds in the last 6 years, and this helped him learn a lot of strategies that he continued to use on his own accounts. Right now he spends half his time managing his small hedge fund, Singapore Grand Capital, and the other half consulting and coaching retail traders all around the world.
Nicola bases his trading strategy on the following principles: Patience, Discipline and Strict Risk Management.
In the show Nicola walks us through:
- His reasons why Elliot Wave is the best strategy to follow
- His particular approach to Elliot Wave trading
- The specific moving average he uses to trade the S&P500
- How he doubled his account in 8 months
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Biggest retail trader mistake
Trying to get rich overnight.
Cam Hawkins: This is your chance to share more about you personally, and give the listeners more detail about your trading. What you’re trading, how you’re trading it and the kind of results you see. Over to you Nicola.
- “I started my trading career back in high school.”
- “I enjoy trading two asset classes Forex and Stocks. I rarely trade commodities these days because I don’t see many setups these days.”
- “For my main strategy I’m using Elliott Wave principle, it’s a 100 year old trading strategy. So there’s nothing that can beat that in my opinion and that’s the only reason why I’m using it. Of course I added a few of my own secret ingredients, before I open each of my trades, but basically every trade is just Elliott Wave plus the larger trend. Every trade I took in the last couple of years started in pretty much the same way. I like looking for the larger trend in the daily or weekly time frame and after that I’m trying to find a perfect Elliott Wave pattern on the smaller time frame but I like to find some pattern like a triangle, some continuation pattern that will allow me to jump and ride that trend. Because I think that trends don’t change overnight and that’s the first rule of trading everyone is talking about, but only a few people stick to that methodology and that’s the sad part.”
- “When I’m not trading, that’s a hard question. I’m trading like 10-12 hours a day at least because I run a small hedge fund, do consulting and education for my clients. I don’t have too much free time, but whenever I find the free time I’ll go for a massage or walk on the beach because I have a nice view of the sea from my balcony.”
Cam Hawkins: Go back in time now and tell us what first attracted you to trading and talk us through that very first trade you took?
- “A lot of people said I was destined to be a trader because I always had a passion for money but a lot of my friends were shocked with me not trading because I was a C++ developer.”
- “But by mistake I clicked on the Youtube video of the Wall Street Warriors TV show and I really really fell in love with Timothy Sykes and his story to become a successful trader. After I watched it I said to myself ‘None of them are smarter than you, why can’t you do it’ and that’s really how I started to trade and like everyone else I had a small account like $500 and six years later I’m trading a small fund which is more money than I’ve ever traded. My average client has a six figure account.”
- “My first trade was EURUSD. I saw some sort of head and shoulders pattern on the smaller time frame like the one minute chart. I was a more of a lucky trade for me but I managed to make a few dollars. When you see your first live trade it’s always a bit emotional and when you see your account in green you hit the close button instead of waiting for the right moment in time and closing it for much much longer profit.”
- “In trading I can say a big thanks to my Grandfather because he told me, when I was 8 years old, that ‘You can achieve everything if you give your best, and if you fail today just try harder tomorrow’. I followed that quote every single day. And if I fail today in the markets I have another day in front of me to recover and make more money.”
- “Since I was specialized in providing algorithmic security software trading was really easy for me.”
- “I started with the $500 and when I proved I was successful I put an extra $10,000 in my account and after that, in reality, I never ever put more money with another broker. Really, that $10,000 made me all the money I have right now.”
Cam Hawkins: So when and why did you decide to add the $10,000 to your account?
- “After I showed myself I could make money 6 months in a row. So only then I figured out I could go sell my car and put more money in my account.”
Cam Hawkins: Let’s go back to a dark time in your trading career, a point where you hit rock bottom, a trade that kept you awake for a week, an account that you blew in a matter of days or even minutes. We want to hear that story.
- “I’m sorry to disappoint you Cam, but I didn’t blow any accounts completely. But I had one trade that hit me like a bullet. In my 3rd year, where I had just ended my 2nd year with 40% profit. Of course it’s a small account, but 40% so it was looking good. After that I became a fool of myself. I had a really big ego like Antarctic. So I opened the trade with 20% risk. I was so sure about that trade, it was the Aussie dollar long back in April 2010. In just 10 days I lose 50% of my last years profit. I lost 6 months of hard work in just 10 days. I was depressed and wanted to quit trading. I started to blame everyone around me, even my dogs, my broker, my twin sister. I took a month away from trading and finally admitted to myself that I’m the one who opened the trade. That I was the only one that risked 20%. After that I took me a while to recover to the normal mental focus, but I think I did it in no less than a month.”
Cam Hawkins: How often would you have a losing trade?
- “About 60% are winning trade profitability, but I can’t say that it’s always going to be like that because some weeks I have a 100% winning rate but sometimes I can have 4 from 10 trades. But let’s say on average it’s 60%”
Cam Hawkins: Right, let’s flip this 180 now. Can you talk us through that specific time when everything fell into place. Your big “ah-ha” moment. That point in time you started to become a successful trader – What did you do differently? Who did you learn from? That sort of story…
- “My trading turned to success when I started to work with professional traders on my site and just by mistake I had the opportunity to join the developers team with one of the small broker houses in my country. I made a deal that they needed to train me. It was not so hard when you spend months and months working with a good team and it took me 4 months to become successful. I was fine on my own for the first 8 months, but I had ups and downs. But after I had this opportunity and I learned how the markets worked because I spent like 10 hours in the broker house every day. I worked for them but they trained me after work and I was trading along with them. This helped me a lot. So most of my success came from a lot of hard work and working with the right people because if you pay even $100k to a person to train you, you won’t guarantee that you are going to become the next great trader.”
- “They started to teach me Elliott Wave but they mostly paid attention to teach me proper technical analysis. Later on I wanted more from my trading so I started to search around some strategy that had the longest proven track record and the only one I found was the Elliott Wave. I took me over 6 months to master the strategy and it was the worst 6 months of my life because I spent 18 hours every day working on the 5 minute chart trying to master the Elliott Wave.”
- “Since I’ve worked in a lot of different companies starting from Hedge Funds, banks, trading floors, I figured out that every single big institution uses Elliot Wave. They won’t share too much info but every single one of them has an Elliot Wave department. So people that only trade based on the Elliot Wave, because they know that it works.”
Cam Hawkins: What’s your split between Technical and Fundamental analysis?
- “100% technical and it’s because I learned that if you want to trade fundamental stuff you need to have a Bloomberg terminal. Everyone that says different is wrong. And if you think FX Street/ForexFactory are great, they are missing that few seconds, a delay that you don’t get on Bloomberg. But me, I can get more or less the same thing from a technical perspective. So I don’t need to worry about the news impact. That’s the only reason why I don’t like to watch for the news all day long. But I can say I don’t know when news is coming because for me the time of the news is just the place when I can expect to see volatility and because I like clean and sharp moves, that’s the time I want to be in front of my screen; to try to capture that move.
Cam Hawkins: Ok. Here’s the last question in this round. What’s been your proudest “moment” since you became a successful trader?
- “When I first doubled one of my accounts. It was my $10,000 account and I manged to double it in 8 months. It was not money that was so important at that moment it was more feeling that I could double any account with my trading and I did that alone and did not have help from anyone else. After that I was much prouder of my self and it really helped me to make more money. When you have confidence in yourself and confidence in your strategy it will be easier for you to put on your next trade because you won’t hesitate to hit your entry button or buy or sell button. If you don’t have something to prove that your strategy works you will just start to think and think and think about the trade and at the end you won’t make money. If you can prove to yourself that you can do it you will always have more confidence in yourself and it will be much easier for you to open your next trade.”
Cam Hawkins: How long did it take you to go from trading newbie to consistently profitable trader?
- “1 year and 2 months”
Cam Hawkins: What’s your mental approach to trading and what special techniques do you use to keep your emotions in check?
- “My emotions are in control because I have the rules that I need to follow. Since I proved to myself that I can make money it’s easier. Also, I have a secret ingredient for myself, at least, and that is solving the Rubik’s Cube. This makes my stress levels go.”
Cam Hawkins: Do you have a success quote you can share; one that resonates with you personally?
- “You become a great trader by surrounding yourself with the friends who won’t tell you ‘You can’t do it’.”
Cam Hawkins: What’s your recommended “must read” trading book?
- “Natures Law by Ralph Nelson Elliott. There are a lot of books on the Elliot Wave but not all of them are good. In my opinion a lot of people want to make this guy, in a way, a loser. They want to improve something that’s perfect, but everyone has failed. Everyone wants to make quick money so they just write a book saying they invented Elliot Wave.”
Cam Hawkins: What are your views on automated trading systems, e.g. trading robots?
- “If you mean Metatrader robots I’ll say just this: 99% of them don’t work. They’re just hype in my opinion. But since I’ve worked with the banks and the trading floors I’ve seen automated trading systems that really work and make money. So I like the trading approach especially since I was a developer. I’m also working, at this moment, on my own automated system that will help me easily manage my own trades – like checking for patterns during the night or handling my positions while I sleep. Because I need a little bit more sleep [laughs].”
Cam Hawkins: What trading related internet resource, like bloomberg.com, do you always use?
- “I use Fxstreet.com for the fundamental calendar to see what’s going on. Forexlive.com have a great news and rumors. And Finviz.com because they have a really nice market scanner.”
Cam Hawkins: If you could leave our listeners with one piece of advice what would it be?
- “Go slowly, follow your plan and success will come for sure.”
Cam Hawkins: What’s the biggest mistake most retail traders make?
- “It’s easy, the biggest mistake they do is they’re trying to get rich overnight. And that won’t work because success requires a lot of things working together at the right time. So you can’t make money overnight. It will take some time for sure. It depends on what you want from trading. I had a goal that I wanted to achieve and I achieved my goals. Then moving to the next, I’ll have the next goal and I’ll trade until I have the next goal. You just need to focus how much time you’re willing to commit to trading and how much profit you really want to make. That’s all. You can make money every single month but you need to be committed to wake up early every single day to be the first one that will find the pattern, the first one that will be out of the position. So if someone thinks they can make money by checking the markets 5 minutes per day, that’s something that’s not going to work.”
Cam Hawkins: If you’re not a MetaTrader fan, what’s your preferred trading platform and why?
- “My favorite platform is MotiveWave for the Elliot Wave traders. For me personally, it cuts my working time a lot and that’s why I love it. I tried Metatrader but I’m watching 50-60 different pairs every single day and it took me 24 hours to update every single forecast and now it takes me 20-30 minutes to update all of the charts.”
Cam Hawkins: Question 11. What does your typical trading day look like?
- “Usually I wake up at 6am and I’m starting to work on the plan for the UK session because I’m in that timezone. I don’t start trading straight away because I like to have at least 3 cups of coffee before I start watching the market. I usually wait for my perfect setup to come in Forex until the New York session opens. If my entries from my trading plan don’t get filled I just reach to the Stock market because there is always something else to trade. I’m trying to watch the charts at least 10-12 hours per day and I’m happy if I can squeeze at least 1-2 trades. So that doesn’t mean I’m watching the market 10 hours a day and I need to take 10 different trades. No, I’m happy with 1-2 trades and that’s all. For example, if I don’t see any result or progress that I like to see in the price action I just move from my standing desk and go to do something else because I know I cannot force the market to go my way. If it’s going my way I know I’m going to make money but if it’s backing up and not following my plan I know there is more than 99% chance I’m going to lose money. Before I go to sleep, around 2am, I go and do the plan for the Asian session and make the updates on the chart.”
Cam Hawkins: And finally, what broker do you use?
- “I use a lot of brokers but my main one is Interactive Brokers because they offer me Forex and Stocks under one account and they have a pretty good execution.”
Cam Hawkins: We’d like you to help us find a high probability entry point for our trading system. We already have a market to focus on (namely the S&P500), and we’re looking for specific standard indicators, candlestick formations, market events, those sorts of things… So Nicola, to help us pinpoint high probability setups for our trading system what “3 golden nuggets” can you share with us today?
- “I guess it’s not a really hard question because the best setup’s, especially in the S&P, is to always follow the trend because that market is always following the larger time frames. You go on the higher time frames like a daily or weekly chart. After that go on the 1 hour chart and find pattern that will help you to enter the market. I like to find triangles because triangles are the best patterns to go and find in the S&P. Triangles appear in the market at the middle stages so after a triangle you should always see one more push in the direction of the larger trend. In the S&P that should clearly be the up move but of course if something happened and price continued to push lower you will, again, go and look for the triangle that will help you jump in, in the short position, because you want to create a safe trade, especially in the S&P. I found the S&P is really nicely following the 13 EMA, so you can use that 13 EMA as the short term stop. After that you just need to find the pattern and be patient and wait for that triangle to give you some point. Like you see a breakout of a triangle, ok let’s jump into a trade and ride that 13 EMA while we can. Because S&P has really really nice triangles and on any time frame, even on the tick charts, you will find the great triangles you can trade. So it doesn’t matter even if you are Scalping or you want to Swing trade it’s going to be exactly the same.”
Cam Hawkins: Before we wrap up what’s the best way for traders to get hold of you?
- “You can find me in the chat room 24 hours a day over at elliottwaveforexsignals.com. You can find me on my blog, wave-power.net and over email nd at singaporegrandcapital.com. I’m always here to help guide you to become a successful trader.”