Vladimir Ribakov is not only a down to earth family man with a love for sports and the outdoors, he’s also one of the most popular Forex trading mentors on the internet. This shouldn’t be a surprise to him as he always knew from a very young age he wanted to lead a different kind of life. Although he is a university drop out, by believing in himself and with a sprinkling of good fortune, Vladimir shot to fame as a three time trading competition winner and is now a full time trader and trading mentor to students from around the world looking to learn his methods.
In the show Vladimir walks us through:
- How he blew all his parents savings in one day
- What he learned working for a broker that changed the way he traded forever
- How he uses Cycle Trading to make 20-50% return a year
- How he overcomes the emotional side of trading
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefevre
Trading platform & broker
Biggest retail trader mistake
Over exposure and revenge.
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 Vladimir.
- “I’ve been trading since 17-18 years of age, and I’m 31 now, married with one kid so far. I’ve two cats and in my free time I love sports – tennis the most, wrestling and football. I also love training in the gym and reading books, travelling and nature. I would say in the last seven years my new hobby is travelling around the world”
- “I’m a divergence and convergence trader which means I’m looking for cycles. I find cycles on higher timeframes then go lower on other timeframes to find my best entries. I love to trade the one hour chart and higher because everything on lower time frames is not a cycle, it’s just intra-day moves/noise”
- “To enter a trade, that’s the easiest part. To find the best place to enter a trade and the right cycle to trade that’s the art of trading”
- “Many traders and people ask me ‘How much do you do per day’. I myself, don’t have a daily goal because I don’t think it’s real. Some days the market won’t give you what you expect and if there are no chances it will pay you what you expect because there is no volatility or there are important events that could ruin your trading. So I always look for the long run like annual results and anything between 20-50% profit at the end of the year would make me happy.”
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?
- “It all started when I was a teenager, I always had this big dream of living my life different. Not from what we are all use to and educated to. I knew I would be doing something different, I was just too young to understand what. I started to read books on how to make money, alternative ways, trading and other things. And one of my friends started a journey on MLM (Multi Level Marketing) and we were promoting some kind of new technology for phones. He was making a lot of money. So I started there and after half a year I didn’t see a penny in my pockets. I only paid for all the other things they asked for. Then the same guy opened educational courses for Forex and he invited me to come and listen. I was 19 and it was the time that Forex started to gain momentum. He showed me several live accounts (not of his own but of one of the lecturers that would be speaking at this event. And I was like ‘Wow!’. Back then he turned $5k or so into $200k within a very very short period. As a teenager that looked like a dream to me. It was like ‘Wow’ that is what I want to do. So I went to this event and it started from there. I saw how it could be done. I was a brilliant lecture, it was really like a magnet that took me into that. And I decided that’s what I wanted to do.”
- “One of the lecturers was working for a new broker coming online and they were looking for people which I heard by mistake. I asked if I could try to apply for a job and he said ‘Yeah, why not’”
- “In the interview one of the interviewers asked me ‘Vlad, where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?’ and I told him that I’m the kind of person that never believed the sky was the limit. He liked my answer and took gave me the job.”
- “I started to work in sales and the dealing room. With my experience I became Client Manager and eventually at my top became Head of Trading Room. I was working with the biggest clients, directing them into trading, analyzing the markets for them and everything like that”
- “After sometime I was invited for exams for a hedge fund company. I’m pretty good with mathematics. I always worked in my favor and I passed this exam as No. 1 and they immediately wanted to hire me. I worked for a very short period because I always had a dream of working for myself. I made enough money in a very very quick period that allowed me to quit and to try and make it myself. My risk was calculated. I gave myself a time of two years. I said ‘If it’s about to happen it’s about to happen right now. If not, I’ll be looking for something else’. I was lucky enough to start on a positive point and continue to be full time trader and trading for a living right from that point”
- “My first trade was back when I started with the lecturer when I started to play in the Forex market. Of course it never worked out back then. The first trade was a winner. That’s the problem.”
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.
- “My darkest period was when I lost my parents money”
- “I was sure, early on in my trading life, that I was successful because I had a good run. I don’t know how, but I convinced my parents to give me the money they had saved for my University and I would turn it into millions. In reality, in a very very short period, I blew this account. And they were saving this money for University and I failed this. This is something that follows me all my life.”
- “I was trading manually and everything was going really nice. I did 20% for them really quickly and then there was one bad day. The market was very very volatile – not just in one direction, but zigzagging. It was the first time I had faced heavy volatility in the markets. Everytime I tried to buy it dropped down, every time I sold it rallied. It’s kind of like a snowball, it starts to grow and it started to become so emotional. Like ‘What’s going on?’. I’m losing 2%, 2%, 2%. Then I tried to revenge because the market is moving so fast you want to be part of these moves. I tried to overexpose which is sometime I’ll never ever do again of course. It was too fast, like you blink and you’re losing $1000, $1000, $1000”
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…
- “I was working in the trading room of the broker house with the biggest clients ‘The sharks’. The turning point in my trading life was one day when I was sitting by myself analysing accounts and I started to compare my own trades with clients trades and then I can’t explain it, it was like a hammer in my brain. ‘Can you really not see that you are doing exactly what they do? You are buying, they’re buying, they are losing money. What do you expect to happen?’ That’s when I catch myself. If I do exactly what people that lose money do then I probably do something wrong. At that time, along with reading books on psychology, I start to understand that to become successful you have to think the other way. Napoleon once said ‘Everytime you find yourself in the same direction as the majority, you have to know you are in the wrong direction’.”
- “That’s when I started to analyse why they [the Sharks] enter a buy. What leads them to this conclusion? And then I started to say ‘Why wouldn’t I buy?’. And that after a very long time lead me to discover the world of divergences and convergences, the cycle trading. And since then I never look back”
Cam Hawkins: Ok. Here’s the last question in this round. What’s been your proudest “moment” since you became a successful trader?
- “The moment I paid back my parents the money and much more”
- “It’s better than any other successful trade I’ve ever had. It’s much better”
Cam Hawkins: How long did it take you to go from trading newbie to consistently profitable trader?
- “From the moment I made the switch in my mind. Understanding that I’m doing something wrong, compared to clients that lose it took like two years and I was making great profits.”
- “7 years”
Cam Hawkins: What’s your mental approach to trading and what special techniques do you use to keep your emotions in check?
- “The first thing is probably something that others might say ‘Accept emotions’. Because everyone says, ‘Learn to avoid emotions, learn not to ever get emotional trading’. And I think exactly the opposite. We are human beings, we are not machines and in any case money lies on the table there are emotions. It doesn’t matter if you buy a house, if you buy a new car, if you invest in stocks or if you’re repairing your house. It doesn’t matter.”
- “We have to learn to work through emotions and with emotions. Which means you have to understand what leads you to success and what leads you to failing periods. And the most important thing is the second one. Understanding what leads you to make wrong decisions. It could be a bad mood. It could be if you are tired. It could be if you had a fight with someone you love, or it could be some bad things from work. Whatever it is it could lead you to make wrong decisions and lead you to bad results and that’s what you have to learn. Once you understand it you know not to trade on these days, weeks or whatever it is”
- “A very important thing to understand, the market never ever runs away, it’s always there. So if you missed one day it doesn’t mean you missed opportunities. No, there will always be an opportunity.”
- “I know it’s easy to say, but in reality it much harder ‘Accept losses’. Traders tend to think loses are very very bad and I always say ‘Not at all, it’s just part of the statistics’. Imagine you are playing basketball. It’s like expecting to end up a full match without having any score against you. So like ending 90-0, it’s impossible right?”
- “You have to always look to the end of the bigger picture, the end of the match, then end of the journey. I never trade for one day, I trade for the long run. I might have a losing week, I might have a losing month. So what? I know I’m going to end up as profitable at the end of the year.”
Cam Hawkins: Do you have a success quote you can share; one that resonates with you personally?
- “It’s actually coming from Bob Dylan, who said ‘You don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows’
- “As I said at the beginning, I’m not a genius, I’m not a natural born chart analyst. I’m nothing like that, I never successfully finished my University. Not because I just didn’t want to, the other reasons was I failed my exams. So I’m not smart than anyone else, I’m probably just a big believer. I always believed in myself. I alway knew what I want to reach and that’s why I say ‘You don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows’ and like I said before ‘You always have to believe in yourself’. And I’m know I’m not the only one saying that, but always have your big goal in front of you. Always.”
- “Another quote I always love to say, is from Warren Buffett “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”. It’s something that goes with me always.”
Cam Hawkins: What’s your recommended “must read” trading book?
- “Reminiscences of a stock operator by Edwin Lefevre”
- “It gives a view of a successful guy a very intelligent trader, reaching the success, failing after that big time, giving you the short overview of how this world works.”
- “The way we go today with human psychology is exactly like it use to be 100 years ago. Just different technology, different tools, but we are the same. And watching how very successful traders reaching the top, reaching his bottom, reaching the top again; it’s something that every successful person, not just trader, goes through and it’s written very very easy. It’s written with humor and it tells a story from inside and it’s really lovely.”
Cam Hawkins: What are your views on automated trading systems, e.g. trading robots?
- “I’ll probably never rely 100% on a robot. They’re good. There are robots that work for sure, but the one limit every robot has are periods because every robot is working on very specific market conditions and a specific strategy. And the market always changes itself. Sometimes it’s more volatile, sometimes it ranging, sometimes it’s moving in cycles, sometimes trend and that’s why one strategy of any trade, like moving average crossed, stop loss here, take profit here, cannot work for all market conditions. And that’s the problem with robots. If you understand the way they work on the best market conditions you will be very very profitable for sure. So robots can work but I know for sure I’ll want to control it.”
Cam Hawkins: What trading related internet resource, like bloomberg.com, do you always use?
- “Forexlive.com, I love this site. They update the news, they have very nice people writing articles there. They update news immediately with really great topics you will never find anywhere else, especially for free.”
Cam Hawkins: What’s your preferred trading strategy?
- “If there is, for example, a bearish divergence at the end of a rally, I know that this rally is about to end. So we are going for a correction or a bearish cycle or we are going to have a range. So I start to compare it to lower timeframes to understand what’s likely to happen and I trade it. If it’s a range, if it’s a correction or if it’s a turning point.
Cam Hawkins: If you could leave our listeners with one piece of advice what would it be?
- “Believe in yourself. The only difference between a winner and loser in trading is that the loser was a potential winner that gave up one step before becoming a winner”
Cam Hawkins: What’s the biggest mistake most retail traders make?
- “Over exposure and revenge. Over exposure, leverage given by brokers, it’s like drugs. It sucks you in and it’s extremely hard not to use it if you start. If you have $10k it doesn’t mean you have to trade $1m. This means the risks coming with it are huge. And, yes, the market could smile at you once or even twice but there will be one moment where it will take everything back. Over exposure is the number 1 enemy of a trader which leads after that to the wish or revenge. Because when you lose money fast in one trade the first thing you want to do is revenge the market and get this money back.”
Cam Hawkins: If you’re not a MetaTrader fan, what’s your preferred trading platform and why?
- “Honestly, I am a Metatrader fan. Not so many full time traders are, I’m not too sure why as it’s very very friendly. Ninjatrader is also a good one.”
Cam Hawkins: Question 11. What does your typical trading day look like?
- “Taking my kid to kindergarten, training normally, then I start to analyse the market half an hour before the European market opens, normally it takes about 2 hours. I’m looking for setups. I’d say only about 30-40% of my trades happen right at the beginning of the day. Most of them happen during the day, close to US session or during the US session. I have a break which I use for replying to emails/Skype. Because I’m full time trading and mentoring. So I help out my students. Normally I finish my day 2 hours after the US session starts.”
Cam Hawkins: And finally, what broker do you use?
- “Honestly, I have many accounts on different brokers. One reason is to compare different conditions and feeds. Two is because I love to test out strategies and new ideas and I prefer it to be on different accounts. I would say Dukascopy will always be ranked number one unless something crazy happens. FXPro is a wonderful broker that I love to work with. ThinkForex are wonderful. FXCM very very big. Forex.com. All these guys are very very serious.”
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 Vladimir, to help us pinpoint high probability setups for our trading system what “3 golden nuggets” can you share with us today?
- “I do trade S&P, but not as I trade Forex. What I do is always the same. I analyse the cycle – weekly or daily. If there is a divergence it tells me which direction not to trade. For example, at the end of a rally if bearish divergence appears I know I will not be looking to buy, only for sell opportunities. So I go to lower timeframes and I’m looking for bearish momentum to start, which means have one bearish wave. Then, on lower timeframes, I’m looking for double wave pullback which in other words is called ABCD correction or 1234 correction. I love these cycles to be equal and at the end of the second cycle I love to go with the direction that started to develop which means a bearish one in this case.”
Cam Hawkins: Before we wrap up what’s the best way for traders to get hold of you?
- “I want to invite traders that want to work with me and trade with me to join the biggest community I have so far, it’s called the Forex Gemini Code. It’s actually pretty fresh online, it has a community. It has 2 full months of mentoring apart from the trading system coming with it. You can join me on Vladimir Forex Signals and follow me there. I give my trades live, so you can easily follow. You can follow me on Skype, that’s vladimir.ribakov. You can follow me on Facebook – same details.”