A few months ago we decided to spice up this blog so that instead of focusing solely on market analysis and Forex industry news we'll also shine the spotlight on some notable Forex traders whose unique approaches have helped them become full-time traders. Few of these traders, however, have a story as interesting as Andrew Mitchem, a dairy farmer-turned full-time Forex trader who has proven that you can be a successful Forex trader no matter what your background is.
Below are the questions that I asked Andrew (aka "The Forex Trading Coach") during our interview. I found his story fascinating and his approach to Forex enlightening. I hope you'll find the same!
How did you come to join the world of Forex trading?
9 years ago I had to get out of dairy farming, and I heard a radio ad for a free trading seminar, and I had no other specific plans, but I needed a job where I could watch my 2 year old son. I went to the course, which, in retrospect wasn't that great, but
What strategies did you find specifically helpful?
I realized that price action and Japanese candlesticks was something I could use to see where big banks and institutions were trying to move the market. The real-time info in the candles was very helpful, and so I started with a blank chart, just with candles, and I deleted all other indicators – candlesticks were as real-time as possible. Candlesticks alone won't tell you how to trade, you need to analyze them in more depth. So I started incorporating a few other indicators to understand the candlesticks.
When I started understanding money management, my trading changed from average to very good. I realized pips aren't important; it's more about the risk-reward ratio that's important - not the pips. I put a low % of my account on every trade, which allowed me to place a trade on any pair/time frame that I saw fit, knowing full well that if it went wrong, I'd be ok, since there was equal risk on every trade. This strategy also controls the emotional part of trading. I trade 0.25-0.5% of my account on each trade, which is very low risk. I look for a reward that's 2-3 times my risk. So I trade on various pairs and time frames, depending upon where I see a good technical setup, knowing that my risk per trade is low.
How many hours do you trade a day?
About 2 (hours/day), during the Asian or European session. I share my trades from the Daily charts with all of my clients so that they can see how I use my unique Forex trading strategy for real live trades.
Anyone who copied my Daily Trade recommendations in 2010 would have made 97% on their account (with no compounding and ½% risk per trade). In 2011 the total so far (as of November 2011) is 57%, slightly lower than last year but still a great result considering the crazy market this year. My Daily chart trades take 5-10 minutes a day to place, all are set as pending orders, so it's a great system for people who have full-time jobs, kids or other responsibilities. Because it's a day chart, it's possible to do it at your convenience. Trades are open 2-3 hours to 2-3 days.
How many trades do you place on an average week?
You currently offer a Forex trading course and one-on-one guidance for interested students. What is it about your course that makes it unique?
I'm a full-time trader myself, which means I'm a real trader, and I earn my money through my trading. Also, the course has a lot of logic in it, it makes sense. I put it together myself, I'm the only one who teaches it so every participant is dealing directly with me. My course is a great value for anyone willing to invest in their education, I'll do anything to help them succeed, and because of that, I have a high success rate with my clients.
The course is an 80-page PDF, 4.5 hours of videos in short clips, which are in the same sequence as the PDF. Every two weeks there's a live trading room (which runs about 2 hours), that includes trading in real time and Q&A, and review of past trades. All sessions are recorded so they can come back and watch if they want to.
I also developed software that works on MT4 that alerts clients to potential trade setups. Even clients who don't trade on MT4 can use an MT4 demo to use the software and then place the trades elsewhere.
The course also has a help desk and clients have access to my daily trades along with my explanation for why I'm taking each trade. The goal of this isn't just to make them money (though that's great), but also to teach my students how to select the trades for themselves. On the webinars, we focus more on the shorter time-frame charts. About 100-120 attend the webinars live, most others watch it at another time.
How many students have you taught over the years?
I started with one student who I taught one-on-one in Australia, and then I did a 3 week trip in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Spain, France, England, and taught 5 clients one-on-one in 3 weeks. From there, I started doing some private coaching for a broker, and since I developed my full Forex course. I now have about 300 clients in 35 countries.
Any closing thoughts you'd like to share?
I've always been self-employed, by choice. I was a dairy farmer before getting into trading. What this means is that anyone can succeed in trading, no matter what their background. There doesn't need to be any correlation between a person's background and their trading abilities. All you need is patience and an understanding of a system that works.