Professional Life Before Trading
Andrew Aziz earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering in 2009 and was immediately hired by a research company. However, within seven months of starting his career at the company, he lost his job. The company went through some changes that resulted in cuts to his department, and he and several coworkers were laid off.
The situation Aziz found himself in opened his eyes to several things. First, he started questioning whether he wanted to continue in the corporate world where you can be laid off at any time. Second, he realized he needed to do something for himself — that he needed to take care of himself if he wanted to enjoy his life and build a stable future.
Aziz had been dabbling in trading, but after he was laid off, he decided to focus more on trading. In the beginning, like most new traders, he suffered a lot of losses. He had been given a very generous severance package when he was laid off, but he ended up losing a lot of that money within five months. Because of this, he had to get another job.
However, Aziz has an advantage that a lot of traders don’t have. He lives on the west coast of Canada in the Pacific Time Zone, which means that the markets open at 6:30 am. Aziz was able to trade in the morning before leaving to work at a 9 to 5 job.
Aziz's Morning Routine
Aziz’s morning routine begins each day when he wakes up at 4:30 am. He then spends an hour or so running, biking, or working out at the gym. Once he returns home, he’ll take a quick shower and start his day off by opening the chat room and running his scanner.
By the time the market opens, he has a good handle on the overnight news and has developed a solid game plan. Within an hour or so, he wraps up his trading for the day.
Aziz kept this schedule, trading in the mornings and going to work from 9 to 5 for a little more than a year. He wasn’t consistent enough in his trading to make a living off of it yet. In his opinion, people need to keep a job so that they can still pay their bills during the learning curve.
“What I learned that changed my trading was that I have to take this seriously. You have to do it right, or you shouldn’t bother trading.” Aziz goes on to explain that you’re competing with the sharpest minds in the world — you’re competing with professional traders who have the best software, the best internet, the best education, and the best mentoring. You shouldn’t even bother trading if you don’t want to invest in your trading education or the proper platform and tools needed for trading.
From Swing Trader to Day Trader
Aziz started as a swing trader with about $20,000 in his account. If you’re a good swing trader, then at the end of the year, you might have a 20 percent gain on your account. What he quickly discovered is when you’re trading a small $20,000 account, you’ll have only made $4,000 in profits by the end of the year. If you want to make a great living swing trading, you need a significantly larger account to make enough money to support yourself.
Aziz switched to day trading because the potential return is significantly higher than that of any other trading approach. Many day traders make one or two percent on their accounts each day. Making two percent on his $20,000 account per day will lead to a $2,000 profit each week, which was perfect for Aziz since he needed to make a couple of hundred dollars a day to pay the bills.
However, in the beginning, he lost money day trading. Each time he lost money, he would switch back to his simulator account for three months to work on his trading process and psychology. Aziz recommends that all traders keep a simulator account for those time when you need to fall back, or when you are under pressure, or you’ve had a few bad losses.
When asked what advice Aziz would give new traders, he responded with the following:
- You should always start with at least three months of trading simulation
- If you are comfortable after three months with the simulator, go live, but keep it small
- Always keep a simulator account to fall back on when you experience losses
- If you’re consistent in your live account, then every two weeks increase your share size
Books and Bear Bull Traders
Andrew Aziz is the author of How to Day Trade for a Living, which was originally published in 2015. Aziz also started a website, BearBullTraders.com, which offers chat rooms, educational classes, and webinars for beginner and experienced traders alike. For more info on his private day trading community, be sure to check out our full review of Bear Bull Traders.
When Aziz isn’t working, you’ll find him adventuring outdoors. He loves skiing, hiking, trekking, and climbing.