Our team at Trading Strategy Guides is excited to show you our most recent trading interview with Tim Bourquin from traderinterviews.com. In the interview, Tim explains how he started trading and why he began interviewing traders. Tim also shares his best, most effective trading advice. If you are an aspiring trader or seasoned professional, Tim's valuable tips are worth listening to.
Trading Interview with Tim Bourquin and Casey Stubbs
Interviewer: Today we’re here with Tim Bourquin, the cofounder of TraderInterviews.com. Welcome, sir.
Tim Bourquin: Thanks for having me!
Interviewer: We’re going to have a short interview and get some good information from Tim today. I want to first ask you about your background and when you started trading, if you could share how it happened.
Tim Bourquin: Sure. So it’s a bit of a long story. I’ll shorten it for you. I'm a police officer with LAPD. When I was in the Police Academy, a man in the academy day traded stock before it was a term anybody knew. I was in the LAPD Police Academy over summer. During these days, we’d have "death runs" for 15 miles when it was 110 degrees outside. We would talk about stock trading to keep our minds off of how much our bodies were killing us, how hot we were, and how thirsty we were.
The man I met in the academy, who was a day trader, brought it up one day that he was trading stocks. He told me how much money he made by calling his broker and then buying and selling on the same day. I thought it was very interesting. When I got out of the academy, I worked the 2pm to 2am shift with LAPD. Working these hours allowed me to trade stocks in the morning. I would get up and start trading at 6:30am, trade till 1:00pm, and then go to work as a cop and chase bad guys all day at LAPD.
At first, there were only about two online brokers before it became popular. I actually started out in currency trading and worked my way backwards. I started trading currency before I even traded stocks online. Back when I started trading, it really was the Wild West. You had to run a third party court system right next to your platform because you did not trust that your broker was giving you the correct quotes on currency. The spread would get wide and they would literally just stop trading. Also read, Everything you need to know about brokers.
It’s just a miracle that any of us survived that time period or even made any money at all. It took me about three years to turn about $6,000 into $70,000. Three years was a long time in those days. I’m sure people would make that in a day. Although, for me, it was a huge deal. From not knowing anything about trading to three years and later having ten times the money I had then. I thought that was the greatest thing ever.
I went looking for a conference or to learn how to trade better. After searching, I couldn't fine one so I ended up starting my own. With my business, I was able to quit my job as a cop. Although, I’m still reserve. I still put on a uniform to go chase bad guys a couple of times a month just for fun to keep my licenses up. But trading and my other business are my full time things now.
I got into it just on a whim from another cop and it’s worked out pretty well. I’ve had good years and I’ve had bad years. But I was able to reach a balance like everybody else. I feel like I’m still learning how to do this well and kind of getting the feel of my own system and strategy that works.
Casey Stubbs: Well, thanks for that, that was good information. Also thanks for serving as a police officer putting your life on the line to protect the community. I appreciate the officers.
Tim Bourquin: My shifts as a police officer and are so much less stressful than trading. Trading was always the most stressful part of my day. Chasing a guy down with a gun was no big deal after I had money on the line... it seemed like. It is so much more stressful to trade.
Interviewer: Wow, that's interesting to know. I bet a lot of people would think otherwise.
Tim Bourquin: I know.
Interviewer: involved in being a police officer because there you're like is in danger rather just a little bit of money.
Tim Bourquin: Yeah, sometimes you feel like it is your life but when you put in a little bit too much and you kind of you’re on that risk parameter that you set for yourself. I’m going to let this go down a little bit lower before I get out, stuff like that, it just feels a lot worse.
Interviewer: What was it that actually made you want to start interviewing traders?
Tim Bourquin: Yeah, that kind of happened by itself as well. I mean, I knew the best way for me to increase my skills the fastest was to go out and actually talk to people that were already doing it. So, this guy that was the other officer in the academy probably rued the day. He never told me about this because every day after I would just drill him about how he was trading strategies he was using. And that's really how I learned best. I mean, I read books and I took courses and I did that as well. But I just found that when I got together with other traders, talked to them about their strategies, how they approached the market and what they were looking every day, that's when I really made use of large leaps and got to the next level of my trading.
One day I put an ad in the paper saying, "are there any other traders out there that will meet for breakfast?" And I talk about this in a video I did on the side of our service. Four other traders showed up, we had breakfast and I put a recorder in the middle of the table. And I must have listened to this 2-hour breakfast, just talking about trading over and over and over again. I thought, you know, if I can go out and find other guys that are willing to talk to me, then I’d tell them to talk to me about how they do it. Then I can build by taking a little bit of everybody’s thing that fits me, fits my personality, fits my risk tolerance, and develop my own strategy from that.
I started interviewing anybody I could find. I would talk to people and ask, "you know anybody who’s trading? Can I talk to them? Will they really get on the phone with me?" I thought this would be valuable to a lot of different people. So, I started putting the interviews online. I guess I probably started in 2000. Some of the interviews were absolutely awful, you know, they were ten minutes long and I couldn’t get the questions out right. It didn’t make sense to me while I was talking to them.
Other times, they were really good. That's when I decided I was going to take a little bit of everybody. Not really who is going to be home run. Some of them are going to be great. I’m at the point now where I can only, I only can once in a way because I talk to the people now but I cannot be choosy about who I interview. But if there’s something that I can gather from their strategy even if they’re a futures trader as I don't trade much futures or options and I don't trade many options there’s something about hearing about real person who’s making a living doing this or very good income even if they have their career that I think is really helpful.
And there wasn’t anybody else doing it out there. There are few people these days, but I think I really take pride in diving right into it. I really want to build for myself. I get to the heart of the matter very quickly. What is it that you’re doing that helps you make money? So people are very good at describing it. Others, not so much. But I think I can get one or two things from every interview that I can add to my own strategy. I think that's how people hear these now and I try to get something out of it as well.
Its not a Holy Grail thing but its people 99 percent of them who have nothing to sell, nothing to -- that's enough for them to talk to me. But I at least talk them into it or a friend of a friend has talked them into it and you get this kind of really unvarnished truth about what it takes to be a successful trader. I think that's where the real benefit of it is because you know you’re getting it from people there are actually doing this for a living.
Casey Stubbs: So when you first started it you were, when you first started interviewing it was for your own trading purposes, that was the reason you began.
Tim Bourquin: Absolutely. And pretty much it still is. These guys I talk to I actually ask questions and I’m genuinely interested in knowing the answer for myself. Because I think that I’m pretty much your typical average trader, I kind of fit the audience with other traders out there that I think want to know this stuff. So people send their suggestions now about the questions I should ask. You know, one of my favorite questions is what did you do during the learning phase of this that you felt really took you to the next level.
What gave you that confidence that you have today, was it something specific, was it a book that you took and you read, was it a course you took, was it a strategy you found, was it an indicator that you started using in a special way. And so you start asking these questions you start to hear over and over again some of the same answers but they’re applying it to a little bit different market or a little bit different way. And so you just kind of combine all these things to form your own strategy and it allows you to do that so you have this firm foundation going forward from that point.
Interviewer: Oh, that’s good, I like that. You know, I’ve heard a lot of people say we’re trading and if you talk to any other traders you listen to their strategy then that creates confusion and you know like we try to follow another trader or something like that but I don't think I agree with that. I think I agree with what you’re saying talking to other traders is beneficial.
Tim Bourquin: It is, I mean, I’ve always, I’ll be the first to say that you’re not going to find one strategy in an interview that's going to be Holy Grail for you and you’re going to go out and make millions of dollars. I think when I talk to traders I’m trying to get one or two things that I can add. So I’m not looking for the entire system. There are traders that will come on to the show and talk about exactly what they’re doing in very specific detail. But it’s just the same as if you sat next to a fantastic trader for a month or two months or a year. You’re ability to actually duplicate exactly what that trader is doing is pretty slim.
Because we can get you 90 percent of the (inaudible) way there, we’ll tell you exactly what software we’re using, the indicators I watch, the time of day, the market, the behavior of certain stocks that I find that I just enable to feel well as I trade these stocks but then there’s this last 10 percent that is this gut feeling of a trader that's really hard to qualify, really hard to describe.
And so you can get 90 percent of the way there. The other 10 percent has to almost come from you specifically. You just start to get this experience and feel this kind of Zen.
Tim Bourquin: I guess that's what it is and I have a hard time describing. I'm not exactly sure what it is even after trading this long. But trading success is a gut feel trading, it’s just something you actually develop over time.
Interviewer: You produce interviews and it’s a service for traders. Has this service helped other traders from listening to your interviews?
Tim Bourquin: I think so. I mean, I get e-mails quite a bit from people who say this interview really helped them. I had similar ideas about this, but really can never make it work for me. So I heard this interview. But it’s funny too, in some of the interviews people would say, you know, that just wasn’t your best. I mean, you got other interviews that are a lot better.
And then probably they’ll say that was the best interview you’ve ever done. And still it’s a personal thing about which interviews kind of resonate with people. So that's why I never know I have the idea of the level of quality I want in the interview but I never quite know which ones are really going to be popular so that often people start listening and they start commenting on them.
And so, yeah, I do think obviously I’m biased because it’s my service but I really do feel like its unique out there there’s nothing else out there like it and it really does help people get to the next level of experience and profitability and how to make money and it’s all about that. I think that the services it really helps to do that.
Interviewer: So generally when people they’re looking for an interview maybe there is one that will fit them and help them more than others would. So its kind of like finding the fit for them because every trader is different and has different strategies.
Tim Bourquin: Yeah, just like you talk to some people and you have an instant rapport with them.
Tim Bourquin: You understand what they’re talking about and other people you meet you just like, I just, that dude out there I didn’t quite connect with him. And so it’s different for everybody, we’re all human and we all have these different strengths so we never quite know which one’s going to fit for you.
And I tell people even if this guy is talking about Forex and you’re not a Forex trader there’s probably something in there about how he looks at the market that you can apply to the market that you do trade. So I always tell them don't just disregard it because they don't trade the market you do. I’m sure there’s something you can learn from everybody.
Interviewer: Right, you know what I think is really great thing and I always try to get around successful traders as often as I possibly can just so that whatever they have that it will rub off and land on me. You know, just like the success formula not just in trading but in life, period. If you want to be successful get yourself around successful people.
Tim Bourquin: It matches exactly and in trading, it’s not easy to do, it’s not easy to get a guy who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, who has no reason to talk to you to come out and tell you exactly what he’s doing. But I think deep down those traders know that look, I can give you my exact system and people say why do they tell you that, why do they tell you all their secrets. Arent, they afraid that the word is going to get out. And the honest thing is that like they can tell you exactly what they’re doing first of all people are human, they’re not going to try it because they don't want to put in the time or they’re going to try and twist those a little bit so it won’t work exactly the same but again they don't have that extra 10 percent and good traders know that that 10 percent is big part of what they do well.
So they’re not afraid to tell me how they do it because they know first of all I’m not CNN or the Wall Street Journal, I don't have millions of people on my site every month. It's thousands, right. And so they realize that even if they give you the exact system that not everybody is going to put in the hard work and it is work too. So I think they’re comfortable talking about what they do.
Interviewer: Right. It’s not, a system’s never going to make you money its applying the system and using it and you know you can throw out a system and it's just so hard to pick up unless you’ve been really working at it for a long time.
Tim Bourquin: Yeah, it’s like any other business, you know, you could listen to the story of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and exactly how they started their companies or other people do the exact same thing I suppose they could if they tried hard but (inaudible) little bit of luck, little bit of timing and a hell a lot of hard work and (inaudible) going to put that time in. but if you are there’s ways to get there, the path is pretty clear.
Interviewer: Yeah, absolutely. You got to want it. Okay, well, I’m going to finish up with the question its similar to what you said is one of your favorite questions and I want to know is do you have any recommendations for a trader that's struggling and is trying to make it, what would you say would be your best recommendation of getting an edge in the market.
Tim Bourquin: Yeah, I did this video a while back and its on our site called the 20 habits of wealthy traders. And I think the one habit that really resonated with me that I started hearing over and over from traders and it wasn’t until I started thinking about the markets this way that I started to actually make money on a regular basis. I don't win every single trade I don't have a 90 percent win ratio but I consistently month after month I have confidence that I can make money.
I stopped thinking about the market as being cheap or expensive. Instead, I started thinking about the markets as if somebody waned to pay more or less for this in five minutes, ten minutes, an hour, like tomorrow, next week. So you stop picking something that's cheap or expensive and you only think about whether people are going to be paying more or less to this later. And it’s kind of a small nuance to trading but I think it’s a huge paradigm shift in how you think of the markets because I, you know, GM looked probably pretty cheap at 20 bucks until it went to 2 bucks.
And so you start thinking about the market only in terms of whether people are going to pay more or less based on human psychology, based on technical analysis. And so you stop making these biases, you stop making these judgments about whether something is cheaper or expensive that really gives traders into trouble especially trend traders.
I mean, that option that's 25 cents thats a little bit out of money that expires in three days yeah you could load up the truck with that stuff and make tons of money if it goes the right way because of the reason it’s cheap is because people are not going want it later. So just thinking that way about it and changing that mindset for me was a big step for me in trying to make money trading.
Interviewer: That makes a lot of sense like trying to short something because its gone up forever and that is because people want it for a reason.
Tim Bourquin: That’s right, that's right. That's not to say that contrarian traders are people that try to find tops or bottoms or reversals is not a decent strategy but you got to, it’s just to say that, yes, something is going to reverse because it’s gone up for so long and or looks like its turning over. You got to get beyond that I think okay, it’s gone up for a long time in a great trend, is it going to continue to go up are people still want to pay more for this later and that's the question to ask.
Interviewer: Well, Tim, thank you so much for spending the time with me today.
Tim Bourquin: You got it. Thanks for your time, I appreciate it.
Interviewer: I appreciate it and there’s a lot of good information in here and if you guys want to get more information about Tim’s trader interviews you can click the link that's attached to this video. Thank you.
Tim Bourquin: Thanks, Casey.
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