After 30 Years Trading Markets – What Would You Do Differently?
As we go through our careers, we often face many challenges and make many mistakes along the way – it’s the learning from these that keeps us moving forward. With the benefit of hindsight, here is what professional trader of 30 years, Andrew Baxter, would do differently if he had his time over again:
The Story so Far
Everyone has a story in life, albeit host Andrew Baxter’s is nothing shy of stellar. After graduating university in 1992 right in the middle of a recession in the UK, Baxter started in administration at a banking institution as his graduate position. After knocking a few doors down and making his way higher, he eventually parled this experience into a job on the trading floor for a broking firm in the city of London where we spent most of his career. Looking from the outside in, Baxter always viewed becoming one of the top floor traders as a real prize – which meant he wanted to work hard for it. After developing a reputation in the derivatives unit, Baxter eventually made the move over to Australia for a better life. Here, he has spent the last 20 years teaching everyday Australians how to emulate his success out of the stock market.
Keeping Some Things Exactly the Same
As we look back at our successes and our failures, there are often moments and actions we took which we would never change for the world. In Baxter’s case, he attributes the notion that he was made to work for the prize of becoming a trader, rather than being gifted it, as a major reason for his success. Often, those who simply ‘fall into things’ often take it for granted, versus those like Baxter who are forced to earn it – tend to appreciate it more. Having the hard slog is something he attributes to his massive success today. Trading and investing, Baxter mentions that his aggression in markets isn’t something he’d change at all. Young in his twenties with not much to lose, he took calculated risks and had a ‘real crack at it’.
Things to do Differently
Looking in the rear-view mirror, there are always twists and turns we wish we had of taken. Looking back, Baxter says he wish he had of transitioned his stock market education business online before he actually did. As he is able to train his clients far more regularly, more conveniently and in a much more contusive way due to the likes of Zoom, if he had his time over again, he would have done this before he got into the habit of taking over 100 flights a year. From a business operations perspective, one thing Baxter would love to have introduced earlier for his brokers is EasyTrade. As a pioneer of a one click trading execution system, no longer does Andrew need 10-20 brokers on a desk, talking on the phone with clients.
From a cost, ethics, and convenience perspective. With EasyTrade, everyone has the chance to succeed regardless of their background – something he wishes had been around 10 years ago. More specifically to his trading, Andrew claims that in 2021 he made the last ever stock specific trade he’ll ever take. After taking a position on a well-known, vanilla ASX company – Baxter was crucified when the board made a poor decision to acquire another company and subsequently saw the share price tank. From here, it prompted him to now trade heavily in the ETF space to zero out stock specific risk and actually create a program for his students to follow. With this – he’ll look to overlay some options work on such instruments, albeit without having the risk of a stock tanking and his portfolio suffering as a result.
Advice to New Investors
Like anything, looking back at the mistakes we’ve made and the pathways we’ve taken is a great to provide wisdom to those just starting out. With nearly 30 years’ experience in the stock market and many lessons to learn from as above, host Andrew Baxter says it’s key to get educated so that you know what you are doing. Understanding the nuances of risk management, as an example, is crucially important in today’s tumultuous market conditions. Ultimately, it’s about getting the basics right. World class basics is a catch cry for Andrewsteam and is something he can teach you via Australian Investment Education for those willing to learn more.