When the markets open, I’ve done all my analysis and will be buying and selling. I don’t wait for anyone else.Samuel Leach
Trader and businessman Samuel Leach started his career in finance at a private bank. There he got a taste for trading, and was eventually so successful as a trader that he was able to leave his job to trade full-time.
He soon also started to teach others to trade, and built this sideline into what is now a 70 person-strong trading business. Leach still actively trades himself in the UK equities and foreign exchange markets.
My trading life
I trade three to four days a week, and spend the rest of my working time on my business. Saturdays and Sundays for me are mostly complete write-offs work-wise – I make sure it’s family time.
I’m on a ten-to-fifteen-year plan with my trading, and after that I should be able to retire. I have been trading since I was 18, but wasn’t really any good until I was 22. I’m 28 now, so I probably have four more years of trading and then it’ll be job done.
I already have three houses, and when I retire from trading I want to get more into property construction. I’ll be outdoors more, rather than behind screens, and will have a lighter schedule.
And because I have run my company from a young age, I can advise others on growing their own businesses. Earlier this year I was involved in starting an environmental charity called Overwatch, and I’ll also spend more time on that.
I get up very early, play with my dog for a little bit, and then I’m off. I will usually eat a banana for breakfast on my commute.
Once in my business’s office I get a coffee, sit down, and look at my stocks. I trade these mid to long-term, roughly anywhere between two to six weeks. Before the UK market opens, I make sure anything I am looking to invest in is in a good place.
At about 8am pre-market trading is coming into play, when you can see where stocks are potentially going to open. At this point, I make sure I’m going to be ready by the time the markets open if I’m considering buying anything or closing any positions.
When the markets open, I’ve done all my analysis and will be buying and selling. I don’t wait for anyone else.
I start with my stocks side, where my trading is quite basic. Once it’s done, I don’t really get involved with stocks again until the evening.
I then go straight over to my FX trading. This is short-term – I am only looking to be in my FX trades for as little as 10-15 minutes up to a maximum of six to eight hours.
For my FX trading I’m looking at news that is coming out, whether from the ECB, the Federal Reserve, or the Bank of England – whoever is talking about currencies or economies.
I look at market sentiment for the next few days, but not a week or two ahead or the broader picture. I’m only going to be in my FX trades for a short period of time, so it doesn’t matter what’s happening next week. It’s a contrast to the approach I take with my stocks, where I’m more long-term.
While I’m trading, I’m head-down listening to news. There is a misconception that trading floors are loud and busy. On ours, yes, we have TVs on with news, but most of us are focusing through headphones on the particular news source that we want.
At some point I may email my assistant to get me a latte, a cup of tea, or something else to get me through the morning.
I have lunch at 12, bang on the dot. It will be delivered straight to the office. I usually get Pret A Manger or something like that, a healthy lunch. My favourite Pret sandwich is the chicken and pesto wrap. I grab that, some mango pieces, and a bottle of water, and that’s me set up.
I eat at my desk because I need to keep an eye on what’s going on with the news. Lunch is probably done within 10-15 minutes, and then I get back to my trading.
I have a computer with an Xbox on it alongside my trading screens, so at lunchtime I might play on that a bit while monitoring news, just to take my mind off the markets, which could take me up to a break of half an hour.
After lunch, I’m straight back into trading. In the afternoon, I look at New York coming into play, which happens at around 1.30pm or 2.30pm UK time, depending on whether we are on daylight saving time or not.
US traders bring a large amount of volume into the market, so I monitor that and also US sentiment on whether the dollar is going to get stronger or not.
As the markets approach their close, I’ll have a quick review of where stocks have finished up and at my FX positions, looking to wind these down before 5pm.
Once the markets have closed, I finish up my trading work and go straight to the gym, where I work out for about an hour and a half.
After the gym, I come back to the office for meetings, or to look at New York trading flows. Some UK stocks are listed in both the UK and the US, so after seeing a stock trade in the UK you can see how it plays in the US.
I usually go home for dinner and have this at around 10pm to 10.30pm. I eat really healthily – my girlfriend is a professional chef, which helps! She creates a really good superfood dinner, and then I sit down and chill out for a couple of hours.
I usually take the dog for a walk at the end of the evening for about half an hour, and then go to bed. Because I get up so early, I get tired, and some days at the weekend I sleep in until 10am to 11am to catch up.
I mostly stay away from trading and news at the weekend. If you’re reading the papers you’re getting yesterday’s news. But I usually look at the markets briefly on Sunday evening.
The FX markets are open by then in Australia, so you can get a rough idea of whether there is any news to be careful about. But this is just a ten-minute job. I have a cup of tea and a quick check, and then I’m done and dusted.