Daniel Perkins of The Forex Centre discusses his trading journey that has taken him from being a delivery driver to working in brokerage firms, to eventually discovering his passion for trading in 2014.
Discussing the downs as well as the ups, Daniel shares tales of blowing trading accounts and making consistent profits through his own unique trading style and technique. In answering Chris Johnston's 13 questions as part of our Trader Dozen series, Daniel reveals his light bulb moment with the charts and why he thinks having the right mindset is key for achieving your goals, as well as providing some really great advice for new or struggling traders...
Knowledge isn't power until it's appliedDaniel Perkins
1. Can you remember when and why you got into trading? (and what do you trade?)
I started trading back in 2014 when I came across trading through an Instagram account that was advertising trading courses. I got in contact as you do and they told me that it was a three-day course costing around £995. I didn't go ahead because I could not afford it at the time so I decided to teach myself the hard way, and that was by meeting different traders that were in the industry, reading Baby Pips and watching tonnes of YouTube videos, and that is where I found the love for the charts.
Prior to 2014, I didn't get the greatest grades in high school and college. I was in and out of different types of jobs that I felt weren’t for me and I knew that I didn't want to work under somebody. I knew that I wanted financial freedom and realised that trading would offer this. Although it was going to be a challenge, it was one I was ready to take if it meant that I could make money anytime and anywhere.
The type of trader I became is a currency trader and I built up a strong knowledge about the forex markets, it was tough but because I was consistent and knew what I wanted from this I kept pushing.
2. What’s your trading style and how do you fit this into your other life activities? Do you trade around your life or does your life/job fit around trading?
My trading style is swing trader where I hold my trades out for a minimum of two days to a week depending on what the markets are showing me, I only trade one or two pairs at a time. I also do all my analysis on Sunday evenings across six different pair such as EUR/USD, AUD/USD, GBP/JPY, EUR/JPY USD/JPY, and GBP/USD ready for Monday's opening or to set market orders.
I found my style of trading due to my busy schedule with work when I was working night shifts. I would do my top-down analysis and enter on a higher timeframe where it is less stress in trading and I eliminate screen time, and during work hours I normally would check the charts every now and then and keep up to date with the news.
3. What would you say motivates you to constantly work on improving your trading and enjoy what you’re doing?
In the beginning, it was about financial freedom and I saw it as a quick way to make money but as time went on I realised that I had to improve on my set ups by refining them. In order for me to improve I recorded them in my portfolio, I have been recording my trades over the years, and by doing this it allows me to see where I went wrong and what to improve on.
4. Throughout your journey, are you able to pinpoint a moment or a routine that you start doing that then made all the difference to your trading and/or life?
Yes, that moment happened one evening when I was sitting in my home office. I was staring at the charts and I realised that I know how to trade and I couldn't believe that it was as simple as turning on a light switch. It all started to make sense; understanding how the market moves and behaves.
I structured my morning routine which starts at 6:30am so that I can focus on the markets. While doing this I was making money but also losing money at the same time, looking back I can say I was overconfident. The difference it has brought to my life, due to a lack of qualifications, is it opened up doors for me and allowed me to work for two brokerage firms as an account manager/trader whilst trying to start up my own business in mentoring new traders, providing market news and technical analysis.
5. I’m presuming that you’ve come up against failure in the past. What has been your approach on getting past these failures and has this evolved since?
Yes, I had plenty! Well I would say from the beginning of 2014 to 2016 I went through tons of setbacks, big drawdowns which resulted in me blowing accounts, which I'm happy with because it has moulded me into a trader I have now become. In terms of setbacks, I first started using demo accounts for the first year then thereafter I started using real money because once someone told me that's where the real emotions kick in, especially when it's your own funds, however, this resulted in multiple losing trades.
I started to look at other traders that were providing signals where I also lost money in which now I realise that was my biggest mistake. Due to my consistency in trading, I have no emotions attached to my trades due to developing patience and having a thick skin, ever since overcoming my past failures, I have been growing my account slowly and steadily for at least the last two years.
6. What would you put your success down to? Just being lucky, your intellect and smarts or just consistent hard work? Or possibly a combination?
I'm not successful just yet and definitely not down to intellect! But due to my hard work, dedication, consistency and wanting to crack the code for trading, I didn't quit. Over the years I have come across new traders, in particular, that didn't make money straight away which just showed me that it's not all about the big wins right now but the work ethic to become successful. As we all know, 90% of retail traders lose, I'm working on being the 10% that is successful which drives my dedication and hard work.
7. What do you think sets you apart from others who are trying to be successful?
Good question, honestly, I don't compare myself to other traders because in the past when I did I had more unsuccessful trades which helped me to focus on myself and not to compare myself to other people. I strive to be better than I was yesterday. Personally, for me, I believe that it's about having the right mindset you can go a long way in achieving your goals.
8. What advice do you have for those who fail, give up or never get started? For either trading or something else in life
The advice I'll give is "knowledge is power" so take your time and learn the industry, have patience and don't worry about making serious money for now without backtesting your strategy for at least six months, build a mini portfolio where you have a record of all your trades (winning and losing). When it comes to losing trades don't kick yourself about it, it will be hard but see it as the market did not correspond with your strategy at that time. Remember that you will encounter a few drawdowns and a few highs in trading, don't let it discourage you or allow you to get overconfident, remain grounded.
9. Do you set yourself goals? And do you feel that it is a good way to achieve what you want?
I have always set myself goals. It helps me to remain focused and work harder to get where I want to be whether that be financially, physically or mentally. It gives me a vision to work towards a target that is achievable in life not only in trading. It helps to keep me grounded especially on the low days when I may question myself "why am I doing this?" or "should I give up?”. When I start thinking like this I look back at my current and future goals and it steers me back on track.
10. Knowing what you know now and how you got to where you are today, is there anything you would like to have done differently, maybe done something earlier in life (or later) etc.
I wouldn't change anything about my journey because it has made me who I am today. The knowledge I have developed over the years has changed my outlook on life and, has made me see things differently. Trading has helped me to be more disciplined as this was something I struggled with previously. I am a self-taught trader who has come a long way, I'm nowhere near perfect and I still have many areas to improve, but through my passion for the charts, I am sure I will be successful.
11. On your website where you provide technical analysis and some nice material on trading tips and mindset. But you have also produced your own forex trading course and hold workshops all across the UK. What was the reasoning behind these offerings and what do you think differentiates yourself from other courses and mentors out there?
There is a lack of knowledge amongst beginner traders and I realised that there is not enough of the right guidance being offered to them. Due to the high volume of misleading education courses that can cost a fortune, there are a lot of beginners being caught out and signing up to courses that were not necessarily providing them with the correct information, techniques and skills. The workshops were introduced as a way of introducing myself and to showcase my skills and knowledge to beginners, and give them a taster into the trading world. The difference between my courses and other mentors is that I offer transparency, the right guidance and I will put in the time to develop beginners to a level where they are ready to start trading alone.
12. Could you give us a bit of an insight of where you and TheForexCentre aim to be in 3-5 years’ time?
I see TheForexCentre being regulated by the FCA which will allow me to trade on behalf of investors. I also see TheForexCentre expanding and recruiting a small team of dedicated traders with our own office space in the city of London in order to continue to teach and mentor. Within the next year, I intend to launch an app (where I can't reveal too much just yet).
13. You seem to have a solid work rate. Outside of trading and the financial markets, what do you do to relax and switch off, any other interests or passions you have?
I like to unwind and chill with a bottle of chardonnay whilst watching YouTube. I am a car enthusiast and I enjoy attending car meets on the weekends, especially on a Sunday evening before heading back to the charts to do my analysis for the week ahead. I enjoy trying out different cuisines, Thai food being my current favourite. Once TheForexCentre has come to a steady level I would like to travel and see different countries and cultures.