Spring 2021 Novice Competition Winners
First Place: BEST 536 - Luka
BEST 536 - Luka
What strategies did you employ throughout the competition? Considering that the overnight positions are not allowed, I was looking to short sell the biggest runners at the daily resistance or at/around the proven sign of weakness. In less-favored scenarios, when the change of the trend has already occurred, I was looking for a bounce to open the short position. Luckily there were many opportunities for intraday shorting during the competition.
What did you do to prepare for the competition? Preparing the daily watchlist in the morning was a crucial step.
What did you learn from the competition?
Cut losses quickly.
Avoid the "overheated" stocks - micro and small caps with 80M, 100M or 120M+ volume the day. It is almost impossible to get the good entry due to erratic moves so they are not worth the risk.
What kind of experience did you have with trading prior to joining the competition? I have been interested in capital markets, stocks and derivatives since university, but I was just recently drawn to day trading. I consider myself a beginner.
Did you feel you were successful during this competition? Yes
Are you part of a trading community? If so, which one? No
Finally, is there any additional information about you, your trading and the competition overall? Since I work full time, I was able to trade for one hour per day, usually at the market opening. I took the competition seriously - as an opportunity to test my strategy and the platform. However, in the second week, most of other participants practically blew up their accounts and I basically ensured the first place. That negatively affected my discipline and motivation for the rest of the competition but I am happy that I kept trading, at least one trade per day.
Third Place: BEST 970 - Todd
BEST 970 - Todd
Accounting and Bookkeeping: Colorado Bookkeeping
Residence: Denver, CO
What strategies did you employ throughout the competition? News and earnings-driven GAPS at the open.
What did you do to prepare for the competition? Followed earnings reports and studied the stock charts to find suitable GAPS to trade.
What did you learn from the competition? It's not about the number of trades or the number of days in the month one trades; but trading high-quality setups
What kind of experience did you have with trading prior to joining the competition? My first experience was in Chicago 2002 - 2004. I was part of a Prop trading group. We used a strategy that scanned NYSE Open Book. Then in Denver 2013 - 2015 with Affinity Trading after taking their courses.
Did you feel you were successful during this competition? YES!
Are you part of a trading community? If so, which one? No
Finally, is there any additional information about you, your trading and the competition overall? I had to take a break for most of the competition to spend time with my mom and family. My mom passed away mid month. I only traded one day and it was really the only day of the month that I felt mentally ready. I learned a good lesson during my previous times I traded to not trade on days you were not 100% or close to it; mentally, physically and done your homework. Better to miss an opportunity than to miss the money!
Winter 2020 Intermediate Competition Winners
First Place: BEST 513 - Michael
BEST 513 - Michael
Residence: Moreno Valley, CA
What strategies did you employ throughout the competition? Throughout the competition, I stuck to one strategy, which was the ABCD pattern. I traded stocks that were gapping 2% (mid-large cap) or above using fixed risk hotkeys.
What did you do to prepare for the competition? Before the competition started, I did a few things to help me prepare. For example, I watched webinars on trading psychology that BearBullTraders provided. Along with that, I made a specific rulebook for the competition. Lastly, I switched to fixed risk hotkeys because it allowed me to be more organized and disciplined.
What did you learn from the competition? While participating in the competition, I learned that risk management is critical. If it were not for my style of risk management, I would not have won. To add on, I learned how to control my emotions by distracting myself while in a trade. For example, while in a trade, I would watch a movie. This prevented me from getting out of a trade prematurely, and it also kept my anxiety in check.
What kind of experience did you have with trading prior to joining the competition? Before joining the competition, I had eight months of experience in SIM. I used the competition as a pre-requisite for going live because I wanted to see how I would trade when I had something to lose or gain. The competition incorporated commissions, which made it realistic and, in my opinion intimidating in a productive way. The aggressive profile for using very volatile stocks.
Did you feel you were successful during this competition? YES! However, this was not because I won. I felt successful because this competition diagnosed all of my unhealthy trading habits. For example, while preparing for the competition, I often took bad trades with little to no strategy. I would often lie to myself and say that "this will not happen when the competition starts." Unfortunately, that was not the truth. The first week of the competition, I noticed that I was taking bad trades with no strategy. I then realized that discipline starts in simulation, and I must take trading seriously no matter the context. Since the competition, I have started trading live and have not had a red day thus far.
Are you part of a trading community? If so, which one? BearBull Traders Community
Finally, is there any additional information about you, your trading and the competition overall?Lastly, I want to tell new traders that joining this competition should be a pre-requisite before going live. As mentioned above, this competition has shortened my learning curve dramatically. As a new trader, my goal for this competition was not to come in the last place. It is safe to say that I exceeded my expectations. My advice would be to take the competition seriously and do not be intimidated. You may surprise yourself. After all, you get what you put into it.
Third Place: BEST 523 - Enrique
BEST 523 - Enrique
System Engineer and BI and Data Science Specialist
Residence: Lima, Peru
What strategies did you employ throughout the competition? I’m bullish in the medium and long term. I use technical analysis identifying the four stages of stock price movement. This time I used breakouts following the trend.
What did you do to prepare for the competition? To adapt the strategy to the Intraday and learn about the platform.
What did you learn from the competition? It was a great experience. To Intraday you have to be very fast (timeframes 1-5 minutes) and be focused on fulfilling the conditions of your strategy. For this type of trading I would like to automate the strategy.
What kind of experience did you have with trading prior to joining the competition? I make investments in the medium and long term.
What kind of mistakes did you make? The aggressive profile for using very volatile stocks.
Did you feel you were successful during this competition? Absolutely, I learned a lot about Intraday and It reinforces the idea to automate the strategy.
Are you part of a trading community? If so, which one? Yes, I am part of a great community of investors in Perú: Global Bolsa.
Finally, is there any additional information about you, your trading and the competition overall?It was a great experience to me. I’m currently working on automating my strategies (Machine Learning for trading).
Fall 2020 Intermediate Competition Winners
Second Place: BEST 964 - David
BEST 964 - David
Real Estate Salesperson & Equity Trader
Residence: From Dublin, Ireland originally but living in Philadelphia, USA
What strategies did you employ throughout the competition? I look for 1 and 5 min. ORBs and keep track of stocks that are getting a lot of volume and making parabolic moves that I can potentially short or go long after they become really extended from the 9EMA on a 5 min. chart. I also have a personal strategy that I call ‘The Crucifix’ (because of the way it looks on my charts) that I look to execute usually from 9.45 to 10.45 am. This is my main strategy and it involves having the Parabolic SAR technical indicator on my charts. Lastly, I keep a very close eye on volume, daily and pre-market levels, level 2, and order flow for all my trades.
What did you do to prepare for the competition? I journal and review my trades every day. I also like to periodically reference ‘A Complete Guide to Volume Price Analysis’ by Anna Coulling. I’ve read her book several times and feel it’s been instrumental to my progress as a trader. As for dealing with the psychological aspect of trading, I recommend a book that's a well-known favorite among traders, ‘Trading in the Zone’ by Mark Douglas.
What did you learn from the competition? To be successful in this competition I think it’s important to focus on your own trading and not spend much time on how well (or poorly) other traders are doing. It’s also crucial to keep your “revenge” trading to a minimum. Keep your losses small and live to trade another day.
What kind of experience did you have with trading prior to joining the competition? I’ve spent the last 3 years trading in both a sim and live account.
What kind of mistakes did you make? I over-traded at times and racked up a lot of commission and ECN fees that turned an otherwise profitable day upside down. I also traded a few low float stocks, and despite being largely successful, I would not normally touch these stocks in my live account because of their volatility.
Did you feel you were successful during this competition? Overall, I was pleased with my performance throughout the competition but each day in the markets is an education and there were several trades I wish I had been more patient with and had scaled out differently
Are you part of a trading community? If so, which one? Yes, I’m a member of the Bear Bull Traders (BBT) community.
Finally, is there any additional information about you, your trading and the competition overall? I really recommend this competition to serious traders because I think it’s the closest, feeling-wise, to trading in a live account and I believe it helps you grow as a trader and become more disciplined. Thank you for the opportunity to participate!
Third Place: BEST 470 - Edgard
BEST 470 - Edgard
Administration and Finance Manager
Residence: I am from Peru and I live in the city of Lima in Peru.
What strategies did you employ throughout the competition? Basically use technical analysis and study of stock cycles (Dow Theory). Only trade stocks that were in cycle two and increased in value by more than 15% the previous week.
What did you do to prepare for the competition? Read the global economic news and watch out for rumors and news from publicly traded companies.
What did you learn from the competition? It is a competition that requires you to control your emotions since we must negotiate every day and I understood that we should only let ourselves be carried away by the market and not be against it.
What kind of experience did you have with trading prior to joining the competition?I have 6 months of experience in the stock market, I usually like to make investments in the medium and long term.
What kind of mistakes did you make? At times I couldn't control my impatience to trade and at other times I was against the market.
Are you part of a trading community? If so, which one? To invest in the USA, I am currently part of a community of investors in Peru called Comunidad Global Bolsa.
Finally, is there any additional information about you, your trading and the competition overall? I am very happy to have participated and I invite other people to participate to enjoy this beautiful experience.
Summer 2020 Novice Competition Winners
First Place: BEST 453 - Ryan
BEST 453 - Ryan
Senior VFX Artist at a Vancouver Animation studio
Residence: Vancouver, Canada
What strategies did you employ throughout the competition? Everyday, I pick my top 3 gappers (mid-large cap) to trade its momentum move at the open. and during the day I wait for a good opportunity to short the top of some Low Cap stocks with over extended parabolic moves and hold them overnight.
What did you do to prepare for the competition? I scan heavy movers and check which one has real volume that can move and or reverse heavy the next day.
What did you learn from the competition? To always set realistic weekly goal, be patient and wait for the right trading opportunity.
What kind of experience did you have with trading prior to joining the competition? I have 2 years of experience in day trading the market open. and an occasional swing trader since 2010
What kind of mistakes did you make? Not as aggressive as others and going all in buying power on a position instead of going in portions.
Did you feel you were successful during this competition? Not at all, My aim was to make 2% profit everyday, but It was very challenging. That's why I decided to change my trading style on week 3.
Are you part of a trading community? If so, which one? Yes! Im with Andrew Aziz at BBT BearBull Traders Community. Go and check them out!
Finally, is there any additional information about you, your trading and the competition overall? I'm back posting my daily recap in Youtube, twitter, and Instagram. Please don't forget to follow me!
Second Place: BEST 458 - Miguel
BEST 458 - Miguel
Economist and a Business Financial Consultant
Residence: Lima, Peru
What strategies did you employ throughout the competition? The strategy I used was to structure an investment portfolio of 3 to 4 shares, use Beta (B) to measure the degree of volatility of each share; 2 of which were less volatile (which benefitted the portfolio) and 2 with higher volatility and risk, looking for high returns in the short-term. Likewise, I focused on more dynamic sectors such as technology, consumption, mining and other higher risk sectors such as the biotechnology sector.
What did you do to prepare for the competition? I enjoy reading the news and being informed about social and economic situations domestically and around the world. Along with my reading, I used technical analysis and reviewed which stage of the stock cycle each stock I invested in was in to minimize my risk. To always set realistic weekly goal, be patient and wait for the right trading opportunity.
What kind of experience did you have with trading prior to joining the competition? I have had experience in buying/selling shares of the Lima Stock Exchange several years ago for my personal savings. This is my first experience with the US stock market and with the DAS Trader system.
What have you learned from the competition? To have good results you have to be a balanced, methodical person, handle emotional intelligence very well, and be very patient.
What kind of mistakes did you make? I made some mistakes due to being impatient at the beginning and the last day (07/31) when I did not follow the strategy I used throughout the competition that made me lose 1st place.
Did you feel you were successful during this competition? I am very happy with the performance made these 4 weeks, I thank DAS Trader, NASDAQ and the other sponsors for this fantastic opportunity.
Are you part of a trading community? If so, which one? I am part of the Global Stock Market Community.
Finally, is there any additional information about you, your trading and the competition overall? It was very interesting to learn and utilize the DAS Trader system, which was very user friendly and helpful as an investor. I hope to return in the future to compete and improve my results.
Third Place: BEST 461 - Cesar
BEST 461 - Cesar
Operations Manager of two restaurants
What strategies did you employ throughout the competition? I mostly used 1 Min ORB, 5 Min ORB. ABCDs but I was watching closely $AAL, $WIMI, $MRNA because they were very extended on the daily and I was waiting for my opportunity to short them.
What did you do to prepare for the competition? I have been trading on a beginner level for 8 months, I would say that I have read A LOT especially technical analysis and watched recaps, taking notes and learning from other traders of my community. To always set realistic weekly goal, be patient and wait for the right trading opportunity.
What kind of experience did you have with trading prior to joining the competition? I joined Bear Bull Traders 8 months ago. Everything I have learned I did it in this community. I was in SIM for three months and then I jumped to a live account.
What have you learned from the competition? To believe in yourself. to plan a trade and trade a plan. I would say that this competition taught me the importance of being patient and wait for your setup to execute your strategy.
What kind of mistakes did you make? The biggest mistake I made was paying attention to what other traders were doing. I wanted to win the competition so badly that I overtraded and gave profits back.
Did you feel you were successful during this competition? I think we all were successful in this competition. This is because we learned every day how to survive the market and compare our performance with other traders around the world with different strategies and mindset. In my particular case, I can say that I am a better trader now, more knowledgable and patient which is key for trading. I will count that as a success.
Are you part of a trading community? If so, which one? I am part of a community called Bear Bull Traders. This community has helped me in my trading beyond what I have ever imagined. Its moderators are one of a kind and Andrew is a great inspiration.
Actually, I have two anecdotes about my community during the competition.
1) I was about to quit the competition but BBT now has a Spanish section and those members encouraged me to continue in my pursuit for the first place.
2) The last day of the competition Ryan PDT (who was the winner) and I were chatting because we are part of the same community. We were congratulating each other for our performance. He closed his platform and wished me the best because he had to work. What a great guy!!! that is the kind of community we have in BBT
Finally, is there any additional information about you, your trading and the competition overall? I believe this kind of competition motivates new traders to be good traders and experienced traders to be better.
Trading from Australia is not easy when you want to win a competition like this. The time difference can hit you badly. When other traders are fresh just starting their days, traders in Australia are exhausted from a long day after work. However, the motivation to be able to be interviewed by Mike DiGioia and Jill Malandrino and have the opportunity to see all the activity in New York gives you the extra energy needed to keep pushing your self as I did.
First Place: BEST 350 - Oleg
BEST 350 - Oleg
restaurant server at Amici30A Italian Kitchen
Residence: United States
Strategies Used/Additional Information: I'm originally from Moldova, but I've been living in the U.S. for the last 8 years. I used a number of strategies throughout the competition that I have learned over the past 3 years from Andrew Aziz of Bear Bull Traders.
I started digging into trading in August 2017. Took some online courses after what went live in January 2018. In 5 months, blew up about 6 small accounts summing 30k USD in losses. Went back to sim since may 2018 until now, still trading in sim to gain experience and confidence. Now after winning this competition, I am thinking of going live again.
What did you learn from the competition? To win a competition you shouldn't be focused on being in first places or win it, instead you should focus on your trading and do the best you can in terms of following rules, risk management and everything else a successful trading requires.
What kind of mistakes did you make? I was still keeping an eye on the ranking leader board which some times made me break my rules just to be first. I think if I wouldn't check that, I would still finish the competition first with less profits but definitely with less riskier trading. Kept my losers over max loss.
Second Place: BEST 372 - Simon
BEST 372 - Simon
EQUITY & OPTIONS TRADER
Residence: Worcester, U.K.
Strategies Used/Additional Information:I look primarily at technical and fundamental analysis (SEC Filings - Shelf registration & dilution), focusing mainly on short-selling overextended moves (above 30%) without any major pullbacks, with above average volume, and volatility which will provide greater ranges, and improved liquidity. I tend not to short any stock that is up too much on the first day, or else you run the risk of being short-squeezed. If I can I will wait on day 2 for a gap down/panic pop/first red day short. The key is to find entry points that will offer low risk/high reward, risking $1 for every $3 you expect to make, this is achieved by observing support and resistance levels, with great emphasis towards level 2/time & sales for confirmation.
For preparation before the markets open, I like to analyse the company’s filings looking for any short-term debt & operating costs, and how much capital the company needs to run (high burn rate/cash equivalents), especially pharmaceutical stocks as they seem to run on parabolic moves with FDA approval. The key to many of these companies is to find out how many shares they have outstanding, offerings, warrants and convertible notes, basically bonds or corporate debts the company sold to investors and funds when they have tried to raise money. When the note matures, these debts have to be paid, whenever the notes are converted into common stock, this releases more shares into the open market, the stock drops significantly - sign of dilution, and a great opportunity for a short trader to take advantage.
Third Place: BEST 376 - Jaime
BEST 376 - Jaime
Residence: Chicago, IL
Strategies Used/Additional Information:: I’ve been studying the markets and paper trading for about 2 years now. For the competition, I focused on momentum trades off key market levels and reversal trades. I tested strategies for a few weeks leading up to the competition using the DAS Trader replay mode, which I love!
What did you learn from the competition? The competition was a great way to familiarize myself with the DASTRADER platform - It was the closest I came to trading a real account - mentally. I felt the pressure and need to be successful and I was able to work through that psychologically.
What kind of mistakes did you make? Trading outside of my strategy on the final day of the competition and over trading at times throughout the competition.
Did you feel you were successful during this competition? Yes! I was truly excited about my performance and the results were far greater than I expected. I was not shooting for a big PNL or to win the competition. My goal was to be able to display consistency in my trading. I wanted to play the account as realistic as possible for my level of experience.
Click the titles below to see previous competition winners.
First Place (Day Trading): BEST 057 – Gustavo
BEST 057 – Gustavo
10 years experience as an Audit/Risk Management and Compliance professional.Residence: Spain
Strategies Used/Additional Information: My academic background focused on long-term investing, portfolio management, fundamentals, etc. But I’m somewhat skeptical about trusting someone else with my own money long-term, so I decided to take matters in my own hands. So, I started learning about ‘day trading’ two years ago. I had to learn about technical analysis – which by the way should be compulsory in every Finance degree as it’s also part of the overall market. Not sure courses nowadays incorporate it but in my time no professor would mention it. Since then, I tried the typical route of beginner traders such as penny stocks, indicators trying to look for the holy grail, paid ‘market tuition’, etc. But over the last 6 months I have been concentrating on options and fine tuning my strategy to fit in intraday options trading. My strategy now is very basic and focus on volume, price action, supply/demand and a bit of tape reading. I have a basked of stocks that I track and trade all the time. These are mainly a mixture of the key economic sectors such as tech and financials.
First Place (Swing Trading): BEST 011 – Robert
BEST 011 – Robert
Business AdministratorResidence: Peru
Strategies Used/Additional Information: I Commercialize in the short term with Call Options, due to the duration of 1 month of the contest. I Prefer values of high market capitalization and SP 500. I used short-term Technical Analysis.
Second Place: BEST 049 – Karthi
BEST 049 – Karthi
15 year’s as an engineer in the I.T. industryResidence: Germany
Strategies Used/Additional Information: I started learning Daytrading by reading Andrew Aziz’ Book ‘How to Daytrade for a Living”. Decided to take it seriously and joined Andrew’s BearBullTraders (BBT) community in Sep 2018 (10 months before). I spent 7 months in DAS Simulator, and went Live in Apr”19 (under PDT rule). I am planning to fund my account fully in July. I wanted use the BestTrader challenge to simulate my Live month. So implemented my actual Trading Rules, Setups and Risk management. Hence I started very slow (small share sizes) in the first week and slowly ramped it up. In the final week, I had 3 max loss days and so I ramped down again. It is all about protecting my capital and not blow out the account. That’s what BBT community is all about. The Lead Moderators Andrew, Brian and other moderators teach and encourage Consistent Trading. Like Andrew always says Day trading is a Marathon.
Third Place: BEST 080 – Aaradhana
BEST 080 – Aaradhana
Service Delivery Team Lead for Mimecast, AustraliaResidence: Australia
Strategies Used/Additional Information: My education is in information technology but my experience and passion drives me towards finance management. After working for Credit Suisse as a trade floor support analyst, I started reading and getting to know more about trades and equities terms. Later in that year, during my holiday in India, I started reading finance management book. This was the start of a love affair with long- term investing and finance management. Outside of reading and researching I spend many hours fighting with bad guys in cloud space as she works as a Service Delivery team lead for cyber security firm called Mimecast in Australia. I believe in possibilities and not losing your sleep over investments. It’s not just what you earn is important, but how you save by avoiding bad choices and invest long term is equally important to grow your portfolio and wealth over the long term. My strategy is very simple and emphasis on great service driven, future technology, supply/demand stocks and improving emotional intelligence. I really enjoyed and appreciate all DAS ‘s learning videos, support and mainly training discipline tips. This experience was a great confidence booster and leap forward in right direction.
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