On April 22, 2017 at PGE National Stadium, TMS Brokers is organizing the second edition of the Invest Cleverly conference, where special guest will be 4-time investment champion, Andrea Unger.

Comparic had an unique opportunity to interview A. Unger. Transcript of the conversation is available below.

4 titles of the best investor during the futures World Cup Trading Championships, and three of them won in a row is an enviable result. Can you tell our readers what was the secret behind your success?

Hard work first of all, no achievement can be reached if you are not really committed to it. I wanted trading to become my profession and then I wanted to measure my skills in a contest, I did my best to get both goals. It was not an easy task anyway, a contest is not like normal trading, everything is extreme, you need also luck, it is not the main ingredient but without it everything gets much tougher!

In 2008 you reached a return rate of 672%, in the following two years it was significantly lower (115% and 240%). What caused such a large discrepancy? The impact of the financial crisis, less favorable markets?

My systems work better in volatile markets, everybody remembers 2008 and that was really a rollercoaster, I had serious difficulties in 2009 as markets lost all their identity and where like zombies after the crises, 115% in those markets is actually a really great achievement, all results have to be compared to market conditions in which they have been got.

In addition to the titles of the trading champion, you can also boast of being a member of MENSA and two technical analysts organizations – SIAT and IFTA. Does being a part of these really translates into better trading results on a daily basis?

I can’ t tell if being a member of MENSA helps, of course if I were stupid I would probably have less intuitions but it’s not all about how intelligent you are in my opinion. SIAT and IFTA are organizations where the markets are studied under many perspectives, the benefit there is that you can meet interesting people and get new ideas but I can’t tell, even here, how much they helped in my achievements, don’t forget that I entered those associations after winning the titles, in any case, being curious about markets, it’s always a benefit to be in the right environment such as those organizations are.

As we know, you did not immediately associated your future with trading. At first you worked as an engineer – did the technical education may be useful when trading financial markets?

A mechanical engineer normally builds motors… I build trading systems… OK I’m kidding, I believe that the approach to problems I got studying engineering helps today in the way a face a new development but who knows if I would get the same results not being an engineer? Maybe it’s just something inside me that pushes me in the right direction and that helped also to graduate, I would not associate the university title with the trading achievements too much, there is room for everybody in trading , engineers and not engineers.

With over 15 years of trading experience, can you tell us after what period of time you started to make a regular profit? Were the first years very difficult?

The difficult years were before quitting my job, when I left the company I was working for I was already profitable, I had anyway, before quitting, some very hard times, I lost money, I did not find a way, it took time, being a part time trader it was even longer, I suffered at least 3 years of losses.

If you were to choose the market that allows you to earn the most money and where you fill the most comfortable, which would it be? Futures, stocks, currencies? Or maybe you are trying to combine all of them?

I don’t trade stocks any more, I did in the past but today I prefer index futures, I diversify over futures markets so, including index futures is already like covering single stocks. In the futures I find today all I need but they can’t be accessible to everybody, if capital dedicated to trading is not huge it would be better to look at Forex and CFDs, not because of the leverage they offer anyway but because of the scalability that can be achieved, you can trade as small as you need on those instruments.

Staying in the subject of investment – you present many strategies during your lectures and in educational materials. Do you use them personally? How much your trading has evolved over the years and what is most important to you when making investment decisions?

I trade with trading systems, these are based on models, everything I show is also based on the same models so I actually trade what I show, maybe not the exact system but for sure something derived from that. Building trading systems allows me to decide before markets open and not during as if I were a discretionary trader. In any case my systems evolved during the years because markets are always changing and we have to change with them as quickly as possible and to do so trading contests help enormously as there you have a limited time to get the best result possible and you have to react immediately when things go wrong.

The strategy itself is of course not the end. Risk management is also very important – as I suppose you must have used a more aggressive approach during the investment championships. But how does Andrea Unger’s capital management looks like today?

I wrote a book about money management and it has also been translated into Chinese, that subject is very important in trading and a proper position sizing is the key to control your equity. In the contests trades are very risky while my standard trading is much more “old ladies style” as I’m looking first of all for a quiet life. I’m also trying to diversify type of approaches moving slowly from trading to pure investment, my hectic trading style cannot be scalable to too high capitals as there are markets limits absorbing contracts so I’m looking for other types of approaches to get a slow and constant growth of my money.

On April 22, you will visit Poland for the first time, invited by the TMS Brokers. What do you know about our country?

It is my first visit to Poland and I’m very excited about this, I spoke to many people from Poland, privately and for business but had never had an opportunity to visit a community of traders. I’ve been in so many parts of the world and have noticed that, at the end of day, all traders are similar, same hopes, same illusions and same commitment. I will let you know about my impression after the event once I really connected with the local trading tribe!

During the second edition of the “Invest Intelligently” conference you will be the main speaker. What have you prepared for the invited guests and investors during your lectures?

First of all I will tell people about me and my story, somebody could find himself reflected in me and it is important to know every aspect of a successful story in my opinion. I will then show people what, in my opinion the situation about trading education is, what to be careful about and what to consider for a proper growth in this business, I will then obviously also talk about trading and position sizing with specific examples, people will get ideas to go home with and to build their own methods on afterwards.

What would be the most important advice that beginners in the trading world should follow? Did you have your own mentor as a novice?

First of all stay humble, this is not a luna park. A trading mentor is useful to speed up the path to consistency, everybody has to develop his own method but a good mentor can help in keeping on the track and in focusing on the right tasks. This argument will anyway be discussed in Warsaw as well as it is part of my speech there.

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