Interview with FTMO Trader Max



Pavel: Hi Traders! Pavel here from FTMO..thanks for joining in. I am happy to present this video interview with one of our funded traders Max.  For those of you who are not yet familiar with our project, FTMO is online proprietary firm and our main business activity is looking for good and profitable traders. In order for us to ascertain if the trader has all the abilities and skills, he needs to go through our evaluation process which consists of the Challenge and the Verification. The profits are split 70:30 and we refund you the fee for the Challenge. The losses are covered by our company and we have the best trading conditions – no limits or restrictions for trading style – we offer trading applications for traders and we have our performance psychologists for traders who are with us. So many great benefits for all of you who are trading Challenge, Verification or are already funded.

Alright, let’s get to the interview right away. I am happy to present and welcome Max Shilo, who is our funded trader now – Max welcome!

Max: Good to be here and thanks for inviting me to the interview I am very glad to be here.

Pavel: Thanks for your time, we appreciate taking your time and being with us today as well. So, Max started with us in April 2018 with a Free Trial just like many other traders. He went through dozens of accounts before finally mastering it and he found his own way to get funded by us. So I believe you get most of this interview from Max right away, Max will be happy to answer some of our questions and...let’s get to it! So Max, just introduce yourself briefly, tell our audience who you are and how long you trade...something about you.

Max: Ye, so hello everyone my name is Max and actually just being back from living in New Zealand, been living in there for 2 years and now back in Europe in Estonia, I am Estonian and yea! Trading – lots of reading, I am absolutely I am really fascinated by the charts. I love everything about numbers and I am really happy that I have found your company and decided to be part of the Challenge as well. It has allowed me to be a better trader.

Pavel: Alright, it’s nice and how long have you been to New Zealand before you came back to Estonia now?

Max: Actually, two years, so from there I actually think I learned the most about trading so actually it is really fun to trade from New Zealand because I think it is the worst timezone to trade from – you go to sleep and London starts and you work during the night...So it was quite common that I woke up at 4 AM every night take the charts and see...

Pavel: Let’s continue on that New Zealand so I will ask you that question again  - so Max you were trading in New Zealand. How was it, how is the experience being back in Europe and trading in a different timezone?

Max: Yea, actually I am really really happy to be back and just because, you know, actually it is funny to trade from New Zealand because he timezone is probably one of the worst in the world to trade from because you are literally at the edge of the world and it so that happens that when you go to sleep the London starts and New York is during night, so you can only trade the Asia so it was pretty hard for me. I think it was like a 3 of 4 month period where I was waking up at 3 or 4 AM to check the charts and to see if there is anything ready for me. You know, trading takes some sacrifices – to take my hours of sleep to check the charts. But obviously, it is not sustainable...yea, not many people would do it. I decided it’s just one little part of my life so I was happy.

Pavel: I see. Nice. Do you find it better now when you are in European timezone so you can trade London and the New York session at the same time?

Max: Oh absolutely, absolutely. I am really calm now. I mean my sleep has never been better because I know that Asia does not move that much and if it does, then it is just maybe once in a while so I am not too worried, but yea. Really really happy to be back in the right trading zone.

Pavel: Nice nice, yea I believe that the European timezone is the best one, we also are trading from here and it is really convenient for sure. So you are now our funded trader. How long it took you to get there and how was the experience along the way?

Max: Actually, it’s really pretty fun story. I think I failed four times, then I repeated the Challenge 4 times and then actually I made it 3 times, but in the Verification, I failed. So essentially I was already there, but then again I failed and I had to start all over again. But in the end, I think it was really worth it and maybe I was not ready as well. It took much longer than I expected, but I think it all makes sense now. It took me probably 9 Challenges in total.

Pavel: Wow, what a number. I am sure that you had obstacles along the way, but you’ve found your way and that is really nice to see your progress and you finally made, it’s really good. You’ve definitely had, you know, the greatest desire and determination to succeed – what is it that kept you motivated that you never gave up?

Max: I think it was my perspective really. Because, you know, to me it wasn’t like...I personally took it as going to elite trading school so essentially I was paying a premium -  a monthly fee for a premium course, so you guys allowed me to become a professional. So to me it did not matter whether it is gonna be a year or 2 because, you know, if you get an MBA it will take you 3 years anyway. But to me I just had a little bit different perspective so to me it was just like a school where I am developing as a trader and I am given all the tools and in the end when I sort of pass the school I am getting highly paying job offers straight from the school, so that happened and that made my perspective. It never even crossed my mind to actually quit so there is no failure just the experience. The trading in general is number one if we are talking about, you know, learning or making mistakes and learning from them. That’s it. Here it actually is like that, so you actually take a trading journal and you learn and you go to the next one and that’s it.

Pavel: That’s definitely true, yea. And a beautiful progress – you know a lot of people just when they see a failure then sometimes they give up and they don’t try again. But, you know, there is a saying that if you fall, you know, there is nothing worse than laying on the ground – you just stand up and keep going. That’s what we’ve seen. You failed a couple of times, you stood up and you tried again and then finally you are where you are which is perfect and beautiful and I am sure that this will inspire a lot of traders as well for sure.

Max: Yea, like if you like what I do, then there is no such way as giving up, right? You actually only fail if you give up – in life in general and especially in trading as well so...yea. To me, like failing, failing – I didn’t really care. To me, it was just a matter of time until I make it.

Pavel: Ye, perfect, perfect. Very nice. Have you ever used any of our applications that we are offering like the Statistical application or Mentor application or anything else that we have?

Max: Ye, you actually do have a really great set-up of applications that are really really useful. So you are not really just like a broker where you ask for traders to show that they can trade but, you know, not giving anything in return. So you actually provide really great tools for measuring the progress and, you know, you can literally see everything – from the applications. I log in daily, obviously I could link the account to MyFXBook, but I think it is so handy to log into your account and see all your data, all your stats and obviously the curve as well so it’s been really really helpful for sure.

Pavel: So you are referring to the Account Metrix, right? Where you have everything on one screen, you have your trading progress, the rules, how you fall within those Trading Objectives, there is a Trading Journal incorporated as well, so everything in one place. That’s really convenient for traders I am sure.

Max: Yea, absolutely, it’s been really helpful.

Pavel: Perfect, perfect. Now tell us, where have you learned to trade and what is your trading system or trading strategy – that will definitely interest a lot of people.

Max: Yea, so essentially I am trading market structures or patterns if you like. I like to call it a packaging design, so essentially what I am doing is I am packaging Price Action into structures and then feeling and imagining the strengths of the price inside and then deciding how the price is gonna act at certain points in the markets. So, yea, I have learned that – so I am doing it from week to week so I am growing patterns from week to week, which is I think is really important the most to understand. There are literally millions of ways how you can trade and, you know, someone tells you that ok, the trendlines and patterns should be drawl like and you know like ignoring weeks and like whatever. But to me it’s important that they are from week to week because the markets respect them from week to week. Yea, and in general I am part of Falcon Trading guidance, which is my educational provider from I think 3rd of August last year I signed up so it’s been nearly a year already. Since I joined that was the sort of turning point. Before that I didn’t know what I was doing really and then – half a year being there I started know, understanding how the market works. So in terms of trading, I don’t have that many years of experience but if your education is good then you actually don’t need much so yea, I’ve been really grateful for the mentors and the community for providing this kind of a platform.

Pavel: So was that a turning point when you joined the Falcon Academy? So that, you know, from there it was a game-changer for you?

Max: Yea, absolutely, I think as traders we go through this cycle of doom – they call it. So you try different things, you know, different strategies. In three to four months we master them and we sort of switch to others and I think like most of day-traders go through the same system and so did I. After seeing the patterns, how they work and how they evolve I just fell in love with this style and I haven’t even looked at anything from there on so yea, I will stick with this style.

Pavel: Nice. Getting back to your strategy – do you somehow consider fundamental releases or do you observe news releases somehow or is that already part of your Price Action that you consider or...?

Max: Yes and no. I mean right now, since I am funder trader I can’t actually trade news, Falcon we learn that a market doesn’t  - it only creates volatility. The structure and the patterns will show you the way where the price sort of goes. And I’ve seen this so many times over and over again, but to be honest with you, it’s hard for me to go into that trade before the news announcement because to me it is still like ultimate uncertainty, right? But I know  - I’ve done it and most of the times I’ve been successful with entering before but it’s still, you know, sometimes you hesitate.

Pavel: Yea, for sure. Sometimes those news releases create big spikes which take you by surprise and it’s difficult to cope up when the strategy says something different than the market is doing because of news.

Max: Yea, absolutely.

Pavel: What do you think about our trading conditions? That there are no limits or restrictions for the trading style, we don’t limit you with a lot sizing, you can take whatever position size that you want, you can use Expert Advisors and so?

Max: Yea, it’s incredible actually! I always like to see that there are literally billions of ways to trade – you can be a scalper, the swing trader, you can trade zones, you can trade patterns, you can trade EMAs – whatever, right? You basically allow all of them and I think that...even the fact that you allow like EAs to be bold, I think this explains for the variety of styles that you actually have said so literally anyone can do it  - can participate in the Challenge, so yea. I think the commissions are great and everyone – literally everyone can trade your Challenge and succeed in it.

Pavel: Yea, it gives you the freedom, right? You can choose whatever trading style you want, we don’t limit you on anything. So whatever style you have that makes you profitable si good for you to use it, for sure.

Max: Absolutely.

Pavel: Right, let me ask you; Do you have some traders in your circle, do you meet with someone or do you network with someone personally or are you meeting everyone in some chatting are you network with others?

Max: I like to network with traders and basically, to be honest, I have changed my all sort of circle of friends. Now most of them are traders so basically I am trading databases with a lot of traders and actually, I created a Telegram group with I think 70 traders in there that’s really active. And I am in a couple of other groups and yea, I am generally interested how others are doing and actually, I am following other traders with different styles as well because I am always looking to improve and see the market from another person perspective as well. So yea, I generally like to network with traders.

Pavel: Alright. That’s all online, right? Or are you attending some traders‘ meetups or are you meeting someone personally as well?

Max: Yup. Here, now since I am back in Estonia, I organised a pool-time trader’s meet-up, so that’s coming really soon, so yea, I am excited about that. But generally, I am really looking to connect and talk to other traders.

Pavel: Very nice. Now this question – you will be very familiar with it. How do you cope up with the losing streaks? I am sure that you have experienced that quite a lot because you’ve failed a couple of accounts and what would you say about the trading psychology? How does it affect you when you have a series of losing streaks and you can’t get out of it? So how do you deal with it?

Max: Yea, so it’s been a big issue for me for sure because I think psychology – literally trading is 90% psychology and maybe 10% technical analysis. So I’ve read a lot of books about trading as well and one of the best books that I’ve read was actually „The Mental Game of Poker“ which was written by (Jared Tendler) someone I can’t remember his surname but after reading this book I realised that I was like half a year in a „tilt“ – you know, the word coming from poker...I didn’t know the word even. Now since there are so many different variations of tilt, that probably even if you are a great trader and profitable and everything is good...there is still some kind of tilt that you are experiencing. So it’s all in your mind basically and losing streaks... You know, from my experience – now I am actually much – the Challenge itself has given me so much experience how to deal with such situation that it’s to me – it’s invaluable. What I would like to say about coping with drawdown is the best thing in trading is to do nothing literally. You have to wait and wait until you get the feeling that now this is the trade. The best trades – you don’t force them. You just end up trying and you see them straight away just put a trade on and that’s it! So when you are in a drawdown, you just have to wait until this moment arrives and you know that that’s the trade that’s gonna go. Yea, so just wait and sit back and don’t do anything until that moment arrives. And actually, another one that I’ve experienced is: Let’s say that I am in minus 2% drawdown. Then, you can like, getting back to break even is actually a really important stage, because you are protecting your psychology sort of. So my strategy actually, I am not taking like 2 risk-to-rewards, because normally it has to be like 3 for me to actually be interested in a trade, but when you are in drawdown or maybe -2% then even 1% win would get me closer to break even to boost your confidence. So that’s been something that I actually discovered just quite recently actually. To get to break even to keep your psychology protected.

Pavel: Yea, for sure. And as you said, you have to believe in your trading plan – you have to know and consider when taking the action that losing streaks will come and when you start trading you sort of calculate on how many losing trades in a row you can afford to have considering the limits that are in place, yea, for sure. And talking about the trading psychology – for sure it has an effect on every trader, because it is an unpleasant experience if you go down instead of going up and since you are now our funded trader, you have that advantage of having sessions with our trading psychologists that we offer free of charge to our funded traders. So for sure that’s the service that you can use and that’s free for every of our funded traders and that’s really helpful these trading psychologist sessions are perfect.

Max: Yea, actually I talked with Nikola already once so it was really really valuable session for sure. I’ve got some really key insights that actually improved my trading a lot. So she definitely knows what she is doing and I am sure that others have tried her aswell.

Pavel: Good to know that, good to know that...perfect, that’s great. Alright. Besides your Falcon Academy, do you have any other mentor or trading guru or do you have somebody in particular who inspires you?

Max: Besides Falcon? Well, we have our own sort of mentor or the founder of Falcon Mark Hutchinson so he is my main sort of inspiration or person who I am taking as an example. Just as a person, he is incredible, so to me he is probably my sort of...inspiration if you like, but in our community we actually have many other successful traders who are making actually incredible returns – like 30, 40, 40% among So(# Josh Bonker and Brett Weisen?) and there are...there are quite a few who I really admire because I see how they know what they are doing and they are seeing the market for what is is and they are executing. So I certainly have people that I admire and outside of Falcon actually, there is a guy called Shawn Lee??? – I think a lot of traders know him. So it’s like a love-hate relationship with most of them. So to me, he is actually...I like him, I like the way he trades and his confidence and yea. If there is someone controversial that I like, then it’s him.

Pavel: Ok, I see. Well since you are now our funder trader do you treat your funded account differently compared to the Challenge and the Verification because now in your funded account you have no Profit Target to chase, right? So you have absolute peace of mind. So the only rules that you have to respect are the drawdown rules which is a Maximum Daily Loss and Maximum Loss. Is it easier for you? Does it bring you peace?

Max: It’s funny it‘s like you know, it’s like approaching the girls on the streets. Once you get her number it’s not going to be that interesting anymore. So now, since I am funded  - the chase was the -  the journey to getting funded was much more enjoyable than actually now, you know being a funded trader and knowing that if you click on a button you actually risk a significant amount of money, right? So definitely I am treating my account like from totally different perspective. Like now, I am just waiting – I know that I don’t have to trade at all if I don’t want to and I am literally trying to wait for the inside feeling that, ok, well, I see now that’s the trade that makes my plan, that’s the trade that I am pretty sure it’s gonna go. But once you know, like – why I would recommend it (the Challenge) because once you get funded you actually level up. You will be on another level of – you have to think differently because you actually are managing other peoples‘ money, right? And to me, like earning the same amount of money will take a lot of time so you actually have to be someone else rather than just trading two grand (2000$) account or risking like 100 euros per trade. So it’s totally different in thinking like – actually doing the Challenge and doing great in the Challenge is much more different in real life. So I think as a trader, you want to have bigger problems to deal with and being a funded trader keeps you bigger problems to actually cope with. So essentially yea. Bigger problems that I have in mind is like actually having the courage to press the button. And you know, it takes a little bit of time to transition once you are funded, but once you overcome this and get fully confident in everything, then I think the best is yet to come for sure.

Pavel: Yea, for sure, definitely and since you are funded you know, because there is no profit to chase, you can easily scale down and if you don’t feel about any trade if it doesn’t fall completely 100% within your trade plan, you can just take a small position or you can just skip the trade, you know? If you don’t feel like taking a trade it’s better not to chase it because sometimes revenge trading is a big problem and usually ends up in a loss. So that’s good. You are now in a stage which is the most favourable for funded traders. So no stress there and I believe that your psychology will be much improved as well for sure.

Max: Yea, absolutely absolutely.

Pavel: Perfect, perfect. We are getting closer to half an hour already so just to end it up somehow – do you have any secret recipe for traders who are not so lucky or those who are still battling to get funded? What is that secret recipe that you could give to others?

Max: Well, from my experience I would say trading is 99% of the time it’s waiting for the right moment for the setup to appear, for everything aligns perfectly...I think the best advice I could give myself is to just like wait more just take the highest probability setups, I mean even now it might be a problem to actually – what I’ve been in certain situations like I am waiting for my perfect setups to be ready, I am waiting for that one trade and while I’ve been waiting I get like a little bit bored and then I take some random set up in between, which doesn’t make sense, because I am waiting for the right setups to actually play out and occur. But I think it’s not just me with the same problem, I think many other traders have experienced it as well so just wait for your perfect setup and just trade the setup that you know that u are 100% sure. Like don’t take the garbage in between and I think that would save you a lot of losses because once you take some loss your confidence is shaking, right? But if you are just taking the highest probability setups, the ones that you feel will play out, then you will have so much better chance of success in the Challenge and essentially taking down the 10% - it’s actually not that much. Like in hindsight it’s hard to believe that it took me so so long. I mean I was really close so many times as well. I just, you know, failed at the very end. But you only have to make 3 trades that are 1-3 risk-reward and trading below 1-3 risk-reward doesn’t make much sense anyway, right? So if you say you take 3 trades per month - and let’s assume they are all winners – obviously it might not happen, but if you take it step by step, it’s not that hard. And it’s so doable! Even if you are a little bit unlucky, even then you can do it so I certainly think that the conditions are totally doable for any kind of a trader and to me it’s a no-brainer, it’s no-brainer 100%. Every trader – just for the experience of trading under the pressure, I would recommend it and if you don’t have the experience of actually trading under this kind of a pressure where you actually sort of are trying to win something or let’s say the funded account – it’s definitely an experience that you would like to have in your life for sure.

Pavel: Yea, great piece of advice, thanks for sure. If you are feeling something like FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) then you will be destined to take the bad trades which definitely will ruin your equity curve, so at the end that will cause problems for sure. Yea so the FOMO is bad and you know picking the best trades with good risk-to-reward is definitely the key for sure. Good piece of advice for sure.

Max: Yup. So that is basically it. Personally, I am really grateful for the experience because your company allowed me to become a professional. Before that - even looking at my journal from one year ago it just it’s just rediculous – like how I traded back then and once I realised that ok, well there is so much, that you can actually make a lot of money trading if you get your processes right and if you, you know, evolve as a trader and become a professional then to me it was such a no-brainer. So yea, I would definitely recommend it to everyone.

Pavel: Yea, perfect. Thanks so much. I appreciate the words – that’s really good to hear that for sure, yea. And for those of you traders who would like to get in touch with Max, Max your handle on Instagram and Twitter, you are active on these social sites, right – Instagram and Twitter, so what is your handle for people that want to follow you?

Max: Yup, so it’s maximiliOn, with zero at the end instead of o. Keen to network with you all and give you some tips and advice and just to get in touch and I’ll be happy to talk with you.

Pavel: Perfect, that’s great. I’ll put the note also down in the comment for the description of the video. Thanks so much for that. Max, I appreciate you taking time and for sharing your wisdom and experience with us, I really appreciate it. That’s great that a lot of traders who want to get some influence of some traders who got funded or who went through our experience of taking the Challenge, Verification and getting there where you are right now, so definitely I’m sure it inspires a lot of people, a lot of traders who are still battling to get there and you’re one great inspiration. Thanks so much for being here today.

Max: Absolutely, thanks Pavel, appreciate it.

Pavel: Me too, thanks. Have a good day, bye-bye.

Max: Bye.