TOP FTMO Trader Pepijn: "Better be safe than sorry" - FTMO
Top Traders: Strategies

TOP FTMO Trader Pepijn: "Better be safe than sorry"

In the next part of our series on successful FTMO Traders with above average profits or consistent results, we will look at the approach of one of our youngest traders, Pepijn from the Netherlands.

Pepijn started trading at a very young age, and like most novice traders, he was lured by the first significant bull market in cryptocurrencies in 2017, when cryptocurrency first hit a price of around $20,000 per bitcoin. After the price crash, Pepijn, like most retail traders, lost most of his money, but it was a good lesson for him. It can be said that losing an investment account is a problem, but if a trader/investor can learn from it, it can be a very valuable (though not cheap) lesson.

So, Pepijn was not discouraged by the setback and when a friend of his, who also trades with FTMO, showed him Forex trading, he stuck with it. Forex is simply a more developed and bigger market for him, where cycles do not play such a big role, and therefore it is much more interesting for him. This is also why he was very interested in trading and studied charts almost every day, even when he wasn't trading.

You can't trade seriously without a journal

After a few years he started to take trading really seriously and became a full time trader. In addition, he spends a lot of time on self-education and studying, watching online courses on YouTube and other platforms. For him, serious trading means keeping an honest trading diary and doing monthly and weekly analysis. This is where he sees the biggest difference from his early days. Without a journal and enough serious data, a trader simply cannot know where he can improve and what his strengths and weaknesses are.

Backtesting, on the other hand, is not something he spends much time on. There are quite a few differences between backtesting and live trading, according to him. For example, you don't backtest emotions, which are a very important factor in trading. He did test his strategy, but he spent most of his time on live testing, which gave him the best information.

Price action and Fibonacci

Like many successful traders, Pepijn uses a top-down approach, where he first looks at charts with longer timeframes, such as D1 or W1, and then resolves entries on minute, five-minute or fifteen-minute charts. He follows classic price action in his decision making and in addition uses Fibonacci levels in combination with liquidity zones, but even here he doesn't want to have the chart cluttered with lots of lines.

As a full time trader, he can afford to watch the charts almost all day, but he trades mainly when the European markets are open. However, he doesn't open trades until 15 minutes after the London session opens, when the initial volatility has faded from the markets, which can mean unnecessary losses. This approach also allows him to be proactive with open trades, which can sometimes be tricky, but with a disciplined approach it can greatly increase a trader's success rate. As the trade progresses, he then increases his positions in profit and moves the SL, which can increase his potential return without unnecessarily increasing risk.

He doesn't address the fundamental analysis much

He doesn't do much fundamental analysis, especially for short-term trades that last a few hours at most. However, he does not completely reject it and for swing trades, which can last for several days or weeks, he believes it is definitely a good idea to follow the fundamentals. He feels the same way about candlestick patterns, for example, which he says a trader can see virtually anywhere. He does watch them, but he doesn't have a specific rule to use them.

12 currency pairs and gold

As for risk management and position sizes, he uses a calculator that automatically calculates the position size for the selected currency pair based on the amount of money and the number of pips he wants to risk. Pepijn divides his attention between twelve currency pairs, which include virtually all the majors and a few crosses, but he prefers to avoid exotic pairs. Diversification is therefore assured, but 12 currency pairs can be quite a lot for most traders, and sometimes it can be unnecessary. Besides that, he also trades gold, on which he showed us one of his successful trades.

A successful trade on gold

On the daily chart, gold was in a downtrend and on the four-hour chart, of course, it was too. He then addressed his entry on the five-minute and one-minute timeframe, where he says he was able to look for interesting liquidity zones. Once the price returned to a lower liquidity zone, he was just waiting for a suitable entry that would also offer a suitable RRR. So he entered the first trade with an RRR of 5:1.

After he narrowly missed the first TP he started looking for another entry point to increase his position. He found it in the next liquidity zone and entered it with an RRR of 1:1.52. At the same time, he moved his SL from the first trade to the SL of the second trade, so his profit was guaranteed. In the end, he was successful on both trades and realised a very nice profit on both of them.

No need to chase profits

Similar to SL and TP, with risk management, as profits increase, he increases his positions and allows himself to risk a larger percentage. In this particular case, he risked a total of two percent. Since he had already made over 20% on his other trades, he could afford to do so. We don't recommend a similar approach for every trader, as it can have a negative effect in terms of psychology, but when a trader has done the maths, it can pay off with a dose of luck. Normally, he risks no more than one percent and in the early days he risked even less. He was more focused on ending up in profit, not on making big money. "It's better to be safe than sorry," says Pepijn on this.

Since he has experience with something like overtrading, which can be dangerous after both losing and profitable trades, he has a rule that he prefers not to trade after a very successful day. In short, it is better to clear his head and ensure that he does not unnecessarily lose a given profit the very next day.

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