EP 026: How to overcome ‘boom & bust’ cycles and achieve longevity: Futures trader, Brad Jelinek

Aaron Fifield Podcast 14 Comments

At a young age some people want nothing more than to be a trader, well this weeks guest is one of those people…

Brad Jelinek first started dabbling in stocks during his days in junior high, then from college he went straight into a Chicago prop firm. Thirteen years later, Brad is with the same firm and predominately trades futures.

So during our conversation, I of course asked Brad a bunch of questions around prop trading, and futures related topics, which he responded with many outstanding answers.

But the part I found to be really interesting, was listening to Brad talk about health ‘n wellbeing, and the emphasis he has on longevity in this business. So if you plan on sticking around, and really want to make something of your trading career, I suggest you pay extra close attention to this segment.

Q + A:

Brad is on standby and keen to answer any questions you may have about trading. To ask him something, just scroll to the bottom of this page and leave a comment!

“Being more risk adverse doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it can mean you’re more consistent.”

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“There’s old traders & there’s bold traders, but there’s no old, bold traders.”

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“If it prevents me from burning out, I can’t put a price on that.”

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Lessons learnt in this interview:

  • The benefits that attracted Brad to trading with a prop firm, and the resources which reduced his learning curve.
  • How Brad expanded his network and built relationships with other traders, and 3 suggestions that will help you to do the same.
  • Why Brad predominately trades futures over other financial products, and how traders within your circle influence your style of trading.
  • How Brad times entries with technical analysis, instead of reading the order book like he did in earlier years. And why the up-rise of computers sparked this change.
  • Hedging positions to reduce risk and gain additional protection, with a recent example. Plus, Brad highlights the flip-side which can leave you loosing twice as much if your analysis is wrong.
  • The way your views on risk change after accumulating a larger account, having some success and experiencing others around you lose it all.
  • How to trick your brain and make a big impact on your results by changing the way you review your trades and performance.
  • An example of how Brad had to change his way of trading to adapt to the ever evolving market environment, which included less micromanaging of positions.
  • Health and wellbeing – the daily activities and mental shift that have helped Brad to lead a balanced life, with less stress and avoid burnout.
  • The importance of preparing yourself for longevity in this business, and how to achieve a clear cutoff between personal life and trading.
  • And much, much more…

Links and resources mentioned:

  • Hedge Fund Market WizardsHow Winning Traders Win by Jack Schwager. This one and the other books in the Market Wizards series are recommended reading from Brad. These books tell the story of traders who have gone through tough times, and come out the other side to reach huge success.
  • CME Futures Radio – To learn more about Brad, you might like to listen to his interview with Anthony Crudele, recorded earlier this year (2015).
  • Email – To get in touch with Brad you can shoot him an email, his address is mentioned towards the end of the interview.

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