EP 036: Trading since 1975 – @PeterLBrandt shares lessons from 40+ years of extraordinary returns

Aaron Fifield Podcast 3 Comments


I can promise you right now, this one will not disappoint…

My guest today is the legendary trader, Peter Brandt.

Peter first started trading around 1975 (which I’m sure is before many of you listening were even born – that’s certainly the case for me). So that’s 5 decades involved with markets, i.e. ’70’s, ’80’s, ’90’s… – a very long time!

To give you an idea of Peter’s performance during this time, he has achieved a compounding annual growth rate of approximately 42%, with his best year returning well over 600%. Of course we want to know about his worst years also, well there has only been three of them, which were all drawdowns of less than 8%.

During this interview we discuss Peter’s early years working at the Chicago Board of Trade, and classical charting patterns (which form the roots of his trading methodology). We also get into Peter’s views on high frequency trading operations, why he has the default assumption that every trade will be a losing bet and some of the common misconceptions about super-traders.

Learn more about the latest CWT eBook here: Why Most Traders Never Succeed

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Lessons learnt in this interview:

  • How Peter was able to support himself through the initial learning phase of becoming a trader. And advice to other traders who may have thrown themselves in the deep end (quitting a job to trade full-time, without a track record of profitability).
  • An overview of Peter’s trading methodology, using classical charting patterns. He also explains to the extent that his methods have changed over decades of trading (which is very minimal).
  • Why Peter zooms out to weekly and monthly bar charts for pattern recognition, and uses daily charts for timing only.
  • Peter shares his views on HFT (high frequency trading) operations, why he believes they’re unethical, how they have an unfair advantage, and why they should be ruled out.
  • The reason why Peter has a default assumption that every trade he places will be a loser, and how this helps him to manage risk more effectively.
  • The commonalities of Peter’s ‘net bottom liner’ trades (the 10-15% of trades which make up for 85-90% of his profits).
  • Common misconceptions about traders who ‘make it’, and why success is a blend of hard work and luck.
  • Plus much more…

Links and resources mentioned:

  • Technical Analysis and Stock Market Profits by Richard Schabacker – As Peter mentioned during the interview, this book was one of the original publications on classical charting patterns.
  • Technical Analysis of Stock Trends by Edwards & Magee – The first book Peter read about classical charting patterns, which forever changed the way he trades – his methods are still very much based on the ideas shared within this book.
  • Diary of a Professional Commodity Trader by Peter Brandt – Inside this real-time journal are many lessons from 21 weeks of real trading in commodity and forex markets (Dec ’09 – April ’10).
  • Trading Lessons Learned by Factor During The Years – Here’s a link to Peter’s trading rules, which I mentioned towards the end of the interview. Highly recommend you read over this page.
  • PeterLBrandt.com – To learn more about Peter and the way he trades, you can visit his blog here. You’ll find plenty of great charting setups and examples.
  • @PeterLBrandt – Be sure to follow Peter on Twitter, this is where he is most active.
  • @PeterLBrandt – For Stocktwits users, he goes by the same handle here too.
  • Why Most Traders Never Succeed by Chat With Traders – The new guide that tells you exactly why most traders lose money, and why most will eventually crash an burn.

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