Forex Traders

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Martin Schwartz

Martin Schwartz, also known among professionals under his nickname “Buzzy”, is Wall Street legendary trader. He is an icon and role model for countless traders around the Globe. He was especially successful in short-term trading. In his first year as an independent investor he earn 600 000 USD; in the next year he doubled this amount. It’s known that usually Schwartz was trading with approximate amount of 70 000 USD per day and sometimes his daily income reached several million dollars. Non-stop trading and active deals’ execution absorb all of his life. When his health suffered from this abnormal life temp Martin Schwartz reduced professional assignment, almost retiring from the business following medical recommendations. He went to his house in Florida where he stays with his wife and two children and continues calm pace trading.

Martin Schwartz graduated from Amherst College and then proceeded to Columbia University, where he received MBA diploma in 1970. After servicing in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves he started as a financial analyst in E.F. Hutton stock brokerage firm. This position involves a lot of routine work and is considered to be a career dead-end so as soon as Martin accumulated 100 000 USD of personal savings he left the company and invested his capital on American stock exchange as an independent solo trader.

Very soon he became a legend. He specialized in option and futures trade as well as investments in equities. His colleagues noticed extremely high rapidity of his position changes and that he never sticks to one instrument for long. That’s why Martin got the alias “one day trader”.

Being proud of his strategy and finical success Martin Schwartz accepted challenge and participated in the U.S. Investing Championship, which was organized by Stanford University in 1984. The championship consisted of 9 rounds and started early morning with the trading session opening. Schwartz made exciting performance and at the end of the day earned more money than the rest participants altogether. As a result the new model of intraday trading was accepted by both experienced professional investors and “do it yourself” amateurs, trading from their homes. Noticeably in 1998 in one interview Schwartz predicted that the market, which had reached its historical maximum, would pass the breaking point and go through correction.

Martin Schwartz became one of the most famous and successful businessmen, being fully dedicated to stock exchange investments. He liked thrills of fast changing market deals so much that he was ready to sacrifice his health and to devote all his life to this business. Martin described in detail his ups and downs in autobiography book “Pit Bull: Lessons from Wall Street’s Champion Day Trader”, which was issued in 1999.

Stanley Druckenmiller

Stanley Druckenmiller is an icon of stock market. His trade mark “top-down” strategy made him one of the most successful brokers in United States history. Pretty often he initiated extremely risky transactions but always managed to accomplish them with profit. Druckenmiller built his reputation making large bets on macroeconomic themes that he spotted before others. His intelligence and self-control has earned him fame and fortune.

Stanley Druckenmiller was born in 1953 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He comes from average family; none of his parents were billionaires so he earned his huge fortune by himself. Stanley graduated Collegiate School in Richmond (Virginia) and received honorary degree in English and Economics from Bowdoin College. He also enrolled in the course of Philosophy and Economics in Michigan University but was forced to quit it as he accepted a job offer from Pittsburgh National Bank. Very soon he got a position of the Head of the bank’s equity research group.

In 1981 he established own company Duquesne Capital Management, meanwhile being consultant of famous investment funds Dreyfus and George Soros’s Quantum. At that time he used to travel between Pittsburgh and New-York several times per week. Finally he settled in Pittsburgh and grown to be head of Dreyfus Corporation. In late 80s George Soros invited him to become a part of Quantum team in order to replace another famous hedge fund manager Victor Niderhoffer.

Actually at that time Druckenmiller was the leading portfolio manager for Quantum Fund. Together with Soros they conducted an operation for Great Britain pound devaluation. Druckenmiller calculated that the Bank of England did not have enough reserves to support the currency by raising interest rates. In 1992 the fund received 1 billion USD profit from GBP trade.

In 2000 after a series of notable failures he left Quantum Fund and fully concentrated on his own company. Duquesne Capital performed excellently and raised more than $10 billion in assets. In its 30 years history the fund has never had a losing year. Stanley Druckenmiller was President and Chairman of the firm until announcement of its dismissal by the founder in August, 2010. According to his interview, “he’d been worn down by the stress of trying to maintain one of the best trading records in the industry while managing an enormous amount of capital”.

He is well known philanthropist, donating a lot of money to charity. His biggest cause has been Harlem Children’s Zone, an organization which aims to eradicate poverty in a 100-block area of the New York neighborhood by providing education, health care and job training to the community. Also he and his wife Fiona, a former Dreyfus fund manager, support various medical programs, including New York City AIDS walk.

After his retirement Druckenmiller intends to spend more time with his family and friends, play golf and work on his charitable pursuits. He is the most famous fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the National Football League team (in 2008 he even was planning to buy it). Druckenmiller has three daughters. His personal wealth is estimated to be around 3,5 billion USD and he constantly appear in second hundred of Forbes ranking of World’s richest individuals.

Alexander Elder

Alexander Elder is a professional stock trader and famous consultant, expert on technical analysis and market psychology. He was born in Leningrad, USSR, but grew up in Estonia, where he attended Tartu University, Medical faculty. After graduating from the University he found a job of a ship’s doctor in Tallinn. In 1974 being visiting with the ship’s crew Abidjan, a capital of The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Cost), West Africa, he asked for political asylum through local United States embassy and later on immigrated to USA.

He continued medical practice, working in New-York’s clinics and entering New-York Psychoanalytical Institute. He even managed to open a private clinic but in late 1970s switched to totally new for him field of stock market operations, investing mainly in equities and options. He established own company “Financial Trading”, which soon became leader in investment and financial analysis training. The psychiatrist background provided him with a unique insight into the psychology of trading, which he shares in his bestselling books.

Elder’s books “Trading for a Living” и “Come into My Trading Room – A Complete Guide to Trading” are considered to be financial trading classics. Initially issued in 1993 “Trading for a Living” has been translated into 9 languages, including Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Polish. It’s still listed #1 exchange business bestseller. Elder’s approach was original and new not only for investors from developing countries, but to experienced American traders as well. He had proven that successful stock trading was not possible without understanding of psychological aspects of investments.

“Trading for a Living” was followed by “Come into My Trading Room” – a complete guide to financial trading for experienced investors. The book described three “M” of market success – Mind (clear thinking and self discipline of a trader), Method (technical analysis and various trading methods) and Money Management (risk hedging and control). It won Barron’s Best Book award in 2002.

His later books were not so popular. “Rubles to Dollars” was dedicated to transformation of Russian economy and its investment potential.

Elder’s books, articles and software reviews, written from the professional trader and psychologist perspective, made him one of the most respected technical analysis experts. References to his works fill almost any stock market tutorial. His description of Stock Exchange trading is interesting and accessible, especially when he comes to psychology of trading and teaches how to achieve efficient market control through control of own emotions. Alexander Elder found out that many investors afraid to “pull the trigger” and commence execution of trading deals. This fear is a trader’s greatest problem. If you have methodology base, control over capital and psychological stop loss rules – then you have everything necessary for investment success. His advices may be useful for both novice traders and market professionals.

About his own market history Alexander Elder once said: “It was long and difficult way of soaring peaks and drastic falls. Sometimes moving straight forward, sometimes twisting around I often hurt myself and ruined my stock account. At those times I had been returning to my work in clinic, hoarding, reading, rethinking and developing the methodology. Afterwards I always came back to stock trading”.

Alexander Elder is still practicing consultant, he holds trainings and seminars on stock investments in USA, Asia, Australia, Europe and Russia.

Larry Hite

Larry Hite is rightfully considered to be one of the Founding Fathers of modern stock exchange trade. He is world acclaimed trader, author of countless financial publications and in 1986 Business Week business magazine awarded him its annual “Best of Award”.

Being the Wall Street legend Larry Hite had walked long way to success and his history is full of interesting details. In his youth nothing predicted brilliant future for this careless young man. Mediocre learning performance was followed by a time of accidental job changes. He went with the tide and had never lingered in one place for long. Notwithstanding that he had showed some interest to financial markets during his college studies he started professional career as an actor and scriptwriter. He hadn’t reached much of success in this field but at least had been enjoying the work and it earned him living. Once he met Brian Epstein, the famous manager of The Beatles band, and that inspired him for the next career twist. Larry thought that he could make good money on rock music without huge initial capital. He concluded several recording contracts with some bands – none of them actually became big stars but as a minimum their paid back the investments.

Anyway the scope of his genuine interest was within financial markets. Much later he said: “You may hear about people who earned capital on Wall Street in order to become a scriptwriter or an actor. I was the only one who worked as an actor and scriptwriter to pay for Wall Street career”. He heard radio show where G. L. Hunt told how he made a fortune on large scale oil option trade. Options provided significant profit with low risk. So in 1968 Hite fully dedicated himself to his main passion. Because he didn’t feel confident enough to work with futures Larry began as a stock broker and after several years of practice proceeded to commodities market.

It took him ten years to get all necessary knowledge and experience for long term financial investments. In 1981 he co-founded “Mint Investment Management Co”. He understood that his trading ideas must be scientifically verified so he offered a partnership to Peter Matthews – famous statistics expert. One year later the company hired Michael Delman who was computer specialist and engineered electronic security systems. Matthews and Delman brought new ideas and, what is the most important, mathematically proved statistical consistence of Hite’s trading concept. Larry Hite always underlines that Mint’s success is the result of all partners’ tight collaboration.

Mint Investment Management had never targeted highest possible returns. Alternatively it staked on strict risk control. This approach – risk weighted profit – made it famous. For the period from April 1981 (start of operations) till mid 1988 the company’s average total return on investments had been exceeding 30%. But the main key feature of the Mint’s success was its incredible stability: annual profit had been varying between minimum 13% and maximum 60%. Maximum possible loss for any 6-month period was only 15% and was even less than 1% for any 12 month. This outstanding performance led to prominent and steady growth of managed assets. In 1981 it started with 2 million USD assets and became the first investment firm to manage over 1 billion USD. And the growth did not affect its efficiency – Hite esteemed that Mint Investment Management was capable of managing up to 2 billion USD assets, what would be an absolute record for futures fund.

In 1983, Larry Hite formed a joint venture with the Man Group to create and distribute alternative investment products. He pioneered the principal protected fund concept, leading to a number of successful structured products and financial engineering innovations. Later on he focused on other investment activities, including private equity and other proprietary trading. Since 2000, Hite has been Chairman of Hite Capital Management, a family office operation in New York. In the same year, Hite also became a principal investor and chairman of Metropolitan Venture Partners, a venture capital firm specializing in technology-based firms. In February 2010 Hite joined International Standard Asset Management (ISAM) as part of the strategic alliance between ISAM and Hite Capital Management. He is actively involved in diversifying the ISAM product offering and creation of a multi-strategy platform of liquid hedge fund strategies. He has dedicated the last 30 years of his life in the pursuit of the most robust statistical trading programs capable of generating consistent, attractive risk/return relationships across a broad spectrum of markets and instruments.

Jack Schwager

Jack Schwager is Managing Director and principal of Fortune Group and leading portfolio manager for Fortune’s Market Wizards Funds of Funds – wide range of diversified institutional hedge funds. He is also Board Member of Fortune’s research affiliate Global Fund Analysis, independent analytic center for hedge funds study.

He was born in 1948 and spent his youth years in Brooklyn, where his family had moved from Belgium when Jack was 4 years old. His father was dishwasher and waiter in a local restaurant and mother worked on assembly line of jewelry boxes’ factory. Jack remembers that his father in 1967-1968 was trying to trade on boiling stock market. The investments were not successful and seeing his father’s emotional suffering Jack Schwager decided to realize a family dream. He went all the way to become the leading national expert on stock trading and recognized business analyst.

Schwager graduated Brooklyn College and Brown University with degree in economics and mathematic. Looking for position of an analyst he placed a CV in New-York Time and got an offer from Reynolds Securities to joint their securities research team. He showed himself as promising expert on commodities (mainly cotton and sugar) futures contracts. It was a boost of his career. Next 20 years Schwager had been holding managing positions in different financial companies such as Smith Barney, PaineWebber and Prudential Securities.

But worldwide fame came to him with “Market Wizards” book series, which is considered classic investment literature. During his trading career Jack Schwager met and interviewed some of the most well known and respected traders in the industry: Ed Seykota, Stan Druckenmiller, Richard Driehaus and many others. The compilation of this work gave birth to famous series comprised of “Market Wizards” (published in 1988), “New Market Wizards” (1992) and “Stock Market Wizards” (2001). First two books are dedicated to fast changing Foreign Exchange market, commodities and stock indexes investments; the last one consists of interviews with medium class “wizards” and thus is most valued by average American investors. It presents numerous strictly defined efficient option investment strategies and contains “65 wizard’s lessons” which summarize the key things to be learned from all interviews. These lessons are the main value of the series and may be interesting to every trader regardless of his or her personal experience.

Among other significant Schwager’s works his very first book – “A Complete Guide to the Futures Markets” – should be mentioned. It was published in 1984 and is still referred as futures’ trade classic. Ten years later he reviewed and further developed this original work in three volumes of “Schwager and futures” series: “Fundamental Analysis” (published in 1995), “Technical analysis” (1996), “Managed Trading: Myths and truths” (1996). He is also author of critically acclaimed “Getting Started in Technical Analysis” (1999) included in the “Getting Started…” series of John Wiley publishing house.

Jack Schwager spends lot of time as a seminar speaker where he focuses on experience of leading individual traders and investors, biggest hedge funds, different technical analysis aspects and trading platforms implementations.

The main line of Schwager’s books and seminars is to teach traders to overcome difficulties. All nowadays famous investors had made mistakes in the beginning of their financial career but they learned from them and grew further. He also persuades novice traders not to copy style and actions of financial market celebrities and to develop personal trading strategy, tailored to individual’s spirit and character.