Meet Bjorn Pace
Bjorn has been a committed member of Trading MasterClass since the very beginning of 2019. At the end of August 2020, he officially became one of TMC’s youngest traders to quit their day job and go full-time (at only 19 years of age)! Bjorn is living proof that anything is possible. You don’t have to wait until you’re 40, 50, 60+ to live life on your own terms. Check out the full interview TMC recently conducted with Bjorn below…
When did your trading journey first begin?
So my journey and interest in trading all began when I was in secondary school. I remember coming home on a Tuesday afternoon stressed about all the assignments I had due by the end of the week which I hadn’t even started yet (never was the school type of person). I remember I was so stressed that I decided to fall back and give myself an hour to get myself together. That hour turned into 3. It is cliche, yes, but the first thing that sparked interest was the movie “Wolf Of Wall Street”. So for the coming 6-9 months I dug further into it and started making my own personal notes from lessons I went through on “babypips”. The concept of doing things differently had stuck with me. The fact that all these people made this a living and didn’t require college & university made it something that actually interested me. When I mentioned my interest in trading, everyone jumped on me and started battering me with accusations and assumptions. Being 17 years old, they managed to convince me to not purse the growing interest I had in this sector and led me to continue with my studies. However, I used to sit at the back row of my class and continue making my short notes that I could gather from babypips. By the time the 3rd semester had come, I felt miserable, no passion whatsoever in what I’m studying and my results reflected that which led me to the conclusion to dropout of college.
"The concept of doing things differently had stuck with me."
My parents still weren’t sold on the fact that there are other ways to be “successful” other than your typical - go to college - graduate university - get a stable Job - finance a house and work till 65 for your pension. I knew this wasn’t the way that I wanted it, but seeing my parents so disappointed in the fact that it doesn’t interest me to graduate from university, I went back into a different college with different studies just so if trading doesn’t workout in my direction, I could have something to fall back on. 3 months in I saw that having the reasoning of “having something to fall back onto” is only making the concept of not succeeding in trading okay. So by then it came to my conclusion that if it really is something that interested me, I had to cut all strings that where holding me back and go all into this journey. I gained a lot of knowledge and terminologies over at babypips, but everything was still unclear and I didn’t have any material/strategies which I could study. Later on I came across Jonny on IG (bless your sole J & the IG algorithm) and chose to purse TMC in January 2019.
When did you leave your day job, and what was it that made you want to pursue full-time trading?
Leaving my day job was a memorable day, I had been working as a bartender since 15yo (quite sure this is illegal lol) and worked my way up to become assistant bar manager. Loved what I did but not as much as I loved trading. At the time, 3/4 of my wage was going towards funding my trading account which was great, but working late hours till 2/3am made getting up and priming myself at 6am somewhat of a struggle. I’d miss positions and I was aware that I wasn’t operating at my peak performance which caused me to go in a lot of drawdown months. Therefore, I decided to go about it in a different way. Instead of using 3/4 of my wage to fund my account, I put it towards saving up 2 years worth of my monthly expenses which then allowed me the time to give trading the attention it needed… which was my full attention and focus while operating at my peak.
What is something unexpected that you love about trading?
Something about being different from the traditional educational system had struck me. I realized from an early age that going to college and graduating from university was only setting you up to be a good employee for someone… using your 5/10 years of studying just so you could do a better job in achieving someone else’s dream, and then they blind you with a pay check at the end of the month. That was something which made me hate the traditional eduction system and made me venture out to see what are the possibilities in which you can work for your own self. Trading came along and the un-capped potential that it offered made me realize that if you pursue it with ambition and the desire to succeed, there isn’t a limit on what you can achieve.
That was the part that caught my attention, but the part that made me absolutely fall in love with it was the constant need of self-growth it has to offer. You’re not just growing into more of an independent person financial wise, but you’re also growing from a spiritual aspect and getting to know more about self-control, how the mind works and how to stay at your peak performance. More and more, it made me realize how much of a valuable asset it was to know how to trade the markets, looking at worst case scenarios as a matter of “opportunity” instead of a matter of “stress”.
"If you pursue it (trading) with ambition and the desire to succeed, there isn’t a limit on what you can achieve."
What are one to three books that have profoundly impacted your trading journey / life in general? Why?
Rich Dad Poor Dad - On my way to school for an hour everyday on the bus, it made me open my mind, venture out to new ideas and other ways of doing it, realizing that there are other options than just this 1 path which my parents have so much engraved in their heads.
The Untethered Soul - Jonny (from the TMC Team) recommended this book and I can’t thank him enough as it’s one of the best books I have read. It uses great examples of how to look at life and help you realize that the human life goes such a longer way. It helped me create a better way of living in simpler words. Definitely recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.
What new belief, behaviour, or habit has helped you gain the most forward momentum since becoming a trader?
Structure. Structure was the one thing that has helped me gain continuous forward momentum without getting burned out. A series which is not much talked about which I absolutely love and recommend to everyone in TMC is “The Mental Game of Trading” on RealVision. An interview they conducted with Brett Steenbarger included the 4 aspects of having a positive psychology in this sector, these are as follows:
Happiness - doing things that are fun and you deeply enjoy doing.
Fulfilment - doing things that are deeply meaningful to us.
Energy - things/activities that stimulate us ie. physical exercise/meditation.
Affection - close relationships with our friends, loved ones, romance.
Implementing these 4 areas into your daily structure allows people to perform well under high conditions of stress, as long as they have high levels of well being. If demands and pressures that traders have are balanced up by the 4 areas of well-being, stress doesn’t become distress. Balancing high demands with well-being is optimal for peak performance.
What advice would you give to an inspired, driven individual about to step into the trading world?
Give it your all and embrace yourself for flaws and f***ups (excuse the language) in your trading because they will eventually help you to become who you’re supposed to be.
It takes time for the results to shine, having absolute clarity makes us escape performance anxiety which can disrupt our thinking patterns and interfere with decision making. It interferes with our body in such a way where we focus on the outcome of the trade, therefore interfering with the performance itself. If you think about it, when we’re in a state of anxiety, we lose our access to the information that we have rehearsed. We go into the “fight or flight” mode, which makes us step away from our optimal state of mind. It’s the blood flowing away from our frontal cortex and flows towards the motor areas of the brain. Stay focused - more specifically, stay process focused rather than outcome focused.
"Stay focused - more specifically, stay process focused rather than outcome focused."
How has Trading MasterClass assisted your evolution?
Clarity. Trading MasterClass doesn’t just offer a set of strategies for one to learn and implement. It goes out of its way to continually evolve in such a way where you grow as a trader but also spiritually. Something which I cannot put into words about my love and appreciation towards TMC and the team. Very humbled by the fact that my first form of education was with TMC and not any other courses because I am quite certain of the fact that I wouldn’t be as close to the person I am today if it wasn’t for the constant knowledge that the team gives out.
What’s next for you now that you’ve begun a new chapter as a full-time trader?
In my teens, travelling was never a part of it. At the age of 18, I had only been on an airplane twice, with those two times being at the age of 3y/o and 8y/o. My family used to work a lot but with how life conditions were, mom and dad were always living from pay-check to pay-check… I used to skip out on all the school trips.
Upgrading to a laptop lifestyle is what I aspire to achieve in the coming years. Becoming a digital nomad and trading while going from county to county, spending a good period of time to embrace the different cultures and lifestyles of those different countries or cities. Some of these countries include Bali, Philippines, Canada, France, United Kingdom. In these countries I would be spending time in each and renting nice rental apartments, while upgrading my luxuries.
Any final words of wisdom?
Even if one person will resonate with my journey, I’d be truly fulfilled. Love to all!
How can we keep up with you?