Meet Michael Filipiuk
Michael joined TMC just over a year ago and in a very short period of time, he has already shown massive commitment to his evolution as a trader! Michael recently made the leap to our TMC Diamond program to ensure his success through systemizing his approach + creating a rock solid trading plan + surrounding himself with other traders as committed as he is. Michael also contributes regularly to the TMC Club sharing various technical and mindset related posts, bringing immense value to everyone involved. At only 19 years of age, we believe Michael’s just getting started… and we couldn’t be happier to be part of his trading journey! We expect BIG things in his future and we appreciate his contribution to the TMC Member Interview Series!
When did your trading journey first begin?
My trading journey started in March of 2021, after I found Jonny’s and Irek’s profiles on Instagram. I think I found one of their posts on my Explore page on Instagram, and went to check out their content. I loved how they weren’t primarily focused just on trading, but also on self-development, which was something that I was interested in since I was 15.
At that time, I was 18, so I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in life. I was working as a freelance designer back then, alongside studying in high school. It was the age at which people generally aim to find themselves and their passions, and I was no different. Trading just felt right from the very beginning. Even though I was already making some money, I knew that it’s just not what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life.
I quickly finished the Trading MasterClass course content around May/June 2021, but didn’t really feel confident enough to start just yet. I ended up placing my first live trade in July 2021, and it was a small loss. In the next few months, I placed a few trades here and there, but I didn’t have any plan in place. I didn’t know what I was doing. I had some wins and some losses, but there was absolutely no sign of consistency.
I took a small break out of career reasons around September 2021, and came back to trading in January 2022 with a much more serious approach. I was like: “That’s it. This is what I’m doing in life”. I didn’t want to design, code, be a lawyer, writer, accountant… I just wanted to trade. Every other career path just felt boring.
What was it that made you want to pursue trading?
The fact that it lets you make money without relying on anyone else. No job, no business, customers, clients… just you, your laptop, and the markets. It just felt… unique. I couldn’t think of any other field in life that allows for such freedom. Also, it seemed like a lifelong skill that’s with you for the rest of your life once you build it.
Also, from the very beginning I knew that there’s more to trading than just chart analysis. I felt that in order to actually succeed and beat the 90% of traders who fail, something more is needed - proper mental game and psychology.
Another big factor for me was the leverage it provides. With a big enough account, you can make someone’s monthly or yearly wage within a few clicks. Of course, it’s a very long journey, but it’s possible, which was enough to make me motivated.
What is something unexpected that you love about trading?
The fact that becoming good at trading can’t be achieved without becoming good at your life. You essentially need to have your life figured out to be a good trader, so things like meditation, exercise, self-reflection, and eating well are essential.
"Becoming good at trading can’t be achieved without becoming good at your life."
On the other side, you not only need to be good at life to be good at trading, but good trading makes you better at life. Lessons I’ve learned throughout my (short) journey are huge. Things like sticking to a plan aren’t important only in trading, but also, for example, at the gym. My mindset towards life changed entirely. I feel like my decision-making processes became better after I decided to dedicate time to trading.
What advice would you give to an inspired, driven individual about to step into the trading world?
First of all, accept that you might lose money at first. Before you learn the technicals & you have your psychology in place, you’re very likely to lose money at the beginning. It’s just how it works. You can’t expect to enter the trading game and pull money out of the market right away.
Next up, I’d strongly suggest joining a driven community in which members empower each other (TMC is a great example!). I honestly can’t imagine being on this journey alone. The amount of support, advice, and motivation you can get from such a community is priceless.
I’d also suggest forgetting most of the shiny things many traders share online, especially if they ask you to join their course, buy their book, etc. Trading is hard work, and it’s certainly not as easy as joining some signal group and turning your $5k into a million. Focus on working hard, constantly learning, regardless how good your results are, and remembering what made you start in the first place.
What do you believe are the three most important characteristics of a successful trader?
Self-awareness. People tend to overestimate how good they are in many cases. When we win, we attribute the successes to ourselves, as if we had everything under control. When we lose, we usually find someone or something to blame, so that we look good. Even though that’s how most people operate on a daily basis, being aware of your mistakes is key to eliminating them.
Calmness, at least during trading. Staying calm regardless of what happens is needed to make the correct decision. I remember my first few trades - I made random, discretionary decisions, simply because I was either scared or greedy. Another example of calmness being useful in a trader’s life is when we experience a lot of emotions in our head during trading sessions. It’s a great practice to journal what we are feeling in a given moment, so we can work with those emotions later on. In order to notice them however, you need to stay calm and open.
Patience. It might be tempting to force trades, especially during quiet periods on the market, but that does more harm than good.
"Being aware of your mistakes is key to eliminating them."
When you’re experiencing chaos, struggling with your performance, or are in draw down, what do you do?
The first step for me is to do a deep review process of all the trades that add up to create the draw down / bad performance period. The most important question I always ask myself is: “is this according to the plan?“. If the answer is yes, then I don’t really consider this situation as chaos anymore. Just the other side of my edge presenting itself, or probability not playing out. It’s all a matter of perspective. Not every lost trade is a mistake on my end.
It’s key to be self-aware at this step. When in a draw down, I’m usually stressed, fearful, or angry, so it’s vital to stay objective during this review process.
After that’s out of the way, it’s time to prepare for the future. If you’re like me, you’re probably much more prone to overtrading or undertrading when in a drawdown - you either want to get out of it by making profit, or avoid making it bigger, by not taking setups. When doing my analysis, I do my very best to forget that I'm in drawdown at all. I always ask myself if the trade meets every point of my trading plan, and if it does - I take it. If it doesn’t, I don’t. That’s a simple process, but you need a plan to do it.
How has Trading MasterClass assisted your evolution?
Trading MasterClass has taught me everything. Starting from the basics of reading the charts, through their strategies, all the way to the reviewing & backtesting processes. TMC didn’t assist my evolution. TMC was a necessary step of my evolution.
In March 2022 I joined TMC Diamond, and the lessons there are just next level. I currently have a trading plan which I work on improving regularly.
The TMC community is fantastic. I can ask a question and get an amazing, comprehensive response within minutes. I can’t imagine learning to trade alone, especially with my relatively low amount of experience.
What are one to three books that have deeply influenced your life?
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman - a classic in psychology and cognitive biases, essentially a guide to how we think as humans. Such a huge part of trading comes down to decision-making, and this book explains some of the most common flaws all of us make on a daily basis, without even knowing it. While this book was great, the reason why I consider it to be so important is because it started my journey with these types of books.
The Mental Game of Trading by Jared Tendler - so far definitely the best book I’ve read on trading. Every trader with at least a few months of experience probably understands that psychology is vital to success, and this book is a guide on handling your emotions, behaviors and thoughts. I love how practical it is. Everyone who’s struggling with their psychology in trading has to give it a read.
Mastery by Robert Greene - this book explains what it takes to become a master at something. It shows that in order to be really great at something, you need to put in the work. People aren’t born lucky, they make their own luck.
What is your next immediate trading goal?
Reaching consistency. I’m happy to say that I’m ending Q2 2022 with 3 months of consistent profits (small, but profits!), which is a huge step-up from the previous months. I aim for constantly refining my plan, increasing monthly profits, and staying in peak performance, as I’ve been struggling with it lately.
Any final words of wisdom?
"If you see someone living a life you desire, it’s entirely possible to you."
Also, if you want big things from life, chances are that your friends and family might pull you down, even if they want the best for you. Make sure to not be a victim to peer pressure, and pursue your own path. I was lucky enough to have people who supported me around me, but I’ve seen a lot of my friends get discouraged by their parents. You need to trust yourself, otherwise you won’t live your dream life, but someone else’s dream version of your life. It's especially true when you're young. Right now I'm just 19, and with most of my friends going to university, it felt weird to do something else.
How can we keep up with you?
I’m mostly active on my Instagram at @michael.filipiuk, and Twitter: @michaelfilipiuk.