Smail Essalehi

I love what trading gives me in terms of personal development.

  • Status
  • Location
    Barcelona, Spain
  • Trader Personality
    Day trader
  • Experience
    Since 2017
Meet Smail Essalehi

Smail is an ambitious and dedicated trader originally hailing from Morocco and now residing in the vibrant city of Barcelona, Spain. His trading journey began in 2017, when he was initially drawn to trading while working as a network marketer. Smail's passion for trading quickly took over, leading him to educate himself and pursue trading full-time. His deep appreciation for the personal growth and development that trading offers, along with his emphasis on perseverance and discipline, has been instrumental in his journey. With a commitment to continuous improvement, Smail shares valuable insights into the importance of mindset, routine, and adaptability in achieving long-term success in the trading world. Join us as we delve into his experiences, beliefs, and the role Trading MasterClass has played in his evolution as a trader.

When did your trading journey first begin?

I discovered the world of trading in 2017 while working as a network marketer for a company that sold trading services. I quickly became more interested in the trading aspect than the "sales" aspect of the job, so after less than a year, I shifted my focus to just trading and started educating myself. However, my journey with TMC started later, a little before the very first Covid-19 quarantine. I used to trade back then, but I wasn’t profitable at all and was blowing account after account making all the mistakes a trader could make.

At that time, I was learning as much as I could about technical analysis through free online resources (YouTube, blogs, forums, etc.), but I didn't know the importance of considering trading as a business, working on its psychological aspect, having a trading plan adapted to my personality, etc.

A friend of mine, who knew I was interested in Forex, came across a video made by Irek and advised me to look at it. It clicked with me right away and within 3 days I became a member of the Trading MasterClass community.

Smail's trading setup
What was it that made you want to pursue trading?

I have always had this drive and desire to be an entrepreneur and have tried many things since I was young, from network marketing to e-commerce to affiliate marketing. Making money online from my laptop was always an idea that I thought was just incredible, as it allows an individual to have complete control over their life as they see fit.

When I discovered trading and the ability to make money from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection, and having plenty of free time to pursue other passions, I quickly realised that I had found the Holy Grail to living an abundant life, which motivated me to not give up until I make it.

"I quickly realised that I had found the Holy Grail to living an abundant life"
What is something unexpected that you love about trading?

The more I got involved, the more I realised that the technical analysis aspect was only part of the puzzle and that in order to succeed, I had to work on my psychology, learn to adopt a consistent routine every day to give the best of myself, learn to manage my emotions and to understand them, be in good shape mentally, but also physically to be able to perform at peak performance.

All of this requires extreme discipline and motivation because, ultimately, as traders we adopt a particular lifestyle that has a positive impact not only on our trading activities, but on our lives in general. As a person who is always looking for ways to improve, I just love what trading gives me in terms of personal development and growth.

"I just love what trading gives me in terms of personal development and growth."

It is a never-ending journey where you are always learning, and the most exciting part is that no matter how many years of experience you have in the market, you must always test and adjust your strategies and strengthen your mindset to take advantage of the multitude of opportunities that the market can offer. Nothing is left to chance.

A quote shared by a TMC member, which is also the introduction to my trading plan, sums it up perfectly: “A trading plan to a trader is what a recipe is to a 5-star chef. A great chef crafts & perfects a dish to the best of his abilities. He samples and tests the recipe in a contained risk-free environment, before adding it to the menu. Rarely, if ever, he refines the recipe, he begins the process of testing all over again.”

What advice would you give to an inspired, driven individual about to step into the trading world?

Perseverance, perseverance and perseverance!

Throughout my journey, I have seen many people give up after not getting the results they wanted and always blame everyone but themselves for their lack of drive and unrealistic expectations.

As cliché as it may sound, my biggest piece of advice is to persevere and accept that trading and any other serious activity is not a get-rich-quick scheme, contrary to what fake social media traders try to make beginners believe. I started trading when I was about 19 and became profitable enough to live off of it when I was 24, a 5-year process before I saw concrete, consistent results. If I had given up when the results were not there, I would never have unlocked my full potential.

Jump into this world if you are willing to put your heart into it, otherwise you will be quickly disappointed. You must be realistic in your expectations and understand that this is a long-term commitment. Nevertheless, once you have acquired the skills and all the aspects related to it, you will be able to extract profits from any market and lead your life as you please.

"Jump into this world if you are willing to put your heart into it"
What new belief, behaviour, or habit has helped you gain the most forward momentum since becoming a trader?

Since I changed my lifestyle and started creating a clear system around my trading, I have seen real improvement in all areas. I understood the importance of having a morning routine before jumping on the charts. I experimented with several until I found the one that worked best for me and kept me alert all day. I usually wake up, have breakfast, read, go through my watchlist, work out, relax, and go to bed at the same time every day.

By starting my day off right, I know that my trading will be good that day and that I will make good decisions. I always plan my trades ahead of time and make my watchlist the night before so I'm ready when it’s time to pull the trigger. Now I understand why Irek and Jakub have always stressed the importance of morning routines. It may not seem as important, but it is the key. I can say that I have gained the most momentum and freedom by being disciplined.

"A good morning routine may not seem as important, but it is the key."
What are one to three books that have deeply influenced your life?

If I had to pick only 3 books, they would be:

1. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma - This book clearly teaches you how to lead a life full of happiness by finding out what you truly love and directing your energies towards it. It contains valuable lessons that can be applied immediately to your daily life, and I can assure you that if you do, you will see real changes and improvements in a very short time.

2. Atomic Habits by James Clear - If you are struggling to break out of a vicious cycle of bad habits leading to bad decisions that continually frustrate you, this book literally teaches how to create a new identity to break bad habits and build new life-changing ones.It emphasises the concept of improving yourself by 1% every day and taking small, consistent steps every day that lead to massive success.

3. Market Wizards by Jack D. Schwager - This is my favourite trading book, it really shows you how pointless it is to jump from one strategy to another, from one trading style to another, constantly looking for the holy grail without ever committing to mastering one. In this collection of interviews with successful traders, you will clearly understand that we all have different approaches to the market, different beliefs in analysis, different trading styles and different personalities, but that doesn't mean one is better than the other. The key is to find what works best for you.

When you’re experiencing chaos, struggling with your performance, or are in draw down, what do you do?

If I have more than three losing trades in a row, I take a day off and go for either a football game which is my other passion or any other outside activity. After I have cleared my mind and I’m back home, I reflect on the positions I took and wether I felt any emotions when I took them and what triggered them.

Smail playing football

A series of losses doesn’t affect me at all when the positions I took are all good quality setups and fit my plan. I accept the fact that trading is a game of probabilities, and a losing streak is inevitable. My only task is to take good positions that fit my bias and manage them accordingly. I am a professional risk manager first and foremost. I place a lot of importance on weekly reviews and record in my trading journal the emotional state before, during and after taking a position. This allows me to notice the emotional patterns that repeat when I have a winning or losing streak, and helps me distinguish between good and bad setups, as well as the psychological impact they had on me. What can be monitored can be improved and by recognising this and being honest in my assessments, it helps me to make fewer mistakes, not get affected after a loss and stay at peak for upcoming opportunities.

What do you believe are the three most important characteristics of a successful trader?

Confidence - As traders, we keep hearing that 80% is about mindset and 20% is about skill, and if you zoom in on it, it's real. You can be great at technical analysis but not be profitable because you don't have the confidence to execute trades, manage them properly and close them at the right time. On the other hand, you can be an okay technical analyst but your mindset is good, you follow your trading plan, you have built a system around your trading and your day, you are consistent and confident in what you do, the end result is to be profitable. Having confidence is essential and the good news is that confidence can be built just by doing the necessary work (backtesting, finding your trading style, creating your plan, following the weekly reviews and webinars, etc.). Little by little you gain confidence in your abilities and things start flowing smoothly.

Patience - This analogy may seem a bit extreme, but the trader's job is a bit similar to that of a sniper. Snipers plan their attack, identify their potential target, analyse the variables around it, and wait for the call to pull the trigger. In trading, we identify potential setups, compare positive confluences to negative confluences, and wait for a good entry to pull the trigger. All this requires patience, a trader must learn to be patient and not jump on trades too early or too late. We want to place a trade once we've seen everything we want to see, which confirms our bias for this specific setup.  If not, we sit back and wait, if the last piece of the puzzle doesn't show up, that setup is not good to take, and we move on. Good traders are aware that there are plenty of opportunities that will come, and it’s useless to rush a trade just for the sake of taking it.

Flexibility - Consistently profitable traders are flexible, which means that once they have an edge, they use it to profit from the market. If market conditions change and their edge is underperforming, with all the data they have collected, they are able to make adjustments in their trading plan, whether it is refining their management, their entries, their exits, trading more strategies... It's about being able to adapt to any environment to get the best possible performance.

"Confidence, patience, and flexibility"
How has Trading MasterClass assisted your evolution?

Learning to trade without clear guidance is extremely difficult, as there are so many important concepts to grasp and so much information available that it can be difficult for a beginner to sort out the good from the bad.

It's like being thrown into the middle of the ocean and trying to reach land. You either keep swimming until you reach land, or you drown by taking the wrong direction. If you make it to land, it will take you much longer than a person guided by a lighthouse. For me, Trading MasterClass is like a lighthouse that guides you to success through all the courses and webinars and especially through its community.

With the exception of a friend, I literally have no one around me who understands what this job is really like and the sacrifices it requires, especially in the early days, and I know that many traders are In the same situation. Trading is a very solitary activity where your psychology is put to the test every day, because you are responsible for every trade you take, and for its outcome. By networking with a community of traders from all around the world who share the same goals, doing the same actions, and have the same mindset, it's just pure gold. It makes trading more fun; it allows you to meet very good people and to learn from each other.

Trading MasterClass also helped me find my trading style, create my trading plan that fits my personality the best and helped me grow in every single aspect of my life. Joining them has been life changing, I feel more mature and dedicated to my future and to creating a multi-generational legacy. It helped me shift my attention and energy from unnecessary things to what would benefit me most in life.

I learnt so many things about myself that I ignored in terms of managing my emotions, digging deeper into my inner being, erasing my limiting beliefs and looking for exponential growth.

I guess Trading MasterClass assisted me pretty well in my evolution ;)

"Trading MasterClass is like a lighthouse that guides you to success through all the courses and webinars and especially through its community."
What is your most memorable trade to date? Why?

I don't really have a most memorable trade with a high R:R as my setups are mostly quick day trades where I cash in my profits quickly and move on, but if I had to remember something memorable, it would be a streak of 5 winning trades in a row when I first made the jump into full-time trading. This winning streak was very valuable to me because it came at a time when I left everything behind and decided to make trading my full-time job. I knew this was what I wanted to do, and I was confident, but there is always an inner voice that can make you doubt, especially in the beginning. I started to wonder if it was really the right thing to do, if I could do it, if my decision wasn’t too premature... all the kind of questions that come up at some point. This streak of 5 winning trades in a row really boosted my confidence and being able to maintain this level of consistency over the next months was a game-changer for me and made my start so much easier.

What is your next immediate trading goal?

Now that I have reached $800,000 in funding capital, my next goal is to get $1 million in funding and then $2 million and use the trading profits generated to grow my personal account as much as possible to reach 7 figures.

Smail's amazing achievement that he shared in the TMC Club in April 2023

I also plan to start day trading other markets such as indices and stocks to expand my arsenal.

Any final words of wisdom?

Be prepared to take major steps if you want to become a full-time trader, there are no shortcuts in this game. Once you start enjoying the process, the results will come naturally. Regardless of the size of your account, you must treat your trading professionally as if you are managing a large amount of capital and you must be as exposed to the market as possible.

That's why my biggest advice is to persevere, you may not understand all the concepts and strategies right away, but I can assure you that if you continue to work hard and be available to attend webinars, do your daily watch list, ask questions, work on your mindset… one day all the concepts you have learned will click in your mind and you will find clarity in your trading.

It may take some people less time than others to figure it all out and be profitable, the key is to never compare yourself to others, every human being is different, and our learning process may be different. Keep in mind that this is not a sprint but a marathon and what matters is to get to the destination.

Finally, don't burn out and learn to take time to rest. We do this to live a life of freedom, you don't want to burn out sitting in front of the screen all day. Organise your learning and trading sessions and always set aside time for the things you enjoy doing. It's about finding the right balance for you.

"It's about finding the right balance for you."
How can we keep up with you?

You can keep up with me on Instagram: @smailess98


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