Fabien Fischer has been a systematic trader for several years.
For the first time, in 2017, he participated in the World Cup Trading Championship®, but he did not yet feel ready for it.
With a few, but well studied automatic systems, he managed to rank third twice, in 2018 with 62% gain and in 2019 with 140% !!!
He is still ranking very well in the 2020 championship despite the March’s market crash.
Once again I invite you to listen to a successful story about Systematic Trading.
Who are you, what do you do for a living and how long have you been trading?
First of all, thank you for having me here, it’s a pleasure to be here.
My name is Fabien Fischer and I live in Luxembourg.
I am a systematic trader and I also coach people, and that’s how I do my living.
I’ve been trading for about 7 years more or less, six to seven years more or less.
Why did you choose systematic Trading?
Well, I was always been fascinated by statistics, you know. I was trying a few different approaches, but I’ve always come back to systematic trading.
That is what I wanted and that is what I was able to do.
All the other approaches are okay, but my favorite one has always been and will always be systematic trading.
Which markets do you trade and why?
I trade many markets, not only one, but I try to have a big list of markets.
Starting with the mini S&P, Russell, Crude oil, Gasoline, Gold, Soybean, Soybean Meal.
So markets that are liquid, that have a lot of volume, so futures, main futures let’s say.
How are you structured? Which platform, broker and data feed do you use?
I have only one platform, only Trade Navigator.
I have been using Trade Navigator for a long time, and that’s the only one.
I have a few brokers: IB (Interactive Brokers), then a smaller one in the United States called Future Pass Trading and the World Cup is Dorman Trading.
So I have 3 accounts and I’m okay with that.
And now tell us about the World Cup Trading Championship:
What results did you get in the league?
I started in 2017.
That was my first World Cup, it was okay but it could have been better so I was not able to be in the top five, I could have, but at that time I wasn’t able to achieve that goal.
In 2018 I was third with 63%, more than 63%.
In 2019 it was my third championship. It was a bit better with a 140% gain, around 140%, so also the third place.
This year is a bit more complicated, I was previously in the first place but after everything crashed down, let’s say, I mean not my account, but the markets crashed down.
But anyway I’m doing ok, so I have my 30%, 40%, 50% gain right now.
If you like to share, can you tell us what has been the one thing most responsible for achieving these results?
It’s difficult to mention only one because I think there are many different ones that come together.
I think I have a lot of patience, I put a lot of time into what I’m doing and it’s also a long process, but without the effort behind it, I think you will never achieve your goal.
So thinking logically is very important and having good strategies finally helps a lot.
How much capital did you start with, how many strategies and what kind?
I’ve always started with $15,000, I could also start with $10,000, but I’ve chosen $15,000 because I wanted to have some space for a few more strategies.
So I’m running 4 to 5 strategies, different strategies on one account, but it doesn’t mean that these strategies run on the same day.
So it could be that one is working on Monday, the other on Tuesday and so on.
I think that 4 to 5 is a good number, let’s say, to do it.
It makes it a bit riskier than my normal account, but if you want to achieve a good place, then you need to take also some more risks, that’s for sure.
What was your approach in building the portfolio for the competition?
I try to work with different markets, first of all, so not only one, because the markets tend to also be different from time to time.
Well, it’s a mix of different markets and different approaches let’s say.
Some trend following strategies, some seasonals, also every time on an intraday basis, then some breakouts also.
Sometimes I mix also different approaches, like seasonals with breakouts, or seasonals with something else.
I also created my own approaches on my own and they work quite good.
I think the best is always to mix everything: different markets, different approaches so that if one approach doesn’t work so maybe the other one comes into place and then works much better, so therefore it is very important.
I’m not putting all my money into one approach, so it’s a mix of everything.
Have you changed the composition of the portfolio during the year or has it remained unchanged?
No changes, I’m not changing, because I just want to go through with the same because the systems work.
So, why should I take out some of my good strategies? And taking in more risk and more strategies?
I don’t need to, I have my risk, I know what my risk is and that’s okay.
So I’m not changing my portfolio during the competition.
Only if I make so much money, let’s say, that I could switch two contracts or take one more strategy into account, but that means you have to double your portfolio.
But it’s okay like this, yeah I’m not changing.
What can you tell us about the psychological aspect of the competition?
It’s not so easy, let’s say.
Everyone thinks that it’s the same as your normal trading, but it’s not!
The World Cup gave me a better mindset now. I see things a bit differently.
That’s a good part of the competition, but it’s much tougher just to run your strategy during one year on the World Cup, so you just watch your systems on the World Cup and everything else stays behind.
I mean all your focus is on this because you want to achieve a good result, you don’t want to lose money, so it’s not too easy, but it helps you to become a better trader finally, and that’s a good thing.
What are the main differences between trading on your main trading account and trading on a league account?
I said it already before.
You need to take some more risks because otherwise, it’s not possible to make it.
So I mean, for this competition I run with an account of $15k, but if you trade on your own, you will trade the same strategies may be on an account of $30,000, because as the thing goes on percentages, if you want to get a high percentage of gain, you need to take some more risk, that’s for sure.
But, still, I’m not gambling, I’m not taking too many risks, I mean not extremely.
After almost a year of the championship, is there anything going back in time you would not do again or would you do differently?
Yes, especially my first competition in 2017.
I think I was not ready yet for such a competition.
The mindset is quite important, but at that time I had some good strategies, really good strategies, I could also have ranked in a good place, but I was not ready to run the strategies for the whole year, and you should never do it by the way.
I started to select my trades, I tried to foresee if there would be a good trade or not and absolutely that was not my best decision. I would change it immediately because now I see things differently.
And then, the year after I changed completely, so I was just running my strategies until the end without any hesitation let’s say, and that was the right decision, but otherwise, I wouldn’t change much, because I’m dependent on my strategies: if the strategies are not working, well, I can’t get a good ranking, yeah, I’m just not in the top five.
That’s the point, it’s about mindset. If you have the right mindset everything is possible then.
Why the Championship? Did you think about it for some time or was there anything that triggered the decisive spring?
I think that everyone would like to participate, it’s also the game, it’s a kind of game.
So if you want to give your best and you want to see how far you can go.
So the same for me. Going back 5 years now, I also saw the Masters of this World Cup and how much they did.
And then I said to myself: “Well, you can also do something like this, you have good strategies, if the strategies keep on going then you can get a good ranking”.
So for me, it was also a way to show to everyone that what I’m doing is working, because you put a lot of effort and time into this, so you want also something back. And that is what is better than getting a good ranking in this competition, that gives you something.
And I think also you get not only the trophy or whatever, but it helps you get better, it helps you to focus on things in a different way and to see things differently.
I think this is for systematic traders and also for other traders by the way.
It can be a boost to your trading.
You can become a better trader just by being in a competition like this because you have more pressure, and pressure means different habits and different actions.
What advice do you want to give to people still looking for their own way of trading?
First of all, finding the right approach for everyone.
For me it was systematic trading, maybe for someone else, it is something else.
Maybe somebody else wants to stay in front of the PC just for the full day.
I want to run my systems by computer, and not everyone is able to do it.
You should try a few things and then if you find out what is good for you, then you should focus only on this, and only if you focus on one thing then you can also be better after a while.
If you focus on too many things it doesn’t work.
If you find your approach then put time and effort into it, and if you have a passion for it, well, that’s perfect and you will achieve also your goals, I’m pretty sure.
I think that’s it.
Is there anything else you want to add?
I think that what helped me a lot in becoming a better trader is also that I had many ideas and I was reading a lot, I was doing a lot of research.
That is where you get your ideas also, with the research, and finally, the boost came as I bought my trading software.
For me, it was Trade Navigator, but it doesn’t mean that you need to buy Trade Navigator, there are many good ones on the market.
You need to find the best one for you and then don’t trust anyone, just trust what you see and what you find out.
So if I get an idea somehow, maybe found on the Internet, the first thing I do is checking it.
I’m not reading, I’m not copying anything, I just want to check it myself and then take it or take that idea and do your own stuff with it.
I think that helps a lot, so that you can identify this strategy as your own strategy and that you’re not just copying something, but you have to leave it also somehow the strategy the same.
I think that is a good point.
You also need software, good software that helps you and then you will get better.
I’m pretty sure.