[AMA] I Worked in Trading/Investing, and Now I'm an Animator. Ask Me Anything!

Hi everyone,

I'm almost 26, with a degree in finance, and have worked in finance ever since I graduated uni.

My first job out of uni was as a proprietary trader trading interest rate futures (90d bank bills, 3yr/10yr bonds). I did that for just over a year. My next role was at a large national financial advisory firm, where I executed trades in the stock market for advisers/clients. I did that for a year and a half. I then moved on to become a junior associate at a boutique high net worth financial advisory firm. There, I shadowed a senior adviser for a year. I have also been a self-employed trader, mostly trading speculative shares on the ASX.

7 months ago, I left my job to try and start my own business. I want to teach as many people as possible about basic, non-biased, no-advice concepts of the stock market, so I taught myself animation (Adobe After Effects) & created a 12 part animated series simplifying various concepts such as market cap, depth of market, areas of support/resistance etc.

All videos will be uploaded for free, and links to my current videos are:

  1. What is a share? (simplified) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPXWhH_JJz4
  2. What is a stock market (& Aussie stockbrokers) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSx6zevf18g

I'm now in the process of trying to get some subscribers for my channel, which is proving to be difficult so far.

Oh, I also made a series trailer showcasing a bit of animation from each of my videos. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQoQEbKK-zc

closed Comments

  • +2 votes

    "I'm almost 26, with a degree in finance, and have worked in finance ever since I graduated uni."

    So how many years is that?

    What do you forecast for the ASX /World markets this year?

    GL with the educational vids. :)

    • +1 vote

      Assume 4 to 5 years.

    •  

      I finished uni at the end of 2013, so it has been 5 years since I graduated. About 3.5 years of full-time trading/investing related work before I left to start my own thing. Also had a few odd jobs inbetween the jobs I listed (such as sales, admin etc).

      I have no idea how the ASX/world markets will move this year. :)

      • +1 vote

        No worries. :)

        Any ideas on today's AUD and JPY flash crash?

        • +1 vote

          Try automatic computer generated trading - not touch by human hands.

        •  

          I stopped trading/following the markets 3 months ago to focus more on my videos/business. So, didn't even know there was a flash crash.

          But, it would be interesting to see how it moves in the following days/weeks to get a clue on whether it was just an algo gone haywire and stop losses, or something worse.

          •  

            @bxy00: I heard something funny a while back. In crazy/volatile market conditions random trades often work out better then ones driven by intelligence… Best example of this was when crypto markets went crazy recently.

            Interesting read (for those who don't know a lot about financial markets) is A Random Walk Down Wall Street.

            A Random Walk Down Wall Street, written by Burton Gordon Malkiel, a Princeton economist, is a book on the subject of stock markets which popularized the random walk hypothesis. Malkiel argues that asset prices typically exhibit signs of random walk and that one cannot consistently outperform market averages. The book is frequently cited by those in favor of the efficient-market hypothesis. As of 2015, there have been eleven editions and over 1.5 million copies sold.[1] A practical popularization is The Random Walk Guide to Investing: Ten Rules for Financial Success.[2]
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Random_Walk_Down_Wall_Street

      •  

        Look out for drone startups and initiatives.. drone delivery will be the next menulog / uber eats.

        Otherwise gambling on tech seems to always be a good idea.

  • +1 vote

    Have you seen the movie Field of Dreams?

    •  

      No I haven't. Do you highly recommend it?

      • +1 vote

        Yep - the key line is "If you build it …. (won't spoil it for u)". Kevin Costner is great in it too. But the underlying message came to me when I read your story.

        •  

          If you build it, they will come.. I sure hope so, haha.

          Good recommendation :)

          • +1 vote

            @bxy00: I think it only works in a fantasy actually - there needs to be much more planning to motivate anyone to use what you offer. If you build it there is no guarantee of people using it. Have you done a marketing plan for your new venture?

            •  

              @swapsey: Yeah, you're right about that. Well, the videos were supposed to be my marketing plan for the discussion platform, but I didn't realise until after posting the videos that I needed a marketing plan for my marketing plan. Still a learning process for me.

              Right now, I'm doing research into Youtube best practices, and trying to build a subscriber base. I'm also trying to do some marketing through social media ads. I wanted to post my videos to more forums, such as Whirlpool and Reddit, but I've learnt that most of them will stop me from self-promoting.

              Do you have any other ideas for me? :)

              • +2 votes

                @bxy00: Yeah heaps to learn. Take a look at Martin North from DFA (he has a YouTube channel under "Walk The World"). He has grown in one year from basically zero to 13K subscribers by offering data and humble takes on the housing market. You could do something similar but you'd need more than helpful animations. People want data, insight, scarce stuff that doesn't grow on trees. What insight can you bring to the trading/investing table?

                •  

                  @swapsey: I had a look at a couple of his videos, and you've definitely given me something to think about. He seems very knowledgeable.

                  I have a few vague ideas of more insightful/data type videos I could make down the track, but another good recommendation, I'll be keeping an eye on his channel, thank you.

  •  

    The US debt is approximately US$22 trillion. Quite staggering. But then again, when it hit $14 trillion, that was staggering too. It's steadily on course to hit $30 trillion even if measures are taken to balance the budget.

    What is the magic figure where the US faces actual reality and is declared bankrupt? They are probably comfortably bankrupt right now. Worse than Greece was, other than the US are the largest economy and world default currency.

    •  

      Currently saving money by not paying federal government employees, that should end well too.

    • +4 votes

      The USA debt in all its glory:
      http://usdebtclock.org/

      •  

        I think the standout there is US$180K debt per taxpayer, and rising. It would already take 50+ consecutive boom record years of paying off debt to get square, maybe closer to 90.

    • +2 votes

      why would US bankrupt ?

      as you said it's world default currency

      just print more , not like it's backed by anything

    • +5 votes

      What is the magic figure where the US faces actual reality and is declared bankrupt

      You cannot go bankrupt if your national debt is denominated in a currency that you issue — the very nature of the economy is that the debtors in question have already agreed to accept USD as payment, and the supply/issue of this currency is controlled by the nation that owes the debt.

      That's not say that there wouldn't be other implications if you went ahead and pulled the levers that required this. i.e. you will assuredly end up in the land of debt crisis.

      But the very nature of a nation that issues and borrows in its own currency gives it significantly more flexibility than Greece ever had.

    •  

      No idea sorry.

    •  

      Hence the Russia, China and others dumped the green back.

  • +4 votes

    Awesome idea and very courageous of you to leave your (presumably) high paying job in Finance to pursue an entrepreneurs journey!

    You've accomplished a lot for a young age and you should be really proud of yourself! I've subscribed and I hope that helps!

    Looking forward to these videos. I'm sure I'll learn a lot from here!

    Here are some of my questions:

    1) I'd love to hear about the "Grad Job Journey". How many companies did you apply for and how many of them were rejections/successful offers?
    2) Ironically enough, Uni isn't always the place where we learn the most about a given topic. Where did you learn the majority of your skills/gain knowledge?
    3) How did you go about setting up your own company (Or Sole Trading Business)? Was it just a matter of going to your Accountant and buying an off the shelf company? Where did you learn about the small caveats RE: Regulation and Nitty Gritty? E.g. What disclaimers you need to show when, and what accreditations you must have to offer advice etc.
    4) What sort of a pay hit did you cop from resigning from your job and starting your own venture?
    5) In fact, how do you currently/or in the future, plan to make money?

    Well done, and Good Luck! I'll share the videos with my friends once I watch them!

    • +1 vote

      Thank you unistudent1!! Definitely helps!!

      1. I applied for a fair few graduate positions (10+), but I got rejected from all of them. I saw an ad on seek for prop trading, gave that a go, passed 2 interviews and then 6 weeks of testing/training before getting a contract. But prop trading is not really a grad position.

      2. I agree, I think the most useful stuff I learnt at uni was just research skills. I think all of my jobs have taught me a lot, but I'd say shadowing a senior adviser for a year taught me the most. So much to learn from someone who was both an adviser and accountant, and had been running his own business for like 40 years!

      3. Oh, I applied for a pty ltd company directly with ASIC. I learnt most of the caveats in my previous job as I used to help my adviser set up companies for clients, so I knew what documents were required. But there's also online services that auto-generate those documents for not much more than the $488 fee that ASIC charges. For other legal stuff, I've spoken to some lawyer friends which has gotten me by so far. But I will need to pay for any more further legal advice.

      4. I wasn't in a super high paying job, but not being paid from any full time job for 7 months is always going to be a fair hit.

      5. Currently not making any money at all. In addition to these videos, I'm also working with a web developer business partner, and we are trying to launch a stock market discussion platform (www.xibeya.com.au)
        Hopefully I'll be able to make money from that :).

      • +2 votes

        I forgot to mention in addition to the stuff I said in 2.

        Working for the adviser taught me enough to leave work and try to start my own thing, but I've learnt so much more since leaving. When you put yourself in a situation where you aren't making money anymore, you become extra motivated (or desperate, haha) to learn and discover new things. So, I listened to many audiobooks, watched many Youtube videos, listened to many podcasts, and learnt animation from Youtube/Lynda. There is so much free information out there online, you can literally learn anything you want.

  • +2 votes

    which is the best cryptocurrency to invest in?

    •  

      I don't like cryptocurrency, so no idea.

      •  

        has to be one of the best performing investments of the last 30 years, whats not to like?

        • +2 votes

          Depends what timeframe you are looking at.

          No doubting that blockchain is a wonderful piece of technology, but the value of it is still not yet known. It's all speculation right now. The market cap sizes for most cryptos I've seen are quite ridiculous. The money going into ICOs last year was ridiculous. To me, ridiculous means overvalued.

          Now that the bubble has burst and the hype has died down, where is the next surge going to come from? There needs to be a huge catalyst for prices to go up significantly again. Otherwise, the price will just trade sideways or down… with every price spike being an opportunity for those stuck in losing positions to get out. (That's the way many overhyped speculative stocks trade)

    •  

      I've had half an eye on this area. Information overload (and heaps of dodgy deals/shillers)! However, there are Mutual/Index Style Funds out there so that sort of makes things a bit easier:
      crypto investment funds
      https://www.investitin.com/crypto-fund-list/
      https://www.quora.com/Where-can-I-find-a-list-of-crypto-hedg...
      https://medium.com/@ndashkevic/137-crypto-funds-are-ready-to...

  • +1 vote

    Do you like chicken nuggets?

  • +3 votes

    Is your household income $300k?

    • +4 votes

      No, both my parents are retired. Dad was a chef, mum was/is a stay at home mum. One of my brothers makes money online and is enough for him to go around travelling a lot and doesn't really care about making much more than that. My other brother just started uni last year, studying engineering/science, and has a casual tutoring job.

      So a fairly low household income.

  • +1 vote

    Do you plan to continue with a career in animation after the release of your series, or is that a skill you learned just for this project?
    Have you looked at other programs such as videoscribe or powtoon?

    •  

      Hopefully my main business (the stock market discussion platform at xibeya.com.au) can take off so that I won't have to work in animation after this. But animation is my back up plan, I enjoy it a lot (more than finance).

      Yes, I've looked into both of those, but they don't provide the customability that adobe has. Those two programs give you off-the-shelf assets/movements and you can only build your videos using what they have. For me though, the videos I had in mind were more complex, so I wanted to build it all myself.

      • +1 vote

        Fair enough, can't say I would disagree with that. There are so many simple things that are seemingly obvious and (relatively) easy to achieve in AE that are impossible in videoscribe and powtoon. Depending on both your interests and the type of animation you would want to be doing as your backup, I would suggest looking into rotoscoping as it is a skill very often in demand, as well as storyboarding.

        I wish you the best of luck with your venture.

  • +1 vote

    Wow.. lot of effort. How long does it take to do one video? Could you please explain how you go about producing one video? From Concept to Scripting to Recording to Animating & then Finally publishing? Which part takes the most of your time? If it is the animation, Why did you elect to do that yourself? Could not you have hired freelancers to do that with the money from your investing job and still saved a lot?

    • +2 votes

      It's hard to put a time on it because I worked on all of them at the same time. Maybe 2-3 weeks each. As I am self-taught, I don't think my way of doing things was the most efficient, but as I had already quit my job, I had a lot of spare time on my hands to try out different things.

      I made a lot of videos, threw them out, and kept making more until I had something I was happy with. As I was getting better with each one, I had to keep going back and improving my previous videos. I learnt that my favourite way to do things was to first draw out what images I had in mind, and then build a script around that. (I think most animators start with the script). Recording took a lot of time too, because I wanted my voice to sound professional, so there were hundreds of thrown out recordings. Syncing the animation to the voice was probably the easiest thing to do.

      The animations took a lot of time, but as I enjoyed making them a lot, time just flew by :).
      Well, before I started on this journey, I wasn't even sure what the scripts would be. And my scripts evolved so much during the process of making these videos, I don't think these videos would have been possible if I had decided to hire a freelancer.

  • +2 votes

    Good job.

  •  

    Thanks, except i think i took too long to reply to my ama :(

  • +1 vote

    What about the gains made in the last year and the losses made this financial year? Do they impact on each other?

  • +1 vote

    How are you going to compete with existing sites such as Investopedia and videos such as Khan Academy?

    • +1 vote

      It will be hard, but I believe I am offering a totally different service.

      My videos are a lot more succinct than the videos on Investopedia & Khan Academy. They are shorter and more straight to the point. They are also more specific to the Australian stock market, and for people who are more interested in speculative shares than blue chips. I want people to learn enough to be able to get started on their own, and then come up with their own strategies, rather than me telling them what or what not to do. After watching my videos, if people want to learn more specific/advanced stuff, then they can do further research if they wish, but I think I cover the bases in an easier-to-understand way than both Investopedia and Khan Academy.

      • +1 vote

        Yeh, it's really cool that you're doing this for the domestic market. There aren't many good educational programs specifically for Australians. You could even try to sell/lease copyright this series to actual educators!

        •  

          Thanks aoe111! Not sure if there are any educators who would actually want this series though, haha

  • +1 vote

    Can you animate trading and get the best of both?

  •  

    Who would be your target market?

    • +2 votes

      For the videos, probably younger Australians, in the 18 - 32 year old range, who are interested in the stock market but don't know too much about it yet.

      And the platform will accommodate those who get through all the videos and want to continue trading/investing/learning, as well as existing traders/investors, of any age range, who enjoy trading/investing in speculative shares.

      • +1 vote

        I will definitely have a look at your website, had set up shares portfolio for my children when they turned 18 and been managing for them till they are ready to manage themselves, been waiting to teach them and they are both the perfect target age audience for your videos.

        • +1 vote

          That's awesome! The plan is the launch the beta platform once the full series has been uploaded to Youtube.

  •  

    How are you surviving without any income right now?

    • +1 vote

      I'm very lucky to be still living at home with my parents. And they are still happy for me to do so while I try to get this whole business thing launched. :)

  •  

    I'm really impressed given your lack of experience after graduating. Good effort! Keep it up and you'll be rolling in it.

  •  

    Bookmarked for future viewing. Thanks OP :)

  •  

    Those type of education videos are the way to go. The Youtube pay more for videos that are professional related. I made 1 min of Adobe Premiere and that earn me 150 $. Look what is searched but not answered (or not as well as you present it) and do such topics. Look at forums where people seek for answers. You videos seems to not have keywords for the search engine, learn SEO for that to promote your videos at the best way. Did you have talent in animating, painting before you start with AE?

    •  

      Good advice, how can you see my keywords? I've done only a bit of research on the SEO side of things and incorporated commonly searched stuff in the 'tags' for my videos. But do you think I should also add them to the description of each video too?

      No, I didn't have much artistic talent at all, I was horrible at freehand drawing especially, haha. But Adobe Illustrator sure does make things easier, and I did a fair bit of research into animation principles etc.

  •  

    Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or a hundred duck-sized horses?

  •  

    Your accent is quite unique - you definitely have the Aussie accent/tone, but the way you pronounce some words make it seems like it's combined with some sort of other accent? (Maybe Asian?)

    What accent is this? Do you speak another language?

  •  

    Look buddy, if you just give me videos on exact shares to invest in and they are actually proved successful, I will subscribe. I aint gonna learn this by myself jeez I rather be on centrelink

    •  

      I wish it were that easy.

      •  

        I know on some platforms some traders basically sell their strategies. Namely, they allow you to mirror their trades. If you can find a bunch of them then collate them together. Then start a podcast/report (like Rivkin Report) which allows you to build up a track record of success and an audience. Then keep/take your most successful potential trades private so that you can sell them.

        If you become genuinely successful you can do a Buffet/Soros. Markets move because of what you say rather then you having to track markets themselves.

        That said, I know this type of stuff isn't that easy. You may need to automate large chunks of it (think of the Big Data world) to make it worthwhile/easier. There's just so much information (especially junk) out there now…

  •  

    Tell us more about your brother who makes money online and goes around travelling alot. What sort of online business exactly? Where does he travel to?

  •  

    nice, do you have shares /stocks yourself? do you do trading still for your own ?
    what you think of lithium shares?
    didnt know you could get a job as trader to be honest! would be cool.

    • +2 votes

      When I initially quit work, I also wanted to trade full time. But these videos took a lot more time than I expected, and as I was trying to do two things at the same time, my trading results suffered. I started making poor decisions resulting in some losses. I decided to just choose one to focus on, so I stopped trading and focused on the business/videos because that is more important to me.

      Lithium shares were great a year or two ago, but too overhyped. I'm not a fan of them right now.

      Yes, there are some prop trading firms out there which don’t require any special skills, and others which are very hard to get into. The easier ones to get into usually require you to be someone who is totally committed and dedicated to the idea of trading as a lifestyle. Being a risk taker, quick at maths, and knowledgeable at economics also helps.

      On the other hand, the harder ones usually require extensive maths or coding knowledge as they trade a very different market-making type strategy.

      •  

        thanks.
        im new to the shares really want to put some money into it. apart from ETF/LIC what other optiosn i have? how much these people who trades on behalf of you where i assume you worked as one usually charges and what are they % retruns per year approx?
        what would you need coding skills? to do auto sell buy?
        i spoke to commsec agents but they are so expensive 2k for their first consultation, any thoughts on them? any better alterantive?

  •  

    Nice job with the videos.

    What do you think of options trading?

    Also, do you know any platforms which allow trading US options with reasonable brokerage fees?

    Lastly, do you recommend any books regarding general trading and options trading?

    Thanks!

    •  

      I haven’t had much experience with options trading (apart from some ASX listed options, which are quite fun to hold due to the leverage you can get). I know a lot of outright options trading is high risk, high return stuff… but I’ve heard of traders making a career out of trading option spreads. Maybe something you can look into.

      I don’t know much about options platforms either, but InteractiveBrokers usually has really cheap brokerage fees for US stuff.

      As for books, the only trading related book I’ve read is Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, which is regarded as one of the best trading related books out there, and one I recommend.

    •  

      Best way to trade options is by buying FD weeklies. After all YOLO.

  •  

    Great video! Also a good idea to get more australian subscribers to your channel via ozbargain. BTW, I have just bookmarked your website.

  •  

    Great video and great initiatives! In your previous roles, did you enjoy what you did at work? Environment, pay, stress? I have been thinking if i should pursue a career in trading. I have basic knowledge about share trading and works at a bank (but not for trading…)

    •  

      I’ve enjoyed all my previous roles, and I’ve learnt that if you really enjoy what you do, then stressful periods can add more meaning to your work for you. For example, when I was executing trades for the advisory firm, during the busy periods, I’d work throughout my lunch break. I used to always eat lunch at my desk every day, but I loved it. I think, if you want to be a trader, you have to be that type of person who just lives and breathes financial markets. The environments were different at each firm, and really depended on how big the offices were and the ages of the people around me. As for pay, I always felt like I was paid less than what I was worth, but I’ve learnt so much along the way, and I think that matters a lot more in the end :).

  • +4 votes

    What is your investment vehicle of choice (and I'm not referring to 80k cars lol)?
    Which super fund do you recommend and why?

    • +1 vote

      My personal investment vehicle of choice would be building a share portfolio, because I have experience with that, but if I didn't, then low fee index funds.

      I'm not allowed to recommend any specific super funds or give any advice. But you can find a lot of information about a super fund within its Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

      Within the PDSs, you can compare asset allocations across different super funds. Asset allocation is how much money is allocated to growth assets (stocks or property), and how much is allocated towards defensive (bonds or term deposits). The higher the allocation to growth assets, the higher the expected return should be, but also the higher risk it is… meaning larger losses when the overall market is not performing well.

      Because of the differences in asset allocation, it would not be a good idea to compare super funds based only on overall their return. It is also better to go through the PDS than to just go by what they call themselves, because I've seen a lot of super funds call themselves 'balanced' but have most of their funds in growth assets. I always thought those that did this were being quite misleading.

      Other things you could consider are the level of administration fees that each super fund charges for managing your money (also found in the PDS), and the fees for having insurance (if you want insurance through your super).

      But there is a lot that goes into comparing super funds, so please check with a financial adviser before making any decisions.

  •  

    genesis or propex?

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