Alexander Elder has written some of the most popular trading books of the last 30 years. He grew up in Estonia among a successful family of doctors. Alexander followed in his family’s footsteps, becoming a doctor and making his way on a cargo ship. He ran from his ship to a U.S. Embassy, escaping from his country. His decision to jump ship was literally the best decision of his life. He is author of Trading for a Living, considered a modern classic among traders, an international best-seller, translated into 16 languages, and recently newly revised and released under the title, The New Trading for a Living. This is his second appearance on the show.
How is Alexander’s trading different? Alexander is motivated by creating quality. He has a sense and intuition for it. Someone who is losing money looks at their situation “like a rabbit running from a snake.” Alexander thinks differently. He trades by way of systems. He has his orders set for the day, goes skiing, then comes back to the computer to watch the last hour of trading to see if he needs to make any adjustments. He learns from his mistakes and makes sure his systems are the highest quality they can be.
What was the pivotal moment that broke Alexander into the trading direction he is in? There was not one moment, but many losing ones. He hates to lose. He overcame his losing over time with persistence and stubbornness. He studied his systems and trades vigorously until he had a winning system.
Another motivation? Knowing that failure was not an option. Alexander grew up in a successful family with money – If he failed in his home country, he would have been taken care of. However, now that he was in the United States, he knew if he failed he would be on the street. There would be nobody to take care of him. Do you hit rock bottom and paddle up? Or do you stay there and become a bum? Alexander chose to paddle up.