Since Trader Monthly shuttered, we’ve decided to pick up the popular Top Traders Under 30 ball. However, based on your feedback and our research, we’ve made one huge change: we’ve decided there are not 30 top traders under 30.
Also, we feel these elite traders are worth watching because they have survived the shakeout since the Great Crash of 2008. It’s easy to win when the market goes in one direction. It requires skill to navigate up and down scenarios.
So, after 8 months of due diligence, we are proud to present to you the first annual Wall St. Cheat Sheet Top 3 Traders Under 30 …
Like LA Lakers phenomenon Kobe Bryant, Jan Sramek -- age 23 -- has hit the big leagues with a ton of talent and promise. Having made the national headlines in the UK by breaking the world A-level record, Sramek enrolled to read Mathematics on a scholarship at the prestigious Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. Shortly afterward, he transferred to the London School of Economics to work during his studies because London-based hedge funds recognised his potential and snapped him up during his 1st year.
Having accumulated a wealth of experience on both the buy and sell-side during university, Sramek moved over to the area where many of the current superstars of the industry cut their teeth: the emerging markets fixed income trading desk at Goldman's (NYSE:GS) London office (a very active area given today's debt and currency volatility). Although neither Sramek nor Goldman would confirm or deny any details about this trading desk, we can assume the group has done extraordinarily well since Goldman's traders had a perfect 100% win-rate last quarter .
Sramek is considered somewhat of a prodigy in Europe. He has repeatedly made the headlines with his various achievements. Most recently, Financial News named him the youngest financier ever on their list of 100 Rising Stars of Financial Markets Under 40 -- a list which previously included the likes of Greg Coffey of Moore Capital and Pierre Andurand of BlueGold.
Out of all the firms with which we spoke, Goldman was the least revealing. Nevertheless, informed sources suggest that Sramek's mentors include several of London's most powerful hedge fund managers who are clearly grooming him for the very top. It's therefore possible Jan deserves a higher place on our list. Regardless, given his age, we are confident he will be considered for Wall St. Cheat Sheet's Top 3 Traders Under 30 list for many years to come.
Unlike some of his contemporaries, Sramek openly reveals the keys to his success, and makes it all sound quite simple. I highly recommend reading his book Racing Towards Excellence(a top rated book on Amazon). The book is a nice blueprint for anyone looking to maximise their ambition and take the steps necessary to be successful in any competitive environment, including finance.
A year ago we called Adam Guren -- age 28 -- the Lebron James of trading. Given his consistent success like King James, Adam was the obvious choice for the top spot on our first annual list.
After graduating Duke in 2003, Adam played professional soccer for a season with the Cleveland Force before starting in the prestigious training program at First New York Securities. After a 14 month apprenticeship, Adam started trading his own book while expanding his focus from Europe to Asia.
Now, Adam focuses on global stocks. His day looks much like a British colonel's when the sun never set on the British Empire. But with patience and discipline, Adam finds a way to replicate his success in multiple markets. He starts his process by logging on premarket. Then he spends approximately an hour, sometimes 30 minutes, seeing if there's news out in the basket of stocks he follows. This is how he figures out if there's any opportunities because he looks for newsworthy events that are going to move his stocks.
When I asked Adam about how he makes his moves, he said:
I'm not a technician and I really don't study charts. That's not to say I won't look at them to see where things are. At the same time, I'm not a big fundamental guy based on the nature of how long I hold a position. I mean, I do understand the fundamentals of each stock and what people generally expect, but for the most part I rely heavily on intuition and the feel I have for a stock based on watching it for so long. After watching the same 50-100 names, you start to easily understand how they trade and what moves them. It's pattern recognition.
Another key to Adam's success is his risk management:
Every trade I get into I have a very good understanding of the risk-reward. One of the keys to success is measuring risk-reward. And one of the best ways to do that, as elementary as it sounds, is to buy low and sell high. So you want to buy when things are beat up and sell when things are overdone on the upside. I'd say I do a good job of measuring risk. It's probably one of the main reasons why I am successful at trading.
Although this sounds very basic, it's obviously easier said than done. Given that over 85% of traders lose money, Adam has proven that mastering the fundamentals is the key to success as a professional trader.
If you would like to nominate traders for future awards, please send us an email or comment below.