“I didn’t make a fortune trading Brexit, but I didn’t lose my shirt either” – A trader’s perspective

Aspiring retail trader and FX podcast broadcaster Owen Roberts tells us what it was like on the day of the referendum results, from his perspective as a retail market participant.


By Owen Roberts from TwoBlokesTrading. Follow Owen and Tom on their journey as they learn how to trade whilst sharing everything they learn including the good, bad and the ugly via their podcasts. 

I didn’t make a fortune trading Brexit, but I didn’t lose my shirt either. If you don’t have a position on Brexit – don’t trade! Discretion was the better part of valour and he lives to trade another day…

As a trader, even a relatively novice trader, the prospect of trading the market volatility that followed the vote to leave the EU was (and still is) a mouth watering prospect. As I only started my own trading journey 11 days ago I am more than comfortable calling myself a novice trader…!

But, I took a difficult and, judging by the spike in trading volume levels, an unusual decision.

I didn’t trade.

Today, on Tuesday 28th, I took my first trade since Wednesday 22nd. The reason is that, as a novice trader, as someone learning the ropes I realized that I had just as much chance of losing my shirt as I did of making a fortune.

It may seem like a truism or an empty platitude to say that trading is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, but I truly believe it.

Sure it seemed logical that GBP would drop hard and safe havens like Gold would rise…but the volatility that surrounded those drops…not to mention the inevitable backlash and rebound scared the crap out of me. Frankly, it was painfully evident to me as I stared at the charts that I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen next.

It seemed completely inevitable that after the huge movements we saw that many of these markets would rebound (right?), and they did, but when? And would they then keep plummeting right away after? Who could predict that some European and the Japanese stock markets would be worse hit than the FTSE 100 in initial trading?

It was a done deal… wasn’t it?

If you had gone to sleep with the first exit polls you’d have thought that we were going to vote Remain and the markets would be relatively stable. You’d have woken up at 7am to see that we had, in fact, voted Leave and the markets had gone into meltdown.

If you saw that the FTSE 100 was plummeting and had lost over 600 pips whilst you were dreaming away you may have thought to yourself ‘Bloody Hell! I need me some of that!’ You may have ended up shorting the FTSE 100 at 8am….and BLAM! You’d have been hit for 200+ pips in the opposite direction.

My point is, if you are a professional trader, or a very experienced amateur trader then maybe you could have called all of this. If not…what’s the point? Why try and grab 600 pip wins when you may just as easily lose everything? Even if you were using stop losses, the potential slippage was enormous.

For me, a few weeks into my trading career, this ‘greatest trading opportunity of a generation’ was actually the greatest opportunity of my career to blow up my account.

So I stayed the hell away and came out with a net zero, ready to trade again another day and leave all this gambling to other people.

We spoke with Ilan Azbel of Autochartist on the first episode of the Two Blokes Trading podcast immediately prior to the EU Referendum vote and he made it clear that in his opinion if you didn’t have a position you shouldn’t be trading.

I think for us novice traders that’s a lesson that holds true not just in this once in a generation event, but in all of our trading.

Now that things seem a bit more sensible and a bit more predictable, I’ll be getting thoroughly involved!

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