Futures Magazine Interview with Brian Elliott – November 2019
FM: Good afternoon Mr. Elliott and thank you for taking the time to speak with us about the success of your trading system.
BE: You’re welcome and my pleasure as well. Please, call me Brian.
FM: OK, Brian, then let’s jump right in here. What was your motivation for developing a trading system and did you think it would be a success at first?
BE: Well, I started working in the financial services industry in the mid to late 90’s primarily helping individuals, families and business save and invest for their specific goals. For example; retirement.
FM: Did you enjoy doing that?
BE: I did, as it made me feel great to be able to help people in an area of such importance but also such uncertainty. I eventually opened an independent practice with a colleague/friend. We worked for a couple of the same companies early in our career. So, to answer your first question, my motivation stemmed from what I felt was a rather narrow field of investments being utilized for the ‘masses’ so to speak. For the most part, the average retail investor was recommended to buy mutual funds and simply hold them. I knew that the investment world was much more dynamic than that so I started doing more researching and reading and really educating myself. That is where my motivation to develop a trading system started.
FM: Did you look into any other trading systems?
BE: I did research many systems. Some were great, others, not so much.
FM: So then why didn’t you just use one of the “great” ones?
BE: Great question! One common theme I heard from successful traders I studied is that your system has to suit you. Everyone is a little different in their perception of risk. Although some of the systems I researched had tremendous track records, when I looked at the actual trading parameters,something may not have set right with me. When you trade it really needs to feel right! It all has to do with how you decide to manage risk. I knew I needed to develop a system where I could trade successfully and still sleep at night.
FM: Very interesting point! So, on to the second part of the question – did you think your system would be successful?
BE: Yes, but I wasn’t sure how long it would take. For months I went back and made several changes, tweaking position sizes and stop loss levels and also staying away from certain markets that I felt weren’t trending well.
FM: Do you now feel it’s where it ‘needs to be’?
BE: Yes, but that’s something that I’m always monitoring. Once my system is set I like to just follow it with little or no discretion.
FM: Does your system currently have any notable limitations?
BE: Not really. From the beginning my passion was to develop a system that could trade in almost every market, from equities to bonds to all the commodities including agricultural, metals and energy. The direction of the market makes no difference to the system. We’ll go long or short any market if the parameters are met!
FM: Now that sounds like “real” diversification!
FM: With your level of success in trading do you feel that you had an edge in some way or are just gifted?
BE: Yes and no! About five years ago I began a study course in what was called “self discovery” . My wife, Nicole, introduced it to me from some other similar courses she had taken. It was called the “Master Key Master Mind Alliance” and it basically retrained the way I thought. It taught me the power of my subconscious mind and how to direct it. It really allowed me to tap into my potential, my true desires and make success feel less like ‘work’. It really changes our lives in so many ways, from financial to emotional and physical health as well. So, maybe I had an ‘edge’ in that the course was brought to my attention but as far as a ‘gift ‘ goes, well, we all have that gift and we just need to learn how to recognize and use it!
FM: Brian, thank you for the words of wisdom!
BE: Certainly, it was my pleasure.