My story and approach

I grew up in the small town of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. My parents, who never went to college, owned a water well drilling business. Seeing them work, I realized that wasn’t my path. My interest in markets started in junior high when I saw my gym teacher checking stocks on during class. I dove in headfirst and did well during the 1999 tech bubble, but I also learned some hard lessons after it burst. To pay off those early losses, I worked for my folks a few summers, trading soybeans and S&P futures on the side.

College was a turning point. I focused on getting my assignments done, so I could devote my remaining time to studying markets. I read everything, tried different strategies, and learned from successful traders. After graduating in 2003, I connected with Dave Ellis from International Trading Group (ITG) at a college career fair. He gave me my start in the futures world.

For the next 12 years at ITG, I pushed myself to grow as a trader. I learned from my colleagues, studied my successes and failures, even plotted trades by hand each day and reviewed them to analyze patterns. I developed a strategy that focused on creating what if scenarios, watching divergences and correlations to identify large and unexpected moves. Consistency was key, and I was fortunate to never have a losing year until a bad one in 2022, although results varied month to month.

As algorithms became more prominent, my growth opportunities felt limited. In 2015, I left ITG to trade on my own and figure out my next chapter. That led to a tough year personally as I questioned my path, even though I'd achieved my childhood dream. Then, I stumbled into crypto.

A friend introduced me to Bitcoin, and I dove in with the same passion I’d brought to futures. For the next two years, I traded, invested, and learned everything I could about crypto. It revived my sense of purpose, but when the boom ended, I still felt a void.

In 2018, I turned to stocks, a market I'd largely ignored. The transition was tough, but it also reawakened my childhood love for exploring new trends. I realized trading should be more than just technical skill – it should be about the intersection of markets, my curiosity, and real-world themes.

2020 brought a brief return to futures as I capitalized on pandemic-induced volatility. I also pivoted back to crypto with a broader perspective. Working with a coach helped me find the alignment I was missing. Today, I describe my trading style as a unique blend of technical analysis, thematic investing, and a deep curiosity for the cutting edge. I've learned that the journey towards a thriving, creative approach to markets is personal – a mix of learning from others and listening to my own instincts.

I'm excited about the future and the unique approach I've built. My goal is to share my journey and insights on upcoming podcast episodes.