Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of the questions I've gotten over the years:
Why have you created this website? I thought your were retired from money management?
Tom Basso, the money manager, has indeed retired, in 2003 to be exact. However, Tom Basso, the trader, has not retired as I still manage our own assets. The website comes out of receiving so many emails, messages on Facebook and Twitter and calls from traders wanting some advice on various topics that it was getting difficult to keep up with the requests. In creating a website we were able to bring together all the trading knowledge and advice we could generate in one place to help traders get the information and advice more quickly and efficiently. That way Tom's availability doesn't hold up a trader's progress or swamp Tom's time.
You used to run Trendstat Capital. Why did you close it down?
Prior to retirement Trendstat had created a multi instrument, multi strategy, single manager fund called Market Math. Returns were precisely what I felt we designed the fund for. Risk control was perfect. I did 150 appointments over one year selling the fund to various potential clients and raised $0. One person would say they only do securities, so they didn't like the futures. Another would say that they only invested in futures and didn't like the securities in the portfolio. Another would say they didn't understand foreign exchange and were concerned that currency trading was unregulated. It was obvious to me that although I thought this was the best strategy I could give the industry, and I was the fund's largest client, the idea was ahead of its time. The cost of running Trendstat was higher than the value of the fees the fund was generating, so we made the decision to close down Trendstat, retire, and trade our own portfolios. That decision saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars and a ton of regulatory burden. I'm happily enjoying the ride in retirement and don't miss the money management industry.
Where did "Enjoy The Ride - ETR" come from?
One day a while back I was tweeting something on the market after the market had gone through a quick down and was now rallying back. I had just been whipsawed with the volatility. I supposed that others would have been whipsawed as well and I encouraged everyone to essentially stick with their strategies, and enjoy the ride. I realized from the responses that the statement resonated with other traders out there. I received numerous responses on the statement and started ending my posts that way. None of us is getting out of this life alive. Many traders place unbelievable stress on themselves during the trading process. I prefer to see trading as nothing more than an activity that takes up a part of your life and should not become your sole obsession. So, I enjoy the ride of trading up and down and I enjoy the ride of life, both good and bad.
Do you have mentoring programs where a trader could learn at your side?
No. We do not have any mentoring programs. The closest thing to that would be our video series (targeted for first quarter, 2018) where I go into as much depth as I think appropriate on a number of trading topics. For the price of a couple of trading errors, you can see and listen to me talking about everything I learned from 30 years in the business and 40+ years of trading/investing.
I'm new to trading. Where would you recommend I begin learning in order to become a successful trader?
I get this one a lot. It clearly shaped how we constructed the website. You can start with the video series as one important resource. If that is not in the budget, check out the recommended reading. For the price of few books, you can come up the learning curve fast. Under the links section, there are links to various courses, trading coaches, and other things than can help you ramp up from no knowledge to trader level. Various research papers covering trading topics are available on the site if there's an interest. Bottom line: Considering the dollars you'll be managing over your lifetime and the typical cost of a college education these days, this website has to be one of least expensive, most efficient ways of transferring a lot of information to you on the topic of trading.
Do you ever make any appearances or give talks on trading that I can attend?
I have gotten this one more lately. As a money manager I traveled the world to see my clients, many of them large banks and brokerage firms. I spent a huge amount of time on planes and trains, in hotels in a lot of different countries, many times fighting jet lag. I know that many out there envy the adventures I had seeing a lot of the world. Having survived it, all I can think of is how wonderful I have it now, staying at home, spending time with my wife, doing the things I love to do and at the end of day being able to sleep in my own bed. I'm not a fan of traveling these days. I'm happy to give some presentations along the way and with the advent of so many cloud-based solutions for giving a presentation from a remote location, I don't have to travel as much. If I'm going to be in a distant location and the schedule works out, I'm happy to speak in person.
If you had little to spend and wanted to start with one or two books, which would they be?
This is another typical question from a trader just starting out. I listed the recommended reading in the order I would tend to read them. It is not a perfect order for all traders but a decent order for many I've talked to. The books at the top of the list have more overall trading information, while those at the bottom of the list are recommended, but more specialized in their scope.
Why did you include non trading-related sites on your links?
Enjoy the ride is a phrase that works in trading, golf, cooking, wine, travel, and even life. Since we wanted the site to reflect all the aspects of our lives that allow us to "enjoy the ride", we wanted to include some of the links to companies that we like for one reason or another. Hopefully this might help you enjoy your ride.
Is there a way to contact you personally?
The main reason for the site is to reduce Tom's having to personally answer every email with custom responses. We intentionally did not include a "Contact Us" page, since we believe that we have put much content and answers to questions into the website already. There simply is not much else I can think of to tell you. The rest of the job is up to you. We have not provided you with a quick fix or a way to get rich quickly. However, we have provided you with a sound road map or items for your trading things to do list that should put you on the road to creating your very own successful trading strategy. If you purchase the video series, you will be able to follow up with Tom by email if something is confusing. You can also access a frequently asked questions section specifically dedicated to trading questions following the video series.