Marc Rivalland: Do You Know His Trading Achievements?

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“To be successful in the markets, you need to control your emotions and only act rationally. Since we never learned this in school, 90% of the traders and 80% of the investors are losing money.” – Florian Grummes

Name: Marc Rivalland
Nationality: South Africa, the United Kingdom
Occupation: Lawyer, trader and author
Trading style: Swing trading

Marc, who comes from South Africa, is a popular trader. He obtained a Bachelor of Commerce in 1975, and then worked as a market analyst in South Africa. He also studied law and settled in the UK. He continues working in various capacities in the financial industry; while also practicing law. He’s developed his own speculation approaches with some measure of success. He’s written a book on swing trading titled: “Marc Rivalland on Swing Trading” and he’s contributed a lot to trading journalism.

He currently lives in London, UK.

1. In order to take control of your destiny in the market, you need to be proactive. There’s always something you can do when you see a signal, when your position is positive and when your position is negative.

2. Swing trading, like other trading styles, works. Many people become swing traders without knowing what it takes to be a successful swing trader. Marc has modified something called Gann swing charts – a tool that makes swing trading more profitable. Another useful tool is Point & figure, which charts have been in use for more than a century. Marc, in addition, discusses some useful trading strategies, including the one that uses the RSI indicator. Yes, each strategy discussed has its benefits (plus the downside isn’t hidden). What an insight! Many a strategy vendor tells people about advantages of the strategies they’re selling, while glossing over the disadvantages of those strategies. There’s no perfect strategy and there won’t be. The things we can do are good RRR, etc. Marc Rivalland mentions this fact in the quote at the end of this piece.

3. Even some professional traders can’t have consecutively positive years indefinitely. Some years may have more profits than others, and some years may even be breakeven or negative years. In the year 2005, Marc experienced losses but he was able to recover the losses before the end of that year; ending at a breakeven. You may think he didn’t make a profit, but we appreciate the fact that he was able to keep his money safe (which is the most important goal in trading). In the same year, another super trader named John Henry lost 11% (which he called a bad year for him). 11% loss is still better than 21% loss or 41% loss or 60% loss or even a margin call. The smaller a loss is, the easier it is to recover. Let this be a lesson. We take only what the market offers us and we’re appreciative for that.

4. A Trading approach that takes your time 24/7 or 24/5 is not an approach that really makes you free, irrespective of how much you earn. Trading brings freedom only when you spend minimal time and you still make money. Marc recently said this: “I needed such a system that allowed me to place my orders, along with the stops and limits, with my broker at 7:55 in the morning and then work all day and not have to look at the market again until the close at 4:30 in the afternoon. In the evening I came home with the stock markets closed by then and my trades having been made. And that worked well. Over time, I shifted my focus to trading and also incorporated discretionary components.” (Quote source: TRADERS’ December 2012)

This piece will be ended with a quote from Marc:

“Overall, traders should make an effort to win the largest possible amounts in their profitable trades and only have small losing trades.”


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