Primary Focus: Long and Short-Bias on Small Cap Stocks Using Tape Reading and Technical Analysis
Max, affectionately known in the trading community by his nickname, Madaz, is a retired structural engineer-turned-full time trader based out of Los Angeles, California. He has always had a knack for finding seemingly intricate ways to make fast money and making them seem rather simple. Never feeling fully challenged in school despite maintaining good grades, he pursued side ventures that would fund the activities that would make his life a little less mundane. From selling miscellaneous items on eBay to scalping tickets to counting cards in blackjack, he quickly realized that these activities were not sustainable in the long run as they did not generate a substantial amount of money, just enough to make a college kid look like a baller compared to your typical broke college student.
Upon graduation from UC Irvine with his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil/Structural Engineering, expectations were high as he was excited to enter the workforce like everyone else and start his career as an engineer, however a little thing called the recession was taking place which meant employers were not hiring. With no job prospects and buried in student loan debt, he was forced to take up a minimum wage job at a local computer electronics store for 6 months, something he calls the most humbling experience of his life, despite holding an engineering degree. He finally was able to find a proper office job after the 6 months but with the recession still in full force, it was well below the average engineering salary. Seeing how beggars can’t be choosers, so he had to take it to get his foot in the door. He concurrently attended graduate school at CSU Long Beach to pursue his Master’s Degree in Engineering as well to pad his resume in the hopes of looking more attractive to prospective employers. At his new workplace, he met a co-worker who somehow despite not having a high salary from his job, drove a Lotus Elise. Intrigued, he inquired this coworker through what means was he able to afford such a luxurious item. His response? Trading stocks, and an idea was born.
He then opened an E*Trade account with $6,000 of his savings and embarked on this trading journey. With some beginners luck he was able to make $600 on his first trade on DANG. However, given Max’s tendency to lean towards the adrenalin-fueled risky ventures, he started trading IPOs thinking it was the quickest way to make money. He started doing IPOs such as P, LNKD, GRPN and was successful with them but ran into a brick wall in RENN, where he lost big.
Realizing that IPOs weren’t the answer, he started doing some research and discovered penny stocks and the website InvestorsHub. After major losses he slowly, and painfully, learned about the nature of penny stocks but was able to acquire enough knowledge and developed the proper mindset needed to have a winning strategy in trading. He soon was able to take his $6,000 original account to over $43,000. However, his recklessness led him to blow up his account in the summer of 2012 and left him with only $7,000 and considered quitting trading.
After a 3 month hiatus to regather his thoughts, he came back with a stronger mindset. He studied hard and taught himself to control his emotions. He gave it one last shot with his remaining $7,000 in December of 2012 and has since found his stride and developed his winning strategy that has made him one of the most respected traders in the community. In March of 2014, after years of sneaking trades behind his boss’s back on the job and having his biggest profitable month ever, banking approximately $150,000 in February 2014 during the OTCBB marijuana hype, he decided that he had made enough profits from trading to retire from his day job and drop out of his Master’s Degree program while still in his 20s.
Max’s main approach to trading is taking high percentage scalp setups for fast profits particularly at the opening bell. He popularized strategies such as the washout long, panic pop short, and the halt and resume washout long, of which he has lots of free content demonstrating these strategies at work via his YouTube channel.
Max also believes that psychology is the key to a trader’s success or failure and therefore he prioritizes the minimization of stress and emotions while trading by making it as fun as possible to calm his nerves as well as entertain his fellow traders with catch phrases such as #TraderNap , #TraderLifestyle, #GettingPaid, #TraderProblems and of course, #BigMacs.
He continues to rely on trading as his main source of income to this day, making several times over what he would have made had he remained at his regular day job as an engineer.
In his free time, he enjoys long, cheesy romantic walks on the beach, travelling all over the world, staying in shape, working out up to 6 days a week and having played collegiate soccer and recreational hockey. Max is an avid musician. He was forced to attend piano classes by his mom starting at the age of 5 like all the other Asian kids, picked up guitar/bass during his rebellious alternative days, and even briefly attempted to become an EDM producer in his early 20s. He is also quadrilingual (Vietnamese, French, English and Spanish; in that order).
You can follow Max and his shenanigans on Instagram @madazlifestyle.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky