Trader Education: An interview with FXTM’s Andreas Thalassinos

As retail forex brokers work hard to differentiate their offerings to clients – especially when it comes to new clients and novice traders – offering high quality trader education has become an increasingly important tool.

We’re pleased to present our recent conversation with CySEC regulated FXTM Head of Education Andreas Thalassinos on the topic. Mr. Thalassinos has been travelling around the world for over 20 years training novice and professional traders and investors in forex.

LR: Welcome Andreas, and thank you for joining us today. We would like to begin by asking you to talk to us about how important effective trading education is to FXTM.

Andreas: Giving clients access to creating the right foundations in order to enter the financial markets with as much knowledge as possible has always been one of FXTM’s core values. As a company, we are always on the lookout for more ways to educate our traders and investors in order to match their learning styles, needs and knowledge level.

This year FXTM held a large number of educational events in more than 10 different countries around the world which altogether hosted more than 1,500 attendees. These events are a perfect opportunity for us to hear about our traders’ needs, in regards to their education, and find ways to answer to them in the future.

Based on the ideas and the feedback we’ve collected this year, I have to admit that I’m very excited for what’s in store for FXTM and our traders in the future.

LR: Could you describe for us the traders’ mindset when they first come to one of your seminars?

Andreas: You know, in my career I’ve met and taught thousands of traders from all corners of the world. Some are professionals in completely different fields looking to ‘capture’ new opportunities, others are just getting to know the fascinating world of foreign exchange, while the rest are active traders looking for ways to add to their existing knowledge. FXTM’s seminars and workshops have been designed to accommodate the experience and knowledge of all kinds of traders.

Most of them have heard stories from their friends and acquaintances about the different style of my seminars and come with an open mind and a certain anxiety to participate.

However, a brief introduction from each participant reveals a set of traits that they all, more or less, have in common and bring to the classroom: the willingness to learn the secret behind the ‘Holy Grail’, the ‘best’ entry point at the ‘most favorable’ price, the strategy that will possibly yield the most profits, and eagerness to find the truth behind some popular trading concepts. There’s also one more thing they all have in common: ego. At different levels of course, but, yes, one thing that is obvious on all traders is the element of ego.

If you’ve been doing this for as long as I have, then you can almost smell a trader’s ego in the beginning of any seminar or workshop.

LR: How does their attitude change when they start the seminar? What are some of the things your traders realise about trading?

Andreas: At the start of the seminar, I have to admit that I get a few raised eyebrows. That’s mostly because, from the get-go, the things I teach them are contradictory to what they have been practicing or have practiced so far. This is exactly when I start demystifying some well-known trading myths.

During the lesson they begin to understand the four most important elements of forex trading. 1. A sound trading strategy is a must, 2. Proper risk management rules need to be in place and abided by, 3. Having the right discipline distinguishes a trader from a successful trader, and 4. Price is the only indicator you need.

Let me break it down. A solid trading strategy is created from the trader and is adjusted and shaped to his own trading profile, needs and style which is exactly why it should be followed at all times.

Preservation of capital and proper risk management rules are often ignored by traders. The truth is that without risk management the capital is at risk and as a trader your ‘job’ is not only to produce profit but it’s also to safeguard the existing capital.

When we finally reach discipline I explain that the other two elements cannot be followed and this is what will ultimately take that trader to the next level.

And I end my class by breaking the news that the price is the most important indicator and that everything else is only secondary to price!

You see, FXTM’s educational initiative wants to give traders more than just a basic knowledge in forex trading, we want to go beyond that and actually provide our traders with the correct information and the most effective tools in order to maximise their potential as much as possible.

LR: And how does the learning journey with Mr. Thalassinos end? What do they take away from their seminars with you?

Andreas: After the seminar, the participants understand that knowledge is indeed essential in order to trade the markets. I always tell them that one needs to know as much as possible in order to be able to filter out bad advice based on false information and incorrect theories. One needs to know the pros and cons of each indicator, strategy and theory before adopting them to their own trading– when it’s best to use them and when it’s best to avoid them.

They all realise that invalid knowledge has been their weakest link so far, and they’re eager to attend the next workshop on advanced topics. But, until we meet again, I give them information on all the resources we offer at FXTM to help them work on and add to the topics we covered together.

For example, apart from the on-location seminars and workshops that we host in different countries, we have also recently launched a series of webinars which cater to both novice and experienced traders. Another great way to expand on their new knowledge and learn more about the importance of discipline, risk management and good trading practices is our e-book called ‘The Road to Success: 50 Successful Traders’ Habits’ that is available for download straight from the FXTM website. In addition to that, FXTM launched a series of educational videos that can take any trader from A to Z in forex trading and we have even more courses in store for 2017.

LR: Thank you so much Mr. Thalassinos. Are there any final words you would like to add for any aspiring forex traders out there?

Andreas: Remember that ambition is not the only ingredient you need, knowledge is imperative, confidence is necessary, determination is required, discipline is a must, ego is a ‘killer’, price is the only ‘Holy Grail’ and that a successful trader is an educated trader.

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