About our Head Trader and Co-Founder Alex
Alex Wasilewski aka AlexLW our head trader and co-founder has a rich and eclectic background that might more easily have been described by what he has not done.
He has never sat upon a mountain top and counseled Ringo Starr, never sacked Bart Starr, and never danced with any of the stars. He has done everything else.
He has been a NYC cab driver during his college days at Manhattan College in the Bronx NY. Rudolph Giuliani graduated 2 years before Alex but they may have bumped into each other at the Pinewood. Alex later owned a NYC taxi medallion and relates the awe of listening to Wall Street power traders talking business in the back of the cab. A few of them took him on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange where he got his first exposure to reading the Big Tape.
Among the other businesses Alex owned was a cocktail lounge on Long Island, an over the road tractor trailer freight hauling business and more recently a Budget Blinds window treatment franchise.
In law enforcement and banking, Alex was a Suffolk County NY police officer, an I.R.S. auditor, and an accountant for the Federal Reserve Bank of NY.
In the field of sales Alex has sold steak knives door to door, used cars, and new cars.
Finally related to trading, after opening up a brokerage account at Bache & Co. while a police officer in 1980, his interest and early success trading soybeans after his night shifts prompted the local Long Island branch office manager to recruit Alex to become a stock broker. Most people eschewed the stock market in early 1981 but Alex, always the contrarian, saw good times ahead for stocks. He graduated the Bache (now Prudential Securities) training program on the day Ronald Reagan was shot, and that was around the time the stock market started up from its lows and even in the face of numerous setbacks, never looked back.
Neither has Alex.
Though his first efforts in the brokerage business met with little acceptance; Alex cold-called skeptical investors on the merits of buying an out of favor dog stock whose “pie in the sky” CEO was busy touting his obviously flawed ideas of competition, Chrysler did OK for those who listened to Lee Iacocca and Alex. There were many other out of favor investments that did well for clients over the years.
The big thing that bothered Alex was the fact that no matter how astute and profitable the calls, he always felt like a “cheap salesman” forcing people to see it his way. Life was tough for a contrarian.
That is where the lure of independent trading began to present itself as an alternative to trying so desperately to help others.
Alex knew, however the dismal record of independent short term traders. Over 90% of his clients who called their own shots lost money. A greater than even number even lost money listening to the advice of the brokerage in house analysts.
But there were the few. There were some great traders who defied the odds, who proved the random walk might not be so universal after all.
Alex began a multi year campaign to read every book he could on trading. He did not stop there. He attempted to contact every big name trader in the world. A few returned the calls and letters. Little tidbits of advice stuck, and slowly turned losing ideas into profitable ones.
Alex even paid large sums of money to personally train under some of the more notable trading advisors. And from these people he slowly took certain ideas, setups, strategies and filters and adopted it to use in his own account.
Although Alex has been an outstanding investor over the long term in individual stocks, (his best period has been a 26.3% per year return over 16 years), short term day trading was a cold shower. He lost money consistently over a 3 year period. A typical newbie making every possible mistake. The only good news was his devoting a very small piece of capital to his day trading adventures, roughly $10,000. His pride was not losing it all, he grinned when first explaining it to us.
As most successful and honest advisors will tell you, first all newbies lose money. Then they learn to break even. Then they discover the magic of discipline, a high probability method, and personal positive psychology. AND THE NEWBIE BECOMES A PRO.
Alex L. Wasilewski
TTW Sr. Trader
FYI: This will also be posted on a web page