Hello everyone, I wanted to take a moment and give my own intro, as well as talk a bit about how this site got started. Firstly, about myself: My very first trade was mid-way though 2007 just as I opened my first brokerage account with an investment house here in Canada. At the time, I was in the first half of my IT career and just starting to make the transition from fixing computers on a bench to network and infrastructure design. My first trades were all Canadian equities, warrants, and mutual funds. I thought I was being cleaver by timing the market and holding positions for days or weeks... but I spent most of my time just spinning my wheels. I even ventured into small cap penny stocks on the TSX Venture exchange, mostly junior resource exploration companies, but that just added way more volatility to my holdings than it was worth. I ended that first half year period losing a few grand of my savings and just dumping the rest of my account into short and medium term bond funds. Funny enough, I probably picked the worst time to open a retail stock account that could only go long, as the credit crisis was in full swing not 6 months from when I opened the account and leading up to that point most daily stock charts would make you believe we were in a huge bull run. There was a little bit of a silver lining; despite the loss, I out preformed most others since the market itself was falling off a cliff. I don't attribute this to any smarts on my part, I had no idea what was coming by 2008/9... I simply lost much 'less' % wise than the benchmark index. As a nice surprise, with the market falling, interests rates were being cut drastically, and my bond funds benefited tremendously. I didn't make back all that I had lost from trading equities earlier, but holding onto one of the only asset classes going up in value while the credit crisis was in full swing sure did put a chip on my shoulder. I mean, I had short term bonds up 11-14% while most people in equities were looking at a 40% haircut. This experience really gave me a greater perspective on how various asset classes were interconnected... not to mention it was wake up call that the markets can be a far more complicated of a place than I had first thought. I was hooked. Around this time I got poached by an old manager of mine who moved to another IT firm and offered me a substantial raise if I jumped ship with him...so off I went to a new city and larger paycheck. I didn't know this at the time, but this would be the job and experience that started pushing me away from IT, and toward the world of financial markets as a future career. While I was working in this new city, isolated from my friends back home in Toronto, I had more free time on my hands (when I wasn't working 60-80 hour weeks.) It was with this free time that I did two things: Discover forex, and take a life insurance license course out of self interest. The insurance part wasn't my thing, but the investment component of the course (built into some insurance plans) combined with experiencing forex and being able to conceptualize how money flowed around the world, convinced me that I wanted to work in the financial industry. I just thought it was soo neat.. I had to be part of it some way, I had to learn more. I left the new job about a year after I started, and I returned to school to study business and finance. My degree didn't require an internship, but I wanted some trading floor experience and I didn't like the idea of going through regular channels since the kind of internships being offered by the big banks or firms to my school were far away from where the trades took place (clerical paper pushing BS.) So I went door-to-door to a few smaller equity firms, just poking about and making contacts, and eventually found a good fit. The place didn't even have an intern program, so I just told the floor manager straight up "I'll be in class most of the time, but can I come in for a few hours a week and do what I can on the floor?" ...He agreed. Soon after I was joining their trainees and learning what they learnt.. I even was given a small amount of firm capital to trade. Once I got out of school I was asked to come in full time, so I accepted. Since then I've stayed on the institutional side and moved onto another company. But between both companies, I've not only learned a great deal about trading, but I've been able to witness first hand what kind of traits and personality it takes to survive in this game (and what types of people just crash and burn.) The psychology behind success in the markets is almost as interesting as the markets themselves. And that brings me to this point. A few years running on the institutional side after a few years trading retail on the side, some might think that still makes me a "pup"... but if you count the hours of screen time I have from trading retail, plus being glued to my seat watching the markets every day at the firm, combined with having worked through what it takes to become consistently profitable to the point where I can depend on my trading income and not worry about job security... experience wise, I size up pretty favorably. -- A lot of that experience went into the article I've written on the main page of this site (link here.) This site started out of wanting a central place to combine my thoughts and posts from forums around the net, and grew into this forum you see now after getting fed up with the administration and owners of other online communities. I figured: "I already have a site, why not just make a forum that doesn't have such issues and run it properly?" And thus, the FXGears trading community was born. As time goes on, I'll be putting more focus on the forum over any content on the main page, and eventually the site will just be about the forum and community. I'm excited to see this place take off, and with the momentum we have so far, I think we got something awesome in the making here.