Who are you? What’s your background?
Hello! Thanks for taking the time with me today. My name is Ryan Masten and I am the founder of Earn2Trade and also the Co-Founder and trading Principal of a registered Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA). I’ve been trading for over 15 years now and have traded a lot of different markets including forex, futures, options and equities. I have a background in information system architecture and implementation, graphic and video production, web and desktop software development, information/network security, and business process integrations. I received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Information Technology from Colorado Technical University as well as a Master’s of Science in Network Security from Capitol Technology University which is widely recognized by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. I’ve had medical software and interface designs that received editorial coverage in, Readers Digest, New York Times, Wallstreet Journal, SmartMoney, Prevention Magazine, and the British Medical Journal.
Can you tell us a little bit about you as a trader? (Intraday or multi-day?)
Primarily I am an intraday trader and rarely will hold a position overnight. While I have a background in stocks and forex as well, my primary focus on the moment is on trading futures. My trades are based on a deep understanding of market structure and order flow. I start each day by doing an analysis of the markets I am watching and plot out the areas I am initially interested in potentially placing a trade. Over the course of the day, the market may create new levels of interest to me. I have a lot of custom-built algorithms that help me determine the conviction of a market when it nears or enters an area of interest to me, at which point I will decide whether or not to engage.
What is Earn2trade today and what will it be in, let say, 2020? Will you add Forex as well to The Gauntlet?
Today Earn2Trade is a service company providing a professional trading development system. We offer a basic Futures and Forex educational package called the Beginner Crash Course with over 60 videos that focuses on three main points, namely understanding the market, risk management and technical trading. The education package also includes weekly webinars (currently a database of over 40, 45 minute webinars) that go deep into market analysis. There is an examination mechanism called The Gauntlet™ which tests candidates on their Futures trading competency and rewards them with a funding offer if they succeed. And finally there is a more comprehensive package called the Bootcamp that merges the Beginner Crash Course and The Gauntlet™ with simulator usage, and weekly mentoring.
By 2020, we will have broadened our webinar library to nearly 100 hours of educational content covering a vast array of trading information. We will have a forum for our Gauntlet™ candidates to discuss trading strategies with one another, and we will have better statistical analytics on our dashboard so that Gauntlet™ candidates can get a more insightful report of their trading styles.
Forex is definitely on the table for 2020, and is likely to even be able by mid to late 2019. We are also currently examining the possibility of adding Futures Options to The Guantlet™, and are devising the best way of determining Option trading performance.
What’s the biggest achievement you have had from Earn2Trade thus far? And in your life?
In my life it is my family. I have a wonderful wife and four amazing children that are the light of my day. I spend a good amount of time at home at my home office so I can be around my family as much as possible. I can’t emphasize enough how important family is above all.
The biggest achievement we’ve had from Earn2Trade of course was seeing people who passed The Gauntlet™ make money. There’s an enormous satisfaction seeing people trade well, making new friends and knowing that you created something that can help people. Beyond that, like any businessman it was a big achievement to reach break even and even generate some profit. We expect the business to grow and will do our utmost to provide the best environment for people to learn and become professional traders.
How do you see the future of trading? More and more small proxy traders or will the robots take over? 🙂
This is a fantastic question. It seems more and more in the past years that it’s just a big fight against “Skynet”, and that there is no room for the retail trader. I strongly believe however that although the macro strategies of most traders are shared amongst pretty well-defined groups, refining your trading style to a level where you develop your own tactics and your own indicators can still set you apart and give you more of a chance against the institutional algorithms.
Some people say that Trading success is due for 80% to the right psychology, would you agree? What’s Earn2Trade training approach?
I’m not sure about the percentage, but there is no doubt it’s crucial to maintain your grit. Trading can be extremely stressful and for me it’s necessary to be able to distance myself from my trading. By that I mean one must do their best to separate themselves from the emotional attachment trading can generate. This is nearly impossible to do 100% but one must strive to avoid anthropomorphizing securities and prevent revenge trading or other negative habits.
Our training approach is best described as hammering the basics, preaching the fundamentals, emphasizing the core, or what our grandparents might have called good old common sense. As we mentioned above, we stress three main points, which include understanding the market, risk management and technical trading. Understanding the market deals with breaking down the many components and players of the market, securities, contracts, with the main focus on Forex and Futures. Risk management teaches best practices, and technical trading shows how to read and plot charts. This coupled with a vast webinar catalog and individualized mentoring by someone who has passed their Series 3 and Series 34 examinations gets a student on the path to professional trading.
Who are the traders that enrolled in The Gauntlet in 2018 and have succeeded to get funded? What’s the “secret” of those who perform well and obtain funding?
As of January 23rd, 2019, our customer pass rate is 21.1%. Some of our customers have taken the Gauntlet™ more than once, but since our launch one in five candidates who have taken the Gauntlet™ have been funded. We don’t have defined age data on our candidates but we do see gender participation overwhelmingly skewed towards men at 88% with women making up 12%. The majority of our candidates hail from the United States (76%), with a significant number also coming from the EU (10%), Canada (4%), Australia (1.8%), Mexico (1.5%), and the remaining 6.7% coming from countries all around the world. We don’t share any personal details about our Gauntlet™ graduates, although some have taken the liberty of sharing their stories on Trustpilot or in other forums such as EliteTrader or Futures.io.
We’ve found that the biggest determinant in a successful Gauntlet™ performance is a low profit to drawdown ratio. We see the vast majority of our funded candidates trading very conservatively, whether they are swing traders or intra-day.
What is your own key to success? I, for myself, believe that only a content and healthy person can be a profitable trader: my performance improved drastically since I returned in Italy (from London) to my family and friends, and have an active outdoorsy lifestyle.
I believe the key for me has been sticking to a strict rule set which I think is important for any trader. Too many times I’ve seen traders fail simply because they went outside of their defined strategy or risk parameters. An example would be if someone said their max loss is $500 and then continued to move their stop outside of this max loss and end up taking a drastic loss. Some traders find it helpful to trade with a trading partner so that they can help keep each other accountable for their rules.
If trading can be taught and learned in just 4 months, why isn’t everyone we know a profitable full time trader? The 1 thing you would recommend traders start doing today so to get better results tomorrow?
Honestly it takes a fair bit of commitment. Our Bootcamp is intense and requires the digestion of a lot of educational materials, consistent webinar attendance, simulated trading and weekly guidance from a mentor. It’s hard to stick to something rigid, especially when we are so busy in our lives and prone to distraction. If I had to make one suggestion to traders today I would say be as cautious and conservative as possible. Trade the bare minimum.
People unfamiliar with the world of trading believe it’s a nest full of snakes (Hollywood movies don’t help..), I’ve had very positive experiences so far from very nice and enthusiastic people: what can we all do to improve on this?
Like many industries, the financial industry is no stranger to scammers. Anyone who’s been involved for the most fleeting moment comes in contact with ripoff artists and charlatans of all stripes. In our own lives, we can only do our best to be the best in what we do. Focusing on delivering a quality service to people is our job and we love what we’re doing. Hopefully success will follow.
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