Some people work toward their calling; others fall into it. Even though he graduated from law school and spent a year practicing law, the trading bug eventually caught up with Christian Meyer, an independent forex and metals trader based in London. Meyer now mostly trades his own money along with the investments of a select few individuals, controlling about $5 million. “I wasn’t suitable for legal work and I knew right away the markets were more my calling. It was actually through a friend of mine in a hedge fund. I started with currency trading, started developing it, and I had this aptitude for it. That’s really how it started and it was really I just fell into a calling and I’ve been doing it for about 10 years now,” he says.
Transitioning from the legal world to trading financial markets is a bit of a leap and Meyer credits Wasson Capital Advisors, a hedge fund he worked for in New York from 2001 to 2004, with providing him the experience and financial education to successfully make that leap. “We had this fundamental bet against the dollar which we profited from and then my separate trading sort of started as an offshoot from that,” Meyer says. “Some of the partners in the hedge fund funded me and I started trading their money,” he says. Meyer took his trading private after profiting from the dollar short.
It proved to be the intellectual stimulation that drew Meyer to the trading world. Although he characterizes himself as a systemic trader, he admits he enjoys the fundamentals. “I enjoy the discipline. I like looking at the world. I like looking at the economies. I like [thinking] about the geopolitical situations which may impact the currency market. All those things go through my head, they don’t necessarily drive the trading, but there’s an underpinning of that which makes it exciting for me on a regular basis,” he says.
Meyer uses a systemic trading strategy that looks for long-term trends by following 13 currency pairs. If he sees an opportunity in a particular currency he may trade it against several different currencies and not necessarily in the same direction. “Sometimes all the signals align and you’d be long [or short] all the European currencies against the yen. But often you would have mixed signals,” Meyer says. He uses a combination of moving averages, Fibonacci and Elliott Wave to generate signals for trades. “I’m looking for multi-week or multi-month moves in general, I’m not a short term trader,” he says.
The long-term approach seems to be working for Meyer as he claims to averages about 23% returns on investments using about a five times leverage in trades.
Meyer says the keys to his success are discipline and diversification. “With leveraged accounts, it’s pure discipline. You have to maintain absolute, absolute focus on a system.”
Profitable long-term trends don’t pop up every day so Meyer applies his approach to a diversified group currency pairs. “Diversification is very important when you’re looking for the long-term secular moves in the currency markets. My system relies very much on diversification,” Meyer says.
For all that Meyer enjoys about trading, only one thing frustrates him. “I have to go to sleep and wonder what’s going to happen in Tokyo in my dreams,” he says.