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Interview with Štěpán Hájek, Purple Trading analyst

Hello Štěpán, thanks for finding the time for us amidst all these market analyses and video recordings. Are you able to recall how did you start with trading?

I was first introduced to trading during my studies in Australia. I’ve met a classmate there, whose lifestyle consisted of traveling, enjoying life, and trading. Naturally, the idea of having such lifestyle seemed really attractive to me, so I started asking him about what trading is. At that time, I thought that it must be a piece of cake given the fact that he can do it.

But as time went on and I started to learn more about trading, I began to regret that I hadn’t ask him about specific trading strategies or approaches. This was mostly because opening my first real account was a reality check for me. I realized that trading won’t be as easy as I thought. What followed were hours spent reading the charts and studying various educational websites. 

Did you manage to achieve any success worth mentioning?
I guess that everyone perceives success in trading in a different way. Certainly, in my case, we are not talking about the single most successful trade that would stand above all others. Personally, I don’t believe that the success of this kind will ever come. The market is everchanging and I have to adapt to it. Similarly, I am constantly switching my interest to different markets in different countries.

In other words, my personal trading hero is myself 5 years from now. And at this point, I am convinced that 5 years from now I will be aspiring to my 5 years older version. And it will continue like this on and on. I might say that my biggest success is consistent profitability but that might be too relative.

So If I am to answer this question, the success, in my case anyway, would be emotional stability. Because that’s the alpha and the omega of trading due to the fact that it leads to consistency in trading which, in return, can help with profitability.

Okay, and what about fails, were there any? 
Luckily not a lot of them. Naturally, I’ve lost some money(I call that money “school tuition”) and made a few trades that I shouldn’t have made given the strategy I was trying to follow. But I don’t consider it a fail. I consider them mistakes from which I should ideally learn.

What are your favorite markets/instruments? 
There are certainly some markets that I prefer for my daily trades. However, instrument-wise, I like to watch stock indices. That’s because you can see some kind of story behind each and every movement in the medium time horizon which gives you the possibility to back it up by fundaments.

For trading, I need daily volatility, though, and  that’s where currency pairs come in. I go by technical analysis and look for key levels at which the market might react. I like to choose markets where I can - surprisingly - make money. Over time I get better and better overview of the opportunities in the individual markets. Basically, I am interested in everything that moves. 

Do you use any trading tools?
There was a phase when I was watching market orders, volumes, daily deviations, algorithmic levels, and so on, and at the same time, I was using more than a dozen trading tools at the same time. As time went by, I realized that it’s not necessary and all I need is just a simple price chart. Naturally, it’s nice to be able to see where the traders are the most active, where they perceive the fair price to be, but you can learn to perceive all these nuances without having to pay for expensive trading tools. 

You have only recently become a part of the Purple team. What are your impressions so far?
So far, I really like being part of the Purple team. Even at the beginning I knew I was joining a company that wants to move forward, promote the latest trading technologies and create a pleasant environment for clients’ trading. I am surprised by how quickly we can respond to various events and situations, such as the deployment of a new oil index instrument, in which the price was increased by $100, so that clients can speculate on the return of the spot oil price to negative values. It literally took only two days to properly test everything technically and add a new instrument to our offer.

What was it like to start working for us in April, i.e. during the quarantine and lockdown times, when you couldn't even meet any of us in person?
In the beginning, it was what it was. There is no point in crying over spilled milk. Over time, there were a little too many home offices, you need to get in touch with other people to know that you are part of the team and it's not all just solo work via email. That's why I recently welcomed receiving an invitation to a company-wide outdoor annual event, where I was finally able to meet all my colleagues. Gradually, I got into a more normal mode, but on the other hand, at least I had a lot of time to get familiar with all the new stuff here. For example, the new cTrader platform.

In the past, you worked at different positions, in addition to the analyst role you have also led a sales team, were in contact with clients a lot, now you help us, among other things, with marketing or representation of Purple Trading in media. What have you enjoyed the most?
Monitoring of markets and events that have an immediate impact on their development is closest to me. That's why I was glad that I was able to watch all the events throughout quarantine and I didn't miss anything. However, working with clients gave me a lot and I value the sales department all the more now. I have had dozens, maybe hundreds of meetings with clients, and I must say that this is the only way to truly understand the needs of a business person. I dealt with the settings of their trading, but also with some more technical things. Although sometimes there were a lot and questions, and the requests from clients were often repeated, I would not change anything. I believe that I will be able to pass this knowledge on to the marketing department, which I work closely with now.

Will you reveal any other plans for the future? What can our clients and readers look forward to from you and Purple Trading?
For a month now, I've been posting a daily morning video with the most important events to our YouTube channel, and I'm also adding my perspective on selected markets. I am preparing a simple strategy for the summer, which I want to pass on to clients so that they can simplify their summer trading and make it as efficient as possible. I am also planning regular videos where I will be analyzing selected business opportunities in detail and I hope that, thanks to the educational form of these videos, the clients will also take away some new information or idea from each of these, which they can use in their thinking about their own trading. And after the summer, when the markets are not so "boring", I am planning a surprise, but I'll keep that to myself for now.

Ok, Štěpán, we have successfully made it to the end of this interview. Before we wrap it up, please tell us what you do in your free time? 
I like to spend my free time in nature, riding my bike. That’s how I can “clear my head” in the best way. However, I live in Prague, and finding a piece of nature here is quite a difficult task. I solve this problem by often visiting the north part of Bohemia, where I was born. All in all, it’s kind of difficult for me to be able to just “turn myself off” in the city as hectic as Prague. On the other hand, I enjoy gourmet food and here in Prague, the opportunities are vast. In the end, what is most important for me is to balance these two hobbies so that I can be ready for each morning trading session.

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