What's your path to the top of the trading mountain? For every 10 traders there are 11 approaches. In a word, much creativity in the work. A computer scientist by training and a classically trained jazz-turned-jazz trumpet player, TD Ameritrade Trading Solutions Specialist Mike Ying knows well the heights and depths of thinkorswim® and Trade Architect®. And he uses that expertise to optimize, customize, and tweak platforms for every individual trader’s best starting point. Think of him as tech support on steroids. Rumor has it he pursues an answer for everything. No matter how obscure a thinkScript request, Mike is the go-to guy who makes it happen.
1. Mike, what’s special about the Trading Solutions team?
I don’t know of another firm that offers free coaching sessions like what we do with our Trading Solutions Group. Our first priority is education on technology and platform functions for active traders. We offer a dedicated 30 to 60 minutes to demonstrate anything clients need to explore. We listen carefully to client strategies, and can remote in and customize their platforms for what they want to do. We love to help traders through the initial learning curve and show what's possible.
2. What’s hot in the platform features arena?
I personally find the Trade Flash gadget very cool. It’s a real-time stream of unusual things happening in the market. If a stock falls 13% at the open, that information appears. Or if someone puts in an order on a large options position on a stock, that shows up. In effect it’s a real-time feed, but without the filter of opinions. All you see is pure market-related information.
Another hot feature is the ability to customize and link your symbols to multiple charts, or to other areas of the platform. With a process called linking, you click one symbol to see multiple charts at once, all with differing time frames.
3. You trade too. What are a few trading rules you live by?
Top of the list, I only trade what I know. I’m not delving into the corn or wheat markets for instance because I don’t know them as well. I also trust my gut to tell me how and when to proceed. Finally, I define my risk. I know exactly how much I can lose before I put on a trade. The market can be a bear.
4. How can traders calm the beast?
I’m also a musician, having started in classical and moved to jazz for the freedom. Musicians have their own style and their own way of expression. Just like trading, different styles and strategies take dedicated time and practice to learn. There are no right or wrong ways. It’s best to dive in. Total immersion. In my case, I moved to the States from Hong Kong when I was seven and learned English watching The Simpsons on TV. Immersion models are everywhere.