In this article, we’ll talk to Aaron Korbs from Tradacc and let him explain how his experience with Volume Profile has changed his life completely. Originally this article was published on Medium and on our new Publication. Make sure to go there and follow us so that you are always updated on the latest trading news.
Aaron is a Professional Futures Trader and Volume Profile Expert. He has been a former Proprietary Institutional Trader, managing a major six-figure trading account for the last few years.
The journey that leads him to be a consistently profitable trader is interesting and we are going to look at it today. We will also get exclusive tips as a beginner trader from the man itself.
How Did You Get Into the Trading Game?
Aaron: I’ll just recall all the way back at the end of 2013 and coming into 2014 as the time where I first started trading. Before that, I was from Hot Springs Arkansas, down south in the USA. Growing up I was fairly gypped out of education. I say that because even to this day I don’t have a High School Diploma or a GED. No form of accredited college, training, or anything like that.
That’s really important since one of the major misconceptions about trading is that you need to have a diploma. Or that you need to learn a lot about different technical indicators. Looking at this story Aaron Korbs doesn’t even have a high school diploma but that hasn’t stopped him from being a profitable and consistent trader.
Listening to this story should be inspiring to all of you beginner traders so that you pursue your passion. He did pursue what he loved and is now in a great position where he can help others.
A: I would hope that when you hear my story it would reinforce and encourage you to put an emphasis on respect and appreciation for this space. The markets truly provide us with an incredible opportunity and there aren’t as many things out there like this.
The market is this very pure almost refining fire that has a way of rewarding people but not based on where you are born, who your parents are, what color is your skin, or anything. It rewards you based on your personal skill and your personal level of mastery. However, it also has a very unique way of punishing people who try to cut corners or that try to get rich quickly.
A Trader looks for consistency, the gambler looks for a quick profit.
A: Growing up the first thing I was involved in was a truck washing business with a buddy of mine. I did that for several years. I was socially awkward and didn’t really have a voice or anything like that. At the time I knew I had to get a targeted education and learn as many new things as I can. Such as learning how to make an invoice, how to schedule work, and things like that which help you in a business.
I somehow stumbled across a TED talk and I had no idea what it was but I was entertained by it. If I recall correctly this lady was talking about body language and how your psychology and physiology are closely related and if you stimulate one you stimulate the other. So I gave her lessons a go and they worked wonderfully so I went on a TED talk binge-watching phase until I stumbled on Tony Robbins.
Tony Robbins is an entrepreneur and a bestselling Author Number.1 NY Times, the nation’s Number.1 life & business strategist, and lastly a philanthropist.
A: I remember the first speech I heard from him and it’s still engraved in my memory…
I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk– Tony Robbins
A few months of learning how to trade can produce a lifetime of freedom.
A: His words embedded this idea in me that I don’t have to be still the same person that’s uneducated and can’t do great things. I don’t have to present myself that way. There’s a better way of doing things and that’s following a structured process. A lot of things you have to figure out on your own such as what you want to do or where you wanna go, and how to go about getting it. But once you find the answers to these questions and follow the plan everything it’s going to be easy.
This philosophy is really important because it can help you better evaluate your life choices and where you are. What have you been doing wrong or right so far and how to fix or improve, going forward. This is something I believe everyone should do once in a while to give an evaluation of their life and check if it’s going according to the plan.
A: After some hard time realizing I knew that my truck washing business in Arkansas had limits and would never allow me to have the life that I really wanted. So I had to evolve and I had a few ideas already in my mind. That’s where I decided to try out trading. At the time I knew there were only stocks trading but nonetheless the idea intrigued me. There’s something kinda romantic about the idea of sitting and watching screens and trading the market successfully.
If you want to Day Trade then Stocks are not the right choice to make your trades on. The low volatility it’s going to make your trading day feel miserable and not that profitable.
If you do not believe you can do it then you have no chance at all.
A: When it comes to trading there is something like only 20% of the stuff that’s as black and white, if you do this wrong you lose in trading. Also, there’s like an 80% that is just really gray and it’s very much up for interpretation. There’s a lot of people who do day trading stocks and I can’t say my ways are better, but it was a difficult journey and with trial and error I managed to find my footing. Then I was introduced to commodities and the Futures market which made much more sense to me.
The majority of professional day traders look at the Futures Market and Trading Commodities.
A: This is where my passion sparked for Day Trading futures and that’s when I went on a learning rabbit hole. I believe this is the approach all new traders have, by reading some blogs, watching youtube videos, and some online courses. I was not aware of how much noise there was in this topic so I had to carefully filter out the content that made sense to me.
There are a lot of ways someone can go about trading so choosing a technique and building a method around it it’s something crucial.
A: Initially I was doing all kinds of technical analysis and technical indicator-based systems. But at the end of the day, they weren’t working for me long-term, so I had to adapt and improve.
After switching to trading Futures I started to really like the idea of focusing on the same products every day. This is important since you don’t waste time scanning for opportunities, you know what you are trading each day, and by virtue of the way these products move it seems easier to understand.
The Volume Profile
Volume Profile is looking at the real-time market generated information, it’s not taking information that has already happened, put it in an equation and direct you in a certain way. It generates real-time market information that’s extremely raw and very useful. And it displays that information in a unique way that helps you when trading a lot.
A: Volume Profile was the first thing that was making the most sense to me and that’s where everything changed in my life. It really was a bit of a pure way of looking at the market and really understanding if there’s a huge shift or not. I wasn’t controlled by the indicators anymore but rather I was understanding the market better and making a decision from the given information.
There’s not a lot of good information regarding Volume Profile on the internet but there are a few books that provide general info but still lacking in certain things. I mean lacking in terms of how do you actually trade on this data, how does a setup look like, and things like that.
A: I started to formalize my own ideas and came up with my own identity. Trading just like with everything if you put in the hours and focus on your work sooner or later you’re going to reap the rewards. I went full in and I learned all I ever could about Volume Profile and added my own twists to it. Things such as family or other preoccupations that usually stop people from becoming professional traders weren’t present with me.
Patience is the key to a profitable trade.
I didn’t have a time limit on it because at this point I was already all-in on trading. I had already sold my truck washing business and went all in onto trading and that’s when I first started my brokerage account with $10,000. For me, that was a lot of money starting out but I was really invested and had to try it out.
This is not always the best way to go about trading and especially for beginners. Even if you feel like you are well equipped and have enough knowledge to do that it’s always better to start trading with what you are comfortable losing.
A: Working hard and learning about trading is a process that just like everything else in the world if you put enough time and dedication into it you’ll eventually become a master at some point. Everyone can make a difference and make a turn in their trading life if they work hard enough.
To make it in this business you just need consistency and that is easy if you know what path to follow.
Tips for Those Going Through Big Loses
A: When we are going slow and being directional that’s where I struggle the most in my trading life. For us day traders, low volatility means there are fewer chances of making money and the traders instantly become more difficult. The best thing anyone can do is to become a structured person. I come in pretty much every day bang out my work and then I just fall flat. There aren’t any surprises one way or another at the end of the day.
Trading is highly emotional but learning how to trade without emotions it’s what’s important. If you make decisions on the spot without holding back yourself you’re most likely not meant to be a trader.
A: I personally have been through a few tough times where I have doubted myself and wondered if I’m even good enough to continue doing this. As a trader, I believe everyone it’s going to experience this at least once. But all you have to do is push through those insecurities and continue with your plan of action.
You get to a point in a losing trade where the pain of holding on is more than the pain of closing the trade. The best thing you can do is to completely remove yourself from the charts and come back later after you have made a break. Follow the guidelines and the trading formula as if were a regular day. Build everything up slowly and steadily.
A Typical Day in Trading for Aaron Korbs
A: I’m an early riser, I like to get up early, finish my breakfast in time, check the news and get ready to start the day. There’s no reality in trading where you can be sloppy and disorganized and still be a profitable trader. You need to build up good habits in life so that they can help in your trading journey. It’s really important to relieve stress from your body and I personally do that through meditating or reading.
I start about an hour before the market opens, I have a top-down approach at the charts and look at the overnight results. Interesting for me is also the results of the previous day so that I can make a better comparison. I also look at the economic calendar to see if something important is happening that day that can impact the market.
There are four different types of trading: Day Trading, Swing Trading, Scalping, and Position Trading. Each trader should be proficient in one and know about the others at least.
Do more of what works and less of what doens’t — Steve Clark
You should know where to get out before going in.
A: I typically take between 3–5 trades a day and always try to stick to this method. I’m a big fan of having goals in trading. The biggest mistake is the way that we expose ourselves to risk and it’s uncomfortable. If you know what your target is and your goal for the day then it gets really simple to trade accurately. You should always do what you need to do in a trade and not rely on emotions which is a big mistake.
Daily targets are really important to follow and can help in your trading journey. My trading window is between low $400 or high $1000 for each trade. I typically want to be around 60% or 70% win percentage on my trades to be profitable and that’s my daily goal.
A: One thing I would do is be fairly creative about my trading experience. I had no advantage when I came into trading, the only thing was that I entered the game early so that I don’t have any family or wife or kids. Meaning I can dedicate much more time.
Make some time in your calendar when you can trade and learn it. Look at what can you trade at the time you are available. Volume indicators are going to help a lot. Make sure you check a product that makes sense to trade meaning that it has volume.
- What’s your favorite entry setup?
My best entry setup would be based on the Volume Profile and it’s a little bit nuanced. It would look like this. I’ll have a specific way of marking the opening range, which is the first time we have buyers and sellers for the day. What will happen is that both the top and bottom lines are going to get broken and then we can figure out where the trend is going.
- What strategies do you use to exit or manage active trades?
I almost always scale out. So what I’ll do is enter a trade and as I said earlier there are some points that I will look for to get out with a profit. These can happen at any point and time but it’s important you secure the profit as the market gives it to you.
- What book do you recommend to beginner traders?
There’s not a book like a hidden gem that I have but I read the most common trading books and it worked out great. I believe you can get better at trades by reading some books that have nothing to do with it but with the human mind. There’s a great book called ‘Think Fast and Slow’ that will greatly help you understand how different parts of your brain work.
Hopefully, you all will learn a few things from this article and the samples that were mentioned from real-life experiences. Aaron Korbs is a successful trader that has learned how to become profitable consistently through his Volume Profile Method.
Tradacc will help anyone of you beginners to trade find your trading style and how to craft a perfect setup that suits it. Because learning only about trading in theory it’s a mistake you need to have a well-suited working space first too. It’s not always about following what an indicator tells you and which points are to enter or to leave the trade. Trading successfully and consistently it’s about coming up with a strategy and a plan of action from the data collected by the market analysis.
If you want to get a more in-depth look at the interview then go to the YouTube video here. There you can hear everything that Aaron Korbs has said in that interview, also there are some hidden easter eggs for the listeners of the video so enjoy: