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Trading Lessons from the Bittersweet Journey of Lee Gettess

Lee Gettess is a well-known figure recognized as a successful trader and professional trading mentor. In this article, we will discuss Lee Gettess's trading journey and the valuable lessons we can learn from his story.


Career Beginnings and Challenges

Lee Gettess first encountered trading and the commodity market through a phone call from an unknown broker. The broker told the story of Omar Sharif, who managed to turn his trading account from USD 50,000 into USD 50 million in the sugar commodity market. Enticed by this story, Lee, who was then working at General Motors as a building guard and office cleaner, handed over USD 10,000 to the broker. However, three weeks later, the broker only returned USD 3,000.

Undeterred, Lee began learning everything he could about the commodity market in his spare time. He found the technical aspects of the market particularly fascinating. He continued to gain knowledge and experience in this field, despite initially suffering losses.

Transition to Trading for a Living

Lee re-entered the trading world in the mid-80s. During the stock market crash on October 12, 1987, Lee incurred a loss of USD 1,500. Although his position was wrong and he went against the trend, Lee considered it a good trading outcome. He learned from this mistake and began focusing on risk management.

After feeling capable of generating enough profit to live on, Lee decided to quit his job and switch to full-time trading. He fully embraced the phase of trading for a living.

Innovation in Trading

In 1988, Lee developed a trading software system known as the 'Volpat Trading System.' This system gained a reputation and ranked among the top ten trading software globally. Volpat stands for volatility and pattern. According to Lee, volatility is necessary to understand market activity levels, while short-term price movement patterns can be recognized by computers to help traders decide the right entry and exit points.

In 1993, Lee sold his software to several professional traders and three major financial institutions for USD 675,000. A year later, he introduced the Market Mapping technique, which could improve any back-tested trading system, making it more accurate and reliable.

Risk Management is Key

According to Lee, the key to generating profit in trading is by effectively controlling risk. "You cannot control market price movements. The only thing you can control when trading is risk," he explains. Controlling risk does not mean setting tight stop losses but rather viewing market movements fairly and objectively, giving the market room to move.

Lee advises beginner traders not to expect unrealistic profits. Instead, use good money management and choose a trading method that suits each person's character and personality.

Valuable Lessons

From Lee Gettess's journey, we can draw four trading lessons to improve our chances of future success:

  1. Don't rush into unfamiliar investments - Don't be enticed by profit promises from others.
  2. Find the lesson in every failure - Lee didn't give up when he lost USD 7,000 or when he incurred a USD 1,500 loss. Instead, he rose and delved deeper into his trading career.
  3. Prioritize risk management - Adjust to market conditions and use tested methods.
  4. Be realistic in expecting profits - Don't expect fantastic results and choose a trading method that matches your character.

Concluding the review of Lee Gettess's trading career and tips, we learn that success in trading is not just about profit but also about the ability to manage risk, learn from failures, and continually innovate.

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