A Session With Alex Elder by Thom Hartle
Alexander Elder, director of the Financial Trading Seminars, is no newcomer to technical analysis nor
to trading. Technical Editor John Sweeney and Editor Thom Hartle interviewed Elder on July 18 of last
year in the STOCKS & COMMODITIES offices.
How are you learning to become a better trader?
The best way I know to become better at anything is to teach. Being confronted with a whole group of
people who expect information and who ask very tough questions is the best way to organize my thinking
and to become better at whatever it is that I'm doing. I find in doing a seminar that some people are
beginners and some people are very, very serious professionals and they often ask very tough questions
and I have to dig deeper than I would on my own. Also, beginners, just total newcomers to the field, ask
questions that people who have been around for a long time just don't think about. That's the whole
educational thing. Basically, I trade. I go to my office three or four days a week, and just sit in front of my
screen and day trade.
I want to familiarize our readers with your focus as a trader/investor. Describe yourself as a trader.
Are you a short-term trader or do you look for the longer-term view?
Well, I started out trading stocks and reading WSJ — buying and selling stocks. It didn't take me too long
to realize that to make money in the stock market you have to have serious money to begin with and at
that point that wasn't the position I was in. I tried options, but I was never really very comfortable trading
options because the whole concept of wasting assets was something I had difficulty dealing with. Then I
tried futures and found that it was much more straightforward.