Ben Lee started out in the family business of real estate, but then quickly caught the trading bug and decided to make it his full-time job. In this Trader Talk Podcast interview, I talk with Ben about how he uses market profile and volume profile to spot good opportunities. We discuss how he monitors volume and price to find areas where price may be turning soon. We also talk about how he uses weekly options to write credit spreads for income. A good conversation with a trader about his journey to find success.
Tim Bourquin: All right. Thanks everybody for joining me today. My guest is Ben Lee, and we’re talking about trading. He’s from ThinkTradeThink, also a trader himself. So Ben first of all, my question is always what kind of trader are you? Are you a day trader or a swing trader? What do you like to trade in terms of markets?
Ben Lee: Well, that’s a great question. I actually trade a lot of different markets and it really depends on what particular account I’m utilizing. If it’s my trading account, I’m purely a day trader. You know, I like to be able to sleep at night, and don’t wake up in the morning, I don’t have to check the markets. I also trade the weekly and monthly options in a different account and then for my retirement accounts, I’m long term, you know, very, very risk averse, looking for quality stocks with dividends or debt so.
Tim Bourquin: Right.
Ben Lee: Depending on what particular account I’m in, that’s how I trade.
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Tim Bourquin: Do you recommend to people that they have different accounts like they have a strict day trading account and then maybe a swing trading account? Is there a reason why you like to separate them?
Ben Lee: Depending on the type of broker that you have. Obviously, not every broker is the best at all those different types of markets. So depending on who your futures broker might be, might be better than some of those for stocks or bonds or whatever it is.
Tim Bourquin: Right.
Ben Lee: So your transaction costs are a very important part of your trading so you really need to take in account getting the lowest transaction costs.
Tim Bourquin: All right. How did you get started in trading, what got you into it in the first place?
Ben Lee: Actually, I started in high school. You know, my parents had some extra money lying around, this is in mid’90s, and I did really well with it. Unfortunately, I got into college and basically you lose all focus in college. Mostly, it’s just classes and football games and drinking so I got away from trading. After I got out of school, my parents had a very, very big real estate business going so I decided to follow in the family business and living in Florida it worked great when I got out of college for five, six years. Then unfortunately after 2006, everything just stopped and I remember sitting in my office for two weeks and I hadn’t done anything in two weeks. So I said all right, I have to do something else and that’s when I started looking at how I could generate income. I said you know what, I was really good at trading stocks and that’s what I wanted to do in the very beginning. I wanted to work on Wall Street as a kid so I said it was a natural progression into getting into trading.
Tim Bourquin: Right. All right. Did you buy classes or did you just get out there and start making trades to see what would work or how did you get started there?
Ben Lee: Actually I started with an options course first, and what I did, I learned all about options, all the greeks—delta, theta. It’s very interesting and I loved it until I would put on a trade and then I’d have to wait a week, two weeks, three weeks or a month until it either expired or my exit or my close on the position was executed. So I was, okay, I can do that and let’s do something else, too, that’s going to be a little bit more—a little more action or a little more time consuming than just putting on a trade once every month so I looked into day trading.
NEXT PAGE: Ben Lee's Daily Trading Routine