Lee Lucas studied a Bachelor Applied Arts at University of NSW (What that has to do with Trading the stock market or dancing, he doesn’t know), where during his UNI years, broke his neck and had a long recovery. After Uni, he fell into IT consulting for integrated solutions of accounting software, web and CRM. “A real passion of mine.”
Lee did very well in IT and got greedy moving onto larger companies that consequently went bust in the dot com bust of 2000. He then remained unemployed and travelled globally for a few months and on arriving home stumbled into dancing for a Male Revue show with the expectations of more travel. After 4 years of the dance troop, he remained self-employed, performing all over Sydney along with other modelling assignments.
However behind the scenes, Lee never gave up his passion for computers. “I continued some web & graphic design and started studying the stock market over the last 5 years.” Lee fell in love with studying the stock market and formed a business relationship with a trading partner 2.5 years ago and traded a healthy account through the Global Financial Crisis. “Thanks to ‘Shorting’!”
Today Lee Lucas has a 100% systematic trading method that outperforms their closest competitor 3 fold by measure of ‘Sharpe’s Ratio’. “Yes, we are excited! We are currently in the process of raising Venture Capital to join our private portfolio. As a ‘100% systematic trader’ you can now officially call me a Stock Market ‘Probability Analyst’.”
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Tall, Dark & Handsome?!?!?
What is your life motto?
There are two scripts I like to quote. They may not be mottos but they render my motivation: “I chose the road less travelled by and that has made all the difference” – Derived from the poet Robert Frost. I tend to be a non conformist and tend to choose the untravelled path for a greater reward. Further to this – “Where there is higher risk, there is higher reward”.
When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful?
I started chasing the stock market about 5 years ago while touring Australia with a dance group. I realised that dancing couldn’t be forever. I dabbled with my first investment property and realised that it was not for me either. I did however, like the idea of trading the stock market from a laptop, anywhere around the world.
The first 2 years were pretty much hit and miss, with no real idea of what I was doing. It was only in the last 3 years that I realized that Systematic trading was the way to go. I’m not a fan of Warren Buffet’s Way of fundamental trading. Fundamentals didn’t save any company with a good balance sheet during the Global Financial Crisis.
I’ve really only been successful in the last year as we continue to see consistent results role out of our 100% systematic trading system. Time is a factor.
How many hours did you dedicate to pursuing your dream?
You never really take note of the hours when it’s a passion. I also consider my work as my recreation. You work on it any hour of the day. I’ve probably been putting in a good 40+ hours a week and on weekends, for the last 2 years that we had first created our system and started trading it. Yet still it never really felt like work. Someone once said to me “If you enjoy what you do, you will never work a day in your life” – I have not worked for 9 years.
Describe how difficult the business really is?
The first year was the hardest. It really took a lot of persistence and dedication focusing on obtaining our dream. There was a lot of research and development that needed to be done. It was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride, wondering if there really was a light at the end of the tunnel after so many consecutive failures in development.
The greatest challenge of all was getting our emotions in check. The stock market runs on Fear & Greed. If you can conquer these emotions then you can conquer the stock market. Being 100% Systematic Traders has allowed us to trade without emotion. Consequently I sleep well every night.
What is the mistake that taught you an extremely valuable lesson?
Other than breaking my neck in my teenage years and realizing I was not totally indestructible, I’ve made many mistakes and I’m not ashamed of any of them.
You make plenty of mistakes when you venture out by yourself. You then learn from them and become wealthier for it. I hope to make many more.
Just as in Systematic Trading of the stock market, not every trade can be a winner. You have to accept some losers. It’s healthy. But when you make a winner, they are big winners.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date?
“Be street smart”. I believe that a person’s word is as good as a contract. But you need to know how to read people and weed out the dishonourable ones. These are the people that you don’t even start negotiations with.
What is the piece of advice that you weren’t?
I feel like I’m always starving for more advice, always looking for answers and consequently self educating. It always comes back to the need of a good mentor in whatever direction you take.
In your mind, is formal training essential?
Yes and no. There is ‘theory’ and then there is ‘practical’ experience. I prefer practical experience. I have always been driven by getting my hands dirty and being self educated. Sure you make a lot of mistakes along the way but the knowledge becomes so hard etched in your brain, as you understand how things work that you never make the same mistake twice. I do believe in formal education, but I believe it’s not going to stop you from making mistakes, due to lack of practical experience. More importantly a mentor is worth more than both of these put together.
We have real-live experience trading the Bull Run and the Global Financial Crisis with our Systematic Trading and we came out looking good! That was invaluable, real, practical experience.
What are some steps emerging talent can take to start/further their career?
I would say that someone with emerging talent is already on their way to making it. It’s their dedication and passion that has already made them stand out above the crowd. There are always those that will say “be careful” or “it’s risky”. It can wear you down at your weaker times. You just need to make sure you weed out those people in your life that inhibit you by thinking that they are giving you well concerning advice. You know what you’re doing. If not, you soon will.
What kept you going when you felt like giving up?
It may be ego. Perhaps it’s protection of pride, when being told I can’t do it. Perhaps it’s a genetic code of wanting to win anything that gets my focus. I don’t like to lose. Either way, the reality is we all have our down days. This is a destructive thought process that pulls apart all of your good work and self belief. Take the time off. Start another project. Take a holiday. Go out and party and come back when you’re in a better mood and perhaps have a better outlook on life. It works.
Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time?
I don’t believe in luck, but I do believe in probability. Sometimes you can hit a one in a million chance, but I’m still not going to buy a lottery ticket, sit and wait. That’s for day dreamers. Networking however, sales & marketing are a fantastic way to increase the probability in your favour.