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Anton Kreil: A BBC Million Dollar Trader

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Anton Kreil was born in Liverpool in 1979, into a poor family where money was a very scarce commodity. During his early years, he’d to live through a series of hard times, but at the age of 13, he decided to try whatever he could do to get out of poverty and become successful in life. From the age of 18-21, he was at Manchester University, where he studied Economics. At this time, he’d decided not to measure his own income by the average national salary. He worked as an institutional trader for Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan, having built a profitable portfolio for himself prior to this period.

He became a Vice President of JP Morgan European Equities at the age of 26, and retired from the investment banking industry at the age of 28. He toured the world and went back to the UK in 2008 to partake in the production of a BBC program titled: Million Dollar Traders. Several neophytes were provided with funds to speculate on the markets during the credit crunch: they even did better than some hedge funds managers. Although certain contestants failed emotionally and had to drop out of the program, it became apparent that ordinary folks will really perform like skilled traders if given proper training. That show became popular throughout the world – something that threw Kreil into limelight. Kreil is currently the CEO of the Institute of Trading and Portfolio Management. He plans to go to space very soon and make an attempt to become the first trader to make a trade from space.

There are helpful lessons you can learn from Anton Kreil.

a) Your background doesn’t determine your future. Even if you were born into a poor family, that doesn’t mean that you’d be poor for the rest of your life. Your life is what you make it.

b) As a trader (especially as a professional), if you can continue in this journey to financial freedom (a goal that many traders like Anton Kreil has reached), you’d eventually not need to judge yourself by average national salary. I’ve seen financial experts calculating the income of a lifetime of a BSc, an MSc or a PhD holder, they never can calculate what a great trader might earn in his lifetime. It’ll usually be far bigger than what an average civil servant/employee earns in her/his lifetime. You can trade your way to financial freedom.

c) You can experience breakthrough if you’re mentored and coached by successful traders. You can look over their shoulders, see how they trade and imitate them to your own advantage. Just make sure you choose mentors that have track records.

d) A combination of fundamental and technical analyses is important. Endeavor to know the fundamental factors affecting the instruments you plan to speculate on, then look at your charts and trade what you see.

e) Kreil is big a believer of truncating positions that don’t go in the expected direction, while giving profitable positions enough leeway. It’s one of his simple secrets. We’ll surely do ourselves much favor by trading in the same manner. He doesn’t trade against the trend, and you could choose to do that. The market that is rated as being oversold or overbought might still go far further than that, even if it’ll reverse. Those who trade against the trade might be forced out of their positions before the markets turn eventually. Running losses with the hope that they’ll go back to positivity would eventually backfire.

Conclusion: Anton Kreil was interviewed in TRADERS’ (January 2012) – one of the best interviews in that year. More information about him can also be found at This article is ended by one of his quotes.

“Success in the long run for me is defined as consistently positive returns with a consistency for never losing too much money when things go wrong. For those starting out I think it is very important to develop a trading strategy that will stand a very good chance in working through all business cycles. The world looks very different now to what it looked like in 2006, 1999, 1991, 1982 and is forever changing. Trading strategies that depend on a certain market environment will always get found out when the market environment changes. As a trader you want to be trading from now till the day you drop dead.”

Eye-opening trading lessons: Lessons from Expert Traders

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  1. john.r says:

    Anton u need to grow up, you were only recruited to help in the show; lex van dam is the creator of BBC Million Dollar Traders, financier of this show and the only person who can officially take a credit for it. I am going to forward this article to his team and I suggest the editor of this website takes this article off as I’m pretty sure this has not been approved by Lex’s PR team.

  2. George wang waveTrader2 says:

    Short and Sharp answer there Anton!

    I agree with Azeez Totally and I think John miss the important points of the article.
    It is not about claiming credit. The important thing is to show and tell everyone that he can be what they want if they set the mind to it and put effort into it.
    Of course, I think Anton deserves the credit, afterall it is his life and his own achievement. anyone withthe similar achieve can always proudly share with the world too!

  3. Melvyn Burchell says:

    You know, everyone has an opinion… Glad I live in a country where I can express it! Lex may have put his money on the line but it was down to Anton to manage the rookies day to day… Which is the tougher job?

    I believe Anton did a very good job faced with what must have been a set of very frustrating circumstances in the show… If I had hair – for sure I would pull it out! He was very fair in his comments and the reality of trading is that it has to be taken seriously or the markets WILL bite you.
    To manage those guys and try to turn them into traders over a few weeks took a lot of balls and I would say that those that were successful owe this in no small part to Anton’s day to day management of them…

    Way to go Anton!

    And thanks to the BBC for such a creative reality mini series giving a very rare insight…

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