Become a Successful Trader

February 22, 2011

The 10 Top Traders Who Have Influenced Me the Most

We’ve all experienced the effect of a mentor, whether it is a teacher, coach, or colleague. These are the 10 top traders that have played the biggest role in my trading, both as an inspiration and through their teachings.

Eric Utley10. Eric Utley – TradingAddicts

I began following Eric back in early 2007 from a podcast that he produced with Jeff Kohler. Eric has been around the markets a long time and understands the important of larger time frames and remaining patient, allowing the trade to pan out. I have learned a lot about market profile and macroeconomics from his teachings over the years. He has a lot of insight in regards to larger time frame trading as well. You can find out more about Jeff at TradingAddicts.com.

Primarily TradesFutures, Bonds
Specialty – Market Profile, Macroeconomics

Ben Lichtenstein9. Ben Lichtenstein – TradersAudio

Ben is not like any other trader on this list. Ben stands at computer station outside the S&P500 open outcry pit at the CBOT. Here he watches the traders and calls out what is taking place on a daily basis through his squawk box. I have had the privilege to spend a day at his side watching the live trading action and I can say it is a blast. It’s amazing how fast he can process the information and spit out quotes, bids, offers, and who those orders are coming from. I listen to his comments during the trading day using the Thinkorswim platform.

Primarily TradersFutures
Specialty – Pit Trading, Market Profile

Tim Bourquin8. Tim Bourquin – TraderInterviews

If you’ve heard of or been to the Traders Expo then you will be familiar with the work of Tim Bourquin. Tim is Co-Founder of the Traders Expo and interviews some of the industry’s best traders at TraderInterviews.com. I have had the privilege to meet and be interviewed by Tim back in 2008 (the interview can be found in the archiveson his site).

I have gained a lot of valuable information from the interviews Tim has put together. As a presenter myself at the Las Vegas Trader’s Expo in 2009, I can certainly say that he has build a great learning environment for trader’s to meet and test out the latest software and strategies.

Jack D Schwager7. Jack D. Schwager – Author

You would be hard pressed to find an author that has spent more time gathering content for his books than Mr. Schwager. In preparing Market Wizards, Stock Market Wizards, and New Market Wizards, Schwager traveled the country to interview America’s top traders.

These books provide extensive knowledge about the intricacies of various markets, trading strategies, and trading OPM (other people’s money). Some of the people interviewed include Paul Tudor Jones, William O’Neil, Dr. Van K. Tharp, Mark Weinstein, Ari Kiev, Linda Bradford Raschke, and Mark Cook to name a few.

Jeff Kohler6. Jeff Kohler – OptionAddict

Jeff has had a huge impact on my trading. I learned more about price patterns and options trading from Jeff than any book I have read on the subject. From Jeff I also learned the skill of creating and filtering watch lists.

Always keeping it laid back, Jeff produces a weekly watch list and is a partner with Eric Utley over at Trading Addicts, along with keeping up his OptionAddict blog.

Primarily Traders – Options
Specialty – Price Patterns

Martin "Buzzy" Schwartz5. Martin “Buzzy” Schwartz – Day Trader

I came across this champion day trader in reading the book Pit Bull. This biographical account of Mr. Schwartz tells the story of how he became an expert at trading S&P futures. The year was 1979 and his first full year as an independent trader, Mr. Schwartz made $600,000 and a year later earned $1.2 million.

While I have not met him personally, the book is written in such compelling form that you get a sense of what it takes to become a truly great trader. If you trade futures, you must read his story.

Primarily TradersFuturesSpecialty – Open Outcry Trading

Jesse Livermore4. Jesse Livermore – Speculator

My list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the famed Jesse Livermore. Similar to Mr. Schwartz, Livermore’s trading journey is told in compelling fashion in the book, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator.

As a young boy, Livermore began his career in the early 1900’s in the New England bucket shops, later given the name “boy plunger” making (and losing) a fortune multiple times. There is a plethora of knowledge in this book. A must read!

Primarily Traders – Stocks
Specialty – Speculation

David Halsey3. David Halsey – EminiAddict

David blogs over at EminiAddict.com and trades the E-mini’s and currency futures markets. DH provides a very useful trading room where he talks about trade setups, management of trades, and answers questions all day long. When I discovered DH I was surprised to see so many similarities in our trading styles, even down to using the same trading platforms; something I had been using for years. DH is a patient trader, with great character, and all around outstanding guy.

Primarily TradersFutures (S&P, EUR, GBP)
Specialty – Fibonacci and NYSE Tick

John F. Carter2. John Carter – Mastering The Trade

As I close in on my number one trader, I knew who contributed to the most “light bulb” moments, John Carter. Those moments when we take things to the next level only happen every so often, yet I found them happening many times when listening to John Carter’s audio book Mastering the Trade. It is a terrific guide to get over the “hump,” and break free of your impulse trade that is costing you money. JC is a great speaker and very friendly guy always willing to help. I owe a lot to him.

Primarily TradersFutures, Stocks, Forex
Specialty – Pivot Points, Market Internals

Shadowtrader1. Peter Reznicek – ShadowTrader

At last we come to the trader who has influenced me the most, his name is Peter Reznicek. I chose Peter as #1 because he introduced me to market internals.what really is going on “under the hood.”

Peter puts out a weekly video and comments daily on a Squawk box on the Thinkorswim platform. There is also a phenomenal audio series he put together that I have listened to over and over again, ingraining the concepts into my subconscious.

Primarily TradersFutures, Stocks, Options
Specialty – Market Internals

I have followed Peter from day 1 of my trading and it is for this reason that I chose him as the top trader who has influenced me the most.

I hope you have enjoyed reading through my list of most influential top traders. Any one of these traders could be placed into the “traders hall of fame” if such a place existed. The knowledge I have gained through the years following their blogs, podcasts, squawk boxes, and trading rooms has truly shaped the trader I am today.

Every one of these traders are extraordinary mentors and have helped change the lives of countless individuals. If you are dedicated to learning the art of trading these 10 top traders can help catapult you, as they have done for me, to success as a consistently profitable trader.

I cannot express my gratitude enough. You have all played a huge role in my trading.

Thank you!

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About Tim Racette
Tim Racette is a day trader of 15+ years in the E-mini futures and swing trader of stocks. Mountain biker, lover of the outdoors, and explorer. Tim is an ASU Sun Devil and a Chicagoland Native now living in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.
  1. Jason Jankovsky for sure. If you are not familiar with his books, check them out.


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