At Daniels Trading, we focus on building trusting relationships with our clients. We believe one of the best ways for you to establish trust with your broker is to learn more about him or her! In our “Get to Know Your Broker” series, we will provide you with insight into the lives of our brokers, from their backgrounds and career paths in trading to their personal favorites and hobbies.
Introducing Andrew Pawielski
Why did you become a Futures & Options Broker?
I have always had an interest in finance and the markets throughout my college studies. Before Daniels Trading, I previously worked for a mortgage lending firm, and at the end of 2006, I decided that it was time for an industry change. When the lending firm I worked for was shut down, I was forced to search for a new path in my career. I took this opportunity to investigate several industries, and after thorough research and self-reflection, I decided to pursue the brokerage path. I didn’t know very much about the futures markets other than the brief chapters covered in my college Econ classes, but I’ve always been interested in learning about these markets, because they are such a prominent industry in Chicago. I came across Daniels Trading in March 2007, and they gave me the opportunity to work under a broker to learn the ropes. I started as an Equity Raiser and was promoted to a Futures & Options Broker the next year.
What are your primary strengths as a broker?
One of my primary strengths is the experience I’ve had working with diverse types of industry traders. This varied amount of experience allows me to think quickly and clearly in the heat of the moment, or clarify what the client is trying to achieve and easily help them get that result. With the volatility we see in the markets every day, it requires the broker and the trader to act fast and not emotionally. I usually know my clients’ trading plan, and when the trade is not going their way, I often remind them of the plan, so that they can live to trade another day. I’ve also had the opportunity to have worked with large traders over the years so I am comfortable placing large-sized trades. Believe me; the confidence to execute those types of trades only comes through experience. It can be unnerving at first when you see your first order that is trading a hundred plus contracts. At the end of the day, it is the broker who is taking the risk and ensures the trades are executed correctly. During busy market hours, the ability to focus on each task at hand is crucial, because if you place a trade incorrectly the error is on you. Lastly, I don’t try to reinvent the wheel when dealing with third-party programs. And because I keep it simple, I think I have a strong knack for selecting third-party systems, strategies or trading gurus that work well with each individual’s trading styles.
What are your favorite markets?
My favorite markets would have to be Indices, Crude Oil and Grains. Those are the primary markets that I like to follow and trade on a daily basis.
What are your favorite types of trades or strategies?
For short-term technical trades, I prefer E-mini or Crude Oil trading off of 1 to 3 minute charts for daily trades. I have several analytical indicators that I use that allow me to watch all markets at all time frames, but these tend to be the markets I am following and trading every day. As for longer term trades and a fundamental approach, I use seasonal commodity spreads. I use historical analysis combined with a few technical studies to overlay with the fundament move to help time my entries and exits. By the use of spreads, this typically allows the trade to last for a longer time frame, and potentially avoid some of the extreme daily volatility one might see if you traded a single long or short position in that market. Through the use of a spread, you can reduce your margin and potentially the volatility within the trade. I think with seasonal trades we see occur year after year in many commodity markets that this can be one of the best approaches out there for new and/or experience traders who have a 1-3 month outlook on a specific market.
Beyond executing trades, how else do you help traders?
There’s a specialized psychology to trading. You have to have the mental mindset to trust your instincts and trust what you’re doing. I think traders who trade alone in their office or at home miss out on the opportunity to bounce ideas off of someone or share advice. People often joke that your broker can be your psychologist because they see a different side of you that isn’t seen by many because money is on the line. Due to my experience and focus, I have the ability to assist traders to stay on task or remain focused. Still, when people open an account with me it’s important to remember that the more detailed they are with their objectives and goals, the better their experience will be. I’m constantly reviewing my customers’ objectives so that I can always provide them with relevant, salient advice and information.
What advice do you tell new clients?
There is no crystal ball or Holy Grail. The futures market is tough to go up against. There will be losers and there will be winners. You have to decide the risk capital you are comfortable with, and you have to stick to your guns. Demo trading is not the same as live trading. When real money is on the line, you have different reactions because your money is at risk. When you develop a strategy, you have to stick to it. When you open an account, you should find a broker or trading approach that you trust to aid in your trading. Hope alone will not guide you to success in the futures market. Many clients refuse the help of a broker when they are starting out. Having a broker doesn’t mean your broker has to make all your trading decisions. All they can do is help you get comfortable with the markets or the daily work that is involved with trading. I often see traders who want to be completely on their own, but when they finally call to ask for help with their approach or account, it is often too late because the losses have exceeded past their risk capital. Thereafter, they realize that they’ve lost the chance to talk through a trade, manage the risk on a trade, add more funds when necessary, or learn a new approach or strategy.
What do you believe is the biggest myth within the trading industry?
1) Someone has all the answers or a guaranteed program, and 2) trading is easy. In reality, trading requires a lot of work, research and risk management. You need to have a trading plan in place and rules that you are going to follow and rarely break. You need to hold yourself accountable for your actions and trades. And never forget that there is something to be learned every day.
What do you like the most about your job?
I like the excitement, energy and opportunities that can be achieved in trading. Every day is a new day when it comes to the markets, so there is always something to be learned. I enjoy working with and dealing with like-minded individuals who believe in our markets and share the mindset that risks of trading are worth the reward. I also enjoy mentoring young brokers who are pretty green when they first get to Daniels, and within a few months they learn from me and other brokers and have grown considerably.
What are your hobbies or what do you do on your leisure time?
I love to cook. I’m part of a competitive BBQ team that is captained by our firm owner Andy Daniels, and we compete in the Memphis in May BBQ championships every year. I also like to travel. Because I’m from Michigan, I enjoy getting away from the city and going to the woods and lake. In the winter, I enjoy skiing & snowboarding.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
It definitely depends on the type of vacation. For skiing or snowboarding, I go to Salt Lake City, Utah. Last year, I had the opportunity to tour Europe, and I really enjoyed all the cities I visited. Despite these great experiences though, there’s still too many new and fascinating places to visit, so I definitely won’t be going to the same place every year.
Who is your favorite sports team?
College football is my favorite sport in general. Growing up close to Notre Dame, I’ve been a fighting Irish fan my whole life. Here in Chicago, I am a Blackhawks and Bears fan.
Can you change a tire?
Yes, if you own a car you should know how to change a tire. Whether you want to pay for someone to do it is another question. I have had to help out with changing a few tires in my life. Growing up in Michigan, my friends and I all had access to dirtbikes, ATVs and snowmobiles, so getting your hands dirty or needing to make a quick repair has never been a major problem. This question reminds me of phrase I used to say growing up when talking about friendship. Who is a flat tire friend? Meaning who is a person that will drop what they are doing to help you get out of a flat tire. I grew up believing that kind of trust and loyalty is important in any meaningful relationship, which is why I think I appreciate the culture at Daniels Trading so much.
Tell us a little about your background?
I was born and raised in Southwest Michigan. I went to Northwood University which is a private business school in Midland Michigan. I was very athletic growing up; I played football, baseball and wrestled at the varsity level for my high school. I’ve always been very competitive which ties in with this industry. At the end of the day, you have to have the self-drive to beat out the competition. I am still very competitive with the few sports that I participate in, which are Crossfit, golf, tennis and racquetball.
Do you prefer Chicago style or New York style pizza?
Pizza is one of my favorite foods so I definitely enjoy both very much. I think there’s a time and place for each depending on what you are doing or where you are, but my consistent choice would be New York style pizza. That being said, I do have a strong grip on the Chicago Pizza market, so if there is anyone who would want some recommendations just let me know.
This material is conveyed as a solicitation for entering into a derivatives transaction.
This material has been prepared by a Daniels Trading broker who provides research market commentary and trade recommendations as part of his or her solicitation for accounts and solicitation for trades; however, Daniels Trading does not maintain a research department as defined in CFTC Rule 1.71. Daniels Trading, its principals, brokers and employees may trade in derivatives for their own accounts or for the accounts of others. Due to various factors (such as risk tolerance, margin requirements, trading objectives, short term vs. long term strategies, technical vs. fundamental market analysis, and other factors) such trading may result in the initiation or liquidation of positions that are different from or contrary to the opinions and recommendations contained therein.
Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance. The risk of loss in trading futures contracts or commodity options can be substantial, and therefore investors should understand the risks involved in taking leveraged positions and must assume responsibility for the risks associated with such investments and for their results.
Trade recommendations and profit/loss calculations may not include commissions and fees. Please consult your broker for details based on your trading arrangement and commission setup.
You should carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your circumstances and financial resources. You should read the "risk disclosure" webpage accessed at www.DanielsTrading.com at the bottom of the homepage. Daniels Trading is not affiliated with nor does it endorse any third-party trading system, newsletter or other similar service. Daniels Trading does not guarantee or verify any performance claims made by such systems or service.