Christopher Inks is the founder and CEO of TexasWest Capital. He is also the managing partner of Vantage Crypto Assets and has over 20 years of trading experience under his belt.
1. Hey Chris, could you tell everyone a little bit about yourself and what you’ve been working on?
First and foremost, I am a trader. That is where I make my money. I currently own a cryptocurrency trade research company (TexasWest Capital) and associated subscription service, I am Managing Partner in a private trading firm (Vantage Crypto Assets, LLC), and I am an ICO Advisor. I have a BIS focusing on business, economics, and philosophy, MS in Applied Psychology focusing on applied economic psychology, MS in Homeland Security focusing on governmental decision making, and a JD focusing on corporate, tax, and emerging technology law.
Basically, my education is tailored to understanding how individuals interact with each other and how that leads to the creation of societies, governments, and financial and justice systems. I am currently extending my brand through YouTube so that I can
1) combat the emotional trading that plagues the crypto market, and
2) bring more people into our subscription service which will allow me to lower the associated cost for our subscribers.
As I mentioned, I am a trader and that’s where I make my money. The subscription fees go to increasing our service and adding more content. We are at the point that I need to hire some employees to help out with all of that which is exciting because it means that people find value in my no-nonsense approach to trading and are able to utilize the information I provide to them. I am also studying for the Bar and looking into a PhD program.
2. I love your technical and detailed analysis videos, but a lot of people don’t believe that crypto prices could be predicted through charts. What are your thoughts on that?
Thank you for the kind words. The market is full of only possibilities, never guarantees, and the charts are nothing more than visual representations of the two most base human emotions — fear and greed.
What we see in price action is our subconscious at work. Because individuals in normal psychological and emotional health tend to continue along a mean when they experience highs and lows their emotions revert to that mean at some point.
The market is nothing different. We experience highs, like the recent Bitcoin price appreciation during Q4 of 2017, which cannot be sustained forever and must return to the mean. This correction we are currently in is that return to the mean, and once there the market is able to continue pushing higher again.
Because that’s all the charts represent, and every financial market is nothing more than price discovery by human beings, technical analysis does work but it takes the experience to understand what you should be looking at, when, and for what reason.
The most often reason for believing it does not work is because every new trader believes they can immediately do it correctly. Like anything else, it takes practice and experience to become truly effective at it, but even then you’re going to make mistakes. It’s all part of the game.
3. You have over 20 years of trading experience, were you trading stocks before crypto? Why the move to crypto?
My foray into trading began in 1995 with stocks, which then led to options and FOREX, and now into cryptos. I moved to cryptos because I noticed that trading them was very similar to trading FOREX, but with a lot more volatility which increases the potential return. Simply put, there’s a lot more money to be made in cryptos, and getting in now allows one to ride that expected significant price appreciation over the next few years.
4. Do you think we’re in a bitcoin bubble similar to the dot com days?
I don’t believe we are in a bubble the way that individuals who throw the word around mean it. Language tends to be lazy and very blunt, unable to precisely reproduce the thoughts in an individual’s mind. After a few iterations (derivatives) of a word derivatives, it becomes a general idea but nothing of real substance because individuals inherently take it to mean different things. Bitcoin, and all cryptos really, are purely speculative right now.
Speculation leads to asset pricing which can accelerate rapidly, especially when that asset is limited in supply and the herd mentality kicks in. The Dot Com bubble resulted in the rise of technology giants like Amazon and a whole new lifestyle for people which is now dominated by the Internet and social media as well as a move from brick and mortar stores to online stores.
So, while the immediate effect was a bursting of the Dot Com bubble, the bubble itself allowed the creation of these companies and products which have continued to excel and change our world thereby creating a much larger bubble. In that way, we can see the Dot Com bubble in a more positive light — as a catalyst. This often happens when new paradigms emerge.
Cryptocurrencies are also a new paradigm which means we could see a similar result at some point. But what we must remember is that we, as a society — as inhabitants on the planet — continue to grow and produce, so everything around us is a bubble to some degree and therefore the question really is, where are we at in the bubble?
If one were to look at a close up of the 2013 Bitcoin chart, they would assume price was in a bubble. However, zooming out finds that it was merely a step in a much larger price appreciation. So was it a bubble then? Are we in one now? Does it really matter?
5. What’s a typical day in life for you?
A typical day for me begins at about 6 a.m. I often look at the market on my phone before doing anything else. After I get my son to school, I begin working on my written Bitcoin analysis and charts which I provide to our subscribers as well as prepare for my morning Bitcoin analysis at 10 a.m. CST.
We live stream this on YouTube and make it freely available to anyone interested in hearing an unemotional view of market action. During this time I also answer questions from viewers and let everyone know why we we believe price action moved like it did overnight and what we expect from it during the day. I then spend the rest of the day looking at charts of the various alt cryptocurrencies while keeping an eye on Bitcoin.
We trade when the opportunities arise and supply potential trading opportunities to our subscribers in the form of written analysis and charts, as well as answer questions dealing with general trading or market conditions and what we think about particular cryptocurrencies or upcoming crypto events (air drops, forks, etc.). I also create educational video material for our subscribers which details various indicators, what they are and how to use them most effectively, in addition to creating videos that teach our subscribers how to analyze trade opportunities.
Finally, I answer emails and DMs on Twitter if at all possible and try to post links to good information having to do with this market space that I come across online. I also work as an ICO advisor at times, which adds more to my daily load. By 5 p.m.
I usually remember that I have not eaten as I am picking my son up from school. Family time is important to me, so I try to have as much of it as possible in the evening. Once he’s in bed, it’s back to work where I’m analyzing the market and preparing for our evening Bitcoin market recap and analysis between 9 and 10 p.m. CST. My day usually ends around midnight or 1:00 a.m. My weekends are most often spent away from the market and with my family as well as studying for the Bar.
6. What’s one of the biggest mistakes newer traders make when it comes to trading crypto?
There are a couple of big mistakes that novice traders make — trading emotionally and utilizing large positions. What I mean by this is that trading can easily become emotional because it’s dealing with real money.
The problem is that most novice traders have no experience in financial markets in general nor the crypto market specifically and, as such, they tend to buy on FOMO and sell on FUD. Unfortunately these are the worst ways individuals can trade because more often than not they get in near the top and sell near the bottom.
Sure, they can get a “win” occasionally, as making money is easy but it’s keeping it that is difficult. Without proper risk management the money from that one lucky price run that a trader was able to successfully navigate will quickly be lost in multiple emotional trades going the other way, which brings up my second point — utilizing large positions.
Novice traders often put all of their eggs into one basket. They put all their money into a single buy at a single point and then hope price will rise. As a trader, initiating a trade should never be done on hope.
Experienced traders know the importance of laddering buys and sells so that they can manage their risk. If a trader puts all of their money in a buy order at $9000 and price then drops to $7000 a couple of things happen — they suffer emotionally because every dollar that their position loses has them considering whether they should sell and simultaneously hoping price rises, and they are not able to buy in at the lower price which would lower their average buy-in and increase their chance at profitability or, at the least, breaking even.
7. What are some of your favorite cryptocurrencies?
Our favorites are cryptos that are either platforms or do something boring that is important in the business world (such as Ripple’s gateway which makes cross-border payments easier and less expensive). We tend to stay away from whitepapers with dreams and look for functionality and a product that is already produced.
We also really like anonymous coins. As governments increase regulation in this market space, individuals will be looking to hide their wealth to the greatest degree possible and doing so will require anonymous cryptos. All this in mind, some of the cryptos we like at this time are BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, OMG, NEO, LRC, SALT, PWER, VEN, DASH, XMR, CLOAK, XST, STRAT, and XLM.
8. How long do you usually hold onto a coin for?
Because the cryptocurrency space is still new, we can expect a lot of substantial changes. As such, a trader shouldn’t go more than 8 months before reevaluating their cryptos, and this really is just for the larger, well-established ones like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The newer a crypto is, or the lower its market cap, the more often a trader should be reevaluating it. What once appeared a promising crypto may have died off inside of a month, so traders cannot get emotionally attached to their cryptos.
They need to be ready to sell when market or fundamental indicators say they should. For us, that means that most of the cryptos we have are bought and sold within a few months at the most. This often happens because we buy during corrections like this and then sell when alts experience their price appreciation afterward.
If we hold longer than a few months it’s because we see real potential in the asset. An example is when we bought XVG last May at 7 and 10 sats, and then sold at over 1600 sats in December. However, Litecoin, Ethereum, and XRP, which we bought around this time last year remain with us as we expect further price growth. We also day trade when the risk/reward ratio looks good for us.
9. Any courses or books that you recommend on trading crypto?
More than anything else, I recommend seat time in front of the charts. There is absolutely no substitute for this. Traders must get a feel for how the market ebbs and flows. That being said, there is a lot of information out there for the taking on the Internet, but the key is finding the good information. Thepatternsite.com, Investopedia.com, and StockCharts.com are all good sites to start learning but it pays untold dividends to also acquire a mentor or someone experienced, especially with the crypto market, to help new traders understand how to effectively apply the things they learn.
It’s one thing to learn what certain types of candle structures and patterns mean, or various indicators, but it’s a whole other thing to actually utilize them effectively. As a trader, you’re going to lose money. Period. The key is making and holding onto more than you lose. As I mentioned previously, trading is only possibilities, never guarantees.
10. What’s the best way for people to contact you?
The best way to contact me is either to DM @TXWestCapital on Twitter or to email me at Christopher.Inks@TexasWestCapital.com.
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