Kim Krompass is the founder of the Price Action Traders Institute (PATI) in San Francisco, and has been trading for over fifteen years. In today's Q&A for our Women in Trading series, we speak to her about her experiences of the trading industry, starting her website, and her advice to other female traders.
You can find Kim on Twitter @PriceActionKim here, or visit the Price Action Traders Institute website.
Want more inspiration from female traders? Read our Q&A with cryptocurrencies trader Mire B Acosta below...
Women in Trading: Kim Krompass
Could you tell me a bit about how you began trading - and what interested you about it in the first place?
I am a California CPA and I owned a very successful high level CPA recruiting business from 1996 to 2001. I retired early from the company and from practising as a CPA in 2001. I was too young to sit around. I have always been interested in the markets since I began practising as a CPA, but I never took the time to learn about them until 2001. I started trading stocks, then options and on to commodities. I eventually heard about forex in 2004 and ever since then that is where I focused my time and efforts.
What made you decide to start the Price Action Traders Institute?
I was different from 99% of the forex traders out there who believed the only way to make money was to trade the London session. Living in California meant I would have to either stay up all night or go to sleep while the sun was up and wake up 30 minutes before midnight and work through the night. I did it for a couple of years and it really took a toll on my health and my relationships.
I decided I had to figure out how to trade the NY session to get my health and my life back on track. And I did. I started teaching my own course/strategy for other forex traders called, "How to Trade the NY Session". It all came to a head for me when I worked with three guys who had zero integrity or ethics (something I noticed was common in the online forex world). I no longer wanted to be associated with them and I left.
I left with no list and no way of contacting any potential students and began the Price Action Traders Institute immediately. It was a no-brainer for me. Word naturally got around and traders started contacting me asking me to teach them my method. They lived in the US and were very interested in my method that would show them how to trade NY. I started with no website and just a PayPal account back then.
I continued to develop the method and the strategy, and as of today I have taught my method to over 1,400 traders along with Kevin Hunt who joined me in 2016 and runs my London Trade Planning sessions for our international clients.
In your experience, what is it like to be a woman in trading - which is quite a traditionally male-dominated industry?
It's not that great honestly. It reminds me of the financial world I came from practising as a CPA where males dominated the conversation and the business. However, the thing that gives me a lot of confidence is what I bring to the table that most of the men in this business don't have: I am an old school professional.
I am confident in my skills as a teacher and as a trader. My background as a CPA and owning a successful business has made me stand out and up for myself. I know that I have created one of the best price action trading methods out there. The method has consistently stood the test of time for over 10 years and that to me says something. I am in this for the long game.
I will say this: 99% of the men who come through my training are wonderful people. We get along really well on Twitter, in our planning sessions and our webinars. I absolutely adore them and respect them for choosing a female mentor.
Is there any advice you would give to other women looking to start a career in trading?
Yes, jump in and work with a trainer you can trust - maybe even a female trainer if you can find one. We are out there. Women make excellent traders because they are not afraid to talk about or confront their feelings or emotions - something that's necessary to succeed as a trader.
Why do you think there are so few women in the trading industry, and how do you think the industry could be more open and welcoming to female traders?
That's a really good question. I think it comes down to what women have to endure to be respected and taken seriously. Look at today's tech environment where some of the smartest engineers are women, yet the misogynistic and abusive treatment they receive is prevalent even in today's supposedly advanced society. It is still a man's world unfortunately even in the trading world.
I also believe there needs to be more female mentors to help female traders move up through the ranks. It can be terribly isolating when you are the lone "female' in a group of bros. I know.
Psychology plays an important role in trading. What are the most common things, in your experience, that block a trader’s progress?
Knowing yourself and understanding your motivations (why you do the things you do) is key to success in any area of our lives, including trading.
Here is what I know and have seen after working with thousands of traders: you can train them using the exact same method, the same trading principles, the same rules. And yet, only a few will excel at trading. Those that do make it have a higher level of cognition they brought with them to trading or they worked on once they realised it was the key to their success. I fell into this category. I had to really work hard on my psychology in order to become a successful trader. Today I continue that work.
You can recognise who will most likely make it as a trader by listening to how they think, how well they remember rules and principles and how good they are at solving problems.
They also have a good sense of who they are and how they behave in the world. They're aware of their feelings, motives and desires and use them as a major mechanism of self control. They are willing to take an honest look at their behaviour and self correct if it is needed. Lastly, I would say they are vulnerable and open.
What, in your opinion, are the essential elements of a good trading plan?
I teach a day trading method to forex traders that uses a 20 Second Trade Planning process. Here are the elements that make it such a success for any level of trader:
- It is deceptively simple
- It is repeatable and easy to implement
- We don't use any indicators, chart/candlestick patterns, fibs, pivots or specialized knowledge
- It can be used on any currency pair
- It will work in the London and NY sessions
- It eliminates decision fatigue by keeping it simple
- It doesn't require hours of analysis to come up with a plan (we do it 20 seconds or less)
- It is limited to one timeframe to reduce jumping around and creating more confusion and overwhelm
- Our trade plans are simple enough so that traders will consistently follow them and consistency is key in trading