Lambeth born Lee Sandford started as an apprentice for Portsmouth Football Club at the age of 13 on just over 13 quid a week. By 17 he’d turned professional working his way through to Stoke City and Sheffield United. While his team mates played poker, Lee was looking at share prices and dabbling in the markets. Lucky for him he did well and loved it because at the age of 34 he broke his neck during a match and was forced to hang up his football boots.
A day trader par excellence, he focuses on just a few markets (FX, Dax, FTSE, gold, and oil) and now runs courses to help others do the same. Trading College Ltd, based in Teddington, London aims to give students a hands on experience and mirror Lee’s methods.
A great believer in keeping things simple (which I heartily applaud), he uses Tradestation software and IG ProRealTime’s trading platform, which comes with free charts for clients and he recommends. Running in parallel he has monthly, weekly, daily, hourly and 15 minute charts on each instrument. He no longer goes down to a 5 minute time frame as he admits, ‘the older I get, the slower I become’.
Candles are plotted together with 3 exponential moving averages which are used to pinpoint support and resistance levels – especially good when these are moving at a 45 degree angle, he says. When the market lies between these averages he avoids trading because it’s like being ‘stuck inside crocodile jaws’: there is little room to go anywhere and ‘you will be eaten alive’. In other words, he steers clear of congestion areas and focuses on trends.
To these he adds Fibonacci retracements and is especially grateful to the STA Diploma Course which alerted him the 76.4 per cent one and he now uses it extensively. MACD and RSI are perennial favourites. He likes entering a trade on pullbacks (height only, not time) because ‘this is the most uncomfortable time to take a trade’.
He has his own jargon and uses some idiosyncratic terms, like symmetry with trend – which I would simply call a measured move. He favours harmony in the charts, especially those with beautiful proportions. While it’s nice to see a technical analyst sticking to basics, his analysis is very subjective and I wonder whether his depth of knowledge can be passed on over a two-day course.
As always a video of the lecture will shortly be available to members on the STA website; keep an eye out!