Trader Success Story : Paul Rotter
October 25, 2017

When I think of a trader success story, Paul Rotter is someone who comes to my mind first.  He  is something of a legend among scalp traders with a penchant for the German government bond market. At the height of his scalping career, he would sometimes trade as many as 1 million contracts a day with a more normal turnover of a still very significant 100,000-200,000 daily contracts.

Though he isn’t a forex trader, apart from dabbling to hedge his positions in other markets, he has nonetheless caught the interest of forex traders, particularly the scalping fraternity. 

While I certainly don’t promote trading like Paul, his trader success story serves as an inspiration to what is possible in the trading world.  I hope you find this information as interesting as I did.

The Legend

Some consider Paul Rotter one of the best traders in the world.  If that is really true or not is anyone’s guess.  But there is certainly no doubt that he is one of the best.

He became known as “The Flipper” because of his unique trading style on the Eurex exchange that involved placing a huge order on the opposite side of the market that he really wanted to take.  Then when other traders tried to jump in to take a ride with the big position, he would withdraw the order and take the opposite side of the trade to suck in all the bad trades and scalp a few ticks.

You could call it scalp trading.

By some accounts, he was trading as many as 180,000 contracts per day in 2005. That made him the largest trader of German debt futures on the Eurex.  This “flipping” style was so successful that the exchange may have changed the tick size of their contracts in an attempt to level the playing field.

In 1998, he helped form a Dublin-based prop trading firm that started with $1.3 million.  At the end of three months of trading, they were up to $6.5 million.

But this did not come without a scare.  Given the size that Rotter was trading at the time, the firm could have gone under if they had one bad trading day.  Luckily, things worked out and they were able to build their trading account.

The Myth

For about a year, nobody knew who he was, but other traders just knew that there was an Ireland-based trader out there that had a unique trading style and was making a lot of money trading German bond futures.  Rotter was despised by many traders who blamed him for their losses.

Some say that he was making as much as $5 million per month.  This cannot be confirmed, but it would make sense, given the size he was trading.

The Man

According to one of his interviews, he is a Czech native who moved to Germany when he was 9 years old. He started his trading career on the bond desk of a German bank and soon after almost going broke, began trading again with Daiwa Securities.  Within three months at Daiwa, he was trading 5 lots well, with the help of some trading mentors at the firm.

He mentioned in an interview that is the biggest strength in trading is the ability to trade bigger when he has the advantage and to scale back when he doesn’t or isn’t trading well.  This is a trait that I have seen often in very successful traders.

You can also visit his website.  In typical investment management website fashion, there isn’t much there, but you can get a feel for his investment philosophy.

Conclusion

I hope that this trader success story post has given you some insight into possibly the most successful trader of all time.  Even though he is not a Forex trader, good trading is good trading and there is always an opportunity to learn from it.  His story is a great example of a small guy who went on to become one of the biggest players in a market.

If this trader success story interests you, then dig into it and find out if anything about his story can help you trade better.  Again, I’m not promoting that you trade like him, but extreme success is always educational.  Much of this information comes from sources that were written back in 2004-2005, so I’m not sure how he trades now.

 

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