Peter Davies | Founder of Jigsaw Trading

Introduction

Success leaves clues.

Finance Strategists sat down with Peter Davies, Founder of Jigsaw Trading. He shared his thoughts on the past, present, and future of the company, as well as the insights he has gained from running the business.

Who is Peter Davies?

Q: Who are you and what’s your background?

My name is Peter Davies. My background is IT – mostly manufacturing multinationals. I left the UK in the mid-90s to run projects in Knoxville, Tennessee then ended up at Ericsson, Netherlands then Ericsson, Copenhagen then Japan where I oversaw a massive project which ended in Thailand in the late 90s. 

There I became regional director for a UK PLC, then I started a company for Fujitsu in Bangkok. At the time, my rates were up to $900 a day and I amassed a large amount of cash, 30% of which was then lost by dodgy “Financial Advisors” (AKA Commission-only salesmen) in Asia.

At that point, I figured that if I was going to lose money, I’d be better off just trading my own account. Even if I lost, I wouldn’t be paying someone to lose it for me.

Q: Who has been your biggest influence, and why did they have such a significant effect on you?

Prop traders I met at networking events in Singapore. I ran a very, very small company there while I was also running the Bangkok entity, and Singapore has a big financial district, so you could bump into people from Propex, Royal Bank of Scotland – all these people traded and didn’t have a clue what a MACD or an ATR was. It wasn’t all techniques you could use at home, one guy from RBS had retired at 35 after running a team writing barrier options for FX. 

Another ran an open outcry squawk for USD/THB – a true market maker. Those 2 things would not be things the man at home could do, but other people had techniques I  could use. So, it was more a group of random people that I met at events than an individual mentor. The power of people who make 7 figures telling me how they trade and what he doesn’t use got me the confidence to stick to a certain path.

Q: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given your younger self?

Skip the long-term trading. Now – I don’t mean entirely because I am short SPY now. I also like trading “product recalls” for companies that are well capitalized. I am holding on to pubs in the UK that are due a recovery. I also have ADHD so I can be hyperfocused for short periods, which is what helps me get into short-term positions at good prices. But to me, shorter-term trading simply means you get to repeat being in trades more often in a shorter period, which is the key to learning anything – repetition.

 Business

Q: What is Jigsaw Trading?

It’s a trading platform company that believes in a holistic approach. I was focused on order flow at that point and was switching from equities to Futures. I found the price ladder not really giving me what I needed, so I designed my own which was basically 2 yogurt pots and string (Well, DDE and Excel) and started using that to read the markets. A friend said, “You should sell this.” I was bored at work at the time, so thought it would be a good hobby, so recruited a programmer and now here we are 10 years later: same philosophy, different mission.

 Q: What separates Jigsaw Trading from its competitors?

We have a platform, education, trade analytics (so you can review your performance – another key in the learning process – introspection), and we make ourselves available to people. But ultimately, we believe that “things” drive the markets. Sometimes that is news, sometimes it’s people being nudged out of position. 

What we don’t believe much in is squiggly lines on a chart being predictive. Looking back we can see that Brexit, Covid, the Ukraine war, and inflation have been drivers over the past few years. 

Ignore a big inflation announcement by not being news aware, and you will be trading blind. Then some days it’s more technical – day trader-driven days – people faking each other out, and then there are the “nothing days” where no opportunity exists as nobody is interested.

So, we bang a different drum to those saying that, “It’s all in the charts.” We think, “It’s all about what the markets are reacting to, which may be in the charts and if not, you need to have done your homework.”

 Q: What led you to start Jigsaw Trading?

Experts losing my money. I am still convinced you don’t need to be an expert to do that.

 Q: What has the experience of building the business taught you?

That people are treated poorly in the industry, but that they also have some unrealistic expectations. That when you treat them like humans and be honest about your own mistakes, people appreciate it. This is the sort of relationship THEY need to be in to be able to follow advice and knuckle down and do the required work.

 Q: Where do you see things headed for you and the company in the next five years?

We plan to shake things up a little. I can’t really say how, but it’s just more of the same right now. So, all we can say is to expect the unexpected. But expect, as always, to be told why the things we create exist and what they mean about the underlying market activity and your trading. 

It’s holistic – you don’t want a platform, you don’t want a data feed, you don’t want education. You want to make money trading. We must understand this and stop the attraction to bloated platforms with a million options and nobody to tell you why they exist or how to use them in real life.

Well, that’s the plan…

 

Check out jigsawtrading.com for more information.

Published on: July 16, 2022