Jay Smith, 28, is one of eToro’s top traders. Highly experienced in Bitcoin and tech stocks, he is on the Popular Investor programme and has many others across the global eToro network learning from his strategies and copying his trades. We spoke to Jay about how his journey so far, online trading strategies and the future of cryptocurrencies.
At the time of writing Jay is 90% up over the past 12 months, manages a total of over $100k in assets, has 277 copiers and a risk score of 5. You can check out Jay’s profile on eToro.
Q: Tell us how you first got into online trading and how you discovered eToro.
Jay: “I first started trading on another site with fairly small amounts, around £1k or £2k. But their prices were high and I was getting a little more serious about it. That’s when I switched to eToro.
I love the platform, the whole experience, and the interface is fantastic. I really like the concept of being able to watch and copy other traders, and I value the community-driven aspect of eToro, which is the main distinguishing feature for me.”
Q: What asset classes or sectors do you specialise in?
Jay: “Bitcoin, ethereum and tech stocks. I say to a lot of people: “always invest in what you know.” My day job is in the technology sector, where I work as an eSports manager, so I have a lot of knowledge of certain tech companies and I understand gaming strategies. That helps me a lot. But even then, I wouldn’t trade on just any tech stock. I must have a good comprehension and feel for a business before I’ll trade its stock.”
Q: What kind of trading strategies do you favour?
Jay: “It’s certainly changed over time. When I started I would usually take a longer position of around three to six months. Nowadays I have a very split approach. I use Bitcoin for day-trading and with tech stocks I look mid to long term.”
Q: How much of your time does it take up?
Jay: “It’s definitely increased as I’ve made more money and become more serious about it. I probably spend on average two or three hours a day on eToro now. Some days it’ll be a lot more, if it’s a particularly active day.”
Q: Do you think online investing could one day become your primary full-time job?
Jay: “Perhaps. It’s grown steadily for me. I started it as a bit of a hobby, just using some inheritance money and placing small trades. But now I see it as a good additional income on top of my main job, helping me accumulate wealth at an early age. I don’t want to work hard until I’m 65 and then retire with a small pension.
The Popular Investor programme helps me earn extra money for being good at what I love doing – online trading. The more people copy me the better. And the beauty of eToro is that you can progress – you can start with little or no knowledge and learn from others as you go.”
Q: Is it hard to keep your emotions in check when you’re investing in volatile stock?
Jay: “It can be stressful at times. I don’t think any trader is immune to that. If you see a stock fall 20% or more very quickly it can make you nervous. But I always write down the reasons why I make a particular trade and the rationale for my strategy. Then I can go back to it when there’s been a big price change. It helps you check your original thinking.
You have to stay true to your beliefs and recall why you made a decision in the first place. The same applies if you see a big price move up but you’d planned to only take, say 10%, you have to stick to your plan and not get greedy.”
Q: What do you need to become a Popular Investor on eToro? What does it take?
Jay: “It sounds simple, and it’s easier said than done, but you just need to be good at trading. You can learn over time and, if you’re good enough, you’ll naturally become a top trader on eToro and be able to join their Popular Investor programme.
It’s great that it’s a meritocracy in that sense. There are no barriers to anyone getting there, so long as they’re good enough.”
Q: What would be your one piece of advice to an aspiring Popular Investor?
Jay: “That’s a tough one. I think it would be: ‘Stick to what you know and believe in yourself’. I’ve had plenty of times where everyone else disagrees with me, so I’ve doubted myself and changed my mind on a trade, but then in the end it turned out I was right and I should have stayed with my original plan. Know your markets and trust in your own opinion. Don’t get swayed by others.”
Q: When did you first discover Bitcoin?
Jay: “At £25! That was the price of the first Bitcoin I bought. And I still have it today. I’ve moved it around quite a lot but I still own it. I was introduced to it quite naturally, because I work in an environment of innovation. I understood it quickly and liked the opportunities it had for future industry and as an asset to trade. I think it’s important to really know how Bitcoin works and realise its potential to successfully trade and invest in it.”
Q: Why have investors been so drawn to Bitcoin and more recently Ethereum?
Jay: “It’s partly because of the volatility, which creates an opportunity for short-term profits. But there’s also a big attraction because they are new, cool and techy. And philosophically they appeal to a certain community, people who like the innovative and revolutionary aspect of blockchain technology.”
Q: How will the Bitcoin market evolve this year and what are your views on the other emerging cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies? What will happen with Ethereum?
Jay: “I was a little surprised the SEC refused the COIN ETF application but there will be others and overall I’m still bullish on Bitcoin. The appeal of Bitcoin to countries facing high inflation, currency controls and corruption is only growing, as is the infrastructure surrounding the currency. Anything under $1000 per coin should be considered a discount and I’ll be using this opportunity to take up some long positions. My price target for the end of the year is $1500.
There are some 700 cryptocurrencies out there right now. A lot of them are direct spin-offs from the Bitcoin model. Many will prove to be rubbish and some will become big. Ethereum is a good one, which had a big rise in price last week. It’s attractive not only because of the increased volatility, but the technology allows for innovative apps to be built on top of the core infrastructure, it’s not just for payments. The traders who like volatility will go there and to similar cryptocurrency markets as Bitcoin continues to grow and stabilise.”
Check out this Webinar featuring eToro CEO Yoni Assia & UK Popular Investors Jay Smith and Liam Davies:
All trading involves risk. Only risk capital you’re prepared to lose. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Trading history presented is less than 5 years and may not suffice as basis for investment decision. This post is not investment advice.