Sonny de Asis Villamer (@sonjuja) won the $5,000 grand prize in the eToro Trading Challenge for April with an impressive return of 75.92%. An engineer by profession, he began trading a few years ago and joined eToro in January this year. We asked him a few questions about his experience with eToro and the strategy that allowed him to stand out among hundreds of competing traders.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Sonny de Asis Villamer. I’m from the Philippines, but I moved to Singapore in 2010 as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). I am an engineer by profession and work as the Engineering Manager for an elevator interior design company.
What are your hobbies?
I have always been into reading books and continue to be an avid reader. But now, I try to read more books and articles on investment and trading. When I was younger, I also had a keen interest in chess and loved bowling and playing darts.
Did you have previous experience with financial investments before joining eToro?
Yes, I started trading local stocks listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) back in 2016. My friends and colleagues, who invested in financial markets already at the time, encouraged me to start investing. They have been suggesting that I invest in the stock market since the early 2000s, but I never really took it very seriously until 2016. I’ve been trading actively ever since.
Why did you choose to join eToro?
I joined a Facebook group run by one of eToro’s Popular Investors, Lloyd Bazar, who teaches trading strategies and is a financial guru. In his posts and videos, Lloyd mentioned copy trading on eToro and how the platform allows access to global markets. Even though I was trading actively on the PSE, the timing was not very convenient. Since the opening hours of the PSE clashed with my full-time working hours, trading was quite difficult. Upon learning that eToro offers access to several global markets, I decided to give eToro a try and joined in January this year. I now trade US stocks using eToro.
What are the key benefits of using eToro?
I like how eToro allows investors to trade in global stock markets. The time factor has been particularly very beneficial to me. With eToro, I invest in global markets after I finish my full-time job. Another key advantage of eToro is that it offers Take Profit (TP) and Stop Loss (SL) options. I did not know about these features before I began using eToro and had absolutely no idea what I was missing out on. It gives me peace of mind that I can pre-plan my trade.
How has eToro changed the way you trade?
Before I joined eToro, I only traded on the PSE. But now, I trade in global stocks on eToro. I no longer have to chase the Philippines time anymore since US markets open only at 10:00 pm Singapore time. I’ve started using Stop Loss and Take Profit features that I never even knew existed before I started using eToro. So, I’d say my trading ways have significantly changed since I started using eToro.
What is your type of trading strategy and what is it focused on?
My trading strategy is swing trading and I use 50 SMA, 200 SMA, EMA 15, RSI, and Support and Resistance for technical analysis. My focus remains on sticking to my Take Profit and Stop Loss, risk-reward ratio and leverage. This strategy is not perfect by any means and like most people, I am sometimes prone to emotions too. But the most important point for me is to stick to my personal trading rules. I mostly trade tech stocks and cannabis. I haven’t traded commodities and ETFs yet, but I do intend on trading them in the future. I mostly trade with a 5X leverage and seldom use 10X leverage on my trades.
What is the secret of your success in winning the Trading Challenge? And what advice would you give to other traders?
I believe the key to success is being disciplined. I set Stop Loss and Take Profit points on my trades and stick to them. The most important thing is to follow a trading strategy that fits your risk profile and appetite. It doesn’t matter if the system is basic or complicated. Different strategies work differently for all investors and as long as one works for you, stick with it.
What’s your plan for the next competition?
I am currently learning new strategies and hope to possibly use them to my advantage in the upcoming competitions. I’ve also joined another trading group to expand my network and learn from others. I also plan to diversify my investments in different asset classes.
A glimpse into Sonny’s world shows how trading does not need to be overly complicated or even a full-time job, as long as you are disciplined and find a strategy that works for you.
If you’re interested in competing against Sonny and many other traders in the next iteration of the eToro Trading Challenge, register now!
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