IFTA ‘Sailing To The Future’
Technical Analyst Lee Sandford just returned from the IFTA 30th Annual Conference in Milan and we got the chance to ask him all about it.
Firstly Lee, what is IFTA?
IFTA stands for International Federation of Technical Analysts and it is an international and non-profit organisation. IFTA’S main goal is to provide an international federation to allow technical analysts to exchange information and data and to provide events to encourage the interchange of ideas and information to benefit technical analysts and provide knowledge. To be a part of IFTA you need to be a certified financial technician.
What is the IFTA Conference?
Every year, IFTA host a conference where technical analysts from all over the world get together to explore new opportunities created by technologies, markets, and instruments. Top institutional and academic professionals deliver speeches to inform and educate other technicians. This year’s conference ‘Sailing Into The Future’ was hosted by the Italian Society of Technical Analysis (SIAT) in Milan. It’s a great place to meet and talk to the best in the industry. For example, I met John Bollinger who designed the Bollinger Bands and Robert Precther who is renowned for his books on Elliott Waves.
Why did you attend?
I’m a member of IFTA and the Society of Technical Analysis, I’ve spoken several times at the STA. I’m an Analyst and a Trader and it’s also good to hear what the future holds for technical analysis. I enjoyed meeting up with some colleagues and enjoying the wonders of Milan and Italian food!
Can you tell us a bit about the conference?
There were lots of back to back presentations about the future of Bitcoin, Algorithmic trading, Robots, Quant Trading and good old-fashioned Technical Analysis. I love trading and charts, so anything to help me become a better trader is always worth attending. Networking and talking to institutional traders is also good but it made me realise even more this year how Trading College coaches are at the top of the game. When it comes to trading strategies and reading charts you won’t find a better bunch of coaches.
Who did you meet?
Lots of people. The well-known ones were John Bollinger and Bob Pretcher but there were several other best selling authors on Technical Analysis that are not so famous but incredibly knowledgeable and highly respected in their field.
What did you learn?
I learned that Trading College is the best for trading education in the UK. The amount of knowledge my coaches have when it comes to reading charts and strategies is incredible. I also learned that Quant Trading (Mathematical Machines) are very popular and that most of the general public who want to start trading will never have access to these machines. The good news is that I watched lots of presentations on Artificial Intelligence and Quant Trading so I have a good idea of the type of strategies they are building and how this will affect our trading in the future. Bitcoin was a big topic and it was one that the membership had argued whether to include in the conference. But I say as long as there is a price, a chart and it can be traded then we should be discussing it. Also, we learned how social media impacts long-term charts and also how curve fitting and bringing more variables into a trading strategy and system makes them perform worse, not better. Everyone at the conference had several things in common and that was the love of charts, trading and making money from their strategies, whether they’re using Quant Computers, Bollinger bands or any other tool.
What did you gain from it?
I gained a bigger waist due to the amount of lovely food and wine we had! But seriously, I gained a lot of incredible knowledge from the analysts that have been around a lot longer then I have with my 15 years. I gained insights into what other people do in the markets in a friendly shared atmosphere where no one was boasting how great they are. which we tend to see with some of the new education companies or traders that have hit the scene over the last 2 years. It was a place for sharing ideas amongst equals. It was also great to meet people from around the world who share the passion for trading. Next year the IFTA conference is in Malaysia so I’m looking forward to that trip!