Josh Evans' cancer diagnosis motivated him to start trading stocks full time. He shares the changes in strategy that completely turned around his investing fortunes.

Josh Evans' cancer diagnosis motivated him to start trading stocks full time. He shares the changes in strategy that completely turned around his investing fortunes.

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  • Josh Evans was day-trading stocks once a week before his cancer diagnosis motivated him to pursue his passion full-time.
  • He describes his stock-trading strategy as scalping with size, which means he aims to make profits off of small changes in price multiple times a day.
  • Evans knew he had to tweak his strategy after he took a hefty drawdown in his first few months of trading.
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Josh Evans was just a normal radiographer from Australia.

But after 11 years in the business, he was starting to grow tired of his profession - and he started to look into stock trading.

"I had a bit of money come through from inheritance," he said on the Chat With Traders podcast. "That's when I had money to sort of put into the market."

After a stock tip from a friend went awry, he was left scratching his head.


"That's where my passion for learning as much as I could about the market, that's where that all came into play," he said. "I didn't like not understanding why things were moving."

During this time, Evans was trading about one day a week - and had managed to land a 380,000 Australian dollar windfall from a well-timed lithium trade. For a neophyte trader, this amount of capital was mind-blowing - but he had no idea his life was about to change.

"I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma," he said. "Within two weeks I was doing chemo."

He continued: "As grim as this sounds, we don't know if we're going to be here next week. I guess it gave me a little fast forward ... I thought: 'Yeah, why not? The time is now; lets do it.'"

Thankfully, Evans is clear of cancer today and has been trading full-time after his diagnosis motivated him to pursue his dreams full-time.


Evans' strategy

"My style is discretionary but I do try to scalp with size in the lower-denomination stocks," he said. "I try and trade stocks that fit that bill but also have a catalyst, so they're an in-play stock and going to have movement throughout the day."

"Scalping" is a style of trading aimed to realize profits from small price fluctuations throughout the day.

When Evans says "with size," it means he's trading a considerable amount of shares to take advantage of these tiny moves in price.

He provided the following example: "Let's say a stock broke through the $1 mark, and then you get that instant spike up to $1.03. If it doesn't feel like there's going to be much follow through, I'm happy to take that."

He continued: "I won't even hold some stocks for more than an hour."


On average, Evans' executes about eight trades a day.

Initially, Evans' funded his trading account with 50,000 AUD, but soon cut his capital down to 20,000 AUD and employed leverage to exacerbate his buying power.

"I didn't need that extra 30 grand in the trading account," he said. "$20,000 on a leveraged account- I think that was definitely more than enough for when I started."

A crucial pivot

At one point in the early going, Evans took a sizable drawdown as he became overconfident and undisciplined. He knew he needed to make a change.

"The market changes everyday," he said. "Just when you sort of feel like you're making progress, next minute the market changes and nothing you're doing is working."


He continued: "I put a lot more energy into learning how to read the order flow, and that's when things really started to turn around and pick up."

Order flow analysis aims to anticipate the price movements of a given stock based on both the buy- and sell-side orders that are visible.

Prior to this pivot, Evans made the mistake of focusing on levels of support and resistance - staples of technical analysis - without analyzing the amount of buying and selling around those levels.

Finally, he provided the following example on how he anticipates a downward movement in a stock:

"I want to see big volumes of selling - and then letting the order book fill back up a little bit," he said. "Once a few more bids appear, I want to see it get sold back into again."


To Evans, this type of move is most congruent with an institutional seller who has a large volume of shares to unload, but is unwilling to put them on the market in one huge chunk.

"I'd probably be looking for a short opportunity," he said.