Andrew Aziz is a Canadian trader, proprietary fund manager of Peak Capital Trading with net worth assets of $20 million, a successful investor and #1 best-selling author. He has ranked as one of the top 100 authors in the "Business and Finance" category for over four consecutive years (2016-present). Andrew recently published his fifth book: Mastering Trading Psychology, and it’s already a best seller on Amazon. His previous books have been translated into eight languages and have sold over 250,000 copies worldwide. Andrew is the CEO and founder of the multimillion dollar companies Peak Capital Trading and Bear Bull Traders, and a valued mentor to thousands of other traders.
Growing Up in a War Zone
Andrew was born and grew up in Iran during one the longest wars of the twentieth century, the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war. He was part of a middle-class family, and he lost his father when he was very young.
He has many indelible childhood wartime memories, including riding his bike to check out a downed fighter jet, and getting as close as he dared to an unexploded cruise missile near his house in Tehran, Iran's capital. Children are naturally adventurous and tend to assume they are invincible, so he and his young friends regarded these experiences as fun. He also remembers tense and seemingly endless nights huddled in air raid shelters with dozens of other children and adults while sirens droned in the background and anti-aircraft guns punctuated the darkness.
During his teenage years, Andrew became fascinated with fireworks, learning that setting them off is fun but that making them is even more fun. He started by assembling low-explosive fireworks in his house with friends to throw out in last Tuesday of winter, in an ancient Iranian ceremony of fire called Chaharshanbe Suri (The Scarlet Wednesday), an event that has been celebrated since the Zorostian era more than 4,000 years ago. And that’s when he first became intrigued with chemicals and chemistry.
Starting with Working Hard
Andrew studied chemical engineering in some of the best universities in Iran, including Sharif University of Technology, which is considered to be Iran’s MIT. Although he devoted many hours each day to his studies, Andrew found time to become a mountain climber and an avid nature lover. At the age of 25, Andrew decided to move to Canada and specifically to the Province of British Columbia. The awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains lured him to satisfy his passion for climbing, and B.C.’s world-famous natural attractions and temperate climate appealed to his love of the outdoors. After years of studying and hard work, he completed a Ph.D. in clean technology at the University of British Columbia, one of the world’s top-tier universities in sustainable energy research. After graduating with honors and being involved in numerous high-impact journal publications and patents, he began what he hoped would be a fulfilling career with companies that were developing hydrogen fuel cell cars. He was passionate about changing the automotive industry toward a clean, no-pollution alternative, and hoped to make meaningful contributions to related research.
But his hard work in research and in the development of nanomaterial for cars was not to last for long. The company he was involved with suddenly stopped their research and announced that they had decided not to pursue that new technology any further.They asked some of the top scientist in the world to leave, telling them they were no longer needed.
Andrew had devoted 23 years to hard work and studying and research. He suddenly felt that he was living in a vacuum.
Believing in Yourself
He struggled with the question of what else he could do to have a happy and fulfilling life. Embarrassed in front of his friends and family because he had lost what he had thought was his dream job, he decided that he would devote himself to a totally different field – stock market trading. “I have a Ph.D. and have plenty of experience in research,” he told himself, “so I will just work hard to learn everything I can about trading. Research and learning - that’s what my Ph.D. is all about.” He took on a day job for three years to provide day-to-day income and focused on learning how to trade during most of his personal time. He started waking up at 5 a.m. and learned how to trade the market in Vancouver time, before going to work at 9 a.m., and he spent much of his evening and weekend time learning about trading. He knew, however, that as much as he was determined to be a success in his new venture, he needed to look after himself as a person – and that meant making time to be outdoors and to climb some mountains. Andrew later went on to write a book about his path, and now mentors thousands of traders from all around the world to learn how to trade.
Working Hard Toward Working Smart
One of Andrew’s basic beliefs is that working smart is an essential element of success, but he also emhasizes the people need to work hard in order to reach that stage. He knew that trading for a living is smart and that it does not require long hours to make a living, but he realized that it is not easy. He worked hard on learning everything he could about trading so he would have the skills, the mindset and the psychological awareness to trade smart. And, of course, he views ongoing learning as an important element of smart trading.
Surrounding Yourself with Like-Minded People
Andrew believes that it’s smart to associate with like-minded people and with people who you wish to be like. It’s far too easy to surround yourself with people who do not add any value to your life, and it is can often be a challenge to enter a circle of highly-motivated people. But these are people who can save you a lot of time and useless effort. They have been there, they have made mistakes, and they might be willing to tell you about their failures as well as their successes. If you’re lucky enough to find people who will tell you about the lessons they have learned on the paths they have traveled, you could benefit from those lessons without having to walk those paths.
Choose Your Hard
Andrew has learned that that finding what is smart is hard, and sometimes that process requires considerable trial and error. He could have looked for another engineering job, but he decided to pursue trading, and that was not an easy transition. There are old clichés that nothing in life is easy and that life is hard, but there is some truth to them. So maybe we all just have to choose our own hards.
Being in debt is hard, but becoming being financially free is also hard. So choose your hard. Being on a healthy diet is hard, but being physically unhealthy is also hard. Choose your hard.