Women In The Trading World
It’s true that the world of trading and investing remains pretty male-dominated. However, thanks to improved accessibility and popularity, trading is slowly but surely attracting more female enthusiasts.
Thankfully, there is no shortage of female role models! From floor trading to fund management, forex to crypto, numerous women have fought their way to the top and cracked the boys’ club. In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting five truly inspirational trading heroines who are shining lights in the industry.
Floor Trader Turned Investment Guru – Linda Bradford Raschke
“…when I was just out of college…I had these glamorous ideas that I was going to be a stockbroker. I had moved to San Francisco and applied to every firm in the city, and got turned down by all of them.”
Linda Bradford Raschke, like many (especially female) traders, received no leg-ups to get started in the financial markets. Moreover, her refusal to give up would set the tone for her career.
In 1981, Raschke took a job across the road from the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange and soon befriended one of the traders who worked there. With his support and advice, Raschke educated herself on options trading and after six months, her quiet perseverance paid off. Her friend backed her to enter the exchange as a floor trader and she began her six-year stint between the Pacific Coast and Philadelphia Stock Exchanges.
By 1992, Raschke had moved away from floor trading and become a registered Commodity Trading Advisor. Over the next decade and a half, her name became synonymous with consistent results and strong technical investing. She retired in 2015 but remains active in the markets as a private fund manager.
Rashcke’s influence in the markets was showcased in Jack D. Schwager’s best-selling book, “The New Market Wizards” (1992). Alongside other top American traders, Raschke discussed her strategy development and principles of self-growth, determination, and persistence.
“I really value the fact that I’ve learned to trade as a craft,” she said. “Like any craft, such as piano playing, perfection may be elusive – I’ll never play a piece perfectly, and I’ll never buy the low and sell the high – but consistency is achievable if you practice day in and day out.”
Trading Psychologist – Mandi Pour Rafsendjani
”If your mindset is clouded with fears, with limiting beliefs, with a lack of self-worth, with a lack of self-trust, with a really bad self-image, no matter how great the trading strategy you have or get, you will not perform.”
Mandi Pour Rafsendjani was born and raised in Germany, spent time in Hong Kong, and eventually grounded in Melbourne, Australia. Due to visa restrictions, she was unable to work during her first year in Australia. Instead, she found herself attending a wealth creation seminar to pass time. This whetted her appetite for trading, and she has been active in commodity, equity, options, and forex markets ever since.
Her extensive experience and education have allowed her to carve a niche for herself as a trading coach with an emphasis on psychological strategy. By marrying her market knowledge with Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Behavioral Finance, she offers unique insights into the trader’s psyche.
In particular, Rajsendjani underlines the importance of each trader finding a strategy to suit their personality. Speaking of her own background, she says, “I tried to be someone I’m not – I tried to be a long-term trader, I tried to be a swing trader, and I didn’t perform well. Until the day came when I was just being true to myself…short term trading is what I perform best at…I see it in my statistics.”
Rafsendjani explained this stemmed from her personality. As a child, she show-jumped horses and likens her competition experience in the ring to the short, sharp focus of scalping.
Mandi Pour Rafsendjani features frequently on podcasts and platforms around the globe to help traders address their emotions, strengths, and weaknesses.
Crypto Queen – Meltem Demirors
“Digital currencies present a chance for money to truly become information, and for the creation of a global financial system that is truly frictionless, open, and uncensored – the vision we once had for the Internet.”
MIT graduate Meltem Demirors did not always dream of conquering the markets; as a child, she nurtured dreams of becoming a doctor. But in the early 2010s, she met Barry Silbert, CEO and founder of Digital Currency Group, and entered the world of crypto investment.
She eventually climbed to the position of Vice President in DCG and has become an authoritative commentator on the crypto markets. Currently, she works as Chief Strategy Officer for digital asset firm CoinShares, which handles $4 billion of assets on behalf of global investors.
Demirors especially underlines the potential for blockchain technology to truly democratize, rebalance financial systems, and support unbanked populations. In 2019, she testified before the US House of Representative’s Financial Services Committee on the importance of Bitcoin. She also co-chairs the World Economic Forum Cryptocurrency Council.
Alongside her passion for cryptocurrency, Demirors promotes the concept of thought leadership. 2018 saw her publish a “Leaders Series” blog in which she interviewed and supported other women in the crypto industry. Additionally, her crypto career has fuelled her advocation of civil rights and privacy whilst lecturing at Oxford University.
“Brilliant women are leaving the companies they used to work for and starting their own thing,” She says. “So I’m just trying to create a network to support other women and help them get awareness”.
Forex Princess – Kathy Lien
“The philosophy of what I have done since day one still sticks with me.”
Kathy Lien finished school with her eyes set firmly on a single target: forex.
Her currency trading career began on Wall Street at the tender age of 18. Needless to say, resilience, courage, and plenty of spirit were needed to survive in the heart of the trading world.
Starting with JPMorgan Chase, Lien worked her way up the FX trading desks. She gathered diverse foreign exchange experience until she struck out to make her own mark on the industry. In 2003, she founded DailyFX.com, a leading forex research platform beloved by traders worldwide.
Indeed, Lien’s comprehensive experience has made her a prolific analyst and commentator in the forex markets. She features frequently on CNBC and Sky Business, as well as in The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg, and Marketwatch.
Lien is an example of a woman who “fell in love” with a specific market and created a place for herself within it. “Anyone who has ever started their own business knows that the challenges that come with it,” she says. “The workday never ends but we…know that our commitment will pay off.”
The Heroine Behind The Hero – Dawn Fitzpatrick
“I was a distance runner, and it’s a distance race, for sure. There are a lot of parallels and a lot of lessons that I learned on the track that serve me well.”
The name of George Soros is well known in trading communities. But behind the trading legend is another; that of Dawn Fitzpatrick, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Soros Fund.
Fitzpatrick began her trading career in 1992 as a firm clerk on the American Stock Exchange. Over the next 25 years, she developed her experience in investment management before being recruited by Soros in 2017.
This position marks her as one of the most prominent female hedge fund managers of all time. She oversees over $6 billion in asset investments and has become a mouthpiece for Soros’ investment outlook.
But Fitzpatrick does not work in Soros’ shadow. Her influence has afforded her numerous positions on financial advisory committees, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and The Bretton Woods Committeee. She has also been listed by Business Insider, American Banker, and many other publications as being one of the most influential females in finance.
Fitzpatrick attributes success to attitude and perseverance. Speaking of her grandparents, she says they “ingrained in me the unfailing belief that with hard work and a solid education there were limitless possibilities as to what could be achieved”.
We’ve picked just five trading heroines from across the markets, but there are hundreds more, and their ranks are increasing all the time! Trading is still commonly considered a man’s game, but it is evident that the tides are turning as more women enter the space.
Trading is a difficult craft to master in any case; gender imbalance only adds an extra layer of complexity to the industry. But each one of these pioneering women has a story to tell about the grit and determination needed to succeed. Male or female, traders can be inspired by their remarkable accomplishments and thought leadership.