“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt
The quote shares a lot about our EPATian and CSAF certification graduate Hugo Valdivia Carrillo and his journey into Algo Trading. He is a surfer and loves stargazing, at the same time he is practical, responsible, has achieved so much and wishes to learn more.
He has travelled across the world lived in multiple countries and has beautifully lived through their cultures. He brings the same passion and diversity to his learning and has successfully created great opportunities for himself.
With almost 20 years of work experience, Hugo has achieved to become a Financial Director/Manager, Quantitative & Data Analyst, Data Scientist, and Algorithmic & Systematic Trader. This is his journey to Algorithmic trading.
Hi Hugo, tell us about yourself!
Hello, I am Hugo Valdivia Carrillo. I was born in Mexico but my family moved to the United States when I was a young child and I grew up in Los Angeles, California. I began my career in finance in 2002, where I worked in various areas of the industry including compliance analysis in investment, financial analysis, investment analysis, broadly, trading, and some fund management.
I previously worked as a Finance director of a company in Hong Kong. They are a brokerage firm and I helped them procure financial licenses from Malaysia to operate in Asia. I am currently stationed in Mexico.
As a kid, I have always been keen on astronomy and celestial objects and I have collected telescopes to feed my curiosity. I enjoy surfing, and being in Los Angeles I have enjoyed the beaches there. I also like reading, obtaining knowledge to develop skills and understanding dynamic trends.
What has your 17+ year journey from a Manager to a Director in Finance been like?
Believe it or not, my first career choice was to be a Doctor, but it was an extensive and expensive trajectory and had my own set of responsibilities.
One day, I was scrolling through the news and landed on CNBC. I looked at the letters and numbers presented on my screen and that became my introduction to the world of Finance. I was fascinated with those numbers and I began my research and that is when I decided to study them. I enrolled in a course in Los Angeles and graduated with a major in finance.
I landed my first job as a compliance officer at a brokerage firm where I would contribute more towards futures and forex markets. I got interested in trading due to a colleague and enrolled myself on a programme to learn more. I learned about the systems developed in technical analysis and that made me curious to know more about Day Trading. I progressed in my career with the same firm and became a financial analyst.
Later, I moved to Mexico to work for a private bank in risk management where I dabbled with options trading, futures trading, commodities, etc. I was on the risk side of trading but I was not actively trading. I learned that emotions are a big part of trading and how it influences traders.
I wanted to know how I could become a successful trader. I actively worked with financial markets and learned that 90% of the market is emotional and 10% is technical. One can easily learn the technical aspects which is the easy part, the harder part is controlling emotions.
It takes a lot of time to master emotions during trading and not give in to bias. Just a mere few months of trading is not enough, traders must learn, research, and gain knowledge to understand and address the problems.
I then moved to Shanghai, China to work with a financial company as a General Director. The company had offices across China and other Asian countries which gave me an opportunity to travel for work. Here I got a chance to delve deeper into investment and Financial analysis while looking at development.
I wanted to learn more about the concept of Algorithmic trading and while doing research I found out about QuantInsti. I discovered the EPAT programme but the time difference and work schedule restricted me.
When I changed my job and joined a firm in Hong Kong I gained more bandwidth to pursue the course. The programme helped me with a deeper understanding of Algorithmic Trading.
Initially, I just wanted to be a trader and start my own trading firm which is why enrolled on the EPAT programme. I did thorough research and read about Algo Trading and the course was a major revelation that showed me the possibilities and opportunities in Algo Trading. My career and journey with EPAT have taught me how technology is evolving and changing the scope of industries.
I first came across the CSAF programme on the QuantInsti website, I got curious as I wanted to learn more about NLP. I read the information on the website and the faculty at QuantInsti sent me the course content. It made me more curious about the programme as I researched more about NLP and it was an eye-opener into trading.
What are your views on Sentiment Analysis and NLP in the world of Finance?
Before knowing about Sentiment Analysis and NLP, I found the dynamics of the market intriguing whenever I would trade. I found that certain news would have an impact on the market. That is when I realized the news played an important role in moving financial markets.
I understood that sentiment analysis and NLP are the future of recognizing opportunities to create indicators in comprehending these changes. It definitely gives traders a huge advantage in the financial markets over other companies and traders who are unaware of this. That is how I got more interested in the CSAF programme as it teaches us to construct strategies based on certain sentiments and emotions.
I remember when I began trading and there was news that floated around about Citi Bank and Citi group. I realized later that the market was affected due to this news and the sentiments around it. That is when I wanted to get a hold of all the information among news channels. When I learned about the CSAF programme I immediately enrolled myself.
How has CSAF added to your vast knowledge and experience in Finance?
When I enrolled in the CSAF programme, I had high expectations from the course. At the same time, as it was a new concept, I was eager to learn how it would help me with my trading. The programme was a complete game-changer and an eye-opener for me.
I learned how one can quantify emotions and sentiments and how it relates to the markets. I also learned a lot from other active practitioners through the webinars conducted by Unicom outside of the programmes. This was a unique experience as I got to learn from people who practice these learnings and strategies on a daily basis.
I saw the relationship between what they learned during the CSAF programme and successfully implement it in their trading. No other programme in my experience has such an involved community of traders who are willing to share and help fellow traders grow.
CSAF is a well-established and well-structured programme and I have learned a great deal from it. The faculty was great and they answered all of the questions in real-time during the live sessions. They are experts and very knowledgeable as faculty members. It made me curious and I became keen on learning more. I managed my work and the programme along with my personal life as I have a goal to achieve.
Both EPAT and CSAF programmes were an incredible journey, in my opinion, the best in the industry including the customer service. A great team and a great company that has helped my development and learning through vast subjects.
The features of being easily accessible to expert and professional faculties, networking with knowledgeable practitioners and additional webinars to learn from and Unicom also organizes certain international events you can attend.
I really appreciate the additional learning opportunities from the webinars, events, and sessions that continue after you finish the programme. You can learn so much from the community and real-time practitioners and this means a lot and that is more than my expectations.
What comes next for you?
The pandemic forced a lot of companies to stop their businesses and operations. This also had an impact on my life as my previous company ceased their operations and shut down.
I am currently between jobs and am actively looking for more opportunities. At the same time, I am trying to implement what I have learned with the programmes and building strategies in trading.
My perception of trading has changed and I am actively seeking opportunities in active trading. Not just in the trading world, but what I have learned here with the programmes, community, and experts I can also apply the same in the business world.
Any message to those who wish to evolve their trading?
You would greatly benefit from both the EPAT and the CSAF programmes, thus I would advise you to enroll in both. The programmes teach you so many concepts, and it is your imagination as to how you can use them to create various strategies.
It is incredible the way the programmes help your trading and I would recommend it to all traders, new and existing. It opens avenues to something new that I never knew and the various aspects that affect the market, and how you can quantify sentiments. The programmes are great and complement each other well and teach you something completely new.
Thank you for sharing your incredible journey, Hugo. You have shown incredible passion and zeal to learn and develop your skills in the world of trading and it’s great to see how you are still looking to learn more. We wish you all the very best in your venture.
A combination of sentiments and technology is very new and unique in the world of trading. Sentiments play a pivotal role in financial markets and can change trends. It is critical to quantify and implement the sentimental indicators in trading to evolve strategies.
Do you wish to learn and develop your skills and achieve great learnings to become a successful trader? Develop your career in modern methods in finance with this instructor-led course on sentiment analysis for trading. It covers various aspects of trading, investment decisions & applications using News Analytics, Sentiment Analysis and Alternative Data. Check it out now!
Disclaimer: In order to assist individuals who are considering pursuing a career in algorithmic and quantitative trading, this success story has been collated based on the personal experiences of a student or alumni from QuantInsti’s CSAF programme. Success stories are for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to be used for investment purposes. The results achieved post-completion of the CSAF programme may not be uniform for all individuals.