Interview with Markus Heitkoetter

On Wednesday, May 1st I had the opportunity to interview Markus Heitkoetter, CEO of Rockwell Trading.  Markus and I have a similar background as we both came out of the Technology Industry and decided to devote ourselves to trading.  Markus worked for IBM, out of Germany and I served with SAP in the United States.  Ironically he worked for an American based company in Europe and I worked with a German based firm in the United States.  We both recall when SAP launched in the late 1990’s.

Markus’ story is unique in that he wasn’t born in the US but is living proof that anyone with the drive, desire and perseverance can succeed in the trading world.  Markus decided in the early 2000’s that he was going to change his career and get involved with online trading.  He has since started Rockwell Trading based out of Texas and has devoted the last dozen years to helping and mentoring new and novice traders to the world of online trading.  We spoke about this at length during our discussion as I asked him about the importance of coaching.  He mentioned that in Europe and other parts of the world any profession has an apprenticeship program that can last for years.  I seem to recall that when I worked with Canadians they had mentioned the same thing.  He mentioned that he liked to play golf but didn’t really get proficient at it until he hired a coach.  In his words “when you watch TV and see a professional do it, it looks so easy and you think you can do it yourself, but the whole purpose of using a coach is that they can point what you’re doing wrong, so you can correct it.”  This gives testimony to fact that most traders don’t succeed.  They read a book, watch a video and think “wow, I can do that”.  But they don’t pay attention to the details of trading.  Conversely Europeans take a more systematic approach in that they trade with a plan.

Markus does not use “exotic” indicators in his approach.  Rather he uses indicators that are readily available or should be available with any charting package chosen.  One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is his strategies and techniques are simple yet for lack of a better word “timeless”.  They are universal and readily understandable by anyone.  On a personal note, one of my techniques is to use renko bars in tandem with trading.  Why?  Because renko bars liken to range bars use a preset number of ticks (4, 5, etc.) for each bar such that you will know what the next bar will open up at.  This is very different from using a minute chart as with a minute chart the range can differ dramatically.  They can go up, down, sideways and flat or choppy.  This makes trading very erratic as you’re wondering “where do I get in, at what price should I go long or short”?  Markus has developed a strategy called the Ping Pong that helps to alleviate that problem.  In it he uses range bars as a way and means of determining where someone should enter the market and where they could potentially exit.  This is only one of many strategies developed.  I use a similar technique except I use renko bars.  A simple, yet timeless technique.

We spoke at length concerning Rockwell Trading and what they do.  Markus offers a 296 page eBook called “The Complete Guide to Day Trading” and it discusses every aspect of trading that every trader should know.  I recall earlier versions of this book and it made me aware of what I needed to think about and consider.  I would strongly recommend this eBook to any new or novice trader as the people at Rockwell are very forthright and will tell you exactly what it takes to be a successful trader.  Even an experienced trader can benefit from the eBook as it can make them aware of mistakes made, methods to improve, etc.  Any aspiring entrepreneur can benefit from listening to this interview as it details one person’s journey to the freedom of trading.

My interview with Markus can be viewed here:

We all have different reasons for trading but one universal truth that is common amongst all traders is the freedom we enjoy.  Freedom from economic servitude; freedom to choose.  If Markus and his team at Rockwell Trading represent anything, it is that and if that’s the case Rockwell will be around for a long time.

Nick Mastrandrea is the author of Market Tea Leaves.  Market Tea Leaves is a free, daily newsletter that discuses and teaches market correlation.  Market Tea Leaves is published daily, pre-market in the United States and can be viewed at  Feel free to visit and subscribe.