Stephen Bliss is a burger-van owner by day, and a top Popular Investor on global trading platform eToro by night. The crypto-crazy 34-year old manages assets worth around $6 million, and almost 5,000 investors match his trades using the unique CopyTrader tool.
Bliss – whose eToro username is stebliss – enjoyed incredible gains of 893.16 per cent in 2017, mostly thanks to the sensational crypto bull run at the end of the year. His unique story gained the interest of the British national press in early 2018.
However, the proprietor of The Sizzling Griddle – which is usually positioned off the A174, a road in North Yorkshire, running from Thornaby-on-Tees to Whitby, and provides truckers with hot tea and bacon butties – did not achieve immediate success.
He began trading on the award-winning platform in February 2014 and was 51 per cent down at the end of that first year, losing close to half of his original £3,000 investment. Bliss’ trading performance improved the following year (36.38 per cent). And then in 2017 it went through the ceiling.
Although 2018 has not been as fruitful, at first glance, Bliss’ commitment to cryptos has not wavered, as he has a long-term view on the increasingly popular asset class. Indeed, a deeper analysis of his trading to date this year shows decent profit gains from closing crypto and non-crypto positions.
As of July 26 this year, Bliss’ closed trades since January 1 read as follows: of the 24 non-crypto trades closed, 79 per cent were profitable; 150 crypto trades were closed of which 95 per cent were profitable. For both crypto and non-crypto, the closed profits have exceeded the closed losses in 2018, and are therefore profitable overall.
And his stats have been dragged down mainly because of the open crypto trades – some opened when prices were near their peak – that he is planning on holding for the foreseeable future. Discerning eToro users, who realise the growth potential in this strategy, have backed him to triumph and copied his trades.
Bliss, born in Middlesbrough and based in Redcar, became a Popular Investor on eToro in June 2016. He describes himself as a “swing or position trader” and continues: “I tend to take a medium- to long-term approach on positions. My trading strategy focuses on around 50 per cent fundamental analysis, 40 per cent technical analysis with around 10 per cent gut feeling and experience thrown in the mix.”
Rather bizarrely, it is a former life as an “aggressive inline skater” that informs his trading. “It is a little-known, underground sport,” he explains, “that usually involves crazy tricks, such as jumping on and sliding down handrails on rollerblades.
“I don’t take part in it anymore, because I’m getting a bit too old. One thing I take from my years skating is the risk-versus-reward element. For example, I had to take a calculated risk every time I did a trick. Over the years I’ve slid down countless handrails some with 20-foot drops at the other side. One slight misplacement of my feet and I could end up having a nasty accident. Another thing I can take from my years skating is learning when to give up and cut my losses when things aren’t working out. I must have been pretty good at it because I never broke a single bone in 16 years of skating.”
Now that his rollerblades are packed away, he is especially excited by cryptocurrencies. “They are fast, safe, secure, cheap to use, decentralised, thereby cutting out corruption and greedy middle men,” Bliss explains. “They’re the future. I’m a long-term believer when it comes to crypto. I can see myself holding some of these positions for several years and I’m more than happy to do so.”
He was first attracted to eToro, which boasts six asset classes and over 1,200 instruments to trade, because of its pioneering approach to cryptos. “Back in 2014 it was the only place I could find that made it possible to quickly, easily, and securely purchase Bitcoin. Now there are almost a dozen cryptos on the eToro platform.”
Crypto expertise aside, what are the other benefits of eToro? “For me, it’s the social aspect,” he continues. “It is a bit like Facebook, and has a great community of users and staff. Crucially, it is reliable and secure. Plus I love the platform layout and its ease of use.”
Bliss underscores the importance of that trading community. “It is that main thing that helps me learn,” he says. “And with trading you are for ever learning. On eToro you can add your favourite traders to a watch list and keep up to date with goings on in all the instruments you are interested in, allowing you to be among the first to react.”
He says becoming a Popular Investor is “enormously satisfying”. “In late 2015 I started gaining a few copiers, and I recall I thought ‘wow, the pressure is on’ when I reached 10,” Bliss says. “After I got over the pressure of being responsible for other people’s money I decided to apply to become a Popular Investor. My application was accepted and it snowballed from there.
“It is possible to earn a very substantial amount of money as a Popular Investor on eToro. Further, it has given me a lot of financial freedom, and allowed me to work fewer hours, thus freeing up extra time to be able to focus on my trading on eToro. Now I could afford to quit my job as a self-employed mobile caterer, but I enjoy it, so I choose to continue working.
“It is enormously satisfying to know that I am helping mostly ordinary working-class people make money from investing. My long-term goal as a Popular Investor is simple: to keep learning and growing everyone’s investments, year after year.”
Offering top tips to less experienced traders, Bliss adds: “Find instruments you are comfortable with and enjoy trading. It is advantageous if it is something that you have genuine interest in. For me that is cryptos and tech stocks, with a few other instruments thrown in for that little extra diversification.
“Next, practice. If you are not confident in trading or don’t have money to throw away then use your free eToro virtual account until you become fully confident and consistently profitable. You don’t have to go straight in with real money.
“You can of course find a few good Popular Investors to invest real money into and let them do the hard work for you in the meantime. Then maybe when you are happy with your trading strategy and style think about starting to trade for yourself.
Given burger-van-owner Bliss’ eToro track record, one might say you would be flipping mad not to consider using CopyTrader. Those hungry for trading success would surely relish the opportunity to earn a tasty profit thanks to The Sizzling Griddle boss.
Benefits Of Trading On eToro
- Straightforward, user-friendly, trustworthy and experienced platform
- Instant execution of trades, thereby locking in a price
- Ability to use CopyTrader and other innovative tools
- Huge cryptocurrency community that shares knowledge and helps each other
- Fast execution
- Regulated company
Buying cryptocurrencies is not appropriate for everybody. Cryptocurrencies are not regulated. They are not backed by governments or central banks. Cryptocurrencies are backed by technology and trust. You will not benefit from the protections available to clients receiving regulated investment services, such as access to the Investor Compensation Fund for clients of Cypriot Investment Firms, or the Cypriot Financial Ombudsman Services Compensation Scheme. UK clients will not benefit from protections available from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for dispute resolution. You are at risk of losing all of your invested capital. This is not investment advice, past performance is no guarantee of future results.