Charlie Burton: Millions By The Minute?

Charlie Burton shot to fame when he was featured on the BBC's Million By The Minute programme back in 2014. At the time, Charlie was a day trader and swing trader who was developing a strategy that would hopefully stand him in good stead. Now, four years later, we catch up with Charlie and find out what he's doing now and whether his trading style is any different.

Table of Contents

  • It took Charlie a long time to do well - There have been plenty of ups and downs

  • There are no such things as natural traders; everyone has to learn somehow

  • People put themselves under too much pressure to be profitable too early

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How did Charlie get into trading?

The reason Charlie Burton got into trading in the first place was that he went on a course and found it fascinating. It was only very basic stuff. After that most of it would be self taught.

He concedes that Market Wizards was a great book and that really influenced him. He really admired the people within the book and what they had achieved; they gave him the belief that he could do it.

How long has he been trading for?

Charlie Burton has been trading intraday and swing trades for over 20 years but despite his success he does not think there are any such things as a natural born trader. Everyone has to spend some time learning their way when it comes to trading. He has had plenty of knocks over the years, but that is how you learn. How you respond to these challenges will influence your level of success. Being prepared to face up to being wrong helps.

It is a hard life

Charlie Burton makes a living from trading. It is hard to overcome the pressure of performance when there are no guarantees. It is so hard he has had to diversify and set up a trader education company (Ezee Trader). Now he also receives an income from that business too.

When Charlie Burton left his job in 2001, the first few years was trading full time and had to be self-sustainable. Luckily, he had capital behind him (around two years of living expenses in the bank). He was able to fully focus on trading and building account without having to take income out of it.

Why a secondary source of income is useful

He also had no commitments or responsibilities, so it was a lot easier than it might have been because he only had himself to look after. It is always a good idea to have another source of income.

This will help you to trade better when you're not under pressure to afford the essentials. Charlie started in his 20s, but would he do it now in his 40s with his responsibilities? No. He would have to find another way in.

How novice traders get it wrong

People's expectations are wrong a lot of the time, says Charlie Burton. They expect to make more money than they really can. If this is the case then it's best not to be a full-time trader because you will be under too much pressure and this can be damaging.

Trading can also be dangerous. People fixate on an end goal, but it's far better to focus on the trade and becoming a good trader. The results will take care of themselves if you work on being a good trader.

Be prepared to adapt

You always have to be able to adapt as a trader. In 2014 when filming for Millions by the Minute, Charlie Burton would be in front of his computer by 7am and make the first trade at around 7.30.

Then he would go and get ready and be in the shower with the mobile phone close by so could keep an eye on the trades! They used to move around quickly so he didn't want to miss out.

How his day evolves

The markets are slower now. It's different. He doesn't have to be so quick to start. Now Burton will make a decision within the first 10 minutes or so, then he will walk away and come back later. It is much less stressful than it used to be.

After 10am he takes some exercise, relaxes. Then from 1pm until 3pm it is another key period because US news comes out, so he is back in front of the computer. That is for day trading. Swing trading does not need so much time spent on it. He can check other things whilst looking at the daily charts.

Tips to optimize your trading

There are simple things you can do to make sure you are fresh and ready to go when it comes to day trading. Getting enough sleep, exercising and so on. You need to be at your best to do your best.

Everyone has a different trading style. There are some things that you should definitely do if you want to make the right choices. This can be your edge.

Your edge is not a strategy, it is developing a trader mindset. You can have the best strategy in the world, but if you have not developed a trader mindset you will never have the confidence to use it properly.

Plan some time away

It's always good to have regular breaks too. When you step away and then come back, you will see different things. This might be things you have missed when you were so engrossed in the markets and were just too close.

It is good to look at something and then re-analyse over and over again. This will reinforce why you went into the trade and remind you not to leave too soon. A very specific style of trading is developed over years until it has become something that really works.

It is about noticing recurring patterns and seeing what works. But how he trades today might not be the way he trades in five years' time. If you are too rigid you will get left behind because trading is always changing. You must be flexible with your working.

How does Charlie trade today?

Charlie Burton's most recent trading epiphany happened when he looked at his trading and wanted to know what had changed. It was starting with small positions, enabling him to build positions and become consistently more profitable

Not necessarily adding in when a market is going down, but adding in as the profit goes up and building the position with inside levels. You are already in profit and your initial risk is not something to worry about.

Quality of life is important

Charlie use to trade well into the night and early morning, but things have changed, he wants more quality of life. So he prefers trading off a higher time frame and gets more from it than the day trades.

He likes to see the analysis that he has carried out pay dividends. This means he is not as glued to screens all day. Life becomes a lot easier when you find the right kind of trade for you.


Swing trading and intraday trading are great to have in tandem with one another, as your portfolio can be diversified. Do not pigeonhole yourself to be one thing or another. If you have the time to day trade then you can also be a swing trader - you will have the time to do it and it minimises the risk.

Charlie Burton can be found at

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