This is going to sound like a crazy story for new readers. But it’s true.
I’m Troy Bombardia, the trader and blogger behind Bull Markets.
My family is in the funds/trading business. So I was taught how to trade from a young age. Since 2008, my mom has always steered me on the path to trading. I was never really allowed to do anything else. Whenever I had a business idea, my mom would always spend hours convincing me why it wouldn’t work. And as a kid who trusted my mom, I believed her. If trust didn’t work, I was coerced. I was told “if you don’t do as I say, you can quit high school and go work at McDonalds”. What choice did I have?
In other words, I was chained by golden handcuffs. Believe me, it is a thing. I was not a rich and spoiled kid. I’ve always worked long days, even when I was in school (working from 5 am to 9 pm, with breaks in between of course).
Over the years I discovered that I was really good at trading. More specifically, I was really good at developing quantitative trading models for trading. I’ve never been a fan of discretionary trading. Only by backtesting your models and strategies will you know exactly how well your strategy/model works. Quantitative models take the guesswork out of trading. It cuts through the noise with data and facts.
*I was lucky in this sense. 10 years experience + a fast tracked education in the markets thanks to my mom.
Long story short, things were going great until 2015. I was becoming a pretty good trader, and that’s when my life started going downhill.
How my personal life went downhill
I was studying first year in university when my mom came to me with a proposition. If I quit school and worked in our family fund, she would give me 1/3 of our assets when we reached $100 million. The only condition was that I had to leave my country. Being the success-driven person that I was, I agreed.
I gave up everything that I had in my country and cut off all my connections. “Everything had to go” she said. She said I had to be completely dedicated to this one goal, and as a son who trusted my mom, I was 100% dedicated. So I cancelled:
- My drivers license
- My health card (OHIP)
- I didn’t have an address
- I quit university
- I cut off all my friends in Canada.
And over the past 2 years, nothing has gone right.
Whenever I wanted to trade differently from my mom, she would always stop me. Small trades were permissible, but nothing that really had a dent on our bottomline. She promised to never control my trading career, but that’s exactly what she did.
I was the “official” fund manager, but she was behind the scenes calling all the shots. My opinion didn’t matter for much.
But that’s not the worst part
From May-November 2017 I had a really bad back injury. I went back to my country for medical treatment. I guess because she helped me recover, she felt like I “owed her”. And that’s when things really started to get dangerous.
She screamed at me for hours daily, often for the silliest reasons like “you didn’t spend enough time saying hi to me in the morning.” I was not allowed to leave the house. If I even tried to step outside the door, she would bar the door and hit me. She goaded me to fight back, but of course I didn’t. Physical violence is not ok, especially against a family member. She’d say “what are you going to do, what are you going to do!!”, and all I could do was hold back my angry tears and clench my fist. Imagine being hit, but not being able to fight back. This was my mom.
But that wasn’t the last straw. In an argument we had, she finally let slip why she had me go work for our fund the way I did. Essentially..
She needed to use my name. She had lied to me, essentially destroying my future (no degree, no connections) so that she could make some more money. Then she tried to coerce me by blackmailing me.
I’m not going to go into the details of exactly how she did this, but the point is that she had used me, and then trapped me in her house by threatening me physically. I had nowhere to go. I had $3000 in cash, no bank account that was easily usable, and not even a cellphone to call an Uber. This is in Canada, where it’s -20 degrees in the winter.
The last straw was when she tried to coerce me into moving to a tax-haven to save money on taxes. It was at that point when I realized:
I would rather be homeless than be someone else’s tool. Of all people, I did not expect my mom to treat me this way. But she did.
*My dad left us when I was very young.
In a story worthy of James Bond, I escaped. I planned my escape for 2 days, and left at exactly 11 pm when the central heating turned out (making the house louder, hence masking my escape). I packed a small backpack, placed it under my bed, and then RAN for my life. I ran down the street to a predetermined location because I couldn’t have the Uber show up on my doorstep. I literally feared for my life.
And this is where my significant other came in. When nobody else was there for me, she was.
Being in Australia, she booked my plane ticket and ordered an Uber for me in Toronto (remember, I didn’t even have a cellphone). I took the Uber to the airport at midnight. I got on the next 5 am plane, and 48 hours later, I had landed in Australia (lots of connecting flights because flights from Toronto to Australia don’t usually depart at 5 in the morning).
Where I am today
So I landed in Australia, with $30k in my bank account and nothing else (I was lucky enough to have some money stashed elsewhere). But, to this day…
- I have no post-secondary degree.
- I have no drivers license (meaning I can’t even work for Uber).
- I don’t have any non-family connections to the financial/trading industry because my mom never let me make any connections. And I can’t use my family connections because they wouldn’t side with me against my mom. Their her friends first and foremost.
So I guess you could call me a digital nomad. I started this blog last year when none of this has happened and I was still with the family fund.
Why am I telling you this
Because I think honesty is the best policy. You know who I am, what I am capable of, and why I am sharing my knowledge. I am experienced, but I am constantly improving as a trader. I am sharing my knowledge and journey with you here on the blog.
*I’m not seeking to elicit any pity points for what happened to me. I got caught up in a very bad personal situation, I escaped, and now I’m focused on rebuilding my life+career.
With the inability to raise funds on my own, this blog is like a resume:
- I prove to the world what I know, and EXACTLY how to trade (using quantitative models).
- I make a living while I’m doing this. This blog makes money through ads, coaching, and the membership program where I give away all the quantitative models that I’m working on. By showing you exactly how to trade, I’m able to support myself.
- I like helping people. If it wasn’t for the personal and financial circumstance that I got caught up in, I’d like to give away all the models for free.
Maybe one day I’ll start my own hedge fund with this blog as proof that I know what I’m doing.