December 4, 2023

APUS Alumni Stories: Trading and Protecting the Future

Author: Melanie Conner
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By Melanie Conner, Student and Alumni Affairs Liaison and Mina Tadrus, AMU Graduate

Successful traders think more about protecting what they already have, more so than focusing on making more money. American Military University (AMU) graduate Mina Tadrus is the founder of Tadrus Capital LLC, a quantitative alternative asset management firm where he manages institutional and ultra-high net worth investor capital using algorithmic trading.

“We want to perceive ourselves as winners, but successful traders are always focusing on their losses.” — Peter Borish

A Career in Investments

Mina started his career at JPMorgan Chase in 2016, where he was a derivatives consultant. As a derivatives consultant, Mina largely traded and negotiated International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) transactions on behalf of JPMorgan with counterparties that included large hedge funds and investment banks.

Mina Tradrus AMU graduate
Mina Tradrus, AMU graduate

In 2017, he left JPMorgan Chase and joined T3 as a trader and a Class B supervisor. In 2019, he left T3 and founded Tadrus Capital in April of that year.

Tadrus Capital LLC is a global quantitative investment company that helps high-net worth individuals, family offices and institutional investors achieve their investment objectives. Mina became interested in trading and investing during his undergraduate studies in international and global studies with the University of Central Florida.

He says, “We see how volatile markets are, including reversals of market trends, and the returns are very attractive to us. We specifically generate profits regardless of market conditions by shorting and trading indexes, commodities, currencies, crypto, and equities. This is called an absolute return strategy.”

Using Intelligence Studies Knowledge in a Trading Career 

Mina completed his master’s in intelligence studies from American Military University (AMU) in 2014. He continued his education at the University of Dayton School of Law, graduating with a Juris Doctorate.

Start an intelligence studies degree at American Public University.

To prepare for a career in quantitative investment management, Mina taught himself how to code using Pine Script, MQL5, and C# in order to quantify strategies and back-test them. His degrees and his determination to generate profits from the market also prepared him for a career in this field.

Mina observes, “My bachelor’s degree in international and global studies allowed me to study the international economies and global events that cause markets to move. With a master’s from AMU, I learned how to find and analyze information and to turn it into crucial financial intelligence and algorithms from simple data.

“While my M.A. is geared towards use with the intelligence community, it is equally beneficial if not more at least financially. Data and intelligence are what drive markets. So if you know how to use this data, you can make serious money.”

Mina says that his studies at AMU helped him to understand the intelligence cycle and make the most out of information provided to him, regardless of the industry where this information is applied. He notes, “In the financial world, this information is alternative data and quantitative analysis. My graduate degree from AMU helped me in learning how to make more informed decisions in the markets using that data. Some of the courses that helped me obtain and achieve this goal included INTL501 – Strategic Intelligence, INTL502 – Collection, and INTL506 – Analytics II.”

Management Responsibilities and Challenges

As the founder of Tadrus Capital LLC, Mina has many responsibilities, including managing a team of seven. His top priority is managing the firm’s investments, and the second priority is supervising executives on his team while creating investment strategies using alternative data and open-source information. Mina notes that everything revolves around risk management.   

The biggest challenge that he faces is to quickly adapt to every problem that needs solving. Problems range from logistics — such as regulatory updates that need filing with the state of New York — to the generation of new algorithmic strategies in order to capture as many reversals as Tadrus Capital LLC can from markets. Mina says that he overcomes this challenge by being a relentless problem solver and thinking outside the box, noting that thinking outside the box is the key to being a master of one’s craft.

Preparing for a Trading Career

Interested in pursuing a career in quantitative alternative asset management? Mina is always keeping an eye out for keen talent.

He notes that investment management and trading the global financial markets can be a very difficult field to enter. He recommends that people interested in this career path should learn how to code using Pine Script, MQL5, C#, or other simple languages designed for trading in order to generate strategy ideas and quantify risk.

Mina says, “In addition, prospective traders should be very wary of those who claim to give away their secrets and teach others how to trade for $500. That makes no sense at all. If someone has a trading secret, they would guard it with their life and not sell it for $500.

“Additionally, their time would be better used to trade rather than teach others. My perspective is that they need to learn it on their own or find mentors who are willing to teach them for free.”

Mina Tradrus and wife
Mina Tradrus and his wife.

Mina also observes that even when traders know how to trade successfully, they still need a lot of capital if they’re looking to quit a traditional job and trade full time. To assist other traders, Tadrus Capital LLC created the Emerging Trader Program.

This program provides high leverage and capital to traders, and grants up to $30 million in buying power to each trader. The traders keep 50% of the net profits that they generate.

Mina says, “We don’t tell the traders which assets to trade or how to trade them. This program is designed for those who already know what they’re doing, and simply want more capital to trade.”

Mina is always striving to better himself for his family, his company and his investors. He notes, “I’m proud of my firm and its people who can provide absolute returns regardless of market conditions. They’re a team of solid traders and executives.

“Without them, my company wouldn’t be the same. I have to give credit to my wife; I couldn’t accomplish any of this without her. She was there from the beginning.”

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