My Story

Hey my friend, thanks for stopping by!

Are you a beginner and have just started trading and it is overwhelmed with so much information to process? Are you someone who have been trading for a while but but just can't see your goals materialize?

Maybe you are planning to leave your job and start trading for a living or you just want to daytrade successfully and generate an extra income.

Or simply put, all you want is to enjoy some freedom of time, make more money and have a better quality of life.

Regardless where you are coming from and where you want to go to, I've good news: you’ve come to the right place!

I have been where you're in and have made it my mission to help people just like you skip over the overwhelming parts of trading by using my method, strategies, tools, resources and processes so that you can trade with confidence, accelerate your learning curve, make money consistently and go after your trading and life goals, whatever they are.

It is not an easy journey, but it is rewarding. Let me share my story with you...

I'm just an ordinary person who decided to have an extraordinary life.

I’m Marcelo Alvarenga, a full-time day trader, entrepreneur, trading coach, and mentor. 

I'm also the founder of Spike Trader Academy, a company specialized in software, tools, resources, and professional trading education for traders worldwide.

I'm a family man. I'm married to my lovely wife, Caterine, and we're blessed to have one little angel with us who changed our lives. We all live happily and together in Orlando, Florida.

I'm not special in any way, shape, or form, but deep inside, I always believed life was much more than what I was experiencing around me. 

I was born in Brazil, and like most people from undeveloped countries, I had so many financial struggles growing up. My parents worked very hard to build a tiny house just outside one of the most dangerous "favelas" in São Paulo, where I lived most of my life. 

My first job was at 13, waking up at 2 am every day to deliver newspapers across the city and bring some money to help my family. From a very early age, I understood that if I wanted to achieve anything in life, I was supposed to roll up my sleeves and go to work.

This work ethic was a pivotal factor in climbing the career ladder in the corporate world. I was invited in 2012 by a multinational corporation to move to the United States (that's how we came here) as their new Senior Director. I was responsible for generating +$15m in sales for the company in the first two years and have received several awards.

Although I could consider myself highly successful from a corporate career point of view, I knew I could do more with my life. I had a job but didn't have time freedom and didn't feel happy. The feeling of trusting my family's future to an employer was suffocating me.

And that's precisely where trading comes into my story...

It didn't start as I expected...

I started trading back in 2007. In my first trade, the stock I bought went up 49% in one day, which fascinated me. Nonetheless, I had much more losing than winning trades overall. I was buying and selling stock trading forums experts. They were the only way to have a sense of community and receive some trading education at that time. 

Things went from bad to worse in 2008. I had no idea that a financial crisis was approaching the world (Who knew it, right?). After seeing vast drawdowns of 10%, 20%, and 40% in my portfolio, I decided to liquidate all my positions (I didn't know about stop-loss) just before the stock market recovery in 2009 and 2010.

As you can see, my first years as a trader were not very promising. Well, at least I realized, before losing all of my money, that trading is not for amateurs. The game is hard to play if you don't have a competitive advantage.

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost 

Time to invest in my trading education

Despite all losing and struggles, it was crystal clear to m that I wanted to become a full-time trader. I was still fascinated by all possibilities that trading could give me. I'd do anything to achieve my goals, no matter how long they'd take.

Then, in 2011, I decided to invest in my trading education, which I should have done well before placing all those my clueless trades.

If I wanted to stop losing trade after trade, I had to start doing something different. I hired professional traders as my mentors to teach me all about their strategies, mindset, trading habits, routine, and how they read the market. I bought all technical indicators, trading systems, ran countless backtests, read dozens of books, and participated in several trading workshops and seminars. 

Although I was still not at the level of consistency I was aiming for, I must say that I was so close to turning things around. After learning from people more experienced than me, I gained so much knowledge about the markets developed a strong feeling that sooner or later, everything that I was so eager to conquer would eventually happen.

It was just a matter of time...

My simple discovery

It didn't take long to realize that most of my trading issues were related to the way I was reading the market. And if I wanted to become a successful trader (and I wanted bad enough), something had to change with my trading approach.

That was when combined with all my learning and my observation, I had understood three simple principles that I got wrong over the years, and most traders still don't realize these days:

  1. Context is everything - I was trying to read the markets with a very mechanical, binary approach. Maybe as a product of all trading indicators I tried over the years or perhaps because it was easier to "read" the markets with trading signals. Either way, I realized that my approach had to change. Market context should be a priority. And I took it very seriously.
  2. It is all relative - This is one of my "aha" moments early on. I was given the same weight for everything. I had my setups, but I was not adding relativity into the equation. Most often than not, this led to avoidable trading losses. Things changed for me when I became aware of this and started putting the right weight on setups, patterns, momentum, etc.
  3. It comes down to execution - When I mastered #1 and #2 above, I got better and better at trading. I was close to developing my trading method and building crucial strategies to trade the markets. However, I was still making several mistakes when executing my trades, either because of a lack of clarity or my emotions. That was the moment when I started developing my trading execution process. Look, not all traders can develop good trading methods, but some will be able to do it. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how well you can execute it.

The hard work over the years allowed me to build an excellent trading framework. I had a robust method with different strategies for different market conditions, trading execution processes, and a mental system to guide me during the day. 

I have been trading the same way since then, and more recently, I was able to "download" all this knowledge and create what I now call the Simple Trading Formula.

Dreams that come true 

Not long after I started trading the markets with my trading framework (which later on I renamed as Simple Trading Formula), things started improving for me. I had positive results over and over. I still have losing days and weeks, but overall, I can keep my average winners above my average losses by a good margin. 

Then, when I finally became a consistently profitable trader in 2015, I decided to trade full-time. I left my corporate position as Senior Director in a Telecommunication company and took another critical step in my trading journey.

It has been one of the best decisions of my whole life. I was making money from home and enjoying my new life of being my own boss. I was so much happier, healthier, and fulfilled than before. 

And then, I started having an internal debate in my head. Should I share my trading knowledge with others the same way other successful traders shared theirs with me? 

I decided to give it a shot. In 2018 I created a small project to teach what I knew about trading to a limited group of people. We've had about 300 traders in our community, and the outcome of my first experience teaching trading was outstanding.

I was thrilled with all feedback. Other than rating my course at 4.91 out of 5, my students impressed me with their performance and trading achievements. 

Profitable or at Breakeven after 12 months
Profitable after 12 months
Not Profitable after   12 months
Went broke after 12 months

When I saw that more than 2/3 of my students were not losing, nobody in the group went broke at trading (what I teach is safe), and about 40% were consistently profitable (what I teach works), this gave me confidence and lots of joy. 

Over the years, we've heard that only 5% (or less) of retail traders make money in the financial markets. Well, we were able to deliver results higher than the industry average. Not just higher but 7X higher!

Building something to be proud of...

These excellent results motivated me to start a company, build a professional educational program, and make it available for traders worldwide. This project took almost two years to be completed (I wanted to do it right), and the Spike Trader Academy was launched. That is where I teach my method, the Simple Trading Formula, and guide my students to become consistently profitable daytraders.

I realized that I could change people's lives. I have heard many stories from people who lost lots of money in trading. Not all people will succeed at trading. This is a fact. But I know I can help many avoid failure, guide those serious people to a successful path and change their lives.

It took me years to start making some money with trading, but you can figure this out faster than I did. My students are not different than you, and they are killing it.

I believe that you were made for a purpose. I’m no different than you. We all have the same potential and capabilities. We just need to push through the fears and confusion and reach the next level.

I'm ready to guide you if you’re excited to do the same. It is not an easy journey, and you must do your part. But I know you’re ready to do the work. Otherwise, you wouldn't be still here reading my story. 



  • I'm a proud father of an autistic kid who makes my day every time he calls me "daddy." He changed me forever and taught me that nothing in life can be taken for granted.
  • I love traveling. I have visited 40+ countries around the world and some of them several times. 
  • I love sports. I'm a fanatic tennis, soccer, basketball, and football fan in no particular order.
  • I love dogs. One of the worst days of my life was to say goodbye to our 11-year old Golden Retriever, who passed in 2021. Miss you, bud!
  • I love writing. I have a goal on my "Bucket List" to write a book.
  • I love teaching. I met my wife in the classroom.  I was her teacher, and few a years later, we got married (true story!) 🙂

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