I am an enthusiastic user of Stocktwits and every once in a while there is someone whose profile I see and think I would like to know more about that person. This recently happened with @alia1977 Looking at her tweets for the last couple of weeks I was surprised how much I discovered about her life.

Like most people on twitter, I notice when someone retweets the information I post.  I like to know if people find my work, or the things I link to, interesting and a retweet says that someone wants to share it with their readers.  When I saw “Alia” retweet me twice in one day I noticed it and clicked on her profile.  Of course, it may seem unfair to some, but her cute picture increased my chances of clicking, sometimes that’s how the world works from a male perspective.

When I read her profile I saw that Alia was from Kuwait, I was highly intrigued by that.  I don’t think I have ever met someone from Kuwait and I definitely don’t know anyone who actually lives in that mysterious (at least to me) part of the world.  My knowledge of geography sucks, probably because I don’t have a lot of international travel experience, but I knew that it bordered Iraq.

I wondered how she could be tweeting from a dictatorship country where the media was strictly controlled (or at least it was maybe heavily censored) by the governing body.  I then realized that I should look at a map and read wikipedia about the country because my ignorance was apparent even to me.  Why would I assume it is a dictatorship?  Don’t judge me..

Wikipedia taught me that Kuwait means “a fortress built near water”, they have a population of 3.6 million, and some other facts.  As an American, I wondered if the word “Kuwait” would mean much to me if it were not for “Desert Shield” and “Desert Storm” after the Iraqi invasion of their seemingly peaceful, oil rich country in 1990.  I didn’t know that Kuwait “paid the coalition forces US$17 billion for their war efforts”  You don’t always hear (or remember) the good parts of the story like that.  You can read all of historical facts about Kuwait here but I want to tell the story of Alia now.

I didn’t know how to pronounce the name “Alia” but after reading it out loud, my mind recalled this catchy song from the 1980’s “Ah Leah” by Donnie Iris.

I sent her the link and she answered back that she had never heard that song before but it was how her name was pronounced.  I thought, cool now I will think of a woman in Kuwait when I hear that song, I don’t think I’ve ever known a girl named Leah.

I haven’t met Alia and probably never will,  but I did exchange a few direct messages on twitter and then traded email addresses.  Here is what I know so far.   She is “addicted to trading.”  She works during the day as a trader of Kuwaiti markets and then trades the US markets independently after work, her trading day is 14 hours long.

I would guess from her picture and the energy it takes to trade 14 hours that she is ~ 25-30 years old?  Actually my better guess would be 34 because her twitter name is @alia1977 and that is probably the year she was born.  She also mentions being an Aquarius in her tweets so I’m guessing that she will turn 35 early next year.

As I looked at her tweets I learned a little more about her, If I could read Arabic I would know even more.

I decided that it would be fun to ask Alia some questions about trading, life in the Middle East and see where the conversation went.  Here’s what we discussed.

Hi Alia.  Thanks for taking me up on this weird request to ask you some questions.

Let me first say that I know very little about your culture so if I say anything offensive I don’t mean it that way, it is just my ignorance, okay?

Do you wear a burka to work?  Don’t answer that, I was kidding..

How did you get into trading?

I heard about the stock markets when I was young then I leaned it by myself.  It became a hobby, but now it is my career, I`m an asset management-manager at an investment company.

What is your educational background and do you think it has helped you become a better trader?

Bachelors, Political Science from Kuwait University. No, it has not been helpful to my development as a trader.

There are a lot of articles I have seen which basically conclude women are wired better genetically to trade than men.  What is your opinion of that?

I don’t think so, maybe men are more risk than women and women are more conservative than men in trading.

Do Kuwaiti women have the same opportunities as men in trading and in general?

Of course yes, we have the same opportunities in trading and in general .  Women run the parliament.

Your favorite color is black, you describe it as the perfect color, why is that?
There is no reason it’s just my favorite color and I love it, it’s the perfection color as many people say.

What do you think are some of the most important characteristics of being a consistently profitable trader?
Trade without emotions

Follow your sense

I saw some tweets mentioning you are an Aquarius. Do you believe there are certain zodiac signs which are better suited to trading?

This question needs study, but I think yes because there are always winners and losers in the market and each zodiac is different than other, so it’s all about personality in the trading.
How would you describe your trading/investing approach and style.  I saw you say that “news always follows price” do you believe that or was it a generalization?

Yes I believe that always because the technical analysts draw their charts then the news typically follows the charts, whether the news is good or bad.
Do you think that mean women make more money than less aggressive, nicer women?  Are you a mean woman at work?  Your tweets seem friendly so I doubt it..

Neither mean women nor less aggressive women, only the smart woman can make more money.  No I’m not a mean woman at work, I’m friendly J
I saw that you fulfilled a dream to paraglide recently, congratulations.  Are there mountains in Kuwait to do that from?

No we don’t have mountains, I did it in Turkey

If I have your age correct then you were a young teen when Kuwait was invaded by Iraq, what are some of your memories from that?

Bad memories and I don’t want to talk about it

What are your favorite markets to trade?


What is your favorite time of year to be living in Kuwait?  The summers look to be brutally hot, do you like that heat?

I am used to the heat and I love summer more than winter.

Are apples your favorite fruit and are the difficult to find there?

No, I don’t like apple as fruit, I like apple as stock, it is my favorite stock $aapl

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.