Dejan Ilijevski has over 15 years in the trading/financial services industry. As a rookie trader in 2002, and consistently for many years thereafter, Dejan was the highest grossing trader in a proprietary trading group, routinely trading over $1 Billion/day and more than 1% of the global daily 10-year US Treasury note volume.
Early in his trading career Dejan had an “aha” moment when he realized that the professionals couldn’t consistently time the markets or pick securities that outperform. It turned out that the odds of making it as a trader were not only incredibly slim (~95% of those who tried failed), but also those that did succeed found an edge by swing trading market volatility in the short term, rather than trying to outwit the markets in the longer term.
If the professional traders with their state of the art trading platforms, market modeling technology, and news aggregation services aren’t able to consistently outguess the markets, then it didn’t make sense to pay a premium to brokers and financial advisors who tout their supposed skill. Broker-advisors are nowhere near as sophisticated as the professional traders. Those who claim to be able to “beat” the markets are misleading their clients. And it turns out that decades of data, academic research, and real-world evidence indicate this to be the case. Most active money managers do not do better than would be expected by chance and a recent study found that only the top 2-3% could cover their cost (check out the Learn More section).
Unfortunately, speculation and other Wall Street gimmicks–like stock picking and market timing–happen to generate high fees and commissions, which means that investors will continue to be sold that nonsense. The industry as a whole has been slow to move toward a fiduciary standard of care in which all licensed financial professionals legally must give advice that is in their clients’ best interest.
For many years Dejan advised his friends and family on investing by emphasizing discipline, reality-proven principles, and financial science. He established Sabela Capital Markets in order to provide clients the same fiduciary standard of care and a refreshing alternative to the conventional approach to investing.
Dejan earned an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (ranked 1st in the U.S. News 2019 Best Business School rankings). He completed part of the curriculum requirements at the school’s campuses in Singapore and London. Dejan also has degrees in computer science (MS) and chemistry (BS). As a sophomore in college, based on academics and a vigorous interview process, he was awarded early acceptance to medical school (Medical College of Wisconsin). Nevertheless, after finishing his last semester of college abroad, he decided to take a gap year and travel. Subsequently, rather than starting medical school, his interest in the sciences led him to research.
Prior to joining Chicago’s “Wall Street”, Dejan worked as a research chemist on diverse projects, including a novel fuel cell technology, waste-water purification for the International Space Station, and metal-coating technology for catalyst adsorption. He helped commercialize plastics additives and adsorbents used in oil processing. He also worked as a database administrator, designing and coding solutions to enterprise-wide system requirements, and quickly developed a successful career spanning research and technology. Throughout his career, Dejan built a reputation for excelling academically and professionally, with confidence in his learning agility to not shy away from new challenges.
Expertise in Capital Markets
In 2002, Dejan was recruited to join a start-up proprietary trading group in Chicago. With his initial success, he rapidly rose from being a novice to mentoring other traders, and was quickly promoted to an executive.
As Vice President and as Director of Discretionary Trading Operations, Dejan was commissioned to various strategic roles in business development. Among his many accomplishments, Dejan developed and executed the firm’s innovation strategy, transitioning the business from a small, manual trading shop into a major technology-based proprietary trading firm. He then implemented a business model that introduced scalability and centralized risk management, and led the design and development of an innovative, industry-leading trading software, ensuring the firm’s ongoing competitiveness. He also performed quantitative analysis on spread trading performance data and supplemented his findings with qualitative analytics, in turn, enabling traders to make better decisions faster. Essentially, Dejan built and sustained positive relationships with clients and colleagues within and outside the firm in order to get things done.
After earning his MBA, he left the trading industry to fulfill his longstanding goal of starting an independent fiduciary investment services firm based on integrity, transparency, and financial science.