Meet Alberto, FXStreet’s Spanish Forum Manager

We are headquartered in Barcelona but FXStreet wouldn’t be the same without its international co-workers. And that’s why today we want to present you Alberto Muñoz, FXStreet’s Spanish Forum Manager. On this interview, he explains to us how is for him working from home in Madrid and how hard is the life of a forum moderator. What is more, and it might surprise you, discover what was one of his first jobs before landing in the financial world.

Alberto at work

Alberto Muñoz Cabanes
Alberto Muñoz Cabanes

First of all, how does a day in the life of the Spanish Forum Manager at FXStreet look?

Well it’s like a… roller coaster! 😀 Seriously speaking, there are days when there’s low activity and days when a lot of users decide to ask questions about Forex or some of them decide to start a quarrel for any insignificant reason and you have to intervene and ban a user. At the end, that means that you’re 24/7 watching the forum to avoid any conflict and help users. 

In my experience, I think that the key traits to moderate a forum is being patient and empathic, which usually helps to overcome any difficult situation though sometimes is hard to be unbiased.

You work as a professor at UNED, a Spanish distance learning university. What do you enjoy the most about teaching students?

Well, it’s definitely a great challenge because most of my relationship with the students is by email or in forums so at the end I have to use the same skills that I would use to moderate any other forum: be patient, try to help everyone and “walk in the student shoes” to understand their needs and personal situation.

Anyway, from time to time you manage to put a face on some students when they visit you in the Faculty (or even invite you to have lunch!). 

Following the work topic related questions, is there any aspect of your job that would you like to change?  

Fortunately, I’m very happy with my job so I wouldn’t change anything as it allows me to organize my time as I want. Anyway, if I had to change anything at Forex.es, I would love that spammers stop posting on the forum: it’s very boring to keep deleting their messages 😀

In the case of the university, I would love to see more public investment in education and research in Spain as we have a great human capital that it’s fleeing away because there are not many opportunities or motivation for researchers.

About your professional career, what are the main goals that you want to achieve?

In the short term, my main goal at university is to improve my job conditions moving to a better contract, which requires publishing articles in renowned academic journals. This is a very time-consuming task as you need to find a magical idea, develop it and test it, and after that pray that the reviewers at the journal consider your article for publication (which it’s not always granted).

In a more wider perspective, I would love to make something bigger in the financial world, although regulation doesn’t make things easy.

And now it’s time to confess… Would you change something about your boss or co-workers?

Errr… next question? 😀 No, seriously speaking I feel happy that most of my co-workers are there to help. In the case of FXStreet, any time that I have had a problem or a technical issue, I’ve got a quick reply. So no complaints here.

Alberto in his personal life

What do you typically do after work?

Well, there’s not too much spare time after work because… I have three kids! :D. I spend the evening with my wife and the kids helping them with their homework. They are also on the swimming team at school, training until 7 pm most of the days. I’m sure they will be great swimmers in the next years (in fact our team finished second in Madrid last season).

You live in Madrid… What do you think of the Catalan Independence, known as #Catalexit?

I think that there has to be a dialogue and agree on a referendum about the independence of Catalonia, but unfortunately, the current leaders (Rajoy and Puigdemont) aren’t probably the best intermediaries to solve the problem.

Anyway, I’m sure that there’s a lot of people, both in Spain and in Catalonia, that would love that politicians reach an agreement instead of increasing the fracture.

Do you have any specific hobby that you would like to share with us?

I love listening to music! I’m all the day listening to new bands and genres, plugged into Spotify. My favorite style is electronic music, call it ambient, house, techno or IDM. But I can suddenly listen to classical music, jazz or gothic rock on my speakers, so I could say I’m quite eclectic.

Also when I was young I worked as a DJ and a musician for a few years but unfortunately I don’t have time anymore (hope one of the kids will like to mix in the future, now they all love music and play the piano very well).

My other great passion, as you may know, is trading in financial markets. Designing a trading strategy and testing it is a fascinating task indeed. Currently, I’m using several tools that literally produce thousands of strategies in a few hours that you can analyze and try later. This would be unthinkable a few years ago but nowadays technology makes it possible.

Alberto with Setxi, FXStreet’s CEO, during the second ITC conference (2008)

You were a DJ and a musician and maybe this is a tough question but… what is your favorite singer or band of all time?

Hmmm, a difficult question as my likes depends on my mood during the day or the week.  Probably my most-listened album is “The White Room” by The KLF; when I was 14 I was able to listen to it 3-4 times a day, nowadays there’s no year that passes without listening to this album.

Apart from this, my most recent discoveries are Beach House, Delaporte, Labradford and an amazing Catalan piano composer: Federico Mompou.  Of course, ask me again next month and the list will probably change 😛

What movie/TV-show/book would you recommend us?

I love to watch TV shows with my wife on weekends! In fact, it’s our favorite moment of the week: after having lunch, time for coffee and we watch the most recent chapter of our favorite TV show. Currently, we’re watching Mr. Robot (the last season, probably one of the best TV shows in the last years IMHO) and The Young Pope. Also, we just finished Episodes (do you remember Matt LeBlanc (Friends)? Well, just think of him acting like him in his real life 😀 ). Unfortunately, we don’t have time enough to go to the cinema but from time to time we manage to go to watch movies with special effects, like Star Wars.

Regarding books, now I’m reading “2023: A Trilogy” written by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty (do you remember The KLF? It’s a famous electronic music band that burnt 1 million pounds and videotaped… Weird!). It’s a very interesting dystopia where companies have bought countries and so on.

This month is the so-called Black Friday and Cyber Monday… Do you prefer online shopping or in-store shopping?

If you have asked me this question a few years ago I would have told you that I prefer in-store shopping but nowadays it’s as easy as 1-2-3 to buy anything you want in just a few clicks.

In fact, I buy most of the things I use through online services: food, books, perfumes, toys… The only thing that I like to buy in-store is clothing, even that sometimes I check online before deciding what to buy so I just go to the store and take it.

Are you planning to travel for Christmas? If so, where? And if not, what are you planning for Christmas?

No plans for Christmas so far, but maybe we make a quick trip to La Vera (Extremadura, South-West of Spain) on New Year’s Eve, as my mother-in-law has a nice and quiet country house there.

Do you like sports? If so, tell us your favorite team!

I enjoy watching football matches, especially those where great teams such as Barcelona or Real Madrid play. Regarding this topic, I think I’m not going to have any problem with anyone at FXStreet as I’m an Atletico de Madrid fan, a great team with great values (though be prepared to suffer… a lot 😛 ). 

 

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