To Broke and Back Again, A Traders Tale to Consistency & Profitability
It was April of 2011 and I was basically a full time online poker player playing several cash games and tournaments on a daily basis, making a very good living, as I developed these skills ever since I was about 8 years old and beating adults at cards. Then, in one violent manner, I woke up on the infamous Black Friday and was basically out of a job.
What do I do now? I thought to myself, Do I want to go find a full time job and work for “the man” or do I want to continue with my lifestyle of doing what I wanted each and everyday. The choice, was obvious, the solution, however, was an entirely different story. At that time, I had quite a bit of cash sitting (and praying I could get out) of my two online poker accounts. This was money the wife and I were basically living on, so I had to be careful with it and not risk it all on something stupid, so I stumbled across this new world of online day trading, thinking to myself, “Can’t be much harder than poker” and that is where this tale begins.
I had an old Scottrade account I opened back when I made my very first trade buying, yes the now famous, FNMA at around 1.45 in 2008 with the old trading advice I knew of the time, which was, buy low sell high. I figured, dang this was just $60 a year ago, its got to go back up. A year later in 2009 and about $1500 on a loss on FNMA I gave up and continued with the poker. So, I decided to fund my old account with around $2000 out of the poker money I had and just trade whatever was going up and hope for the best. I can still remember to this day first couple of trades with that money.
#1 I bought COOL at around 1.86 (Pre-split) and sold it a few weeks later around 2.25 or so, easy money I thought, this trading this is going to be a walk in the park!
#2 I then traded (what I had no idea at the time) an APS promotion stock of a symbol I cannot recall (a very old biotech one) but I remember looking at the chart, I a nice steady upward trend from the beginning until I bought it. I recall going all in (my ego caused this) on that chart saying, just buy and hold, “to the moon!” So a buy in the high 2.40’s and selling just a couple weeks later around .40 I learned the hard way what a penny stock promotion was, time to start over.
After the pump and dump fiasco I wanted to learn a little bit more about these so called “Pump and Dumps” I did the normal searches online and found Tim Sykes. I joined his service and followed a lot of his alerts for a few months, with no real major success and a lot of arguments with him in the chat. I knew this could be done, “you can make money trading” I said to myself, this guy did it, so can I. I reviewed every single one of his free videos and lessons trying to actually learn how to trade these stocks, which eventually did help. Another $2,000 playing and losing on pump and dumps later (stuck long and all in on SNPK), I wanted to just give up and I did for a while.
Late 2011 – Early 2012
It was around this time I was absolutely hating my day job and kept watching traders I valued on twitter just make a killing, and really I just cared about a living, just being able to do what you want, when you wanted to, is the real gift of being a trader. This was were I found myself in the future, regardless of how long it was going to take me and the amount of attempts it was going to take, I was, for lack of a better term, “all in” on eventually becoming a full time day trader. I eventually did some more searches around the net and found this one guy running day trading chat room that looked pretty legit. He was offering a free 7 day trial so I gave it a shot. This guy was Nathan Michaud or @investorslive on twitter.
After the free seven day trial and my non PDT account with only $2,500 in it I found that he was usually dead on with the calls but I just could not replicate them as I was just limited to my broker. So changing my email and joining under another alias and email ( which I am sure Tim Grittani did too 🙂 ) I took another free trial, but Nate figured out I was the same guy and eventually said, “Look, get serious and join, or stop wasting yours and my time with these free trials” Looking back on this, I wish I just joined and took it serious, but I just couldn’t at the time justify spending $100 a month on a chat room, I said to myself “no way this is worth it” I can get all the info I need for free on the internet, on my own I went, again…..
After several months of up and downs with playing just about every single stock you can think of, subbers, pennies, promos, low-floaters and even big boards I was pretty much dead even with my original $2500 from months ago. Contemplating again, “did I really want to try and do this as a career eventually, It’s already been a year and I still suck at trading” that little area in the deep recess of my brain kept whispering to me “keep learning and keep trading, regardless of the outcomes right now, because, someday, it will be worth it.” Like Frodo with the one ring, I had to accomplish this goal I had in my mind, no matter the struggles. So continuing with the journey of absorbing and learning as much as I could all while still watching my twitter follows to snag anything free I could get out of them.
Then came the insane low float runners of 2012, nearly back to back they came and went. These are the ones the you will never forget just like the VLTC of 2015. ROSG and LIVE were the ones you just couldn’t take your eyes of for about two weeks just watching each one made you think, THIS IS WHY I TRADE, these moves can grow you account like crazy, which both did, as I caught ROSG nearly on the bottom of the day 3 consolidation at around 4.30 and sold just a day later around 7.80 (thing ran to $23 two days later, for those that never saw it) I was elated, 1 trade and I nearly had about $5,000 now. Then just a week later, I see this Superman Guy on Twitter touting LIVE, over and over he kept tweeting about LIVE, LIVE this LIVE that. I was like, “who is this pumper guy” but he intrigued me, so I followed him. The next week that enused blew me away, LIVE (pre-split) ran from $5 to $18 and the @super_trades legend was born in my mind (boy o boy did he explode after this one!)
I decided to give it a go again with Investorslive chatroom, only for one month at a time and with a new (very tiny) Suretrader again as well. I found that this new broker and the abilities it give me with under $25,000 was surreal, I felt like I was un-cuffed and could trade as I saw fit, this new freedom however came with the desire to trade just about every single alert in the chat, I was selling a holding I had for only 5 mins, regardless if it was up or down just to be in the next trade. I again, found myself seriously unprepared for this style of trading vs. what I had been doing the months and years prior. Trading in just 100 & 200 share positions was the only thing I could really force myself to do, so I could learn what the hell I was doing vs. just trading alerts jumping in and out all day. Then I asked myself, probably the most important question any aspiring trader or should, “Why am I entering this position? Why am I just doing what someone else is doing, if I don’t know why they are doing it?”
Queue that light bulb moment. I finally took another step back and wanted to figure this question out, it seemed quite simple really, but the actual depth behind it was much more. I had to once again retrain myself to trade, and this time, only enter trades based on my own logic and reasoning. This reasoning lead me to not renew the chat service and close my Suretraders account as I knew if I didn’t, I would stay in the room and only be trading Nates and other Mod’s alerts.
During nearly all of 2013 and most of 2014 I just went and did things on my own with little to no success, trading a few times here and there, I had some other personal things going on that caused me to not focus on trading as much so it sort of took a back seat during my life. Then late in 2014 I hit a quick and, one of my biggest trades at the time of over $2,000ish. Nate had come out with his 1st DVD Textbook Trading, I had been bugging him during the entire time it was release for free info and just decided to buy the damn thing. Now, one thing I will say about the DVD, it was worth every red cent I spend on it, to be able to get information from someone as successful as him and the knowledge I knew would be on there was just huge. My trading quickly changed, it was like the elvish bread that was missing on my journey into Mordor.
Next thing I knew I was slowly seeing success in each trade I was taking, knowing why I was entering, the reason and logic behind each trade were there before I entered the position. I knew what I was going to happen if A happened or B happened in the stock, my mental stop losses were set on each and every trade. I was cruising along with profits on what felt like 7 out of 10 trades, things were starting to feel like I wasn’t actually doing this, the good time had to end….I mean they did before, so they should again, right? With each trade things kept becoming clearer and clearer.
Then the twitter post came from Nate “Early bird special on Tandem Trader” the sequel to Textbook Trading!! I just had to have it, I bought the pre-sale the next day.
This long awaited 2nd installment was again, worth each penny. This DVD included a lot of subtle things that I guarantee you will miss the 1st and 2nd time you watch it. I had to watch it three times just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything the first two go-arounds. I still reference sections of it when I see a chart pop up that reminds me of an idea he talked about as it is happening in real time, and that can make a HUUUUGE difference. I recommend picking this up and watching it over and over, take a few weekends to really adsorb ever little detail of it because it completely changed how I traded, even after Textbook Trading.
So here we are now, in one of the craziest markets I have seen since I have started, so many things are happening each and every day. Opportunities galore! Just make sure that you have the education and knowledge to take advantage of these situations, so that YOU know what to do with your trades. This year will be filled with some great things, along with another announcement I will add to the bottom of this post in the coming months. I hope you take this post as whatever guidance or assistance you may need for those future “back of the brain” thoughts and never give up on what you want in life.
P.S. Don’t become a troll when you fail and give up, because the trolls live in a cave and wallow in self pity, instead, become an eagle, and help those in need in their hour of desperation on Mount Doom. Cheers!