I’ve lost so much money over so many years trading stocks that I’ve simply lost track. For the last 5 years though, I have been successfully swing trading and pulling money out of the market…year after year. It wasn’t always like this though.
I have experienced amazing emotional highs where trade after trade have soared to heights I could never have imagined! I’ve also been in the depths of despair, as I literally watched myself hang onto trades as they knife lower and lower to a fraction of my initial investment.
I’ve self-sabotaged myself as a trader because I’m human, with flaws. With fear. With greed. I lost everything in my trading account, again and again. It wasn’t until stripped away my ego and accepted myself in a more open and kind way, that I started to become successful. I remind myself every day that I still have the traits that made me a loser. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is my awareness and acceptance of that simple fact, so I can save myself from the self-destructive trading habits that caused my failures. It keeps me grounded, humble…and profitable!
The Early Years
I’ve been interested in stocks and trading going back to elementary school. I remember scanning column after column of the stock tables in the newspaper. I’d try to find the stock that was up the most and thought it would be amazing to be able to know the day before, which of the stocks I was looking at now would be the big winner in the newspaper tomorrow. If I could only know which one to pick, and do that day after day, I would be rich!
In high school, I cobbled together enough to actually invest. I picked 3 stocks: Dell, Chock-full-o-nuts and Woolworth’s. This was when Dell wasn’t very well known, but I noticed during my summer internship at a U.S. Government agency I worked for, was buying them in droves for their office workers. Dell turned into the one of the biggest winners of the 90’s. The other two whimpered along. Looking back, I realized I had picked the other two dogs based on what some “expert” recommended in Business Week. Dell, I picked that one on my own. I could do this!
In the years since, I’ve tried countless trading techniques and plans. I tinkered with stock options, momentum, breakout and reversal strategies. I had some amazing successes, once taking $1,000 and blowing it up to over $40,000 in a matter of months….then promptly lost it all. Rinse…repeat, rinse…repeat.
There were times when I felt I could do no wrong, winner after winner. Then there were times I could not get out of my own way, botching one trade after another. During those bad patches, I would become desperate, throwing my money at anything passing by that had a hope of saving me. Of course, that never worked.
This emotional and financial roller-coaster went on for almost 15 years.
Something had to change.
After years of wild swings up and down, I was worn out, tired, depressed and confused. I didn’t want to think about trading at all. And for a few years, I didn’t do a damn thing. Over time, I started to realize that I had potential, because damn-it, there were times that I had significantly grown my stack! I realized that I had sabotaged myself because of my emotions…my greed and fear. I also didn’t have a firm grasp of even basic technical analysis.
I started reading books in earnest. You should see how many books I have on the shelves today! I learned a ton about stock trading strategies, patterns and technical indicators. But more importantly, I noticed some themes that re-appeared again and again across all of these books.
Two truths literally jumped out at me and slapped me across the face.:
- Limit your risk – don’t ever allow big losers
- Limit your emotions – don’t let greed and fear get the best of you
Not following these two basic trading rules had been the primary cause of my failures.
Getting On the Right Track
For the last 5 years, I’ve been consistently taking money out of the market and growing my trading account. By limiting my risks and not letting my emotions (most of the time) get the best of me, I think I’ve finally found the path I was meant to follow.
I’m a trader!
I’m Here to Help You
My mom was a teacher. My dad was a teacher. Maybe it’s in my blood, because I believe I can help pass along what I have learned to you. Do I have all the answers? Hell no. Do I make mistakes? Yep! All the time. Sometimes I still get too greedy. Here and there I let my emotions get the best of me. I’m human.
Am I an expert, a quant, a trader with a wall of monitors and a sophisticated, customized trading platform? F no!
I’ve got a simple laptop.
I use simple techniques.
I also have a full-time job,
I have 3 young kids and hardly any time to trade.
If you have read this far along here to the bottom of the page, I bet that you have also experienced many of the same highs and the lows? Maybe you are at a low point now. Surely you can improve your trading methods. There is always room for improvement. I know that I can get better, and try to do that every day.
Let’s trade together, work together.
I’d love to hear from you. Also, follow my blog to get updates on my latest posts, and let’s stay in touch!
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P.S. – What is the deal with the Greedy Goblin domain? It’s a fun way to remind myself that I’ve got to work every day to limit my risks and emotions. Don’t get to greedy and happy trading!