Five years ago this very weekend I opened up my first stock chart and thought, “what the hell am I looking at?” Moving averages what? Stochastics huh? RSI who? And what are Japanese candlesticks?! Y’all… I was literally googling things like “what’s a call option?”
I was absolutely clueless!
Stocks had always interested me, but I didn’t have any money to trade so I never pursued it. In 2012 I finally got a little scratch together and thought I’d give it a shot.
And of course I lost money… I started out trading options - took me all of 6 weeks to realize that wasn’t working. So I took a step back… I continued learning, continued studying, continued googling terms I didn’t understand, and most importantly I continued watching the market.
I lost money in 2012… but in 2013 I got hot! Instead of buying options, I was selling them and collecting the premium. I primarily played credit put spreads… and man, I was rolling. I did well in 2013 and thought, “I got this thing figured out!”
You can guess what happened next… I got off to a fast start in 2014, but by the end of that summer I had found myself in some very toxic positions - losers that I had continued adding to (BIG mistake). I got SMOKED in 2014 - and I almost quit.
In fact I took off several months. I even moved some trading money out of my account and into my Roth IRA. I was spinning my wheels at this point. I spent WAY too much time trying to trade and made ZERO $$$ - hell I was LOSING $$$!
But for some reason I didn’t give up… In 2015 I was able to make some good plays here and there. I found success in trading stock only. Now look, some people may be successful option traders but I ain’t one of ‘em! Even though I lost money in 2015, I FINALLY started learning the most important lesson in trading - CUT YOUR LOSERS!
In 2016 I found my groove. It’s hard to explain, but I started seeing charts patterns very differently. I knew what I liked and what I didn’t like. I knew what had the best chance of success and what didn’t. It became intuitive. Next thing I know I’m two months into the year and I’m like, “wow, I’m on FREAKING fire!”
Sure I had my struggles last year, but I was able to bounce back from every draw-down. For me, the key was NO ACCOUNT CRUSHING LOSSES! None, ZERO, not a one! And THAT’S why 2016 was my best year ever!
2017 is off to an even better start and I’m proud that I can finally call myself A PROFITABLE TRADER!
Now look, I get that it sounds stupid to celebrate making like $1,300 for 5 years of work - that’s like .0000000001 cent an hour, BUT I really don't care! I love this shit! And I can say what 95% of traders can’t - “I’m profitable.”
I’m certainly not writing any of this to brag - truthfully I have little to boast about. But I do share this to encourage you folks out there! If I can do this - so can you. Growing up I was an average student… I spent 6 years in undergrad (I liked to drink a lot), worked in the TV business, and now spend my days between non-profit work and media production.
I’m not the smartest or most talented guy out there, but dammit I’ve worked my ass off learning this craft from the ground-up, I manage my risk, I kill losers dead in there tracks, I wish I rode winners better (I still suck at that) and this is the most important thing - I NEVER QUIT!
Here’s to 5 more years!