This is the big day! For over a year I’ve been working on a special feature for my blog where ordinary everyday people turned traders would answer a few questions. I hope this feature will help guide many as they decide if trading is for them and who they should learn trading from. I also think many traders will benefit from learning how other traders are doing and what is or isn’t working for them. Each week I will highlight one trader until I have no responses left. If you would like to be one of my ‘ordinary everyday’ featured traders please shoot me an email.
So without further adieu…meet Kevin. He should really be one of those people in my People You Meet Along the Journey post because he is definitely one I would not have met had I not started trading. We met through my blog and he’s been my closest ‘trading friend’ since. We’ve been bouncing trades, stock market theories and life off one another for years now. Two weeks ago my family was fortunate to meet his beautiful wife and family as we passed through his neck of the woods for a wedding. They were gracious to open their home, table and lives with us as we talked well into the night. (At least it felt that way since we all have very little ones.) Okay okay enough with the rambling, here is a little Q & A with trader Kevin.
Q: How long have you been trading?
A: On and off for over 2 years.
Q: How many trades do you think you average per month or year?
A: When i am actively trading, I average about 5-10 trades a month.
Q: Why did you decide to start stock trading?
A: I was initially drawn in by radio ads from David Mitchel, and attended a 2 day seminar and enjoyed it a lot. But long before that, I believed (and still do) that the stock market is one of the few remaining level playing fields where anybody, regardless of background can make money with the right skills.
Q: Have you been to any NVOWS seminars? If so, which ones and what were
your thoughts on them?
A: I’ve attended seminar I twice, and seminar II three times. I enjoyed both seminars, but they tended to run much longer than needed. I think both could have been condensed into a 1 day seminar by omitting much of the up selling on their other seminars and products. The information from seminar I lays the foundation on knowing when to be in the markets and provides a basic strategy for market timing, and seminar II teaches options buying strategies using the same chart patterns taught in seminar I. The seminar speakers are knowledgeable and entertaining, but their presentations are basically derived from slides made by David Mitchel. Sometimes the information on the slides begs a question that goes un-asked, and I found that sometimes the best bits of information gleaned from attending the seminars came from privately asking the speaker during a break rather than during the actual presentation.
Q: Is stock trading what you expected?
A: Heck no. I never expected the emotional roller coaster it would turn out to be for me. I never expected it would be so tempting to not follow basic rules.
Q: What strategy do you prefer? (i.e. spreads, stocks, options, etc)
A: I prefer buying options, long calls and puts. Spreads come in at 2nd.
Q: Is there anything you know now that you wish you had known when you
A: Can the answer be “everything”? In all seriousness, if i had to give myself advice 2 years ago, i would say to stick to the basics, all of the fancy strategies you are tempted to try out are a dead end. Timing is everything and getting the stock direction right is only half the battle. Buy options with plenty of time till expiration to give your position time to work itself out. Don’t get greedy and take profits when you still have a chance. Don’t try to shadow the trades of a day trader who makes millions unless you are actually approved to day trade in your account. (I was dumb enough to try this).
Q: Are you consistently profitable?
A:Not at all. I’m consistently unprofitable. I’ve made thousands and lost thousands, but i’ve definitely lost more than i’ve made. Every loss is a lesson, and sadly i think learning the hard way seems to be the only way i’ll learn. On the bright side, I think i’m on my way to actually learning to not do dumb things.
Q: Would you recommend someone join Top Gun? Why or why not?
A: This is a tough question, because I want to say yes! absolutely join top gun! The information taught is good and solid and has the potential to earn you much more than you paid in tuition, but now that i’ve been around the block so to speak, I am a little hesitant to recommend. Why? Because the information is readily available for free elsewhere. The tricky part is knowing what information to seek out online. Listening to the wrong person can be very costly, which I know from experience. I am tempted to tell just a few key words you can google to find all the information you’d ever want, but maybe that’s not fair. You’ll just have to sign up for top gun. 🙂
Q: Besides NVOWS materials what other resources (books, websites, people, etc) do you use?
A: In no particular order: 1option.com
has a daily market analysis that is helpful. Even more helpful is his “options strategies” and “option Q & A” sections which are a goldmine of information. I also visit https://tradinglicks.wordpress.com/
which has a unique perspective on the market. The blog author invented a market timing indicator using volume alone and i think it can be a valuable tool to see which direction the big money is pointing towards. I also sometimes i listen to the market recaps from Brian Shannon, a certified market technician at http://alphatrends.tumblr.com/
. He has some enlightening blog entries as well. I’m also reading a book by Richard Wyckoff, one of the pioneers of technical analysis – the guy who coined the terms “support and resistance”. Much of his book is in harmony with NVOWS/David Mitchel, but his ideas on volume analysis are different (and better). The book is called “The Richard Wyckoff Method Of Trading and Investing in Stocks”
Anything else you’d want to add.
A: There is a reason most people lose money in the markets. It is hard! Don’t beat yourself up if you’re one of the 85% of market participants not making money. Keep at it, keep learning (from good sources teaching sound principles) and dont give up. A person who takes risks with his/her money is wiser than the person who sits on it, even if the risk does not end with reward. Money will come and go, but the experience and knowledge gained from participating in the stock market cannot be replaced. Many people after years of hard work and determination finally have their light bulb moment and began consistently making money, but prior risk and failure is almost surely a part of that path for most.