This is My Stock Trading Journey

Q & A With An Actual Trader- Kevin

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
first started?
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.

 

Trader August 13, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

$4.95! Here’s Your Chance!

Update: This offer from TSU has expired.

In several comments throughout my blog I’ve recommended people check out Trade Smart University as another great way to learn trading.  I know I’m long over due for a post about TSU.  I owe it all to you to outline the pros and cons of learning with their program along with a comparison between them and NVOWS.  That will come soon, but that is not what this post is about.  This post is to let you know that I just discovered they are having a sale until Monday where you can try their highest level membership for 30 days for $4.95!  This includes over 13 online on demand trading courses on things like options, credit spreads, gaps, candlesticks, etc. amounting in over 200 hours of training.  There are also 3 live online trading labs a week and Power Trader Live on Sunday nights.  They recently added a weekly ‘Trade Ideas’ that you’ll have access to as well.  $4.95!  Seriously!  I just didn’t want you to miss this price.  After you check them out make sure you comment below and tell everyone your thoughts.  We’re all in this together!

Some Questions To Ask Yourself When Considering Trading

After 3 years of trading I took a hiatus from trading to redo a house, move in and have a baby. During that time my husband asked me, “Do you miss it?”

I quickly answered (maybe a little too quickly), “No.” He looked at me a little surprised. I didn’t even have to think about it so I felt the need to explain to him and now you why I answered so quickly and in the process give you something to think about when considering if trading is for you. First I’ll ask you a few questions.

Do you enjoy unemployment numbers?

Do you look forward with interest to the upcoming government reports?

Do you enjoy following the economic and political situations and policies of Europe?

Do you operate well with your attention completely divided?

Can you give 100% of your effort to something and have it not pay off perhaps for years or perhaps ever and not become discouraged?

The reason I ask these questions is because I answer no to every single one and that is why I did not miss trading. It was WONDERFUL not knowing or caring when unemployment numbers came out or any other stupid number like durable goods, retail sales or housing starts. I loved ignoring Greece and bailout talk for a few months. It was so nice to not have to listen to everyone talk about how this is just such a ‘squirrelly’ market right now and trading will get easier. I’ve been hearing that same story for 4 years now by the way. No discouragement snuck in. When I wasn’t trading I didn’t have to second-guess myself.

But the best part was not having my attention divided. I didn’t have to try to sneak in chances to look through charts while my child was content for 5 no make that 3 minutes. I didn’t have to sneak glances at my phone when we’re on walks and stop my friend in mid sentence because a possible sell alert just went off. I was FREE!

Here is the honest truth. I don’t know any successful trader whose life doesn’t basically revolve around the markets and the news and reports. One must be on top of it  in order to make a go at it. That is why if you are considering trading you need to ask yourself the questions above because if you answer no to most of them, you might find yourself pretty miserable focusing so much attention on things you couldn’t care less about. Maybe it would be better to pursue something you love and are passionate about. Contrary to what you might hear, trading is not easy. You don’t learn a simple system in a weekend and become a success right away or at least not long-term anyway. Anyone can have a few trades go their way but to be successful through all sorts of markets takes YEARS of learning skills and practicing those skills all while paying close attention to markets and news and reports. If you answer yes to the above questions then even if you struggle to succeed at least you’ll be enjoying yourself and what you have immersed yourself in and that will help you immensely get through those hard years of learning.

Trader June 9, 2015 7 Comments Permalink

I Had a Baby Boy!

Birth Story Alert! I would like to be upfront that the following has nothing to do with my trading but I’d like this blog to be a place I can look back at and see a bit of what was going on in my life at the time.

April 1st I gave birth to my second son. I went to my weekly checkup that afternoon at three. Doc said I was at 5 cm. I was pretty excited. Halfway there right? I even had a contraction in front of the doctor and told her I was having one but wasn’t sure it was ‘real’ and not Braxton Hicks. She quickly said, “You don’t get to 5cm unless they’re real.” We joked about seeing each other later that night and off I went. Soon after I started my half hour drive home my contractions became very strong and so uncomfortable I could hardly focus on driving. I called my husband repeatedly but it kept going straight to voice mail. I knew his battery must have died and luckily I knew which field he was doing tractor work in so I drove straight there and told him I thought I was having the baby. He jumped in the car and we hurried home to grab the bags. As soon as the sitter showed up we started the 52 minute drive to the hospital. It was miserable. I was in so much pain I was punching the car window. My husband called ahead and 3 people met us at the door and immediately rushed me to OB. They discovered I was at 9 cm. To spare you any more details I’ll just say I got to the hospital about 6pm and delivered Winston at 7:38pm. My Doctor whom I had just visited with that afternoon told the nurses she couldn’t make it because she was “out of town.” The Doctor on call stopped in and when he found out I didn’t want my water broke huffed out and went home so my nurse delivered the baby and did a wonderful job. I also had the most amazing doula. If you are in need of a doula and live in the Denver area, email me because I have the doula for you.

I am so relieved I’m not pregnant any more. Man that was rough at the end, so uncomfortable and so many contractions. I feel light as a feather now with surprisingly more energy despite the lack of sleep. Winston was up last night from 7:30pm-2am. I thought newborns were supposed to sleep all the time. My recovery got off to a rocky start as a came down with a virus the day I went to leave the hospital and for 2 days I was hardly able to even turn in bed I ached so bad. It also doesn’t help that my husband is a farmer and when the fields are ready he has to work, baby or not, so I had a sharp dose of reality right away. It’s been 2 weeks now and I am starting to emerge from my fog, do dishes and think about writing thank yous. Thinking about it is as far as I’ve gotten. The evenings are so short at this time. Two year old goes to bed about 8 and I try to get to bed about 9 so I can get 6 hours of sleep if I’m lucky.

All that said these 2 weeks have flown by, as I know the next year will and even the next 18. Each day with these two boys is a gift. No need to dwell in the past wishing I could hold that tiny baby again or dwell in the future wishing they were off to school. I just need to live in the present and enjoy exactly who they are this day.

Trader April 15, 2015 7 Comments Permalink

Trade Smart University Scholarship Course Update

Yesterday it was brought to my attention by a reader that he was unable to find any information about Trade Smart University’s Scholarship course that I have mentioned several times throughout my blog. I quickly started looking into it and found no information about it anywhere either. Not on their site or Facebook site or anywhere else. I requested a call from one of their coaches and received one this morning. He helped clear some things up for me that I wanted to pass along to all of you to clear up some confusion.

Indeed they quit offering it and have changed the format of how they offer courses and content. The kind coach informed me that it now works like a monthly subscription where one can sign up for one of three levels of unlimited content per month to watch and learn from at their convenience. I hope to bring more information to you all in the near future regarding TSU and a review of their content and courses but until then feel free to Google them to learn more.

 

Disclaimer: This seems like where I should probably put some kind of disclaimer stating that I don’t work for TSU and I’m not trying to speak on their behalf, I’m just updating you all on what I was told on the phone by one of their coaches while I sat in my car outside the local True Value with my son in the car seat keeping him happy with Goldfish crackers until I was off the phone and could go into the store to pay off our monthly True Value bill (yes we shop there so often we have a charge account.)

Trader March 24, 2015 2 Comments Permalink

Who Can Trade in December?

Woah!  Did December just happen?  Where was I?  What a crazy month it has been.  I have either had company or been company for 3 weeks this month and I am one worn out pregnant momma.  The last of my company comes today for 5 days.

Did I stock trade this month?  No not at all.  I think I may have only glanced at the S&P about 10 times this month.  Sometimes stock trading takes a back seat and I think that is perfectly healthy and important and is even one of the perks of trading, that you can choose when it needs to take a back seat and other priorities rise to the surface for a time.  For me it was my sister having her 5th child and I got to go cook, clean and take care of her kids.  It was also my parents yearly visit.  I don’t get to see them very often since they live in Utah and I live in Nebraska so the last thing I am going to do during their precious visit is be glued to my computer looking for the next great trade.  And then there is the house we’re working on.  Decisions and runs to Menards always need to be made.  Have you ever tried to pick a white paint out?  There must be over 7,000 shades of white.  Seriously.  Then any free moment, I have also been scraping and puttying, etc at the house.  We hope to move in in a couple months and are so excited.

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Here is a pic of my two favorite guys decorating for Christmas.

What I enjoyed most this month were the many reminders that the King of kings, God and Creator of all came to earth as a baby!  A baby!  He took off his crown, humbled himself and came to earth to live knowing full well what awaited him, heartache and the cross.  He did it anyway because he loves me.  He loves you!  Wow!  I am in absolute awe that he loves us that much.  I’m in awe of his humility.  I am in awe of who he is.

But what about you?  Did you get in any good trades this December?  Did you have trouble focusing on the markets this month?

 

Trader December 31, 2014 1 Comment Permalink

How Much Did I Pay?

One question I am often asked is, how much does Neuventure on Wall Street cost? That question has a complicated answer that I can only answer from personal experience stating how much I spent and how much I have heard them offer their seminars, cruises, Practice in Paradise, home study courses, webinars, etc for. These prices often change. In fact if you’re at one of their seminars you’ll see them pull out a current price sheet that changes from time to time. Prices vary based on whether one pays cash or sets up a payment plan. There is also a discount on everything if one is an Insider. So let’s dive in.

One can buy each seminar separately or choose to buy Seminar 1 and 2 together which they call “Flight School.” This cost my husband and me $6400 cash. It would have been more had we not paid cash. They also have “Top Gun” which includes all their Seminars 1-4 and sometimes a bonus Entity Seminar. The sticker price is $41k but with ‘discounts’ it’s usually between 12k-14k. Remember these are just general figures. You would need to talk to NVOWS to get exact numbers. “Top Gun” usually includes some extra perks like a few months of free webinars or “Insiders” etc. You can become an “Insider” for $49.95 per month. This includes Market Alert emails that are sent out most trading days with updates on what is moving the market. They also periodically post stocks to a stock calendar that they think might be nearing good buy points. There is an Insider section on their site that has tutorials, a list of best and worst performing industry groups, a list of the most fundamentally sound stocks and a weekly article written by David Mitchell that gives an overview of the past week of trading and news ie market tone. For those who use the NVOWS recommended Telechart stock charting software Insiders also Includes David Mitchell’s current settings that are available to download.

Then there are lots and lots of up sells beyond the seminars themselves. Home study courses at the time of this writing have a sticker price of $850 each. You read that right. But at the Seminars there is usually some sort of deal offered on them like 2 for 1 for example. According to NVOWS website 6 types of webinars are offered. We have been on the coaching webinar since we started a few years ago and it’s around $20 a month and lasts 55 minutes on Monday evenings. The other webinars offered are more specialized and more expensive. The options webinar for example has a sticker price of around 9k. Then there are trips/cruises where certain strategies are taught. The sticker prices of these range from around 17k-25k. As you can see there is plenty of money you can spend to get the full picture of what they offer and they seem very careful, almost secretive about not letting out any information that they offer for these high prices.

Let me be completely honest here. Over the past 3 years of trading with NVOWS training I have come to believe that if you can afford all the seminars, webinars, home study courses, trips, coaching, etc, you will have a very solid foundation of knowledge to trade the markets. If you can’t however afford all they have to offer there will be gaps in your knowledge and you will need to seek it out on your own. They seem very good at holding back just enough knowledge so that you will have to buy the ‘next thing’ to improve your trading. It’s a business. One thing you can do is shop around. There are many companies that teach people how to trade and this may be one of the more expensive I’ve run into so it’s important to look into your options and make an educated, God guided decision before investing.

Trader November 23, 2014 7 Comments Permalink

A ‘Top Gun’ Sigh of Relief

This past week NVOWS sent out an email saying they are finally going to offer Seminar III and IV in other locations besides Dallas. I think Top Gun students all across the U.S. breathed a collective sign of relief and a big ‘finally!’ So now students in the Sacramento, Seattle, Virginia and Colorado Springs areas won’t need to travel so far to continue or refresh their NVOWS training in 2015. It seems this can only make NVOWS more competitive in an already competitive stock trading training market (say that 10 times fast) where most companies are online and classes can be taken over and over again from the comfort of ones home.

How ‘bout you Top Guns? Which location are you looking forward to taking some advanced seminars?

Trader October 31, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

The NVOWS ‘Pep Talk’

Since I started learning trading from Neuventure on Wall Street 3 plus years ago I have had my share of ‘pep talks’ from the coaches and David Mitchell. If you’ve spent any time trading with NVOWS you’ll know what I’m talking about here. For those of you who don’t know, the ‘pep talk’ consists of a coach or David Mitchell himself telling you to look at the big picture when you’re struggling and see your trading as a whole over your entire lifetime of trading. They often mention the ups and downs of trading and how many students have not had instant success. Jenny Taylor’s name usually comes up somewhere in this pep talk reminding us that even she missed her first 7 trades was it? They also talk about what a hard market this is to trade in. The hardest they’ve ever seen. I’ve been hearing that for 3 years by the way and I still believe it’s probably true. It probably has been one of the hardest markets to trade in for the past 3 years.

This ‘pep talk’ can take place on the phone, through Market Alerts, Coaching Webinars and they even had an event devoted to the ‘pep talk’ called MayDay.   For my first year or so of trading I thought I was maybe one of the only ones who was having a hard time and wasn’t profitable until that is I started hearing the ‘pep talks.’ It got me thinking that if they have entire Market Alerts, Coaching webinars and even a full day event devoted to trying to help people who stink at trading continue on, then their must be A LOT of students who are having a hard time.

That means….I WASN’T ALONE! YAY! But it also means trading must be really hard and few find success…BOO. THAT STINKS!

This past Monday nights coaching webinar had a great pep talk by Geoffrey. Who doesn’t like a little Geoffrey encouragement now and then? He has always come across to me as a down to earth, realistic guy who seems to care about us students. When the pep talk started however I must admit I caught myself thinking, “Here we go again. Another NVOWS pep talk for all the struggling traders.” And while I did find it encouraging on one hand I also found it discouraging at the same time because it reminded me again how many students must be struggling if they are devoting half a coaching webinar to the ‘pep talk.’ This pep talk had something that I had never heard. Geoffrey talked about how perhaps we are laying the ground work for future generations. Maybe we personally will never become successful traders but maybe our children or grandchildren will. Woah. If I live to an average age I have about 40 more years of trading. I tried to wrap my mind around trading for another 40 years and consistently losing money and sending Telechart money every month for their software and NVOWS money every month for their webinars on top of the money I’m losing. That doesn’t even sound wise. That sounds like a huge waste of time and money. So while I hope my children will be successful traders someday, I only hope that if God leads them that direction and I will only continue trading as long as I think God wants me to.

How ‘bout you?

What do you think of the NVOWS pep talk?

Have you heard many? Who is your favorite coach to get a ‘pep talk’ from?

Trader October 22, 2014 8 Comments Permalink

I’m baaaaaaack!

I’m baaaaaaaaaack!

After over a month of practically ignoring the markets I’m finally back this week. Kicked it off with a call on DIS on Wednesday. Bought at the bounce off the 50 day and sold when it hit the 20 day. Also in a call on LUV. Made it through yesterday’s 30 point drop somehow and I’m still hanging on.

So what kept me from trading? I’m glad you asked. First, my son was teething. I know you’re probably thinking, ‘what’s the big deal?’ It was horrible! Fever, EXTREME irritability, little or no naps, clingy, a terrible rash, etc. all for 1 little tooth. The only perk was the constant cuddles. He doesn’t watch TV but we made a definite exception that week as Sesame Street, Arthur and anything else that Public Television had on was at least a temporary distraction from his pain. I had no idea what parents meant when they said the T word (teething) until I had my own and please don’t tell me you didn’t even notice when your perfect little angel was getting a tooth. I don’t want to hear it. At least not yet, it’s still too painfully fresh in my mind.

Then there was a trip to Wisconsin and Iowa to see friends and my grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. My parents are both from Wisconsin so I have a bit of that cheese lovin’, braut and sauerkraut eatin’ German in me still.  Here is our son with his great grandparents.

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Then there was all the produce that had to be ‘put up’ when we got home. I canned pickles, salsa, relish and tomato soup. Put up peaches, dried basil, made tons of applesauce, froze gallons of cut up pepper slices, 44 bags of sweet corn off the cob, etc. When the produce is ready, it won’t wait and I had to use nap times for that instead of trading.

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Then to top it all off my husband and I made another offer on a house and surprisingly they accepted it. I mean it was a much lower offer than listed price and they had already dropped the price 2 times over the past year. It is so fun to look back over the last almost 2 years of house hunting and see God’s guidance through it all. He had us by the hand the whole time as we sought his wisdom each step of the way. We were so shocked they accepted our offer and didn’t counter and to top it off God made it all come together on our 5 year wedding anniversary. Sometimes I just think he’s showing off a little and I love it and love HIM!! 🙂

new house

We have a lot of work to do on it. Probably 3-4 months of constant work but it’ll be fun right? Ummmm….we’ll try to make it fun anyway. The hardest part is that so much involves painting and I can’t paint while I pregnant which leads me to the final thing that kept me from trading….

I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and utterly exhausted and nauseated. Most of my sons naptimes included at least one 20 minute mommy nap. Oh how good that would feel to curl up on the couch. I was out the moment my head hit the pillow. I tried looking at charts one time and was dosing while at my desk. Sometimes a break is in order.

So what did I think of my month break from trading? I looooooooooooved it. Just loved it. I didn’t feel so pulled in different directions, trying to take care of my husband, son and household and my stock positions and opportunities. I was able to just focus on being a wife and mom. It’s definitely a juggling act to do both and the time off gave me some time to clear my head and adjust my trading strategy a bit.

Well, now I’m just starting into my second trimester and so far the old adage that it’s the the time where I’ll feel the best and have the most energy is ringing true so I’m going to use every bit of energy I have these next 3 months while I have them to accomplish some of my pre baby bucket list which includes learning spreads and placing at least 1 spread. So needless to say…

I’m baaaaaaaaaack!

Trader September 26, 2014 1 Comment Permalink

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