How A Simple Introduction To Day Trading Makes A difference
I’ve tried and failed to write this article ten times.
Even after I finished, I thought it was terrible–actually I was just scared to share the story. I sent it to a reader who had asked me about trading. He replied:
“It’s different than most that I have read because there is no bullshit to try and look past and all of your readers appreciate that.”
Thanks Garrett, here goes nothing:
Introduction To Day Trading
This is about the lessons I learned while trading. The pitfalls people fall into and the ways people destroy themselves. There’s also the time I raised money for a hedge fund. Then my partner turned $30,000 into $2,000,000 in three months. It only took him two months to turn $2,000,000 into virtually zero.
We’ll get into the details later.
I mean trader as in “day trader”. From the time I was 15-22 I sat in front of 6 computer monitors watching charts go up and down. Why am I not doing it now? I didn’t make the billion dollars before hitting 22.
Traders are unique in that they might be the only group of people more delusional than entrepreneurs.
I say this lovingly.
According to my calculations, there’s no reason I couldn’t have made a billion dollars day trading. Never mind that 99.9% of traders are losers. Forget the fact that 80% of traders are depressed middle-aged men going through their mid-life crisis. (I saw one in the local library yesterday, he looked like he was avoiding his wife. I saw another today at Starbucks, he didn’t buy a drink and he smelled funny.)
I was the exception. I was going to get my billion-dollar pay day before my 30th birthday.
And I actually was the exception. I made a nice chunk of money before stopping. I treated the thing with respect—not some get-rich scheme.
It breaks my heart when I see people tell me they day trade and then see them following some bullshit newsletter or some coach with a fudged track record. When I see someone watching another FOREX algorithm sales pitch or drooling over some penny-stock report I just want to shake them and say You have potential! Stop letting yourself get scammed! Stop scamming yourself!
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If you trade without the proper preparation you’d be better off in Vegas. This is not an exaggeration. Not only are there free drinks, sexy ladies looking for fun, and an obscene selection of Cirque du Soleil shows… your odds at pretty much any casino table are better than the markets. I mean this literally (like “literally” as defined by a dictionary)—you are guaranteed to lose money over any decent period of time unless you learn to trade well.
And then even once you’re prepared and you feel you know everything there is to know about the markets, you’re still not guaranteed to win. That’s just the nature of the beast.
That’s why I started meditating at 16. Trading is intense. In college I would make $5000 in the middle of class and then lose $10,000 a few hours later while watching a movie.
That kind of thing gives you a different perspective on money.
One last thing before we get into the meat of the post: Like Garrett said, this is probably different than anything else you’ve read on trading. Why?
- I don’t want to sell you anything. I don’t give a shit if you trade or not. Actually, I would almost rather you not trade… most people would be better off spending their life doing other things.
- I’m not currently trading. I’ve double-checked my methods and they still work, so the information is current, I’m just not spending my life using it.
- The focus isn’t on the method—although I’ll give you all the dirty details. You’ve got to be fluid as a trader. The top hedge funds in the world hire mathematicians, physicists, meteorologists… they are constantly shifting algorithms. How do you compete with these people? You don’t. This will make more sense later.
- I don’t have any stake in you listening to me. For real: nothing is for sale. I’m not going to teach you to trade. People that teach people how to trade or run newsletters giving trading ideas make more money by selling their ideas than using their ideas. They all have their own stories about why they are being so generous with their SECRET knowledge but it’s bull. (Not that all this information is bad, it’s just that you got to be careful—don’t follow anyone blindly.) (Wait, so what are my incentives for writing this? I just want you to like me—I want you to like me and this article so much that you subscribe for our newsletter and I can write more things. Also, I’ve been thinking about writing this for way too long and I had to do it.)
- I’m not trying to convince you the world is ending.
Okay okay it’s time for the meat and potatoes.
Meat and potatoes? Ha! You’ll be eating liquid gold with the information I’m about to give you! Yes, you too can be a Rich Kid of Instagram!
Just kidding, you probably won’t do anything with it. (And that’s probably a good thing.)
Someone did make $2,000,000 with this information though. For real, I watched it happen.
Before we get to that story, we’re going to go through some of the major pitfalls new (and experienced) traders fall into.
[Note: I’ve provided the meanings of some words but I’m going to leave the glossary work to you, Google, and other places on the Internet that like defining words more than I do.]
What Not To Do
Why start with what not to do? Because not smoking cigarettes is more healthy than eating all organic. Because if you lose all your money then trading becomes kind of impossible, doesn’t it?
“You can do a lot by avoiding bad as opposed to seeking good.” – Paul Graham, founder of Y-Combinator