A Day Traders Journey
My journey to become a day trader began back in Spring of 2000 during my MBA when I took a class on futures and financial derivatives. It was also at the time of the dot-com bubble and I was 27 years old determined to cash in on the stock market. Right after graduation I decided to become a day trader instead of the traditional path my classmates took in joining consulting companies. I started reading every trading book, researched trading mentors, and attended seminars that intrigued me.
I went ahead and opened an e-trade account to start trading stocks. At the same time, I came across a company called TCI Corp that sold a black box trading system to trade the S&P e-mini. I had no idea what the hell I was doing and opened a $5,000 account with Interactive Brokers and started trading the S&P e-mini. I also ended up paying $8,000 for the black box system. There were days when I would make $300-$500 a day. I was trading for 4-6 points a trade. There were also days I would lose that amount. I was a break-even trader for about 2 years when I decided to pursue other business opportunities. I actually ended losing more money on stocks than I did on e-mini. I knew I always wanted to trade and need to further develop my skills, which required screen time, patience, discipline, and capital. After a couple years of taking a break I decided to learn how to trade options. I ended purchasing an options educational training program by Spread Trade Systems (STS), which I believe became Options Animal – same guy.Yes, I dropped $6,000 on their program. The thing with options is that there are just too many options and too many option strategies. I wanted to keep things simple with the urge to go back to trade the e-mini. Then I decided to give forex a try. This time, I got my education from Online Trading Academy, which is a total joke. I actually paid them $6,000 to hire a personal mentor Abe Cofans to personally teach and mentor me to be a successful forex trader. He basically, taught me a system with 2 lines crossing. It was a total waste of money. Repeat, Online Trading Academy is a joke. I do enjoy trading forex, but still prefer to trade the e-mini because it moves fast, fits my personality, and the margins. These were also the reasons why I stayed away because you have to have the psychology, discipline, and skills to trade the e-mini, which at the time I didn’t have the patience to do.
After years of growing up and evolving as a person, I was finally ready to get back at trading the e-mini and develop my skills from the ground level. I knew that I had to be mentally and technically savvy to handle the challenges since I was starting all over. I also knew to be a successful trader I truly had to learn to trade this time around if I was going to survive. ”Give a man a fish; he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” At this juncture, it was essential that I learned to trade the right way this time and that I was 100% committed.
What a surprise, I again jumped into trading thinking that immersion was the quickest way for me to learn by signing up with Larry Levin Secrets of Trader’s chat room, I believe now it’s called Trading Advantage. I did learn new technical skills, but it was still not doing for me. There was a big technical piece of the puzzle that I was missing. In order for me to succeed I had to be my own trader to find better tools that suit my personality as a trader. Finally, that happened two ago at a time when I was about to give up on day trading when I came across my mentor CC. I have learned an incredible amount from him not only in technical terms but also mental, which is the most important aspect in trading. Since then I have learned to be a discretionary trader with great day trading software to become a profitable trader.
Day trading is truly a journey and is the hardest and gratifying skill set I have ever pursed. As Malcolm Galdwell states in his book, The Outliers, to become a master at something, you must spend 10,000 hours on practice. All the reading, sim trading, watching the charts, and just trading will hopefully add up to 10,000 hours and lead all of us to becoming a master trader in this journey. More importantly a profitable trader.
Lessons learned in the journey to become a day trader:
- Learn to really trade by developing the technical skills
- Be your own individual trader
- Select the right mentor that resonates with you and is committed to your success
- Choose to trade the market that suits your personality
- Have enough capital to trade and not worry losing it
- Continually find ways to improve mentally and technically
- Don’t rush to make money
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