When we graduated from the University of Michigan everyone was heading in different directions.
Andrew went to medical school. Mitch went into finance. Dan went to graduate school.
I got into trading. Jason went to live in Colorado and became the photographer at a popular ski resort for five bucks an hour.
Clearly he wasn't doing it for the money. He loved skiing. That is all he wanted to do all day, every day.
Haven't you ever been having so much fun doing something and wished you could do it every day? Think about it ...
Jason got up every day and he would ski before and after work. When he wasn't skiing, he was still on the mountain taking pictures of people who were.
After spending over a year out West he decided he would like to make enough money to ski wherever and whenever he wanted. I was already having some trading success and he asked if I thought he would be good at it.
I told him the truth; I thought he would be great. He was motivated and knew what he was working for.
He was also willing to take a chance.
Jason moved to New York a month later. He showed up at my door and asked, "How do I get started?" Here he was a history major, whose resume included driving an ice cream truck and taking pictures of people on a mountain, and now he wanted to trade. I sat down with him for a couple of hours and went over everything he would need to begin.
He knew NOTHING so I really had to start at the beginning. What I did not know was how valuable that two hour lesson would be.
Jason and I went on to become partners at a trading company. As a firm policy we hired only people with zero market experience.
We wanted to teach them our way from scratch.
We wanted to teach them, the same way I taught Jason. That two-hour lesson became the back bone of our trading firm.
It was a simple formula based on the same system of checks and balances employed by our constitution.
Only in trading, it's the balance between fundamental analysis and technical analysis.
Fundamental analysis is based on the company, the leadership, the products and services.
It's either a belief or lack thereof regarding the future success and growth of a company.
Technical analysis does not even require you to know the name of the company, rather just the trading symbol because the only thing that counts in technical analysis is what the stock is showing you.
An idea can come from the fundamentals or technicals but a decision to trade should only be made on the technicals.
As an example, SunEdison was once the world's largest renewable energy developer.
After aggressive acquisitions, they were on everyone's radar and a darling of Wall Street.
Then the stock began to stall.
It stopped going and as is normally the case, after having failed to move higher, SUNE began to test the floor below it.
By the time investors were already getting crushed, the news came out that they had overstated their cash position.
The company went bankrupt and cost investors billions along the way.
The most important lesson to take from this, the stock stalled and began it's descent long before the bad news came out.
That's why we only trade on technicals.
When you begin trading for yourself, I want you to start the same way Jason did.
The right way.
Jason has been skiing all over the country and even gone hele-skiing (when you jump out of a helicopter and ski down a mountain)!
He owns a time share in Aspen. He learned to trade so he can ski whenever he wanted.
It all started because he took the first step. He didn't grow up dreaming of being a trader but he dreamed of making money.
He tried this and really did live happily ever after.
If it makes sense for you, start small and get proof of concept.
You'll feel good about getting started.
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