My trading journey started back in 2008 during the real-estate bubble/crash. I think most everyone knows the phrase “buy low, sell high.” So when we had that big crash down, I was working a job that payed pretty well at the time. I was 24 years old and I was single, car was payed off and rent was split between my roommate and I. So I had some extra cash sitting around and I opened up a Scottrade account. I placed my first few trades.
I remember it feeling very unnatural. Seeing a chart or price down 100-200% of what it was just a few months earlier. It was almost like catching a falling knife. But I kept telling myself that this is where the smart people make money. So I ponied up $3,000 and split it up between a handful of stocks. The ticker symbols at the time were: PRU, JPM, C and GE. All big companies that were (most likely) not going to fail. So I divided up the money between each company equally so it was some weird numbers like 13 shares, 29 shares, 111 and 52. My broker was probably like who is this tool bag putting out these whack ass orders?
I left it sit there and didn’t look at it for a few months – and surprisingly I caught the dead bottom of the crash. I checked once a week for a few months then just let it go. I actually went about a year at one point without looking at them. Fast forward to 2015 and I login, checked the account and was like, holy shit. My original $3000 was now up to around $7,200. And probably more but ticker C at the time went through some stuff and they cashed me out, so a portion of my money was sitting in cash for those few years.
And that was my first real taste in trading. After that I placed a few more orders in late 2015. I bought FB, BABA and UA. I only based trades off of the questions “is it a good company and is the price ‘cheap’ right now?” I basically figured the first part out by looking at debt and overall public perception – a bit subjective and the second part off of the chart. And without even knowing, I was actually buying into dips with loose stops and riding it until I felt upward momentum was slowing down – a decent longer term strategy.
So FB ended up a nice gainer. I bought like 10 shares at $68 and cashed out when they hit the low $100s. BABA was a huge stinker. I bout at high $90s and sold at $60 something. And that was a big hit to me at the time. I was puzzled why it didn’t go to the moon like FB or the other stocks I bought on dips at the time. Little did I know, the chart was actually pretty overextended for BABA and was due for a correction soon. UA stayed stagnant and I actually just exited the position after the BABA loss to step back and make sure I knew what the hell I was doing.
I took some time to study the main books. In July of 2016 I read the CANSLIM method, Buffet’s way of looking at stocks, read Market Wizards, etc. Decided I want to take a stab into this trading thing more seriously so looked at shorter term swing trading.
Up and down, took some winners, took some losers. Finally decided in October to give stocks a rest to pursue trading futures and forex. Since that time I think I have developed a pretty good way to look at the markets. I’ve always known that knowing your own personality needs to coincide with the market and time frames that you’re trading.
Now here I am in the beginning February of 2017. I decided to take a few day trades in stocks based on the strategies I employ in forex and futures. First week, up a few hundred bucks. Second week, ditto. Now the third week again, profitable. This is trading pretty much the same stock day in and day out. I only have 3 day trades per week so it might be a blessing in disguise. Luck? Time will tell.
I’m up more now than I have ever been trading forex or futures. Maybe it’s time to go back to stocks?