Monday, May 29, 2006

What I Learned This Week

I had the bright idea to include a regular weekly update on what I learn each week. Since this is the first post, and it's after about 3 weeks of learning, I'll catch you up. First, I'm planing to go through all of the lessons a minimum of 2 times -- more likely 3 or more, because I recognize the value of repitition in learning. My primary source of knowledge/lessons at this point are the On Demand courses that I've been given access to for the live classes I'll eventually attend. I've also supplemented this information with some library books -- more on these as I read more and have something to say. I'll describe the On Demand courses briefly, so you know what I'm referring to:

Master Trader - Chart reading and technical analysis
Trading PIT - Introduction to options and descriptions of entry and exit guidelines for several option trades.
Advanced PIT - Advanced option trades including repair strategies to help recover from your initial position.

I've watched the first three sessions of the Master Trader and listened to all of the Trading PIT classes in my car -- I figured out a way to play them on my laptop, but it's playing while I'm driving so I haven't been able to look at the charts and graphs shown, of course. The Master Trader course would be really silly to listen to in the car, since it's all about reading the charts and technical indicators. However, there are many things that can be learned by listening to the Trading PIT courses without the visual reference; as stated earlier, my plan is to go through all the information about 3 times.

Studying the Master Trader course, I've learned how to read Candlestick charts and plot support and resistance. I've also learned the basics of how to read the MACD, Average Directional Index and Stochastic indicators. I've also been introduced to Chaikin Money Flow.

Listening to the Trading PIT courses I've been introduced to the following list of trades/strategies: Protective Put, Married Put, Collar Trade, Bull Call & Put Spreads, Bear Call & Put Spread, Call & Put Ratio Backspread, Horizontal & Diagonal Calendar Spread, Inverted Diagonal Iron Butterfly (no, I'm not making these names up). Along with entry and exit guidelines and which trade to perform on what sort of stock movement, there's information about Deltas and how the underlying stocks affect the value of the option.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Thought & Consideration

If you think I’m crazy for putting $12k on my credit card, you’re not alone. It is not without careful consideration that I put myself in such a perilous situation. If you think I have taken these steps lightly because of my genial nature, you are mistaken. It is sink or swim time for me and it’s not in my nature to take to such extremes.

Now that that’s off my chest, allow me to explain the thoughts and motivation behind my father’s and my decision to spend a combined $34,000.

Perhaps it was my naïveté as a young man, but it seemed to me that companies used to care for their employees, treated them with respect, appropriate compensation, and nice retirement plans for years of faithful service. As I entered the workforce I saw those retirement plans get renegotiated, reduced or even yanked. With internationalization and overseas outsourcing, there aren’t many truly secure jobs.

Without any guaranteed retirement plans through work, it seems obvious that you must put your money to work in order to retire with any comfort. Even before I learned of the advanced techniques Teach Me To Trade offers, I have realized that an individual can get a better return than mutual funds and other managed investment vehicles.

I’m also a do-it-yourself kind of person because I know that nobody has my best interests in mind more than I do; I also believe that, in general, I can do a better job than whomever I would hire, contract or otherwise outsource to. After much deliberation and some semi-sleepless nights, I’ve decided to put my money and energy into myself using Teach Me To Trade’s educational materials and resources. I’ve weighed a lot of options for retirement & wealth building and I greatly favor being a professional trader using Teach Me To Trade’s systems for reducing risk and getting a consistent return.

This is a fairly dry post, but putting $34,000 into anything is a sobering experience and you need to know that it isn’t a flippant move. And anyway, that money is invested in me and my future, and I can’t think of a better place to invest :-).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Next Success Story

My father and I were called on Monday about participating in a more advanced program with Teach Me To Trade. It was explained to us that this program is designed for us to become one of their success stories and that we'll be receiving additional attention to become successful as soon as possible.

My one year goal is to be able to continue to grow my finances through the market while taking out $7,000-$9,000 per month for living expenses (my salary, if you will). I consider this to be a rather aggressive goal, especially considering my current financial situation of having all of $200 in my "savings" account.

It sounds great that Teach Me To Trade has taken this interest in my father and I, but what's the catch? There are several requirements they are asking of me, the big one is that we need to pay an additional $12k for the year of coaching which comes with 1 additional class. After my father has put up the bulk amount for my education I'm taking this expense/debt upon myself but it is with my father's approval. There are also some additional perks included such as an unlimited advisor line and a discounted price for additional classes. It is also required that I follow my coach's guidance, do my homework and dedicate 5-10 hours to my trading business each week. In return, assuming I fulfill all of my obligations, they will continue to work with me past 1 year if I haven't made my goal yet.

So, did I sign up? Yes. I upped the limit on my current Visa card to $15k so that I can pay the initial cost of the year of coaching with the plan to transfer the balance to a 0% interest card with TMTT's assistance, if needed. I'm also planning to open an additional 0% interest card to put the initial funds into my brokerage account.

More to come...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Catching You Up

You're probably asking yourself, how and why am I getting involved in Trading? Very good questions, I wanted to address them in a separate entry (from the main post stating the purpose). I'll do my best to catch you up. I suppose, in order to have some context about what I'm embarking on, you should have some information about me...

I turned 30 this year. That's not a problem, every year of my life has improved so far, and 30 is treating me just fine. However, financially I'm broke. Not in debt broke, but broke none-the-less. I didn't just arrive at 30 broke. I'm intelligent and quite a good programmer and can certainly get paid a reasonably good salary... But, I'm not really fond of working and even if I get paid more, my income potential is limited to how much time I can spend working. Again-- not that appealing to me. As it is, I have a JOB and it keeps me Just Over Broke. I wish I could say that I truly liked my job, but... alas, that's not true. Please note that I don't hate it either, and I do like the people I work with. I'm just sort of ambivalent about my job, ya dig? OK, so a major contributing factor to my current broke-edness is that I started a company about 4 years ago and spent about $30k over the course of 1.5 years attempting to make it work. It failed and it took a while for me to recover myself to broke. Can you relate? Needless to say, I have no retirement account at all... unless you count the belly button lint that I store in old mayonnaise jars. You should probably know a little about my personality too... Despite some negative experiences in the past, I consider myself optimistic and pragmatic, easy going and rather resilient when faced with diversity.

I got connected with Teach Me To Trade through my father. He asked if I could join him for a seminar about trading stocks. I've been curious about stocks as an investment tool, but up until that 3 day class, the only knowledge I had was from the mock stock trading thing I did for a couple months back in High School. Of course I thought the usual things about stocks: 1) they're risky, 2) the stock has to go up to make money (ok, I understood that there was some way to make money when the stock went down, but didn't know anything about it), 3) you should diversify your investments so that as one stock goes down the others are hopefully going up (the "don't keep all your eggs in one basket" concept), and 4) you should hold your investments for a long time, and continue to put money in when the price goes lower (the stocks are on sale!) because over the long run stocks go up.

Recognizing my woefully inadequate knowledge of the market wasn't (and still, at this point in time isn't) difficult for me and I was very interested in knowing more. Fortunately things worked out to where I could attend the course, which meant taking 2 days off work... yeah, you just have to pry me away from it right? ;).

Lee Dotson was our teacher/presenter/salesman... Yes, salesman. He explained right away that he couldn't teach us to trade in 3 days and that he was there to sell us classes. Sheesh! I thought I was going to learn about how to trade stocks, not to be sold classes... But, since I'm there... Lee did go on to bring a lot of information to the table. He did a great job presenting relatively complex information in digestible nuggets, building on just enough detail for it to make sense. I really did learn a great deal in 3 days. Certainly not enough to go confidently into the market, but definitely enough to realize that Teach Me To Trade is on to something. Lee gave enough detail for me to understand that risk can be managed and all kinds of market conditions can be exploited.

What Lee showed my father and me over these three days made sense. I could understand how money could be made in the stock market, and don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about investing... we were talking about trading... which, to me, are very different animals. Almost like predator and prey. I don't know about you, but in the market I'd rather be a predator.

So they drop the bomb on us... how much do these classes cost anyway? Without giving the full price breakdown, my father and I decided that $21,990 for 4 classes (training camps) and a personal mentor was the most we were willing to pay for this at this time. Being broke, $21,990 seems to be a lot of money (and how!). My father put down the $21,990 for me to attend these courses and learn the ways of the jedi trader. And yes, that's a lot of money to my father as well.

Most of you must be thinking, wow... that's a cool dad. All I have to say to that is: "damn straight!" But of course it's not about the money... it's about his investment in me and his faith in me that I can and will get that money back to him, hopefully within the year. At that time I'll take over at least part of his investments and get him a better return than he can get anywhere else. That's the deal, and of course I'm more than happy to rise to the challenge. And it should be stated that my father has been a cool dad way before this and that I've truly been blessed by having him for my dad. I've never been pushed into doing anything that I didn't want to do. I've only ever been supported in any pursuits that I've chosen. Both my parents are the finest sorts of people you could ever know and I love them dearly for all they've done for me.

Which brings me to motivation... I'd really like to be able to take care of my parents and family. I'm a giving sort of person but am only able to do so much with the little that I have. There are lots of things I'd like to do with money... many good things that will benefit things and people that are near and dear to me, and I realize that unless I know how to manage money to make it work for me, the only other option I have is to work myself very hard. As you know by now, I'm rather averse to work, especially working hard.

Enter Teach Me To Trade... I've been going through all of the classes they offer On Demand. I'm quite pleased with what has been provided and am anxious to take the live online courses that start in a couple weeks. Bottom line is that I see an exit from the rat race and I'm going to take it, and if you read this blog, you'll know exactly how this goes for me.

Getting Started With Trading

I contemplated starting this blog almost immediately after I signed up for Teach Me To Trade classes offered by EduTrades, Inc. (which also seems to be connected to the Wealth Intelligence Academy which seems to be loosely related to Russ Whitney). I'm completely new to trading and have never traded a stock or option in my life. I have had some mutual funds as part of a retirement account ages ago back when I worked for a company that offered it, but that's as close as I've come to being involved in the market.

There are a couple purposes to this blog. 1) to provide something that I couldn't find online when I was doing research on Teach Me To Trade ( and 2) for you to have some insight into my journey to becoming a professional Trader. I suppose there's a bit of ego in there too, but I promise 3 things: 1) I will never go back and edit my posts, aside from possibly repairing grammatical and spelling errors, etc... 2) I'll give it to you exactly as it happens, without any exaggerations and 3) I'll post regularly for you to be able to track my experience. This means you will know if I make or lose money on a trade, etc... I'm also going to try to provide some insight into what affect trading will have on me (emotional, nerves, energy, etc...).

A final note about this blog: I am not affiliated with Teach Me To Trade aside from being a student (not employed or otherwise compensated). This is just me sharing my experience so that you can know what I'm going through. I expect and hope that what Teach Me To Trade has to offer will empower me to consistently make money in the stock market, but if I lose my ass, you'll know, because I'll give it to you straight.