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.

1 comment:

josa said...

Shucks, Mark, that was awesome!!! You are one lucky son and yes, you better be good! Oh, I am as excited as you now and yeah, now I understand why you keep on talking about that stock trading.

Be wise, be careful and do, please, for your dad's sake, never ever change your mind!