Monday, June 11, 2007

And I'm Back...

Hello again friend. Yes, it's been a long time since my last post and no, I'm not dead. Although I could go into great detail about what's been going on for the past few months, and trust me, it's been an exciting time, the details are tedious at times, boring and rather unrelated to the purpose of this blog. In short, I allowed many pursuits of varying importance take me away from trading. However, I'm back and am moving forward with renewed energy and a modicum of wisdom.

The main thing I've been confronted with is the idea of finding a way to create a sustainable schedule. You may have noticed, wondered or otherwise mused about my ability to sustain such a full schedule. Between full time work, music gigs and teaching, a failed love interest, learning about Trading, Stocks, Options, Market Theory, and blogging multiple times a week I was on a quick path to burnout. Eventually all of it caught up to me and I found myself spread too thin, out of energy, in poor health, mentally and physically exhausted and otherwise not leading a healthy, balanced life. I've rearranged my schedule, learned how to say no to competing interests and am holding myself to a schedule with blocks of time dedicated to trading. And not to worry, I'll continue to add to this blog at least once a week to keep you kind folks abreast of what's current.

For those of you who have been longtime readers of my blog, I feel I need to give you an update on the trade journaling software that I've dubbed ScoreCard. The vision is not dead, far from it. The vision is even clearer than ever. Unfortunately the first team of software developers I was working with fell apart. This did cause a bit of angst on my part and has certainly contributed to my silence on the subject. I've managed to regroup and establish new connections and a new group of talented programmers to make this vision a reality. ScoreCard is much more than a glimmer in my eye, stay tuned for future postings.

Thanks for sticking with me, audience. I will continue to bring you as much insight as I can. The story is definitely not over, and the best is yet to come.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


On 2/20/07, LR wrote:
Hello, my name is Luis, I 'm interested in taking the 3 days class to learn to trade stocks and options, but i was wandering if i can get an Honest opinion from you, Is the tree day class is all you need to successful in trading stocks and options or is it just a hook to try to sell more expensive classes.
an honest opining will be appreciated.

I don't think there's any 3-day course that will teach you to successfully trade stocks & options. TMTT's 3-day course is a crash-course introduction to trading. It will teach you what you don't know, and will give you enough knowledge to be dangerous. Part of the 3-day introduction course from TMTT is a sales pitch for more expensive classes. If you're really interested, start with a book (such as: "Trading for a Living"). Books are cheap, you won't need to take a loan out to read one. You don't even have to pay a cent if you get it from your local library.

Trading isn't for everyone. It is not fast and easy money. It is true that once you're proficient and are making a consistent return in the market, it's not as difficult as many other investment and money-making systems. However, professional traders work for their money. They are disciplined, intelligent individuals that spend a lot of time learning, seeking more knowledge and refining their techniques.

After you've increased your knowledge about what it means to be a professional trader, consider getting a private coach, either thru TMTT or independently. TMTT brings all the pieces together, but you may be able to find a reputable mentor to help you on a one-on-one basis if you are diligent in your pursuit. Having a personal mentor will ease your learning curve.

Best of luck in all your pursuits and come back here to check out ScoreCard, especially if you decide to become a professional trader.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Questions from a Novice

On 2/11/07, JT wrote:
I don't quite remember how I surfed to your blog, probably as a result of looking for info on TMTT. Your blog seems to be well written and informative. If you have time to respond, I have a couple of questions about your experience.

My background:

I'm 46 year old surgeon in lower Alabama fighting the dueling demons of spiraling overhead costs and plummeting re-imbursements from Medicare and third party insurers. While my income level is satisfactory (for now), it requires ever increasing productivity on my part; more patients in clinic so that I can schedule more surgeries; longer hours in the office and at the hospital are the result. My satisfaction with my profession is diminishing. I would like to develop an alternative source of income that would allow me to return to a reasonable life in my chosen profession (orthopaedic surgery). There are several choices, one of which is stock trading. (others include real estate, business franchises, sending my wife out for a job, etc)

My question(s):

What sort of time investment (on my part) would be required to first, become proficient in stock trading (based on your experience) and second, what would the ongoing requirement (on a daily or weekly basis) be. I am willing to create time by adjusting my practice schedule but, I can't walk away from my practice as it provides the income for everything else I do (including trading stocks, if that's what I choose to pursue).

Finally, If I decide to pursue this avenue, I would like to gain some working knowledge of the "language" and principles of stock trading. Is there a book or group of books you would recommend for the absolute novice in this area?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Daphne, AL

Hi John, quite a pleasure to hear from you and thank you for the nice comments about my blog. I'll be returning to regular postings as other pursuits wrap up. I've most recently found myself on a bit of a spiritual quest. I've hesitated to post to my trading blog recently because all the latest activities haven't had much to do with trading.

Trading does take time. About 2-4 hours each day. There is a lot of terminology that is specific to the domain, but it shouldn't be too difficult a stumbling block. I have recommended a few books on my blog which will help get you started. Just getting the " Trading for a Living" book alone will help you understand a bit more about what you will be getting into. It's truly not easy in the beginning. The best place to start is to learn your own style and what strategies appeal to your risk tolerance, time commitment, etc...

The truth about trading is that you only need to be really good at 1 strategy (though knowing other strategies will allow you to make money in a variety of market conditions). Something else to be aware of is that many professional traders only make 20-80% APY. Oh sure, an individual trade now and then will yield amazing returns, but the "expense" trades (losses) will average out to something more reasonable APY-wise. Even 20% APY is still pretty amazing, and certainly something you can't get consistently in other investments. Of course it is not exactly a passive investment strategy (depends somewhat on the strategy employed and time-frame).
Allow me to plug the trade journalling program that I have in the works. The preliminary name of this product is ScoreCard and I hate to refer to it as simply trade journalling software. After my development team gives the green light for beta testing, I'll extend a few offerings for some select people to help work out the final kinks. We're expecting to be ready for beta testing in just over a month. ScoreCard will be a tremendous aid to burgeoning Traders and veterans alike, as it includes simple and powerful features to help Traders get feedback about their trading style and the effectiveness of the various strategies, evaluation criteria, etc...