Walking through the woods with my older brother many years ago, this naïve young kid (me) stumbled upon a little pile of tiny black balls on the ground.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“Oh, those are smart pills. Eat one and you become smart real fast!”
Naturally, I did… then — shocked — spit it right out. “Yuck, tastes like crap!”
“Yes… rabbit poop… now you’re smarter, aren’t you!”
I was fooled. I didn’t talk to my brother for weeks.
That was my first memorable exposure in getting duped, learning from my ignorance and learning about when to trust others. I’ve held a healthy skepticism since.
Fast-forward many years. My career dealt with risk management, a field that was all about numbers. Why then, should I believe financial advisors who seemingly know less than I do? Yet, I placed my trust in their capable hands, expecting them to grow my retirement savings. It turned out that they were just pushers of various “products” they were flaunting that day. I finally pulled my account when I was down about 50% of my initial capital. Fooled again.
I accepted that I may be pouring coffee well into my 80s if my local coffee shop would allow me to work there. I felt destitute. But one thing I was NOT going to do was let my kids’ education suffer because of my financial ruin.
I realized two things: 1) nobody cares or should care more about my money than me, and 2) with the internet, I have all the information at my fingertips just as much as anyone else. I then vowed to learn to do this myself.
Next up, I searched out and took all the courses I could. Books, e-books, videos, audios, seminars, you name it. I took the courses of all the big names. I bought their materials, but they never seemed to work quite like they did in the presentations. Calls to the help lines were futile. My closet quickly filled with DVDs, CDs and workbooks I could never utilize. By the way, back then, education in this space was very expensive. Fooled again.
I spent countless hours poring over charts. I’d tell me wife “Look, prices go up and they go down. Every day. Same thing. Up and down. Down and up.”
Her response was, “How profound! Which other way can they go?”
“Seriously… don’t you see the obvious? Why can’t traders simply buy when it’s starting to go up, then sell when it gets a little higher?”
They say over 90% of options traders lose money, likely more. Are they all too stupid to see what I see? What am I missing? What if I bought the stock when it’s turned to the upside, then sold when I made a little money. Then, I can repeat the process. Can it be all that difficult?
Most traders lose because:
We all start out that way. Those who survive learn from their mistakes. They are the smart ones. The wise traders, however, learn from other people’s mistakes.
How many “smart pills” did you take to get this far? Don’t get fooled again.
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