So back in March I took my first vacation and break from trading in a good while. During that time I was training a student on futures and she's been doing great since. In fact, she's back to traveling in Europe and trading while doing it.
I promised to bring you her blog and she's just got it going so you can start following her journey here.
When I was training her in March I wrote a blog piece on 'Why Trading is The Best Job in The World'.
You see, the thing is I hear from people all the time who say they want to trade (either passively or quit their job) to travel and trade, but the truth is, most won't put in the work it takes to actually do it, so when I met her and heard her story it motivated me again and I love to work with students who are determined, the entire process just gels better.
Do I think most people can quit their job to do this? No, at least for 1-2 years. Do I think you can do this passively 5-10 hours a week? Yes, there's no question about that, it just depends what level you want to play at and what your own personal goals are. You'll need to trade on sim for a while, maybe 3-6 months as you start and journal this out to get the feel - most reading this won't follow this advice and it will lead to a blown account, but if you do, the likelihood of succeeding at this is much better.
How did she actually start? Well she took a Forex class at a day trading company about 1.5 years ago. She got the basics down and had been trading on sim, creating a journal and charting for 12 months. Read that again. She was working at this for 12 months before going live when we were in Barcelona on S&P 500 E-Mini futures. Now I realize that all of us want to make money and that we all have bills but as you're learning there surely has to be another way for you to bring income. The reason I say this is simple: If you're trading with scared money the psychological toll of losing small amounts will never allow you to trade at your FULL potential!
So why futures? Well with futures you can pretty much trade the London session or US market open. This is great for her since she is traveling a lot this year.
Secondly. Futures are quick moving trades. You can be a true day trader and be done in maybe less than an hour or swing trade futures for 2-3 days. This is good when you're traveling since you don't want to be stuck staring at a screen all day.
And finally, when you're just learning to day trade the S&P 500 E-Mini is the best market to really start learning on. From there you can switch to other markets but as you start this market gets you live trading experience and that's what matters.
Be sure to follow her progression on her blog. She already had a good month when we were in Barcelona so I'm looking forward to seeing her crushing it even more this Summer.
So in this blog we're going to switch it up a bit and discuss retirement planning. Not that I myself am anywhere near planning for it, In fact I'm probably just as confused about it as you are. One of the items that got me on this blog kick today was an email sent to me from a friend.
For those of you who know John Oliver he had a skit on retirement. It's pretty amazing and I found it sadly funny. Watch this first before going on, it's great.
In undergrad I wanted to get into investment banking. Long hours but big checks, that made sense to me, unfortunately the markets crashed and Wall Street was on a freeze. Then, a few years later, I had friends becoming financial advisors. In fact, just a few days ago I was sitting with a group of people and heard someone giving advice to another to give their money to a financial advisor. I cringed at hearing that.
The truth is, I really do not like financial advisors, at least the traditional ones. But the thing is, most of us don't want to manage our own money as it's easier to put that stress and work on someone else. Usually, the returns from advisors are not that great - they did well from 2009-2016 because all markets did was go up, it was an easy trade: Just buy, keep buying and wait. Now obviously trading is a bit harder. You're taking short term positions and you actually see the price fluctuations on a daily basis v. getting a once a month account statement.
Look at the markets now, we're at all time highs. How many viable companies can you go out and buy and hold? Priceline is close to $1,900 a share of writing this and a company that shares selfies for up to 10 seconds had a $34.7 Billion valuation (I'm talking SnapChat Here).
So you look at this ( or maybe you haven't ) and have to wonder what's next? The markets are not going to continue to go vertical, it just does not happen and never does. So where can you find growth? Where can you find safe yield in these current market times? I won't sit here and pretend to know, I'm not that smart, I'll leave that to guys like Ray Dalio.
For me, and this will be true for as long as I'm around, the answer is in active trading. Whether a stock is 'too high' or 'too low' it just doesn't matter. Whether we're in a bear market or bull market, it doesn't matter. Whether it's an ETF or a future, it just doesn't matter. What matters is this: What does the price chart say and will I be long or short. That's it. This is the life of a trader. And as for retirement planning, I'm not sure there really is ever a 'right' way to do it and I sure hope I can do a good job of it myself as the time approaches.
There are a few parting ideas that I can leave you with that may help and ones that I actually really believe in.
1. Take an active role in managing your money. It takes time but it's probably the most important thing you can do.
2. Don't be afraid to sit in cash and miss a market rally. There will always be another one.
3. Start looking at the fees you pay your advisor and what fees the funds they put you in are. It's really simple.
4. Learn to read a price chart.
Hope you enjoyed the video and the article.
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