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jeremyjohnolson

Introduction, Journey so Far & My Trading Station

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Hi everyone!  My name is Jeremy Olson.  I live in Phoenix, AZ.  My wife and I have 6 beautiful kids and we love spending time as a family.  The kids are great (when they are getting along haha!).  I am a CPA and tax director at a large publicly held trucking company.  I started out my career as a CPA at Ernst & Young in Roseville, CA back in 2006 after graduating from Arizona State University's Masters of Taxation program.  I was introduced to stock trading back around Sept 2019 by a co-worker that swing trades on Robinhood.  I downloaded the app and got hooked.  The potential to make money in the markets fascinated me but I knew that I had (have!) a lot to learn, so I Googled "best books day trading stock" (or something like that) and found Andrew's book.  Then I graduated from RH to DAS and IB.

It's been quite a journey so far.  I basically tried going it alone for several months.  I mean, I read a lot of books and had help in that sense, but I was not in the chat room or trading with anyone else.  I had some success, but really more failure than success.  But somehow I managed not to blow up my account, which is a good thing!  So, I am still in the game, but I have been humbled by the market and I am going back to the basics.  I am going to start over and do it right this time.  I just finished "Class 1: How to Trade in Simulator and Introduction to DAS" last night.  I am going to go through all the classes one by one, skipping nothing.

My experience so far in trading reminds me of a similar experience I had in learning to play piano.  As a kid, I always loved music and would play my parents old out of tune piano in our house off and on and taught myself how to play a few songs.  They were challenging songs.  I didn't start simple.  I just went straight for the hard songs because that is what I wanted to play.  I didn't want to do the boring stuff, I just wanted to play the cool songs right away.  So it was challenging, but I pushed through and got to where I could play a couple moderately challenging songs.  By the time I was about 38 years old, I never really learned to read piano music very well at all so I could not sight read anything.  But I could, through painstaking difficulty memorize songs note by note and learn them that way.  I had about 3 or 4 moderately difficult songs that I could play on the piano (or, at least thought I could play lol!), but that was all.  Then I met a guy at a church activity that is a professional pianist/performer, the guy is phenomenal, truly a creative genius.  His name is William Joseph.  (I included a link below to one of my favorite songs he plays on the piano so you can see what I mean.)  We became friends and he agreed to give me piano lessons (I had never taken lessons prior to this, well, I think I had 4 or 5 lessons as a little kid, but never stuck with it - I was almost 100% self-taught).

At the start of my first lesson, William asked me what level I felt I was at as a piano player.  I told him I felt like I was not a novice, but not advanced either, somewhere in between.  Then he asked me to play something for him.  He was kind to me and said that was pretty good, but I think he was lying because after that he started me on my first song, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" lol!  For reals, not an embellished version or anything, just the simple one note version, the melody only, no chords, nothing, just the melody.

He wanted to take me back to the basics because everything I had taught myself to do up to that point was basically wrong, incorrect technique.  I might have been hitting some of the right notes, but I was way too tense, and my fingering was all wrong, etc...  He had me simply hold my hand above the keys and let it fall down on the notes and do that repetitively until I gained the muscle memory of being able to play the piano in a more relaxed way.  He explained that I would never be able to progress or play very fast if I did not fix my technique and learn to loosen up.  So, I had to go all the way back to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to unlearn my bad habits and relearn new ones.  I had to learn all the muscle memory the correct way, so I then had a foundation to build upon.  I am now still not to the level of a concert pianist and probably never will be, but playing the piano is so much more enjoyable.  Now when I play, I feel like I can make real music, not just plunk out notes.  Anybody can learn to hit certain notes at certain times, but not everyone learns how to truly make music and make it come alive

I relate this to learning day trading.  I do not want to learn bad habits, so I am going back to the basics now and even though I feel like I know some things, I am going to be totally open and humble as I go through each one of the BBT lessons and all the webinars.  I am going to keep a journal and make my playbook, etc...do everything the right way taking no short cuts.  Let's see how far that will take me!

There is something very familiar to me watching Andrew trade the open in the mornings.  It reminds in a lot of ways of watching William play the piano, true genious at work.  There is something intangible that they both have that is hard to define, but you know it when you see it.  It's inspiring.

Here is a link to William playing the piano so you can see for yourself how amazing he is!

Here is me at my trading desk (The laptop on the far right is my work computer - been working at home since the start of Covid-19.  The top right monitor is also shared with my work computer and my trading desktop computer.  There is an HDMI switch, so I just hit the button on the switch and the top right monitor switches between being connected to my work computer or my desktop computer.  There is also a switch to trade my keyboard and mouse between work and desktop computers, so I have just one keyboard and mouse to use for both):

IMG_20200925_121454.thumb.jpg.5d89f81a04ffbd8be0139294b78ac9bc.jpg

Edited by jeremyjohnolson
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Hi Jeromy,

Thank you for sharing your journey (so far), and your plan moving forward, getting back to basics.

I love listening to piano, especially when I am driving during the day. I find it very soothing and inspiring, depending on the piece. The YouTube video of William playing is great, will put it on my preferred list.

I totally agree you with you, watching Andrew in the "zone" during opening drive is amazing. The way he moves in and out of positions almost seamlessly without any visible emotions, is something to thrive for, and something we all can learn from. Although I believe, it requires a certain type of personality to do what he does and how he does it. But, as he always says, we all have to find the strategy that suits our personality.

Personally, I am not very good, or fast enough for ORBs during the opening drive, try to wait out the first 5-10 minutes to see the chart form. Looking at the bigger picture, zooming out little bit more, gives me bigger confidence and chance for a better R:R.  Below is one of my SPCE trades during the day. Do you have a favorite strategy, or set up?

BTW, great trading station, plenty of screen space..

Have a great week,

Karl

 

 

exoCdXCH

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Karl588Roc for sharing your trade!  I am still at the beginning of my trading career, so I do not have a favorite strategy yet.

Edited by jeremyjohnolson

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I am super new to day trading. I've read Andrew's first book and have messed around in simulator's but am nowhere near using actual money. I've managed to save up a lot of money working a regular 9-5 and saving hard. Unfortunately interest rates suck and I thought instead of putting it in the bank or giving it to someone else to invest , I should invest it myself.  My goal is just to make a bit of petty cash here and there to afford a weekend in away and go from there. I figure daytrading is just a skill like any other skill, it will humble you, but with perseverance and determination you can master it! Hopefully in a year we'll be able to share our success stories 

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Anthony, I agree, it can be a humbling experience.  It appears so easy.  I mean, anyone can buy or sell a stock with just the click of a mouse button or hot key.  But knowing what stock to buy and sell and when and how many shares, that's where it starts to get a bit more complicated.  Also, once you really get into it, you start to see that there is so much more to it than meets the eye at first.  Level 2, Volume Price Analysis (VPA), etc...I feel like for me right now, I just want to focus on learning the basics, coming up with a workable business plan and focus on the long-term.  I mean, anybody could get lucky and hit a big trade and make a ton of money at once, but you could also loose a ton of money gambling this way.  I want to learn a skill set that I will be able to use long-term (i.e. trade management, risking the right amount, trading a strategy/setup not just willy nilly taking trades on gut or my "instincts"-at least not at this point).

If you just make a 1% return on your money each day on average, that is huge!  For a $25K account that would only be $250 on average a day, but similar to compounding interest, it would become $1 million in fairly short order at that rate.  That is my hope and dream, yes just a dream at this point, but I have hope.  I am taking action to hopefully turn that dream into reality.

What draws me to the idea of trading for a living is the freedom to not have to answer to a boss (other than the market, right lol?!), having more free time to spend with my family, having cash to do good in the world (i.e. serve and help others), and being able to be completly financially independent.  If I can accomplish those goals through trading, then all the time and effort it takes to learn to trade successfully will have been worth it, even it if takes me many years.

I mean think about it, imagine it takes 10 years then I finally learn to be a profitable trader.  I say it would still be worth it!  To me being a profitable trader means essentially the sky is the limit.  If you can read the markets, you can see what direction it is going to take before it goes there, and you learn good trading habits like risk management, well, you will become a millionaire, it's just that simple.  Not many people make it to millionare in their lifetimes, so even if I am 53 years old (10 years from now) before it finally all clicks and starts to come together for me, it will still be worth every cent and every bit of effort because I will then be a millionaire by the time I am 55 or 60, or whenever.  The point is, if I even make it there at any age, then I am going to be doing much better than most people ever do in their entire life.  Then I will be able to retire comfortably and leave my kids an inheritence, that is my vision and dream.  That is what drives me to become a sucessful trader.

All that being said, I am expecting and hoping to become profitable much sooner than 10 years.  I am just simply saying worst case scenario, heck, even if it took my 10 freaking years, it would still be worth it lol!  Anyway, enough rambling for now.  This morning I am working on developing my Business Plan.  I just got done wathcing the webinar by Mike B. called "Creating a Trading Business Plan" and I am now going to work on my personal Business Plan, set S.M.A.R.T. goals, etc...

Edited by jeremyjohnolson
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Exactly Jeremy! In daytrading the tortoise  beats the hare. You basically just bet on whether the stock is going to go up or down. But knowing the logic behind it and managing your loses is what separates someone who can rely on trading as a reliable income to a one hit wonder. I'm 22, so to my knowledge I'm the youngest member of the community? My goal is to become pro by the time I'm 25. Ambitious but achievable with commitment in my opinion.  I like your optimism and you definitely have a winning mentality for the game. I've skipped all the business plan stuff so far and just focussed on the basics of trading so that I can begin practicing asap. I'll start planning whilst I'm making headway in the sim. You're commitment to bettering the lives of your family is admirable.   I wish you the best of luck in your endeavours. 

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Thanks Anthony!  I think that's great that you are starting so young.  I hear what you are saying about wanting to get into trading and skipping the business plan stuff.  I know what you mean because I felt exactly the same way a few months ago and when I first started day trading.  In fact, it was a challenge for me (and still is to some degree) to get up the motivation to do practice trades, or a business plan, etc...because I almost felt like in a way I was wasting my time when I could be actually trading.  Practice trades were especially frustrating for me when I won big because I would be kicking myself that I didn't take the trade with real money and make REAL profits.  But the mind is a funny thing, without detailed journalling, it is easy to remember the wins and forget the losses in a practive account...anyway, I feel differently now.

Now I am looking at the whole process as not so much this trade or that trade as being important, but more developing a set of skills that I can use long-term.  In Developing your Edge/Playbook through Journaling I really liked the way Mike B. went over how it is similar to the scientific method of testing out different hypothesis (i.e. trading strategies), logging and journaling every trade to get sample sets, then going back and tweaking the strategies to find what works best and what doesn't work.  It takes time, but my theory is that like you said, the tortoise beats the hare.  I think in the long run the slow methodical approach will pay off.  I would rather spend 3 years learning a skill set that will last a lifetime than 6 months blowing up an account!  I am not implying I think you will blow up your account lol!  I am saying, that's what I would have done if I just kept going wild west style shooting from the hip...no doubt, I would have blown up my account in short order.  I am at the point now where I want to feel very prepared, if anything, over prepared when I finally decide to go back to live trading.

I would reccomend going through all the foundational classes in the BBT education page, if you haven't already, they are great!  That's what I am doing now.  So far I have completed the first four out of the six.  They don't get too much into strategies, but more the overall approach to how to get to that consistently profitable trader level where we all want to be.

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