How I Trade for a Living (Wiley Online Trading for a Living)

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To this day, it remains my favorite trading book of all time. Nicholas Darvas was a professional dancer.

Trading for a Living: Hobby or Career?

His introduction to the stock market came in November when he was given stock in a Canadian mining company in lieu of cash for a dancing performance. It wasn't until two months later that Darvas checked to see how his stock was performing. Much to his surprise, it had almost quadrupled in price. Darvas wondered if it was always this easy to make a killing in stocks. So he immediately sold his stock and went in search of others that would double and triple in price over such a short time.

Darvas's book details his journey from trading neophyte to million-dollar trader. As an impressionable youngster of 14, I took to heart everything he had to say. It's a good thing I did, too, because I Nicholas Darvas instilled in me the basic principles of successful trading: Trade the trend, cut your losses, and use a trailing stop as you allow your profits to run. More important, Darvas taught me that the only thing that really matters is price action itself.

A couple of years later, I read a second book about the market and trading, Benton Davis's Dow This book reinforced what I learned from Nicholas Darvas about trading the trend and buying strength and selling weakness. Other insights from the Davis book include his contention that "the basic fact of life in Wall Street boils down to just one thing: the action of the market itself.

How We Trade Options Najarian

The stock market is always right and always tells its own story best. Stock market success comes from following a principle. The principle of everlastingly keeping your funds invested in the best performing issues. Forget about the hot tips, the gurus of the day, and the newsletter seers. Not that I needed convincing, but the next book I read about trading, Wiped Out,3 really drove home the point that there aren't any experts who can see into the future.

ISBN 13: 9780471436485

This slim, page book was written by an anonymous investor. The anonymous author of Wiped Out spent nearly seven years chasing down hot tips and purported trading experts in his search for easy money. Perhaps if he had immersed himself more deeply in an understanding of trading mechanics, he would not have lost his entire trading account.

What really annoyed me about Wiped Out was how the writer had the gall to bad-mouth Nicholas Darvas's book. He said it was "heady and dangerous inspiration to the novice. The fourth book I read on trading was the classic Reminiscences of Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is probably the most frequently quoted trading book and a favorite of many of the market wizards profiled by Jack Schwager. Even though it was written in , the book is as timely today as back then.

You will find more insights into the trading game in Reminiscences than in any other trading book.

Jesse Livermore was the consummate tape reader. He used the tape for clues to the strength and weakness of not only individual stocks, but the overall market.

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The most valuable information I learned from Livermore's techniques was his method of scaling into trades. Much like Darvas, Livermore would continually buy more shares of stock as prices moved in his favor after his initial purchase. You will see later in this book how I implement this type of trading strategy. As brilliant as Livermore was, he never mastered the psychological aspects of the game. As described by Benton Davis in Dow , "Livermore's success was due to an innate brilliance with figures and a complete lack of the thing most of us are endowed with—caution.

Once the Securities and Exchange Commission SEC was established in the early s and outlawed various types of market manipulations, Livermore was rendered impotent as a trader. He ended his life in with a bullet to his brain. In his suicide note he said that he considered his life a failure. At the time, I was a sophomore at the University of Dayton in Ohio. During the remainder of my college years, I rarely opened a book unless it was related to the stock market.

My time in the classroom was spent daydreaming how someday I was going to get filthy rich in the market. Unfortunately, during my first few years of trading, I didn't come anywhere close to translating into reality my daydreams of getting rich. But it wasn't for want of opportunity— and were vintage Known as the go-go years, stocks listed on the American Stock Exchange sizzled, rising 66 percent in and 33 percent in Stocks in nursing homes and mobile home manufacturers tripled and quadrupled—and more—in price.

I was there and played all the hot stocks, but made nothing. I learned early in my trading career that reading all the great trading books was one thing, but trading with real money was entirely another. When you're operating in the real trading world, the psychology of trading comes into play. At 21 and 22 years of age, I was wholly unprepared to handle the mental rigors of trading.

My get-rich-quick trading mentality, coupled with limited trading capital, caused me to violate many of the trading principles I had learned from Darvas and Livermore. While I was in college, my main problem with trading was fear of giving back any profits.

That fear prevented me from ever letting my profits run. Even though I wasn't making any money trading, I never lost my enthusiasm for the markets. My afternoons were spent at the local brokerage office watching the prices roll across the TransLux ticker screen. I subscribed to, and memorized from cover to cover, the Wall Street Journal and Barron's. Believe it or not, there was a time in my life when I could recite the 52week high, low, and last prices of just about every stock listed on the New York and American Stock Exchanges.

Too bad that kind of knowledge never helped me make any money trading. Into the Real World I graduated from college in the spring of and married my high school sweetheart a few months later. I remember well our honeymoon. I was in International Controls, a fast-rising stock during a period when most stocks were trading down, so I had more than just an attractive new wife to be excited about. My excitement about International Controls, however, turned into sheer panic several weeks later when the stock was abruptly suspended from trading on the American Stock Exchange.

When International Controls reopened for trading a month That was a big hit for a small-time trader. The Vietnam War was at its peak during the time of my graduation and marriage in I had interviewed and been accepted into a training program at the investment trust department of a large Columbus, Ohio-based bank. Apparently, I impressed the bigwigs there with the knowledge I had gained from consuming everything relating to stocks and corporate America.

My plans were to work on a master's degree during my employment at the bank and then move on to a less stodgy money management environment. In the s and s, a master's degree was required if you ever wanted to get anywhere in the world of finance. I never made it to the bank.

As a member of the Army Reserves, I was committed to serving several months of basic training. During the wait to be called up for active duty, a recession hit and the bank enacted a hiring freeze. So after active duty, I moved to Cleveland and entered a management program with Sears. I wasn't much of an employee because I was more concerned with trading and following the markets than I was with learning how to become an effective merchandise manager.

Even in my earlier trading days, my life revolved around the stock market.

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In I had shoulder surgery. When I awoke from the operation I was throwing up and had a splitting headache, but the first matter of business was to call my broker and see how my stock was performing. You might think I needed to get a life.

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But I had a life—the stock market—and I enjoyed every second of it. I had good times and bad times. But in the end, about the best you could say about my performance was that I was nothing more than a break-even trader.