Benzinga’s “A Trader’s Journey” features a trade who shares their life experiences and how it molded their career. This show airs weekly on Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on the Benzinga YouTube page.
Max first started trading with $6,000 in 2011 because of a co-worker that showed up to work with a really nice car purchased from stock profits. His first trade was a winner, and this was all he needed to get hooked.
“One thing led to another and I just kept buying more and more stocks, got hooked, now here I am today.” Now Max mainly day trades due to his impatience, and his desire to sleep well at night. Day trading gives him the perfect opportunity to control his positions and in turn, his profits.[embedded content]
While he focuses on day trading, he still has a retirement account he actively manages. It took Max about a year to become profitable, and nearly three years for him to have the ability to quit his job and do trading full time.
The biggest hurdle Max had was getting over a huge loss. This is common amongst traders, as revenge trading can be a killer of traders at any experience level. This loss happened in May, and over the next several months he thought about this loss, unable to make it back quickly due to market conditions over the summer.
This is similar to when a sports team loses. They want to get back on the field, court or rink and get the taste of that loss out of their mouth as fast as possible. The longer you have to wait, the longer the struggle. It’s a mental battle.
“One thing I really wish I did was paper trade,” he says. “I dove in with real money right away, and I don’t recommend that.”
Paper trading allows the trader to learn the mechanics of the trade and the trading platform. This is often overlooked, and there is nothing worse than losing money because of something you could have practiced ahead of time and avoided. How to add indicators and how to locate and use different tools is quite important, and can be costly if you are fumbling around while using real money.
How do your family and friends feel about your day trading? Was it always this way?
“That is a very very good question. You know it’s funny, I have done a handful of interviews and nobody has asked me that question. I think that would have to take the cake for the best question I have been asked so far” he says. “My own mother still thinks that I gamble for a living.”
Max is still licensed to practice engineering in the state of California, and his mom is not shy about reminding him of that at the dinner table. The stigma of “trading is not a real job” is prevalent, but it’s so much more than just sitting around clicking buttons.
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