Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: New Orleans
Since we're doin show and tell, I might as well give my history.
Phase I- I got interested in the market in 1998. That interest rapidly snowballed, and by feb of 1999, I had opened my first datek account with $6200 (my life savings). I remember making 32 bux on my first trade of 88 mmm shares. I figured trading was a joke. By the end of may, I only had 2k left. I realized that I didn't have a clue, so I paper traded, and practiced on stock simulators (I got second place on the tscm investment challenge making 3000% in 2 months) After that, I was able to convince my dad to loan me 20k so that I had the money to trade like I wanted to. At the same time, he said I couldn't trade anything volatile (I missed the whole tech move as a result). Instead I was trying to kinda invest. At this time, he made me run all trade ideas by him. So to make a trade, I'd first have to call him at work, and wait 15 mins while his secretary found him. I somehow got obsessed with NITE/EGRP (ET), I figured if I was paying so much in commish and slippage, they were a great investement. Unfortunately, they just kept going lower, and I just kept loosing. I tried some stuff with buying on trendlines, and had a few nice wins on MCD (see support at 40 back in 2000). Eventually, these support lines broke, and the stocks started to tank. I was long a few hundred of mcd and ip. My dad refused to let me sell. He told me they were solid companies, and that they'd recover. He even deposited another 10k into the account so I could continue to average down. I knew enough about technical analysis even at that time to know to bail, but he wouldn't let me. Finally, I just pulled the plug, and I didn't tell him. I would calculate the portfolio value as if I had those positions still. 5k later, I told him I had sold 2 weeks earlier. He was so happy that I had saved him the 5k, he decided to let me take over all the trading without him. (as you can see, mcd and ip both lost another 30% from where I bailed on them, and have still not come close to where I sold in the last 18 months)(at this point I had 17k in my account.
Phase II- I saw the head and shoulders in the nas, and knew what it meant. I had told everyone that tech names were overvalued, and I tried my hand at shorting. At about this time, I also discovered that stocks often lost half their value in the week or so after a lockup expiration. I started playing these, and started to really clean up. I remember taking 140 pts on 70 shares of rmbs on one trade. I basically doubled my account in 6 weeks playing lockups, and shorting biotech. Over the next 6-9 months I used a breakout strategy to double my account again, but as the decline got more severe, fewer and fewer worked, til I finally gave up on them. About this time, I came across the basic idea of the great new pattern play. As you can see on the thread, it was a running idea that I thought out on the go, and slowly improved on it. About 2 weeks into trying it, I lost almost half my account by buying macr and averaging down for almost 8 pts. Since then, it has been a slow, but steady climb up. I will stick with the GNP type play (both intraday, and on the daily). I really think I have found something viable. I constantly tweak that pattern and try to improve it, and I am trying to learn from my mistakes.
Conclusion: From my account low to its current level, I've made over 1000% in 15 months or so. I realize that I have found something that is viable as a successful career. I have one more year of college, but I find it pointless as it will only distract me from my trading. Hopefully my parents let me drop out. I am a roman history major. I would like to wish everyone else success on their trading, and keep posting your stories. I had no idea how much we all have in common, and I enjoy reading them.