Meet the Stock Trading To Go Team
Stock Trading To Go in the Media
The Origination of Stock Trading To Go
I’ve always had a love for building businesses. I started my first company with my brother Brandon, B&B Master Lawn Care, when I was 10 years old. By the time I was turning 18 we had a monopoly over our neighborhood. In the summer of 2004 before I left for college we sold the company.
During my freshman year in College I quickly realized that my love for investing and the desire to start another business was more important than learning in a classroom. By the end of my freshman year I was only attending half my classes, paying a very smart girl to write my papers, and I was trading in my dorm room with 3 monitors spread across my desk all day. Since I had $xx,xxx saved up from the sale of my business and trading profits I decided to drop school and pursue my passion full time.
That fall in 2005 with my new found abundance of time I spent it all trading, writing on investment forums, and experimenting with this new “hip” thing called blogging. In the spring of 2006 “Stock Trading 101″ the blog was born. In 2007 I bought this domain, installed WordPress, and changed my brand to StockTradingToGo. The rest is history.
How I Got Started Trading and Then Lost $72,000
At the ripe age of 15 the $5,000ish dollars I had saved up from mowing lawns was in mutual funds that my Dad helped me invest in. Unfortunately for me the 2001 – 2002 crash was in full force and although I was not aware, I was losing my savings each day. These compounding losses ended up leading to a key confrontation with my Dad that would spark my love for investing in the stock market.
In mid 2002 my Dad called me into his office to “have a talk”. This was never a good thing. After telling me to sit down in the chair across from him he delivered the news that my mutual funds (which contained all my hard earned money from lawn mowing) had lost over $3,000. Over 60% of my savings! After processing the blow I simply asked, “can I have it back?” The answer was a quick “No” to which I followed up and asked, “Can you give it to me back?” This too was a No response. My Dad was and still is all about lessons. I never understood it as a kid but now as a young adult I get his philosophy. I left his office that day with the biggest fire under my ass to learn about investing and take control of my own financial future.
I spent the rest of 2002 learning about greats like William O’Neil, Warren Buffett, and sifting through thousands upon thousands of stock charts via my Dad’s subscription to dailygraphs.com. With the market so crappy I found a liking to penny stocks, particularly biotech companies undergoing FDA approval for drugs. I ended up finishing 2002 with over 80% in returns.
Between 2003 – 2005 I went on a mind boggling win streak. Between my original savings and money I earned from mowing lawns and ultimately selling the company I kept doubling up my portfolio until it reached a value of over $90,000. I was barely 18, thought I had it made, but I soon found out I still had a lot to learn.
My trading strategy revolved around simply putting the majority of my portfolio in one biotech stock that was pending phase 3 FDA approval. When the drugs were approved, the stock would double or more. I would then rinse and repeat. Unfortunately the day came that the company I was so heavily invested in did not gain FDA approval. The stock plummeted and I couldn’t sell. The “it’ll come back” mindset tore me apart. By the time I finally got out the stock was trading for a measily 30ish cents. The losses amounted to $72,000.
After this blow I simply couldn’t recover psychologically. I stopped trading biotechs and spent my time studying other strategies. It took me years to really get past the losses and get back into the game. Everything happens for a reason though which has lead me to today.
My Investment Philosophy Today
In today’s market I am all about calculated risk, cutting losses tight, and letting the runners run (read my 2013 Tools of the Trade Post for a full breakdown). I stick with a strict 1 to 5 profit to loss ratio, meaning that I expect to win only once out of every 5 trades. Since I cut my losses tight and let my runners run the 1 winner keeps my portfolio moving up in value.
I believe heavily in cash as a position and my learned lessons from the 01 – 02 crash helped me miss the blow of 08 and 09. I went full 100% cash in July of 2008 and simply watched the drama unfold from the sidelines before stepping back in during the 2009 rally.
I am a momentum, CANSLIM trader at heart. I go long when the market is moving up, buy the absolute best stocks (technically and fundamentally), and I cut my losses extremely tight.
With that said though, I am far from being a professional. I make mistakes often and am consistently learning new lessons. I look at investing as a life-long game, so patience and determination are key for long term success.
I truly believe that there are no limits in life. Simply put, anything is possible if the want is great enough. The power of passion, writing down goals, and hard work all working in clear sync is quite a site to be seen. The world makes way for those who know where they are going.
This page was last updated on 2014-03-19.