I actually started trading stocks while I was in high school, and when I was 17 I founded an interesting company using my credit card to inject seed capital.
A year later I installed a live “star data” connection in my office, it cost roughly $1000 a month and it was a total piece of crap. I used brokers to handle the trades, one of them was a total pumper (more about the pumper another time, he was a walking piece of shit), and the other was the shittiest broker in the world. That loser cost me more money in commissions than anything else. I paid for his piece of shit house, car, wife, and collection of watches.
By the time I turned 19 I thought I was a high flyer. I made my first million dollars trading stocks, my business seemed to be doing well, I was driving a loaded BMW M3, and I was “living large” for someone my age. I was young and stupid. A year later I lost the million and then some. I generated a huge tax liability, and by the time penalties & interest were factored in I owed around 1.4m to the government. It was a real shitty situation.
Ultimately greed killed me. My broker got away with a house (did I mention that I paid for it?) And I later found out he was forcing blocks of stock my way on some of the deals I was buying. Every now and then I hear stories about him, he lost his brokers license which I suppose is karma for being a crooked asshole.
Luckily I was smart enough to put some money into real estate (perhaps a bit of a fluke) & I was still above water. I could have sued the shitty broker, but I just wanted to move on, I always believe it’s best to look forward and learn from the mistakes of our past.
My business was still running but it was neglected. Sales were down, and I had to re-focus all my efforts to right the ship. I realized that I was taking away from my business while feeding the market. It was a death cycle, and had I not caught on quick enough I would have lost my business and pretty much everything else.
It was an expensive education, I learned more in 3 years of trading and running a business than most people do in their entire lifetimes.
I created rules for myself, trading rules about fear and greed, and rules about investing in myself before I invest in “others advice” – in other words, no bullshit stock tips, I had to take control of where my money is going. I’ll talk more about my trading rules in a follow up blog post.
I learned the importance of combining fundamentals with momentum and technical analysis. I decided that 99.9% of brokers suck unless they can provide you deal flow, I do not let brokers run my accounts – I pretty much run them myself. I also take as much deal flow as they’ll give me if I like the deals, otherwise I won’t trade with them.
I also learned that my business was number one. I figured out how to build shareholder value, and I turned the business from a lifestyle income based business to a growth business with brand and share equity. With the help of an amazing team we built one of the fastest growing businesses in our field and sold it for an 8 digit number some years later.
I now deal with some of the best brokers around, and I have my own personal “discount” trading account. I am not a day trader, I am an investor. I am an entrepreneur; after selling my first business I started to create others. I have worked in a large fortune 11, I do private lending, I dabble in real estate, and I am big into health care projects. At one point I had a stake in an investment fund based in Switzerland, it was run by a friend of mine and eventually we parted ways and he distributed the funds. I’m in my mid 30’s and I have done pretty much everything I could ever dream of doing. I am now working from home and I’m always looking for something to keep my mind occupied.
I am a car nut, I love collecting watches, wine, and cigars. I don’t drink alcohol other than wine, and I smoke the odd cigar every few months.
Eventually I’ll tell you more, I have lived an interesting life and I’m thankful for every minute of every day.
I thank god every day for everything I have and everything I don’t.