Ok so you want to know how to actually trade stocks? What is the single best option to learn from in order to actually have some chance of success?
I’m going to give my honest opinion, as I’m really fed up with all the general information out there that gets you nowhere. The only outcome you’ll have from most of the “how to learn to trade” information online is going to make you more confused than ever without actually knowing where to start.
Before I’m going to tell you how I’d do it if I were starting from scratch, I’m going to explain why I really hate the general advice that can be found from all over the interwebs.
Whenever I want to learn about something new or find a solution to a problem that I have, I fire up the good’ole Google search engine.
Let’s assume that I’m a guy who’s interested in becoming a day trader and wants to learn the art of trading. So I’d type in something in the lines of “learn to trade stocks”.
The first result is Stocktrader.com with an article called “10 Great ways to learn about stock trading as a new investor”.
All the other results on the first page are really similar, so it’s a good example for what I’m trying to get across here.
First off, the heading doesn’t make sense. There is a huge difference between a trader and an investor. Seems like the author doesn’t tell the difference between the two and yet he is the number one result for that query.
Anyways, the suggestions that are made include:
- Read books
- Watch CNBC and other stock news sites
- Go to seminars
- Use passive indexes
I really don’t want to bash other people, but those are some horrible suggestions for someone that actually wants to become a day trader. They are great ways to learn if you are an investor, not a trader.
How to Actually Learn Stock Trading
I’m going to try tell you the way I would explain this to my best friend – short and straight to the point.
First off the heading of this post is incorrect. There are actually 2 ways how you could learn trading. The other option is such a long shot, that I don’t usually discuss this as I can’t help you towards that path.
OPTION #1 Being Hired by a Proprietary Trading Firm
A prop trading firm is really a company that hires day traders, teaches them a strategy and gives them money to trade with. I used to work in a prop trading firm for over 3 years. The training they provided was top notch and intense.
This is the option that has the highest odds of making you an actual day trader. However finding a company that would hire you is a real hustle. There are only a handful of companies and they are seldom looking for new employees.
Prop trading is mainly an option if you are younger and able to go work for the company full time. The base salary is usually low and you won’t make much in the first year or two.
Combine that with 20-30% success ratio and you’ve got a not so tempting option.
PS! However if you are actually interested in becoming a prop trader, leave a comment below, I will make a separate article or send you extra information about a few options for you to consider.
OPTION #2 Learning From a Professional
It was hard to become profitable even with all the resources and education the company provided me. Only 2-3 out of 10 people managed to become profitable in our firm.
If I think of someone starting out on their own, with no one to teach them and with limited starting capital – the odds of success are slim to none.
I’m sorry but that is the cold hard truth.
The solution? Find a Mentor.
You’ve probably heard that before..people have started to recommend finding a mentor to learn from. It’s similar to the way of how people were trained during the middle age.
You became an apprentice to a master of a craft and through close mentorship, training and learning the best practices, you gained the knowledge and experience to become a master yourself.
I sincerely believe this is the only real option to actually learn stock trading and become profitable yourself. For the numbers geeks among you, I estimate that having a mentor will increase your odds of success over 10 times.
Most of you won’t do it. You will try to figure things out on your own. And that’s fine. It’s just a longer and a more expensive road to take.
Knowing what I know now, I would definitely clinge on to someone that provides actual education/mentorship. This is something that I highly suggest in order for you to avoid making expensive mistakes on your own and to shorten your learning curve by at least 6-12 months.
How to Find a Good Mentor to Learn From?
A good option is to do your own research. Find actual day traders who offer such services (there aren’t too many of them), read reviews and try to pick the best option.
Based on my own experience and trial & error, I’d say there are three options that are really good. Choosing the right one depends on your skill level and how much time you have to trade.
All the below mentioned traders have made millions in the stock markets and provide trading education and mentoring.
They all have stock trading chat rooms with educational videos teaching their strategies.
#1 Timothy Sykes
Meant for: Beginner traders that have time on their hands to execute trades during the market hours from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm EST.
Spending the whole 7.5 hours in front of your screen is not neccessary, however you should be able to have at least a couple of hours during the market open to dedicate to trading.
Tim provides thorough educational videos (over 4’000 of them) with the Pennystocking Silver version of his chat room subscriptions. I recommend to start from that option when you’re starting out.
#2 Nathan Michaud
Meant for: Medium to advanced level traders that are available to trade during the market hours.
Nathan’s chat room is called Investors Underground. It has more advanced strategies compared to Tim Sykes’ chat room, but they are harder to follow and execute.
I would recommend his chat room for traders with more experience.
The quality is really high and they have members constantly calling out different plays.Nathan Michaud’s website link
#3 Connor Bruggermann
Meant for: Beginner traders that can only trade part time.
Connor is a young trader that has quickly gained a lot of attention due to his outstanding results. His chat room provides swing trading alerts. These are meant for people that are working full time jobs, go to school or have other obligations that keep them from being able to move in and out of stocks during the day.
PS! If you have experience with a mentor that has proven to be valuable, please provide feedback in the comments section below.
To Sum Up
I hope you have a good understanding about where to turn to if you’re actually interested in learning to trade stocks.
The main point that I wanted to bring home with this article was that: finding a successful mentor will significantly increase your odds and is currently the best way to learn about the witchcraft called day trading.
If you should have any questions/comments/personal experiences related to this article, I’d be more than happy if you’d share them with me in the comments below.