I Became a Stock Trader for a Month (No Experience) – 6 Do’s and Don’ts I Learned That Could Save You | by Cole Connor | January 2022
In 2021, I have started the journey to become more financially literate. Approaching 30 as an artist and entrepreneur, I was tired of not knowing. A little FOMO mixed with just wanting to push my limits. To advance my family generation. I knew I could do it. So I did.
For the first time in my life, rather than immediately spending or reinvesting my “consumable” income, I chose to dive into the recent? Stock exchange and crypto hype.
I’ve dabbled in it over the years as a financially irresponsible millennial, but it was always too late or I couldn’t. HODL. To be honest, I didn’t understand everything. I threw $400 into bitcoin in 2017 but immediately withdrew it once I made $300 in 3 hours. Didn’t understand the concept of holding, wave theory, options, the psychology of stocks, or pretty much anything other than surfing the waves of pop hype.
Over the past year, I have seen the stories of people who are doing so much earnings and paid attention to YouTube’s wide array of finance gurus, I knew it was time to learn what this bad boy really was. So I took $5,000 and started having a little fun.
I learned a lot along the way.
I tend to go through periods of extreme learning on different things. My job as a creator and entrepreneur really gives me the flexibility to take a lot of time to TO STUDY. I like having the freedom to use this time to study things that currently interest me, and that’s what I did with stocks/crypto.
Every day for Three weeks I watched/listened to 2 hours of YouTube professionals studying and analyzing unanalyzable. I lost money. I made money. I learned some do’s and some don’ts. It’s been a bit of an exhausting journey, but I’m so glad to finally be in the game.
And before getting to the heart of the matter, know that I am still learning and that I am really an amateur. I hope you find these do’s and don’ts as helpful as they have been for me.
1. Don’t invest in something just because it falls off
Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way. In the first days of diving into this world, I saw that a stock dropped 20% in one day. I had heard of “buy the dip” so naturally I was like:
“THIS IS THE DIP I AM SUPPOSED TO BUY!!”
So I put $100 of my own money AND $300 of Robinhood margin, straight into the stock. It was very bad call.
The next day it dropped another 60%, and I immediately got CALLED MARGIN. Imagine my frustration thinking I was about to HODL and watch the decline pick up when in reality I had just bought a drug company that the FDA was about to vote on if it would be approved…
Amazing what a little research will tell you, isn’t it?
That’s when I realized you can’t buy just any dip. You need to know the company you are investing in and if it is dipping, is it just the natural waves of the market or is there a real problem. (That should be common sense, I know – but it wasn’t.)
2. Don’t invest what you need now (willing to lose)
There is a reason EVERYONE tells you this. I just didn’t fully understand it until I watched both crypto AND the stock market fluctuate. I watched my portfolio lose hundreds of dollars, but just in the span of 1-2 months I watched it go up then down then back up higher.
I also witnessed one of the biggest crypto crashes we have seen in recent history. I bought the dip this time, and guess what? It’s back and it’s going up!!
If I had invested the money I needed CURRENTLY, I would have lost hundreds and hundreds of dollars with no possibility of making a profit. The market almost always corrects itself and eventually returns. Do I still hold onto the pharmaceutical company that fell 80%? No, BUT I waited for it to go up 60%, then I sold to reinvest elsewhere.
Along with that, of course, you shouldn’t put what you’re not ready to lose yet. With crypto in particular, it’s super volatile, and we don’t really know what’s going to happen. With the stock market, ideally, you really don’t want to lose anything ever. I don’t want to lose my money, yet I’m in the market. Irony.
I think it makes you a better investor when you are not dependent on invested funds. I found that when I was an emotional investor, things went downhill quickly.
It’s my philosophy. I’m okay with taking a small loss if I find a better investment, but I’m not afraid to sell. Don’t just throw money away because you randomly hear something is going to explode.
Then see a 5% drop, sell immediately and lose all your chances of winning. When you look in the market psychologythis happens so often and explains why the market itself is so volatile (outside of huge whales influencing everything).
One way to avoid this is to not buy when there is a peak wave. A good strategy is to look at the 52 week high and buy when it is down. Unless you have some knowledge of a huge spike, buying around the 52-week high won’t give you much short-term gain. From what I’ve seen. However, there were a few actions that surprised me.
One thing I enjoy, at the moment, is watching waves, 52 week highs and lows, youtube analysts and moving money while locking in profits. The market is really a huge game for me. Kind of like business in general. Video games for the big babies of the world.
As long as you follow the ‘don’ts’ above, you can totally move things around. Even the best stocks won’t go up forever. So when the stock hits a price where you can lock in some profits, don’t be afraid to take those gains and buy another dip (or put in your bank account).
It seems like most people recommend holding for the long term, but I’ve seen a few established investors on YouTube move things around fairly regularly. I did that and done well, but I also did that and done not good.
It may seem obvious, but it’s important to listen to a variety of different mentors or gurus. Even if you find one you really like. Once I find someone and trust their authenticity and knowledge, I always lean on other opinions before consolidating my own.