I get that there are over a million market services out there - from the 'reputable' bloomberg to the boiler room operations that stock pumpers do. The newsletter business has a lot of bad people in it because 90% of them are fakes. It is truly sad because they really ruin it for people like us who are genuinely here trying to make people some money.
I get this question a lot - whether we actually know our stuff. At the end of the day, you really have three choices:
A: You take the plunge and try the service
B. You try ALL the newsletters out there and find out who the F is real
C. You don't do anything and try to make it all on your own
At the end of the day, it is a crap shoot. You can follow me for example on Twitter for years and see if what I say or do is real and maybe that will be enough to convince you that we do know our stuff at EQS. However, there will always be perpetual doubters out there and to them I say, "whatever floats your boat". It makes no difference to me if we get new clients or not. We service institutions and retail and our big clients ensure that our staff get paid year after year. The retail clients are always the most variable ones because we don't really know whether they'll stick around after every month ends.
Now, as a finance professional, I only need to watch what people do or what "wannabe traders" say to determine if he/she knows their sh!t. But to the untrained eye and ears, anyone who starts spewing words like EV or EBIT or TTM Cash Flow will appear to be a pro even when they are lying to their teeth.
At Equity Sense, we can only go so far to show that what we do here is honest to goodness work. At the end of the day, it is always up to you. You can choose to find a $29.99 newsletter out there or a $1000 service like fat man Sam or somebody like us for $150 or better yet - just learn on your own. I am sure the markets are super easy you'll be able to figure it out so quickly (I am being sarcastic). Because reality is, I am willing to help those who want my help but I could care less for those who are hopeless.
We get inquiries each week about our classes and mentorship program. Naturally, most people get skeptical about whether we actually know our stuff and I expect nothing less from them. In a world full of idiots on Twitter and online, it's hard to discern who is an actual trader and who isn't. I think after four years of being on twitter and also helping real people I hope that we'd proven enough to everybody we know our stuff.
However, sometimes that's not enough and again, I totally understand that. I hope though, that this post, as we close 2015 will clarify a lot of the things that people keep asking. So I'll go through some of the major questions we've been collectively asked:
Are you folks profitable?
F yeah. If not, why the heck would we still be traders? I'm a full time daytrader. 99% of my income is from my own trading.
Why teach when you're profitable?
Hence why, I , Gavin, charge north of $30K per student. Why? Because if you're going to waste my damn time, you better pony up the cash. I clean out 6 figs a month so if I'm going to waste 4 weeks of my life teaching you my trading system, you better be worth it. Otherwise, the big charge is to compensate for wasting my time. Now, the rates we have online are the standard rates and most of our instructors charge the normal rates. But, we have a unique system where I, as a co-founder, can add a premium to my teaching fees. If the student is willing to bear the brunt of my increased cost, then why not? It only shows me that the student wants to learn from someone who knows their stuff. Besides, would you rather learn from someone who really doesn't know how to trade??? There is absolutely no difference in what you're going to learn from an instructor who charges $5K versus my $30K. It's just that I have my own premium.
Will I be profitable after I learn your system?
This is the question that irritates me the most because how the hell am I going to know if you're going to succeed???? It's kind of like asking if you go to Harvard, are you going to be a successful guy after you graduate? It takes two to tango. Learning our system is one thing but properly applying it is another thing. You need to put your heart and soul into this if you're truly serious and maybe, you just have a chance of winning. There are no guarantees in life.
I find your charges a little too steep. Why is that?
If you don't want the rates we post, go somewhere else. There are 1000s of trading schools out there.
Is your system purely technical?
Well, if it was, why don't you go buy a Steve Nisson book from Amazon. It's only $29 and it'll save you from having to waste your money on us.
The Bottom Line
Do not be a trader IF:
- you hesitate making decisions not only in investments but IN REAL LIFE
- you are afraid to lose money
- you suck at math
- you hate going into something without all the info
- you keep asking why stock XYZ went up or down
- you have NO money to lose
- you are too emotional and can't focus on things objectively
I turn away 3 out of 5 people who contact me asking me for advice and also to be their teacher. I can already know in 5 minutes of talking to you whether you're cut out for this gig. If you're the kind of guy who wants to keep playing it safe - you're not cut out to be a trader. Trading is risky and it takes guts and grit to really succeed. Most people want to succeed but don't want to put in the work to get there. I didn't get to where I am just by magically waking up one day knowing every trick in the market. There are those out there who insist on learning via osmosis and I respect that. Like i said, to each their own.
So if you find this post offensive or too abrasive - that's your opinion. I take my gloves off when I tell it how it is. Because sometimes, what people need but don't want to hear is simply the honest, unadulterated truth.
What drives you to trade/invest? Is it the yearning inside to always be connected to the financial markets? Or is it something more basic like greed and ego? Greed and ego come hand in hand. They are the bastard twin sons of satan given to all of us to enjoy and personify.
Almost always, what you'll find in common with traders is the need to be always right and to be rich. After all, if we're not trying to be rich then why the heck are we in the financial markets? We all have bouts with our own emotions for trading. There's that incessant need to be proven right and to enjoy the fruits of thine labor.
To this day, after 15 years of trading, I am still driven by greed but it's much, much watered down now. I have taken steps to always keep my ego in check. I get flare ups from time to time but for the most part I no longer waste my time arguing with other traders on who was the better trader. All in all, we are just small parts in this big manipulated wheel of corrupted markets.
You know how I know I have things under control now? I can put a number for my daily target and just stop there. On days when nothing's working for me, I actually stop instead of trying to make back what I've lost. However for new traders, this is still going to be difficult to achieve. I know because I've been there. New traders are like teenagers - gung ho and really in over their heads. They think they know it all when they are barely scratching the surface.
This holiday season - my wish for you new and experienced traders is to reflect on how to be better for 2016. Think about how you can improve yourself both as a person and as a trader. No matter how you avoid it, this gig is one big emotional rollercoaster. Some are built to handle the chaos and some, sadly, aren't.
Traders from Equity Sense will be writing on this blog on positions and other market-related things.