Growing up, books were not my thing. Reading endless blocks of text wasn’t something I enjoyed…like most kids. Unlike most kids, I lived with undiagnosed ADD and dyslexia. In the 80’s, it wasn’t really a thing. Teachers said I was “squirmy”.
I would get great notes from them like: “Ted is a joy to have…in someone else’s class.” Or “Ted is very curious…except when it comes to things I’m teaching.”
Unfortunately, I was not diagnosed until I was a freshman in college. I had managed to fake my way through school. To get by, I developed learning strategies. I listened carefully and memorized what teachers were wearing, saying, doing, writing or drawing on the board. It created a visual playback of the class, burned into my memory. I broke concepts down into small chunks. I repeated them over and over until the subject was imprinted.
I also developed a highly tuned visual memory. If I saw it, I remembered it. That’s why trading was so appealing. I loved studying charts.
When I joined Online Trading Academy as an employee, I came in as a typical buy and hold, listen-to-the-news-investor. I did not trade. I thought it was important that I go through the education and decided to immerse myself.
Like many of our students, having a full-time job and two kids, I had to partition out my education.
Six months into my journey, I started trading live. I was super excited. Then, I was getting frustrated. I was getting stopped out. I was missing trade opportunities. Simply, I broke my rules. I think I was taking shortcuts. I needed to go back to class. And this time, I needed to do it like I was in the 3rd grade. I realized the lessons I learned in the 3rd grade helped me learn to trade.
Lesson 1: Prepare for class and do my homework
OTA instructors do a great job and making sure everyone grasps concepts before moving on. But, I knew it was really important that I come in prepared. I would write down anything that was not clear before going to class and checked my questions off as I went through the class. And, every night, I made sure I did my homework. Repeating the tasks I learned in class helped imprint important concepts.
Lesson 2: Set realistic expectations and pace myself
I was eager and excited. I wanted to start hitting the buy button as soon as I understood the difference between a red candle and a green candle. Good idea? Ahh….yeah, not so much! I had to slow down.
What was strange was that, as I built more confidence, things started breaking down. Maybe I was overly confident.
I began to question if I had identified the correct trend direction. Or, maybe my trading zones weren't the best. Using TradeBuilder was a huge help. I wasn’t allowed to take short cuts. It forced me to go through all steps in Core Strategy.
Flashback: “Ted is so creative…he likes to find his own solutions to questions. Unfortunately, they’re solutions, but they're not questions I asked.”
We all have trades we’ll never forget. I once had short on the the S&P with two trading zones that looked perfect. Price sliced through those zones like my grandma slicing through that green gelatin stuff on Thanksgiving!
What was I missing????
Lesson 3: Break it down
After having that horrible trade reviewed, it was clear that I didn’t consider and focus on the origin of the price movement.
Oh snap! My ADD demons had come back to haunt me. That was a key lesson I missed. Having accountability partners like instructors and fellow students was invaluable. Reviewing my trades helped me see things, I hadn’t.
I spent the next two weeks, carving out 30-minute lessons for myself each night. The On-demand Core Strategy was perfect for my learning style. Because each lesson was visual and digestible, it was so much easier for me to grasp.
On-demand classes took me from, “I can’t do this” to “Now I get it”. Mrs. Peyalo would be very proud!