Student's Perspective: Brach Rick


Brach Rick

Pre-Sales Manager

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA


Tell me a little a bit about you.  Your career, your family, where are you from?

My wife and I are about to celebrate our 24th anniversary and we have a 19-year-old son.  I’m a pre-sales engineer.  I’ve spent most of my career with large tech companies like Cisco and Symantec. I’m also a second degree black belt in Karate, a Scout leader, and I love spending time with my son.


What were you hoping to get out of coming to Online Trading Academy?

This was never about a financial gain.  This was about knowledge for me.  I wanted control over my financial decisions.  Prior to OTA, I had a money manager, who directed my assets.  I never had the knowledge to question him on why I was in the positions I was in. I wanted to have the knowledge and skill to be able to manage my own finances.

What asset classes are you currently trading?

Right now, I’m trading Options exclusively, although I’m planning on adding Futures.  Options gives me flexibility.  I have the ability to take different types of trades in different market conditions and depending on the direction of the market.

I also like having the leverage through options.  If I want to invest in something like Amazon, that’s trading at $3,000 per share today, I’d rather buy a single call I can get in at a fraction of that.

Are there any instructors that have had a special impact on you?

Stephen Hanahoe, my Core Strategy class instructor.  He emphasized focusing on my “Why”.  He helped me understand that your “why” shouldn’t be about making money, it should be more about “Why” are you looking for financial confidence.  I grew up thinking, you work for a living, put your money in a 401K, you retire and you hope it lasts.

My strategy now is about investing today and building a skill that I can take into retirement. I’ll trade until the day I’m mentally not capable of doing it.

Are there any memorable lessons at OTA that have had an impact on you?

It’s not just one lesson. It’s not just one lightbulb that goes on.  It’s a thousand tiny little LEDs that come on over time and you continue to build on it.

If you could tell someone who’s considering coming to OTA why they should join, what would you tell them?

Invest in yourself. By coming to OTA, you can learn  the knowledge and skills, to understand the financial markets and how they work.

In many ways trading is like martial arts.  It takes time, patience, discipline and focus to develop skills.  You don’t become a black belt over night.




What advice would you give to new incoming students?

Four things:

  1. Your “why” can’t be primarily about making money.  If you come in thinking this is just about making money, you’ll fail.
  2. You must put in the time. Like any skill, not matter what it is, you have to put in the time to develop and  hone your skills to be successful
  3. You have to be patient.  It takes time.
  4. Learn to manage your fear.  It can be scary at first. That’s where support and community really count.