What is your background, and how did you get into trading?
I got my Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources, worked at a law firm for 6 partners, then with my husband, before learning to trade. I've been trading since 2000 and full time since 2005. I was recruited by Trading Academy by another instructor. She eventually became my mentor and I've been working with the company since 2009. OTA is fantastic because it combines my love for teaching and travel. To date, I've taught investing strategies in 30 US cities and 7 international locations.
Were you successful initially, or did you have problems at first? How did you keep motivated and pushing forward?
I learned to trade the hard way and donated a lot of money to the market. I started by going to a seminar company that taught me about trading but didn't actually teach me how to trade. They didn’t have physical locations so I didn’t have the continuous support that I needed. As a result of my limited understanding of the markets, I blew up my account twice (almost 3 times). I eventually hired a professional trader to teach me.
I think what kept me moving forward was knowing what trading could provide. I knew that if others could do it, I could too. I just couldn’t give up. I kept a lesson in my head from Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich. He tells the story of Darby who quit and sold his mining equipment after years of hard labor, only to discover later that he had stopped 3 feet from the gold. I knew that I couldn’t quit and wonder for the rest of my life how close I came to my dreams.
Trading has taught me a lot about myself. Learning this game has put me in a position to look at the way I think, to gain confidence in my decision making skills, and to have discipline by sticking to my trading plan.
How frequently do you trade?
I trade for an hour or two per day Monday through Friday. It doesn’t require as much time as people believe. Many traders are more profitable if they do not sit and watch their trades.
Do you have any secrets for balancing being a mom with being a great trader?
Make trading fit your life rather than the other way around. There are so many ways to create a trading plan that fits an active mom. Select the right asset class and trading style that fits your schedule. Keep your balance with work and family, set reasonable expectations and don't beat yourself up for what you can't do. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing we can be at home to raise our own children yet still contribute to the family finances. It’s even better knowing we are developing a lifelong skill to create income and grow our wealth.
What advice would you give to a busy mom who is interested in learning how to trade stocks?
Educate yourself in the markets first...learn how they really work. You won’t learn how to trade out of a book.
It’s a business. Take a systematic approach...set emotions aside and trade with a detailed plan. Assess your risk. Set limits and know the difference between high and low probability trades. Be confident. Although men outnumber women in this field, that does not mean they make better traders. Truly, it is much more of a women’s game than people realize. Female traders excel because they are accustomed to multitasking. They are careful shoppers, always hunting for a good bargain. They also tend to have less of an ego about their trades. They are more likely to accept that a trade is not working out and cut their losses rather than take big risks, which can be devastating in trading.
I would tell every woman to take a step toward financial freedom by learning to protect and grow her wealth. Don't wait...it's never too late or too early to start taking control of your financial future. Go for it!
What keeps you going and motivated?
In the difficult times, the story of Darby kept me going. I think it’s also important to know your “Why”. I made a list of the reasons I wanted to trade: financial freedom, my own hours, unlimited income potential, being able to trade from anywhere in the world, no boss or employees and having complete control of my own success. Once you learn how to trade, it doesn’t take much to keep you motivated…what more could anyone want in a career?!
Can you share a little about your family with us?
I was divorced with 3 kids by the age of 20, working 2-3 jobs sometimes. I paid my own way - no welfare, no food stamps, never lived with family.
I started college at 21 and worked as a bartender while going to school. I had planned to become a high school math teacher, but it didn't pay enough so I got my degree in Mgmt/HR (but my first love was always teaching). After 4 1/2 years on my own, I married a golf pro who had two daughters (I had 3) and we had a child together. It was a Brady Bunch type of situation. I did all the Mom stuff: taught Sunday school, directed Vacation Bible School, Room mom, Brownie/Girl Scout Leader, Fundraising for Cheerleaders, Substitute teacher. I was also a chauffeur for cheerleading, competition squad, track, choir, show choir, band, marching band, student council, gymnastics, ballet, prom court, lead in plays, young authors conference, pageants, dance team, track, basketball, T-ball, golf team and soccer.
I did my best to teach my daughters to be true to themselves and to honor the talents they were given. I have always cherished each one of them for the unique and exceptional women that they are. I wanted most for them to be happy, and so I encouraged them to embrace the talents they have, to explore the things they feel passionate about, to get an education, and to never take a failure as a final answer. I have always believed that if I could help them see their own value, they would be successful in all areas, including money. And like a lot of other parents, I prayed a lot, and that has all seemed to work out beautifully as each of them have a college education (at least a Bachelor’s degree), are wonderful parents, and have blossomed into successful and incredible women.
Three of them are stay at home moms now. Their ages range from 26 to 40. Tameka, Jami, Mandi, Marri, Michele are all married. Combined, they have 16 children so far and Marri has another one on the way. Victoria is getting married in May.
We are one of those unique blended families. The girls all love and support each other in so many ways. They are such an amazing blessing and brighten every moment of my life.