StockTraders.NET – What it is, What it is not, Where it came from, Where it is going…

In 2014,  I’ve decided to open a twitter account to share my ideas and experiences about trading and business in general. It proved to be a quite successful account and enabled me to connect to many great people worldwide otherwise I wouldn’t have met. Part of the ‘give-back’ to the community included me posting my Nasdaq trades to twitter in real-time and creating this blog so especially new traders can benefit from reading and learning from it.

In 2015, I have acquired StockTraders.net for a considerable sum. The idea was to create something for the benefit of the whole trading community. I wasn’t really sure what that really meant. I have run several polls on twitter and ideas but really haven’t done much with it apart from a few meetings with a few traders in Europe but didn’t go too far from a few concepts as I was getting ready to move back to the UK (from Monaco) I was very buy with my Venture Capital and Real Estate Projects which I am still very busy with my diversified business interests to this date.

Fast forward a few months, Titus, a good friend, great trader and a trading buddy of mine that I know for many years and I started to discuss ideas about StockTraders.NET – We didn’t want just another chatroom as we both simply do not need to make money from a chatroom (without bragging in any way, we are both extremely comfortable financially) and we were both already sharing our trading ideas for free with the wider community. Instead, we wanted something bigger. Much bigger…For many years, I was thinking and was surprised to the fact that the lack of having a one-stop shop somewhere on the net for the new trader. This is where he/she can buy anything from the hardware to charting software, from news software to best brokerages. Think about a Trader’s supermarket where there are lots of tested and tried products in one place.

Additional to that, as a trading community, how we all can start to do ‘Group Buys’ (Think Groupon concept for finance) so that our favourite products can become much cheaper than the normal retail ones. The idea was really good but was it viable? To test it out, I have started to contact many vendors. Most of them were very positive and very much liked the idea and were willing to discount their prices but in return they get volume sales (who wouldn’t?).

All good up to now. So we had a great business model. Potentially a profitable business for us but it also benefits the trading community as a whole and it benefits the Vendors who can sell their product to many new clients. Win-win situation for everyone! Hurray!

Unfortunately, life is only that easy in movies or on fake twitter guru accounts! In real life, life & business are both very hard. This project was no different. First of all, the vendors we have spoken to wanted numbers. I am talking about many hundreds of people to start a sensible conversation about the discounts they can provide for their products. That meant we needed to find many members. Many members mean that you need to have some kind of product so you can get and retain these members. That product could be a portal with a chatroom. A great portal with a fantastic chatroom means a great investment in terms of money and time.

We are not types who give up that easily. Afterall, I had been here many times with a lot of tech companies through my VC. This didn’t stop us. We have started creating, StockTraders.NET v.01 from scratch with a developing team which wasn’t really fit for purpose. We knew this from start however, given the circumstances (and being funding the whole thing from our own pockets,) we thought it was a good way of at least starting and accomplish a demonstrator to see how functionality can work and more importantly we could get feedback from the users so we could build a better version.

We went ahead and built the first version. The v.01 was up and running in relatively short time but it proved to be a very difficult development. The chicken and egg situation is your average coder doesn’t really understand trading. Your average trader doesn’t really understand coding. We had to become the ‘bridge’ in between which was not only nerve wrecking but also exhausting in many ways especially we were also busy with a lot of different projects needed our attention. Rob Research and Goose joined in the core team, who we knew very well (both are coming from financial institutional backgrounds and very experienced traders). Product rolled out, members started to signup (some with many tech problems) and finally we got there at the end…First version was running and feedback for our trading was phenomenal from the users but the feedback for the portal however, let’s say was not as enthusiastic (rightly so!).

Fast forward a few months, we have started v1.0 development with a new development team from London. This particular team came recommended by another business I have invested in several years ago. Professional team in Central London meant that I could be on top of them if necessary and this would be a much easier process. What did we say about Life above? Of course, it wasn’t easy. We have spent very considerable sum of money with these guys and we have got what I would call a half-baked solution. The company was going through a rough patch (which we found out later in the process). The solution was really good in some areas but absolutely rubbish in other areas. The solution worked in terms of growing our community even further and enabled us to have some core membership of about 200-250 people who were with us from the beginning. We are very grateful for their continued support today.

Fast forward a few more months, we have started talks with another developer company who already had a solution but it didn’t exactly fit with our requirements. By now, most of our users were demanding live stream and more education from us.  So, we have started working with the new team to build our custom solution. Once again, a lot of money has been spent, nothing comes cheap if you want quality. It is not only the money but also our time that really counts. We have spent countless hours developing and also testing the solution with the team.

In the new solution, we have decided to have 2 types of membership. A free membership (which we always had and will always have) and also the new Premium membership. Paid or Premium membership is only for the members who wants more such as streaming data, streaming widgets, more education, etc… The data doesn’t come cheap at all, and considering a 6-minute video uses about 2.5GB (720p HD) just for one user, you can imagine the amount of Amazon Web Services (AWS) data we will be using to broadcast to many hundreds of people (eventually thousands). Let alone the developments have been done and we continue doing and of course the admin’s time. So, we had to charge and we will keep charging for the premium services as we develop them. This will not really make any money for us in the short term and cover what has been spent so far but it will enable us to sustain the costs. This doesn’t mean that we will stop Free service in anyway. Don’t forget we are not here to build just a chatroom but a Trader’s community portal that benefits us all.

So what’s next? The immediate item on our roadmap is our discount financial products store. This will not be just a normal. ‘add to basket’ type store. Many more functionality (some of which you haven’t seen anywhere else) will be incorporated to this solution. We have done initial agreements with number of Vendors already so their products will start to appear on the shop first then we will roll out many more products as we grow the partnerships.

By now we have learnt our lesson not to give any dates in IT projects,  however we are aiming to get the first version of the shop up and ready by the beginning of the new year (if not earlier). So much testing and further development will need to be done by us and the development team, which we are all currently working on as we speak.

As always, I wanted to be as transparent as possible to everyone because: 1) so hopefully this experience can be shared and some lessons can be learned throughout the development 2)so hopefully some more people can appreciate our efforts here and understand what we are doing for what reason 3) hopefully you can join us and help us to grow and build our portal to benefit us all.

Thank you for your time. Very much appreciated.

Yours,

MT

https://StockTraders.NET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Useful Trading Tips

Here is a few tips to help you to become a better trader:

Cash is a positon too!

Most new traders think that a trader should be trading all the time, never miss a good opportunity! However, the reality couldn’t be more different. We are humans not algo traders. Day trader, momo trader or swing trader, quality is always more important than quantity. NEVER enter in a trade without a plan and certainly NEVER enter in a trade because of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Don’t ever forget that CASH is a strong position, too. It enables you to act when there is a good opportunity.

Consider Swing Trades

I personally like swing trades for number of reasons. I am a busy guy with number of Business interests. I don’t (and some cases can’t) spend my all day in front of a PC watching stocks. In swings, I generally look for good setups to enter in a trade, add, add more, hammer and exit. This tried and tested method generally works very well for me but wouldn’t work for most of the new traders (or traders with small account sizes) because of their account size and the maximum pain they can take in a swing positon. Perhaps starting small, testing the system and learning from it is the best for the new guys. I always have a plan while swinging. This plan includes where I enter, where I add, where I cover or if it goes against me where I exit the trade. Before entering into any trade, I always know what my maximum loss will be (NEVER change this during the trade!) and what I expect from the trade (i.e. how much I want to make from that trade – when reached, I am out). If it works against me and if it makes me nervous, I cut it out and move on to the next one. Sounds easy? Probably yes. However, in practice, this method needs immense discipline which you can’t develop overnight. It takes years for change to take place and constant practise to maintain it. Most new traders are looking for that magic formula to enable them being profitable overnight. Let me tell you: IT DOESN’T EXIST. If anyone telling you otherwise is after your wallet.

Set Trading Goals

I covered importance of setting goals previously in here. Setting goals for yourself will make you not only a better trader but also a more successful person in every part of your life. The goals you set should be achievable and measurable so it is crystal clear to you when they are achieved so you can move to bigger goals. If you are a new trader, your first goal should be not making profit but PROTECT your capital. If you can achieve this, then the sky is the limit…

Admit Mistakes and Learn From Your Mistakes

We are humans. We all have Ego. Admitting mistakes is not in our DNA. However, one thing you will notice from successful traders is they all admit their mistakes to themselves and to others. We all do mistakes daily. Important thing is learning from those mistakes and try not to do them again. It is a process and will take time. In trading, the same mistake can manifest itself in many different ways. The only way to learn is to experience it. You can ask, read or learn from others but the real learning only happens when you experience it in real life. The most important thing here is minimising the impact of your mistake. This in my opinion comes to admitting mistakes quickly, take action and always trade with correct trade size that you are comfortable with. You can read more about trade size here..

Constant Learning & Adapting & Having an EDGE

One of the most important things in life for me is constant learning. I am a student of life and I love learning new skills whenever and wherever I can. Similarly, I love getting more out of my trading and adding more ‘weapons’ to my trading arsenal by learning different types of trading, different types of trading vehicles and methodologies. Don’t forget, the market is constantly changing, there are number of different ‘cycles’ in the market. The best traders can see and analyse these cycles and make informed decisions about their positions and type of stocks in their portfolios. They scan stocks accordingly. They plan accordingly. One thing you need to do to become a better trader is ADAPTING. You need to adapt to the market conditions and change with the market. As a trader, you always need an EDGE. The change in market and your speed of adapting to that market is one way of having an EDGE. Information is another. Always KNOW what you are trading. Research the stock (or chart if more of a technical trader) and always know why you are trading it and what is your EDGE against other traders. If you can’t find the answer, move on to the next stock until you know you have an edge. And don’t foget any fool can enter in a trade, but only smart one knows when to exit a trade. Be smart.

MT

 

 

Top 5 Trading Mistakes and Practical Tips

We all do mistakes. It is part of the game. I wanted to compile Top 5 most important mistakes that traders (including myself) do and what to learn from them and how to avoid making the same mistake again. The most important thing is to realize the mistake and then take appropriate action to correct it.

Let’s have a look at the type of mistakes:

(New) traders expect too much too soon…

If you are in a new relationship, you know that relationships require commitment and hard work! You need to get out of your comfort zone and do things that you normally wouldn’t do to please the other half. In time, hopefully it gets easier, you know what your partner’s likes and dislikes (and you wouldn’t take her to Malaysian restaurant ever again if she has nut allergy – like I did it with my wife when we were dating). Trading is like relationships. You can’t expect too much too soon (if you do, you will get a slap!). You need to learn, absorb as much as you can and work on it. Things take time, trading is not a get rich quick scheme, in the contrary, it requires discipline, hard work and total commitment to make it a success. It is not uncommon for good traders to spend a few years to get to the top of their game. And don’t forget, as a trader, you are a student for life, constantly learning and adapting to ever changing market conditions. So next time when you think you traded for full 10 days and still can’t make top dollars, think about how much it would take to master anything in life. Tip: A trading diary is a good way of recording your lessons in trading. So you can go back and see what works what not for you. In time, you will see the changes and improvements which will motivate you and make you a better trader.

Undertrading or Overtrading

This is a common problem for newbie and also for experienced traders. Unfortunately, human nature is greedy. We are never satisfied with what we have (this is also part of what advances humanity as a whole). We don’t or can’t see ourselves overtrading until the session is finished. Then we review the day see that we have overtraded to make more money. Or perhaps over traded and took more risk to be able to finish the day in green (and most of the time you will end up more in red). In some circumstances, some folks are scared to take great trades and giving up easy potential profits because they are not willing to enter a trade when they see a good opportunity (undertrading). Both of these can manifest themselves in variety of different ways. I chat to many traders and see this often (including myself). Tip: The best way to overcome overtrading or undertrading is to have a trading plan for the day. You can write this down or tell to yourself that what do you expect to achieve from the trading session. This of course very much depends on the overnight scans and also morning action, so your plan will change according to this. Once you reach your trading goal for the day, make sure you are not starting to take trades are much riskier than your normal setups. When you are in Euphoria from your winnings, you tend to think you will win with any given trade (absolutely not good trading habit). This happens to me a lot and lately, I start to leave the session all together to give myself a small break to come back to planet earth! This way, I can think more sensible and take calculated risks again instead of any risk! Easier saying then done, still working on this and leaving the session for a break and go for a coffee or drive is my way of coping with it. Everyone is different, whatever works best for you. Find it.

Lack of Patience

It still amazes me how patient we can get in a losing trade (and not cut it off and take the loss – unless it is a planned swing trade it is completely different story) and if we are winning how impatient we can get…We just want to take that profit (although you know that it is too early!). This is a psychological phenomenon. If you are wrong, human brain tries to find reasons why you are right (i.e. you start looking at Twitter for supporting arguments for your loosing trade, you look at the internet and read anything available out there to prove your point to yourself and others) but the reality is you are wrong. Market is acting against you and you are wrong. Period. If you are winning, Fear of Missing the Profits, kicks in and you look for any excuse to get rid of that trade so you can proudly say you made money on that trade. Tip: Patience is a learned process. It can be developed as a trading habit. As a hyper-active person, I haven’t unfortunately blessed with patience. However, some of you following my trades know that I can be very patient when it comes to some swings (especially if I am convinced about the particular trade). I frequently make very good money on that patience (perhaps most of my largest wins come from patient trades).  One important thing here is not mixing patience with hope. They are completely two different things. If you are in a trade and ‘hoping’ that the price action will change and hopefully you make money, you need to cut it off there and then. Patience is acceptable when you have an edge. The edge that gives you confirmation and conviction of that trade. Otherwise simply let it go….

Size…Size….Size…

I have written about size control in my blog a few times. In my opinion, controlling trading size is the BEST thing you can do in trading. Most traders take too much risk with trading size compared to their account size. I am seeing too many (especially new) traders smoked with only one or two trades simply because they played too big!

Trade size is directly correlated to the risk of that position. The more size you have, obviously the more risk you are taking at a given trade. Most good traders chose not to go full size in a position but keep adding to a winner. In this way, you can just risk the profit and have a nearly risk-free trade. But we all know that, life is unfortunately not that easy and trades go against us. In this case, the importance of the trade size once again come to play….

Tip: For me it is very easy. If the trade is making you nervous (a bit of nervousness of course normal, what I am talking about is being very nervous / being scared from that trade – it can take you out if it goes against you) then you should be out of that trade immediately! Not later, do it now! Like the bees programmed to protect the queen bee, your number one job as a trader is protecting your trading capital. For most traders, if they are smoked, they don’t have another chance to come back to trading. That’s it. So next time when you trade, manage your trading size accordingly, if it starts to get you really nervous, you know what to do…And don’t forget, it will be your fault if you are nervous, because it means you are trading with wrong trading size!

Failing to accept responsibility against your own mistakes

Forget about accepting responsibility for your own mistakes, some traders do not even realize they have made a mistake (see some AVXL cult longs). Realizing your mistakes will make you one step closer to become a better trader. Accepting responsibility for your mistake is great for you for two reasons: 1) You know what you have done wrong so you will hopefully learn from that mistake 2) Now you know what works instead, next time you will use that to your advantage to make a successful trade. I am unfortunately seeing a big blame game between traders. A wrong trade is never their own fault! It is always someone else’s fault (someone told me to buy this, someone told me to sell this otherwise I wouldn’t, etc.). Tip: GROW UP! You are responsible for your own actions. It is all good that we share information via internet or other mediums but it is ENTIRELY your responsibility to enter a trade or not. If you do, you should have a PLAN in the first place – why you entered in that trade. Have you executed that plan to A to Z? If the trade went against you what was your risk mitigation plan? Don’t forget self-justifications distort reality and if you are not in reality you are not learning. So next time something goes wrong, first understand what went wrong, then accept your mistake and think about what you learned and what you will do about it next time. I also strongly suggest to write this down (we tend to forget mistakes easier than our success).

I always tend to take responsibility and announce my mistakes to my friends and followers. I like doing this because I am learning something new every time from my own mistake. I also have the upmost respect to people who do the same in our community. We are very blessed with great traders and we can also learn from each other’s mistakes.

Thank you for your time and I hope you found this useful.

MT