How I got into the world of trading
Watching stock prices on Teletext
The first time I heard about financial markets was when I was about 11 years old. I was watching prices change every five minutes on teletext pages. I could sit there easily for an hour and writing down the changes every 5 minutes. There was no internet yet. It fascinated me. I asked my rich uncle what the AEX meant (Dutch stock market index). He tried to explain it to me but I didn’t completely understand it right away. But it was around that age that I got interested in financial markets for the first time and that interest had never left.
When I was around 16 opened my first account at my local bank with the permission of my parents and bought some mutual funds worth only a few hundred dollars. Every day I looked up the prices and saw movements of tenths of percent’s. This is never going to make me rich I thought. Because I wanted to know more about the economy and markets, I thought it was logical to follow a financial education. I started with banking and insurance after finishing secondary school. Soon enough I found out that you’ll learn everything, except how to be active in financial markets. I learned about mortgages and life insurance policies but nothing about investing. I did some internships at a bank, but also no trading operation there. All those activities where only to be found in Amsterdam, they told me. But I never had the guts to travel four hours a day to go find myself an internship there.
My first trading account
Years later I started with my bachelor study that was called Financial Services Management. In the second year or so, I opened a trading account at an online broker. With my friend Mark we did nothing else then talking about the markets. We opened trades during college. We bought some options, but being seriously undercapitalized we were doomed for failure. Some classmates also got interested in what we were doing and I remember that someone bought a lot (far out of the money) call options on a certain stock that went a lot higher. One month later he sold everything, closed his account and bought him self a very expensive laptop. We thought that we were much smarter but in fact we gave back all of our profits and more. But we had a lot of fun and back then that was the most important part.
Asset manager of my parents
In the mean time my parents got some savings after selling there house. They got some advice to let it invested by some expensive portfolio manager. The transaction costs and all the fees made it impossible to get descent returns. So I advised my parents to put everything in the account of an online broker and I was going to be there adviser. Because even if I did it much worse, the outcome would be the same. Of course I should have never given such an advise the first place but I did. I had no plan and no experience. And then the financial markets started to collapse in 2008 and much of the capital disappeared. I remember how bad I felt. But I never blew all the money. Later I bought good mutual funds and the account recovered for the most part.
A regular day job
At the time my education finished I realised that I had to find myself a normal job and let go of the dreams to be a full-time trader and making a living from it. So I did. I started doing some work for a bank but I never really liked it. After some while it even got so bad that I got me sick mentally. I was not following markets for quite some time now.
A deep valley
After a period of multiple years where I was not happy and not knowing what to do with my life, things got even worse when my dad passed away unexpected. I saw how fragile life is and that there is only one chance to achieve things. That gave me a boost and forced me to think about what I really wanted with my life being at the age of 33 now. I founded a job in a different sector. I facilitate the IT in a primary school because, besides financial markets, technology always fascinated me. Beside other goals I realised I wanted to pursue my old dream of being a profitable trader and get substantial income from it.
Starting from scratch
I realised that if I wanted to be successful in this business, things had to change and bad habits had to be broken. I started to study, study and study more, saw the need for a plan/strategy, watched videos of other successful traders, traded on demo accounts, tried different strategies etc. etc. I worked on myself and faced my pitfalls. Later on I started a small life account. That journey started in 2017. It was a tough path. Now two years later it still is but I am ready to make the next step. I ended 2018 around break-even for the first time. For 2019 I’ve many process related goals, but also I want to make it the first green year. How that plays out can be followed in my blog I’ll also update my results weekly. This website will also help me with my accountability. Any support is much appreciated and feel free to contact me for any trading related discussion or questions.