Recently I met a gentleman who told me he just quit his job after attending a trading course and he is going to trade full time at home.
Every once in a while, I will meet people who tell me that they have attended a stock market or forex trading course and that they are quitting their job to be a full-time trader.
For those who have read my book, Winning the Money Game, you would have read about how I started venturing into the stock market after one of my friends, Suffian, showed six of us that it is possible to make money from stocks. After our talk with Suffian, I began searching.
To my excitement, I found many courses that promised me that I could get rich quick, quit my job, be a full-time trader, etc.
I paid about $5,000 (I think), joined the course and became confident. I traded some money and won. My confidence grew, so the next step I did was to be a nice and kind person and asked two of my good friends if they wanted to make money as well. They said yes, so I took their money and graciously lost about 50% of it.
I will never forget that feeling.
But I didn’t give up. I attended more courses and lost more money. The funny thing during the time I was trading was this – I identified myself as a Trader. I began to feel good about trading. I read books, attended courses, traded every night. I honestly wanted to find the “magic” system, strategy, method… whatever you call it.
Years later, I have arrived at a stage where I understand the stock market much better, so much so that I can make consistent profits. Interestingly, it is done not using any of the techniques taught at the courses I attended, but through guidance from personal mentors, many books and lots of practice.
Looking back, I do not think it is fair to say that those courses I attended are frauds or scams. Those courses do teach the participants some amount of skills and knowledge based on the trainers’ experience. And in my opinion, if you need guidance in trading, it is probably a good idea to get someone to help you get started.
But, what angers me is the hype in all the marketing! Statements such as those below are becoming more common:
“I made 700% in my first trade!”
“After attending the course, I made my first three trades and made $75,000!”
(Do note that this book is published in 2011, so if by the time you read this you do not find claims as such common, I would say that the authorities have probably cleaned up some of these hypes.)
Hypes! I hate to wake you up from your dreams! In fact, those of you who had attended such courses would probably have woken up!
I recently brought my two boys to a drum class. And without a single bit of bias, I will say that they are excellent and have so much potential, just like their dad. But even then, I am clear-headed enough to know that they need more than a few drum sessions to become professional. Being a professional trader is the same, it takes practice and probably years.
Dr Alexander Elder, best-selling author of Trading for a Living, noted that if you have just started trading and manage to break even after a year, you have done extremely well. So for those who have just started trading and you are promised 20% to 50% per month consistently, please think carefully.
In March 2011, I met a nice elderly gentleman who is a manager at Philips Capital. He used to be a professional institution trader. He had traded millions, and he had made and lost billions. He told me that when he saw those claims from trading courses, he wondered, “Why are the authorities not doing anything to clamp these guys down?” (His exact words) He knew that it is not possible for anyone to make money consistently as claimed by those advertisements.
But even with this note and with the newspaper journalists warning people, there will still be many who just “see and hear what they want to see and hear”, specifically “how to get rich quick overnight and how to be able to sack their boss three months from now”.
If you want a real solid plan on your financial destiny and really want to learn how to invest (not get rich quick), then I am here to share with you. Because I have been through the pain, I understand the feelings and frustrations. I see many of my initial trading course mates having a worse life because of the courses we attended.
This is my appeal to you: Be a wise, intelligent investor, not a greedy blind mouse. Take a moment to pause and reflect on your feelings and be honest with yourself.
Are you willing to take the effort to learn?
Are you willing to W.A.I.T.? (By the way, W.A.I.T does not stand for anything, it just means wait. I wanted to create the pause effect after each letter, just to make you wait.)
OK, after all these, I do have good news. If you are able to just take time to learn, you can in fact “get rich quick”. Probably in 3 to 10 years’ time! And let me tell you a secret, 3 to 10 years is quick! And it really depends on the initial capital you have and the market conditions at the time you are reading this. Some people I met became rich really quick. A partner of mine, Liu Feng, did become a millionaire within a relatively short period, starting with very little. What these people did was to first invest in themselves by learning how to buy stocks using value investing. And they repeated the process until rich. Sounds simple? It is that simple.
Are you ready to take the first step to learn and use value investing? I know you are; otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this.
In the meantime, don’t let the hype bite you!
To learn more about how to invest, join us in our Free Investing Workshop at <<www.valueinvestingprogramme.com>>
Mind Kinesis Research Team