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1981 to 2008

In the Beginning (1981) I had a 401k at work… oblivious

Back in the 90s, I started doing some stock trading, mostly mutual funds.  I had a full service broker.  The fees and commissions were really high. I kind of had to buy and hold with those kinds of expenses. I did ok… but I always seemed to make more money for the broker than for myself.  I moved some assets to an online broker to cut cost and speed up execution of orders. There were times when the full service guy wasn’t in the office an orders weren’t placed and when they were (sometimes incorrectly), I always seemed to get the worst possible price. I started talking with my uncle (a now retired Fireman) about stocks. He was involved with investing his union’s pension funds.

In 2000, a few years before my uncle retired, he told me about a class he went to and it was coming to Chicago (where I live). It was a 2 day class on investing stocks and options. He said you could go the first day and not have to pay the fee if you felt you were not getting anything out of it. You did have to return all documentation they passed out and your notes if you decided it wasn’t for you.

At the end of day one I was torn. It was a very expensive class. If I remember correctly it was $1500. (Since I’m not selling anything, I’m not going to say who held the class, but it did involve 3 green/red arrows). 🙂
I learned a lot, but I options part didn’t sink in. it didn’t help that my first options trade was a disaster either. I had a lot of new education to digest. I stuck with stocks and put options on the back burner……

I got out of almost everything before the dotcom bubble burst. (the sky high P/Es scared me to the sidelines)

Then… I fell in love, everything became secondary.
We got married and built a house (used a good chunk of my “stock” money for that). it was a new house in a new subdivision. The house and being married took up more of my time than I planed. I got involved in my community and Church. I neglected my investments. Then, 2008 came and made me pay for my neglect. I had to pay attention again.


What I’m posting & why.

I wanted to start posting about my journey into learning stock options trading… mostly for myself. To see what I’ve learned, where I was, & how I got to where I am. But, also for anyone that wants to come on the journey with me. Maybe I’ll be able to help you, but more likely, you’ll be helping me.

My first few posts will recap how I got to where I am today. Recently, I had an epiphany & I’m actually doing some trading and making “REAL” money.