(Have you tried stock trading? What trading company are you using? How is your journey going?)
I will start from the beginning. I watch a lot of YouTube videos and how to trade stocks is one of the topics I am interested in. I found out about the Robinhood App and it is a game changer for me. I did not have much money to devote to trading and with the Robinhood App I do not pay a fee for trading. Most trading companies charge $4-10 per trade. To trade I would be required to pay when I buy a stock and again when I sell. So, even if I found one that only has me paying $4, then I would need to make over $8 to bring home any profit.
My bankroll would have been gone long time ago if I went the regular route. When I started Robinhood I had $100 to invest. This may not seem like much in the market place and it isn’t. Though there are many stocks between $5 – 15, that I have been able to buy and sell.
Here is the update of how I have been doing with my trading stock adventure. I know several people have been waiting for this update. I am finally ready to share my journey.
I was so proud of myself because my first few trades were awesome. My first trade I made a 32 cent profit. The second trade I made a $2.25 profit. And my third trade I made 30 cents. Then it started going downhill. I would get into a stock too late and then when it was going down I would hold on too long. Though as soon as I jumped out it seemed like the stock was saying, ‘Yeah, Diane just jumped out… now I will go up in value. ’ Yes, I would make some money off and on, though my portfolio kept going down.
The markets going down didn’t help either. But even with the market going down some of the stocks I was watching would go up. Jumping into a stock at the right moment is challenging. My timing wasn’t great. I would keep catching the stock near the top of the run and then lose money as it came back down.
Here is my total. I started with $100 in Robinhood. As of 7 months into my stock trading adventure I am down $34 dollars. This may not seem like much but I pretend that $1 is $100. That way when I am trading every penny is worth my attention. If this value was true I would be down $3,400. That sounds a lot more painful.
Look at the pretty bump at the beginning. From then on… not so pretty.
Even though my first 7 months is not profitable I am really glad I have started trading. I wanted to start trading stocks about 20 years ago. Because of what I have learned from YouTube videos and the Robinhood app being invented, this was the right time for me to dip my toe on and see if I would like trading as much as I thought I would.
Practicing with this $100 is giving me a thicker skin. It is helping me to not just buy a stock because it is going up. It is helping me slow down to look at the pattern of the stock. I will look into news of the stock if I see it drop suddenly. Even though I know this how to do this I am still not good at predicting the stock movement.
For a while I thought the company’s quarterly earnings were a sure fire way to know which way a stock price was going to head. I was wrong and I don’t understand why, yet. I have seen and invested in companies that exceeded their earnings forecast and had the stock fall.
There are reasons I am not doing as well as I thought I would do. Here are some of the things I have done which haven’t helped me be successful.
• I am not able (or I chose not to) to be awake or at home to watch the markets in the morning. A lot of movements happen in the morning. Or some patterns are set up in the morning that I could take advantage of later in the day. My jobs hinder my watching the market opening because one job I can work till 1 in the morning. Another job I need to be out of the house at 7:30am on some mornings. And when they are back to back I am super tired and getting more sleep is more important than checking the stock market. (That is not the right thinking, but my reality.)
• On top of that I am not watching the market very close. I really planned on it when I first started. My vision for my future is me not having to go to a brick and mortar for work. Instead I would wake up early with a cup of coffee and do my stock trading for 2-3 hours in the morning, then have the rest of the day to follow my dreams. (I may be watching too many videos that promise easy results.) I could be watching closer though my work schedule, being tired, and I having other projects that take my time away makes it harder. Especially since the stock market closes at 1pm my time. (I have started long term investing though. I will share that story in another blog. )
• I am staying in the stocks too long. When I am unwilling to sell the stock then my money is locked into that stock. I seem to do this a lot because I don’t want to sell at a loss and hope to wait till the value comes back up. A few times I have wanted to buy another stock, but didn’t have enough cash in my account to do it. All my money was in stocks that I am holding onto. So when I see favorable movement I can’t jump on it.
• When I don’t want to take a loss I would hang onto a stock to long. But then still sell it later for a lower price when I couldn’t stand to be in it anymore. All the books I read and people I listen to say to ‘Always have a stop-loss limit!.’ I still don’t like the idea of having a stop loss, though I guess this is a lesson I really need to learn the hard way. I do understand the concept a lot better now that I keep losing money.
• I started listening to other people’s opinion about stocks more often. Instead of checking out the stock myself. I would jump on what others are doing. I heard somewhere that this is what is called ‘being a sheep’. Just kind of following the herd around.
• I have about 10 stocks that I trade. They are not the best, but they were my first. I think I have only stopped watching one because it was really bad. My view is very narrow. I need to learn how to find more variety and stronger stocks to trade. Having so few… many days I just don’t do anything because the few stocks I have are not making moves that I want to jump into.
• Making sure I don’t accidently day trade. If you have less than $25,000 in your account you cannot be a ‘day trader’ . You can do 3 day trades within a 5 day period though anymore and it is illegal. There have been times that I couldn’t sell a stock because I would go over my day trade limit. So, I was forced to sell later at less of a profit or even a loss. I feel like I really like day trading. Just hop In and out of a stock and not wait days or weeks to sell the stock. Though without enough money I need to worry about going over my day trading limit. Luckily, Robinhood tries to watch my back. It has stopped me from putting in a sell request if they feel it may sell the same day and put me over my day trade limit. I really like this feature, but don’t know if it is foolproof. So, I really try to keep my eyes on how many day trades I have done.
• I went into the trading stocks thinking trading was going to be easy. I underestimated how challenging it could be. I read a few books and figured that I could easily do it. I like the fact that I thought that way. It is kind of like a child who doesn’t have fear since they don’t know all the facts and the consequences that could happen. Because of this I jumped in and have learned a lot.
I still have hope that I will become a better trader, though at this point I have different things on the burner that I am trying to spend my time doing. I will give you an update and of course I want to get my portfolio up again. I am slowly working at it.
Just recently I was watching someone on YouTube and they said you are a newbie if you have less than 3 years in the market. I believe it takes a while to find your rhythm and emotional stability. I also think you need to learn what kind of trader you want to be. Is the fast day trading your style or is investing long-term more your temperament?
Good luck to you on your journey and send good thoughts my way when you get the chance. If you do want to try the Robinhood App I left my link down below. There are now more free trading apps out there, though this is the only one I have tried so far.
By signing up through this link you get a free stock. They mention big company stocks, though I heard someone got a $4 stock for free. I believe I get a free stock also. Good luck.
Have you tried stock trading? What company are you using? How is your journey going?