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How I got started with trading

**Some links in this article are affiliate links. Making a purchase through them does not result in any extra charges for you, but does provide me with a small commission. I ONLY use affiliate links for products/services I’ve personally used or have enough experience with to recommend.**

I feel like the whole story could be like the 9 seasons of How I Met Your Mother. The real story of how I got here, to this point, is made up of a lifetime of experiences, decisions, and lessons.

BUT, I’m not going to have you sit through that, so I’ll do the TL;DR version: 

  • In May 2020, I was one of the first members into Rachel Rodgers’ We Should All Be Millionaires Club. I was going all-in on growing and scaling my brand photography and coaching business.
  • By Fall 2020, I was feeling burnt out with my business (but not quite as bad as the burn out I experienced in 2019, when I was still in my 9-5).
  • Around Fall 2020, I heard this episode of the Hello Seven podcast with Teri Ijeoma, which – for lack of a better phrase – sparked something in me. It was all I could think about for weeks. When it came to my business, I had this clothes-are-too-tight feeling, but I couldn’t take it off. When I made the decision to quit my business to pursue trading, that feeling lifted. It was so relieving.
  • Around this time, I posted in the WSABM Club about starting a chat group of Club members who were also interested in trading. We’ve had weekly calls ever since.
  • I was on an annual plan for the WSABM Club, so I occasionally checked the Facebook group, but wasn’t active. Around February/March 2021, I “fell into” another business/service, which I pursued because it felt easy and fun. HOWEVER, I quickly realized that I just do not have the motivation to devote energy to activities related to scaling a business (i.e. all the marketing and BTS systems/development stuff). I currently still provide this service, but am not active in lead generation.
  • Throughout April/May 2021, I struggled internally with the question of, “Why can’t trading be all that I do?” I’ve felt pressure to DO more. To do something else. To have something else. To grow a business. To be BUSY with something. I resisted going all-in with trading and embracing that as my thing. Fun fact: Several of my trading pod friends are ALSO choosing to make trading their thing, and I forking love that we’re all on this journey together.

So, now we’re up to speed. Mindset-wise, I’m closer to truly embracing trading as “my thing.”

I mean, why can’t it be?

At this point (end of May 2021), I’ve been learning about trading for about 9 months, and trading in my live account (with real money) for about 6. I’m not an expert. I haven’t tripled my account size or anything like that. I still consider myself a beginner.

However, as a beginner, I can share what I’ve found really helpful for getting started. It’s still super fresh in my mind how overwhelming it all felt when I was starting – how I felt paralyzed by the sheer volume of terms and information I didn’t know. The following resources have helped me overcome that overwhelm and actually START.

Also, for reference, my current trading style is SWING TRADING “long” positions (trading with the up trend). I’m just getting started with shorting and just started what seems like a great book on options, which I’ll link below once I finish it.

I mentioned Teri Ijeoma above. I haven’t taken her Trade and Travel course*, though I almost jumped in! I have a tendency to sign up for *all* the things and take all the courses (à la self-doubt), so I decided at the time (Fall 2020) to start out with teaching myself, and see for myself where my gaps and specific trading interests are. Then, if I really wanted to take the course, it would still be there for me.

(*This is a friend’s affiliate link! Like I said, I haven’t personally taken Teri’s course, but I meet weekly with a group of friends to talk stocks and trading. I’ve seen how much Teri’s course has benefitted several of the people on this weekly call, which is why I feel confident linking it and using their affiliate link.)

I started with and highly recommend the book “Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets” by John J Murphy. It’s aimed at swing traders, which is what I decided I wanted to do (vs day trading, because I don’t need that kind of stress in my life lol).

Teri’s course also focuses on swing trading, as well as options (in the VIP course), and I know several people who are in her course/s who really love it.

I only recently (May 2021) decided to join Riz Memon’s (à la “rizinternational” on IG) Elite Membership, which is a monthly subscription. It’s NOT a course, though he does offer two courses (a regular trading one + an options one). I like the Elite membership, because I like being part of daily/ongoing conversations about trading, and I’m absorbing more knowledge just by reading what everyone is talking about. Plus, Riz himself is quite active in the group.

HOWEVER, the Elite Membership is quite male-dominated, which I was hesitant about at first. I actually just spoke to Riz about creating a private chat channel (the membership is on Discord) for women in the membership. I like that I’m contributing in some small way to the visibility of women in trading (and to having men see more women in trading by being visible in this membership).

Read my review of Riz’s Elite Membership and Stock Trading Masterclass here.

For first steps, I’d recommend:

  • Checking out some of Teri’s free content on YouTube
  • Taking “The Chart Guys” free intro course (start learning technical analysis and how to read candle charts!)
  • Reading some books (recommendations below)
  • Following some accounts on IG (recommendations below)
  • Sign up for a free account with TradingView to practice charting. The free account uses live streaming quotes, though paid plans grant you access to “faster” live data. You can create ONE watchlist with the free account, but you can add colour labels to help you further organize your stocks.
  • Opening a paper trading account and just getting used to the platform and the process of making trades.
    • For Canadians, I recommend Interactive Brokers or Questrade – I personally use IB for my swing trading and really love the mobile app – I do all my charting with TradingView, and then execute my trades in the IB app, and track everything using a simple spreadsheet. I use Questrade for my RRSP, because IB’s RRSP account rules were less favourable. I think Teri recommends TradeStation, and I’ve seen TD/Think or Swim recommended a lot in the US.
  • Trading has its own lingo, so just starting to read/listen to trading content really helps ease that feeling of overwhelm.

📚 Books:

  • The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
  • One Up on Wall Street: How to Use What You Already Know to Make Money in the Market by Peter Lynch and John Rothchild
    • This is a great overview of, and intro to, investing, and in terms of strategy, it focuses more on value investing and long-term buy and holds.
    • This book focuses more on fundamental analysis.
  • Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets by John J. Murphy
    • This makes what may sound like dry or complicated concepts really easy to follow and read about. I’ve really enjoyed this book, and it feels like my own personal study book. I’ve made so many notes, and it’s a great reference source. 
    • I’ve really enjoyed reading about different indicators you can use when charting, and it’s helped me experiment with and pick the indicators I like best.
    • This book is for anyone interested in investing and gaining a better understanding of technical analysis, and will be especially helpful for those interested in more active trading (particularly swing trading).
  • The Abundance Code by Julie Ann Cairns
    • This one is more about money mindset generally, which I promise you is essential for trading stocks. Cairns also used to coach people on trading mindset, so many of the examples and explanations refer to trading, which is really helpful.

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