Learning to trade

I’m learning a new life skill: My husband has introduced me to the world of the stock market and trading. Although not a broker or trader by profession, he has had an interest in that world for many years, and over time has honed his skills. He is now attempting to use trading as a serious cash flow engine, and to further that goal, recently enrolled in a formal training course.

The add-on for me is that he is able to have a guest audit the training, so I‘ve been able to access and complete the modules for free. Let me tell you, to a novice who has barely followed the markets, this is a whole new world! It has its own language and complexities, far beyond the simplistic ups and downs of the stock market numbers that are so frequently quoted in news headlines. Puts, calls, straddles, vertical spreads, Greeks…the terms are strange and sometimes funny. Who knew Wall Street vocabulary could be humorous?

We went to a trading seminar in August that was a revelation to me…there are actually all sorts of diagnostic tools, charts, graphics, complicated software, etc., etc., that help people make sense of this world. And books…you can spend a fortune on books! You can trade stocks, options, bonds, futures, commodities, foreign exchange funds… the variety of ways you can make a living in the financial markets is staggering.

So what is the point of all of this? To make money, of course, and to learn a bit more about the way the world works! Anything can impact the markets, from tech news to current events to currency values…you never know how the market will interpret information.

I have made a little money in my IRA account so far, doing my very own trading, thank you! I’ve had some coaching from my husband, but I’ve made a couple of decisions on my own too. I’m finding that I prefer to buy stock in companies I like, whose products I buy, whose quality I value. I make it a bit personal. To date, I haven’t lost money yet; I’ve made something on every order. I’ve also not made the maximum I could have made, but that’s part of the game too…be happy to walk away with a gain, rather than bemoan the fact that you missed out on part of a run up. (By the way, that’s easier to say than to do; but good advice, none the less.)

My new phrase is “I like to buy money.” That’s what you’re doing if you’re lucky…spending money to make money, and bottom line, that translates to buying money. Will I get rich doing this? Unlikely, and I’ll be fortunate to pad my IRA account a little here and there without doing serious damage. But it’s fun, it’s stretching me, and I’m learning a new language.

FYI…we used Investools, from TD Ameritrade, for our education/training. Check it out; it’s expensive, but hopefully worth it in the end. And no, I’m not receiving any reimbursement for the mention…and in the best tradition of financial services firms, let me hasten to say that I am not recommending this program, just sharing information that this is the company we used for our training.

Good luck if you decide to dive in!

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