I wanted to write today to talk about the reasons behind why I built TradeLikeAnExpert.
I've been trading the financial markets now for a little over 8 years. And when I began trading, I had no idea what I was doing. Other than a computer and a web browser, I had no way to identify how to trade. I went through a whole bunch of mini-disasters, but my story is not unique. I have friends who have lost a lot more than money, so I dedicate this site to those that came before me and lost so those that come after me can win.
Expert Advisors or Automated Trading
The first thing that I came across was an expert advisor or EA as they are better known. EA's can trade the forex market for you, using logic built by a programmer. They are often marketed for a few dollars. Others marketed for much more. This one cost USD $1997. Ouch!
Now the inherent problem with most EA's is that they tend to work well, at least for a while. And then they often crash. With little to no warning. Double ouch! Something else to be wary of with EA's is those based on grid logic.
In simple terms, grid or Martingale based EA's will take many trades in both directions. Buys and sells. The grid builds out until it can take a profit large enough to cover the losses. Problem is the market can go in one direction...for a long time. Grids can blow your account, and blow it fast. Stay away!
Mentors or Educators
After my disaster with Expert Advisors, I decided the best course of action was to find a good educator. Problem was, I had no idea how to find a good educator. Nor did I know what price I should be paying for good education. $1000? $2000 $5000? Turned out USD$6000 was the price I was going to pay.
What did I get for my $6000? The task of filling out a lengthy questionnaire. "What did I know about trading. What did I want to know about trading." What?! Shouldn't you be telling me what I need to know about trading?
The actual education was delivered over 10 x 1 hour Skype sessions, which were recorded. After each session I was given some homework to do. As it turned out, there was no real time to review this homework. Nor did the course have any real structure.
As you can no doubt by now tell, I was on the rapid path to nowhere. I had spent a small fortune, and was nowhere near where I wanted to be as a trader.
The next thing I did was head to trading forums. I figured I would seek out other traders and find out what made them successful. Have you ever been in a position where you had lots of people telling you what to do? Or telling you what you should be doing?
I'm not suggesting that talking to other traders is a bad thing, not in the least. But what struck me the most was all the ideas that people had that had no substantiation in fact. Let alone evidence.
o much conjecture around what was profitable and what wasn't. And when someone had something "profitable", they didn't want to share the details. So how do you know it is profitable? You have to trust people.
So much of what I was reading came from system or EA sellers (read: Expert Advisors above). And you just cannot trust the greater majority of what these people were saying. Again, nothing substantiated in fact.
But, I did strike up conversations with 3 people that became lifelong trading friends. At least that was worthwhile. But funny enough, they were suffering from the same information overload I was. And struggling to find something actually profitable, and proven so.
My next port of call was trading signals. You see, you can actually buy other traders trades (signals) and have them placed on your account. This to me, a busy professional seemed like a great idea. "Find someone to trade for me". Someone that is proven to be successful.
So I ran headlong into a handful of services. Believing the hype that these services pushed, alongside their signals. Amazing results on paper.
What I didn't realise at the time was that results could be faked. Even with complex reporting tools that made the results look real. I fell for a few services that blew my accounts. It was again, yet another disaster.
But luckily, I did find 2 services that were actually legitimate. Those services actually grew my accounts. So much trial and error. It wasn't without its pitfalls though. You need a thick skin to ride through the tough times with these services. They can be profitable one month, and not so much the next. They can actually head into negative territory. You must trust that the trader on the other end of the signal knows what they are doing.
Hosting My Own Trading Signals/Services
I had finally experienced some success with trading signal services. So I decided to share the best of the best with some friends. This proved to be the last major lesson in my trading career. Longevity. Or the lack thereof.
I helped some friends set up accounts for this particular service. It had been doing so well that it made sense. The trader was taking the trades manually, and was calculating risk appropriately. I had experienced some exceptional growth in a 2 month period. So I was naturally keen to share this information.
I helped about 10 of my close friends open accounts, and showed them how to connect to the service. The first month was amazing. 20% growth on their respective accounts. There was a lot of hooting and hollering, let me tell you.
Then the next month, the account went south, and those gains were soon lost. The month after that, the trader lost around 40% of my and each of my friends accounts. I immediately investigated.
It turned out that this person was not actually trading the account. He was copying someone else's trades, and placing them on everyones accounts. So he did not have any control over the losses. I tracked down the source of the trades, and learned their logic was not sound.
They were placing trades at random intervals. Selling against buys and buying against sells. This is called hedging. It can lead to disaster. It did.
The Crash Test Dummy of Online Trading
So, this brings me to today, and the reasons that I started TradeLikeAnExpert. I think after reading my journey above it is obvious, but let me elaborate a little.
I wished I had someone who could share their experiences with me when I was starting out. Someone who had run the gauntlet of automated trading. Mentors. Trading forums. Signal Services.
So, here I am. Ready to take aim. And fire. Find the best of the best. Only products and services I have actually used and/or tested with my own money. With results I can share. Honestly.
Which puts those of you looking for less risk and more reward in a better position than me when it comes to getting started trading. I don't think anything in this world is fool proof, but I do think that there are a lot of smart people out there. And if I can assist you to find someone smart enough to help you make money, with as little risk as possible? Then I would consider my job done.
Trading for me is a passion. It's a lifelong dream to realise. And I want to share my experiences with you all, at least those of you interested enough to want to hear more.
Thanks again from the bottom of my heart for subscribing, and being here, as we jointly begin a journey.
To everyones trading success.