Today, we're going to meet another John. His name is John2 KnowItAll.
Buckle in readers, it’s going to be a LONG blog… PLEASE take your time and get through the story because the lesson about Day Trading is at the end. I need the story to set it up. And for those GTMIs and/or potential GTMIs out there, you may really enjoy this one. Or hate it. I can see both sides.
So, it finally happened. The dreaded day we knew just had to come finally arrived. We knew AT SOME POINT it just had to happen. Merely the law of numbers and basic statistical anomalies told us we were due. Long overdue.
Someone finally said our course wasn’t worth the money they paid AND they weren’t happy they took it. Tragic I know! How will Mike and I survive? Couples counseling is starting to help.
For those that aren’t aware, from time to time (whenever we are teaching a CTEC course) we take a quick poll and ask our students some questions. The following are always included:
Are you glad you took our course?
Do you feel the course was worth the money you paid?
Every other time we’ve taken this poll: 100% “YES” to both.
But not this time.
We got a “NO”.
Yep, this time we had ONE hold out. ONE guy said “NO” your course wasn’t worth the $. He also stated “NO”, I’m not glad I bought your course.
Our perfect 100% was gone forever. So long 100%:( We'll miss you. It was great while it lasted...
Now, we could sweep this under the rug and just never talk about it. Besides, we still feel great being able to say "over 99%". But we’re not ones to hide anything or let a trading lesson go by without talking about it. So, let’s talk about it and see if there’s anything we can learn from it. Besides, we don’t ask these questions in the first place to stroke our egos. We ask them because we genuinely want the feedback.
Obviously for us, WAY MORE IMPORTANT THAN SOME STUPID PERFECT POLL NUMBER THAT WAS JUST RUINED, was why didn’t this guy like our course? Where did we go wrong for him? What did we miss? What could we do better? How can we help him? We wanted to know! We wanted the feedback. The honest feedback of what he did and didn’t like and why he said NO.
Before I reached out to this course taker, I started where I always start when I am helping someone who has taken our course. I go look at how much of the course he/she/they has actually watched. How much time has this trader spent watching our course? Which sections, if any, did he/she/they review, slow down and/or watch again. This often tells us where someone may be struggling.
It’s one thing to invest money in learning something, but that money is a complete waste if you’re also not willing to invest your TIME. Your time (and ours) is WAY MORE valuable.
Here’s what I found: He “watched” less than 13% of our CORE course. Yep, that’s about 2 hours of the 16-hour core. Or to look at in another way, less than 6% of the overall course. I put “watched” in quotes because he really didn’t watch anything at all. He just jumped around, skipped and skimmed through a couple of sections. Or to use his words, he “randomly reviewed part 2”. Well, that means he spent a few minutes and actually saw less than 1% of part 2. Here’s the graphic of his viewing (green shows what was watched):
So, why didn’t this trader watch the course? Why did he just jump around looking at/for random things? I mean why would anyone spend some of their hard-earned money on a product and then not use it? And if he didn’t even watch it how can he say he didn’t like it and it wasn’t worth the money he paid? These were just a few of the questions swirling around in my brain.
I was actually hoping he was already a great trader! Someone already consistently profitable and banking real $$$ who just realized our process and edge didn’t really fit his trading personality. Someone looking to get to the NEXT level in trading and thought we could help. Maybe a trader at another level above and beyond what we have to offer? I would totally respect any of that. We feel we have something to offer almost anyone at any trading level, so I was overly curious.
Unfortunately, the complete opposite turned out to be the reality. He’s not profitable. Nope, not at all. He’s been trading for ~5 years though. In fact, let’s use some of John2’s own words to see the point he’s at right now:
I am still struggling…whether to continue day trading or look for a decent office job.
I read a lot of trading books and watched tons of trading webinars, but I still lose money.
I learned indicators and joined different trading rooms and still failed again and again.
Be honest, doesn't this sound like A LOT of struggling traders out there?
He went to say in his email that “the course isn’t suitable for a trader like me with 5 years of trading experience”. And it’s this line that got to me. This line just… (buy the unedited version). This line is the problem. This line is what inspired the blog. Frankly, this line is what pissed me off.
Because this line of thinking is exactly where so many traders go wrong. This isn’t just a problem with John2. Nope, it’s a problem with way more traders than would ever admit it. This is a YUGE part of WHY so many Day Traders fail. That's why this blog isn't picking on any one person. It's truly trying to reach out to all the John2 KnowItAlls out there.
This isn't personal. This is business.
Time does NOT equal experience.
Time doesn't make you a consistently profitable trader.
Time and experience doesn’t mean anything if it’s the WRONG experience.
It's far easier to waste your time than to spend it wisely.
Screen time only gets you so far...
Sure, learn from your mistakes and everything you do. However, if those experiences and mistakes become bad habits and you become locked into those bad habits, you’re done as a trader. And if you're not willing to learn new things and listen to other perspectives...
Think about these examples:
If you spent the last 5 years trying to become a baseball player but you still can’t hit a fastball nor field a grounder…
John2 wouldn’t take advice from his coach or any of his teammates.
If you spent the last 5 years trying to become a better golfer but you still double bogey every other hole…
John2 wouldn’t take any advice from the guy in his foursome that’s a par golfer.
If you spent the last 5 years trying to become a plumber but you still can’t sweat a pipe…
John2 probably wouldn’t even try Shark Bite fittings to fix a leak in his own house.
If you spent the last 5 years trying to become a Day Trader and you still can't turn a profit…
John2 will join another chat room or buy yet another trading course but won’t actually spend the time needed to watch it let alone truly comprehend anything that’s in it.
John2 will continue to trade by merely throwing darts rather than trading proven A+ Setups.
John2 THINKS he knows what his problems are and why he's not consistently profitable but in reality he has no clue.
You can't fix what you don't know is broken.
By the way, many of the other John2s out there already stopped reading this blog or are quitting right here. They don’t want to hear this either. I expect a few unsubscribes from this blog even though I want nothing more than to help John2 and anyone else out there who’s struggling.
Finally, here comes the lesson which I had to learn myself years ago.
This is exactly what happens to a large segment of traders who fail.
They become know-it-alls. They think because they’ve been spending TIME trading, and reading books, and watching webinars, and following the gurus on twitter and YouTube that they’ve become an expert.
They think they've become a master of the art due to so much "screen time" and knowledge they’ve absorbed. But if your P&L doesn't back any of this up? If you can't consistently make money, then what do you really know?
Time doesn’t make you a professional. Results do.
That’s the great and frustrating thing about trading, you’ll never MASTER it. Every truly consistently profitable trader (not front run marketers) will admit this. I don’t’ care how long you’ve been doing it. “Time” doesn’t make you an experienced and professional trader unless your P&L is there to back it up. Period. Sure, you're great at "watching" and "calling" stocks so you open your own chat room. But you still can't execute for crap and that's why you're not really a "trader". Yes, this was a dig at yet another John we haven't met yet. Yet.
Sorry, back on track...
This personality type thinks they know everything so unfortunately they can never truly learn anything new. They already know everything! So even when/if they see/hear something new that could potentially help them FINALLY get over a hurdle, they just can’t… They just can’t really see it… They just can’t listen to Wayne or Mike (or anyone!) because they already know everything we know. They just need to get over the hump or that one last hurdle.
See how ridiculous this is? Or is it just me?
This is like buying a piece of exercise equipment because you’re fat and want to lose some weight. 6 months go by, you used the machine only a few times but complain about how much the equipment sucks and hasn’t helped you lose any weight. YOU HAVE TO HELP YOURSELF PEOPLE! You have to stop blaming everything and everyone else. It’s not the treadmill’s fault you’re still overweight if you are using the treadmill for a drying rack rather than its intended use.
This personality type drives me nuts. I have ZERO friends with this type of personality. I banish people like this from my life because they're toxic. You know the type. They know everything! They ask you a question, but they just want to answer it for you. Hell, they can’t wait for you to quit talking so they can start talking again and can try convincing you how their answer is better. My response is always the same when dealing with these folks. I simply say, “you’re right”. Then the conversation is over. And the banish begins. MY time is too valuable. So is YOURS.
This may sound harsh but it’s how I’m wired. I was born this way baby. #GaGareference. I’m the complete opposite of these people. I’m brutally honest with myself and everyone around me. It’s the only way to make progress in life. It’s the only way to grow, especially as a Day Trader! Day Trading will point out every single personality flaw you have and amplify it by 100 or more. Those who can embrace the flaws and then work on fixing them actually have a chance. Those who think they know everything, listen to no one because they already learned everything, well…they’re a big part of why 99%+ of day traders fail.
So, if you’re a “know-it-all” and you’re still reading, maybe there’s hope for you and I really want to help you. I truly do and I believe a small percentage of you can actually change IF (BIG IF) you want it badly enough.
But you have to take that first step. You have to admit you have this flaw to begin with. You already know everything else, how/why can’t you KNOW this too? Oddly, what know-it-alls know the least is themselves. And that’s exactly what’s standing in their way.
You also have to admit that you have a difficult time applying what you already now. Knowledge only gets you so far, especially in trading. It’s all about execution. Only execution pays. Well, unless you go open a chat room and convince people to pay you for your "calls". Damn it Wayne, stay on this John for now!
Please understand, this happens to many traders. Some aren’t even full-fledged know-it-alls. They start out and they learn a bunch of stuff. Maybe it’s from a guru, maybe it’s from a trading book, maybe it’s from whatever and wherever….
Quickly their P&L (and hopefully tracker stats) should be telling them that what they just learned isn’t helping them. Certainly, after a couple of months this should begin to sink in. Certainly, after YEARS!!!!! Why do you still have VWAP on your chart if it doesn’t make you money? As soon as you realize this, you need to throw out that stuff and go find something that might actually help you. That or stop trading, your choice.
Look, I can relate to this. When I first started trading back in 2008, I thought how hard can this be? I mean come on…with my math, economic and business background…plus I read every trading book I could find. I was going to kill it. Beginners luck even reinforced my naivety for a short while.
I soon realized that I didn’t know the right stuff. I knew A LOT. I had LEARNED A LOT. BUT NONE OF IT WAS MAKING ME MONEY IN THE MARKET. Maybe I didn’t know A LOT? Maybe I hadn’t learned a lot?
What did I do? I started over. I took every indicator off my charts except price and volume. I went out and found new information. I found new people who were looking at the markets in a different way. New people who seemed to talk in a language that I understood. New people who were making money in the market and weren’t doing all the same things I had been trying. I tuned out all that old noise. Oh, and I taught myself how to read the tape, like REALLY read it. But Wayne, the tape is so manipulated these days... Ok, John4, you're right. Don't use level2 because it's manipulated at times. You're right. See you later, I'm going back to reading the tape and making $. By the way, my next blog which I promise will not be nearly this long is all about Level2 and T&S.
Basically, I started fresh. I didn’t forget everything I had already learned, I just went looking for new ways to apply it. New ways to interpret what I was seeing. I really listened to anyone and everyone. Now, most of what I learned taught me exactly what NOT to do…but hopefully you get my point. I was in a rut and needed to get out. Simply sitting in my seat pushing on the gas wasn’t going to get me unstuck, it was just going to dig me in deeper and deeper…
If you’re still stuck, doing something that you learned a year ago (or 5 years ago) that’s consistently costing you money is just insane. Not changing and not adapting is on YOU. And this includes something/anything that you’ve learned from me! Doing the same things over and over and over expecting a different result…
TOMORROW I will finally follow all my rules and make $$$! Really? If it hasn’t worked for the last month, quarter, years or 5 years, why is tomorrow going to be any different?
It wont be.
If you picked up some bad habits (like chasing and buying upside shape) early in your trading career, you may never become consistently profitable if you don’t break them. This is the very reason Mike is so passionate about all the marketers out there. For the public record, I have no idea who he's talking about though.
Here’s another BIG part of this: Too many people don’t want to learn. I mean REALLY learn. They just want the easy money. They want the fast money. People go to college for 4 YEARS to get a degree, but everyone wants to learn how to Day Trade in less than 4 hours. And thanks to Social Media, this appears to be possible! But it’s freakin’ not.
Someone else recently told me they weren’t purchasing our course because “40 hours is just WAY TOO much material and time”. They couldn’t commit and said they found a “shorter and quicker way”. That’s fine, I really don’t want someone with that mindset taking our course. It/we probably wouldn't help them anyway. Let’s just all be thankful this person didn’t want to become a doctor, or lawyer, or an electrician or…
People’s mindsets are so screwed up on this it's ridiculous. Especially when you consider Day Trading is WAY MORE DIFFICULT than the vast majority of professions. I mean what other job can you spend all day working hard at and busting your butt only to have money TAKEN from you?
Finally, let’s cover this one more time. The real reason Day Trading is so freakin’ hard is because it’s not about mastering charts and technical indicators. If Day Trading was simply about “book smarts”, it wouldn’t be so freakin’ hard. Day Trading is all about mastering one thing: YOU.
Day Trading is like having the worst parts of your life (every addiction, character flaw and annoying nuance that make us human) thrown in your face every single day.
So, if you’re too stubborn to be honest with yourself about every character flaw you have… If you’re a know-it-all… Enjoy knowing everything but yourself. Enjoy your “real job” too John2.
Thanks for reading! I'd love to know your thoughts on this one, so drop me a comment below.
PS: Anyone that knows and understands me even a little bit (especially the other 99%+ of our course takers who said YES!) already knows this but I can see how my blog may come off the wrong way to some (maybe many?). Therefore, I feel the need to state this: I truly want John2 (and all the other Johns) to succeed and become a successful and consistently profitable trader. If asked, I would do anything to help John. I, of course, already reached out to John2 and gave my honest advice, thoughts and motivation. Time will tell if he listened. Like really listened. I sure hope he did.