I ain’t sure if this is useful, but for the past three years, I have been immersed in trading, studying, trying to turn this into my life career. About to turn a year and a half into actively trading with real money.
A bit of context: I’m [name], 23 years old & my great grandfather took responsibility of me by adopting me at birth due to my young parents’ circumstances. He was from a small town in southern Mexico and ended up in the north, in Sonora, where I am from. He was born in 1919 and passed away at the age of 97 in 2016, just after I turned 16. He was very determined; by the age of 15-16 he already knew that he wanted to make real impact. He analyzed his situation based on his goals and realized that he had to do something. He gathered a group of friends who shared the same kind of ambitions, went to the state capital, and lived on the streets for a while until he made his way through. His goal was to be a doctor and serve society, however, because of his situation, he couldn’t get into medical school. He ended up becoming kind of an academic, ‘Without discipline, there is no education.’ as he would say. Education would be the means through which he would serve his purpose, setting up semi-private high schools whose purpose was not to generate profits, as is commonly is, but to focus it on a continuous improvement on the quality of education. It wasn’t an expensive high school, but it wasn’t free either, it was no secret. These preparatoria, which is the equivalent of a high school, operated under a different structure than others, more likely as a cooperative. He instilled in me values like discipline, conviction, and the pursuit of truth—core principles. I was in high school when he passed away & I got a different perspective. I knew what I wanted to achieve but not how to achieve it, so I started from the basics.
In a capitalist world, we have to learn about business, so I used what my grandfather left me to get into the best business school, although I already knew I wouldn’t take the conventional path. However, I had to understand what I was up against. I never devoted myself solely to school; I was always trying new things, business ideas, ways of thinking, hobbies, etc. School was giving me some valuable insights & it was during this period that I decided to commit to trading. It’s interesting because it was something I thought about in high school, but never took it seriously because it seemed unattainable, much like being a singer or actor. It wasn’t until I tried many things that I understood that if I were going to dedicate myself to something for the rest of my life, it had to be something worthwhile. Something valuable that my school allowed me was access to experts in various fields, connecting and talking to them, a lot of networking. All this broadened my perspective and fueled my curiosity, I wanted to know more, read more, learn more because everything was attainable. I just needed to humanize these outliers.
I started with what I had most accessible based on my knowledge, I mention this because there is so much garbage on the internet & gets really noisy. How do you know what you don’t know? It wasn’t until I dive deep enough into the topic to start seeing this, learning. There are a thousand ways to make money out of the stock market, even through monetizing stupid videos about 1-minute candlesticks and day trading. Who cares if it works or not; it still has thousands and thousands of views. I started reading a lot about trading, different authors, different approaches & too many doubts. I even joined a digital boot camp from a Canadian firm (Bear Bull Traders) to understand how to make this a formal business, it wasn’t the best but I don’t regret it because it opened my eyes I was overcomplicating things, and this is where I started to understood that the simplest and most obvious things are the hardest to comprehend.
This is my journey through trading: I started as a day trader, but stumbles, learning experiences turned me into a trend trader. However, I still have much to learn. After a significant loss early on, I promised myself not to invest another penny until I knew what I was doing, with a rigorous method. From day 1, I was convinced the technical view over the fundamental, even more so after reading ‘The Intelligent Investor’ & realizing that $ is all you need. I tested many things; what worked for me and made sense, I kept it, and what didn’t, I discarded. For example, from Mark Minervini, I took his approach to Risk Management, kind of adopted his logic & method. I dive into critical thinking, systems logic, lots of technical analysis and if anything valuable I got from all of this was that I had to have a systematic process, governed by a set of rules or policies. Recognizing that humans are not very special and that the common denominator of any market in any historical period is that it is made up of people was a turning point.
A year ago, I was reading Jesse Livermore, and at the end of the ebook, I came across an article about trend following, and you were the author. That was when this approach made sense. Before this, I had heard and read about trends, but very superficially. It wasn’t until this article that everything started to click.
The second half of last year, I dedicated myself to testing my supposed ultimate strategy but now with real money, not my full stake, but a part of it. My plan was to formally launch this year in 2023 to generate real results so that by mid-2024, I could start managing third-party capital.
I graduated this summer of 2023, and already with half a year of formal trading, I expected to continue on this path refining my process. By the end of 2022 I had a much larger perspective & the only thing I did was to really get into it, the ‘nitty-gritty’. I understood the relevance of systems, probabilities, statistics, Bayesian thinking & consequently guiding my learning process.
Now I’m learning about models, coding, putting the scientific method into practice. With this in mind, and not undermining the discipline, I decided to study a master’s degree focused on all these topics: statistics, data science, models, quantitative inference, etc. Instead of learning it on my own, I wanted to reduce my learning curve and study it with experts. The discomfort I felt when I considered it was what made me realize that it was what I had to learn. However, almost the end of this year, I find myself with losses and a prospect willing to give me a substantial amount of capital in January. I would be trading with around [number] USD, and it may not sound much to you, but for my context, it’s a good opportunity.
All of this has made me an extremely skeptical person, I’ve had enough of all the garbage on the internet. Your article made sense to me initially so I started studying your work (Trend Following, TurtleTrader, your film, podcasts, etc.) I realized that you don’t give a f*** , data never lies and if someone thinks otherwise, they should read your work first. And here we are, mid-November, negative on the year, with a great opportunity on the horizon and no time to lose.
Keep pushing. Great story. Motivating!