Who Am I?
BY JAMES MASON
It is with great pleasure to be able to write as a guest blogger here! Thank you, Brad & Jake, for making it happen.
So a little about me, my name is James Mason… but you already know that from the “BY JAMES MASON” under the title… Ugh, I always make these things awkward. ?
A little about my background in both my life and in trading. As dumb as this sounds, I got started trading stocks by mistake. I started trading in 2012, I always had an interest in trading stocks, but I didn’t have a clue about them. I just wanted to make bank and have so much money that I could waste it. What better way to do that than the stock market, right? Wrong! Lol.
Overall my professional career was being a firefighter before I was trading full time. I worked for municipalities, oil & gas companies, and the government. In 2012 I was working at McMurdo station, Antarctica. Yes, the bottom of the world. Two quick facts about that place, there are not Polar bears so don’t believe that when someone yells that out, and penguins love Cheetos… but I officially wouldn’t know that because it goes against the “Antarctic Treaty” for messing with the wildlife.
One day my firefighter buddy, Brandon. He approached me and said, “Hey Mason, do you want to learn how to trade stocks?” Of course, I told him that I was. He asked me, and I just knew in my mind that he knew what he was talking about. So, we get on our computers, he is telling me stuff and I was clicking on all sorts of websites. I was ready to make money, and It was going to be easy since I was going to read the news to know what to trade… HA!
Our plan was to start with $200 and grow those accounts. So, I funded my account. The next trading day I didn’t have a clue what to trade. I asked my buddy what he was going to trade. He said “I’m from California and I know that this startup company will boom” (The company had something to do with growing pot) In my mind I was like “Yes, this makes sense.”…. HA!
It took less than a week before I lost my money. I said to my friend “Brandon, I’m never listening to you for stock advice again.” He laughed and said “Mason, why would you listen to me? I don’t know anything about stocks. I just wanted to try and make money”. I wanted to punch him. I asked him how much he lost, he said “well I bought 100K of that stock and lost around 99K of it”. I say “What do you mean 100K, we said $200”. His reply was “It’s just fake money” …. That was the moment I realized he was an idiot, but I was the bigger one for listening to another person and not doing research on anything. It was also the day I learned that you could paper trade.
I spent the next two years paper trading for the most part. Every time I started watching a short YouTube video on a simple way to make money trading… and then I would trade real money, it never worked. For two years I studied and watched different things in an attempt to learn. I finally came up with what worked for me which happen to be momentum trading penny stocks.
I finally got to the point to where I wasn’t losing money paper trading anymore. So, I added money on what was left in my live account. My strategy would work, I would make money and then get the genius idea to become a Millionaire by investing my entire account into a crappy penny stock company that was supposed to be the next big thing. We all know the end to that story!
After being dumb and going against what I knew that worked for me. I finally started listening to myself again and broke even on my account. 2015 was when I started having decent gains with minimal losses. 2016 was kind of a breakout year for me and that carried over into 2017. In 2017 I grew one of my accounts to my goal without taking or adding any money to it. Even though I was in Iraq working for the government, I was trading full time over there. 2018 and back stateside, I more than doubled my account from my goal. After moving money between accounts, I decided to go PDT.
For most of this year (2018) I traded shares until a friend who I met on Twitter started converting my trades to what I would have made if I was trading Options. I already have a strategy that I know works, I just had to learn Options. So, I studied again on my own and researched Options. I used the TOS “OnDemand” feature to get the feel which was subpar at best, but I had to learn how Option premiums moved. I also just decided to keep it simple since I mostly day trade and I’m watching my trades the entire session.
Options have been the greatest thing to happen for me. In a lot of ways, it was like trading penny stocks again. It’s hard to explain, it just gives this certain feel. Though trading Options are great and can come with great profits. They also come with great losses if you’re wrong.
So that’s how I started trading and where I’m at in my trading career for a short and simplified version of the story. I have a lot of knowledge to share and a lot more of “What not to do” as well. Lol.
I hope to be of help with my ideas here. If you have any questions, please reach out!
Thank you for reading!