Background

For those reading, just wanted to share a brief background of myself. I'm by degree a mechanical engineer, retired after 15-yrs in the profession (tanker manufacturing, pharmeceuticals, semiconductors, medical devices). Got really bored and was just tired of the big corporate mentality, the egos, the politics. Yes, I'm a retired engineer and I'm not even 40 yrs old yet. I was also tired of the discrimination and not getting paid as much as my male counterpart just by the very fact of being female. It does happen quite readily in this day in age.

In '95, as a young engineer, I began trading INTC, as I worked for them, saved a bunch of money, invested in their stock purchase plan. Every period (twice a year), I would buy the INTC stock for a 15% discount and turn around and sell the stock for the profit or hold onto it. Did both. Since I'm a fairly frugal person that enjoys saving money, the thought of having my money work hard for me, appealed to me. Materialism wasn't my thing and I wanted to become a super multi-millionaire by the age of 40 and retire early. Okay, so one of the things happened.

I learned a little information for the next 5 yrs that only made me very dangerous. I really thought I was all that. I took an initial investment of $3-4K and let's just say by 2000, that was worth A LOT. My trading coach, Ryan Litchfield, says, "A rising tide floats all boats." I was a boat in the rising tide of the tech boom in the late 90s. I could do no wrong.

I'd probably read 1-3 books on trading, but nothing really meant anything to me. I subscribed to TC-2000 and eSignal the latter 90s, but just still didn't know anything. As ALL my stocks were headed down in 2000, as I was high tech heavy, I remember saying to my stockbroker, "Don't you think I should sell? I've lost more than half the value of my portfolio." He told me that I was invested in all good companies and they will come back.

Seven years later, only 1 of the companies have even made a modest comeback, but the rest remain in a somewhat dismal state, as far as I was concerned. What was a stop? Manage risk? What risk? Skill? What skill? Trend? What's that? I understood trends in my engineering as I did a lot of statistics, but what the heck was a trend in stocks? Afterall, isn't it just random, left up to lady luck?

Some of you chuckling?

The next year that followed was gut-wrenching for my portfolio. The next 5 yrs to follow, I bought many books on trading, immersed myself in a bunch of books that really haven't aided me that much in my trading. I sure read a lot, and my bookshelves make me seem like I know a lot.

During that 5 yrs, I made lots of money as well as lost a lot of money. Each time taking a small account to nice size over a short period of time. Let's see, I played stocks under $10. Then I played OTC and BB stocks. EEEEK!!!!! You're probably saying to yourself some things at this point. Yes, I know those thoughts. No need to put them down on print.

A friend of mine, Ed P, in the 2001 timeframe introduced me to options. He tried to explain calls and puts, especially puts. He also talked about spreads. It was all literally Greek to me. The thought that you could make money when a stock is dropping seemed ludacrious to me. For 4 years I muddled through this, struggling to understand this options thing and nothing really made sense to me.

Then, 2 yrs ago, something just clicked. Actually, I had something really traumatic and horrible happen. A couple months after that, I either read or heard somewhere that puts and calls were like vectors. A vector is just a direction, which is neither right nor wrong. From then on, that seemed to be the light switch that allowed everything else to flow regarding options and trading.

Two years ago I began formal trading education through Better Trades, initially starting with Darlene Nelson. I ended up making good money with her way of trading, but the dilemma still existed. My trading skills were pretty much zero (though I knew all these different technical indicators galore), no risk management clue, and trading psychology (what was that?).

Then I began taking classes from Ryan Litchfield and signed up to have him be my trading coach/mentor. Through him, I learned how to develop my skill, manage my risk, manage my emotions in trading, and gain a lot of knowledge. He really has been instrumental in teaching me about knowing the basics very well (minus the scales).

This is not a pitch for Better Trades or Ryan, but they have really helped me out a great deal and Ryan is awesome. Markay Latimer has also helped a great deal in the success of my trading. I continue to learn from these 2 significantly.

I'm always papertrading exactly what I would do in real life, minus the funds. I pick the best of the stocks I'm looking at to trade, which usually turns out to be the 10 I listed in my last entry. I do trading now full-time, to allow me to spend time with my 2 children and to own my own time.

I love trading. It doesn't matter if I'm a woman or a man, my educational background, young or old. The market does not discriminate. If I don't know what I'm doing or even if I do, it will either take money from me, or I will take from it. It doesn't care a lick about me. So, the playing field is level. The market is always right and I have learned that I cannot outsmart the market. My goal is to peacefully co-exist with it, to be able to dance beautifully with it.

The market is fascinating. How stocks move and how they are so manipulated astonishes me. I used to use all sorts of technical indicators like Elliot Waves, Fibonnacci, Stochastics, MACD, RSI, and the list seemed almost endless. It got very confusing. Most of my trading is done strictly off the price chart, using some indicators to confirm what I'm seeing on the price charts.

Daily
  • RSI/MACD/Stoch
  • Adaptive Moving Avg/Cashflow/ADX/DMI -/+
  • Bollingers (15 & 20)
  • Moving Avgs (5, 10, 20, 50 Exp and 100 & 200 Simple) & Volume
  • Commodity Channel Index (sometimes)

Intraday (5 min. & 1 min, 60 min.)

  • Bollingers (15 & 20)
  • Volume
  • Moving Avg (10 & 20)

What are my stats? This summer, I haven't calculated. Before then, 50-60% of my trades were profitable. I basically kept about a 4:1 ratio between profitability and costing trades average. This summer, I'm guessing as I've not had too many costing trades is in the range of 80% profitability with most of my trades in the 25-800% ROI.

I did have 2 trades that did go against me with near 100% ROI. Goofed up on those and know exactly what happened. By the time I figured it out, it was too late. Believe it or not, I was managing my risk, but failed to understand something I was seeing on the price chart. Most of my costing trades are 10-25% of my capital. Yes, I know high, but it does workout in the end with all my trades with a 4:1 ratio of profitability.

My kids (daughter 7, son almost 4) are learning trading from me and I'm helping to teach them about managing their money as well as making money with their money, simple concepts about trading.

As for my own personal life, my kids are one of the biggest part and whom I live for. I'm a devout Bible based Christian, who enjoys this incredible relationship with God. My whole life centers on Him.

Earlier this year I began training for triathlons and completed a sprint tri. Later this year, I hope to pick up tri training again as I stabilize other areas of my personal life and gain greater momentum in my trading.

In my early adulthood into my early 30s, I competed in racquetball. I'm an avid weightlifter, but now it's turned more into better developing my core balance and strength to empower me in every day life, longevity and sports. Yoga helps me to better balance myself physically and mentally.

And, I'm into holistic, natural, organic eating and a way of life. Working to integrate more "green" into all aspects of living. That's me in a big nutshell. I love God, my kids, life, people, and trading and intend to make every day the most excellent.

4 Responses
  1. Hi Doris :-)

    I'm eager to read more from you. Your "prior life" background...your studies, strategies and experience in trading...your life priorities...and your easy to read style are a winning combination.

    Bring on the blog posts, Doris. :-)


    CHEERS!

    D


  2. Doris Says:

    Thanks so much SOTT!!! I appreciate that. You're the first person to comment.

    I was thinking last night as I was reading some other people's sites about posting my trades, those I actually do in practice as well as real trades that are executed real time (not backtesting).

    Since I'm not trading dozens of stocks, I can share my "simple" way of trading (though, it took me over 10,000 trades to get down), entries, exits, stops, why I got in/out, options.

    Let's see actually what my profitability vs. cost ratio is, as well as ROI.


  3. Well...here's at least one vote from your readers for "yes". I can think of many ways that this would benefit both you and your audience.

    Up to you, of course.


  4. Doris Says:

    D,

    I will do the best I can to document here simply, succinctly.

    Right now I'm at a critical point in my trading, as well as life. Sort of living precariously not in a manner I had intended, but life sometimes throws you some pretty crappy stuff, and people can either give up, or get back up and rise above the challenges they are faced.

    Hopefully I can be consistent in sharing my trades, positions. Keep in simple and the likelihood of success in documenting it here in this blog will be greater. At least that's my goal.

    Blessings,
    Doris


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