I recall my first major “blow up” trading back in 1999.  All I had was $2000 to my name and I put it all in the stock market.

There was an internet company called “Internet Commerce” something or other.  I think the stock symbol was ICCSA.

The stock was trading at $4 having run up from $1 in a short period of time.  I had just learned about shorting stocks, so I thought I’d short this bloated stock with no revenues back to the $3’s.  I took my $2000 and shorted it on full margin, doubling my position to 1000 shares short at $4.

Sure enough, as my luck would have it, it quickly climbed to $5.  Then $6.  Then $7.  Then $8.

Then I received a margin call from my broker.  And that same day,  before I could act on it, they automatically closed out my position.  I was so upset that they closed me out at the high of the day $8.50 without giving me a chance.  Especially since the stock was getting ready to drift back down.

I checked my account balance and it actually said “-$2,000″.  Yes, negative two thousand dollars.  I was confused at first, but then realized this meant that not only did I lose my $2k, but that I needed to mail them a check for an additional $2k, which I didn’t have…  I was numb with shock.

I used my next couple paychecks to pay this back, but the whole time I was upset with them, as I watched the stock drift down to the $7’s, obviously heading lower.

Months later, I checked this stock to see where it had fallen to.  It turns out, it went on a dot com bubble rage and climbed all the way to $90…  (Before eventually falling back to $1.)

—–

So as I reflect now on my trading “career”, all I remember all these blow up and huge mistakes I’ve made.  I’ve had some wins here and there but I’ve never had a good year.  I’ve missed all the bull markets, sitting out.  Or found myself on the wrong side of them.

And now this year happened, suffering a catastrophic loss.  I can’t believe the misfortune I’ve endured as possibly the worst trader ever, with horrible timing and intuition.  Complete lack of discipline.  I take bets that are too big and go all-in, looking for the big score.  More times than not, I am in a hole, trying simply to climb back to even.

So much time and stress just trying to make it back.  I don’t know what it feels like to have a good year, to be up.

—–

The stock market is the world’s largest online game with millions of other players.  All we’re trying to do is choose UP or DOWN – and be correct in our timing.  A lot of us are not actually “investing”, we’re really just “playing”.  On the surface, such a simple game.  Up or down.  But once you add the thrill of real money and let emotions get involved, the game becomes amazingly complex.  And I don’t think I have the patience and emotional discipline to be successful at this…

I’ve been reading comments about my blog on Twitter these past couple days since I made it public.

I assure you, it is 100% real, not fake as some are claiming.

I think most who are claiming it is fake is because the trade log seems random and ridiculous with no trade plan whatsoever.  I fully agree, the trades were all over the place and make no sense.

(Or others are claiming it’s fake because I put in a Paypal link for donations for beer money.  Goofy idea I know, but believe it or not, a few of you have bought me a Milwaukee’s Best!  I genuinely appreciate the kind gesture, thank you…  I just need 39,000 beers to break even…)

What happened to me was I started off trading in control and conservatively playing SSO.  But somehow, as soon as I experienced my first loss of only $500 (which involved a $2k-$3k drawdown during the day), things very quickly spiraled out of control.

I don’t know why I would gamble so big on BWLD earnings with a $400k bet on margin just to chase a $500 loss.  I did it almost instinctively, without much thought.  I just felt the need to get back my $500 and then some, so I chose to play earnings on a momentum stock, especially since CMG was doing so well.  I do remember, as I placed the trade, my heart was racing, practically jumping out of my chest.  This was an emotional trade to avenge a loss…

In after-hours, I was up $10k on the beat and feeling great.  But the next morning, I was quickly down $40k in 30 minutes.

It was extremely painful and I was numb with shock.  So I panicked and felt the need to win it all back on the next one and quick.  When you have that much pain, you want it gone as soon as possible.  So I chose TWTR which was reporting that night, which I knew would swing 10-15% either way.

The crazy thing is I originally wanted to short it, but no shares available.  Unfortunately, as a gambler, I just impulsively decided to go long.  Like choosing black or red at roulette, for no reason, just because.  And I got burned again.  And again.  And again.

This happened so quickly.  I had to make my money back.  I had to make it back big and quick.  So I took these massive all-in positions.  I kept thinking I gotta win on one of these.  But I never did.  I still can’t believe how many consecutive losses I endured…

I accept all the online criticism and fully agree that I was an “idiot” and “moron”.  I have made a horrible mistake returning to trading and I definitely have a gambling problem.  The timing on my trading career couldn’t be worse.  I quit trading in 2009 after a $130k loss.  Never even looked at a stock chart for five years, as I hated stocks.  I was long financials in 2009 when Citigroup was at $1.  But I gave up after my losses.  As it turns out, I quit trading just as the 5 year bull market started.

Then in January 2014, I had a friend casually ask me, do you have any investments?  I said no and felt embarrassed to only have savings accounts.  I then checked the SP500 and couldn’t believe how much I missed out on.  Honestly, I had no idea how the stock market was doing, as I had such a bad taste in my mouth from 09.  So I started trading again in Feb 2014 with the genuine hopes of investing.  This turned out to be a bad time to get back in as the markets were getting more volatile and toppy.  And then with my initial $500 loss, I started making irrational and reckless decisions…

 

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I could really use a cool one right about now…  I don’t think I’ll ever see any of that $195k ever again.  I’m done with stocks, probably forever, especially given the reckless way I play them.  I wonder how many others are out there that are in my shoes?  And have the same trading/gambling problem that I do.  Or I am possibly the worst trader ever…

Funny thing is, I don’t like Vegas or casinos because I dislike gambling…  I shop at Wal-Mart because I am frugal in every other area of my life.  But I am willing to flush away my entire savings in 10 days…

I published my trading journal notes publicly as the first step of my 12-step recovery program…  Seeing it here in the open is helping me to realize how ridiculous and reckless my trading is.  I would be laughing at all this if it weren’t true.  But unfortunately, this is completely true and there’s no happy ending where I make it all back…  I’m done.

Well, if this blog has made you feel better about your own trading losses (“At least I’m not down 97.5%!”) or if you were on the other side of these wonderful trades or if you were at least entertained by watching this fast-motion train wreck, feel free to buy me a beer!  For $5, I can buy a case of Milwaukee’s Best at Wal-Mart…

 

A picture speaks a thousand words.  Or in this case, a hundred ninety-five thousand words…

 

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Well, of course TRLA missed last night and down 15-20% today, what’s new…  At least I bought in the money calls so I can salvage whatever’s left…  Closing out at $31 before this thing dips below $30…

CLOSE 29 TRLA Feb22 30 CALLS @ $1.10
$15,434  LOSS

Account balance now at $5k.  $195k lost in 2 weeks.

No words, just stunned.  How is it possible to have this many losses in a row?  Unbelievable.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Down 90% in two weeks.

$200k to $20k.

Need a 10-bagger here to break even.

Won’t happen overnight, but trying for one more earnings play to get some back quick.  What do I have to lose?

Hoping for TRLA to follow in Z footsteps higher.  Looking for a nice pop from $36 to the $40’s.

OPEN 29 TRLA Feb22 30 CALLS @ $6.40

SPY is marching up to $183 as the relentless dip buying continues with no end in sight, have to exit this at a big loss here before this becomes worthless next week.

CLOSE 238 SPY Feb22 182 PUTS @ $0.87
$20,286  LOSS

Need some more leverage if I have any chance.  Trying my hand at some options here.

SPY at $181 looks like a good short here, I think this bounce back rally from the recent lows at $173  has come too far too fast and ready to retrace back a bit.  Just looking to scalp a few point as it retreats to the $178-$179 range…

Here goes some SPY puts, in the money to play it safe, a week and a half out.

OPEN 238 SPY Feb22 182 PUTS @ $1.70

CPST just reported last night, stock and fuel cell sector looks weak here.  Maybe too much type and no earnings…

Going to take off these two trades at basically break even.  But feels good to get a win, even if it’s just $250…

SELL 14,000 FCEL @ $1.46
$679  GAIN (!)

SELL 12600 CPST @ $1.55
$398  LOSS

I’m not done yet.  Can’t leave the game yet – I’m due for a win, aren’t I?

And besides, I can’t get my money out yet either.  Must be a sign.  :)

—–

Was reading a lot about fuel cells stocks last night.  Huge potential here for the future.  Not daytrading these, but longer term swing trade.  Maybe a double in the coming year.

There’s four stocks on my radar including PLUG around $3 and BLDP at $2, but I like these other two the best, since they’re still in the $1’s and have plenty of room to run, so here goes:

BUY 14000 FCEL @ $1.41

BUY 12600 CPST @ $1.58

I’m done.  Taking my losses here and getting out.

I requested my $40,852 remaining from my initial $200k three days ago.

However, now TD Ameritrade says they can’t release the funds yet, because the trades haven’t settled.  FML

Down HUGE in 2 days.

So I chose a wall street darling stock to play, which reported this afternoon, LNKD.

Big mistake again.

I initially went short, as a revenge trade on social media stocks…  But kept flip flopping long/short through the trading day, as I got nervous about the price action.  Losing confidence with each loss makes for bad trading decisions…

SHORT 1500 LNKD @ $220.45
COVER 1500 LNKD @ $223.39
$4360  LOSS

—–

BUY 1500 LNKD @ $223.49
SELL 1500 LNKD @ $220.05
$2178  LOSS

—–

SHORT 1500 LNKD @ $222.10
COVER 1500 LNKD @ $223.30
$1665  LOSS

—–

Finally, at 3:59 in the final minute before the closing bell, opened a long position again, as I saw some strength building up:

BUY 1500 LNKD @ $223.35

Sure enough, right on cue, stock popped higher on earnings beat, then tanked 5 minutes later…  Took it on the chin and sold out in after-hours.

SELL 1500 LNKD @ $196.99
$39,574  LOSS

Totally stunned, $48k loss in LNKD….    Account balance stands at $40k.  $160k loss in three days…

No sleep last night, yesterday felt like a bad dream.  But hoping for any kind of bounce in TWTR this morning.  It’s down 20% this morning and way oversold here, looking for quick snap back.

BUY 6500 TWTR @ $52.26

—–

This thing is not getting any bids, I’m done.

SELL 6500 TWTR @ $52.07
$1301  LOSS

Down $70k now in TWTR, unreal…  Account balance from $200k to $88k in two days…  My trading these past few days feels like I’m in a slow motion train wreck…

Looking to make it back here.

TWTR is reporting tonight.

I’m leaning just a bit on the short side, but no shares available to short from my broker…

Can’t buy puts either, as my funds haven’t fully cleared my account for options…

Well, taking a chance here going long, as it could really go either way.  Lots of strong tech earnings recently, so looking for a big move.

BUY 5400 TWTR @ $65.88

—–

Not liking the intraday action, sold quickly for loss.

SOLD 5400 TWTR @ $65.35
$2990  LOSS

—–

Stock is looking better before the bell, let’s try this one more time.

BUY 5300 TWTR @ $65.64

Stock moving up towards $66 heading into the bell.  Short squeeze is on, here we go!

—–

Earnings beat, but after the initial pop up towards $69-70, now tanking hard.  Are you kidding me?  I was up $10k-$20k on the pop, now selling at a huge loss.

SOLD 5300 TWTR @ $57.02
$45,706  LOSS

—–

Trying to catch one of the bounces after-hours to make some back.  Not working, getting totally chopped up:

BUY 5100 TWTR @ $58.75
SELL 5100 TWTR @ $57.35
$7267  LOSS

—–

BUY 5100 TWTR @ $58.50
SELL 5100 TWTR @ $57.85
$3330  LOSS

—–

BUY 5100 TWTR @ $58.45
SELL 5100 TWTR @ $57.82
$3217  LOSS

—–

BUY 4900 TWTR @ $60.00
SELL 4900 TWTR @ $58.69
$6424  LOSS

I’m in shock, can’t believe I’m down over $68k in TWTR just today…

Horrible day.

Woke up this morning to see BWLD gapping up to $143, then reversing and free falling.  Within 30 minutes of the opening bell, plummeted 10% all the way to $126.  It all happened so fast, there was no chance to close it out…

They beat earnings last night, but some fears on next quarter guidance regarding chicken wing prices…  Unbelievable.

SOLD 2800 BWLD @ $126.01
$40,632  LOSS

I treated myself to nice dinner last night.  Now I feel like a fool.

I like BWLD here, as it’s in a strong year-long uptrend with some recent weakness.  Earnings on tap tonight.  Hoping for a nice pop similar to CMG last week.  I don’t necessarily like these fast casual dining stocks, but looking to ride the momentum and squeeze out some shorts.

Taking a position ahead of earnings tonight.

BUY 2800 BWLD at $140.52

—–

Well, they beat!  Stock bouncing around but still up 3-4 points in after-hours, $10k profit.  Made back my $500 loss and then some.

Will hold overnight as these I’ve seen plenty of these 3% gainers become 10-15% gainers come the opening bell.

Guess I was wrong about the reversal, I was down as much as $2k-3k yesterday as I held SSO through the swings.  Sweaty palms and racing heart.

Recovered quite a bit, so selling here to avoid any more damage, in case SPX turns south again towards 1740’s.

SELL 1800 SSO @ $92.11
$33  GAIN

Still down around $500 overall.  Sucks but not as bad as $3000.

 

Happy Monday morning, markets open, let’s go!

Read on a blog over the weekend about SPX retracement levels and buy/sell signals.  Signed up for a trial.  Hoping this tool helps me make educated trading decisions.

SPX has been falling from the 1850’s down to 1760’s, but looks oversold and a good entry point here, with a 72% of reversing back up, according to the calculator.

BUY 1000 SSO at $92.58

—–

Started falling quickly, so cut my losses quick to minimize losses.  Keep my losses small and manageable.

SELL 1000 SSO @ $92.07
$531  LOSS

—–

Looks like it firming up here at $92, back in again, but this time a little bit more firepower.

BUY 1800 SSO @ $92.08

Freed up the rest of my cash in my other savings account earning 0.70% interest.

$100k more so let’s make that $200k total.

Even earning 1-2% a month would be fairly reasonable in this market.

Just funded my TD Ameritrade account today.  $100k

Been completely out of the market the past 5 years, since I took a $130k loss back in ’09.  Took a huge loss that year after buying FAS around $5, closing it out at $3.  I was playing for the financial sector rebound but was losing huge money everyday.  Switched sides and started trading in and out of FAZ, which ended up wiping me out.  All the while, FAS went from $3 to $15…

But I’ll play it conservative this time around, learned my lesson.  Fingers crossed for this fresh start.

Anyways, tired of earning 0.5% interest on my cash in my savings account…  Need to invest for the future.

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