I have been keeping from sharing about this experience of mine since last year because my trading experience hasn’t turned green yet. I thought I would start sharing about my stock trading experience when I start making money. But that does not stand true with the purpose of figuringgitout. Figuringgitout is about me sharing my money (and life) journey – both the good and the bad, the success and the failure, and for this post’s sake, the green and the red.
And I’m still on the red.
I’m still not making money.
First thing first, how did I get into this stock world?
One good thing about this pandemic that forced us to be on lockdown back in March 2020 was that I got more time to explore and learn new things. At that point of time, I was on the early months of my No-Buy Year. I was pumped up learning about all these new financial things, about investments and stuff. And that’s when I became intrigued with stock. Mostly because I saw people making money and I was like – hey if they can do this, of course I can do it too.
So I started to learn all about stock. I learned that investing and trading are two different concepts and that CDS account is where we buy and sell stocks. I learned about fundamental and technical analysis. I learned about the psychology of investing and trading; greed and fear. I learned how to read charts! With the candles, volumes and all. I was soooo excited about it because never in a million year I thought I would be able to read stock market charts. With that, I already felt like the wall street wolf.
Except that knowing those stuff alone is not enough to make you money.
How did I learn all about stock?
When I learned the basics of the stock market, I was intrigued to learn more about trading using technical analysis. Why?
Because technical analysis looks so cool.
Seriously, I see stock trading as a potential side hustle and technical analysis suits this short-to-medium trading plan. I know it’s not impossible making money every other week (or even days) from stock trading because I’ve seen people doing it. It’s doable but I knew this requires a lot of learning and studying. It’s a constant learning process, with no confirmed money-making result.
And that’s what I did. I did a lot of studying. Thank God for the Internet and books, those become my learning medium. I’m now able to read and analyze charts. I understand what’s going on when I read them (still can’t believe I’m able to do this ahhh).
I stocked up on stock books (no pun intended) and have read tons of them. I also subscribed to TradingView where I initially spent quite a lot of time (and money, the subscription fee is expensive) studying charts.
So did I make money learning about stock?
That’s the thing. I understand stuff when I read about them and do my own study of past charts. Heck, I even managed to select good stocks that go up ONLY WHEN I DO NOT BUY THEM. Geez.
So again, learning and studying about money alone is not enough to make money. Because here are my biggest issues that I noticed from my first few times trading –
I’m scared to lose money and I don’t trust myself enough to make good judgment. So I don’t do much buying. And when I do, I’m so easily influenced by fear and greed. In other words, I don’t apply what I study.
What were the first stocks that I bought?
I won’t disclose what I bought, I will just share the background and outcome. These are my attempts at stock trading – buying and selling stocks within a short time period, few days to weeks.
1st Attempt – Greed, blatant stupidity, and fear
So the very first stock that I bought was because the stock went up so high that day! At that point in time, I just got my CDS account activated and I was still exploring things, barely knew how to put in the buying and selling price (this was before I did all the serious studying). And I saw this one stock that went up soooo high and I was okay let’s buy this – confirm tomorrow go up – hahahaha rookie mistake. I bought it at such a high price. The next day it went down soooo fast, I was scared and by 11 am, I sold at 50% loss. It went up a bit, still much lower than when I bought, during closing.
And that’s how I lost my first RM200. Thankfully, I played small. But that still hurts to this day. I forgive myself though. Better make that mistake earlier than later haha I take that RM200 as my learning fees.
2nd Attempt – I didn’t sell when I was supposed to
My 2nd attempt was when I learned a little bit more and I understood stuff better than during my 1st attempt. So this 2nd stock I bought based on my own analysis. And hooray I made money for few days! I went in with the intention to hold only for a day or two but because I kept seeing green, I kept holding.
Until I saw red. Ah geez, I should’ve sold as planned when it’s making money! I shouldn’t be greedy ahhh. So after few days of red and the stocks no longer looked good, I sold at a small loss.
So I learned that no use having trading plan if I don’t follow them.
3rd Attempt – I sold too early
Learning from my 2nd attempt, the 3rd stock I bought I sold immediately after I saw green for few days. I made 10% out of this and I was thrilled.
Until I saw the stock price keeps rising. If I kept it to this day, I would be making almost 100% profit. If only….
4th Attempt – I didn’t sell when I was supposed to
Another attempt with another stock that reached all time high. The price continued to go up for few days and combining my experience from my 2nd and 3rd attempts, I decided to not sell that early. And then the price went down! Ahhh if I remember correctly, that’s during the time we had political instability with spike in Covid-19 cases, the market went red. I tried to hold on for few weeks and didn’t see any change, so I sold at a 12% loss.
All attempts jumbled up, I’m all confused now.
5th Attempt – My trading plan turned to investing game
Same experience as my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th attempts. But as the price goes sideways, I continue holding on. Now entering my 3 months of holding the stock. Haha suddenly I become an investor.
So what now?
I’m trying to figure out, really hard, how to do this right. I’m putting my head in books and studying charts. But here’s the thing about studying and learning, it feels productive but it’s a false sense of productivity. Because the only way to do trading is to… surprise surprise… continue trading. But I’m taking a break for a while. While still doing the studying.
Playing in the stock market is about taking risks. Whilst I’m still not comfortable with that (as it involves MONEY, and you know how hard it’s for me to save my money), I’m trying hard to get over that fear. I know if I got the basics, both fundamental and technical, right, I would be able to keep my losses small and my wins high.
I don’t intend to give up albeit my slow and losing start. I will continue doing this. I just need time. I’m also still exploring how to approach this whole thing right. Perhaps I should consider investing for dividends. Maybe I should consider other forms of investments. Or I should make it easy and go for unit trust or robo-advisor. Many options out there, but I’m gonna give myself some time to learn some more about stock trading first.
Ah how I wish I could tell you a more beautiful story about my trading experience as a beginner! But apparently, nope. This is where I am now. Frustrating process, but we’ll get there eh?
Let’s continue figuringgitout.