Stock Trading

My Trading Goals

The way I see it, it’s only fair that I clue you in a little bit into who I am as a trader, and what my trading goals are.

After all, I am blogging about trading every single day. And while a lot of it is educational and objective, I still think it might be a good idea for you and I to get to know each other a little more closely.

That way you can see that I’m not a trading robot — or a trading genius — I’m just a regular retail trader with trading goals and trading dreams — just like you.

Anyway, everything I want to do, or hope to do, or plan to do in the market can be summed up in one word:


I want my account to grow.  I want my knowledge to grow.  I want my skills to grow.  I want my insight to grow.

My Trading History

I started trading for the same reason I start any project in my life — curiosity. And from my very first trade (a huge loser: $SIRI) I’ve been obsessed with the market.  It’s been an awesome journey, and here’s how it began:

A roommate of mine was a finance major at Penn State and he was doing really good in the SIRI trade.  And I was watching him make cash.  And sitting on the sideline.

And of course, we all know what happens when you sit on the sideline too long — you end up getting in at the worst possible time.

Irregardless of where I got in, he showed me how to open account (my first with Scottrade), how to place an order, what all of the orders meant, and I was on my way…to losing half of my account!

I tell everyone that losing half of my account on my first trade was the best thing that could have ever happen to me. 

That’s because it let me know exactly what I was up against. It also let me know that I was in control of myself in the market.  Because no one kept me in that trade.  No one told me to let my money whittle away.

No one told me to ignore my gut.  That was all me.

Since that first trade I have learned a LOT.  And my passion has done nothing but grow.

There isn’t anything about the market that I don’t love.

The books, the charts, the websites, the small retail traders who’ve made it big — guys like Nicolas Darvas, Daz Zanger, Timothy Sykes — ordinary guys like you and me who have entered the arena and who have done really well. I find all of those things amazing.

And blogging about those things brings all of my loves, my passions, together in one place.

So, my main goal when it comes to trading is growth.To get as big as I possibly can. And while I am on this subject, one of my favorite sayings related to achievement is:

What one man can do, another man can do.

And when it comes to getting really BIG in trading, more that one man has done it.

  • Dan Zanger made over $42 million in the market (he was a pool contractor).
  • Timothy Sykes made over $2 million (he was a college student).
  • Nicolas Darvas made over $2 million (he was a ballroom dancer).

These guys went out there and they did it.

Normal guys who worked really, really hard. In some cases they took big risks (Zanger blew up his account a couple times before he hit his stride) (Sykes started a hedge fund that didn’t perform how he expected) (Darvas lost big on a trade he mortgaged his house to finance) — but they kept their goal firmly in mind.

I have the same trading goals.

And when you have big goals like that you’re bound to run into trouble from time to time because you don’t get big rewards without big risks. That’s where the growth comes in.

About Me

I’m not a professional trader. I don’t work an investment bank. I don’t work anywhere on Wall Street.

I’m just a regular guy (like you) with a full time job and a serious PASSION for the market. In the last 8 years I’ve learned a lot about trading, like:

  • self-discipline
  • money management
  • back testing
  • honesty
  • frustration
  • despair (I traded through a seriously crazy 3 year losing streak)
  • trading styles
  • stop loss-placement
  • trend following
  • and more….

And I’m really pumped to be able to share these things in a blog about the stock market.

One Last Thing I’ve Learned

Everyone has their own reasons for being in the market. Some traders are bored and want a little excitement. Some are broke and want a little money. Some want fame and fortune.

Some just want fortune. Whatever the reason, I think it’s awesome. There are as many reasons for trading the market as there are market participants. All you need to know is why YOU are trading.

Which brings me to my absolute last thought on trading goals and what I’m looking for in the market…

The Minimalist Trading Lifestyle

Looking back on everything I’ve said so far you might get the impression that I am after an account in the millions, lavish homes and million dollar yachts.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

I think that, when done right, and learned correctly, trading the market can provide somethig much more important to me than all of those things:


Look, you might think that you need millions and millions of dollars like Darvas, or Sykes or Zanger to be rich from trading, but take a closer look.

If you can drastically reduce your monthly expenses by managing your money more effectively, and you take the time and make the effort to keep only the things that you truly need in your life, then the amount of income you need each year from trading to do that full time might be drastically different than what you originally thought.


Think about it.

I’m not saying you can’t have dreams of riches (I know I do) I’m just saying to bring that dream closer to home by looking at your current income and expenses, reducing your expenses as low as you can, and reevaluating the amount of cash you would actually need to sustain your lifestyle.

I’m sure that number is within reach from trading.

You can believe I’ll be revisiting that topic more in the coming months as this is something I have recently done in my life.

Effectively eliminating most all of my expenses, managing debt, and paying off my ’98 BMW M3 (and not buying a new one!) has brought me to a place where my monthly expenses are in the $1,500.00 range…

And I live at the beach!


  1. trader August 19, 2012
    • David John Hall August 19, 2012

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