As time continues to unfold, our private trading community has proven that it is more than just the typical chat room community you may sign up for. I said the same thing in the Pittsburgh Meet-and-Greet blog article, but I’m going to say it again… I realize, proclaiming “our community is great” is easy to say, but what about “walking-the-walk”? Well… that’s exactly what happened this past weekend as The Inner Circle community had its 4th ever Meet-and-Greet in Nashville, Tennessee.

The idea behind this “journal entry” is for those members who were not able to attend, but still wanted to “live vicariously through others” who were able show up. If you are someone maybe sitting on the fence about joining the group, hopefully this can, LITERALLY, show you that we are indeed a close-knit community of traders and FRIENDS (whom are always welcoming of new people).

First and foremost, before I get into the journey from my point-of-view, I want to make a couple public shout outs and offer up some thanks! While the Pittsburgh Meet-and-Greet was a great time no doubt, it was also a very stressful thing to plan. During our time in Pittsburgh, one of the couples (well, the better half of the couple) offered to help plan the next meet-up if we decided to visit Nashville, their place of residence. After doing a bit more research in regards to finding out if Nashville would be a good spot, we decided to take Chris and Michelle up on their offer.

A big THANK YOU to Michelle for planning the event. I realize the picture below is a contradiction as it implies she’s confused, but she had everything organized and made the planning on our end as simple as “yes” or “no”. (plus, I gotta be honest, I think this picture is hilarious, it does a great job of summarizing how much fun we have at these meet-ups).


I’ll get back to Chris in a little bit.

My personal journey started early Thursday morning. The IT Guy, known as itNate, picked me up to drive to the Grand Rapids, MI airport before the sunrise. Our first stop was in Chicago before moving onto our final destination, Nashville. When you are operating an online business (and actually care about customer service), there is always work to do, so itNate and I took advantage of the layover to keep on top of things.


The flights were short and listening to Dan Carlin’s podcasts  always makes the time fly even faster (no pun intended). If you enjoy history, then definitely check out his podcast.

After about an hour of flight, we arrived…


This is where I will circle back to Chris (the lesser half of the Nashville couple). He originally offered that if we showed up a day early (the actual event was on Friday night), he would take time off work and show us around. Since itNate and I met him in Pittsburgh and agreed he would not take us to a dark alley and murder us, we took him up on his offer…. so he was there to greet us at the airport… and thus our tour of Nashville began.


He explained to us that Nashville is one of the hottest cities right now in terms of growth and expansion, and I quickly found out he was NOT exaggerating in the least. As we approached downtown Nashville, I’d never seen so many massive cranes in my life. I swear, every direction I turned I saw either condos, apartments or hotels being built.

Our first stop was to pick up some lunch. Neither itNate or myself had any idea what “hot chicken” was, so Chris determined this would be a good experience (and yeah, he was RIGHT!).


I am a massive fan of donuts, so after we finished our hot chicken meal, I asked Chris if there were any famous bakeries/donut shops around. Being the awesome tour guide he was, he mapped out two different places we could go, in which we ultimately chose…


After our bellies were full with hot chicken and doughnuts, Chris took us around the city and showed us many of the attractions.







He also took us out of the city to show us some of the country areas. I never realized how hilly this part of the state of Tennessee was, but it was beautiful.  (the penny stock comment is a joke, ok? Don’t go grab your kid’s college tuition money and throw it into some speculative penny stock company)


After a long day of sightseeing, we grabbed some dinner (sorry, forgot to snap pictures) and then Chris took us back to our hotel. I think he dropped us off at like 8 pm, so it was not exactly a late night, but it was a very productive day from a tourist standpoint!

The next morning Chris picked us up at the hotel, and the tourist activities continued with him taking us to a famous former motel for breakfast. They also do lunch (which includes BBQ), so we got a cool little side experience when their expert BBQ guy gave us a 15-minute tour of the operation… it was totally unexpected and was one of my favorite parts of the trip. All I will say is BBQ is truly an art and something that takes a whole lot of passion for all the time/science that goes into it!



At this point in the journey, it was Friday (the day of the event), people began to fly/drive into town. Knowing that, we sent out an email the night before letting people know where we planned on getting lunch.  This gave anyone who had come into town the opportunity to join us if they wanted.

There was no way I was coming to Tennessee without trying some of their BBQ (especially after the tour we had gotten!), so Chris decided upon Martin’s…


We had about eight people in total for lunch, so it was nice to be able to begin to meet some of the members. A couple members were from Kansas City, so it was fun to eat BBQ with people from what many would call the “BBQ Capital of the World”. Speaking of Kansas City and how cool our community is, check out what the couple brought me…


Given I lived and worked in Kansas City for a few years after college, it was very thoughtful of them to bring me some “memories”. I promise you, I’m not BSing when I say the trading community is truly filled with awesome people… anyways…

During lunch the topic of donuts came up (shocking huh?) and I was going on and on about how great Fox’s Donut Den was from the previous day. As we were leaving lunch, I proposed that we head back to the donut place and pick up a dozen donuts for everyone back at the hotel since I had just been ranting and raving about it. Because Chris was the best tour guide/host ever, he fully agreed and off we went.

As we were waiting in line, we were joking about the “Texas Donut” which was a massive donut costing like $25. When our turn came, the girl behind the counter said she had overheard us and that there was a mistake made earlier, so they had a “Texas Donut” at half price. After running the numbers quickly, I realized that it would be cheaper than buying a dozen donuts (plus, let’s be honest, who does not want to buy a massive donut?!?!), so we decided to take advantage of the deal… here’s the result (take note of how small the donut makes a grown man’s hand look).


Upon arriving back at the hotel, with our massive donut, we all just sat around for the next couple hours and talked and met new people as they arrived. The hotel lobby was a perfect location and had outlets so some people could plug in laptops and tablets. This gave us all an opportunity to “talk trading” in person which was a great use of time.

Time absolutely flew by and before I knew it, it was time to head over to the restaurant where we had a private room reserved. Michelle, our event planner as I mentioned, found us a place literally right next to the hotel, so when it was time to “head over to the restaurant”, we simply walked. There is no other way to say it other than fantastic planning on her part.

The actual event was a blast. We originally had 24 people sign up, but due to some unfortunate circumstances (car troubles in one instance), four people were not able to make it. The coolest part about these meet-and-greets is age does not matter. The age range went from 20 up to over 60, yet, there is never any awkwardness because we all have the common ground of “let’s talk trading”. This gives everyone (no matter their age) a topic that can be talked about and talked about and talked about…

Some of the attendees I had interviewed for The Stock Trading Reality Podcast, so it was nice to be able to meet them in person… others, I’d never met before at all, so there was a great amount of variety. Here are a few pictures from the event, if you want to see more, check out the Facebook album HERE that we put together.







Like I said, these are just a few, but if you want more, CLICK HERE for the Facebook album.

The event started at 6 pm local time, and I didn’t leave until 11:30ish pm, so yeah, it goes without saying that I truly had an enjoyable experience. If you’re wondering about that donut, by the end of the evening, we all managed to eventually get the victory. The struggle was real, but with teamwork, we accomplished the mission and all that was left was crumbs.

While itNate and myself were planning to get an Uber back to the airport, Chris being the standup individual he is said he would pick us up the next morning. Michell the event planner came with him, which was nice as it gave us all one final opportunity to shoot the breeze and have some fun. Below you can see the man behind the curtain with his waffle and hot chocolate (do those things even go together?!?! “IT people” are weirdos!) as we waited for Chris to pick us up.


We eventually made it back to Chicago and with the layover, it was time to get back to work and keep on top of things…


Overall, it was a great trip filled with many new memories! It’s so cool to meet people from all age ranges and walks of life. There is no doubt in my mind that I left Nashville with new friends. Yes, it is totally weird to think that we all originally met in an internet chat room, but whatever, it is what it is and I’m loving it!

If you are reading this and currently searching for an online community to join, then I hope you give us a try. Like I said already, it’s very easy to “say” that a community is friendly and has a sense of teamwork, but as you hopefully now see, our community is as genuine as it gets.

Who knows… maybe I can meet you at our next meet-and-greet!

I wanted to open up the memories and perspectives on the trip to others outside myself, so below you can see what some members had to say who were in attendance. It was totally voluntary, but it gives a good glimpse into what the trip looked like through other’s eyes.

Tyler Simeone

Clay, just wanted to let you know again how glad I am that I met up with you guys at Brewhouse Friday night. Sort of a surreal experience getting to meet you after so many hours of YouTube and training videos (that have impacted me in a great way). Also, a totally awesome & super friendly group of people you have brought together. Look forward to working, as well as hanging out, with you guys in the future.

Corey (listen to his podcast)

I really enjoyed attending the meet-up.  To be honest, I was a bit nervous driving to the Brewhouse considering I don’t spend much time in the chat room.  It was great being able to put faces to names of people I’ve heard on the podcast, seen in the chat room, or heard on the webinar.  Trading is hard and it is encouraging to be around people who are in the same boat as you and have experienced the ups and downs of learning how to trade.  Thank you Clay and ITNate for putting these opportunities together.



Speedster47 (listen to his podcast)

A big thanks to ClayTrader and team (& Chris and Michelle) for putting the Nashville meetup together. It was great to meet face to face and chat with everyone that was able to make it. I had a truly great time!!! Everyone was so nice and easy to talk to. Some of you may have opened my eyes to inregards to some of my hard headed thinking…We have a great community! I highly recommend attending a meetup. I finally got to meet some of the other TN locals, we gotta stay in touch. I was bummed to not meet Chezz in person.

Thanks everyone for the great time!

Moppy (listen to his podcast)

I had an awesome time at the Nashville meet-up.  Not been able to attend the previous ones due to my work schedule, plus because of said work schedule, I’ve not been active in the community much lately.  It was great to meet everyone and put a face to the screen name;  both old-timers and new people.   I had a blast.  Would definitely attend the next event (might even schedule a rare day away from the regular job).  Thanks for putting this together, it was awesome!!!

PH (Stephen) (listen to his podcast)

Nashville was my second ClayTrader meet-and-greet – Baltimore being my first. Prior to going to Baltimore, I recall my wife referring to the gathering as a big internet blind date. In a way, she was right. I was meeting up with people, in a city far from home, with whom my sole interaction with was in a chat room. The only people I was sure to recognize were Clay, Chezz and itNate because they had already had me on as a podcast guest, which was conducted via Skype.

Baltimore did not disappoint, which is why I jumped at the chance to go to Nashville. And, I’m glad I did.

The ClayTrader members are very diverse in age, background, education and geographical location. However, they share one common interest – trading the markets. This creates an immediate bond and serves as a Launchpad for opening the doors to someone’s life who you may otherwise never get to know.

In Nashville I met so many interesting people – a retired 57 yr old (retired at 57!), an incredibly well-mannered young man turning 21 in just a few weeks (happy birthday), a sports photographer, an office manager, a musician, a corporate frequent flyer (thanks for telling me where to get gas at 5am before returning my rental car), an accountant and a man who loves his wife more than anyone I’ve ever met. This is just to mention a few of the people I met. How cool is that?

Nobody flew in on a private jet or arrived via helicopter. And, I don’t recall seeing a single Lamborghini or exotic sports car in the parking lot. The closest was my, rented, Ferrari yellow Mustang (I didn’t pick the color). Everyone there were just real life people, sharing a common interest and pursuing a mutual goal of becoming a successful, profitable trader.

If you ever get the chance to attend one of Clay’s meet-and-greets, I highly recommend going. Hopefully, I’ll meet you there. Thanks, Clay, for all you do for your members and organizing the member meet-ups.

Ward Warren

This was my first meetup and it turned out to be a good experience. The people I met were great. Easy to talk to and very helpful.  I believe that being around successful traders will help me become successful as well.  It’s also encouraging to know that I’m not alone on my journey.


A great time. Met some awesome people. I very much enjoyed myself. Can’t wait for the next one.


First of all I would like to say thank you to everyone who took part in the planning and execution of this event. I was bummed that I didn’t attend the Pittsburgh meetup and likewise was thrilled that another one was in the works soon thereafter. Even better, my wife was able to take time off and come with me.

I was excited to meet Clay to find out if he’s a real person. Not only is he real… he’s a humble down to earth guy and a very attentive listener. He’s also an eating machine. You will not find me competing against Clay in an eating contest. IT Nate… well he’s a low keyed laid back dude.

There were people of all ages and all stages of their trading journey. Since I’m new to trading, I didn’t think I would have much to talk about with anyone in this group. Luckily we didn’t just talk about trading, so I got to be more involved.

I didn’t expect everyone to be so easy going and just go with the flow… but that’s how it went down. It was fun to meet everyone and put a face to the avatar. I’m sure no one else in the place would look at our group and think “That’s a room full of traders”.

The evening ended way too soon for me. I’m not one for big crowds, but I could have hung out with this group for a few days.

Hoping I can attend the next one.


Hey! I’ve been on the road a lot lately, haven’t been doing a good job of keeping up on my emails, so my apologies for missing the blog deadline. If you want to add this in late, feel free:

“The meet-up in Nashville was one of the best experiences I’ve had as a trader. There was not one dull conversation all night, and it was all about trading the whole time. It was absolutely worth the eleven hour drive from Wisconsin, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

I won’t be offended if it’s too late to add it in, don’t worry. Just felt like I should give you something just in case.

I’ll be back in the chat room rest of this week, see you there!

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