Stay away from day trading! It is too risky. This is exactly what our guest, Mark, was told when he was first learning about the markets. Here’s the seemingly contradicting thing: I agree with the person who gave him this advice! Please give me a chance to explain, but this is just one of the interesting rabbit holes we go down while learning about Mark and his trading journey up until this point. I will say at this point that Mark no longer views day trading as “risky”… how he has reached this point is yet another thing you’ll hear all about. Let’s get to it.
Clay: This is the Stock Trading Reality Podcast, episode 217.
Speaker 2: This is the Stock Trading Reality Podcast, where you get to see the realistic side of a trader’s journey. Get inspired and stay motivated by everyday, normal people, who are currently on their journey to trading success. And this is your host; he’s absolutely loving this side to new customer service chat software. It’s kind of spooky. ClayTrader.
Clay: Yeah, and that is not an exaggeration. In fact, I can’t wait to bring in Chezz, here, our cohost. As a little context, Chezz never knows what these fun facts are, but I’m sure he’s gonna have a good time with this one. But yeah, we recently changed our customer service chat ware, and IT Nate, who’s the producer of this show, he said, “Hey, you know what? There’s this chat software out there where you can watch what the people are typing before they ever hit enter.” And I’m thinking, “Wait. You can do what?”
Clay: And he’s like, “Yeah, you can watch ’em type, you can watch ’em delete, and that way you can get a head start on the customer service. If you know they’re about to ask for something, then you can just get a head start on it, go find what they’re looking for, and be ready when they actually ask the question.” And it is very, very spooky. It’s very creepy in that way, but it’s also quite hilarious, especially when the trolls come around. And trolls, this is not theory anymore. Trolls are keyboard warriors.
Clay: They’re not very tough, because … and Chezz and I, we’ve … but the amount of times where a troll will type something, delete, delete, delete. Type something, no, delete, delete, delete. Type something. Nope. Delete, delete, delete. And it’s just like, “Alright, how long does it take you to actually type something where you’re talking trash? Just spit it out.” If this was in person, this would essentially be the troll, the keyboard warrior, going, “Oh yeah, well, I … oh yeah, well, you, well, no, no … oh, yeah, well … ” so, that’s just, to me it really illustrates why social media, why the internet, it’s so easy to be tough.
Clay: Because you can stumble over your words all you want. All you gotta do is press delete, delete, delete. Backspace, backspace, backspace, before you actually send it. But with our software, we can watch you stumble over your words time and time and time again, so in my mind, I’ve just equated it to this person, “Oh, yeah, Clay? Well, you’re … no, no. Oh, yeah, Chezz? Well, you do … no, no, no.” Like, this is how you talk trash? It’s kind of fascinating, but given the amount of time I’ve kinda gone, Chezz, this stuff is kinda spooky, but it’s kinda comical at the same time, isn’t it?
Chezz: It’s definitely spooky, and I think it has the most applications. Sure, the intent behind it was that you could almost be formulating an answer before they finish their question, but where it really shines, like you said, is dealing with trolls, ’cause I’m already two steps ahead of them, watching them, just like you said, pretty much stammer on their words. Granted, they’re typing, but it’s still the same thing, where like, “I know what insult you’re about to lob my way, and I already have a witty response that comes back,” and they’re confused how you responded so fast to that.
Chezz: I’ve had trolls accuse me of just being a bot because I’m so fast at responding to some of the nonsense they say, but yeah, I understand what the purpose is for, but it really shines wheen we’re dealing with trolls, for sure.
Clay: Yeah, it is funny when you can throw a witty reply to them, but just the amount of deletions that occur, where it’s just like, “Okay, okay, okay. Do you realize if this was realize you’d look very silly right now trying to act all tough because you’ve … ?” You can’t delete your words in real life, which, again, just goes back to … The learning lesson here, and to get a little bit more serious, if somebody’s talking trash, if somebody’s coming down on you on social media, or the internet, or being negative towards you, just realize that I have plenty of data, I guarantee you, they probably deleted that trash talk to you, that negativity to you, multiple times, and that’s why they would never say it to you face to face, because they know they’re just not actually that tough and quick witted in person.
Clay: Take that as a sign of, “Hey, you know what? Don’t worry about it.” ‘Cause I really mean it. Don’t worry about it. These internet tough people are really pathetic when you watch how they talk trash when they don’t know that you’re watching them try to formulate some sort of insult. Don’t let it get to you, because Chezz and I promise you, we’ve seen it time and time again now. They’re not that tough. The amount they use that delete button is pretty crazy, but anyways, fascinating chat software. Spooky, but highly beneficial.
Clay: Now, we have an interesting guest here. We are talking with Mark, and as we determined at the beginning, he’s kinda just a lurker in the shadows of the community, but he’s in a situation where he doesn’t need to trade, so he knows he wants to trade, but he’s not quite there yet. He runs an eBay business and he does stuff on the farm, so there’s some interesting dynamics. There’s some interesting talking points that we go through, because he is in a very unique situation compared to what most people we’ve had on the podcast, so it’s definitely a different angle. There’s a different flavor to it. But I do believe there will be some talking points that everybody can pull away something from, because, you know, you wanna be skeptical, you wanna be conservative, but then you also, you don’t wanna be too conservative.
Clay: There’s lots of those type of dynamics going on, so a very interesting discussion, so let’s sit down and hear from Mark. Mark, welcome to the show.
Mark: Hi, Clay.
Clay: It’s good to have you here. I appreciate your patience, and hopefully whatever was going on holds out, and that we can get this to the end. Now, you have mentioned … well, let me ask you this. I feel like I recognize your name. I’m pretty sure we’ve emailed. Do you hang around in the chatroom much? Would I recognize you, or are you more of one of those kind of people that just hangs out and creeps around in the shadows?
Mark: I kinda creep around in the shadows. I run a couple other businesses, and I’ve been so busy, and I’ve wanted to do more, but I just haven’t had the time, and so I don’t usually say much. I usually just kind of like checking what’s going on in the market and stuff like that.
Clay: Okay, fair enough. Good, I always like to establish some context for our listeners’ sake. Maybe you’re thinking, which would be a valid thought, “What, do you not do any homework on your people?” No, really, we don’t. Chezz and I’s goal is to make this feel as authentic of a conversation as possible, like we’re just sitting down in a coffee shop, and you kinda get to be a fly on the wall as we talk trading. So, your thought that we don’t do much homework into … that’s good gut instincts, ’cause you are absolutely correct, but that is definitely by intention.
Clay: So, Mark, what got you started in the market? Where did you first hear about it, and then what types of things played out that drew your attention into wanting to get even more hands on with it?
Mark: It actually started kinda like when I was eight years old. My childhood friend had mentioned that he had stock in Coca-Cola, and I don’t know why, but, as a kid, that fascinated me. I was like, “Stock? What is that?” And so I got interested in it at that age, ’cause he would kind of talk to me about dividends and stuff like that, and I don’t think he knew any more than I did at that time, but his grandparents had given it to him, a little bit, and so that kinda piqued my interest in it.
Mark: And then kind of went from there, obviously, as a kid, that kind of went away for a little while and I just started, kind of, through high school I was interested in math and got more interested in it as I got older.
Chezz: Well, that makes sense, and it’s definitely not the first time we’ve heard of somebody’s grandparents giving one of their kids stock or something, but obviously, like you said, being a child, you’re interest is only so deep at that point. You’re more concerned with riding your bicycle or going exploring or something like that, but yeah, obviously you grow up, you’re interested in math.
Chezz: Now, did you start dealing anything with the market when, say, you got a traditional job, or … ? I mean, I have no clue what the landscape looks like, say, after high school, so what’d you end up doing, and what ultimately lead you over here?
Mark: My family owns a small farm, and we kinda talked about the markets in terms of when’s the best time to sell fruit, and if you’re gonna hold or if you’re going to actually go ahead and sell it, and get it going, and so that kind of was in the background as a kid, and we talked a lot about it. You know, of course at the dinner table and stuff, and then it just kinda went from there. I got a job at a stock brokerage here in town, and while I was working through college, and that really got me kinda more interested in it and so I just kind of went from there, and he was kind of a more fundamental investor, and I wanted to do more of the hands on type of investing at that point.
Mark: And I was just more interested in it as, kind of, time went by.
Clay: Okay. I have a question, here. I mean, that seems kind of random, that you all of a sudden end up working for a stock brokerage. Was that … ? Like you said, you mentioned the fruit, and you were always kind of interested in the markets. Was that a direct correlation that lead you there, or was … ? I guess the best question is how did you end up working at a stock brokerage? Because I don’t know if we’ve ever heard that before.
Mark: I was interested in stocks, and I had invested some. I went to a local investment bank and I just had about 2,000 dollars that I decided to invest in there, and I just … there was no thinking behind it, obviously. It was just, we had Ford vehicles, and I thought same thing, you know. Like, “Well, that seems like a good company.” You know, and so I bought some Ford stock, and some kind of … I can’t remember the other one that I bought, but I bought those, and then it kinda went from there.
Mark: I saw how much I was paying in fees, of course, and I was like, “Well, maybe if I work a the a brokerage company I could learn a little bit more.” And my parents kind of knew the guy that did it. He helped set up their life insurance and stuff like that.
Clay: Okay, so how did that lead to an actual job, then? I mean, were you in there all the time? Or did they have a job opening and you just applied? I wanna commend you, first off. I mean, at that age … I mean, speaking for myself, I feel like, who knows what I was spending my money on, but it definitely wasn’t stocks, regrettably so. But at least your mind was in that ballpark, but what lead you to … ? I get what, I understand what lead you to the office yourself, but then you said you got a job there, so kind of a two part question.
Clay: How did you ultimately land that job, and then what did you do for a job as you worked there?
Mark: He just had clerical work that he needed to get done, and he kinda didn’t like doing stuff on the computer. He was more of a hands on, meet clients, and he wanted me to kinda take care of more of that end, and at that time, you know, compliance was a pretty big issue. This was right around 2007, 2008, and so we had clients coming in that were, of course, concerned about everything at that time, and so he was pretty busy doing that, and I was usually working on the computer.
Chezz: Gotcha. Now, so when you’re working at this brokerage, you said you obviously wanted to be a little bit more hands on. It sounds like you were the tech one of the bunch, at least in the beginning there. Now, when you say you wanted to be more active, are you talking about … ? Did you primarily kinda deal with people working with retirement funds, or dealing with mutual funds, things like that? Or were you actually dealing with any kind of stuff where people are buying individual stocks, dealing anything with options, futures, anything like that?
Mark: That was kind of it. They were mainly just retirement accounts, and I kind of thought that … he had mentioned that, day trading, at that time, but it was extremely risky, he would never advise doing it, and so that kinda shied me away from it. At the time, I was pretty busy with school, so I figured, “Well, I’ll take the advice.” You know, seeing how he’s been in the business long enough that I figured that was a reasonable approach.
Chezz: Yeah. No, I would definitely agree, and that’s pretty much what I was expecting. Now, obviously, at the time that you had started working at this brokerage, I’m going to assume safely that movies like Wolf of Wall Street and that … I mean, Wall Street was out, ’cause that’s a movie from the ’80s, but I assume Wolf of Wall Street and all these movies about quick riches, that wasn’t out at the time, was it?
Mark: No, I don’t think it was. I never watched the movie, I just heard it through some of your guys’ podcasts.
Chezz: Gotcha. Okay, ’cause yeah, that seemed to spark some interest in some people, thinking that they could just trade penny stocks and become rich very quickly, but obviously, if you didn’t watch that movie, then that would’ve never been an impact. You’re working for this brokerage firm, you’re mainly dealing with kind of retirement accounts, and obviously you’re here on a podcast with us, so at some point, you got more interested in trading for yourself. Now, did it start off similar to kinda your clients, where you were just kinda solely working on retirement funds?
Chezz: Or were you kinda trying to absorb more information from to owner of the brokerage? Anything like that?
Mark: Yeah. He was more concerned with kinda fundamental investing, and I got somewhat interested in that just because I thought, “Well, if you want a long term company, it would seem like a reasonable thing to do.” And so he was kind of teaching me a little bit about what to look for in the company, and we used Morningstar to review some of the companies, and kind of evaluate if we waned to invest in them or not, and based off of what the client wanted to do with their money, and so he kind of was showing me a few things like that throughout the time that I worked there.
Clay: I do need to give this guy some credit, because, as weird as it sounds, given we talk a whole lot about day trading and just active trading here, the advice he gave you was actually spot on, where, just avoid day trading. It’s super risky. Just don’t even do it. Stick with the long term investing. And I say that he’s right because, in probably … and disclaimer, this isn’t like, a scientific study, but, and I don’t know, 80, 90% of the cases, I’m pretty sure people are not prepared to be day trading.
Clay: They haven’t done the proper homework, they haven’t done the proper steps in order to give themselves a realistic chance. Keep in mind I said realistic chance. Not a guaranteed chance, ’cause there’s no such thing as a guarantee. But most people, and if you watch on the YouTube channel the ClayTrader mail segment, then you full well know that a lot of people out there are definitely not treating trading like it should be treated, and in that point, they really should listen to Mark’s advice.
Clay: Look, don’t even day trade then, because the way you are acting, you are making … it’s not only risky to begin with, hence, control risk. Have you heard that on this podcast before? But anyways, not only is it risky, but I mean, if you don’t treat it how it should, then it’s not gonna end well for you, and I found that interesting that he said that, which is true. You should probably avoid day trading if you plan on just signing up for text alert services, or planning on watching a couple YouTube videos, and then thinking you have it all figured out.
Clay: I mean, Chezz, we’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff in the customer service chat box, haven’t we?
Chezz: Yeah, we certainly have, and we’ve watched a lot of people who’ve saved up a lot of money over time completely burn it trying to day trade without being prepared to do that, so yeah, I think that’s absolutely great advice.
Clay: And what the funny part about that is, funny in an ironic type of way, is people save, and they save, and they save, and then all of a sudden. “What, you wanna join our group? I mean, it’s 99 bucks for a year. You can surround yourself with people that are trying to treat this like a business.” No, no, no, no, no. No. Nope. I’ve saved up all this money but I’m going it alone. It’s like, “Okay.” And then over time we’ve had people come back and say, “Shoulda, coulda, woulda,” and so it’s just always kind of, the human mind is a crazy place.
Clay: People can save up this money, and then when it comes to actually investing into themselves in one form or the other, they just don’t wanna do it. I mean, always a fascinating dynamic. Mark, you decide that your boss gives you that advice and you kinda just … I guess, to establish a little bit more context, do you have a degree from college?
Mark: I was going to be an engineer, and at the time, my dad needed help on the farm, and thee was a lot of things kinda going on right as we were finishing up, and so I completed all the calculus courses, but at that time he needed help, and so I decided to come out and actually help him out on the farm, so I never actually got to finish my degree.
Clay: That’s awesome. What type … ? You mentioned fruits. And you’re in California? Is that right?
Mark: Right. We do a … oh, go ahead.
Clay: No, I was gonna say … I mean, I feel like California, because it’s such a freak of nature type area, can’t you grow anything and everything out there?
Mark: Yeah, we farm citrus, and pistachios, and olives. Kind of a little bit of everything, so it was kind of a blend of too many things at one time. You know, between going to school and trying to help him out on the farm, and then working at the stock brokerage, and so I kinda quit working at the stock brokerage and just focused on school and helping my dad.
Clay: Well, that’s awesome. I mean, it’s your dad. It’s your family. Nobody can certainly accuse you of not being willing to put in the hard work and make some sacrifices. So, I guess, when all of what was going on, where did that eventually lead you to, where you were like, “You know what? I got that advice from my boss, and all this stuff’s going on.” Like you said, you were juggling a whole bunch of things, so where did things finally slow down and then allow you to kinda turn your attention more towards actually getting more involved and in more of a trading sense rather than a fundamental perspective like you had kinda been being taught?
Mark: Well, my dad’s business kind of intrigued me a little bit because it had so many different avenues that you could find work or anything like that, so I thought, “Well, you know, stocks are just a part of life at the time.” And I wanted to do long term investing, ’cause I didn’t have the time to actually research and focus just solely on the stocks, so I was mainly focused on school at the time, and then his business, and kind of after that, that’s when I started thinking more about retirement accounts and other things for kind of more of a tax planning strategy from our business side.
Clay: Makes sense. So, you’re thinking about. Where did that ultimately lead you to, then? You’re thinking tax planning, you’re thinking into the future. Did that lead you to wanna try to do it on your own, or where does the rabbit hole begin? A lot of people, it’s for a YouTube video. A lot of people, it’s for a Google search. But where did the rabbit hole actually begin, where you’re like,, “I wanna just get more hands on with this?”
Mark: I was looking at YouTube videos, and I came across one of your videos about technical analysis, and day trading, and that’s kinda what got me interested, ’cause I knew that there was that aspect of it, but when you were talking about day trading, I just remember when my old boss had mentioned how dangerous it was. And I thought, “Well, you know what? That’s kinda interesting. I’d kinda be interested to learn a little bit more about that.”
Chezz: But wait a minute, I thought your boss said that it wouldn’t be very good to learn day trading. So, how’d you end up looking up day trading?
Mark: Yeah. When Clay was talking about it, and about all the people that had, like he said, saved up the money and then just … you know, I couldn’t, the value of a dollar was worth a lot to me at the time, as a kid, and of course, growing up, so it was like, when people would just spend that of money, and like he said, they wouldn’t learn how to do it, and I didn’t like that idea of exposing yourself to that much risk without knowing what’s on in the background.
Clay: I’m gonna press you a little bit more on Chezz’s, not that I don’t believe you, I’m just fascinated too, but so you landed on a video about tactical analysis, and then about kind of day trading, but to Chezz’s point, how exactly did you ever land on a technical analysis chart about day trading if your boss had said day trading was very dangerous? Do you remember at all what, actually, you were typing in there? ‘Cause this is … I’m trying to connect the dot here on how you landed on a technical analysis day trading video.
Mark: I was actually on vacation at the time, and I wanted to kind of … I guess I was looking for something more to learn at the time, and I liked how you had … I’d seen all your videos, or a lot of your videos, on YouTube, and how you had set them up in a pretty logical way, and that kind of intrigued me a little bit more. Knowing that there was more in the background, you know? Aware of it, at least.
Chezz: Gotcha. And I mean, honestly, the difference between you and many other people who are getting into day trading is that you actually wanna put in some research, and put in some time, and actually know what you’re … hone your craft before you just go guns blazing and just kinda throw it all to the wind. You do your YouTube research. Obviously, I would assume that you came across … you came across Clay’s video about technical analysis. Did you dive right into the inner circle community right away?
Chezz: Or did you say, “I’m gonna take a look at some of these courses. Am I gonna hang out on Investopedia and look up technical analysis for a couple hours? What, ultimately, did it look like after you kind of stumbled upon Clay?
Mark: I kind of looked at things I always liked; kind of, if you’re gonna be committed to something, to finish it out, and if you’re going to do it, you know, when Clay had the ClayTrader University, versus buying each video individually, I just decided to buy CTU the full course, ’cause I thought if it was gonna be something long term, that I would rather buy the whole thing all at once than to try to triple it out.
Clay: So, in other words-
Chezz: And you also saved a pretty penny at the same time.
Mark: Yeah, I was gonna say.
Chezz: Good job on you.
Clay: Yeah, so in other words, you understand math is kind of the moral of the story there. It’s long term, plus addition, equals, “Yeah, I should probably just buy right now.” Because that is going the be the cheapest way. So, how long do this all go from you stumble upon a log to many videos to then deciding to do ClayTrader university, out of curiosity. I’m asking for more of a business perspective.
Clay: How long was, at that kind of timeline, for you?
Mark: It was about a year.
Clay: Oh wow, okay.
Mark: I wanted to see what you were about, and ’cause I had seen some of the other videos from some of the other guys, and I knew that stuff was out there already. I’ve been a skeptic for most of that stuff, and I think a heavy dose of skepticism serves you pretty well on the internet, but anyways, you-
Clay: I would fully agree.
Mark: You seem genuine, and that’s kind of actually more what piqued my interest about it, because there’s a lot of deceptive people out there, and that-
Clay: Now, Mark. I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about. Somebody talking about penny stocks, with a Lamborghini, and a mansion, and a yacht in the background. I mean, I don’t know what’s deceptive about that Mark.
Chezz: Seems legit.
Clay: Yeah. I’m gonna have to disagree with you there that there’s deceptive people out there, but anyways, we’ll keep this cordial and move on, but alright, so you joined ClayTrader university, and I guess pick it back up from there.
Mark: I wanted to learn some more about the technical analysis side of it, but we got really busy with our work on the farm, and I’ve had to actually just set it aside for the past year, because I’d prefer to have the time to focus on that type of stuff, and we just haven’t had the time.
Mark: ‘Cause I’ve got an eBay business, and also our farm business, so it keeps me pretty busy, and I just decided to kind of back off. I didn’t wanna make any mistakes and end up burning money in the market senselessly, so I thought, “Well, I better just kind of wait and kind of listen to the podcasts and just kind of hear more about other people and their approach to it.”
Chezz: Well, I commend you for recognizing that it’s better to be fully kind of focused and invested in something you’re trying to learn, especially a brand new craft, versus having your interests and everything spread across three different things, essentially trading what would’ve been a third business for you. So, kudos to you for kinda recognizing that, ’cause some people just look at trading as, I mean, I’m sure, as you know, as, “Oh, yeah, I’m busy with this eBay business, I’m busy with this farm, I might have a regular nine to five job, and then I’m just gonna become rich learning how to trade stocks in a couple hours.”
Chezz: Good for you for realizing that’s not the realistic truth in how the actual process goes, so I guess a good question to ask is, obviously, being on the podcast here, has anything changed in your life time wise that you started diving back into the university package, or is your time still split between the eBay business and the farm?
Mark: It’s really split between the eBay business and the farm. I’ve wanted to put more time to it, but I know that I’ll end up probably making more mistakes, and causing more problems and headaches for myself, so I’m just trying to finish out the goals that I have for the two businesses, and just kinda see where that goes in the next maybe three to four years on that end, so that’s why I’ve been just kind of lingering in the chatroom and just kinda seeing how other people fit it, more or less, into their schedule.
Mark: The advanced options was something that, that’s part of the reason I bought the ClayTrader university, because it seemed like, time wise, that might work out a little bit better for me.
Chezz: Yeah, no, I would absolutely agree with that, and I feel like Clay would agree too that that’s … you know, as funny as it might sound, and people might think it’s lip service, it absolutely takes me 15 minutes or less a day to kinda manage my advanced options portfolio, but the whole thing is is that that course is quite lengthy in terms of what you’ve kinda gotta learn to get in front of it, and Clay, correct me if I’m wrong; you would not recommend he go straight into the advanced course, right?
Chezz: He would take the logical progression through?
Clay: Yeah, but I guess I have some more questions. I mean, how far did you get … ? ‘Cause you’re hanging out in the chatroom, as you said, you’re not super, super active, so are you going through the courses at all right now, or … ? I ask that because if you’re not going through the courses, then what exactly are you observing in the chatroom? If that question makes sense.
Mark: I was … I took the technical analysis, and I guess I’m just more stuck on fundamentals, just for retirement, because I haven’t … just, I’ve wanted to commit more time to the other part for advanced options and stuff like that, but I just haven’t had the time to do it.
Clay: Now, you were doing fundamental … so, are you still involved in the market? Not necessarily active in the market, but do you still have investments that you’re putting on in stuff like that?
Mark: Yeah, I just kinda have long term investments. A few life insurance policies, and a few companies in a Roth account right now.
Clay: Now, what are your criteria for … ? I guess, what is your process for selecting one of these long term investments? I mean, walk me through kinda from A to Z what you do in order to eventually pull the trigger, and put your money where your mouth is per se, and make it an official investment. Walk me through that process.
Mark: It’s not very technical at all. I bought … I kind of looked at some opportunities. I thought in terms of oil, and so there was no thinking behind it, and it’s one of those things that I’ll probably make some mistakes on that end, for the Roth accounts, and so i haven’t really had … I guess there’s no background behind that, for sure.
Clay: Are you applying any of the fundamental stuff that your former boss taught you? Are you looking at cashflow statements, balance sheets, are you doing anything like that?
Mark: Yeah, I do that just for a basic review on it. I use Morningstar. I like that company. They did a pretty … I like how they analyze the companies, and kinda look at the general health of the company, and what sectors they service, but aside from that I don’t take anymore time to look at ’em and kind of get into any other aspects of the company.
Clay: Morningstar is your current go to kind of tool for finding companies. Is that accurate?
Clay: Okay, and then you mentioned the word, you’re looking for healthy companies, so how are you defining a healthy company?
Mark: I went through the Grow Rich course, and I looked at some of that stuff, and that kinda helped me decide on how I was going to pick some of the companies based off of dividends, and so that’s kind of some of the method that I’ve used.
Chezz: Yeah, I was just gonna ask if you had taken a look at that, ’cause that seems to be right up your alley in terms of what you’re currently working on, so, safe to say, have you taken the advice of kind of looking at multiple sectors and kinda spreading it out? Or are you still just gonna focus on things that primarily interest you?
Mark: It’s kinda just things that primarily interest me, and that’s pretty much all I’ve given the thought to that right now, so, but.
Chezz: Gotcha. Do you have any plans to kind of expand that, or are you just gonna stick to what you know, ’cause obviously it seems to have been working?
Mark: I do wanna do more on that end, but, like anything, running the other businesses has taken a lot of my focus away from it, and so we … in the farming, it’s kind of more of, it slows down a lot in the wintertime, especially, ’cause we get rain, or the weather, or something like that messes with us.
Chezz: Wintertime in California. What?
Mark: Yeah. I know.
Chezz: The listeners out there aren’t gonna believe you.
Mark: I know. We actually got a little bit of sleet out in our yard this year, so it can damage the crops and it creates a lot of problems for us, so kind of planning a lot of this stuff, it’s really difficult with that type of schedule. You know, between what I run online and all the stuff that we have to take care of out in the field, ’cause we don’t … we do all the work ourselves, and so it keeps us pretty busy.
Clay: So this eBay business, I mean, how many hours of the day does … ? First off, I should preface this by saying, well, I guess I don’t really understand ’cause I’m not a farmer, but I can see where you’re coming from, where you’re literally at the mercy of the pattern. Mother nature is kind of your boss in that sense, so, I mean, I get that time-wise that’s quite unpredictable, but I mean, how does this eBay business work? Is this taking up hours every day, or just hours every week?
Clay: Walk me through the time dynamics, because my ulterior motive is I’m just trying to listen and see if we can squeeze in any sort of possible study time for you or not, but I mean, so walk me through kind of the timeline and just the time impact of eBay.
Mark: It only takes, actually, a few minutes a day. It probably takes me about 30 to 45 minutes, and that’s something that I can schedule, so I try to schedule that around everything else, and so that works out pretty well for me, and for shipping out and doing all that, it only takes me about five minutes to set up, and it’s been a good business all the way up to this point, and it keeps going, so I haven’t given a whole lot of attention to it, but it keeps kind of growing a little bit each year, and so that’s … it’s been kind of crowding out the extra time between trying to advertise some of that and also advertise for our other business.
Clay: Now, I’m not looking for you to give away any trade secrets, nothing like that, but I don’t remember what episode, honestly, I don’t remember his name either, but I remember we had a guy … remember the battery guy, Chezz? That was selling batteries for … ?
Chezz: Yep, sure do.
Clay: Do you remember his name?
Chezz: It’s gonna drive me nuts now, but no, I don’t off the top of my head.
Clay: Sorry, battery guy.
Mark: Oh no.
Clay: That is gonna drive me nuts, but anyways, is it … ? I guess, what exact, well, you don’t have to tell me what you’re selling, but is this where you go out and find stuff that’s on sale at Wal-Mart or whatever, and then you go and put it online? Or, I mean, what actually is the eBay business? You mentioned it’s continually growing, so I mean, what exactly is continually growing? Your inventory, or just … ? I guess I’m curious. Tell me more about the eBay business, but, like I said, I don’t expect you to give me any, sort of, your trade secrets or anything, ’cause I realize you probably worked hard to get those.
Clay: But I’m curious, here.
Mark: Well, it’s kind of interesting, ’cause it’s somewhat, or at least I can relate it to the day trading. There’s opportunities throughout the day that you can buy and sell things on eBay, and people sometimes will sell things for what they’re … they’re worth a lot more, so I buy and sell ’em throughout the day, and so it kind of works out, ’cause all the packages get delivered to the house and then I turn around and relist it and then sell it for more.
Mark: It’s kind of like more of the people that don’t have time to … they just wanna get paid for whatever it is they’re selling right away, and so they take the money right away, versus the people, who are really looking for the item, they’ll tend to spend a little more on that item than most people would.
Clay: I get it. This reminds me of real estate. Well, in real estate investing, we would call that a distressed seller. Somebody that’s just like, “I need cash, I want cash right now. Yeah, I get it. I could wait, I could get a higher price for it, but I need the cash right now.” So, it sounds like you’re looking for distressed sellers in the world of eBay. Is that pretty much what you’re doing, and you’re buying, and then you’re basically flipping these items?
Mark: Right, right.
Clay: Now, how do you know the market for anything? I mean, real estate, I can envision, I don’t wanna say it’s easy, but there’s a very straight forward path and planning process that could be used in real estate to determine the actual value of something, but I mean, for example, how do you know the battery market versus the dish washing soap market versus the, I don’t know, Xbox market, versus … I mean, you have all these markets out there, so how do you know what is actually being sold at way less than what it is worth?
Mark: I just focus on one market and I just stick to that market ’cause it’s what I know, and I try to do any other markets because I don’t like getting distracted with too many other things, and to be effective, it’s better to stay focused on one thing and kind of scale it and go from there, and that’s kind of what I’ve done with that business.
Chezz: Interesting. Now, so, are you saving these profits to kinda be used for trading, ultimately, or is this just kinda something else that’s funding, you know, general life?
Mark: Right, that’s the goal. I’ve been running that eBay business and just saving up capital to eventually do day trading with it, and so I’m using it as a step to get me to where I wanna be.
Chezz: Interesting. I like that. Now, I guess you do have a … I mean, you’re not new to the finance world by any means. Do you have any clue if you’re gonna focus on … ? I know you’d mentioned advance options. Strictly speaking day trading, though, are you gonna be focused on trading options, or you think you’re gonna be focused on trading stocks?
Mark: I think I’m gonna just stick with options, maybe, initially. For just time commitment, I think that’s all I have time for, and so that’s kinda my general goal for that in the next, probably about a year or so.
Clay: And my question is, do you have … ? You have a year or so, and that’s fine. But a year or so. Let’s focus on the or so. What is actually gonna define that? Are you looking to save up a certain amount? Are you looking to … ? ‘Cause, from my understanding, is, I don’t know how you’d be like, “Well, when I have more time.” Well, it seems like more time is just kind of way unpredictable, so I don’t know if that’s ever gonna be … it doesn’t sound like there’s ever gonna be a clear cut dynamic as far as your current schedule of when you actually have time.
Clay: Is it more of you’re saving up for a certain amount of money, or what is … ? Talk to me more about the or so.
Mark: Yeah. I’m trying to save up around 10,000 to use for options from the eBay side, but I of course use the money for day to day life and stuff like that also, ’cause of course things come up and you can’t always plan for everything, but that’s kinda my general goal for that, and it can vary month to month, ’cause sometimes I sell more in one month or sell less in another month, so it kinda depends on that.
Clay: Right, no. That makes sense, and I would assume not only how much you sell, but you gotta be able to buy good deals too. You’re not just gonna randomly buy stuff, so I would assume that the inventory out there available for you to buy is also gonna be varying every single month, too.
Mark: Right, right.
Clay: Circling back to these investments that you have, I mean, you did pretty much confess that, yeah, there wasn’t a whole lot of thought that went into them. Do you still hold the ones … ? Now, for the Grow Rich course stuff, I would say there was a thought, there was a process and sequence that went into those, because that’s all outlined in the course. But speaking about those investments outside of that, do you still hold those, and if so, why? Because you’ve admitted that there wasn’t much thought that went into them, so why would you continue to hold something if you know that, yeah, that probably wasn’t the wisest way to go about it?
Mark: Right, right. I don’t hold ’em anymore after going through the course. I just have the cash in the Roth accounts right now, and I just haven’t … ’cause I wanted to actually go through the process to do it, but I haven’t done it yet.
Clay: Well, that’s a buzzkill. I thought I was gonna bust you there, Mark, but okay. You’ve sold what you know you should have sold because it was random whims to go on. Well, that’s no fun. Alright, well, next question. Now, this Roth; you have money sitting there. Is that what you plan on using for your active trading, or is that money just in the Roth for more of the long term investing type stuff?
Mark: It’s only for long term, and so I don’t plan on using it.
Clay: Okay. That’s good. I feel like that’s always wise for people to kind of separate out their actual investing account versus their actual active trading type accounts. Have you done any research or looked into any brokers at all? Do you have any idea of who you are potentially looking to use as your broker of choice when you do get back into things, or where do you stand on that front?
Mark: I looked at Tastyworks, and TOS, but I think Tastyworks would probably better work out for just the amount of cash that I have, but that’s all I’ve looked into. I haven’t set up any accounts or anything like that to start it, ’cause I don’t wanna put the cart before the horse. You know, that type of thing.
Chezz: Well, like I always say, good for you for kinda recognizing that, but yeah, so, Tastyworks is fantastic. I absolutely recommend it for folks looking to do advanced options strictly. I mean, there’s no closing commissions. The commissions are very, very cheap, and don’t get me wrong, they definitely compete with Interactive Brokers. If you’re only doing advanced options, I would say Tastyworks is fantastic. The whole brokerage is pretty much designed around doing only advanced options.
Chezz: For day trading, though, I mean, I would highly recommend you look into a broker that’s kinda more suited to that, and the only reason why I say that is because there’s limitations for the Tastyworks platform in terms of day trading. I know, like you said, if you’re only focusing on doing advanced options with that Tastywroks account, you’ll be just fine, but you can only do one order at a time. It doesn’t have … you can’t pop things out. There’s no level two.
Chezz: Things like that, so, I would say it’s a hindrance. I have day traded on the platform before, but I assure you that that happens very few, very, very not often at all. But yeah, I’m happy to hear you would use that brokerage.
Clay: Sorry to cut you off. Have you stumbled across any other brokers in your search, or where did you even arrive at test the trade? I mean, is this from kind of your creeping in the shadows of the chatroom?
Mark: Right, right. I’m just kind of listening to what other people use and just kinda see how they use it and what kinda works best for them, and looking for people that are in similar situations that I’m in. But I think, kind of, some of it that I’ve heard Clay talk about, and I think it’s really important, is keeping the day job, and just for your mental health, and keeping everything going, that’s probably why I’ve probably … that’s why I haven’t gotten fully invested in the market just yet, because I really do like my day job and the other businesses that I’ve got going, and so I guess it hasn’t pulled me into the market just yet because I think, like Clay keeps mentioning, that it’s a pretty big mind game.
Mark: And I guess I haven’t been wanting to commit to it just yet.
Clay: And you’re at, actually, a pretty tricky spot, because I wanna tell you, the last time you’d wanna get involved in the markets, learn about the markets, and try to make something of the markets, the last time you would ever wanna do that is when you need to do that, ’cause if you need to do it, there’s just gonna be way too much pressure on your shoulders.
Clay: But at the same time, it’s a great territory because I don’t wanna sit here and say, “Listen, you better start learning about it right now,” ’cause you don’t need to, because, well, you’re also … I don’t want you to abandon, first off, something that you said you like to do. I mean, that’s the epitome of crazy, is, “Well, I like to do this, but I’m gonna go do something else.” That doesn’t make any sense.
Clay: You’re at a very odd situation, because you’re actually at a perfect time to get involved in the markets, ’cause you don’t need to, so you’re not gonna have any sort of pressure compared to somebody that’s, “Well, I gotta pay the gas bill, and my Netflix bill just showed up too; I gotta pay that. And oh, Hulu showed up. I gotta get in the markets.” No, that’s a recipe for disaster. Know what I mean, Chezz? Does this make sense? He’s kind of at a go between of should he? Does this make sense, Chezz? Let’s just start off there.
Chezz: Yeah, no, no, it definitely makes sense. He’s in a unique position in terms of, his back isn’t against the wall by any means. He kind of gets to pick and choose when he’s kinda coming in, and in my opinion, and I say this all the time, that’s a position of strength. When you are not in a position of strength, you’re gonna do foolish things. You’re gonna over leverage yourself. You’re gonna make silly decisions, so him being in a position of strength and being able to choose when the right time is to get in the market, that’s only gonna increase his odds of success.
Clay: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, so, I’m not trying to push you into anything, Mark, but I’m just trying to … I mean, is there gonna be just that 10,000 dollar number? Is that kind of the … ? So, let’s look at it like this, Mark. Let’s say you hit 10,000 dollars next week in your account. Then what?
Mark: I probably still wouldn’t do it. I’m a little more apprehensive about it. After hearing a lot of the podcasts, and like when Chezz said, “You have big things kinda coming up in life,” and you know, it can affect all your trading, and I just … I haven’t wanted to kinda take that risk just yet, I guess.
Clay: Do you have big things coming up in life?
Mark: I have quite a few coming up, and so that’s kind of what has kinda kept me in the background. They’ve been kinda lingering there for a while, and it’s starting to look like they’re coming up, so yeah.
Clay: Okay. That’s fair enough, and also, just … I mean, there is risk. There’s always risk, but I mean, you have to keep things, and I know you’ve listened to the podcast, and there’s been lots of bad stories, horror stories, and stuff like that. But you gotta always … don’t lose track of apples and oranges. I mean, a lot of people’s mistakes could’ve been prevented had they just invested in their education, which you have done, and I think that’s … not I think, I know, that’s one of the most missed dynamics of investing into your education, is a lot of people think, “Well, if I spend money, then I get this money back by making money.”
Clay: And that is true, but a penny saved is a penny earned, and a lot of times, if people had just invested, spent some money on their education, then they would have totally avoided taking a big loss, so sure, that doesn’t necessarily get your money back, but it prevents you from ever having lost a bunch of money in the first place, so there is kind of a big dynamic out there in that perspective where, sure, I’m not saying that you’ll never lose money if you invest into your education or invest in the ClayTrader university.
Clay: But I am saying you’re gonna know what to look for and you’re gonna know situations to avoid. You’re not gonna go and throw 50,000 dollars into a penny stock that does an average of 10,000 dollars of volume of day. If you don’t know what I mean by that, take that as a sign you probably shouldn’t have any real money in the markets, ’cause you’re missing some very basic dynamics of just understanding how the market works if you don’t understand that analogy.
Clay: I would say that I appreciate that you have stuff coming up, I understand that it is a little apprehensive. But you know, keep things in context that you are gonna approach things with a logical strategy, with a step by step strategy. I mean, I don’t want you to be too scared, ’cause right now I feel like you’re very, very nervous. Are you very nervous because you know you have these other personal items coming down the way? Or are you just really nervous because you feel like the market is super super risky?
Clay: I mean, where exactly … ? What do you think the main driver of this current apprehension and nervousness is?
Mark: Yeah, I think some of the apprehension just comes from, kind of, some of it is how unpredictable our day job is, or my day job is, ’cause we get a contract, and we’ll get busy for, say, a month or something like that, and it’ll be a pretty big physical commitment, and so I usually can’t be at my desk. We usually start fairly early and sometimes it takes more, if we have problems or something like that, and so it’s really hard to be able to commit to something like that and the market or something.
Mark: I’ve been just kind of holding off from it when, I guess, waiting for it to stabilize a little bit more.
Chezz: And that makes sense, and I just wanna commend you on realizing … you’re very, very good at looking at things and not kinda taxing yourself, or putting too much on your plate at one time, so good for you for knowing that. Not everybody has kinda the foresight to do that. What would you say are kinda your biggest strengths going into this? I know you’re not technically trading right now, but what are some strengths that you would take away from kinda the rest of your everyday life that would be a strength in trading for you?
Mark: I think being skeptical about a lot of the stuff online and then just kind of really taking the time to learn it step by step and going through it logically versus just kind of, like you guys were saying, just jumping in and just taking the risk and not really thinking it through. And that’s kind of some of it.
Mark: I’m a little more of a conservative type of person, so I usually like to just take the time and really look at it, and see if there’s a good opportunity there, and kinda go from there.
Clay: Awesome. Well, that’s … The only little fault I can find is, it’s a fine line, ’cause I 100 … well, I guess I 99.9% agree with Chezz that that’s good that you recognize that, “You know what? I don’t wanna rush into things. I don’t wanna put too much on my plate.” But you also always gotta, you don’t wanna be too scared to ever take the plunge. Now, to your point, and to steal Chezz’s line, you are operating from a position of strength, so I mean, technically speaking, as long as you’re investing and putting money aside in your IRA, then you may never even need to take the plunge.
Clay: And that’s up to you. I would just say it’s good to be cautious. It’s good to be skeptical. It’s good to be very, very kinda tip on your toes, but you don’t wanna let that lead to the extreme of, well, you’re never doing anything. Almost like paralysis by analysis type situation. And I’m not saying that’s the path you’re on. I would just say that that’s the only kind of thing I would throw out there in terms of people like you that are very, very, just slow moving. That is great, but you wanna make sure it gets too slow moving or you’ll scare yourself out of any potentials.
Clay: Does that make sense, Mark?
Mark: Yeah. I think that’s probably really good advice, ’cause for me it’s just trying to … you gotta stay hungry and you gotta push yourself a little bit more each time, and that’s kind of what I’m trying to do with some of it, but you know, you gotta be able to keep motivated and keep it going.
Clay: Well said, and it’s a fine line. I really wish there was a black and white answer to this stuff, so yeah, we’re definitely on the same page. But given you listened to many of the past episodes, I know you know that Chezz has a time machine, so Chezz, the floor is yours.
Chezz: If I was to lend you my time machine, and you could go back to any time you’d lie and give yourself one piece of advice, what would that advice be?
Mark: I would say try to push myself to do a little bit more in the markets and be maybe a little less conservative about it, and actually get out of being comfortable with the day to day job and actually trying something a little different, you know?
Chezz: No, I can understand that. Yeah, absolutely.
Clay: Yeah, no, but I mean, your situation can be argued both ways. I could say, “Well, if you had never gotten that advice from your boss, maybe you wouldn’t be so conservative and skeptical, but at the same time, like I said, that was actually really good advice because if you don’t approach this like you should then your boss is 100% right: it is very, very dangerous, and very, every risky.
Clay: There’s no doubt about that. Now let’s move into some of the fun questions, which I know you know are coming, so hopefully you are … Mark, please, don’t be one of those guys where I ask the question, you’re like, “Huh, huh.” I mean, you know it’s coming.
Mark: Oh yeah.
Clay: I mean, I always have to laugh when people are like, “Oh yeah, I listened to all sorts of episodes.” And then you get to these questions, they’re like, “Well, let me think about it.” It’s just kinda … bless their hearts.
Mark: I know. I-
Clay: What is your favorite movie, Mark?
Mark: My favorite move is The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, with Clint Eastwood and pretty much the three movies that he has, Fistful of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More. I’ve always liked the old spaghetti westerns. Just the grit of the movies is just probably one of my favorite things about Clint Eastwood.
Chezz: Yeah. Clint Eastwood is fantastic, and I mean, I’m also a fan of spaghetti westerns. Clay, I don’t feel like I’ve ever heard you mention if you were a fan of those or not.
Clay: What technically is … ? I mean, I know what a western is, but what makes it a spaghetti western?
Mark: Ennio Morricone, I think, was the director, and I think he was Italian, and so they just kind of nicknamed it spaghetti westerns at the time.
Clay: Okay, so it’s-
Chezz: So you’re just thinking of westerns, yeah, Clay.
Clay: Alright. I’ve heard the term but I’ve never really known, and thank you, Mark, Chezz, for not judging me in my ineptitude for knowing what it, but I didn’t know if, like, is a spaghetti western different than a normal western, or … ? But, that would make sense if, so the director that did it was Italian and it just … I feel like, nowadays, that would be kinda racist, wouldn’t it? In this day and age? Like, wait a minute; you’re calling something a spaghetti western ’cause the director was Italian? I don’t know.
Chezz: We’re little snowflakes these days, yeah.
Clay: Like, this podcast, like it’s shut-
Chezz: Careful, careful, we’re gonna get flagged.
Clay: Yeah. I mean, we’ll tread lightly. Okay, calm down, Mark. Let’s not be a racist, okay? Goodness, man. Alright, let’s just … Chezz, take the next question.
Chezz: Yeah, I’ll move it past it, but yeah, Mark, what would you say is your favorite food and dessert? And if you say Italian food, we’re gonna get flagged.
Mark: Oh, I was just gonna say lasagna, so.
Clay: We’re great.
Chezz: Oh, we’re getting flagged. Well, it’s been a good couple hundred episodes guys we’ll see you later.
Mark: My family’s Italian, so it’s like, we can’t get away from that type of food. It’s just, to me, it’s the best.
Clay: Okay, well, this isn’t racist, then, right? ‘Cause you’re an Italian saying this stuff, so I think we’re in the clear, Chezz.
Chezz: Okay. I guess we got a couple hundred more to go. Okay, we’re good.
Clay: Yeah. I don’t know. Alright, we’re good. Anyways, what about … ? Did you answer dessert?
Mark: I don’t think I did. Just plain vanilla ice cream. That’s good enough for me.
Clay: Hey, I mean, you said you’re conservative. I don’t think it’s anymore conservative.
Mark: Yeah, I know.
Clay: It doesn’t get anymore skeptical than plain vanilla ice cream. “What, you’re gonna put chocolate chip? Nope, vanilla.” I can respect that. And then, finally, what do you like to do for hobbies and such outside of the farm, eBay, and then your general interest in the market?
Mark: Honestly, my businesses are my hobbies. I enjoy them. I get a lot of enjoyment out of, just, the process of doing ’em, and so I don’t really have any hobbies outside of that, other than hanging out with my wife, that’s pretty much it.
Chezz: Nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong with that at all. Usually, we ask if you had to pick three words thar define successful trading, what would those three words be. I think I’m gonna modify it a little bit. If you had to pick three words that would just lead to kind of overall success in life, what would those three words be for you?
Mark: I would think intuitive, logical, and kind of always pushing yourself to do a little bit more is pretty important.
Clay: I think that’s a good list. I like intuitive.
Chezz: That’s how you grow, yep.
Clay: I like intuitive. Intuitive to err on the side of caution, though, because sometimes I feel like people are a little too aggressive in their intuitiveness, and then all of a sudden, “Hey, where did all my money go?” And it’s, “Well, this isn’t a video game. You can’t press the reset button unfortunately.” But all definitely good words for sure. Well, Mark, I appreciate you taking time out of your day and looking at the clock, we’re just gonna make it from when you needed to be done, so hopefully you can go pick some olives, or some citrus, or –
Clay: Pita … spa … alright.
Chezz: Good luck.
Clay: Walk me through how do I say that.
Clay: Pistachio. It’s pistachios, there we go.
Mark: Yeah. I may not have been totally honest. We don’t do all the work. We just take care of a lot of the management of the process, so.
Clay: Well, sometimes that’s … yeah, okay. Well, that’s, anyways-
Chezz: I prefer to view you with a straw hat on doing the work yourself, but that’s okay.
Clay: Mark, I thought for sure, honestly … are you wearing overalls right now?
Mark: No. No, I’m not.
Clay: Okay. And I-
Chezz: He certainly is, he certainly is. When he sends the picture over for this podcast, you’ll see; he’ll be in overalls.
Clay: Yeah, ’cause Chezz nailed the straw hat, and I was just thinking, “Yep, straw hat with overalls on, and maybe he’s sitting out on a tractor right now.” But it sounds like my stereotypes have gone too far, so my apologies to all you farmers out there. My ignorance is on full display. But Mark, in all seriousness, thank you for hanging out. We’ll definitely have to have you back in the future. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be a multimillion dollar eBay seller. I don’t know, but we definitely want, we’ll have to keep in touch to hear how your journey continues to play out.
Clay: So, will you come back at some point?
Mark: Yep. Anytime. I enjoyed it, and it was fun getting to know you guys a little bit and hear everybody’s stories.
Clay: Awesome, awesome. Well, I appreciate it, again, and I also appreciate you as listeners. So, do you listeners, a final view things before we wrap this up. First, if you’re listening on YouTube, check out the rest of the channel. There’s a lot of other videos and such on the channel other than the podcast.
Clay: There’s live trade videos, there’s a vlog. I mentioned ClayTrader mail earlier on. There’s a lot of different segments so be sure to check that out. Also, if you’re listening on iTunes or any other podcast player, be sure to subscribe that way you can be kept up to date whenever any new content comes out, and especially on iTunes, if you could leave us a positive comment and rating, that would be awesome, and then finally, on the website itself, claytrader.com, the show notes page.
Clay: Click that share button, leave us a comment down below. We will read them, we will reply to them. We try to be as interactive as possible, and we appreciate whenever people wanna reach out to us, so thank you again to Mark. Thank you again to our esteemed cohost Chezz, and thank you as listeners, we’ll see you next week.
Speaker 2: This has been the Stock Trading Reality podcast. Thanks for taking the time to hang out. To learn more about Clay and the ClayTrader community, including the training team, premium training, and more, visit claytrader.com.