One of the most revealing questions a newer trader can ask is: but WHY? This shows someone’s desire to want to be more than a blind sheep trader. With all due respect, if you believe the markets are as easy as “following hot stock tips”, then your current status is that of a blind sheep. No worries! I started off the same way and it can be corrected, but Step #1 is first just acknowledging you’re a blind sheep. My guest, Aaron, is still pretty new to the community, but he’s taking all the right steps to put himself in the best possible position to succeed. The other things I really like about Aaron is his ability to take “hard” feedback and not get all offended or triggered. Too many times people hear something a bit on the hard side and get all offended, but in Aaron’s case, he took the feedback as it was intended and rolled with it as any adult and serious trader would. I really enjoyed my time with Aaron and I’m sure you will to, so let’s get to it!
Clay: Hey, before we get into today’s episode, I want to first address the question that I get quite a bit, and that is, “Clay, what broker or what platform is your favorite? Who do you recommend?”
Clay: Now, before I can answer this, I need to offer up a little bit more context. I am referring to an investing standpoint. So, “Hey, Clay. I want to save for retirement. I want to do longterm investing,” not, I repeat, not, “Hey, Clay. I want to be some short-term day trading scalper that buys and sells within three minutes.” That’s not what I’m talking about. We are talking investing.
Clay: So, from an investment standpoint, the platform and broker I recommend is M1 Finance. They’re awesome, and they have all sorts of great attributes and features. First one, totally, no fees, no commissions, zero dollars.
Clay: “Well, Clay, I know about another broker out there that has zero dollars.”
Clay: Well, here’s the thing that separates M1 from Robin Hood, and I’ll just say the name, is Robin Hood does not offer tax-friendly accounts. So, if you want your money to grow tax-free like you should, assuming you are wanting to save for retirement, save for the longterm, then you need a tax-friendly account, and Robin Hood just does not offer that at this time. M1 Finance does. So, no commissions, tax-friendly accounts, and then finally, partial shares.
Clay: So, if you want to buy a share of Amazon, for example, which costs over $1,000, you can still get a share of Amazon with $10. So, that is another very, very powerful thing is you do not have to have an entire $1,000 in order to get a share of Amazon. You can do partial share. So, you can have a half a share of Microsoft, a quarter of a share of Amazon, three-fourths of a share of Facebook, and so on and so forth, and that allows you to get involved no matter how much money you’re using.
Clay: So, especially if you’re starting off with smaller amounts, I mean, it’s hard to go wrong with no fees, tax-friendly accounts, and the ability to buy partial shares. I have a review video of them, so you can see behind the scenes because I do have an account with them. So, just go to ClayTrader.com/M as in Mary, and then the number one. So, very simple, M1, ClayTrader.com/M1. There’s also a link there because they’re running a promotion in the month of July, where if you sign up using the link that I gave at that link, then you get $20 and for full transparency and disclosure, I also get $20. So, if that bothers you that I may get $20, then I guess you just don’t get the $20 either, but just want to be, like I said, fully transparent on that.
Clay: So, again, this link can be found, so you can get that $20 at ClayTrader.com/M as in Mary and then the number one. So, if you are looking to save, if you’re looking to invest for your future, invest for retirement, you can do all that with M1 Finance. So, I’d encourage you to go check it out. Again, ClayTrader.com/M as in Mary and then the number one. Let’s get to the episode.
Clay: This is The Stock Trading Reality Podcast episode 228.
Announcer: This the The Stock 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 probably thinks you’re a communist if you haven’t seen Avengers Endgame. Clay Trader.
Clay: I mean, maybe that’s too harsh, but I’m a geek, I’m a nerd, I have no problem saying that. If you have not seen Avengers Endgame, what kind of life choices are you making? What are you doing with your life? Why are you not sitting in a movie theater for three hours and watching an awesome movie? You need to do some self-reflection and realize that you’re making poor choices, you’re making poor decisions about what to do with your time.
Clay: Now, of course, I’m being a little sarcastic here, but if you have not seen Avengers Endgame, then … Let me … If you like these sorts of movies and you haven’t seen it yet by the time this episode goes public, I mean, what are you doing? What are you doing? Now, I realize some people are like, “I don’t care about any of those.” So, fine. I guess you have a past, but yes, if you can tell, I was a very, very big fan of Avengers Endgame. Love the movie, but we will not turn this into a comic book discussion because you did not tune in because you want to hear all about comic books and all that sort of good stuff.
Clay: Yeah. I very, very much so a fan of that movie, and I liked it quite a bit. I guess, I don’t know, I don’t want to offer up any spoilers. So, I’ll just leave that I enjoyed it very thoroughly, but the other thing I enjoyed very thoroughly as you’re about to witness was the conversation we had today with Aaron. If you listened to last week’s episode with Matt, and I comment on this during the discussion, it’s almost like they’re brothers. I could probably have been fooled to think that these are brothers because the way they look at things and the kind of their thought process is very similar.
Clay: I also bring this up in the discussion, but these are the type of people that I’m proud, I want, I seek to surround myself with. I want people with these sorts of mentalities. I want people with these sorts of goals. I want people that see the world through these types of lenses. That’s who I want to surround myself with. I’m not going to sit here and say that this is … I would argue that these are the people you should be surrounding yourself with if you want to make progress as opposed to negative people and naysayers and all that.
Clay: Regardless, Aaron is a great example, and he makes some fantastic points that the things that you need to consider as a new trader, and really just in life in general. He’s got a really cool background. He’s worked with some … Well, I won’t offer up any spoilers, but he’s got a great story. He gets me fired up a bunch of times. He gets me ranting and raving. I do interrupt him rudely about 17 times. So, that drives you nuts about me because I know I have that problem. I’m working on it, but I do fail miserably in this discussion. So, yes, I always appreciate the criticism. “Hey, you got to let the guest talk more. Stop interrupting people.”
Clay: I know. I’m working on it, but it was Aaron’s fault. He had the magical spell over me. So, without further ado, though, let’s hear it from Aaron.
Clay: Aaron, welcome to the show.
Aaron: Thanks. Thanks. Thanks for having me. Excited to be here.
Clay: Now, I like Aaron already before we got recording. He asked a question that I should probably be telling all the guests before they come on here, but he would just wanted to make sure that he wasn’t violating any policies or saying stuff or anything like that, and I was just like, “That was actually a really smart question.” So, Aaron, you’ve now set the bar very high for yourself in terms of quality that I expect from you.
Clay: Now, I know very little about you other than I know that you’re pretty new to the community. I know that you’re just now getting warmed up. Well, I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but for full disclosure’s sake to listeners, sometimes I show up and I literally know nothing at all about the guest, but with Aaron, I know very, very broad strokes things about him, but I have no idea about the nitty-gritty details. You’re new to the community, right? You’re relatively new?
Aaron: I am, yeah. I think in the chat community, about two weeks, maybe a little less than that, but overall, as far as trading is concerned, probably maybe two and a half, almost three months now.
Clay: Oh, okay. All right. So, you’re brand new in that regard. That’s a perfect segue into, which before I forget because I always like to and I need to thank people like yourself that have volunteered to be here because you make my life easier and you just make …
Clay: The show goes on with people that are like, “Hey, I’ll come on and tell my story even though if it’s …”
Clay: I say, “Listen, that’s fine.”
Clay: So, Aaron, thank you very much-
Clay: … for just volunteering to be here. I really do appreciate it. That makes my life much easier, which I appreciate. So, where did all this start for you, though? Where do you hear about the markets, and what sorts of dynamics and things played out that took you to the point of deciding, “I want to get a little bit more active. I want to get a little bit more hands-on with it”?
Aaron: Well, my overall experience throughout most of my life, I haven’t really been heavily exposed to markets. I knew about them, the general, which most people know, but over the last maybe three months or so is when I’ve gotten a little more paying attention. Honestly, I guess, it might be easier to go through what throughout our, especially my wife and I’s life over the last maybe five to 10 years or so here was gotten us to this point, but-
Clay: Yeah. Go for whatever you think is will best explain, I’m all for it. So, whatever you think is best.
Aaron: Well, I did a lot of jumping around. I’ve done a lot of really awesome jobs, careers, things like that that have paved my way to the point where I’m at right now, but early on, I was, “Okay-”
Clay: Aaron? Aaron?
Clay: I know I’m being rude. I’m interrupting. You can’t say stuff like, “I did a lot of awesome jobs and careers and all that stuff,” and then not tell me what they are. So, what did you used to do? Like I said, I realize that was totally rude, but that was rude of you to hang out such a carrot and then not let me even have a nibble of that carrot. So, I want to hear about these awesome jobs, and all that sort of good stuff.
Aaron: Oh, no, that’s fine. I appreciate you jumping in. I’m just trying to maybe gather my thoughts here, and get everything into a concise order. So, I guess, I mean, one of the … Sorry, Clay. I’m just trying to organize my thoughts here.
Clay: I know. I am sorry because I apparently derailed your thought process.
Aaron: No, no, you’re good.
Clay: So, yes, listeners, I will be more conscious of it, but I’m sorry. He dangled that carrot and I went after it like a snapping turtle, but I apologize. I’m the one that’s sorry because I’ve thrown you off your game.
Aaron: No, you’re fine, you’re fine.
Clay: Go for it.
Aaron: I think what it comes down to, for me, just to maybe start like, okay, looking at college, right? So, out of high school, school not the biggest focus for me at the time. Started taking some college classes, but honestly, I was probably out of class more than I was in the class, Clay. It just wasn’t something that fit me, fit my style, but I was still like a lot of people are thinking, “Okay. Out of high school, got to get a job or got to get to college, get a degree, get a good job, get a career, and go that direction.”
Aaron: For me, it didn’t really fit the mold for me. I needed something more focused. I like to hone in on something and really, really almost like a laser focus onto something like that. So, I dropped out of there and decided, “Okay. I’m going to work.” Did a few just normal jobs out of high school, and decided that I was going to focus my interest into audio engineering, something that I was really interested in. This is probably, just to give you a little bit of perspective, probably 2002-2003.
Aaron: So, I went to a school in Arizona, and got into, basically, I guess you can consider a trade school. It’s about an eight-month course. It’s focused heavily. It was one of the best, in my opinion, in the country for audio engineering, and I excelled heavily at it. I did really, really good. I went from there and moved up against my school’s recommendations. I moved up to Seattle, and got started with a label up there, and without going into a lot of backstory in that scenario, I ended up working for a producer that my intended purpose of going to Seattle was to work with him.
Aaron: I was able to network, get my foot in the door and, basically, make it so that he had no other option but to hire me and that’s what happened. I did that for several years. I loved it. It was like living a dream. I was coming in to a studio, working with bands that I love listening to, and I love the label I worked for, and it was awesome, right?
Aaron: The music industry taught me a huge lesson, which is, obviously, nothing is for certain, especially when you’re an independent contractor in audio like that. You can be needed one day, and the next day, you’re not needed. Even I worked steadily for about three and a half years there, that’s what happened. The course changed. It wasn’t anything that I did wrong or anything that I was doing poorly. It was just, “Hey, we’re going to go this direction.” It was a smaller studio that it was just me and the producer heavily, basically doing everything.
Aaron: So, in a heartbeat, that ended. That was a huge hit, especially for me, my pride. I thought I was going this direction, and now I’m not. So, that was maybe one of the first clue into maybe this isn’t the direction I’m going in now, but I do need to consider alternatives.
Aaron: The reason I bring this up is because at that time, I started reading. Once I lost that position there, I was really questioning, “Should I continue doing this? Should I not? What am I doing?” So, I started reading up and got into some books, and forgive me because I probably won’t be able to remember the title at this point, but it was more about just how money works, making money.
Aaron: I started looking into real estate not as an investor, but as an agent. As you know, getting into something like that without at least a good chunk of capital to sustain you as you get started, this is a really tough game. So, that was another lesson that I had to learn, but the cool thing is that it opened me up to a lot of different ways of, “Okay. There’s more than just a career path, not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, because that’s definitely a great way of going, but times change and time is changing as far as …” It’s good look outside and try and come up with other ways of creating passive income, supplemental income, that kind of stuff other than just being like, “Well, I’m going to be on the 40-year plan as an employee, and that’s going to be great.” So, does that makes sense so far?
Clay: No. I was going to say you made the comment about … Well, I probably don’t need to go on all that, but I disagree with that because the point you bring up is absolutely fantastic. This is why, I mean, Aaron’s, that whole shindig he just went through is exactly why I say I struggle with people who are like, “I want to be a full-time trader.” Now, I get it what people mean by a full-time trader, but I always encourage people to do exactly what Aaron’s talking about is, well, diversify not only your investments, but diversify your income streams as much as possible because in Aaron’s case, and why, thank you for sharing that because that’s some really good real life application, you just never know.
Clay: If something happens like it happened to you and all of a sudden, like you said, you just almost weren’t needed in a sense, it’s like, well, that income stream, just gone just like that. So, this is why, yes, not only does that makes sense what you said that I am in full agreement that, yeah, you need to be … You all, to listeners, need to be as diversified as possible, and that’s why people are like, “Oh! I can’t believe I still have my job while I’m trading.”
Clay: To me, I’m like, “I get it, but that’s two streams of income right there.” I have nothing wrong with people wanting to do trading as their main source of income, but to look at it as a way of, “Hey, I just want that to be my only source of income,” that gets a little too sketchy. So, that was my long answer and my long way of saying, yes, I do know what you mean and I fully agree. So, yeah, keep on going.
Aaron: Well, and to specify, too, at this point, I wasn’t into trading yet. I knew, like I said, I knew about the markets, but that wasn’t something that I was putting any money into yet, but to reiterate my point there, it’s opening up, “Okay. There’s more out there. There’s more ways to make money.” Because of the laser focus type of mentality that I have, whatever it is I do, sometimes almost to my own detriment, Clay, but because of the way I handle those things, it helps me a lot when I get focused on something, which we’ll come back to as far as getting into the trading side of things. I really dive in and I really look at and explore all the different options and stuff like that.
Aaron: To fast forward, I ended up leaving Seattle, going back home. I’m originally from California. So, I moved back home and got a job. Never had an issue doing that. I ended up falling into a teaching career, which lasted about three years. I didn’t set out to be a teacher. I didn’t have a degree as a teacher, but because it was a private school, there was not astringent of requirements. So, they actually hired me on to develop a recording program for their school. So, got involved in-
Clay: Wait a second.
Clay: Wait a second. You mean, a school is smart enough to be like, “Wait. Why don’t we hire somebody that’s actually been out there?” Now, I actually want to take a step back, Aaron before I kick myself. I have nothing against teachers. Teachers are great, and this is more geared towards, I think, college in a sense. Again, I had some great college professors, but some of these professors, it’s like … We’ll take this. Teachers that teach entrepreneurship in college are like, “Okay. Have you ever actually built a business, started a business, have done anything?” So, to that high school’s point, good for them to be like, “Hey. Sure, this person doesn’t have a “teaching degree” but hey, that would be great to … He knows what he’s doing in the audio industry. He’s got a great track record. He’s got a great resume in the audio industry. So, why not bring him in to teach audio and to,” like you said, “develop a recording program?” Dare I say a little common sense out there?
Clay: That’s one of those things, my little pet peeves. It’s like, “Maybe you should have people that have actually done something because …” I don’t know. That’s a soapbox and a rabbit hole that I’ll just leave right there, Aaron, but I won’t go down, but I think that’s great, I guess, that that high school, whoever they were, shout out to that high school, was able to see through the fact you didn’t have a degree, but still brought you on for something that makes a whole lot of sense to me, but anyways. Sorry once again.
Aaron: No, you’re good.
Clay: Can we just establish right now? I’m probably going to be interrupting you a lot because you’re getting me fired up with a lot of these points. So, all right. Cool.
Aaron: I’m just glad I’m making some points for you to be fired up about, man. That’s my goal. It was a really an innovative school in that way, but that story changes after the three years. What it taught me, and the reason I bring it up is they brought me on to develop a recording program, and it wasn’t very big at the time, but there was a couple of other teachers that were teaching different areas of technology that didn’t want to do that class anymore. So, essentially, it dropped me into having a full schedule. Instead of just being a part-time scenario, I had a full schedule. So, I got dropped in to teach college prep courses for computer applications, learning how to build resumes, and writing papers, and doing all that kind of stuff, but in the Microsoft Office type environments.
Aaron: Then I also took on a class to take video recording and production and stuff like that. So, it was really fun, but what it taught me the biggest thing was that I had to be dropped into a situation with no curriculum, Clay, and I had to essentially develop it on my own. So, it helped me developed a skill of looking at something really quickly, developing the ability to assess, “Okay. What is this? How does this work?” and learn as I go.
Aaron: That ended just because it was a private school. Tuitions were suffering. This was just after 2008, which it affected a little bit, I guess, but anyways. So, because most of my class is being elective in a sense, I was somewhat expendable, if you can think of it that way. So, where the cost get cut, that was me, but it brings me to where I’m at right now, which is I’ve been working with a company, which does it. Do you mind if I tell you who I work for? Does it matter?
Clay: I mean, I want to know who you work for, and I want to know who those bands were, too, that you worked for, but I mean, I understand if you can’t name drop them, but-
Aaron: No, no, no. It’s not a big deal. It’s not going to be any conflict of interest or anything like that, but to go back to the audio side, I worked for a record label out of Seattle called Tooth & Nail. Have you ever heard of Tooth & Nail?
Clay: I’m not huge into … The songs I specialize in are like Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, stuff like that with my stage of life. So, no, I can’t say I’m very familiar with that, with Tooth & Nail.
Aaron: No, that’s okay, but you had mentioned that, you had mentioned the bands, but that was the label I worked for. They were primarily a Christian record label up there, and they’ve had a lot of really great bands that have come out of that label. I’m with you. I have two young daughters, too. So, my days are filled with different … Yeah. I got almost a four-year-old and a one and a half. So, yeah.
Clay: Oh, all right. So, you’re never busy then. Life is very slow, I’m sure, right now. Everything is under-
Aaron: Right now, they went out on a walk and did some stuff just so I could have the … because we have a smaller place right now. So, we have to fill the area where we can. So, it could be very, very, yeah, very chaotic. So, I try and fill my mornings when I can trading before either when they get up, before they get up, but you know how it is. They’re natural alarm clocks. So, my daughters are up at 6:00 on the dot.
Clay: I like that. They are natural human walking, talking, unfortunately, pooping their pants alarm clocks. You’re absolutely right. They are. All right. Well, I don’t even know where we were. All I know is I’m enjoying myself with this conversation.
Aaron: I’m bouncing around. I’m sorry. I’m bouncing around.
Clay: No, but I keep bouncing you around. Oh, you had made the comment about you didn’t know if you wanted to name drop companies and stuff like that. Yeah, that’s totally fine, as long as you’re not going to sit here and bash them and then all of a sudden-
Aaron: No, no, no, no.
Clay: … I’m getting into the stone age or something like that.
Aaron: No. In fact, the company I worked for, you’ve probably traded many of times, but no. So, at the time I’m teaching, because of tuition suffering and stuff before I found out, “Okay. Well, I’m not going to have a continued job with them,” I got a second job at the time working for Apple. I worked in the retail environment and started out a part-time just working as essentially what they call a product zoner or red zoner, which is just basically sales. So, I started doing that part-time, but tech support, troubleshooting, triaging. I really love diving into those types of things. That’s what I’ve moved into.
Aaron: I’ve been now with Apple a little over nine years full-time. I love it, but that’s where the stock side of things almost come in to play in my life because Apple has such a great buying stock purchasing program that they have for their employees. So, that’s when I started saying, “Okay. When I was able to, when my budget would allow me to, I would actually allot,” because what they do is you can set the percentage, and they will take a percentage out of your check, of course, pre-taxed, and set it aside for you.
Aaron: Then it’s every six months. What they do is they say, “Okay. We’re going to take the money that you had put aside, and we’re going to buy as many shares that you want at the lowest it was,” for I believe either that six-month period or the year period. I can’t remember for sure. They buy it at the lowest it was then, plus 15% off that. So, it’s a really great-
Aaron: Yeah, yeah.
Clay: Hey, man. Hey, Aaron. You want to hook me up with a job at Apple? Can you point- I knew somebody that worked … So, I feel like I knew it was super good, but I definitely didn’t know. That is really, really … That’s an attractive … Lowest point plus 15%, that’s-
Aaron: Yeah. Are you there?
Aaron: Okay. There you go. Okay.
Clay: Yeah, I’m here. I muted myself a little too quickly there. So, I cut myself off. My bad, but no, that’s pretty impressive. So, yeah. You’d almost be foolish to not take advantage of it as much as possible, but like you said, you hadn’t went till the budget allowed for, but-
Aaron: Right, right.
Clay: … I’m glad that, yeah, you’re taking advantage of it.
Aaron: That plays a lot into where I’m at now because I’m going to reverse just real quick because I want to preference on something that’s really changed what one of my biggest things that I, one, have struggled with, and two, am trying to really get really good at is my mindset, and not just about trading, but about a lot of things in life. My wife and I had a chance to get with a couple that really helped mentor us in a lot of ways. I won’t go into a lot of what they do, just that’s a whole another conversation all together, but we were able to get around a lot of really successful people, a lot of people that had built wealth in their life.
Aaron: A lot of them had been able to walk away from jobs and things like that, and it really opened my eyes and my wife’s eyes to a whole another side of what’s potentially out there, and not only that, but helped changed my mindset of thinking like an employee because for so long, I thought, “You need a job. You need a job.” Yes, absolutely. Don’t walk away, of course, from a job unless you’re able to, but it plays back into when I was talking about earlier when I first started looking into money and looking into how do you grow money, how do you make it work for you, was it real estate, what is it, what are the … That really helped solidify to be around and learn from people who have created that and really is in the entrepreneurial side of things.
Aaron: That’s never been a strong forte for me, but it’s something that I was willing to want to learn and maybe grow in. It doesn’t necessarily mean entrepreneurial in a sense that I want to own a big business and I’m going to grow it and it’s going to be great, but I wanted to create something and change the way I thought about things to eventually create a lifestyle for my wife and my family, where I don’t have to work full-time or my wife doesn’t have to work or maybe I could step away and we can do these things that we want to do and live the life that way we want to live it.
Aaron: By no means that this mean I was looking at trading as a get-rich type scenario because absolutely, that is not the case. So, I just wanted to preface that a little bit that it supports my mindset in why the trading scenario came in to play because of that influence in our life.
Clay: No, that’s awesome. You made a comment about you don’t want to be an entrepreneur in the sense of owning a big, old company, which is so true, but a lot of people, you need to realize, listeners, that if you decide you want to pursue trading, you need to treat it, and I know I’ve said this a million times, but it’s so true, you need to treat it as a business. Guess what? Whose business is it? It’s your business. Who starts businesses? Entrepreneurs.
Clay: So, as soon as you decide that, you’re going to do trading and you’re going to take it seriously. You are an entrepreneur. So, to Aaron’s point, that doesn’t mean like, “Hey, I’m looking to knock Jeff Bezos off the wealthiest man list,” but you are literally becoming an entrepreneur because you are starting your business, and from that point forward, like any entrepreneur, you need to make wise decisions about how you structure your business, how you go about your business, how you grow your business, and yeah, that’s the whole idea behind this podcast.
Clay: It really could be called the Entrepreneurs’ Reality Podcast because that’s what we all are in this space, but that’s a very good and very clear explanation of how you got to this point in the sense of, basically, you realized, “I got to diversify my streams of income,” because you don’t want to put your … Basically, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket from even an income stream perspective.
Clay: Then the other big lesson that, hopefully, people picked up on because we talk about it here all the time and well done to you is who are you surrounding yourself with. Now, if you’re surrounding yourself with a bunch of, “Life is rigged against me,” “Woe is me,” people that are always waving the victim flag, and people that are always just downing themselves and naysayers and negative about everything, I mean, do you really think that you’re going to grow and make progress as a person or you look at Aaron and, yeah, man. He’s surrounding himself with people that had built wealth, that helped them out in other ways. I mean, that’s the name of the game.
Clay: If there’s one thing that you’d take away from this entire interview, I’ll just ask you the question, who are you surrounding yourself with as a listener and really think about that because that makes a massive, massive difference. So, all right. Well, that sounds like that brings us up to speed in terms of what everybody got you searching into more of the active trading or is there anything else that you want to circle back to?
Aaron: No. I mean, I think that brings us to where we’re at. I mean, all of that plays into just when I started seeking outside revenues and how to create different income streams. That does bring us up to the trading side.
Aaron: Up into this point, my mentality, my idea, which I know you’ve probably talked about plenty of times before, my idea of the trading side is, “Oh, you need a lot of money to do it,” right? “You need a lot of money to invest in it” or it’s very not necessarily the gambling side because I always knew there’s got to be a strategy, right? I mean, there’s got to be some way that you can do something like this and it’s not going to be, “Oh, crap! I just lost a lot of money on this and that.” Of course, that happens, but you’re not just going into it blindly. You know what I mean?
Clay: No, absolutely. Well, I mean, I know what you mean, but good for you for actually realizing that there is something more to it, where people aren’t just randomly showing up and all of a sudden are making a bunch. I mean, yes, you can randomly show up and make a bunch of money, but consistently make a bunch of money. It sounds like you understood that there had to be something more there because how are people consistent. So, yeah, that totally makes sense. Some people, yeah, from the customer service world, they …
Clay: Well, i guess I don’t know if they don’t think or they just don’t care and they’re saying, “Listen. I’m saving myself a plane ticket from flying out to Las Vegas, so let it ride, and let’s have some fun.” I mean, if that’s people’s mentality, that’s fine, but as I always say, all I request of those people is please don’t go and tell your friends and families that you’re a trader because that’s not what you are. You give the rest of us a bad name. Just be like, “Yeah. I’m smart. I’m saving myself a plane ticket, but I’m a gambler, and my casino just happens to be the stock market,” but that’s a whole another rant. I could go on, but we’ll set that aside.
Clay: So, I mean, where did all this start? You heard about trading. Like you said, you knew that there had to be something more to it. So, was that at the point you hopped on a Google or YouTube and started running searches or where did you go from that point in your journey?
Aaron: When we decided to schedule the podcast, I started in my head, “Okay. What am I going to bring up? How did this whole thing …” because I never thought about thinking about how did this whole thing started, but honestly, Clay, it was random. I mean, it wasn’t random in a sense that, of course, I was seeking out knowledge, I was seeking out of the things, but honestly, YouTube, going down that rabbit hole. I came across a video, and it looked fancy, it looked enticing with the charts and stuff. I hadn’t really ever looked at a trading platform before. I hadn’t really ever seen what a candlestick chart looks like.
Aaron: For me, it was like, “Okay. Yeah. I got stock. I bought it from Apple. Great.” I look on my eTrade account. It says it’s worth this much. Okay. I hadn’t really paid much attention. There will be a hindsight that will probably come with the whole Apple stock buying scenario that we might come in to later. So, I came across a video, started looking at it, and I started looking, and it was more … One of the videos where, “I made this much in this amount of time,” or you see those videos of guys out there in different channels where they have the fancy cars and stuff like that. It’s not that I’m enticed by that at all, but it did seem like, “Okay. What’s this all about? What is this legitimately?”
Aaron: To be fair, the video that I started watching and I would say the channel I started just dabbling in a little bit, it seemed pretty I wouldn’t say, I’m not going to use the word legit in a sense, but it seemed like, “Okay. There was a common sense to it. The way he talked about things was like … He talked about risk management and wanting to be smart, and not going in to how to adjust your size, and what kind of size position should you go into based on your portfolio size, but I was just testing waters. I was just taking things in. I wasn’t assuming anything was exact or was at face value in the sense of this is the only way to do it.
Aaron: At the same time, I also started to listen to some podcasts or looking for podcasts, which I fell upon yours, but I also fell upon others as well. One of the first podcasts that I started listening to was … Shoot! It hasn’t been around since … I think he ended it in 2016 or something, but the nice thing about, Clay, was that because on my way to work is about a 15-minute drive, right? So, that’s when I do all my podcasting and everything on the way to work and on the way back.
Aaron: Every episode was two minutes, and it was really just more about the base fundamental knowledge, not about strategy, not about … It was just what is this or what is that or how does this work or … So, it helped me developed a little bit of, I would say, the vocabulary, which I think is important because it helped me understand that, “Okay. When I hear this, this is what it’s referring to.” My mind started going from there and I wanted to understand more. I wanted to learn more. The more I did, the more questions came up, if you know what I mean.
Clay: Yes. Usually, I guess, the more you learn, the more you attempt to gain knowledge, the more you really realize, “Wow! There’s a lot more that I don’t know.” So, yes, that definitely makes sense. The more you learn, the biggest thing you’ll learn is, “Wow! There’s a lot out there that I don’t actually know or that I thought I knew, but I didn’t actually know it, but now I know it, but now all of a sudden, is there anything else that I’m missing?”
Clay: So, welcome to the big sea of engulfing information and when you’re new, when you don’t know what you don’t know, and that’s not to turn this into a sales pitch, but I mean, that’s why the whole, “Well, everything is out there for free,” and that’s true, but if it’s that easy because everything is out there for free, then why are failure rates, some people will say 95%, but I’m more so towards the 90% range, but regardless. I mean, that’s something which perfectly explains it because like Aaron said, the more you learn, it’s like, “Oh, great,” the more questions you have. One of those questions always is, “Well, am I missing something else? Is this even good?” Yeah, a lot of questions lead to more questions. Whereas when you put yourself in a structured format of things, that can just alleviate a lot of that, but yeah. Once again, my long way of answering your question of yes, that definitely makes sense.
Aaron: Well, it’s a good point because I knew that if I was really going to try and make this serious one, I don’t have a ton of money just sitting aside that I can just throw at it and learn the hard way. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted, too, that when I finally go and really start using our hard-earned money that we have some set aside that my wife and I have agreed, “Okay. We’re going to take this, and that’s fine. If something happens to this, we’re okay. We’re not going to worry about it,” but, of course, I don’t want to do that, right? I’d like to say, “Okay. Well, I took that money and I grew it to a really large account.”
Aaron: I knew that I needed to find some structure. At this time, I was still browsing around. Of course, I found these services where they alert you, “Okay. We’re going to send you alerts,” that are then like red flag to me because one of the big things, Clay, for me, is that I don’t want someone to tell me what I should trade. I want to understand what’s going on, so that I make that decision on my own. I think there’s so many services out there that really baits you in a lot of ways into they made this much money, they took this small $500 and they made it this. Of course, I’m sure that happens. That could definitely happen. The things that I was coming across, I just kept finding red flag after red flag.
Aaron: I did a couple of live webinars from some different services that were free. I’m like, “Let me dabble this. Let me just see.” We’re talking about, especially when it came to options, for example, I haven’t gotten into what spun me there, but to preface that, I had watched some videos on options, and I had learned that, “Okay,” because I had no idea, obviously, what an option was, but I saw that options were definitely a way to leverage and say, “Okay. Well, I can control a higher amount of security with a lower amount invested inside, and I’m able to potentially grow that.”
Aaron: One of the things that got me there were some of those videos that were showing like, “Oh, 200% gain, 300% gain. I made this much …” I’m like, “Okay. That’s obviously possible. So, let me understand a little bit more about how options work,” and that opened up a whole another world that we can get into at some point here.
Aaron: To reel it back, I had just been dabbling on all these areas, and again, along this time, I had come across some of your videos, and so I started narrowing down based on research and looking things up and reviews. Yeah. Reviews can be a little tricky because sometimes, and I’ve found other reviews of certain reviews that I’ve found were fake, where you can find some things where people hype things up. They hire actors. They hire people, they pay people for reviews or they do all this stuff. I even read about some organizations that have basically fabricate this whole video of them going to a college and speaking, and it’s crazy.
Clay: Harvard. Harvard. Right?
Aaron: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly.
Clay: Yeah, I saw that, too. Yeah. I got to just hop on here because, yeah, there’s one company who shall remain nameless, but they’re about as shady as shady gets. Yeah. There’s literally a guy out there that offers a service that his services, we’re going to make it look like you, that Harvard invited you to speak at Harvard. So, people pay him and then they go, and it’s a big production, and then those people that pay this guy, they come back and advertise on their site, “Hey, here’s our “guru” speaking at Harvard,” and I mean, it’s just a flat out lie.
Clay: It’s literally a business model based on deception, where you are trying to make people think that you were invited to Harvard to give a lecture about all this stuff, and of course, it’s just one of those things to built authority from a marketing perspective, so you trust that person, but to Aaron’s point, there are so much shady stuff going on, and the thing that …
Clay: I’ll admit it. It does get under my skin because, and it makes me question like, “I should probably just offer an affiliate program,” because a lot of the reviews for me is people throw me under the bus and throw my service under the bus, and then they go recommend somebody else, but what they’re not telling you is the reason they’re recommending that other person is because that person actually offers an affiliate program. An affiliate program, if you’re not quite sure what that means is, if you sign up because they told you to sign up with that person, then they’re going to get a cut of that. So, they’re getting a commission from that.
Clay: So, there’s a lot of reviews out there that they see him, they don’t have polite things necessarily to say about me, and then they recommend somebody else. Yeah, the somebody else happens to pay an affiliate, where I don’t offer an affiliate because I think that’s shady. I think that people should … I don’t know. I just have a problem with people out there saying how great my stuff is, but they’ve never even done my stuff. Like I said, I’m not trying to be some moral character here, but that for me, personally, that just rubs me the wrong way. So, that’s why I don’t offer an affiliate program, but can you tell that does rub me the wrong way as I go off on my tangent here?
Clay: Circling back to Aaron’s point, I totally know exactly what you’re talking about with that whole Harvard speech thing. To the person that did that research, yeah, they nailed it out of the park pretty much in terms of exposing that. I’m pretty sure that site now, like I said, shall remain nameless, I think they have it all taken down from their site at that point, but things like that. That doesn’t tell you the intention behind that management team of that site to just flat out lie like that. I don’t know what does, but anyways, Aaron, go for it.
Aaron: You’re good. No. It’s unfortunate, Clay, that there’s so much of that that goes on in a lot of different facets, but obviously, you take an environment like trading where there’s so much money that can be made and you put the money aspect behind it, then you’re going to find all of, I don’t know, the leeches. I don’t know what you want to call them, but they take advantage of everybody. Unfortunately, there may be those-
Clay: I got to correct you. They take advantage of people that don’t want to think for themselves because-
Aaron: Oh, there you go. Yeah.
Clay: … I don’t know this, for sure, but it sounds like you do not get taken advantage of, right?
Aaron: No, no, no. In fact-
Clay: I know because you think for yourself, and you said it earlier. This doesn’t mean much to you because the episode hasn’t aired yet, but for you listeners, if you listened to last week’s episode, Matt, who I talked to, he was cut from the same cloth here as Aaron. He’s saying, “You know what? I want to know more about the why. I want to know why something works, why it’s being alerted, how it works, so I can be self-sufficient.” Aaron, as he said here, is the same exact way or in short, they want to think for themselves. They’re not like an aimless, lazy, blind sheep wandering out there. So, I realized I’m nitpicking.
Aaron: No, you’re good.
Clay: No. They don’t take advantage of everybody. They take advantage of people that are lazy, and don’t want to think for themselves, and think that trading is as easy as getting a text alert, and then they can just buy and sell while they’re out on the golf course and, “Okay. This person is going to tell me when to buy, they’ll tell me when to sell. Okay. That sounds good.” Come on. Think for yourself, critical thinking, but you are setting me on all kinds of rants and raves in this episode, man.
Aaron: I’m pulling it out of you, Clay.
Clay: This is good stuff, but, yeah, man. I don’t even what you’re talking about other than the fact of … Oh, yeah. I was disagreeing with the everybody comment. So, like I said, a small thing, but I don’t know, when you stop and think about it, there’s the learning lesson there. The importance is be like Matt last week. Be like Aaron. Have the mentality that you got to want to think for yourself. So, carry on, and I will, like I said, I’ll be interrupting you more, I’m sure, but this is great stuff.
Aaron: Well, no, you’re good. I think one of the biggest things on honestly why I volunteered, too, so early in my trading career is that my hopes is that the stuff that I’ve gone through and learned, which isn’t super crazy at all, but I hope that it helps somebody out there who might be in the same position I was a couple of months ago to be like, “Okay. Maybe I shouldn’t take that at face value. Maybe I need to do a little more research.”
Aaron: So, that’s what one of my motivations for trying to do this so early is I may not have a lot of wisdom as far as, “Oh, I did this trade, and it works great, and I have these great strategies,” but, hey, the important thing is to reel it back and get the education.
Aaron: So, all this to be said, so I started narrowing things down, Clay, and I kept coming back to your site. There was another site that I found that was just dedicated to options. He seems pretty honest, but what I learned, too, and this is something we could talk about as well later, but I learned that when you’re going to start with a small account size, right now, just so you’re aware, I’m using Thinkorswim. It’s the one thing that seemed to be really prevalent out there.
Aaron: So, I was like, “Oh, I may look at this brokerage,” and I knew about TD Ameritrade, but what I found from talking with him is that when I go to a cash account, which is what I’m going to have when I start trading live, majority of the option strategies I’m learning about in that guy’s course, which he did offer for free, one, I wasn’t getting a lot of the meat and potatoes, which is what I love that you give because it gives me the understanding, but a lot of strategies talking about how to do them. I’m like, “I can’t even do these. I wouldn’t be able to do any of these strategies, so why am I focusing all of this effort to learning all these options strategies when really, all I can pretty much do is buy a call or buy a put because I don’t have a lot equity there, I don’t have a margin or anything like that.”
Aaron: Plus, TD Ameritrade, which I like about them is they’re like, “Look, you don’t know enough yet, so you need to take our options course. You need to do all this before we’ll even allow you to do anything yet.” So, that’s a little preface there.
Aaron: So, I started narrowing things down. I did one of your live webinars, which you just did I think a few weeks ago. I had been-
Clay: What did you think of that? Was it decent? Because it’s still relatively new. So, I’m always looking for feedback.
Aaron: Here’s what I appreciated about you, and this is why it lead me into why I’ve gone this direction with you is that compared to a lot of the other stuff that I found out there, you were more focused on, “This is how I teach. This is how I want you to learn. These are the ways, the steps. I want you to do them.” It wasn’t about, “Oh, yeah. See the strategy I did? I just made 27,000 in a matter of this.” No. To me, that was pushing me away from those people because it wasn’t realistic. Every video I’ve watched on your YouTube, you’ve always had a very realistic, no bull crap, and that’s the kind of guy I am.
Aaron: I want to be told upfront, no bull, “Here’s the deal,” but no, to answer your question, no, it was really helpful, and it was funny. I have to bring this up and I told myself that, “Since we’re going to do a podcast, I’d bring this up.” Here’s another reason that solidified it with me, Clay, was that I had gotten on the little chat bot on your website, right? I was watching the webinar at the time. In fact, the live webinar, when you did it, I wasn’t able to make it because I had to end up working. So, lo and behold, I was so thankful that you sent a replay link.
Aaron: So, I watched the replay, and at the time I was watching it, I started chatting on because I had some questions. I hadn’t signed up for this inner circle or anything yet. Lo and behold, you popped up, and I’m like, I don’t know if you might remember this or not, but I’m like, “Dude, is this a real person?”
Clay: Are you the guy where I was like, “Are you even paying attention right now because you’re talking to me while you’re watching it?” You’re like, “No, no, no, man. I paused it.” Is that you?
Aaron: Yeah. That was me. That was me.
Clay: That’s great. That’s awesome. Yes. So, to answer your question, I do remember you.
Aaron: Yeah, yeah.
Clay: Yeah, yeah.
Aaron: Well, it was honestly that answer, I’m like, “Okay. I like Clay. I think I can trust to go forward with this,” because you’re like, “Dude,” you just called me out, right?
Aaron: You’re like, “You shouldn’t even be talking to me right now. You should be paying attention to that.”
Aaron: I’m like, “You’re totally right.”
Aaron: So, I appreciated that. It was like-
Clay: Hey, was it paused or were you lying to me?
Aaron: No, no. It was paused.
Clay: Give me the truth right now.
Aaron: It was paused.
Clay: Okay. All right. All right. Good. Good.
Aaron: I wasn’t sure, I’m like, “Okay. I’m actually talking with Clay.” I was like, “Is this some bot person?” I’m like, “Am I really going to get answers?” but that’s the thing. What I found in your channel in YouTube, everything, to me, it was like you’re speaking directly to me of like, “Look. I’m not sugarcoating any of this stuff. You want to go …” The thing, too, is you really reiterate a lot as, “You want to go trade with somebody else? You want to go learn from somebody else? That’s fine. I don’t care, but just understand what I’m telling you right now because you need to understand that.”
Aaron: So, that’s brought me to, “All right.” So, I started with inner circle. I’m like, “Let me jump in and see how …” I just wanted to see how people chatted, how was it, was it professional, was it a bunch of random stuff going on in there. I knew going in it wasn’t going to be like that. So, that got me started with inner circle. Then after I talked with my wife, and us talking over things, I really wanted to buy CTU outright, and I could have, but me and my wife had worked really hard to get debt-free. Part of that was we moved, we relocated from California up here to Washington Spokane area. We sold our home. We sold some of the land we had. It allowed us to get rid of all of our debt, and really, we downsized, we simplified. We wanted to really hone in our life and our mentality about things into really being physically responsible and not being compulsive and stuff.
Aaron: So, anyways, that just backs up what I’m … As far as when I decided to invest into CTU, we decided to be best for me to do it first on the payment plan. So, I bought the first segment. I would take my time doing that, and then invest in the next-
Clay: I want to just interrupt because if people don’t understand how the payment plan works, you sound like you’re contradicting yourself because you’re like, “Wait. You want to get that free, but all of a sudden, you’re taking on a payment plan.”
Aaron: Yeah. I know.
Clay: The way the payment plan works at the site is it’s a pace you go. Meaning, you pay, but then there are no other payments until you’re ready to make the next payment. So, it’s not like he’s under the gun where he’s got to make a payment a month later. So, no. It’s structured in a way and that’s why it is structured in a way because I’m all for it. If you listen to my Money with Clay Podcast, I’m all for debt-free, and getting none of that stuff out of control. So, that’s just a way where people can literally pay as the cash comes in, and they don’t have to be under the gun or worry about falling behind on some sort of payment plan.
Clay: So, it is a “payment plan” but it’s literally, you make the first payment and you get some classes, and then if you’re not ready to make the next payment for six months, well, then that’s fine. It’s six months from that. If you’re ready to make a payment six minutes later, well, then you can make another payment and get more classes.
Clay: So, yes, Aaron is not contradicting himself at all. The way he was going about it allowed him to, I’m assuming, right, to just stay debt-free and pay for it as cash comes in?
Aaron: Well, exactly.
Aaron: I decided, too, as well, I had some Apple stock, so I said, “Well, I’m going to … Apple’s not hurting, really. So, I’m going to go ahead and sell some of my stock to pay for the education.” So, it was like trading paid for my education. So, that’s what I went through that, but I had enough in there that would pay for that first one, but, yeah, I could pay for CTU. Of course, I could put it on a credit card or something like that, but we’re trying to really be conscious of that. I guess I battle with that, Clay.
Clay: No, that’s awesome.
Aaron: I battle with that because it’s like, “Yeah, but once I go through-”
Clay: No, no. You’re fine. Honestly, sometimes from a behind the scenes look, I mean, I’ve almost wondered, just to change it totally to the pace you go plan because that way, people are forced to take the classes in the classes or in the order that they’re supposed to take the classes. Whereas if you go full bore, then there’s that temptation out there, “Oh, I’m going to jump over here, and then I’m going to jump over here, and then I’m going to do that,” and it’s like, “No, no, no, no.”
Clay: I put the classes in a certain order. Take the classes in that order. As a former process engineer, I’m halfway decent at putting together a process of how to go through things. So, I mean, this is my long-winded way of saying, I’d say you’re doing it just right. You’re staying out of debt, and you’re also forcing yourself to take the classes in the order that the classes should be taken. So, I think it makes good sense because the last thing you want is to have that weigh in on your conscious so great, “I want to stay debt-free, and now this is on a credit card.” You’re doing it at the best peace of mind way. So, yeah, I’m in full support of your decision making process in regard to all that.
Aaron: It’s a battle, Clay, because it’s like I have money set aside that I will fund an account at some point here when it looks like things are making consistence. So, I’ll use that kind of analogy for it or explanation for it. The money is just there. It’s really hard not to be anxious to want to try and grow that, right? At the same time, I could also jump in and try and grow that but lose it. So, take my time, and make sure I understand everything that’s going on here, and then go ahead and fund it.
Aaron: Like I said, I’m still at a point right now where I still have so many questions. So, one of the benefits I think to me of, “Okay. Should I just … When I have the opportunity of doing the full CTU is definitely a live guidance. I think what would be a great thing for me is to be able to actually tap in to you and say, “Here’s how I’m thinking about things,” being able to bounce things off somebody, for me, really helps collaborate that kind of stuff. Does that makes sense?
Clay: It does, but I still hold strong to the fact of just go through it one at a time, and then when you do unlock the live webinars and all that good stuff, you’ll be at a great place. I won’t say you’ll necessarily understand every little thing in those live webinars, but sometimes people, like I said, they get the whole thing and I love their ambition. They show up, and they’re brand new, and in the live webinars are like, “What is going on right now?” You got to just remind those people, “Hey, it’s not a matter of you being too stupid, it’s just you’re new, but when you get through more of the other classes, then these live webinars and such, they’ll provide much better cover fire.”
Clay: Again, this doesn’t mean anything to Aaron because he has not listened to last week’s episode because actually, last week’s episode was recorded just yesterday in realtime, but Matt and I had the conversation about you got to be impulsive, you got to want to just go and do stuff, but there’s also the flip side of you don’t want to be too impulsive because you don’t want to sit back and never do anything, but you also don’t want to do too much too soon. That’s where ambitious people struggle. It’s, “Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s get to it,” but you got to sometimes pull back the rings.
Clay: Yeah. This is actually really cool from my point of view how these past two guests have lined up. You’re pretty close mirror images of each other in terms of your mentalities, which goes back to Aaron’s original point, who are you surrounding yourself with? This is why I love the inner circle, and the community here is because I’m surrounded with people that have this sort of mentality, and that just keeps me strong, and that keeps me mentally on point.
Clay: So, yeah, going back to that question. Who are you surrounding yourself with? So, looking at the time, I don’t know where it’s gone, but we still have more time, but we’re approaching the hour mark. So, I don’t know if there’s any other points or anything you wanted to make.
Clay: Well, let me ask you this. What is your ultimate goal? You mentioned options or are you looking to do more of those advanced strategies options or you need the margin account and you need more of that? Are you looking to just more so day trade options or who knows? Maybe options are not part of a bigger plan, but what is your ultimate goal, not necessarily that you have a precise, but in a general framework sense, where are you wanting to see yourself, and I don’t know, six months from now or a year from now or whatever really timeframe you want to define that as?
Aaron: Well, I think, for me, from what it seems I’ve been able to gather just listening to you and as far as education, things like that is concerned, I think as far as me being able to grow a small account size, I think options are probably going to be a helpful tool in that area. I love the day trading side of things. I get up every morning at 6:00, which I had trained myself to do is to get up before the markets open because they open at 6:30 here.
Aaron: So, I get up at 6:00, get everything ready to go, and I do some maybe pre-research, pre-charting in the morning just, again, practicing what I’m learning with you. I understand so much heavily now how these trading lines actually work and how does a MACD actually affect, how should I be looking at those things. I had understanding of what they did, but I understand now, “Okay. Why are they important to me and why should I pay attention to them, and how does that play into my strategy?”
Aaron: To go back to your question, I think options are going to help me grow. I want to grow my account slowly. So, it might involve, as far as options go, maybe some day trading, probably more swing or longterm, but I’m not even in the options course with you yet. So, I don’t even want to attempt that until I have that base knowledge. I have a great knowledge of options, understanding what theta and all that stuff is, but how does it play?
Aaron: Again, I don’t have a strategy fully that I can say is really good. So, right now, I paper trade. I know we didn’t get a chance to really talk a lot about that. I was hoping we would, but I paper trade primarily right now one, and I don’t know if you’re going to agree with this or not, but I’d love to hear your feedback, but one of the reasons why I’m doing some paper trading right now, I don’t do a lot of trading, but primarily, a lot if has been to understand how this platform is going to react to what I want to do.
Aaron: So, it’s been, “Okay. How does putting a stop on an option work or how does putting a stop just on stock trade work? What is trailing stop? How does that work in the platform? How do I do these things? So that I understand that when the times comes that I go live and I want to start to really trade money that I’m not going to be caught up with, “Oh, crap! What just happened?” You know what I mean?
Clay: Yeah, and to offer feedback, I’d say that’s very wise in my mind. I don’t know if this analogy works, but I just came up with it right now. It’s like you saying, “Listen, I want to build a house for myself, but you know what? I’d first probably figure out how this hammer and this long pointy thing works. So, let me just come over here and just pound this nail into a piece of wood. Now, just because I can pound this nail into a piece of wood, that doesn’t mean I’m a home builder all of a sudden, and I can go build a home, but at least I understand the dynamics on how this nail and how this hammer interact with this piece of wood.” So, is that essentially what you’re doing and what’s in my analogy?
Aaron: Essentially, yes, yes. I mean-
Clay: Okay. So, from my feedback would be, yeah, that makes good sense. If you’re just literally trying to figure out how does a platform function, how do I do that within the platform, but as long as you’re not saying, “Oh, wow! I happen to learn how to put a stop loss,” and then, “Oh, wow! That actually worked,” and then you trick yourself into saying, “Oh, well, gees! I have skills,” and it’s like-
Aaron: “I’m good to go.”
Clay: Yeah. No, no, no. That wasn’t your plan going in. You just want to know how to do a stop loss from a very mechanical and logistic standpoint like literally what buttons do I press, how does it … So, yeah, I think that’s more than smart, but my only observation, be careful of that fine line out there where you don’t all of a sudden find yourself wandering in the territory of, “Oh, wow! I actually do have this all figured out,” because that line exists. So, just beware of crossing it.
Aaron: Right. Right. It’s by no means in my thinking, “Oh, cool! I have a strategy. Let’s get going.” It’s really been, as I learned how to look at the candlesticks, how to understand what they are interpreting to me … So, sometimes what I might do is to practice a certain type of trade or putting in a certain loss or understanding what my position size is going to do and how it affects. Again, right now, any position size that I use, I don’t use really much over what I would probably do if I actually have my live account.
Aaron: So, at most, maybe $100 to $200 is the highest I would go in a particular trade right now because I want to make sure that I really keep my mindset centered around, “If this was really the amount of money I was going to do, would I be taking this position? Because if not, then I shouldn’t be doing it.” So, it’s really been that, and maybe trying something out and saying, “Okay. I see the candlesticks interpreting this. I think I have an idea of what’s going to happen as far as the movement goes. Let me try to buy here, and see what happens,” and then interpret my results.
Aaron: I also record every trade. I try to record every trade I do, if it’s a loss, if it’s a gain. I take a screenshot of the chart, and I put it in a pages format and say, “Okay. Here’s where my mindset was. Here’s my thought process on it. Did it work out the way I thought it would? No, it didn’t. Maybe this is why,” but as I develop a bigger understanding, I think a lot of those things will become clearer. Does that makes sense?
Clay: It does make sense. Just be very careful that you’re not building any bad habits.
Aaron: That’s my concern.
Clay: Because I mean, they’re hard to break. I would much rather have you just be a totally clean slate. I’m not saying you’re forming bad habits. I’m just saying that’s a risk that exists out there is you’re forming some sort of an impression because maybe something is working, but the problem and the cruelty of the market is just because something is working doesn’t mean that’s how it actually should be because it could be something that … I mean, I don’t know, fool’s gold, right?
Aaron: Sure. Yeah. I’m pretty shocked about that a lot.
Clay: Yeah. So, I mean, be careful fool’s gold when you do that. I mean, that would be my … Again, it could be perfectly fine, but that fool’s gold risk is very real. I see a lot of people that are like, “Yeah, and this, this, and this, and it’s working, and I’m thinking, ‘Wait a second, but what about that, that, and that other thing over there?'” which is possible to happen, but hasn’t happened, but will happen given enough time, and that’s going to really destroy all those this, this, and thises that are working right now.
Clay: Again, circling back to when you don’t know what you don’t know, it’s very possible that, not necessarily bad habits, but just misconceptions about things and perspective can get thrown off a little bit and shifted. So, like I said, it could be perfect fine, but I mean, I don’t know. You could be creating some headaches for yourself. I should note that, I mean, it’s not bad habits can’t be overcome or can’t be broken, but from a smooth and efficiency standpoint, I’d much rather have not even to worry about bad habits because you understood the proper way from the get-go. So, again, a long-winded answer, but I like when people-
Aaron: Yeah. It’s just been exploratory in a sense, but, yeah, and that’s been my cautious, too, is since I don’t really know necessarily yet what a bad habit would be for me, I have to make sure that I’m doing things very, very basic and I’m not putting any straddles or any of these crazy things. Since I’m paper trading, I can technically do that, I’m like, “Yeah,” but I can’t normally. So, why would I go about doing that right now when I can’t physically do it if I had real money? So, I’m just trying to play things smart there.
Clay: No, and you definitely are. I mean, that’s a good sign in and of itself that you realize that your paper trading should reflect how you will be trading when you go with real money, and this is not a new topic here on the podcast, but if you are a new listener, one of the biggest things I see all the time is, “Oh, man! Yeah. So, I’ve been paper trading great, and I’m using $50,000.”
Clay: So, my question is, “Okay. So, when you go live, you’re going to have $50,000?”
Clay: “No, I’m going to have $1,000.”
Clay: It’s like, “Okay. Well, I assure you’re trading with $1,000 is going to be much different than $50,000. So, not to rant on your parade, sir/ma’am, but you’ve just been wasting your time “practicing” with $50,000 because it will be totally different going live with $1,000.” It’s usually that or sometimes I’ve heard somebody say $50 and I’m thinking, “Oh, brother! You’re setting yourself up for a world of hurt.”
Clay: So, from that point of view, I’m glad that you definitely realize that you want to keep that transition as smooth as possible. Looking at the time-
Aaron: I know. We’re running out of time.
Clay: Well, you’re coming back, though. I don’t care if you want to or not.
Aaron: Yeah, yeah. I really like to. Yeah.
Clay: All right. Yeah. This is fun. I told Matt this. I almost feel like we should do a group podcast with you and Matt. Once again, I realized that means absolutely nothing to you because you had not heard Matt’s interview, but the interview or the episode before yours, like I said, I think you and Matt, yeah, you guys are just cut from the same cloth.
Clay: Anyway, so there is a time machine, and if I were to give you this time machine and you could go back to the start, and I’ll let you define the start however you want, what would be one bit of advice that you’d give yourself?
Aaron: Well, I think the start for me when it comes to trading isn’t, obviously, that old at this point. It’s not that long. So, the way I’ve gone through things has made some sense, but I think the time machine would allow me to go back to an earlier age and say, “You need to pay attention to your money better. You need to respect it, and you need to figure out a way to create more security in your life, so that by the time you’re 38 that you comfortably feel secure with your family.” So, I think just for me, getting into this type of mentality earlier in my life is something I would like to go back and do.
Clay: That’s a great answer, but I mean, now is better than never.
Clay: So, I mean, that’s-
Aaron: Right. I’m not looking back, eyes forward.
Clay: Yeah. Sadly, some people I don’t think ever really get to that point of view. Their mind frame is, “Well, yeah, I’m going to get Social Security.” It’s like, “Okay.” If your longterm business model is, “I’m going to depend on the government with Social Security to take care of me,” I don’t know. I think that may be-
Aaron: Yeah. I don’t know that that’s going to exempt for me.
Clay: Yeah. I mean, for me, I’m planning on there will be no Social Security, but regardless. Aaron and I, we’re not saying that you got to go out there and roll around in money and greed, greed, greed, money, money, money, but we’re just talking about flexibility, freedom of time, stuff like that. The best way to get to that is, yeah, diversify your income streams because when you have multiple income streams, that’s how wealth is built. I’m not even talking about get rich because you can get rich playing a lotto ticket, and then if you look at those stats, that’s pretty scary, but I mean, we’re talking about wealth-building here. So, that’s a great answer.
Clay: Anyway, there’s something about you, Aaron, that any of your comments sends me off on like a three-minute reply.
Aaron: It’s all good.
Clay: I don’t know what it is. It’s like you have a magical spell or something over me. We just need to move in to the fun questions here.
Aaron: Okay. That’s fine.
Clay: Here’s my prediction. Whatever movie you give me, I’ll probably answer back with a 10-minute answer for whatever reason, but I’m going to try my best. So, what is your favorite movie?
Aaron: Well, I’m going to give you two overall, but it’s funny, I’m going to bring this up real quick because in your slide, you referenced Braveheart, and that’s, by far, one of my favorite movies, that one and Shawshank Redemption. So, that would be my-
Clay: Those are both very, yeah, those are really good. Thank you for not saying Dumb and Dumber, though, or else I would have sat here and just quoted it over and over again.
Aaron: Oh, I could, too, man. I think you and I are like-
Clay: Are you a Dumb and Dumber fan?
Aaron: Oh, huge, huge.
Clay: Yeah. I don’t know.
Aaron: Yeah. I know.
Clay: I have Dumb and Dumber … Yeah. We won’t go there. I mean, I’m tempted right now to just quote out a whole scene, but we won’t go down there. What about food-wise? You’re in Washington, you said. So, what do you like to eat up there in Washington?
Aaron: Well, I think if I was to go with anything, I grew up with my nana making chicken and dumplings. Honestly, it’s one of those things where anytime we had a birthday, we got to have chicken and dumplings. It’s more of a Southern type food. That’s where they were from, but I love it. Other than that, I would go with anything Italian. I mean, I got an Italian background there, so I can go with that, but chicken and dumplings, man. That’s where it’s at.
Clay: Nice, nice. Awesome. Then finally, I don’t know, besides audio stuff, what do you like to do for fun? What are your hobbies?
Aaron: Well, I’m about 22-yearlong bagpiper. So, I play the Highland bagpipes. In fact, that’s been a part of a side income stream for me, teaching, stuff like that. So, that’s one of my hobbies. I also love flying RC aircraft. So, that’s another one.
Clay: So, I love this show. You want to know the first thing that I’m going to tell my wife because my wife always asks, Abby, she says, “How did the podcast?” Then I’m like, “Oh, it went good,” or whatever. The very first thing I’m going to say, “I just talked to a guy that knows how to play the bagpipes, and he monetizes it.”
Clay: So, the next time, listeners, anybody who’s like, “Oh, I can’t do this,” I’m telling you, you have some sort of skill, you as a listener, that you can monetize. “Well, my trading account is not big enough.” I’m telling you, you have some sort of skill that you can use to bring in additional money in your situation. Here we have the bagpipes. To be honest, I never thought in my life that I would be using the example of, “Hey, you can get bagpipe lessons to bring in extra money to your budget,” but, hey, there’s nothing you want to-
Aaron: Yeah. I do them over Skype.
Clay: Do you?
Clay: So, you’re getting that even outside of the box. Are you in a quilt while you do it?
Aaron: Maybe. Yeah. Just don’t ask what I’m wearing underneath it, though, because what everybody asks. Honestly, Clay, I’m almost to a point right now where I build my repertoire. I’m like, “I’m just going to go downtown Spokane. I’m just going to play on the side of the road, open my case, and let people throw some money in there for fun. Hey, I’m giving them some bagpipe music. So, I’m almost to that point, too. It’s like I’m not above doing that.
Clay: That’s awesome, man. That’s a whole another rabbit hole about wealth building is all about setting humility aside and not having an ego, where if you’re willing to go and do that, I mean, that’s awesome and good for you.
Aaron: Yeah. People enjoy it.
Clay: We’re at an hour five already, and this … I still got another question. This is good stuff, man. I will say this-
Aaron: I’m sorry. You’ll probably edit this down.
Clay: No, no, no, no. This is fun. Like I said in the beginning, that’s all good job security for Nate, but we will not edit any of this, but you got to be in the chat room more often. I know you’re still new, but-
Aaron: I’m in there.
Clay: I like you, Aaron. You’re a good guy. You are in there.
Aaron: I appreciate that.
Clay: I don’t know.
Aaron: I’m in there, but I don’t really know quite what to say. I’m not going to call out ticker symbols because I’m like, “I don’t know if I’m telling you right now.” I mean, I like to follow other people and say, “I’m going to go look at that and see if I can understand what they’re telling me,” but I’ve had some chats with Carl on some [inaudible] and stuff like that, and we talked about some computer stuff, but, yeah, I’ll try and be more active. Sometimes I just feel like I don’t know what to say to some people sometimes. So, I’m just a fly on the wall.
Clay: Yeah. It’s a stupid request when you frame it like that because what you just said is totally valid like, “Well, what do you want me to say? I mean, I can chime in with computer stuff, but I’m new and still learning,” so that’s fair, but I like your perspective on things.
Aaron: If there’s conversations-
Clay: Yeah. See, that’s the thing is actually know when to jump in, when you shouldn’t. Sometimes we have people that sign up and they’re like, “This, this, this.”
Clay: I’m like, “Listen. First off, I appreciate you willing to be active, but you’re new, aren’t you? Because what you just said doesn’t actually make any sense.”
Clay: “Yeah, I’m new.”
Clay: “All right. Well, again, thank you for being active. Thank you. I appreciate that. Welcome to the community, but maybe step back a little bit and just observe, and then we can give it a go.”
Clay: So, I do appreciate you actually observing and all that, but three words, and these words need to be what you would associate with successful trader or what it takes to be successful. So, what would those three words be?
Aaron: Well, I would say first and foremost, education. Second would be mindset, and third would probably be patience. Patience could go before mindset, too, but I think all three of those should apply before ever going into this from what I’ve understood so far.
Clay: Well, you’ve been understanding very, very observantly or very, very wisely. I don’t know what word I’m looking for because, yeah, those are three words that definitely would make a big difference.
Clay: Well, Aaron, as I’m sure you can tell, and listeners can tell, I had a great time. This was a fantastic discussion. I’m glad to know and hear that you have no problems of coming back because we’ll have to pick this up again. It’s going to be enjoyable to watch your journey continue to unfold. So, thank you very much.
Clay: For listeners’ sake, I mean, this is all great, the community is. Tomorrow is fourth of July. I know a lot of people right now at this time are off either taking the day off or doing who knows what, but Aaron took some time out of his day to sit here and like I said, provide content to the podcast. So, from that point of view, thank you very much, Aaron, for not only volunteering, but taking out some time from your schedule. I appreciate it.
Aaron: Absolutely. I just hope that it helps somebody, and they can draw something from it. So, happy early fourth, too, by the way.
Clay: Yes. Happy early fourth. I agree. I think this will air in August, though. So, that might a little goofy, but that’s okay. So, that’s-
Aaron: Oh, it will. Okay.
Clay: That’s all right. That’s all right. All right. Well, Aaron, I’m trying to think. I don’t think I … Well, there’s a lot more that I want to say, but I need to just wrap it up. So, Aaron-
Aaron: Yeah. We could go on for a while.
Clay: Exactly. Exactly. Well, thank you very much, Aaron, but for you listeners out there, before you go, final few things. If you’re listening on the website itself, there is a little chat box. In fact, what Aaron and I were talking about earlier, it starts off as a bot, but then if you request a human to talk to, you will talk to a human. I can’t guarantee it will be me, but there’s a good chance. It may very well be me, but point being, I’d love to hear from you questions, comments, suggestions, anything like that. Please reach out to us.
Clay: If you’re listening on the podcast app, iTunes or any of those other ones, then please leave us a rating, and that really helps us out, especially on iTunes. If you could even leave us a typed up message or review, that goes a long way. Like I said, even if you never spend a dime on the site, that’s cool, but if you enjoyed these, a little way you could contribute and help out, like I said, it’s just to leave a rating and some feedback on iTunes. Thank you as always to you as listeners. Thank you, Aaron. We will see you all back next week.
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