Those who succeed diversify. In many cases, people hear the word “diversify” and automatically think about diversifying their stock portfolio. This is certainly important and something you should be doing; however, there is also diversification of income streams. The more directions of income you can create for yourself, the more freedom you will experience. As a business owner, our guest Christopher understands this and is currently grinding away to use trading as another source of income. I was certainly inspired by his journey so far (especially as someone who lives in another country) and I’m confident you will be too. It’s time to get out there and focus on multiple streams of income.
Clay: This is The Stock Trading Reality Podcast, episode 234.
Announcer: 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. This is your host, he just experienced deep-fried bluegill and he loved it. Mm, bluegill. ClayTrader.
Clay: I wasn’t sure what to think. As a kid, you grew… or I grew up, you’d always catch bluegill and that was like the one fish you threw back. You just threw it back. Like, “Oh, you caught a bluegill? That’s fun. Throw it back.” But apparently, you can eat them, and I am here to report that at least if you deep fry them, they are very, very tasty. I have buddy that’s quite the outdoorsman and he’s into all that stuff and he loves to just catch fish. I guess now that I think about it, he did admit that the batch that we ate was not even from him. It was from a guy that he works with who dropped him off like a cooler full, but regardless, Miles is his name. He catches bluegill too, and he does fish fries every now and then, so he invited my family over and we had a good old night. itNate, the show producer, he was also there, so he partook in some deep-fried bluegill.
Clay: It was a good time and I did, in the back of my mind, and I admitted this to everybody, I was like, “Okay, bluegill, they’re like little small fish. I’m probably going to leave hungry still, so I’ll just make sure that I have some food around here so when we come back home afterwards I can just have a little snack or just whatever to fill myself up.” Because I have a pretty big appetite, but let me put it to you this way, I miscalculated big time. I was not even close to being hungry. I was stuffed. They had bluegill and all sorts of other good stuff, but if you’re on the fence about trying bluegill, like I said, I can only speak from the deep-fried point of view, but deep-fried, they’re fantastic. I would imagine other ways are probably just as good too, but yeah, if you were like me, just in the ship of being ignorant, yeah, apparently you can eat bluegill and there’s more to it than just letting your kids catch them so you can throw them right back. I would highly recommend it.
Clay: And I also highly recommend listening in its entirety to today’s show because we have a great guest. We are going international again. Recently, we’ve had several Canadians, and now we’re going across the big pond to Viking country known as Norway, so we have another Norwegian guest. Chris is his name and yeah, he was a great guest. He’s been through a lot. He’s been in the markets for quite a while and what I really commend and respect was that he was trading, he was trading a lot, and it’s not like he was doing terrible, but he realized, “You know, I don’t really think I actually know what I’m doing.” So it’s not like it was one of these, “Oh, I just blew up my 10th account. I should probably take another pathway.” It was a situation where, “You know, I might just want to tap the brakes here and start to approach all of this in a different way.”
Clay: That’s the structure of the talk, but he’s a interesting guy. I love the way he approaches life from a money sense. Not in a greedy type of way, but in a freedom type of way, meaning, “What do I have to do with my personal finances? What do I have to do with just kind of the numbers from a money sense in order to create the freedom that I want?” It was inspiring to me because, like I said, iron sharpens iron, right? So when you’re around other people that think the same way that you do and have the same goals and ambitions, it’s encouraging.
Clay: So I was definitely encouraged by it, and if you are somebody that is thinking the way of, “Yeah, I want wealth. Not in a greedy way, but I want wealth because wealth gives you peace of mind, it gives you freedom, it gives you security,” then yeah, you will be a piece of iron that is sharpened alongside here with Chris and I because it was definitely a great talk. And there’s no doubt in my mind there will be something from it that you’ll be able to pull out from it. With that being said, let’s go on over to Norway and talk and hang out with Chris. Chris, welcome to the show.
Chris: Thank you, thank you, sir. Nice to be here.
Clay: Now, you are here in voice, but geographic location, I know you are… I’m trying to think what… are you in Norway? Or am I wrong there?
Chris: I’m up north in Norway, yes. Overseas.
Clay: Okay, so I’m talking to a… or, your ancestors were Vikings.
Chris: Ah, yeah, but I’m not a Viking. I have a lot of beard, but yeah, that’s it.
Clay: Do you have any like cool… do you carry around an ax or anything?
Chris: Oh, no. No, no. I just, like, watch the Vikings on HBO.
Clay: I know there’s a Viking show on like the History Channel, but HBO has a Vikings thing too?
Chris: Have you never seen The Vikings? Or maybe it goes on Netflix, I don’t know.
Clay: I don’t know.
Chris: I think it’s HBO.
Clay: I watch a show called Vikings that’s on the History Channel, but I was not aware that HBO has a series on Vikings, but… I don’t know.
Chris: Ah, you have to check it out.
Clay: Yeah, I will have to do a little researching then. And for you listeners out there, if you can help me out, I’d really appreciate it, because if you’re not aware, I think the Vikings are one of the coolest things ever and-
Chris: And you of all people haven’t seen it? That’s weird.
Clay: I don’t know. I was not aware that HBO had a Viking show. I just have been watching the one on History Channel. But I don’t know, maybe it’s the same. I have no idea. I have some homework to do after this. But yeah, no, you’re right, I proclaim to love the Vikings, yet I’m apparently not aware of this show.
Clay: So I’ve my work cut out for me. But, anyway, so Chris… Is that what you want to go by, Chris? Or Christopher? Do you have a preference? Viking? What would you like me to call you?
Chris: Not Viking, but Chris or Christopher.
Clay: Okay. I’ll go with Chris, just-
Clay: Since that’s only one syllable and I can barely talk in the first place. I will say, Chris, before we got started today, just, if I stumble over a word, feel free to help me out. I’m going to say the same to you, Chris, because I think your English may be better than mine and English is my first language. So if I’m stumbling over any words, feel free to help me out too, because I’m quite impressed with your English already. And I think I know the answer to this, but refresh me, because I know we’ve had past Norwegian guests, you learn English growing up, in school, right? That’s just one of the classes they make you take, is that accurate?
Chris: Yeah. Yeah. Yes, English, and you can study different languages like your French and Deutsch, and yeah, later on.
Clay: How many languages do you speak?
Chris: [German] That’s it for my Deutsch. But, English and Norwegian.
Clay: Awesome. Well, I always-
Chris: And maybe some Danish, because I was with a Danish girl for a period of time, but-
Clay: So Danish, that’s Denmark, right?
Chris: Denmark, yeah. Yeah.
Clay: Okay. I love it. Finland… well, one of those countries did not have Vikings. I can’t remember which one it was. I think it might’ve been Finland, didn’t actually ever have any Vikings, if-
Chris: Maybe so, maybe so.
Clay: I don’t know. But people right now are saying, “What are these guys even talking about? It’s called the Stock Trading Reality Podcast, and they’re talking about Vikings.” So we better get on topic here. I take full blame for derailing the conversation.
Clay: But Chris, so you said you’ve listened to many episodes before, all of them, some of them a couple of times, so you know what’s coming your way here with this first question, but we’ll get the party started. Where did all of this start for you? Where did you first hear about the markets and what sort of events played out that got you more and more interested to the point of wanting to get more active with it?
Chris: So the question is, do you want the long answer or the medium one?
Clay: I want the one that whatever you think will best… go with the long one, and if I think it’s getting too long, then I’ll try to politely shorten it down. So, let’s just go with the long one. That’ll get us a good reference point.
Chris: Yeah. Nice. Yeah. We can start from the early days, because I’ve always been interested in money and work and how to get money. So back in the days when I was… I’m 32 years old right now, and back in the day when I was like seven or eight, me and my dad and my brother and our neighbor usually on Wednesdays we went swimming at the local pool at night. And after every session when we were finished showering and stuff, the locker room… or, we needed to pay like a dollar in Norwegian kroner. It’s like ti kroner for using the locker room. So each time we were finished with the swimming, we asked our dad if we could have that money so we can spend it on candy later on.
Chris: So when we were finished swimming and we got the money, and maybe also we managed to find ti kroner in other locker rooms as well, so we get like more and more money if we were lucky, and we went to the local gas station to buy some candy. And actually I was the only one who almost never managed to find candy, because I was like, “What can I get for this money? How to get a lot of candy for this amount of money? How can I do it?” And often, not every time, I went out of the store with nothing and just saved the money. So that was the start of something, I think, has to do with my mentality with money. I’m not cheap of any kind, but I’m a frugal guy.
Chris: I started working as a newspaper delivery guy on Sundays, 6:00 a.m. in the morning, when I was 13 years old. Always been working. And I have a dad who is… he was a fighter pilot back in the days. And he has learned us how to handle money and be a little bit frugal, not throw away money, and you have to earn every buck. So even if it’s raining, pissing raining, it’s snowing and you’re 13 years old delivering newspapers on a Sunday morning, you have to do it. He won’t help you. You can’t cry.
Clay: I like it. And I would assume that your dad really instilled sharp focus and sharp discipline into you, just because I’m pretty sure that people without sharp focus and without great discipline don’t become fighter pilots. So correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s a safe guess on my part to say that your dad was somebody that was a big, big, big believer in discipline and sticking with the plan and-
Clay: … just getting it… Is that a safe assumption on my part?
Chris: Correct, correct. So we learned a bit about personal finance, because, actually, in school we don’t have that much personal economy courses, which I think is quite stupid. We have television programs where the people are trying to get out debt and people helping them on national TV. So, people don’t have a… what you call it? They don’t know how to handle money, bills and stuff. But I always knew that and I always had control on my money. So, fast forward, like I said, I always been a working man and I like studying, so when I was a little older I started with… I love to train, like you do. I own my personal training business, which I constructed by myself in 2010, so it’s like nine years ago. Besides going through studying a bachelor’s degree in marketing and sales and leadership, I combined those two and tried to make it work doing only personal training. But I never actually wanted to sell my big, big hobby, you know? I don’t want to be at a training center selling programs, selling myself to help others.
Chris: I love helping people, I love teaching people like you do with trading. That’s one of the best things I do. I love helping other people if I see them need help. So I thought, “Ah, I don’t want to pursue personal training as a main income.” So I worked a little bit and I thought to myself, “I don’t like marketing and sales that much.” But, you know, the communication, marketing and sales, that’s useful in every aspect of life. I’d say that’s everything. You have to communicate at a good level with people. So that wasn’t a waste of time, those three years, but, okay, I did it. So I-
Clay: Can I ask you a question quick about your business?
Clay: So you got a training center. Is it like a gym where you have weightlifting equipment and all that sort of stuff? Is that what you mean by a training center?
Chris: Yes, but I construct a online personal training site. You can take a look at the sprintnutrition.no or .com, where I pursue personal training online. And that’s what I’ve been doing since 2010 as a side biz.
Clay: So that business model is, people find you, and is it all online based or are these situations where it’s locally based and you meet up with… they find you online, but then they’ll meet up with you locally at some sort of gym? Or is this just something where you could be working with the client, let’s just say, here in America?
Chris: I could work with every people. I never spend a buck on marketing, because everyone has come to me and that’s what’s great about it, because I can cherry-pick who I want to help, for this is something I do out of love. For example, I don’t watch TV. I instead write the programs, chat on email, love helping my customers. So the word has just spread, and bit after bit more and more has taken contact and it’s super. But it’s nothing I want to take to the next level and skip my work and do this eight, ten hours a day, because I’m not a sell-out. I love my hobby and I love helping people, that is really, really… I would like to get a change.
Chris: For example, my brother, which you can see on my… at a website there. He was a golfer. He pursued golf at school and he ate a lot of… what you call it, fast food, over there? And he loved burgers and pizza, like everyone else. [crosstalk]
Clay: Yeah, who doesn’t?
Chris: Yeah. But he was like 17, 18, 19 years old and he wasn’t that happy with how he looked and maybe how he functioned in the everyday life, so he said like, “I want to do something. I need to do something. I’m ready.” So I helped him, but he did a lot of work himself. But we made a plan and we had a process, and he followed it to a T and, like trading, you have to follow something over time and then adjust. You can’t, like, jump here and there and there and try this and try that. You have to try something over time and maybe, if necessary, do adjustments. So he made it. He made it. It took a while, but he’s one of those guys I’m so proud of. And to this day he still is in great shape and yeah, he’s my best friend. I’m proud of him.
Clay: Yeah, I can see how you’d feel that sense of kind of accomplishment and just feel good about it. But also, I liked how you equated that line of work, you got to… you drew some good parallels there between how that works from a fitness perspective to then how it works with the world of trading and how there are lots of similar things. So that was definitely well put on your part.
Clay: So, I mean, where did all this… I get it, I totally can understand you didn’t want to be eight to ten hours of doing all this fitness stuff all the time. You want to just keep it as a hobby and that way you just remain passionate about it. But where did the kind of markets and stuff start to come into play? Because I’m glad you did go and give the long version, because I understand you’re coming from a very disciplined, focused background and you have built a business, which, congratulations, that’s awesome.
Clay: That’s not the easiest thing to do. So, I mean, where did the markets and trading and all that sort of stuff start to kind of slip into the picture? If you need to say anything else about your background, that’s fine. I don’t want to cut you off. So if there’s something else that will help bridge the gap, feel free to take us across that bridge too.
Chris: Yeah. I could take a shortcut. I could take a shortcut, because work and school for me has always been a tool to get where I want. So when I was thinking about doing something else than the personal training, I thought of going back to school. So I started studying a bachelor degree in geomatics, so I’m a engineer. Woo-hoo.
Clay: What kind of engineer?
Clay: Okay. So is that like a civil engineering, kind of?
Chris: It’s not as… I don’t have a master’s degree.
Chris: But it’s something like that. So we’re working in tunnels, in… my task is to, for example, foundations and walls, everything has to be at a geographical correct place. We’re using 3D models, drawings and everything has its place, and we’re helping the guys out with the hammer, making points and doing everything they need to put things in correct place when building bridges, buildings, tunnels, you name it.
Clay: There are so many analogies here that I could relate back to trading on what you do. I mean, you could have the coolest-looking bridge, the fanciest bridge, the bridge with the best intentions. You know, you could have all this stuff that… you could have the best materials, you could have the best everything, but if you don’t put… I like the way you said that. If you don’t put the things at the geographic location they’re supposed to be, correct me if I’m wrong, the structure will ultimately crumble and fail and have all sorts of issues, right?
Chris: Yep. Yep, yep. It will.
Clay: So, I mean, think about that, to you listeners, as from a trading perspective, right? Because way too many people will show up, and I don’t blame them, because I used to think the same way, it’s a logical thought to have, but, “Hey, what computer do I need? How many monitors? I have two right now, should I go up to four? Do I need a whole new computer? What software do I need? I mean, I’m looking at this scanner and the scanner’s like 500 bucks a month.”
Clay: And they’re looking at all these things, and then you ask them, “Well, do you know how to form a trade plan?” aka, do you know how to put the pieces at the right geographic location? “Ah, well, not really.” “Well, let’s hold back, because you could have the greatest system, you could have the fastest Internet, you could have the best scanners and tools, but if you don’t have a firm foundation, if you don’t have the surveying in terms of what your plan is and how you’re going to go about it all, then all that other stuff is just going to crack and fail and it doesn’t really matter anyway.
Clay: So, sorry to derail the conversation, but as somebody that loves analogies, I couldn’t pass by, because the way you… “the exact geographic location.” I love how you said that.
Clay: Go ahead.
Chris: Yeah. But after I was finished at school, I managed to get a good job at a worldwide… I don’t know if I can say the name, but, a large business. But since I’m using work as a means or a tool to get where I want, I was so lucky because one of the guys at work, really cool guy, he and I started chatting almost at the first day when I started there, and we matched so good, because I heard he talked about finance and stocks with some other people, and I was, like, glowing. I was, “I need to talk to that guy.”
Chris: And from that day we talked. We worked together, but we also talked a lot of trading, maybe more fundamental stuff, he was like a fundamental guy, and I was nobody. I didn’t know anything. But I was in love with the thought of making money by buying stocks or clicking a button. So we talked a lot and he came with some tips, and I would take a look at it with my broker. At that time we had a… in Norway we don’t have that good brokers. I don’t know about now, but we don’t even have stop-losses on U.S. stocks. So it’s bad for day trading. But enough about that. Some of the tips he gave I jumped on and by knowing nothing all those trades were actually quite good. Someone would call them like fool’s gold or something nearby, but I actually made a good sum of money.
Clay: Were these Norwegian stocks? Were these stocks that were being traded on the American markets? Or, were they not even stocks? I mean, was it like some sort of Forex? Or, what actually were these “tips”?
Chris: They were Norwegian stocks. Hexagon Composites, NANO, as Nordic Nanometrics, which is a pharmaceutical company. And since Norway is so little, we have a website that’s named… oh, what it’s called again? It’s a website for stocks and finance and stuff. So when a journalist writes something on that site, almost every hobby investor goes on the train. So the stock exploded. I don’t know if you have charting available now, but it skyrocketed. And I went in at… in dollars, was that around $3? And by the first half year I was working with that guy it went up to $15. So it went some percents, you know? And I was at work, watching my phone, 10%. 20%. 5%. Every single day for quite a bit. And I didn’t know trading at all. I didn’t know where it would end. I was thinking about what kind of watch do I want. You know, the-
Clay: I was going to ask, is this the point where you start to say, “Why am I even at this engineering job? What do I need this job for at all?” Because I remember that, thinking, “Oh man, I can’t…” you pull out the calculator and you start to, “Well, if it goes up to this level, then I’m going to have… oh wow, what could I do with that?” I’m definitely well familiar. Now, my question is, while it was going up and you really didn’t have any idea what to do, was your buddy, was he still kind of walking you through it? Was he still just saying stuff like, “No, hang onto it, hang onto it.” Or were you kind of just totally on your own at this point?
Chris: We talked a lot, but he never came with what I should do about it. We just talked trading. He was a fundamental guy, so he said like, “You have to hold this for several years, because it’s a pharmaceutical. It takes a while for the drug to be approved.” So I was by myself, but I’m also a frugal/down-to-earth guy with my senses in order. So I thought to myself, “I have to at least get the risk away.” So the money I spent inter-trade I sold in stocks so I don’t have any risk going further.
Chris: So I made a good lump of money and I also don’t have any risk, and that’s actually one of my… now that I’m a little bit more experienced, I still have the stock, and that’s one of the stocks I told to myself, “That will be my ticket, my lotto ticket.” Trading pharmaceuticals is nothing that I do, but that is my ticket, you know? If it dumps, it dumps. If it goes, it goes. And that is also a little funny, but if that stock goes crazy, that is my money for a new car. Nothing else. That’s something I always said to myself. So it’s a lotto ticket.
Clay: And the cool thing for you listeners out there if you weren’t following along, what he… and I’m just going to use it to keep the numbers easy, but let’s just say that Chris originally put a hundred dollars into the stock. Because the stock has moved so much in his favor, he has sold a hundred dollars’ worth of stock. So, he’s gotten back his original principal. He put in a hundred, he now has a hundred dollars back. So technically, he can’t lose money now, because even if the stock goes to zero, well, he’s still sold a hundred dollars’ worth of stock, which is what he put in in the first place.
Clay: So, he’s pretty much playing with the market’s money now and it’s free shares in the sense of, he has the original principal so if it does keep on moving and moving and moving, Chris is getting a new car. If it totally goes to zero, well, he’s not getting a new car, but it’s not like he technically lost any money either, since he did pull out his original hundred dollars. And that’s a great spot to be in, and that is a good little money management technique. If you get something that goes far enough in your favor, as risk… or, as Chris put it in regards to risk, that’s a great way to pull all the risk out, is if you remove your original principal, then, I mean, there isn’t any monetary risk left anymore, because it’s not like you can technically lose anything from what you put in, which is… Well, I hope it goes for you, Chris, so you can get a new car, but-
Clay: … I also, like you said, you’re in a spot where even if it doesn’t, not the end of the world. Now, at this point it sounds like you’re just still all about the fundamental… Were you doing fundamental analysis? Because I know your friend was all about the fundamentals, but what were you actually doing? How were you determining if you should hold? Or, were you just totally kind of making it up as you went?
Chris: I wasn’t about fundamentals at all. I watched the graphs and actually almost same happened to some of the other stocks I bought, so I made a good amount of money. But since I’m a little bit frugal and this is a tool to get where I want, and I’m like you, I love investing in real estate, so I took out a good part of the money and I spent it immediately on the loan I had on my apartment. So I was lucky and now, several years later, I’m also happy that I didn’t hold on to them if they went down again. I actually took the money out and I paid down the debt I had. So I’m very grateful today. I had a lucky, maybe some fool’s gold, but I used it to my advantage.
Clay: And it sounds like you know that it was fool’s gold and you’re not under some illusion that you had all the skill and that you were just some sort of mastermind genius. Hearing you talk, it’s something where you seem to be self aware. So, I mean, at what point did you kind of realize that… I mean, to use your words, you said you kind of got lucky. At what point did you realize or admit that, yeah, a whole lot of luck seems to be having to do with all of this?
Chris: I understood that it was fool’s gold when I started trading a little bit more by myself, not getting tips. So I started with small amounts, day trading here and there, in and out, in and out. But, as you say, I didn’t know anything about stop-losses. The brokerage here in Norway didn’t have stops at all. So I was just in and out with no education at all. I then stumbled up on StockTwits and iHub, a little bit embarrassed there, but…
Clay: We all make our way through there. So, I mean, there’s no harm in that. At least you admitted that… and nothing against StockTwits, nothing against iHub, they’re great tools if you know how to use them as a tool, but they’re also places that will eat your lunch if you don’t quite know how to navigate them. But yeah, no shame in that.
Chris: But I was also so interested. I wanted to make this work. So I watched a lot of YouTube clips, like everybody else. Watched the newspaper. And one of the things why I’m also so interested is because I have a uncle that has traded stocks for many, many, many years. He’s 85 years old, I think, now. And he made some money, but he never talked about the money. He never talked about it. But I can see myself in him, because I wanted to learn about trading and how to make it. So I used the TradingView, the platform. I don’t know how I managed to find that. Maybe through iHub or StockTwits, I don’t know. But I traded more and more.
Chris: And I got so interested that… I’m laughing from myself now, because at work I started… here in Norway it’s 15:30 when the market opens in the United States, so every day I was stressed, stressed, stressed because I wanted to trade and it was working time. So I have to make watch list super fast, watching Twitter, watching StockTwits, copying other watch lists. And then I traded. No stop-losses, just up and down the candle bars went.
Chris: Some days I was lucky, feeling like a king. Remember one time making like seven, eight hundred dollars, feeling like a king going from work at the train going back home, and the next day I lost some, not feeling like a king anymore. So by then I knew that I had to get educated. I’m a smart guy, I think, so I knew what I had to do in order to make this go my way, because I couldn’t do this anymore. It’s too much up and down. I didn’t know what to do. So I did some research, even more YouTube. I stumbled upon some… I don’t know if I should name names, but some-
Clay: Yeah, don’t name names, because sometimes-
Clay: … they don’t like names being… so yeah, if you could avoid names, that would be fantastic.
Chris: Yeah. Some rich dudes offering their services for quite a lot of money. And I even got interviewed by some of them, trying to get approved or something in that category, to be teached by them. But it was so much money that I just-
Clay: Did you get approved?
Chris: Of course.
Clay: Of course. Okay, of course you did.
Chris: They even asked me how much I had on my account and-
Clay: Oh my goodness.
Chris: Yeah. And I was like, I was geared up, I was, “I can do this,” but I always take a step back and take a look at what’s in front of me. I don’t jump on everything. And I thought that was a little crazy and the type of education was not something that I used to like, because I need good teachers, I need a structured process. I’m all about it. I love to learn and I could actually go back to school tomorrow, because I love taking notes and teaching. So-
Clay: That’s really cool that you do love to learn. And I got to just circle back here, and I’m not here to throw anybody under the bus, but just as a listener, maybe you’re new to the market, maybe you are searching around, please just realize that, and if you don’t believe me, that’s fine, I’m not going to ask you to trust me, you can go and do some research on your own, but when it comes to the selling psychology and marketing, and the psychology of all that, they’re building perceived value by, “Oh wow, I have to apply. Oh wow, I have to have an interview.” And, “Oh wow, they don’t accept everyone.” Okay, yeah. That’s what they say.
Clay: Again, I’m not going to say that every single one of those people that offer that is like some sort of scamster. All I’m saying is that be very wary of stuff like that, when people are trying to make it seem like, “Oh wow, you got to go through all this stuff, and they don’t work with everybody.” I’ve never once met anybody that said they did not get approved. They all get approved and there’s a reason why they never give a price upfront is, because, to Chris’s point, “Well, how much is in your account?” and all this. They’re trying to feel you out. How much does this guy have? And then they’ll start to give you a price and probably negotiate that price.
Clay: Whereas, I mean, the way it works at claytrader.com is, listen, the only interview that I’m going to give you is, are you willing to invest? Are you willing to invest into the program, which does take money? If you want to do that, well then, hey, that’s all the commitment I need from you. You’re putting your money where your mouth is. And that’s literally the only interview that matters in my book is, are you here to be serious? Are you here to invest into yourself? Yeah, you are? Okay. Well then, you can go ahead and hit that Buy button and that’ll be the end of the interview, because now you’ve put your money where your mouth is. So there’s no need for all this stuff, “Well, who can I work…” just something to toss out there. And for you longer-time listeners, I’m sure you’ve heard stories like that before, but… It’s a great business model, don’t get me wrong. It’s a great way to inflate the perceived value of what you’re offering, but, I mean, it is what it is.
Clay: So now, you love to learn, which is great. I feel like the only threatening thing in that situation maybe is sometimes people that love to learn almost do too much learning in the sense of, “Oh, now I want to learn about that. Okay, now I want to learn about that. And I want to learn about that.” And then all of a sudden you forget to even ever trade the markets. So, I mean, has that ever come up in your journey? Or are you kind of well aware that you need to be careful about not just learning every single thing under the sun because you like it so much?
Chris: Yeah. That’s actually one interesting point, because like in personal training, there’s a lot of information out there. A whole lot of information. And I will say that a lot of it will actually work, but when you have so much information, I think very many people will try a bit of that, a bit of that, and it’s just information overload. So when I have new customers, I say like, “There’s many better personal trainers than me, for example. There’s a lot of good people out there. But the one most important thing is just to learn and follow one person’s opinion or techniques and try that for a period of time.” Because you can’t test everything at the same time. So… oh, I lost my track of where to go now, but-
Clay: No, that’s a great point is, you can’t. In fact, several weeks ago I did an episode where I talked about the science of trading struggles. And I don’t know if you listened to that one or not, but in that one it was just a solo podcast and I went over an article that came about, and basically, to Chris’s point is, you can have overload by information, or is that article, and I think that the official psychology term is decision fatigue, meaning there’s so many decisions out there that if you give yourself so many decisions, you will literally tire yourself out. You’ll create frustration, you’ll create stress because, “Oh, all these decisions, all these people saying this, that and the other,” which is why structured education really is much different, and, I would argue, much more efficient than just going the free info route.
Clay: Because the free info route opens up the floodgates to decision fatigue, because there’s so much out there. And then all of a sudden you have to worry about, “Well, I don’t even know if this is good information,” because if you’re not aware, there’s lots of bad information out there on the Internet, and that implies the trading too. So it’s one of those situations were, yeah, it’s good for you to recognize and I like that advice you give your clients that, “Hey, you got to stick with one thing and you kind of got to get narrow-focused, because you don’t want to overwhelm yourself.” So when did you actually come across… because looking at the time here, we still got about 20 minutes, but when did you come across the ClayTrader community and how did that all kind of play out?
Chris: I stumbled upon ClayTrader just searching the web, actually. By that time I met a new buddy of mine, very good friend, who was also very, very interested in the market. So him and I did some research, tried to find where to get more education. Not through YouTube or other stuff like that, but a program. Like a school. If there were a trading school, I would go to that school and not the marketing and sales, but now I’ve got a… We stumbled upon you and, I must say, it’s like a hate and love relationship, because you have a dry, dry voice. Not to make fun of you, but-
Clay: I’m actually really hurt right now. I think I’m going to take my ball and go home. That was quite vicious. No. You’re not the first person to say that. I try to keep it light, but I appreciate the feedback. And I’m not going to-
Clay: I’m not going to get too angry, because you are a Viking and I don’t need my head separated from my body with one swing of the ax, but continue on.
Chris: But even though you were dry, you were not like the luxury guy waving watches and cars and stuff like that. You were like a nice nerd or geek or what you call it, you’re a serious guy with a nice family, real estate. You’re someone I’m looking up to. And I saw myself, “Him, I can get teached by.” And I read on your website, I think it was back in 2016, and I immediately thought to myself that, “I have to give this guy a try.” I almost went with somebody else, but that was also a little bit to flashy for me. I need the geek style, the dry one. So I just jumped up on the CTU right away and from that day I’m so glad I did it.
Chris: Not to market you or anything, but being a part of a community that’s so nice, so serious and so much good information, and so much information step by step laid out in a good process, that’s something I needed. It was like going back to school, because even with training, everything you need to know is on YouTube or Internet, but jumping there, there, there, there you get confused. So taking it step by step and how to do things is just superb. By now I’m up on my notebook with 2,200 words. Almost 200 pages. Yeah. Doing like I did back at school, studying every course you had. Almost every one. There’s some of them I haven’t taken, but every one regarding trading and life in general I’ve taken. And I must say it’s… you’re a good man, Clay.
Clay: Well, thank you very much, I appreciate that. Where are you currently? Are you still in study mode? Are you actively trading? If so, kind of bring us full circle. What is your current situation looking like?
Chris: I had a break, but like a year and a half ago I traded a lot. I day traded before work. I worked shifts, nights and days. I went through all your courses on my night shift. Don’t say it to my boss, but I did. And I traded at the opening, trying to day trade. But when I finished your course, I said to myself, “I need to take a step back. I have to build up new capital. I want to treat this seriously.” I also made a paper trade account at the Interactive Brokers with the exact money that I will be trading for life.
Chris: So until now I’ve had a break, just watching the market, building up more capital, and now I’m actually in the crossroad of just trying to… that’s one of my problems. I’m thinking so long ahead. Because the opening here in Norway is when, for example, children has to be picked up at kindergarten, people end their school, so the opening is clashing with the time. So even though I really, really want to day trade, I can’t see me doing that when I have a family. So I’m trying to find out what to do. I also sent some mails to you regarding what to with overnight gap up. So if a swing trading, maybe trading options is a better way to go. But I’m a very visual guy, so I love charts. I can see things fast. I can see myself day trading no problem. No no problem, but I know that’s something I, with time, can do. But it will not fit a Norwegian everyday life. So I’m trying-
Clay: Let me ask you this.
Clay: Have you looked into futures trading or Forex trading, where those markets are open, for argument’s sake, basically around the clock? Have you looked into either of those?
Chris: I haven’t taken your course, but I know that it’s open and I can trade. But it’s something mental about doing U.S. stocks. I don’t know what it is. I’ve been told to trade crypto, for example, but I have never done it. Maybe I should take a look at it, but still I’m thinking about the swing trading U.S. stocks. But I’m trying to find out way to manage risk and how to handle overnight swings, you know? Because I want-
Clay: Can I give you some dry advice?
Chris: Yep. Yeah, of course.
Clay: So it sounds to me like somebody just… your friend, listening as you talk, you want to do day trading. Is that accurate?
Chris: Yeah, but I will also say that one of my future goal is to free up time. So when I was day trading back when I was more stressed trying to get off work early enough to make a watch list and do my preparations, and I can’t have it like that. So in the future I think it’s out of the picture, even though I really want to.
Clay: Okay. So you want to do day trading though, even though it’s not in the picture right now. But from what I hear is, it’s not in the picture because you made the comment that you have this mental thing. This mental thing that you want to do U.S. stocks. And you can’t do U.S. stocks day trading because it conflicts with your current time schedule. So, just like I said, I’m talking out loud, if you just remove that mental block and say, “Instead of day trading stock, why don’t I day trade futures or day trade currencies?”
Clay: Then you could still do day trading, but you could also create another stream of income which, as a money guy like we’ve learned you are, diversivity, multiple streams of income is a good thing, you could still participate in the USA markets by swing trading stocks, but it sounds to me like you could do both. You could have two streams of income from swing trading and day trading. You just would have to kind of concede the fact that day trading stocks, or USA stocks, as you say, is not going to happen.
Clay: So, I mean, that’d be my constructive just feedback is, it seems like there’s some mental block that doesn’t need to be there that, if you just took out the mental block, well, here you go. You could still day trade. Does that make sense?
Chris: Yeah, it makes sense. But one of the things, and that’s why I want to trade, is that I want several types of income. And have more time for future family and doing things I love besides trading. I love trading, don’t take me wrong there, but also not having to be at a certain point of the day, being there and there four o’clock, I don’t want that. So, trading a little bit more long-term, I think it’s what I need. And maybe then complement it with some day trading here and there, but the thought of being too locked, having to be at a certain place, I can’t see me doing that.
Clay: I like the way you think. And from my experience a lot of people seem to overlook the fact they’re just… they’re so focused on the materialistic items, which, no judging from my part, that’s fine. If you want the Lambo and the yacht and the helicopter and the private island, I mean, go for it. But, I mean, those people, from a time perspective, you better understand that you’re going to be basically glued to your computer at all times. “Well, no, I saw somebody on social media that says they only trade for an hour a day and they’re on a beach with their yacht in the background.” Okay, fine, then make sure to contact me. I have some oceanfront property in Montana I would love to sell you, okay?
Clay: But to Chris’s point, and I’m with Chris, is, you know what? The main goal just needs to be, “How do I free up my time?” Because as somebody that also has a family, yeah, I don’t want to be chained to my computer. That’s why people are always like, “Clay, why don’t you trade futures or a Forex or these things that are open all the time?” And I say, “Because they’re open all the time and I know that I have an addictive personality,” and the last thing I need to be getting involved in is the futures market where you literally, if you want to be trading that 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time or 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, you can be like, “Yeah, I’m going to go trade again.” Or, you know, the Forex market.
Clay: So that’s why I don’t do all that, is because, I mean, not that I’m a perfect dad. I’m not saying this like I’m some sort of perfect father, but I really don’t want to be like a deadbeat father where I’m literally always in front of my computer trying to trade and trying to put trades on because theoretically, in this day and age with technology and then the markets that exist, you could sit at your computer basically 24/7 and always be looking out to trade, because there is some sort of market out there that’s open.
Clay: So I guess that’s my long way of saying, Chris, I like and I fully agree with your mindset of wealth. I learned how to day trade options. That’s more of a situation where yeah, of course I need to spend time doing it and looking at it, but it’s not like I have to be at my computer all the time from time X to time Y. So from that point of view then yeah, I mean, I would fully agree that you’re thinking in the right way that you just got to learn how to do the day trading options. On that note, have you done the options courses yet? Or are you currently going through them? Or where does it all… let me ask you this way. Where does your swing trading with options journey currently stand?
Chris: I finished both courses and I’m a little bit back… oh, what should I say? In everything I do, I want to know what I should do and then go all in for it. So now, since I’m a little bit thinking about what to do, swing trade, day trade, what’s best, U.S. stocks, or should I start options trading? Since I don’t know really what to do, I haven’t done anything trading wise. I’m just following it on Interactive Brokers in my trading workstation. So I’ve done all of your courses, but I’ve not traded them. I haven’t traded the options. Yes.
Clay: Do you have any time frame on when you’d like to try to start with the options swing trading?
Chris: Today or tomorrow, if I feel like that is my route, that’s my way to go getting to my goal. Yeah.
Clay: So what are you looking for to “feel that way”? Are you looking to produce some sort of results? Are you looking to just clear some sort of mental roadblock? I mean, that’s a good answer, yeah, “I’d love to start today or tomorrow, but I need to, you know, feel the right way.” So how do you know when you’re going to feel a certain way that will put you at the spot where you want to go into the markets?
Chris: I just have to know if swing trading regular stocks isn’t something I should do. And then I’m, oh, taking debt to the side and going all in through options. I’m that type of good guy. I’m a little bit black and white. Sometimes I need to be told what to do, and then it’s all okay. But I really don’t know. Yeah.
Clay: Well, I mean, how do you feel about… because my understanding is, now that I think back, I do remember some of these emails, the whole gap situation kind of really freaks you out. So, I mean, are you deciding whether or not it freaks you out enough, or… because in my mind it seems like you’ve already kind of determined that swing trading stocks would not be the best because from a personal risk tolerance perspective, the whole idea of them gapping kind of has you a little too nervous. Or, have I misunderstood? Are you still trying to determine if those gaps freak you out enough?
Chris: Yeah. That’s what it is. But I’m trying to… I’m paper trading now and I’m following every day before market opens on the Level 2s, watching the gaps, following my positions. Even though gaps don’t bother me that much, because most often they don’t gap that much, so it’s not a problem. It’s just, I’m a little bit afraid of when the day comes when the gap is so huge that the stops doesn’t get triggered and I don’t have the option to watch Level 2s before the market and have something prepared, you know? I want to sleep well. Yeah.
Clay: So to me it sounds like you acknowledge that’s a possibility and you acknowledge that you don’t want to freak yourself out by playing the, “Okay, well, what happens if it gaps? And what happens if I’m not at the computer to set my stop-loss?” You know, all these “what happens”. Because yeah, you’re right, that could happen.
Clay: So, I mean, if that’s always going to be something that could happen, then, I mean, is it possible for you to overcome that? Or-
Chris: Yeah, yeah.
Clay: It is? Okay.
Chris: Training, training, training.
Clay: Okay. I’m playing maybe both sides of the argument here, but I could also say, “Well, you can have all the training in the world, but if some sort goofiness happens that’s totally out of your control and something still gaps against you, then, I mean, training’s not going to do anything in that situation.”
Chris: Yes. But that’s one of my goals. I want to be more like you, and by that I mean when something crazy in the market that you didn’t see coming, that you handle it professionally, you keep calm and you have a plan to execute. “What should I do? Don’t do anything stupid.” So I actually don’t think it will become a problem. I just need experience. I just need more paper trading, maybe experiencing when the gaps come so I can train on it, but I need to better my strategies when it comes to handle those types of risk. But other than that, I’m all in for swing trading. That’s something I would like to do.
Clay: Awesome. Well, I would say that you gave good counterpoints to everything that I was trying to say, so there’s no way I could… I don’t think anybody could really accuse you of not thinking things through. It sounds like you’re definitely not flying by the seat of your pants or just making it up as you go, which is good. Your self-awareness seems to be where it needs to be in terms of just needing more data, needing more practice, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this all plays out for you. But looking at the clock, we’re already in over an hour. I don’t know where time goes. So, we’ll start to wrap this up here, but if I were to give you the time machine and if you were to go back to some sort of point, not necessarily at the very start, but some point in your earlier days of trading, and you could give yourself one bit of advice, what would that bit of advice be?
Chris: Actually, I’m one of those guys that, I don’t know if I would do something different, because maybe I wouldn’t be where I’m here today. I’m very glad that I stumbled up on your courses, so maybe I could say that I wish I could have your course when I was 18, is 14 years earlier. Because I don’t think you need school for anything. You just have to have a set of goals and go for it. And I didn’t know about trading back then, so… What’s done is done, I’m here today and I’m looking forward to the future.
Clay: I like that. What’s done is done, so let’s just keep pressing forward. That’s definitely a great attitude to have. Well, we’re going to bring it into some of the final questions here. And I know you are well aware of what’s coming your way here, so I’m not even going to try to throw you off or anything. What is your favorite movie?
Chris: I’m a super movie dude. I regularly ask my buddies or friends for movie tips, but I have seen it all. But I like good thrillers/action, crime, especially when it’s good actors like Matt Damon. But actually, I don’t have a favorite. I just like quality movies all over. But-
Clay: You got to give me at least one name. I mean, for claiming to be a movie buff, I mean, come on, just give me… if I said, “Listen, if you give me a movie right now, you’re going to make millions of dollars tomorrow in the market.” And you’re like, “Okay. Let me give you my favorite movie.” What would your favorite movie?
Chris: Okay. I like the Jason Bourne movies, for sure.
Clay: Okay. Have you ever seen The Departed?
Chris: Yes, of course.
Clay: Yeah, okay. Because I know that’s another Matt… Yeah, that’s a really good Matt Damon… yeah, so that’s fantastic movie. All right. What about your favorite food? I can’t remember what it’s called, but I’m pretty sure… it’s now a tradition on my part, where I ask everybody from your area of the world, do you like to eat sheep’s head? I can’t remember what it’s called though.
Chris: I actually haven’t tried it, but it’s popular… not by everyone, but I’ve nothing at eating that. I can eat everything. I love food. I like to try new stuff. One of my favorite things it’s to make [inaudible] in the kitchen, but I like something a little bit easy, aka fast food. But making homemade burgers is the best thing ever.
Clay: That is pretty good. That is pretty good.
Chris: Yeah. With-
Clay: As a fitness person, are you on a stricter diet? Or how does that work?
Chris: Ah. I’m quite different there, because it’s so many philosophies about nutrition, I’m all about prioritizing one, it’s calories. Calories, calories, in and out. And the secondary is proteins, and tenth and eleven is fats and carbs. So just eat good food, healthy food. Yeah. Eat what you need for that day calorie wise, and you’re good to go. I tried everything. I trained since I was 17 and done almost everything, and logged… I have logs for my nutrition and training since I was 17 years old. Everything I have in a box. And I know what works. So I don’t like to be that addicted to eating every two hours, that and that food, and can’t drink Coca-Cola or a Diet Coke. Yeah, I’m not that kind of guy.
Clay: Yeah, none of that stuff is really sustainable anyways, which is what I also have discovered over my years of being up and down the health roller-coaster.
Clay: But at the end of the day it’s just keep it simple, stupid is really the moral of the story there, because those other things can-
Chris: But one thing I-
Clay: … can work, but-
Chris: One thing I want to say is that many people think that I am a person that eats clean, what they call it, every day. I’m actually one of the guys eating much more garbage food than you ever know. For example, last Sunday after a long mountain bike ride I made… you’re going to laugh. I ate eight homemade burgers with 1.3 kilograms of meat, double cheddar cheese and the blue cheese. When I was finished with that, and that’s something you’re going to ask me about, but I can take it now, I ate five Ben & Jerry’s and two local ice-creams. So that’s a lot of calories.
Clay: You need to come to the States. You and I, we should take on some of these team food challenges, like one of these big… do you like pizza?
Chris: Yeah. I’m all for it.
Clay: Yeah. Here in the States, I mean, there’s… and I don’t know, maybe you have food challenges over in Norway too, but, I mean, I know there’s some pretty crazy food challenges here. Some of them require a teammate and there’d be like these 10-pound pizzas or whatever, so I’m like, “All right. If I divide that by two, that means I got to eat five pounds.” I think we could probably do it. I mean, it sounds like you can put down some food and I like to eat too, but I like to hear that. That stuff’s a lot of food, but-
Chris: That’s actually why I’m looking forward to the 3rd of December this year, because I’m going to a road trip in the U.S. with my brother. And we both have a above-normal appetites.
Clay: Well, you better be careful, or else you’re going to leave this country with diabetes. So, just be very careful, okay? I feel like our food is on a whole nother level here. But, that’s very, very, cool. Well, man, we’re at an hour 10 minutes, we could keep going, but I’m trying to keep these around an hour and I’ve already failed. Oh, and we still have one more question left. Three words. What would these three words be that you would associate next to… you know, what you believe it takes to be a successful trader?
Chris: Oh, I actually tried to find some words, but I’m all about the process and planning and adjustments. Quite similar to what I think about training, it’s the same thing. You need to have a plan and you have to follow the process, enjoy the process and maybe not need it, but you have to do some adjustments along the way.
Clay: I like that. Very, very well said. And your English was fantastic. I never once had to help you with any words. If anything, I stumbled more than you did.
Clay: Well done on that regard. Well done to the Norwegian English-teaching school system, because I think either you’re the third or fourth person from Norway, and they’ve all had great English. So yeah, that was some good stuff. And, I mean, will you come back at a point in the future and update us on how things continue to go?
Chris: I promise you, because I had a lot of notes and I feel that I have so much more to say.
Clay: Good. Well then, we will definitely plan on having you back, and next time you’re back, hopefully you’re saying that, “Yeah, you know, I’m underway with the swing trading,” and you can fill us in with all the progress and such that you’ve made. But thank you… what time is it there right now?
Chris: It’s 20… it’s almost bedtime. In about three, four hours it’s bedtime.
Clay: Okay. Well, it’s much later than it is here, because in three or four hours it’s like dinnertime here.
Clay: But, point being, I appreciate you taking time out of your evening to hang out with me and fill all the listeners in with what’s been going on. You shared some great bits of wisdom from your experience and if people were listening closely, there’s definitely some great nuggets of experiential wisdom that you’ve shared. So, Chris, thank you again for hanging out.
Chris: Thank you very much for having me.
Clay: Now for you listeners out there, before we go, couple of things real quick. First of, if you’re listening on iTunes or any of the other podcast players, be sure to subscribe. That way you know when future content is released. And especially on iTunes, if you could leave us a rating and especially a verbal rating where you type something out, that really helps us out and goes a long way, and I really do appreciate those that take the time to do it. And, like I said, it’s crazy how much that can help get the word out more about the podcast. So again, I thank you for it in advance and appreciate it.
Clay: If you are listening at claytrader.com on the Show Notes page, in the bottom right-hand portion of the screen there is a live chat box right there. So if you would like to communicate with us directly, you can do that. Questions, comments, suggestions, feedback, whatever you have, we love to hear from listeners of the show and we’re always open ears, and we really do appreciate it. So thank you again, to you as listeners, thank you, Chris, and we’ll see you all back next week.
Announcer: Announcer: 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 trading team, premium training and more, visit claytrader.com.