Immersed in euphoria, I don’t know how I managed to close that position, locking in some $12,000 in profits. Now try to imagine what was going on in my head. A couple of months worth of salary in one day!! I was hooked!!Slawek J —
The beginnings of my first trade go further back in time, way before the trade itself.
In 2006 I cashed out on my real estate in Poland. That was the year when I decided to stay in America for good. I had a “huge” amount of money on hand. About $50,000 gets dropped on my laps virtually overnight. That was a lot of money for me, however, I didn’t feel like I was rich. I was 27 years old and I felt deeply responsible for the situation I found myself in to.
At that time I was working as a second-hand auto mechanic, fixing cars for a Ford dealer. Buying a house in the U.S. was the first thing that crossed my mind.
Fortunately, for me, the real estate market was at its peak in America. I knew a few people that were following the housing market and they told me that it was too expensive to get in at that time, so I backed off.
WHAT TO DO, THEN??
So I went to the General Manager at my workplace and asked him:
— “George, what shall I do? I have a bit of money, and banks are not paying much for CDs.”
George looked at me and said:
— “Slav (that’s how they called me over there), go and buy Ford shares (NYSE: F).”
George was closing all the deals on the floor as far as sells were going at the dealership, so I was thinking “this guy must have a good finance background”. I trusted him when it came to money matters.
In my mind, I thought that I would have to sign some documents somewhere in the New York Stock Exchange, give them my money and then they would send me the paper shares back. That’s how much I knew about trading at the NYSE. Living in a studio apartment right on the beach, it got me wondering where I could hide a safe vault with my paper shares.
Thank God one of my friends told me that everything was done online because I found this nice, but priced out, water and fireproof safe vault.
So I opened a trading account at Scottrade and as soon as my money hit the account I got into my first trade.
It was July 22nd, 2008. I dumped all the money on Ford and watched my trade for a little bit into the market close. I remember very well the first emotions when the position’s P/L was going back and forth between green and red. When it was green, I was thinking to myself “What a genius move. I will keep these Ford shares until I retire.” When flashing red I wanted to cash it out right away.
Later that day, I went to work to continue fixing cars. Luckily for me, I had a friend in the accounting department who let me log in to my account to check on the position.
Lunchtime: my account was up about $3,000, so I thought “Great, I made my monthly salary”. After lunch, I am up about $12,000-$15,000 on the position. “Wow!”, I thought to myself. Then I started to panic and, at the same time, to imagine spending that money in a trading office with a bunch of useless stuff.
I am sure you already know that I had absolutely no plan for entry, exit, or managing the position. Just a few weeks earlier I was thinking I was getting paper shares, for goodness sake.
Immersed in euphoria, I don’t know how I managed to close that position, locking in some $12,000 in profits. Now try to imagine what was going on in my head. A couple of months worth of salary in one day!! I was hooked!!
That day was Ford’s earnings announcement date. The next day, the shares dropped well below my entry point and kept on dropping. I felt like a genius and a professional trader at the same time for selling my shares the day before.
Slawomir Juraszek (a.k.a. Slawek J)
Born and raised in Poland. Came to the U.S. in 2002. Started Trading in 2008. First teacher Noah Davidson. Currently a professional day trader. Contributor for wallstreet.io: running trading room there “Passport to Wall Street”, making videos and writing articles about NYSE (in Polish).
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