I first begin studying stocks 18 months ago after getting sick and tired of my shitty 401k returns. What do I pay these "professionals" for?!? The only time my account went up was when I dumped my yearly profit sharing money in it. Then, quarter after quarter I watched my account shrink and the commissions rack up. I literally lost money for all but 2 quarters for 3 years straight. All of this in a great market, too! Luckily, I happened across Tim Sykes from a Forbes article and began my journey.
Fast forward much paper trading and loads of studying. I sought out many teachers and have learned from all of them. Each of them have very different strategies. All of them added to my understanding in some form or another.
The biggest truth in life is that you have to be honest with yourself. Tim's strategy just didn't work well for me. I get too nervous playing the fast movers. Dips buys just never felt comfortable, and I'd find myself freezing when the time came to buy.
But at last, I think I've found my niche. It took me forever to short sell because of some irrational fear, but now I'm finding it much more suited to my personality. Of my last 8 trades, 7 were shorts. I'm feeling really good about the trades I've been putting on. My losers have been me dipping out early and cutting my loss before I was supposed to. It has cost me.
Today I properly funded my account. No more missing trades because I'm out of day trades. On Monday the fun continues. :]