How I lost $350K daytrading stocks and what I learned from it.

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Ex-Google Tech Lead loses $350,000 in the stock market and lives to tell the tale. For fun daily problems on computer science, algorithms, math, science and engineering check out http://brilliant.org/techlead (the first 200 get 20% off premium to unlock dozens of interactive courses).

If you think you’re so smart, then go play the stock markets and prove that you really are smarter. The experience will take you down a notch – keep yourself in check. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Comments

NOSTALGIC says:

Wow. I lost a years salary. And I dont make much. I thought I knew what I was doing. Made a few thousands starting and then all the sudden boom I screwed up bad. I'm still trying to get out of it. Basically I work my ass off and make almost nothing so I took a risk and screwed up. Now trying upwork trying to enhance or edit photos or products. Or edit videos, color grade and such. But having problems finding work. I just suck at making money. Sucks you had lost that much. Trust me I understand. Good luck man. I'll never do stocks again.

Ho Chi MInh says:

I want people to put on your critical thinking cap and watch from 0:33 to 1:05. He said:
1) One of the worst things about this trading loss is that there is not much to learn from it;
2) Trading is essentially skill-less.

I can categorically say, based on my personal experience, that he is absolutely wrong on both of those two points.

thatgo916 says:

After watching your video it is no wonder you lost so much money, no offense but you went into the stock market like a 2 year old chasing a ball into the wood chipper. First of all day trading is buying and selling a stock or asset in the same day, you were not day trading from what you described in your video. What you described in your video is more long term investing. You also went into the market with no strategy but to read the news and trade… lol what the hell were you thinking? Even just some basic browsing of investopedia would of shown you how stupid of a decision that was. I was as this point going to elaborate on the differences in today's market and how you need a strategy that encompasses technical setups along with news catalysts and by news catalyst I mean a rumor of upcoming news because no one buys on news everyone sells on it. But I think I would just be beating a dead horse explaining this all to you at this point.

The most glaring mistake you made however and I must say it is a pretty retarded one, you bought into a obviously over extended market… LOOK AT THE CHART IN YOUR VIDEO!! Touches the high of the year multiple time and rejects!! If you really studied any technical analysis you would of known putting any sum of money in at that level was VERY RISKY!!! EVER HEARD OF RISK MANAGEMENT?!!

Seriously man feel bad you lost that much but you made a really dumb choice and traded the market with no strategy what so ever other then some website said buy commodities…. and thats on you!! But there are plenty of professional traders that are average joes, like most people reading this, that make butt loads of money everyday in the market. So please don't put a video out bashing the market like its impossible to make money because you lost your life savings being retarded.

Yas Gnov says:

Dam ! You live in a shithole

Hunter says:

Don't get greedy. Once you make a certain return on a stock, you need to put a stop loss in place so you actually end up ahead. Huge issue here is that you were hoping a stock would return to previous highs. In the overall market, this is a reasonable thing to conclude. For a specific stock, not so much.

freecapitan1 says:

That wasn’t day trading… that was painful swing trading. You should try options trading. Not binary options, that’s garbage. Options trading is simple and relatively quick. Around 60 min a day, now, stop loss is crucial. Should never trade without one, it’s like driving without a seatbelt. Cheers man! And seek consistency.

J J says:

Trading the stock market is almost entirely psychological. There's obviously technical aspects to it, but greed and fomo and pride bring down probably 90-95% of traders. That's why it's so important to have a plan BEFORE entering the trade and sticking to that plan no matter what happens. You can't "wish that it'll go back up" because that's how people lose money. Before entering each trade have a price target and a designated place for stopping out and then honor those places. If you did your research properly before hand, then there's a decent chance that momentum could be swinging in your favor so take the small quick wins (5-10% on penny stocks, 1-2% on mid caps, 20-30% on options etc) and then go to the next trade. Small wins which I like to call "base hits" are what make a trader consistently profitable. Don't hold winners hoping that they double or triple your money because, although moves like that do happen, it's very rare to be in them so if you hold winners hoping that they go up a lot of times you're just going to give a portion of your wins back and may even go negative on the trade. Position sizing is also important, I saw you put over 100k into a trade and lost about half of it. That's a lot of money. Position sizing is key but you also need to pick specific areas for stops as well because let's face it, even the best traders in the world are going to be wrong every once in a while, what's key is limiting the amount that you lose when you are wrong. For example, I don't like to put more than 20% of my portfolio into any one trade but even if do put the full 20% I try to stop out around key levels on a chart that will be around a 10% loss MAX. That means that I can't lose more than 2% of my portfolio in any one trade.

My advice to you, is to start reading some psychology based books on trading like "trading in the zone" or "the disciplined trader" both great books written by Mark Douglas. If you just can't get the psychological aspect down, which it is very very hard I admit, then my next advice is to just quit. If you aren't going into the market literally programmed like a machine (picking specific areas on charts, taking profits or losses at those specific levels and moving on) then you will give a lot of money back to the market.

Lastly, I'm not going to pretend like I'm perfect at this because I'm definitely not. It's still amazingly hard and I have to take a break every once in a while to keep my head level and force myself to stick to my plan no matter how good or bad each trade is starting to look. I just thought that maybe I can give someone advice because I've also had my struggles but am now seeing good results trading the stock market.

De R says:

Smart money already knows the news. We are 'dumb' money. Have to follow smart money. Smart money 'plays' many of the popular technical indicators to lure in the dumb money so they, the smart money, can take the opposite trade.

Paul Wilson says:

Great Honesty and life lessons. Every Market is 100% rigged. that's lesson #1. Gold and Silver are artificially suppressed by JPMORGAN through paper contracts on the COMEX. Stock market is pumped up by FED pumping algos… lots to learn…it takes decades to become an expert daytrader

Lo Freddie says:

"Day trading" sounds risky enough. Long term investment is more predictable. To be honest with you, if you can't hold a stock for a day, stay away from the stock market. Looks like you are quite healthy financially, you just need to be on the right direction and strategic.

Eugene S says:

BTC!!!!!!!!

Joseph B says:

I can help you if you're still looking to DayTrade

Jonathan Ferraro says:

General advice when trading stocks: stocks are all about managing risks, never risk more than 1% of your total cash on a single trade. and if you can't profit consistently, do more research and paper trade until you can profit consistently.

Dawah Tube says:

I saw a trading ad for this video

msocial8 says:

he spoke the truth which relates to 90%, rest 10% are the big investors who control the news so that 90% lose

Gi T says:

Dont listen to " the monkeys"

allen everhart says:

Thanks for sharing your painful trading experience. I think you know the lessons, you mention several touchstones. Trading too big. Trading the news, instead of the reaction to news. Trading based on expert commentators. Trading against robots. Trying to out-robot the robots. Not taking small losses. Being rewarded for bad trading habits. Overleveraging.

Cryptonian Savage says:

You should of bought bitcoin

Cryptonian Savage says:

You should of bought bitcoin

Arthur Kineard says:

I invest in my self. My own businesses. ROI will out perform any stock market. Getting to the first successful business was the trick. Now when I loose on a bad business I just don't pay taxes that year.

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