The Crypto Trader’s Journey: Learning The Hard Way
The reason I am able to help you is that I have made so many mistakes that I now know what not to do. You’re going to make many mistakes throughout your journey but the sooner you work out you need some guidance the better off you will be.
This is “The Trader Cobb Crypto ” podcast.
Good day everybody, and welcome to “The Trader Cobb Crypto” show. Today we’re gonna go through another of the series that I’m putting together called “A Trader’s Journey.”
I wanna, basically, share with you on this journey a bunch of the lessons that I’ve learnt along the way to help me to get to where I’m at and, hopefully, more importantly, just to give you a bit of a heads up, an insight into what is to come if you decide that trading is something that you want to work towards.
Today is about learning the hard way. And the reason is that you’ve really got two ways that you can learn, you can learn the hard way or you can learn the easy way. Most of us, well, certainly myself anyway, have learnt the hard way.
So what do I mean by the hard way and the easy way? The easy way is, basically, by getting a teacher, getting someone who gonna help you, sticking to a strategy, a set of rules, and following a path that has already been trodden prior to you beginning your journey.
And that’s kinda where I step in and where tradercobb.com steps in. I can help with that path, that journey. That being said, I can’t help you with everything. And you will make mistakes, there will be lessons along the way and there’ll be some painful ones too.
For me, my journey really started back in 2006. Actually, my trading, my investing and my market starting journey started when I was, I think, 16 years old. I bought some shares in a company called Phoenix Technologies Limited, they were a trash disposal company turning it into building products, I believe. If I recall correctly.
Phoenix Technology Limited went from, I think I bought it at about nine to eleven cents for my buying price. When I was 16 years old I had a little business, I’d made some money. And when I say little I genuinely mean little, like a little school business, a little business to link stuff to rugby clubs, that sort of thing. But, I used that money ’cause I was very interested in the stock market to invest in this Phoenix Technologies Limited.
Now, PTL was it’s epic code. The three letters that represented on the ASX. It went from my eight to ten cent – sorry – eight to eleven cent buy-in to eighty-eight cents or thereabout. So I done it times eight, on my money x-eight, talking crypto. I was feeling pretty good as the rhyme was going up.
I mean, back in those days we had the TV program. You younguns out there won’t know what this is but it’s called Teletext. And on Teletext you would basically have a ticker tape, you could go and search the prices of stocks on your TV by going into a certain section of your television.
And I was pretty stoked, obviously, watching it go from eight cents to nine cents to 10 cents, 25 cents to 35 and it went up and up and up. I think it took about a month to peak at 88 cents. So I’d taken my whatever it was, I think it was about $2,500 to close to 20,000.
I was over the moon, I was so excited. But like many people in crypto, and I see this now, is they don’t know when to get out. I didn’t know when to get out either. I just kept doing the math. I kept going, “Well if it gets to $5, I’ll have this much. “If it gets to $10, I’ll get this much.” And you start to do some spreadsheet dreaming, is what I call it, it’s exactly that.
Markets don’t get parabolic for long. And you’ve gotta bet to take your profits. So that was my first little venture, my first little dream into trading, sorry, investing, not so much trading. And yeah, the story ends like this, bankruptcy for PTL. My shares being worth nothing.
So that introduced me to risk management. I definitely fell hard. ‘Cause to make $2,500 when you were 16 years old was no easy task and I’d worked very hard for that money. So it really instilled in me risk management and a very important lesson.
Now, let’s fast forward to 2006, ’07, ’08 when I was really sort of in my trading journey, at the beginning days. Again, I had a little business that I ran that made me a little bit of money. And I decided I was gonna travel the world. And I started trading. I had 9,000 pounds that I could trade with back then I think it was about 2.8 to the dollar. So a considerable amount of money, you know, it was.
Certainly for that age I felt very wealthy. And I proceeded to learn to trade my way, being a bit of entrepreneur, a bit of a doer, I thought I’d just learn it myself. Well, I failed miserably. It took me 6 months to wipe out the first 6,000. So I put 3,000 in to learn, lost that. Another 3,000 in, lost that. Then the next 3,000 in, I went in, just about lost all of that too.
So I’ve blown out several accounts. The last one was the most painful because I lost it about 18 months into my journey after having grown it quite substantially. And what that did for me is it taught me that the way an entrepreneur thinks and the way a business person thinks or a way somebody who’s a doer, you know, hands-on gets stuck in and makes things happen, you learn on the fly, yeah. You just make it happen.
You’ll just do it, make it happen, just figure it out. Unfortunately, it took me that long, 18 months plus all that money to work out that, unfortunately, trading had too many variables to consider to just get it right.
I often use the analogy of going into your kitchen, into a professional kitchen having 5,000 ingredients and being told how to cook something you’d never tasted, smelt, seen a recipe for or even seen. It’s just about impossible. It’s a task that nobody wants to undertake ’cause it will take to bloody long to figure it out.
That was a huge learning point for me. I went from being completely independent, completely confident 10-foot tall and bulletproof to realizing, “Jesus, I actually need to find somebody who can teach me this.”
Now, my journey has been filled with learning the hard way. I had people tell me you need to have a mentor, you need to have somebody who knows how they already do it and you need to be replicate them and create your own way around a successful model that already stands on its own two feet.
I chose to ignore that. And many of you choose to ignore that today. And I understand that. Not only do I understand that, I totally respect it.
It’s part of your journey. Everybody has their own way of doing things. It’s the people that can work out how to make the least amount of mistakes by learning from somebody that’s made the mistakes that are gonna get there faster.
Now, I learnt the hard way through a lot of different things even to the point of, I haven’t had too many big blowouts since I’ve been back in Australia which is has been six or seven years – six and a half years since I left London.
That time I had some very big lessons in London. I was successfully trading, I’d done well. And then what you do is you go, “Right, I’m gonna go from, you know, if I’ve done so well this year risking 1%, next year I’m going risk 4% per trade and I’m gonna get rich very, very quickly.” And, again, you go back into that mentality of spreadsheet dreaming. And what that does is it creates this greed, this emotion, this loop that’s negative. It is not congruent with a good, successful trader.
I did the same thing, I lost a big wedge of money in January ’cause it was basically a New Year’s Eve epiphany. I’m not sure if it was a New Year’s Eve epiphany but it was sort of like setting a goal at the start of the year. I thought the best way for me to achieve X is to change Y and we’ll be good to go. I’ll achieve my goals four times as fast ’cause I’m risking four times as much.
Well, as you can probably imagine, again, knocked back down, humbled by the market, humbled by my lack of understanding. You see, consistency and risk management with smooth execution, flawless execution over large sample sets where you ultimately win.
It took me quite a while to work this out. And, thankfully, I am there. I’ve worked out that less is more, keep it simple. It is everything that I focus on in my trading and in my career to be fair. And everything I do even in business. Always manage the risk.
But, again, I learn the hard way. You don’t need to learn all the mistakes. So you don’t have to make all the mistakes I made. If you’re willing to listen to the teachings of the mistakes, the results of those mistakes are where your education lies.
I wanted to make that very clear because part of a trader’s journey is to learn the hard way. How many times will you learn the hard way? Well, that’s completely up to you. But, hang in there, one day you’ll work out what you need. And hopefully, I can help you with that.
So, guys, have a fantastic day. A bit of food for thought there. Bye for now.
“The Trader Cobb Crypto” podcast. Check out tradercobb.com because experience matters.
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