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Lester Wants to Day Trade

A few years ago my brother, Lester, quit his job as an assistant vice principal of our local high school to become a day trader. I truly believed he had lost his mind at the time or maybe it was a mid-life crisis. He was married with two teenage children and a wife who also worked. But Lester explained to me that he could make more money as a day trader than he could ever make in the school system. I told him I thought his decision was risky, selfish, and stupid. This wasn’t what he wanted to hear. But he still went ahead with his plan to get involved with stock day trading.

Even though I didn’t agree with his decision, I have to admit that Lester really knew his stuff. He’d been reading the Wall Street Journal, the Economist and Barons for years before he decided to get his feet wet. When he finally got a trading account with a local broker, he cleaned up. His portfolio nearly doubled in his first three years of trading alone. He liked to brag about the fact that he made more money on his investments than he did from his school salary. But he also hated the high commission costs that his broker charged him, and he didn’t think his broker knew what he was talking about when it came to managing a portfolio. Shortly thereafter, Lester decided to take up stock day trading full time.

Though it was stressful and extremely risky, Lester told me he loved the flexibility stock day trading afforded him. Since the market doesn’t open until 9:30 in the morning, Lester was able to spend more time with his kids. He even made them breakfast and drove them to school. In his first few months of stock day trading Lester made more than I do in a year. When I asked him what his trick was, he just smiled and said he was just that good. He had already acquired the Wall Street broker’s unctuous arrogance.

I later discovered that Lester’s stock day trading strategy was simple-he only traded one stock all day. And because he could devote all of his energy and attention to watching this one stock, he got an edge. After a while of stock day trading this one stock, Lester began to see patterns in how the stock would trade. This allowed him to make little profits several times a day. I asked Lester to teach me this strategy, but he smugly replied, “You either have it or you don’t.” I love the guy, but sometimes I really can’t stand him.

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