The Apprenticeship Phase
The principles are simple and must be imprinted deeply into your mind; the goal of an apprenticeship is not money, fame, a cool title, or a piece of paper that says you’re a genius. The primary goal of the apprenticeship phase is to transform your mind and character.
In the beginning, you are entering the world of trading as an outsider, you are naive and full of misconceptions, your head is full of dreams and fantasies about the future. Your knowledge of the world is subjective, based on your emotions, insecurities and limited experience.
Gradually, you will become grounded by the reality, you will gain a greater understanding of the objective world of trading, and with your new-found knowledge and skills learned from other successful traders, you will learn how to work with others and handle criticism. During this process, you will undergo a transformation that you take from someone who is impatient and disorganized to someone who is disciplined and focused, with a mind that can handle complexity and explain it with simplicity.
In the end, you will gain the ability to overcome your weaknesses and turn them into your strengths.
There are two paths that you can take: keep doing the dumb shit you’ve been doing (or you wouldn’t be here reading this), or the longer, harder path that requires for you to slow down and learn first. This path focuses on the real work and offers the greatest possibilities in terms of learning. You will gain valuable, practical knowledge that you will actually use in the real world, and that knowledge can pay you dividends for decades to come. This is not an easy path, filled with sunshine and rainbows, this is the path of deep observation; a passive mode, where you close out that brokerage account and focus on learning. After you have passed this mode (and the skills acquisition mode, where you practice your skills), it is then that you will embark on the experimentation stage.
The greatest mistake one can make during these initial few weeks or months (depending on how much effort you put in) is to assume that for validation you have to get attention, impress people or prove yourself.
Focus on learning, being open-minded and asking smart questions.
The secret to why 90% of market participants lose is quite simple, they skip right over the passive and acquisition modes of learning and understanding, and jump right into the experimentation mode of trading. If you are reading this, then you were probably a textbook example of this, and trust me, so was I. The first steps required to accomplish the apprenticeship mode are to successfully complete Getting Started, What’s Next and Dumb Money. Upon successful completion of these three programs, you will then be able to move onto the skills acquisition stage, which is covered in Game Planning, Chart Reading and Taking Profits. Upon completion of these programs, you will be ready to enter the legendary Alpha chat and begin the experimentation phase while continuing to work through Trading Psychology, Swinging with Sharks and The Secret.
Now before we get ahead of ourselves, you must understand that there are several, critical reasons why you must follow these steps. Firstly, you need to know which sandbox you’re playing in.
You need to learn and understand why Ben will put his stop at $99.89, while you most likely won’t know what a stop is (and if you do, you put your stops on whole numbers like $100), or why Shake will be selling stock into a 30% move (yet you just saw it on CNBC or Stocktwits, and put in a market order to buy the same stock he is selling to you for a 30% premium).
Right now you are the sheep and we are the hunters. We know every detail of the market. We scan thousands of stocks each and every day and have 1,000+ eyes constantly keeping tabs on subtle changes on every major stock, the same changes that the public will not know about or see until it's on the news-- and trust me, by the time it's on TV, the move is over.
Secondly, learning how to observe an unfamiliar environment is a lifelong skill, and once you’ve mastered it, you will be able to see who’s fucked in trade, or apply the skill to a relationship, a job, or even a purchase that isn't related to investing. As you work through this phase, the ego you currently have regarding your “superior skills” will be humbled, and you will appreciate the weight that will be lifted off your shoulders. In time, you will observe things that most people miss because they are thinking only of themselves. You will continue to improve your keen eye for human psychology because that's all the market is. As you reach the end of this phase, you will become more accustomed to the importance of observation. While previously, you may have bought a stock and figured out why you did later, you will now do the opposite-- you will observe first, base your ideas on what you have seen, and implement these ideas into your plan.
During the apprenticeship phase, most people are drooling about the thought of doubling their bankroll in the space of a day-- the exact opposite of what you will be doing with us. The successful apprentice has a desire to learn and has great energy. Right now you are like Jordan Belfort when he just got hired as a stockbroker, aka lower than pond scum, and in the world of trading, that’s where you are. Your access to knowledge and people is limited by your status, but as you continue to learn you will leave the pond and join the ocean of sharks (or get eaten along the way- as most who lack consistency do). If you were not born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you might be feeling as though you’re at a disadvantage, but trust me, you are in a much better position than the rich kid across town; your work ethic will outperform his trust fund. You must struggle to push through any limitations and continually put in the work to expand your horizons. Reading books beyond those required is a good start. In this program, we will test you to see if you actually read or just skim through like you did in your Econ 101 class. In this process, the only way you will move forward is by speaking up- even if you are wrong, and trust me no one is always right. Be open-minded to being wrong and leave that ego at home. By the time you complete this program, you should have the hunger to learn more and no longer will you look at the stock market like a deer staring at a pair of oncoming headlights.
Think back for a moment to when you learned how to ride a bicycle. You can’t? Shit, ok how about when you learned how to snowboard? You can’t remember that either? Well fuck it, think of a time when you couldn't do something, but after trial, error, and practice you learned that you could. After that rookie phase, you start to get better at a much faster rate. We call this the ‘cycle of accelerate returns’. This is when the practice becomes easier and more interesting, resulting in more practice as your interest in the subject turns from lust to love. This is the goal you must set for yourself, forget the lust of what you think trading is, and focus on the love of the game you are about to learn. Now this will take time, but as you work through Getting Started, What's Next, and Lessons from Dumb Money, the lust should start to fade and your love for trading should begin to uptick.
Now before you started reading this you most likely wanted to trade crypto, hedge it with forex, grow your small account with penny stocks and gamble on earnings with options. You will be doing none of that shit here.
You are here for one goal and one goal only: To master the basics. If after you’ve mastered the basics you want to go off and get scammed by the forex guru on IG who claims to be right 95% of the time, yet still drives a Honda Civic, then more fool you. When you are here with us at Trading Experts you will avoid the idea of thinking you can manage to learn several skills at a time. You need to improve your concentration and understand that trying to multitask will be the death of the beginning of this process.
Mastering the basics. Now, this might sound easy and you might still be giddy with excitement at embarking on your new journey with us at TE, however when the sugar high wears off and the inevitable boredom and pain set in, you need to embrace this as part of the process. Trust me if this part was fun, 90% of market participants wouldn't be losing money each year, the reason why they do is that they skip the boring stuff and do what's fun. Statistically speaking you might already be part of this crowd but have smartened up to the fact that you just might not know as much as you think you do, and if you can admit this trust me you are making progress. Took my stubborn ass half a decade to figure out that I had no clue what the fuck I was doing. Our goal here is to make sure you don't waste your money and more importantly, don't waste your time spinning your wheels for years on made up ideas.
Think back to a time when you really had to work for something and you achieved it, how good did that feel? Now, what about that other time when you didn’t have to work hard at all and it was easy (think of that woman you chased for months vs that one night stand), sure the latter can be fun from time to time, however, we know which one is more sustainable. This part of your journey can be fun as it will be the time when you will have lots of those ‘aha’ moments, however, most of the time, learning won’t be the sexy part. Handle this stage with discipline and the market can reward you for life, but chase the sugar high and professionals like Shake, Ben, and the Alpha members will be selling you their stock for the rest of your life.
If you don’t take the time to learn, your brief moments of green will turn into painful years of red.
Now if you are starting out fresh on your trading journey, you are in a great spot because you have yet to form any bad habits. If you have already traded and are reading this, then it clearly didn’t go so well. You are in a harder spot because your mind can be unreceptive to different ideas since you think your way will work even though it clearly hasn't. The reason you will feel this way is that you will fear the unknown and this can be a hard mold to break. That is why you need to understand that when you enter this new environment, your task is to learn and to absorb as much information as possible.
Always ask, never assume, trust me there is only one dumb question and it is “should I trade penny stocks (options, forex, crypto)”, the smarter the question the better answer you will receive.
If you are lazy and say “thoughts on Apple?” expect your question to be taken with a pinch of salt as you’ve shown no effort. Now if your question was:
“Hey guys, it seems Apple is forming a bull flag near highs, my entry would be above $200.05 vs $197.89 with a target of $210, is there anything that I am missing or could improve?”
You will get a much better response, and if someone doesn't answer you in 5 minutes message me personally and I will take a look (Ben G). When it comes to trading or any other skill or interest, true masters of their craft do something quite simple: they practice. The difference between paying to see the guy play and being the guy who is paid to be seen to play is that one practiced more than the other. When we are learning a new skill, there tends to be a point of frustration reached whereby what we are learning can seem beyond our capabilities. Some will give into this and quit (they never become masters) while others push through and prevail.
Now you might be thinking that the hard part trading is as simple as getting over the frustration you might be feeling as every stock you bought as dropped like a rock while you watched a professional like Shake make $50,000 in a week. No, it's not that simple because, with any skill, time is the magic ingredient that brings everything together. To truly master a skill, any skill, success tends to be recognized at around the 10,000-hour mark. We have worked day and night on our programs (Getting Started, What’s Next, Dumb Money, Game Planning, Chart Reading, Trading Psychology, Taking Profits, The Secret, Value, and Swinging with Sharks) to help nudge you down the right path during your first 200 hours of your journey towards trading mastery. Now you might be thinking, “fuck, 10,000 hours is too long”, and if that's the case, leave now. You can spend the next 10,000 hours binge-watching The Office, or you could spend that same amount of time improving, that choice is for you and only you to make. Time will happen regardless of what you choose to do with it. As you work through the first 200 hours, the skills you pick up will start to become hard-wired and the time spent will not nearly compare to the time that people in those soul-crushing 9-5 jobs have to endure. If you are currently in a soul-crushing 9-5, you and I both know that you are more than likely not working at peak performance for that entire time, use this time to your advantage and instead of spending it on a sports site or news outlet, spend it improving.
The sooner you start to realize that to succeed you need to be consistent, the emotions of boredom, panic, frustration, and insecurity tend to wash away. They do not go away forever as we are only human, however, as time goes on you will start to be able to use these insecurities to your advantage. Have faith in the process of daily improvement and in a month you will be surprised at the changes you will have made, in a year you will barely recognize your old-self.
By using your emotions to your advantage, in time you can spot your weaknesses.
One of my biggest weaknesses was that if a stock was near highs, I felt it was too high and I would not buy it and would look back a month later to see it drift another 30% higher with ease, you might have even had the similar “it can't go any higher” experience yourself. For me, after saying that enough, a switch went off and when I would hear myself saying those words, I would look more closely for the setup and would get in and ride it higher. Sure, sometimes I would buy the all-time high and would lose a percent or two, however that's all par for the course. By doing this, you continue to push yourself to find your faults and exploit them as time passes, and as you trade more, you rid yourself of all of those dumb ideas and continue to set the bar higher. A new trader tends to get emotional when a more senior trader says “no” to their trading idea, but the professional has seen that trade a thousand times and is willing to pass on the milk that is on sale yet going to expire tomorrow.
There are two kinds of failures in trading and trust me, you will fail more times than you win. The first failure is never trying out your ideas because you are afraid and the second is waiting for a perfect time to start.
Do the homework and if the homework shows that the set up could potentially yield 5-1 on your risk, take the trade or let us know and we will take it and tell you how it went. If you are saying that you don't have time, yet will have time after the next full moon or after Kate Upton answers your 500th DM a year from now, you will remain in the same state of idleness while the Alphas continue to put points up on the board. The faster you can fail in public, the faster you will learn from your mistakes.
This program is designed to get you to be able to voice your answers, this is not a program you just read and understand in your head; you must read, do the work to see that you are doing it right. Mistakes happen, but if we cannot see the mistakes, how can we fix them? Leave the thought of embarrassment of being wrong at home, everyone in this chat is in the same boat as you.
Do you have balls?
In the Getting Started Group Chat share a time where you had to go through an apprenticeship phase and what was the skill you learned and how long did it take you to truly master it.