What is the best way to learn how to trade options?
Is there just one way?
That is what I cover in this episode…
Hey, hey, hey, genius nation. How are my passive traders doing today? How are you feeling? What’s going on? You know what I love? I love when you guys reach out to me and when we can communicate back and forth. So whenever one of you or if you have an issue or if you had something that you want to say to me, I would love it, and I do love it. It’s one of the highlights of my day when I get a comment. If somebody, maybe they post something, they email us, or they post something on our blog as a comment or one of our Facebook groups, our free Facebook group, if they’re a member in there. If you’re a member, go ahead, let me know how you’re doing today. Let me know what questions you have. Let me know how we can help you, myself, or my team or anything.
But I do understand that sometimes you might have a situation where you don’t want to make it a little bit public. Blog post, comments, and Facebook groups, and when you write a review for the podcast, those are all pretty public, and people can see that. And I understand that if you have a longer issue or if you have a longer comment, then you can always email us. I love getting emails. We get several emails every day, and the ones that my team can answer, if you’re asking a question like, “Hey, what’s the best broker to use,” then my team will handle that. But if it’s a more detailed question, if it’s a personal issue or a trading issue, then I have those reserved for me, and I take some time every day to answer those.
And that’s really part of how I feel that I am able to give back. So even if you’re not a member of one of our services or one of our courses or whatnot, if you do have something, please reach out to us. We’ll do our best to help you out as much as we can. That’s getting us to our goal of helping 10,000 individual investors achieve financial freedom. So if we can do that without you giving us any money, then that’s fine too. As long as it gets you to where you want to go and makes the world a better place, I guess.
And so today’s podcast, I had a lesson that I wanted to impart upon you, and I’m going to cover that. But we got an email recently that was very lengthy, and it was confusing. It had me scratching my head for a little bit. It was a aggravating. It was really annoying in a way. I don’t know. I mean, it gave me so many different emotions as I was reading his email that it totally confused the heck out of me. But when I went through it a couple of times, I read it two, three times, and I realized that the person that wrote this email really, really needs the lesson that I’m about to impart.
And so I thought that he would be really awesome if I could share with you just a few lines from this email. It was very lengthy. I’m not going to read the whole thing but just a few lines to get you into the framework to understand what that guy was thinking and what that guy was feeling when he wrote this. I did respond to him, and I gave him suggestions on what he can do because that’s what he was looking for. But in this podcast, I want to go through that lesson to see how it applies to this.
Okay. So now I get this email. We get emails every day, but I got this one email, and it was very lengthy, and I was like, “Okay, this is going to be a good one,” because he wrote, it was several paragraphs. And I’m going to read some of the things that he wrote. He started off by saying that, with pleasantries, “Hey, how are you doing? I’ve been following you,” blah, blah blah. And then he goes on, and I’m going to read some of the lines. So he starts out by saying that, “I’ve heard options are manipulated. This is not an easy market, and hedging positions is important.” Now this is one line of one paragraph. Okay, so I’m going to bounce around.
I’m not reading the whole thing. I’m just taking single, single points to get you to understand what I think is going through his mind. He wrote really long. So that was the first point that when I was reading through it, I was like, “Okay, I want you guys to hear this.” And then then he says that, “I think most traders fail because they are the Jack of all trades, and they switch from stocks to futures to options to currencies without developing the skills in one.” And at this point I’m like, “Okay, this guy, he’s preaching to the choir.” He knows what we’re talking about because we’re always talking about get that one strategy, and if you’re going to be jumping around, you’re not going to ever be good at anything. If they got, dive deep, gets good at something, be consistent, be profitable before you add something else. So I thought, this guy, he’s been listening. He gets it. He understands it.
So let’s keep going into the email. Then he says that, “I’m thinking about taking an options course.” I said, “All right. That’s cool.” He goes, “I belong to an alert service now, and I’m happy with it.” Okay, that’s awesome. And then he says that, “I have a full-time job, 60 hours a week, and I cannot dedicate to trade full time right now. But that’s my goal.” I say, “All right, man. You are like so many of our clients, of our members, and our customers. That that is the goal, right? Maybe you can trade a little bit. Maybe you can trade during lunch. We can show you how to do that.”
But that’s what his goal is, and I commend him for it. So then he says, “I understand where you are coming from with money spent on education. As I have spent,” this is him talking, “As I have spent $25,000 so far and not placed a single trade just yet. I am preparing to set up an LLC as I am at the point where I will start swing trading stocks soon.” Now at this point, I was getting confused. I say, “Well, wait a minute. Well, hold on a second here. You work 60 hours a week. You don’t have time to trade full-time or even really, 60 hours a week. You have a alert service that you’re paying for every month, but you have not done a single trade ever. You’ve already spent $25,000 on education, but you have not done a single trade. You’re paying for a service that gives you trades, and you’re happy with it. How can you be happy with it if you’re not making any money from it? I don’t understand.”
I’m confused at this point. I’m very confused. And then he goes further. He goes, “I am preparing to set up an LLC.” You’re preparing to spend money to set a corporation to trade in, but you have never traded a single share before. How do you even know it’s going to work? Why are you going through all this extra hassle and wasting time? And then he says, “I’m at the point where I will start swing trading stock soon.” Okay, you going to swing trade. All right, good. You made a decision. You’re going to do something, awesome, great. I commend you for that, but then why are you telling me in the previous paragraph that you were thinking about taking an options course and that you belonged to an options trading service? This makes no sense to me. I don’t understand. Help me. Please somebody explain what’s going on here.
Then he continues. He’s going on. He goes, “Two of my mentors day trade futures and swing trade stops.” Okay. The next line, the very next sentence it says, “I would love to be coached and mentor to learn options.” Again I’m like, “Wait a minute. Whoa. You have two mentors that do futures and swing trading stocks. They’re two different things, right? Kind of similar but still two different things, and now you want a coach to trade options. You want to be mentored in trading options.” Okay, I mean, coach, you want to get a coach. Coaching is not cheap, right? To have a tab, somebody actually work with you one on one as a coach, as a mentor, that’s not cheap. But you want to spend the money do that even though you’ve never done a trade yet.
And then he continues. He goes, “I will be in webinars all day Thursday as I am attending the something something summit.” Okay. It’s just pitch, okay? It’s people pitching product after product after product after product. So a guy comes on, tells you how good his trading is and that you should buy his product. Next comes on and talks about how good his trading is, and you should buy his course. Next guy comes in and says, “Oh, I’m making tons of money. You should buy my course.” That’s what a summit is. You get guru after guru after guru coming on, giving you really no information and then just pitching product after product after product.
So he’s going to be spending all day, all day Thursday, listening to these gurus pitch their products while he works 60 hours a week, right? So he’s working 60 hours a week. I guess he took the day off for this. I don’t know. And then he says that, “I’ve attended the summit two years,” so he’s gone to this thing for the past two years. This will be year number three. Supposedly he’s getting something out of it because he’s spending all this time on it. But again, then he’s never placed a single trade.
I have no clue what’s going on. Then the next line, it goes, “I enjoyed your presentation last week. It will probably take me four months perfecting your strategy.” He enjoyed the presentation that we did. We did a training, and he was on. That’s why he was writing in because he wanted to talk to me. So then he goes on and says, “This is my phone number. Please call me. I’m available after dinner time. Please call me at night after dinner time.” And it’s, okay, well, first of all, dude, I don’t know what to say to you, right?
There’s so many different things in your email. You start off by saying, you think our options are manipulated, and it’s not an easy market to trade. Okay. And then the bottom, you’re telling me that you can probably, it’s going to take you only four months to perfect the strategy that I was talking about. So the strategy that I showed on the training, which is already not perfected. Nothing is perfect, but I showed the way I trade, my particular strategy, and he wants to take four months to perfect it, meaning I guess improve it or make it better than what I’m doing. But then here’s a guy who has never done a trade before in his life, and he thinks he can perfect something that I’ve been doing for the last several years.
So that’s where I was. That ticked me off to be honest. But do you see? I mean, I don’t know. Maybe you can see yourself in this, where this guy is completely, completely bonkers. He’s confused, and I don’t blame him. His heart is in the right place. His brain may be not be in the right place, but he has his goal set that he wants to retire, and he’s working hard. I mean, I got to give him credit for that. It’s not easy working 60 hours a week and trying to learn how to trade and make yourself better.
But what I do fault is, how do you spend money month after month on something? How do you spend $25,000 without even trying a trade? And okay, fine, maybe you got suckered into it. Maybe somebody did such a great sales pitch that you just got suckered into some product. Okay, I get that. It’s happened to all of us. You go to a seminar or whatnot, and you think it’s going to be great, free information, and at the end it’s like, “Okay, here, sign up for $5,000 program.” Okay, we do it because they make you such an awesome, amazing offer that you think you can’t fail. But then we learn, oh, that it’s not the truth, but okay, even, oh, that’s fine too. You spend $25,000. Okay, fine.
But the fact that bothers me is that he’s still spending time going to sales pitches. Why are you spending time going to sales pitches when you have all this training or whatever that you already have that you’re not using. Number one, you’re not using any of it. You haven’t done a single trade. And then you’re going to the next step of making a corporation to trade in. I mean that is, if you are already a professional trader, if you are already making a very, very good amount of money, then you should go and look at and say, “Yeah, what, I’m going to start open a company,” and we’ve talked about that in a previous podcast.
So if that’s something where you’re at, then you can listen to that podcast. But if you have never done a trade before, you don’t need to worry about anything about setting up a company to trade in. You need to worry about A, putting a trade on, and B, not screwing it up because you’re going to screw it up, especially in the beginning and to tell me that it’s going to take you four months to perfect something that I’m already doing every day, where are you coming from? You have all this confidence. You’ve never done a damn thing yet. Jeez.
So, I mean, hopefully you’re not in this situation where if you are, then it’s very simple how to get out of this situation. Number one, stop wasting your time going to pitches, okay? Stop reading emails where all they do is try to get you to buy something else. If you have to, unsubscribe from that list, okay? Because a lot of these companies, that teach you how to trade, right, that’s all they do. They sell you a very cheap product. Maybe it’s seven bucks or 20 bucks or 50 bucks or 100 bucks or whatever. And then every day you get bombarded with emails about how you should buy one of their other products, and they have 10,000 other products, and they’re all great, and they’re all making millions of dollars, and they’re all, you could triple your money in two weeks in all of them. But it’s all BS, right?
So get off of these email lists. Get off all of that. Pick one thing, right? Pick one thing that you can do, that you want to do it. This guy tells me he wants to do swing trading. Okay, fine. Go do swing trading. Get away from options. Get away from futures. Get away from currencies. If you want to swing trade stocks, go swing trade stocks, right? Why are you on a options trading training? Why are you going to this summit? All of them are not talking about swing trading. They’re going to be talking about all kinds of stuff, and then you’re going to get sidetracked again, right? When you are learning, when you are trying to do something new, when you are trying to improve your situation, the tendency that we all have is to learn everything we can about it. Okay.
And this is the lesson part. When we learn, and for some reason, we look at trading because we don’t know any better when we’re starting out. We look at trading as trading, one big umbrella. So stocks, buy and hold, is the same thing as swing trading is the same thing as futures as currencies as options, cryptocurrencies even. All these things get lumped in together in our brain as trading. Say if your goal is, “I want to become a trader,” or “I want to make 5,000 bucks a month from trading,” right? That’s your goal. We think that if we read a book on stock options, we’re getting to our goal. If we read a book on swing trading, we’re getting to our goal. If we’re taking a course on technical analysis, we’re getting closer to our goal. If we’re learning about buying a course on futures, we’re getting to our goal. The truth is we’re not because each of those is a separate path. Each of those is a separate road that is taking you further and further away from your goal. Basically, you’re just going around in circles. Does that make sense?
I’ve said this before many, many times. We need to pick one strategy even when it comes to passive trading. There’s dozens of strategies that you can use to sell options, but we don’t focus on dozens of strategies. If you’re starting out, you focus on one. You get good at that, and you study that, and you practice that, and then when you’re consistent and profitable, then you add strategy number two if you need to. And then maybe you go to strategy number three. You really don’t need more than three strategies to be honest. You can make a very, very, very nice living and trade really well and have a awesome, amazing return every year with just two strategies.
And then there are those people that I know that do amazingly well, trade for a living, with just one strategy, just one. That’s all they do. They master it. They pick one. They go at it, and they master it. That’s all they do. So if you want to succeed at this, that is the path. The path is not to open a company before you ever done a trade. The path is not to spend $25,000 and never do a trade. The path is not to have an advisory service give you trades, and you never do them. The path is not to say, “Oh, I have mentors and this and this, but now I’m going to go learn something totally different.” No, those are not the path. Those are distractions. Those are side, whatever they’re called. They are not taking you to your goal. You want to get to your goal? You need to simplify it. You need to make it cut down as much as possible. Get rid of all the noise, and then you focus on step by step.
Okay, this is very important. You pick a strategy. You learn about that strategy, and then you implement it. You go out. You get a paper trading account, and you go out and you get a backtesting software. You go out, and you just do the trade. You don’t even have to know everything about the trade. You don’t have to know everything about how it works. You don’t have to know every single adjustment. You don’t have to know anything really except how to put on the trade and a basic idea of how the trade works. Once you have that, you go, and you put on a trade. Make it a very small trade if you’re losing real money, okay? If you’re using paper money, go and do it. That’s what you should be doing. But if you’re using real money, you go out, and you put it in a very small trade, so that if it does lose money, it’s not the end of the world, okay?
And then you see how the trade reacts. And then you get to another point in your progression, and then you’ll get stuck. You’ll say, “Oh, okay. I put the trade on. Now what do I do?” Okay, well then you learn, and you go investigate. And you say, “What do I do now? Oh, I just have to wait. Well, okay, all right. I’m going to wait. All right. Oh, hey, my trade’s making money. What do I do now?” Okay, well now you can go, and you can learn the next step. You can learn the step of what do I do when my trade is making money, right? And then you have different options. “Do I let it expire? Do I get out at a certain percentage point, or do I have a stop loss? What do I do?” Right? And then, “Oh, what about if my trade is losing money? What do I do now? Oh, my God.”
Okay, well at that point you learn what to do about that. You say, “Okay, I need to adjust my trade. All right. How do I do that?” Well, go find an adjustment and see how it works, and if that does not work, then you go, and you find a second adjustment. You don’t need to learn 20 different adjustment strategies before you even put on a trade, okay? What I’m saying here is to take it step by step. One thing, learn about it, learn about that step, then go to the next step, and then learn about that step, and then go to the next step and learn about that step.
This will get you to your goals so much amazingly faster than all of the other people who just sit around and just get educated, get educated, get educated, get educated, and never take a single action, okay? If you want to get ahead, if you are an action taker, if you want to make this work, you have to put on the trade. That’s the biggest hurdle. I don’t know why people think that just, I’m just going to learn about it and learn about it and learn about it and learn about it and learn about it, and I’m actually doing something. You’re not. You’re wasting your time. If all you’re doing is learning, you’re wasting your time if you are not implementing what you’re told to do.
So for example, this guy, if he wants to do swing trading, get out there and put on a freaking trade, okay? If the trade does well, then you figure out, what do I do now? If the trade does badly, it starts losing money, then you figure out, what do I do now? Okay? While you are learning, this is the fastest, fastest, fastest way to succeed in anything, right?
I mean, if you are trying to bake a cake, you don’t need to know all the nutritional properties of every single ingredient. You don’t. You need to know step by step what do I do. Okay, you take the onions. Oh no, not onions. You’re trying to bake a cake. You take the flour. All right. What do I do with flour? Okay, go on Youtube. Find a video on how to, whatever they do. They knead flour I think, so here, knead the flour into dough. I guess, I don’t know. I mean, I’ve never baked a cake before. I’m sorry. I don’t know what the steps are, but you take something, and you do something with the flour, okay? Okay, now I’m done with the flour. Now what do I do? Okay, I think you got to bake the flour or something, so, okay, how do I do that?
Learn how to bake it, put it in the oven, put it on certain degree. Okay, fine. I’m done with that. Now what do I do? Okay, now I got to put the icing on it. How do I do that? Okay. Find out how you do the icing. Okay. You go, and you make the icing, or you go, and you buy the icing. Okay. Now I’m going to decorate the cake. Okay, cool, step by step by step. If you sit there and you go, and you read a book about how to bake a cake, right? You just spent, I don’t know how many days in reading a book about how to make a cake, but you still don’t have a cake. If you do it the way I just told you earlier, hey, you might have the worst cake ever, but guess what? You are now a baker. You baked a cake, okay?
So now you take and you say, “Hey, I baked a cake,” and somebody’s going to come and say, “Well, you baked a horrible cake.” “Well, yeah, I know, but I baked a cake, right? So that’s good. I have one cake under my belt.” And then if that other person knows how to bake a cake, they’ll help you. They’ll point at, “Okay, you did this wrong. You did this wrong,” and then you can go, and you can fix it. But you are not afraid anymore. You’re not afraid of baking a cake. And when it comes to trading, you’re not afraid of putting on a trade. I mean, maybe that submit button, you put in the order, but that submit button, maybe that’s the scariest thing in the world right now because you’re afraid of losing money. The only way to get over that fear is to hit the button, to actually do it.
And if that’s the case, then find the trade that has the least risk, that has the least amount of money, that even if it goes horribly wrong, and you lose 100%, it’s not going to kill you because that experience that you get from doing that is going to be immeasurable. That confidence that you get, that “Yes, I did it. I finally did it. I finally put on the trade,” immeasurable. So depending wherever you are, whatever path on the option continuum you are, maybe if you’re option level two, five, six, whatever, doesn’t matter where you are on your phase of learning options, forget all the noise.
Do it step by step. Do take an action and then figure out, “Okay, now I’m at a roadblock. Now I need to know, what do I do at this point?” And then you figure that out and then you take the next step and then, “Okay, I’m at another roadblock.” Then you take the next step. Then you take the next step. And not only that, but when you ask for help, it is so much easier for somebody like me to be able to help you out, right? Because you’ve already done something, and you have a specific question. “Okay, I wanted to do a credit spread. I put on the credit spread. Now this is my situation. What do I do?”
Okay, that is so much easier to answer than this fellow’s email because he was all over the place. I don’t even know what he’s asking me. He’s swing trading, but then he’s starting his LLC, but then he can’t work, or he works too much, and then he’s going to all these different trainings. I mean, even if he takes my course, do you think he’s actually going to listen to anything I ever tell him, or is he just going to go to the next course next week, buy something else, and learn about that, and then go learn something else? I can’t help you if you don’t implement. Nobody can.
And if you’re so vague, and please don’t tell me to call you after dinner time, right? I mean, I have a life. I have kids, have family. I’m not going to call you after dinner time. If you want to sign up for our coaching, then you can sign up for coaching or one on one coaching. That’s fine, but it’s going to be done at a time that I can do it, right? So, I mean, I really appreciate it, this guy reaching out, and I tried to help him as best as I could, but there’s only so much you can do for people that are rudderless. You’re in the ocean. You don’t know what direction you’re going in, and you don’t know how to get there. But if you pick a direction, right, and then you want to learn something, the fastest way to do it is step by step.
Do not try to learn every single thing you can do without taking any action. Once you get a few trades under your belt, once you get a few successes under your belt and a few losses as well, then you will have a much better idea of, “Hey, what do I need to focus on? What do I need to learn? Where are my blocks?” And then you can go and totally jump in and master that one particular strategy. Don’t try to master all, every… Even when it comes to options trading, there is nobody that is an options master, that knows everything about options, that knows about every single strategy and is consistently profitable with every single strategy because it’s all very difficult, very complicated to learn everything.
That’s why you need to niche down. You need to keep it as simple as possible. Learn step by step because you are not a guru. You are not a trainer or a trader or a mentor to a million other people, right? You are responsible for your own trading account, and in that sense, all you have to do is make more money, have more money at the end of this month than last month. As long as your account balance is growing, you’re in a good spot. And that’s the goal. More money at the end of every month, profitable trading, consistently, consistently profitable. That’s all you have to worry about.
Some people telling me that, “Oh yeah, I want to learn the most complicated strategies.” You don’t need to. It’s not about showing off, right? If you make money every month with the most basic strategy, the bank doesn’t care, right? Nobody else cares. Your wife is not going to think any lower of you because you did it, you’re making money with covered calls instead of ratio spreads or box spreads. Nobody knows. Nobody cares. As long as you have a profitable trading account, that’s all that matters.
Your broker doesn’t care even. Your broker knows what you’re doing in your account, but they don’t even care, right? As long as you are consistently profitable, you are a good account for them. You’re doing more trades. You’re making them more money. You’re going to stick around. That’s the kind of person that they want. They don’t want somebody who’s going to open account and trade and blow up and leave in a couple of months. They want the trader that’s going to be there for a long, long time to give him commissions month after month after month. Those are the types of people that they like to have accounts, and those are the type of people I like to work with that can focus on one thing, learn, grow, grow, grow, and then add other things as well.
That’s what makes it fun. When you’re making money, it’s fun. When you’re just learning, you have that false sense of I’m actually doing something. I’m actually moving forward. I’m learning, so that when I do finally started to trade, all this knowledge is going to just rush out and make me profitable. Like he says at the bottom, it’s going to take him four months to be profitable. No, I don’t think so. Not with all the other stuff that he shared. I mean, I don’t even know if he has a trading account set up yet.
So, take it small, step by step. That’s the lesson for this podcast, okay? Step by step, take it small. Don’t need to immerse yourself in all the noise. Don’t need to learn everything. Implement, please put on a trade, and then see where it goes. And then when you get stuck then research what you need to do next and then implement more. And then you get stuck, and then you research more, and then you learn a little bit more, then you learn a little bit more, then you learn little bit more. The trade is over, and then you’re either successful or not, but you’ve had done a trade. You’re experienced, right?
And then we have to add more and more and more experience. Do more and more and more trades, so that you learn more and more, and you learn faster. The more trades you put on, the faster you’re going to learn because the more things that could happen. And the more you’ll have to figure out, “Okay, what do I do next?” So that is what I wanted to impart with you today. Take it to consideration, right? And put something on please. I know it feels good to learn stuff. I know it feels good to listen to even podcasts, right? I know you’re listening to this, but this is all a waste of time if you cannot go and put on a trade. If you don’t that, then there’s no reason for this, okay?
So please pick a strategy that you like. Put on a trade. If it’s on paper, fine, great, I don’t care. That’s even better because you’re not losing anything. Just put the dang thing on. See how it does, and then see where the roadblocks are. Learn the next step and move forward and then move forward and continuously moving, moving, moving forward. Because then when you’re actually doing stuff, and you listen to podcasts, or you get more education, or you read a book, or you take a course or whatever, then you will be able to take that and apply it to what you’re already doing, and it’ll ROI immediately. Does that make sense? I hope it does. Remember, trade with the odds in your favor.