How did you get into trading?
Seeking Inner Trading Space
Daytrading With Toni Turner
by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan
Toni Turner is the best-selling author of A Beginner's Guide To Day Trading Online and A Beginner's Guide To Short-Term Trading. An investor/trader with 14 years' experience, she is a popular educator and speaker at financial conferences across the country.
Turner has appeared on NBC, MSNBC, CNN, CNNFN, and CNBC's "Power Lunch." She has also been interviewed on dozens of radio programs and featured in CBS MarketWatch.com, Fortune magazine, and Bloomberg Personal Finance. Currently, she is writing the third book, to be published by St. Martin's Press in the spring of 2005. STOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan spoke with Toni Turner on May 4, 2004.
"You need to internalize the market, and if you can't feel it, then you need to back off. If you're sick or had a fight, don't trade."
I started out as an investor back in early 1991 -- I wasn't trading back then. I really got intrigued once I found the stock market. I jumped into the market, I was so excited. I knew this was where I wanted to be. I wanted to find out more!
Then by about 1996, I had a commodities account, and I was invited to visit the floor of the Chicago Board of Trading (CBOT). When I saw all the traders, I was absolutely intoxicated! I turned around and said, "This is what I want to do!"
What was the next step?
I started watching a little stock called Lucent. I noticed that it was going up three or four points a day. I called my broker and said: "Here's a cool idea. Let's buy a couple of thousand shares of Lucent in the morning, and sell it before the market closes. We'll have that money, and the risk will be less, because I won't be holding it overnight."
So that's when you started trading?
I didn't know I was trading. My broker tried to dissuade me, but we started doing it, and of course I was paying full brokerage commissions, but I didn't care. I just dove headfirst into daytrading. Of course, since then, I got my lumps. I had a lot of rocky and volatile times. Back then, we didn't have the trading schools we have now. I had to learn everything the hard way. It was a very expensive learning process!What kept you going in spite of all the difficulties you encountered?
Well, I come from a long line of stubborn people. I also have a high-risk nature that I actually have to put a lid on most of the time -- it can be a help, but it can also be a hindrance. But I just kept going. Every time I got knocked down, I stood back up and started swinging again.Well, that's good, because a lot of people can't say that. A lot of people get hit so hard they give up.
I understand that. And maybe I should have quit -- my friends said I had more guts than brains. And I'd say, "Yeah, but I'm going back for more!"
Do you think the reason most people don't continue to trade is that they get discouraged from the losses?
...Continued in the July 2004 issue of Technical Analysis of STOCKS & COMMODITIES
Absolutely. Much of it depends on the stock market action itself. When the stock market is doing well and is in an uptrend -- as when it started up a year ago in March 2003, when it started that really sweet uptrend -- then trading is relatively easy and people do well. When markets get rocky, it takes a lot of people out. Across the board, I think they go into trading with glorious ideas and not enough money. They say -- and I was guilty of this, so I understand it -- "Well, Toni, I've got $50,000, and I'm going to make $500 a day," and they probably haven't made four trades in their lives, but that's their business plan.
Excerpted from an article originally published in the July 2004 issue of Technical Analysis of STOCKS & COMMODITIES magazine. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2004, Technical Analysis, Inc.