Your Questions About Successful Trading

Lizzie asks…

What would be the best online brokerage for a business student with no prior trading experience?

I’m looking at E*Trade, TD Ameritrade and Scottrade. I have an idea of the transaction fees and minimum balances required, but I wanted some objective opinions, perhaps about any hidden fees, usability, the speed of transactions etc. Given my personal situation (18 years old, around $2000 to invest, not many trades per month (<20)) which would you recommend? I would especially value the opinions of people who have had first hand experience. Thanks in advance.

John answers:

I have a TD Ameritrade account and I’ve been very satisfied with the speed of the transactions and everything about the way my account is managed. Keep in mind that $2000 is a good start, but it really isn’t that much. As a result, your commissions are going to eat up a pretty substantial amount if you actively trade.

Since it sounds like you’re going to be a novice trader, I have one bit of advice. Whenever someone claims to actively trade and makes a lot of money doing it, just assume that they’re lying unless they show you their brokerage statements as proof. I’ve met a lot of people who claim that they are successful at “day trading”, but the fact is that an overwhelming majority of day traders lose more than they win. Think about this – most mutual fund managers have prestigious MBAs and large teams of people doing research for them. However, most mutual fund managers can’t beat the results of the S&P indices. (See the link below) If that’s the case, how many daytraders (who are usually inexperienced and don’t have a staff of researchers) do you think can actually beat the market? And how many can beat it by a substantial amount? The answer – almost none of them. Nearly every person who claims to be a day trader making excellent returns is either looking only at a short-term window, or they’re lying. It’s usually the latter.

Richard asks…

What % is a reasonable charge for trading stocks for other people?

I’ve been trading stocks for myself quite successfully for past 8-10 month, and now my friends see that and they want to get in on that. I obviously don’t want to do it with no benefit to me, 2 of my friends want to put in 60 000 together, what would be a reasonable charge, in % or what not/.
well as far as anybody will be concerned it will be just my “2nd” account, if you know what i mean

John answers:

First, You NEED to go to your state’s web page and look up the requirements for Registered Investment Advisor. You may need to register with the state. You may be able to stay below the minimum number of “clients” so you won’t have to register. But check it out… If you don’t take this precaution you may very well be breaking the law the moment you begin to advise others on investing.
Second, really consider if you want to do this for your friends. I have been in the business 20 years and by and large make it a habit not to manage money for “friends” unless things are very clearly spelled out. You run the very real risk of these people suddenly not being your friends when you hit your (inevitable… I don’t care how good you may be) really ugly downturn in account values.
Lastly, and I say this with all humility because I once sat where you do 20 years ago, you also seriously need to consider if 8-10 months of “quite successful” trading qualifies you to dispense investment advice for others. Granted, it’s not rocket science, but there is definitely nuance that comes in to play when you are dealing with other people’s money. Besides that, you are opening yourself up to huge liabilities. Remember: losses bring out the worst in people; things you would never expect or can’t even anticipate with your current perspective.
Good luck to you and continued successful trading!
Ps- why not investigate a career in the financial services or investment management business and go about it more directly?

Chris asks…

What is a good option trading recommendations website?

I’m looking for some good option trading strategies; trying to make some money in the stock market with options.

John answers:

I’ve subscribed to a few of them…the one I like best is They give out Call buying and Put buying recommendations, and so far, they’ve been very successful since I joined. They also trade other strategies like covered calls, etc.

Laura asks…

How to make marketing appointments and make successful sales to the big companies ?

I works in printing company. people denies to meet and i have to wait for a long time to meet them.please tell me the ways for successful marketing and get appointments?

John answers:

You can actually join trade shows. Events like this one attracts hundreds of prospective clients. Your job is to make sure you’re booth looks welcoming and interesting.

Sharon asks…

How to be an Successful Entrepreneur as an Engineer? & is investing money is compulsory to be an entrepreneur?

The thing is very bewildering.I want to take Engineering as my major field.but regarding to my position I want to be an successful entrepreneur.But I think that only MBA’s can lead to be a entrepreneur.So is it possible to be Successful entrepreneur by taking an engineer education?

And em not financially so strong.But em technical and intelligent.So is it possible to be an entrepreneur without investing money?

John answers:

You are on the right track with engineering. There are many different businesses which that education can be applied to.

As far as having to have an MBA to be a business owner…. No. Many people have done it with as little as a high school education. However, most of them have some talent or know a trade very well and also may be a risk taker.

As far as money… Nearly any business will require start up capital. Some much more than others. For instance, to open a “brick and mortar” storefront with inventory is much more expensive than starting a business from home. You may look at service contracting as an option. This website has a pretty good intro to Federal Contracting:

Good luck!

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