Feel like a complete idiot!


I've been reading this site avidly for the past month or so and it has taken me all this time to pluck up courage to post this. Sorry to be daft but I've read through the First Steps and I'm not keeping up. I usually pick things up quickly but trading has the better of me at the moment!

I have, over the past year, had a good think about what I want to do. I have settled around the idea of trading from home.

I am in the fortunate position where I do not have to expect a full time wage and am lucky to have the time to study.I have not got a great deal of starting capital. I wanted to start around £1-2k and when I felt confident, introduce more.

My first drawback is I cannot find a place to start. Or should I say, I thinks I've already started at the wrong place. I have bought a programme from Microcorporation - Star Trader which states I can earn £30k in 12 months with a £1k start. I don't thinks this is true but I can see some value in the programme but I feel I need more understanding than just relying on the alerts produced by the software. I am also baffled by the 'jargon' and have trouble understanding any sites I find because of this.

Could you suggest any additional information you thinks could be valuable to me. I would feel most comfortable staying with the EOD trading. The day trading thing would stress me out at this stage. :confused:
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Hi Ros,

Bad debts with customers like Honda and BMW, what is the world coming to ? I have also worked as Operations Director for a supplier to the Automotive industry so I know what it is like. I would read and read again the Basics of Trading thread. This is excellent as it goes through all of the things that are important to becoming a trader. On another point I wouldnt believe any claims made by companies offering you black box systems to earning £30K a year. I am sure many other contributors to this board will back that up. I have also learned through costly experience that most of what is offered to be a successful trader comes from those who either do not trade or dont know how to trade. Be very cautious and read as much on this site as you can as it is full of great people with an enthusiasm for trading as well as wanting to help each other.

Also I would never feel ashamed of asking something you are unsure of as that is why we are all here. You can be sure that someone will know the answer and will only be too willing to help

Good Luck

Hi Ros,

You've asked a perfectly reasonable question so no need to feel silly. :) We all start somewhere and this board is a great place to start.

Trading is in general quite a stressful experience. The best way to reduce stress is to 1) only trade with money you can DEFINATELY afford to lose, and 2) trade in such small amounts that even if you lose you wont care.

The problem with Black Box systems (the name we give to the type of system you have bought that just produces a buy or sell recommendation) is that 1) you don't learn anything about trading, 2) no system works in all markets and for all time - all systems need 'tweeking' on a regular basis, and 3) if it goes wrong a few times you will stop trusting it and wont use it to trade any more.

To learn to trade I would suggest you start with lots of reading. This board is a good start, especially this thread http://www.trade2win.co.uk/boards/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4629 by FTSE Beater. There are also lots of links to other sites. Your complaint about trading jargon has been made before and I think that this is being addressed (anyone?). You also need to buy a few good books - I would suggest Market Wizards by Jack D. Schwager, Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets by John J. Murphy and Trading for a Living by Dr Alexander Elder. (unfortunately these don't come cheap). I'm sure other people have their own favourites as well.

When it comes to choosing a system just remember that most systems can be modified to different timescales. So when you say you only want to trade an end of day system, there is no reason why you can't take a system that is usually used for 15 minute intervals and just trade it on daily intervals instead. Of course this depends on the system.

Before buying any other systems or going on any courses just ask on this board whether anyone else has bought it or has been on the course. There is generally a bias against training courses and bought systems from the 'school of hard knocks' brigade but you do have to be careful you don't get ripped off. If someone has been on the course/bought the system they can at least give you some background.

I would suggest a good system/place to learn is also http://www.signalwatch.com/signalwatch/markets/markets_dow.asp. They give (free) daily signals on the Dow and also show you their charts and how they work out where they think you should buy/sell.

Hope that helps to get you started.
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I feel empathy when you tell us you are ashame of posting this first post, please don't be, my self i am also a begginer and not long time ago I ask ftse beater to start a new begginners board, which he very kindly accepted and is excellent, it's a good point of start, in my case I started with 1k but at the moment, I am starting to plan maybe for in 18 months save enough and win ( hopefully) to start trading more serious, an and something I've learn is plan, plan and plan again, and always start by the end, whats your target, how much you want to risk/win...I never been a good reader, but since I started getting more interested in the trading world, I eat books( almost?!!) , no, but i've been reading a lot, not just because my profession is related to books, and I can get books cheaper( by the way I have a few to sell with discounts of up to 40%,just send a message and I send u a list!?) but because at first I realise I don't know nothing so the first resource is books followed by the net where we have lot's of good resources:

http://www.yahoo.co.uk/finance[/BURL] [URL]http://www.cbsmarketwatch.com

...these are just a few, and just read, learn and ask, and ask again, anyway , why to be shy, we even can not see you!!!
Anything please just ask : [email protected]

related to software, because all this packages cost a fortune and in my case I am still in the beggining and don't want to spend that money I use copy's which I get for a few £ in the net, which in the end do the job so well like the original...
Thanks to all who replied! :D

I will definately check out all your suggestions!

Thanks for the encouragement.

Like Ros I am new to this game.

So thanks to all you good folks out there who have given encouragement (and who may now regret ever offering their help !!) :D


If you haven't already checked out mmillar suggestion to look at FTSEBeater 'tutorial' do so. I did, got a bit phased, plucked up the courage to ask a few questions (the terminology was getting to me just like it has to you) and presto FB has explained a few terms, there's a glossary and a bunch of people out there willing to help.

The most encouraging thing about these traders seems to be that no-one is selfish and most are willing to share knowledge and experiences. Thats real nice ;)
but like I said Ross, be very careful... you wouldn't, for instance, want to spend too much time around someone called 'NastyItch'. lol
mmillar -

Thanks! cant quite get rid of that mental picture now!
(scraatch sraaaaaaaaaach!)

Hi Ros,

Another thing you might like to do is get to know one stock really well. Doesn't matter much which one, just a FTSE100 that you like. (BP is a good one for example as it most closely tracks the FTSE).

Then get to know it's characteristic moves, the support and resistance levels and how it reacts to news. Then you'll start to see trades appearing in front of your eyes :)

One very good US trader that I know suggests trading just one stock until you have doubled your money :) I'm not sure I'd have the patience for that though.

<quote>One very good US trader that I know suggests trading just one stock until you have doubled your money I'm not sure I'd have the patience for that though. </quote>

A weeks not that long is it?

...a good friend of mine who does not use any TA or any method of investment decisions trades on 10 stocks out of FTSE 30 only...he has never changed the stocks in last 10 years..he uses Ft only to keep track of changes and trades....He has been more sucessful than me...in sense that he has kept his capitol intact and has made money when there was opportunity...he goes long only and if there is no opportunity then he holds cash for next deal...He used to 'spit' at the mention of tech shares when it was in 'fashion'...and he has been very sucessful...

We meet regularly at local indian pub every saturdays when wives are shopping and we discuss next week over beers and it has been very rewarding for me....

Moral of the storey is that to be sucessful you do not need any research or TA..but ability to 'call shots' when time is right to buy or sell...however I say this with great respect for all those who post some very useful research materials for all newbies...that is always very welcome...

So Ros just paper trade and develop a strategy and if successful, stick to it...
The Murphy book recommended above is excellent, but not an easy read, and quite pricey. If I could just buy one book costing under £20 it would be "How Charts Can Help You in the Stockmarket" by William Jiler. £9.58 plus p&p from Amazon. An absolute gem that I return to again and again when I want to get back to remind myself of the basics - normally when I have had a losing streak caused by getting over-complicated.

Here is the on-line review from Amazon which says it all.

Reviewer: A reader from New York
This book is not only an excellent resource for beginner investors, but also a great review and tool for those more experienced. Originally written in the '60's, this book has stood the test of time due to its clarity and usefulness. The explanations are very easy to understand. The best part of this book are the many charts that clearly identify the patterns discussed. The system offers a "sell philosophy" as well, something that most other investment systems and news services do not (effectively) offer. Chapter's 8-11 get a little esoteric, and I recommend them only for those really into Chartology. But don't forget the end of the book, as some of the best material is in Chapters 12-17. His explanation of the 200-day moving average is beautiful. I've given this book to many people as a gift and I keep a copy of it for reference.
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Jiler...yes it is indeed a classic....of all books I have this one is the best and simple....

another one is Cohen's book on P & F charting technique...unfortunately it is out of print and if anyone knows where a copy is avilable I would be grateful for details...
I complete agree but don't get it from Amazon. Order it through the link - learning - book store from the menu at the top of the page.

1. I'tll be faster and probably cheaper.

2. T2W will get a very small contribution to the site running costs.

seems fair to me.
The ta society regard murphys book as the bible i found it was worth the money as it covered every corner, point & figure etc.
If you want secondhand books, then look no further than here http://www.abe.com - if its available (in or out of print) then you'll find it here.

Basically, the site is the global network of bookdealers and sellers. The service is superb, but you have to watch the costs of postage from US or Oz, for example.

I hope this helps.
star trader

have you used this software yet?
i have had a few long phone calls from the company selling it and they were promising 10k in year 1 and 30k in year 2 they are even doing a offer of half price software untill you have made 30k then you pay the rest

problem is they want £5800 + vat for it

is it any good?

Dont Risk Your Money

Hi Jim,

Just dont risk your money on this. You will find on this site and in particular the traders who have been interviewed generally agree that a black box system will not beat a good trader. The place to start learning that is on these boards. I have, in the past, purchased a few of these and none of them were any better than me using my own common sense. You would be better using the 5.8K in your account for practice purposes.

Good Luck

I have to agree with that. You are likely to learn a lot more using the 6.8K ( inc vat) to trade with! You'll come across every emotion under the sun :) Worst case, you'll lose 5K of it, but you would have learnt far more.......best case, you'll make some profit as well. :)
Star Trader Software

I would agree with the other comments.

If given the chance again I wouldn't purchase this package. I can see some value in it, saving you ploughing through loads of charts, but I have to say after having run it for approx a month, I have been a bit disheartened by the fact that it doesn't seem to signal anything worth buying. I expect this is because of the state of the current market.
Also once you purchase the package the people in London are very difficult to speak to. I have never encountered a company who have so many 'meetings'.
The helpdesk that you speak to in Australia is fine and do get back to you with answers but I don't think they know that much about trading, just about the software.
I think you could make a better choice when spending your money and this site would be a good place to start to find more information about that. The people here always seem to be very generous with their information.
I've come to the decision that unfortunately there is no easy or fast way to learn to trade. Its just a bit of hard graft really.
If you want to know anything else about Star Trader please ask!