So, how was it for you?

Well ,it sounded better that "reflections on my first year on the markets"!

It's quite amazing when I look back on my first year in the markets. To think that I had previously heard little about the Nasdaq, bulls and bears, and nothing about TA! This has been a tumultuous year indeed!

Its quite interesting why I wanted to invest. Yes, it was to make money - hopefully a lot of it - so that I don't have to work myself into an early grave. I'm young (28), so giving myself plenty of time to achieve this goal. However, my primary aim was intellectual fun! Before this I would diversify by playing Championship Manager - so this was similar, but with REAL money!

In financial terms, it has not been a good year. I chose a self select ISA as my vehicle, mainly so that I could avoid Capital Gains Tax (when I actually do make profit). I must also say that I am about 50% down - however, this has been a bad year and people far more experienced than myself have made considerable losses, if not quite as big. Indeed, I almost feel content that thats ALL I have lost in my first year in these trading conditions!

I also look for silver linings to all my clouds. If I had joined a year earlier, I am sure I would have joined in and made a big profit. owever, that was not work, nor was it skill. Just though your dosh at anything with "technology" or "net" in its name, and you would have a fat wallet of cash. However, I would have become lazy, probabl never even learning to work, or to do ones own research. I would have lost a lot more money in 2000-2001 than I have done. Similarly the learning I have done makes me better equiped for the future.

Its quie interesting to see how my strategies have changed. I started off back testing newspaper tips to seee which tipsters were th best - nothing more than random results. I then moved on to which recommendations from institutions carried most weight. When I look back, its scary, because as you all know, all they are interested in is either making a share dive to mop up huge quantities at dirt cheap levels, or to puff it up in order to sell their own stock ( accumulated at cheap levels) at highly inflated prices (after they have ramped it up!). How many investors out there have only these two strategies......

I always knew there was more, Which is why I started to luk around various BB's. I hoped to pick up gems of wisdom, tips from people "in the know" etc. How disappointing! Most of it considered of "fill your boots now....", "Sell X - it will halve by next week", "buy this penny share", of worse of all "p##s of - and other insults! No gems there then. It was only by luck that I found out that a board called CI existed after a message by someone called "Cookie" on another board!

i guess that is when things really altered - about Oct 2000. And at this point I really want to thank all the members that make this the only board worth coming to. I was genuinely gutted when CI closed, because that was the first place I really started to learn something. The creation of Sharkinvested, followed by trade2win have, however, been amazing. the work of Paul (Sharky), as well as the other members is think this was initially a temporary site! I think it goes without saying, that most(all) of us are happy to call this home. I also want to thank all the members for indulging my often inexperienced/ ignorant comments, and allowing me o learn from them.....

I can also look back on my mistakes ith candour, to learn from them. Indeed, sometimes the losses MAKE you think and learn, again something that would not have happened the year before. Yes, I made a loss, and yes, I made some bad decisions. Most were where I let my heart take over, not my head ( NOT good scientiic reasoning!) The biggest mistake is that of pre-empting a trend, when you can mainly only watch end of day. This was probably my biggest, buying early to catch the rise, when in fact things fell (Blame Greenspan? No, only myself!). the atitude to risk was to reckless, and I lost. the other is bad management, of putting to much into a share you hought would boune in order to regain didn't, and I just made a bigger loss instead!

So, the financial year is at an end, with manypainful losses. However, I have learnt lessons that I will never forget. And the future? Well, my strategy is becoming increasingly advanced. I have recently constructed a set of rules to become a purely mechanical trader. This is based mainly on isolating trends early, so reducing the downside involved. Backtesting it quite impressive - 111 profitable buys, 27 went sideways, and only 10 losses. I need to test going forwards, and will share these with you to learn, as well as share!

So, at the end of this financial year I am encouraged and hopeful for the next. Once again, thanks to all of you out there, and I hope you all have a profitable one.

Hope this was not too self indulgent,

Good luck Mark
Being able to realise and admit your mistakes is one of the most important lessons to successful trading.
All you need now is some of Uncles and Riz's dosh.
Mark, at least making mistakes trading shares wont affect your professional liablity premium. In fact, from the lessons learned, you will have better results during 2001/2002 and on and on for a good many years into the future, and am sure you will have a very prosperous retirement.

The learning curve that hits financially is one which is the great teacher, but from what I see from your posts you are, unlike so many who get wiped out, or at best, disillusioned and give up, you have learned from mistakes.

As Steve says, your honesty and candour is an example to be applauded.

Your patience and perseverence will be rewarded in time, and that golden nugget shall be your reward.

"Rome wasnt built in a day"

Best wishes

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Well done Mark, you choose to be open, others prefer to nurse the years losses in private. Take it from me, you are not alone this past year. The market has been cruel and unrelenting. Those who have tried to trade against the trend have surely lost. That's the most important rule in the book. You never ever trade against the trend, you lose in the end. Good example is Uberneck on another thread. Seemed to have traded against the trend for most of the year. YOU NEVER, EVER TRADE AGAINST THE TREND. The risks are massive, the market is indiscriminate and sooner or later you lose. No matter how good the TA looks, it means nothing when the next Profit Warning hits the wires and you get burn't in the morning. This must ring bells for many traders in this market. This message was not aimed at you Mark, I know you are well aware of these basic rules but listening to the talk on this BB, I belive there are still traders taking long trades. THE ODDS ARE AGAINST WINNING. Take care mate.

Hi Mark,

I read your post with pleasure...not becuase you've lost of course, but becuase you sound in the right track and I felt you've in fact been you're successful when you learn not necessarily when you win...winning without learning can be very dangerous and end up in losing it all..

Thanks also for being sincere and sharing your experience...I am sure we all learn something from any such posts...

It's been a hard year, but seeing all the regulars are still here one feels quite hopeful for the following one and I personally have no doubt that this year we're going to end up in profit most probably without exception this time...I feel we've all learnt a lot...the posts are getting wiser and wiser

Good luck

Reading your post Mark reminded me very much of my own situation. A friend and I decided over a few pints last February to get into the stockmarket 'to make our millions'. (yeah right) He lasted one month and got fed up with the whole thing once the tide turned in March. I'm still hanging in there albeit nursing a 27% loss as I recognised the long term potential of trading. And the amount of knowledge I have acquired (mostly from you guys on this BB - cheers!) is much more than I had evisaged and had it not been for my studies I would have an even greater knowledge and confidence. Now my friend is continually asking me what is happening in the markets in the hope of getting back in and making a quick buck. But what preparation and knowledge will he have when the tide does turn again - absolutely none. It is the ones who have stuck in there during the past year who will come out best even though we have lost substantial amounts. We have been taught lessons we will never forget and this will stand us in good stead in the years to come. One final thought STOP LOSS, STOP LOSS, STOP LOSS. My 27% loss would have been about 10% had I not ignored Uncle et al!