Robert Joiner On Managing Your Trades by J. Gopalakrishnan & B. Faber
Robert Joiner has been trading for a few years now, after discovering a little ebook that introduced him to another way to trading beyond the buy & hold method. In his first year of trading he lost a lot of money. After testing numerous trading strategies, he decided to developed his own. His discoveries led him to write several books and develop two video courses. Joiner started his website, http://www.start-day-trading.com, in late 2008 as a way to provide free training to people who are learning how to trade. Joiner developed strategies for trading a variety of time frames. Through Wealthpire, he leads Morning Hours Trading (a chatroom for daytraders) and Ichimoku Swing Trading (a swing trading alert service).
Stocks & Commodities Editor Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan and Staff Writer Bruce Faber interview Joiner on June 3, 2011.
Bob, tell us how you got interested in trading.
Basically, I am an entrepreneur at heart. I have spent most of my life looking for ways to make money that did not involve being someone else’s employee. I looked at stocks off and on through the years, but never got into it. The only thing I knew about stocks was sticking some money into a 401k, and I did not even manage that very much.
But I knew zilch about technical analysis. Then I did a search one day and found a little ebook on stock trading. The guy was offering free coaching along with the book, which was just crazy for the price he was selling it for, and I told him that. The guy was trying to introduce me to technical analysis, and I did not get it. It was completely over my head because I had never done anything like that before.
But I kept studying. I kept looking at the charts and doing my own technical analysis. I looked at patterns, read books, and studied online articles. But at the same time I started trading with real money. I made some good trades. And I made some terrible trades because I still did not know what I was doing. I was teaching myself by the seat of the pants because I did not have a real mentor. The guy I had bought the ebook from had tried to teach me, but I just didn’t get it. I learned, more than anything else, just by studying my own trades. I just went back and looked at my own trades over and over again, asking myself questions like, “What technical indicator made sense of this trade here?” I looked at the ones that worked, and tried to see why they did.
I did a lot of trades. Although I lost a lot of money, I learned a lot in the process too. It was in that first year I finally found this one trade that was a gap-down trade, and I played it and made about a 3% profit on a daytrade. Then I went back in my usual analysis of trades and asked myself, “Why did this trade work?” I didn’t even know what a gap-down stock was!
But I analyzed the trade and started putting together some indicators that helped me see how that pattern repeated itself in the market, which is what I had been looking for. I was looking for patterns that did that and had a high probability of doing the same thing over and over again. That is how I got started on gap stocks.
After that discovery, trading the gaps became my focus for the next year. I ended up writing a book, GapDown Profits, and that book was 90% rewritten with new insights and is now only available to annual subscribers of my chatroom.
What inspired you to write it?
I just wanted to put down stuff about gaps because I felt I had learned so much, and I did not find that much literature about trading the gaps, and nothing at all like the detailed analysis that I was doing. Manny Backus, who’s the CEO of Wealthpire, found my book, which was self-published online about gapdown profits, and he was intrigued by it. We started emailing and after about a year, we decided to start a chatroom about the gaps. I am the leader of Morning Hours Trading, which is a daytrading chatroom that is open each trading day. I’m there until about 12:30 each day. It’s been going for over two years now and has evolved into just a great group of traders.
You said you lost money in your first year of trading. What made you stick with it despite that loss?
Trading attracts a certain type of person. Often, it’s an entrepreneurial type. It’s a person who wants to be independent, and a person who is very determined. I think determination is part of it, but, as I tell my group, “You can be a determined loser.” You can be mule-headed about the whole thing and keep hitting your head on the wall and lose your shirt in trading. Determination alone is not enough. What kept me in the game was partly determination, but also getting those few good trades.
Those good trades, where you are making decent money and you feel a rhythm to the market and your trades and you are making money, is what encourages you and makes you realize it is possible. It gives you hope. As a new trader, if every trade you did was bad, you would not last long moneywise, but you would certainly not last long in terms of emotional wherewithal and your determination.
In addition to making those few good trades and being determined, it was my analysis and reviewing the trades that made things click. Everything started to make sense to me, and that is what helped keep me in the game. But yeah, my first year was terrible, as it is for most new traders who don’t have any kind of mentoring process or a chatroom or something like that in place.