I was always fascinated by trading.
In fact, I started trading in High School.
It was 1989 – 32 years ago, and as you might know, I grew up in Germany.
Back then, there weren’t any online brokerages.
If you wanted to buy a stock, you had to do it through a bank.
So I went to Deutsche Bank, ready to open a trading account with ALL of my disposable income: 50 Deutschmark. That’s the equivalent of $50.
And here’s how I selected a stock:
I asked my banker: “What stock can I buy for 50 Deutschmark?”
Great way to select a stock, isn’t it? :-p
Anyhow, so I bought ONE share of VW – Volkswagen.
Here it is:
And I was the proud owner of ONE share!
I was excited.
The next day I went to school, and during the first recess break, I ran to a payphone.
Keep in mind that it was 1989, and we didn’t have cell phones or online quotes.
Anyhow, so I ran to the pay phone, inserted 20 cents, called my banker, and asked “How’s my stock doing?”
He said: “It’s now trading at 50 Deutschmark and 20 cents.”
Wow, how exciting! I was making money!
So during the second recess break, I ran again to a payphone, inserted my 20 cents, called my banker, and asked: “How are we doing?”
He said we’re now up 35 cents! Awesome!
As soon as I got home from school, I went to our phone at home. It was a rotary phone – remember these things?
I called the banker again and asked: “So , how did we do today?”
He said that my stock closed at 50 Deutschmark and 50 cents – I am making money!
The next day, I did the same thing:
I called my banker during the first recess break, the second recess break, and as soon as I got home.
On the third day and my 7th call to the banker, he said: “Markus, out of curiosity: How much money do you want to make with this trade?”
I thought about it for a minute, and then I said: “I would like to make 10 Deutschmark on this trade.”
Because based on the stock price of 50 Deutschmark, that would be 20%” – so yes, “I would like to make 10 Deutschmark.”
He said: “Done deal! Come to my office tomorrow and I’ll give you the 10 Deutschmark – but stop calling me!”
So that was my first trade, and it was a profitable trade! :-))
But I realized that THIS was not a sustainable trading strategy. I also realized that my account was heavily underfunded.
So I did what my parents told me all along: go to college and get a “real” job – and that’s what happened: I went to college and started working for IBM.
It’s quite a story how I went from working 80 hours/week at IBM to moving all the way from Munich in Germany to Austin, TX to become a trader!
We will save that story another day.
In the meantime, feel free to check out THIS video in which I show you how I trade these days – and NO, I’m no longer calling brokers until they pay me to stop calling them 😛
Here’s the video: