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How to Become a Stock Trader with TG Watkins

George Grombacher May 18, 2023

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How to Become a Stock Trader with TG Watkins

LifeBlood: We talked about how to become a stock trader, the learning curve to get started, why traders fail, the importance of understanding yourself and following a system, and the number one rule to follow, with TG Watkins, Head of Stock Trading with SimplerTrading.    

Listen to learn how to get started successfully trading stocks!

You can learn more about TG at SimplerTrading.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

TG Watkins

TG Watkins

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
On one level, this is George G. And the time is right welcome today’s guests from a profit TG Watkins. TG how you ready to do this?

TG Watkins 0:08
Yeah, sure.

george grombacher 0:09
All right, let’s go. tg is the director of stocks was simpler trading their organization working to transform lives through trading. TJ, I’m excited to have you on, tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do.

TG Watkins 0:25
Yeah, appreciate it. Well, so as far as my work, I am one of the traders at simpler trading.com. And I’ve been with them for a little over four years. And that was pretty much the path that I ended up after getting myself into trading. My dad invested, he was an investor, he would look at stocks, and manage his own money. And I remember that when I was a little kid, he’d come home, check his stocks, I think it was daily charts or daily graphs.com At the time, and we would just kind of talk about it. And I remember him saying, you know, someday, you’re going to be making money, whatever profession, whatever career you’re in, and he said, You know, it’s good to learn about this, since you’re going to have to manage your own money, and, you know, just learn about it, and then said, okay, he said, it’s fairly easy. You know, you just need to know how to do a few things. And it’s better to do it yourself than to pay somebody else if you can do the same job. And so that that is really kind of where my understanding of finance investing led me, that then brought me to New York Life, I spent a few few years there. That’s how we got acquainted. Also, with Frank Abra is our Managing Partner, and he was a great mentor, he really put a lot of time and effort into me, and I really appreciate all the things that have helped set me up for where I am now.

And then from there, I just found my way back into the stock market. And one thing led to another. I’ve followed a lot of other traders, a lot of people got a lot of education. And then I created my own Moxie indicator. And then I started doing my own business with moxie trader.com. And then I was able to roll that into simpler trading.com. And now this is where I’m at. Love it. I appreciate that. And certainly do appreciate, Frank for reconnecting us after about 10 years. So it’s a small world and, and all that kind of stuff. But it’s always Yeah, it’s good to know people out there. That’s how we get along in life. Amen. So Moxie indicator, I don’t know what that is, what is that?

Basically, it’s just the name of the indicator that gave any time people create something proprietary indicator, you know, gotta give it a name. So that’s what I came up with. It’s a momentum based indicator, which helps me trade the market from a technical standpoint, you know, we have fundamentals, we have technical, you know, so I’m more of a technical trader, I look at charts, I look at patterns, I use the indicator with a set of rules that I’ve constructed over the years, to help give me guidance into the market and figure out when price is going to move in a certain way, and how stocks are going to behave. And I can take that. And since they are a definable set of rules, I’m able to then translate that and transmitted to other people, other traders, and so that they can then learn how to trade and see the markets the way that I do. Basically, it’s, it’s like another language to have people learn. And then we can speak the same language and then we can look and trade trade stocks.

george grombacher 3:18
So cool. And somebody like me, who when I look at the market, I do not see patterns.

TG Watkins 3:28
how, how long did it take you to, I don’t know, if it’s understand the market well enough to learn about it, where you were able to start identifying some of those patterns. It definitely took years and definitely lost money to so if somebody is new to this. And no matter how exciting or you know, thrilling that this might look like it is and that we can do this, I really, really recommend that you do what’s called paper trading, and you basically just get a fake account. And you they even give you you know, $100,000 of fake cash, and you just go play around in the market. And it’s best to do that, because there is a steep learning curve. And it takes time, it takes just see time being there watching the market, seeing this, seeing how things react, because even though I was following other instructors or other traders, I still just didn’t quite understand what I was doing or why they were doing what they were doing. And it just took time. And they were able to help help me because I could get some shortcuts I can understand, like, why did they use these moving averages, or this or how this indicator works, or all these kinds of things, and help get me up to speed. But after that you really kind of have to internalize it and understand why you’re doing what you’re doing with these certain setups and patterns and moves. And it’s just best practice. Wait until you really feel comfortable. Because I’ve even had it I pushed the wrong button once and that cost me some money. So make sure you understand your trading platform too, because there are there’s just a there’s a fair amount of things in here that the

market is very tricky. The other important thing to know, especially now here we are in 2023. And we know that we’re in a bear market, there are easy times, and there are difficult times in the market 2020 was amazing. I made over I think one account was 700, something percent. The other account was 100%, of trading, just stocks, and it was a matter of months. But that was a really good, crazy market. And that’s when you know, you can make millions, which which I did, and our other traders were doing a great job in that time. But then everything changed. We got inflation, we started, the Fed started tightening, and now the market has been going down. Sure, there’s money to be made. But it has been a very challenging market because there isn’t a unified direction. And so this is where being a good stock picker is really important. Because not all stocks are doing well. You have to find the ones that are and those where you go with them.

george grombacher 5:55
In the world of of trading so many different ways to trade, so many different things to trade. Why did you settle on stocks?

TG Watkins 6:05
Yeah, there are a lot of different things to do. So I did trade futures and day traded futures to begin with. It was just too, too choppy, too neurotic for me, I didn’t find myself enjoying having to really sit at the screen and watch a position that I put on for the next hour or two. And a really kind of babysit it. And so I knew I wanted something a little bit slower. And so I kind of zoomed out. And then just through observing the market and figuring out what worked, I found that becoming an intraday trader worked best for me, I put on a position, I only had to basically check it once a day. And really the moves happened from one day to the next. So as long as I put my trade my position on at the end of that day, I could catch the next move, it tends to happen in the overnight anyway. And then I’ve tried dabbling with options, for some reason for me, it just doesn’t really work for me. They’re less forgiving, they are more complicated. And they’re just very tricky. There’s a lot in it. So I like the kind of the linear nature of stocks and the fact that they are a little bit more forgiving for me. So even if I have a little bit wrong move, it doesn’t just totally eat into my account. So I’ve just kind of found that end of day trading with stocks is kind of the nice triangulation for me. Yeah.

george grombacher 7:22
So being able to figure that out having that self knowledge, I imagine that a lot of that is discovered by doing it to your point having the seat time during the paper trading and figuring out, yeah, maybe stock trading is right for me, or maybe commodities are perfect for me.

TG Watkins 7:40
Yeah, pretty much somewhat commodities to, in fact, right now, I’m looking at trading u and g, which is the United States natural gas. And then because I do trade stock, I would like leverage, and they have these things called leveraged ETFs. And so for UMG, that that leverage ETF is called Boyle, B O L. And that’s if you want it to go up. Now, if you wanted to short natural gas, you can do it through a leveraged ETF called Cold Kol D. And so this is how I’m able to get the leverage that I need, even as a stock trader, because you know, some of those moves can be pretty big and definitely worthwhile. And I don’t have to take the risk or the complexity of trading options. Nice.

george grombacher 8:20
So you mentioned that in 2020, it was it was a good time, maybe an easy time to trade, and you experienced a ton of success. And now here we are, it’s a little bit harder. How do you like just assuming we fast forward into 2024, and there’s still a stock market in the world is still in existence? And all that? What? How do you think about what what your goals are?

TG Watkins 8:47
Well, your goals are basically to help retain your money. So I think as a trader, we make money off of our money. So the number one rule in trading is just don’t lose your money, keep your losses small. And if you realize that your trading system or the market in general is just not working with you, you need to adjust to that. And the first thing is your trade less trade smaller, or, you know, keep your keep your tight, your stops a little bit tighter, okay, because you need to be able to react to the market in 2020. I mean, you could just kind of throw money at anything, and it was gonna work. It’s a different environment right now. And I think Warren Buffett had a quote that said, you know, you really know who’s naked, who’s swimming naked when the tide goes out. And same thing here, when the market gets tough. If you have bad habits, or you’re sloppy about your rules, you’re going to feel it and you’re going to not do well in the market. And so that’s where you can you really can cut your teeth during a tough market and that’s what we’re having to do here and say, Okay, we really, there’s the rules that need to stick to them. And it’s not an easy type situation. So I think we’ve been in this bear market for gosh, coming up on two years. Depending on which, which industry or which sector you’re kind of looking at. And so I’m hopeful that in the next I don’t know, several months, if not a year, the market might start turning around, we’re kind of seeing some of that, but it’s not. It’s not all, all hands on deck yet. Got it.

george grombacher 10:18
So bad habits you’re sloppy with with with your rules, I guess I’m curious as to what the, the temperament that you need to have to be a successful trader are some of those maybe good habits or good characteristics or qualities?

TG Watkins 10:33
Well, there’s a lot about a lot of talk about with stock trading, it is a, it’s a mental game, the market is going to be there. It’s like a river that is constantly flowing, and all you’re trying to do is dip your foot in or put your fishing pole in there and bring out the money that you want. It doesn’t know you exist. And so it isn’t, it’s not trying to get you it’s not trying to go after your position or anything else like that. Even though it feels like it a lot of times, it doesn’t know you exist. So really, it’s just about you, and what’s going on out there. And a lot of the same stuff. I remember, similar to New York Life, when we were out there talking with people and clients, you you got 10 meetings, and then you would schedule, you’d actually meet two and then you’d end up with one sale, it kind of was a numbers game. And it was the same thing here, It’s you versus you, you need to keep your mind straight, you need to have the discipline, and you just need to do the work. And if your work is, here are my rules, then you need to stick to those rules and not violate them. Because honestly, the biggest losses I have are usually when I I either ignore, or I violate my rules and say, Oh, well, you know, this thing isn’t doing too well. Maybe I’ll just let it go. And we’ll come back. It almost never does. So discipline is a big one.

george grombacher 11:50
Yeah, I think that that certainly does make sense. And once you’ve done the work, and you’ve established framework parameters, just being able to stick with it, probably a lot easier said than done.

TG Watkins 12:00
Yeah. And I think that’s where traders like me and services that we have, are helpful for new traders, because there’s really no one set something that says, here’s how you make money in the stock market, you need other kinds of mentors, other people who are doing it and say, This is how I’m doing it. And you can learn from us now, maybe I’m not the right person for you, maybe John Carter, or Danielle or any of our other traders are more aligned with your personality, your style, your risk, you know, whatever it is, but you should find somebody else who really resonates with you so that you can kind of they can help bring you up to speed. And then you can kind of take it from there.

george grombacher 12:39
Yeah, it certainly makes sense to me that having a sounding board, having somebody that you can talk to and bounce ideas off of, and when you get stuck with something would be really, really valuable.

TG Watkins 12:50
Yeah, it’s been helpful. And I really enjoy it. Because honestly, the more I talk and teach and explain things to people, the more I internalize it, and the better I get. So for me, teaching has actually been one of the best things to help me in my own trading career,

george grombacher 13:03
for sure. So as technology continues to change, and I’m sure it’s changed, probably immensely just over the past 10 years. How is that changing your life and your work, if at all?

TG Watkins 13:18
Well, I feel like we could almost take that in two directions. One we talked about, you know, AI or just computer trading algorithms, basically, it can be a little bit tough there because they can move price so quickly that we as humans can’t necessarily react. And they they can seek out pockets of liquidity, which is basically where your stop losses. And so they they know how to kind of find where pockets are, and go after that. But other than that side of it, the fact that we have Thinkorswim and all these other trading platforms, and we have high speed internet, we have streaming services like what we do, it is never been a better time to actually try to learn how to trade stocks because everything is at your fingertips. I mean, you think even back to the 80s, when some of the other stock traders or even the early 1900s, they had to read ticker tape or they had to wait for graphs to come out in the mail or in the newspaper. They had to track their own trades or their own charts by hand on graph paper. And here, we have everything right here with HD displays, great technology, free, no commissions if you’re trading stock, and then the fact that you can go out here and something like simpler trading and myself and other people, we have services where we can give you great videos, hour long videos, we have chat rooms, we have all this kind of stuff to where if you wanted to learn something, it’s like an online course. And it’s it’s all right there for you. So technology has actually really, I think made it more accessible for people. So

george grombacher 14:57
the people that that are commonly Coming to you, are they already trading? What what what is kind of the profile?

TG Watkins 15:05
You know, it’s a, it’s a little bit of both, I think it’s people who are interested. And they they see the possibilities. And they want to take their own financial future in their own hands, and they want to do this. I think also, it’s people who find it very interesting when you get a lot of, I’m a pilot. So we get a lot of other pilots, I think partly because they have time because they don’t work five days a week. We also get a lot of engineers, which I’m also an engineer, I went to ASU graduated, engineering, bachelor’s of engineering, mechanical engineering. And we look at the stock market like, okay, it’s kind of mechanical, there’s, there’s a solution, there’s a way around this, and we think we can figure it out. And it can be a little challenging, because it’s not there is a there is a, there’s more of a skill version in here other than just mechanical. And I think it gets that part of our brain that we’re like, yeah, we want to kind of figure this thing out. So we get all sorts of people coming to the market, but mostly people who just want to tackle this, this next little adventure for them. And when the market is good and easy there, there’s definitely money to be made.

george grombacher 16:18
I like it. Well, TJ, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? And how can they engage with you and simpler trading?

TG Watkins 16:28
Yeah, basically simpler trading.com. My one that is specific is the Moxie indicator. So just look around for that. And again, yeah, TG Watkins. And basically, we’re just all over the place out there. So just look up simpler trading, you’ll see my face as one of the traders and pretty easy to come in. We do $7 trial for 30 days and whenever our trading rooms. And that’s how you can kind of come in there. And you can also find me on YouTube and then anything else out there. We’ve got lots of information just to show you guys what we do, how we do it so that you kind of know what you’re getting into.

george grombacher 17:01
Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did, show TG your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to simpler trading.com Check out the great resources, take advantage of that $7 trial and get into some of those trading rooms and see what the experience is actually like. And if it’s something you’ve been thinking about or you’re curious about it, just check it out. There’s very little downside to that and check out all the other great resources on social media, the YouTube and I’ll list all those in the notes of the show. Thanks again TG. Alright, Thanks, George. And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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