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In addition to that, you need to have an equally clear idea of how you’re going to set about achieving those goals. Perhaps nowhere is this more important than in ensuring your financial health as you approach retirement.
A recent study by the Government Accountability Office suggests that a staggering 48% of Americans have no retirement savings at all. And many of those who do have some savings are likely to find that they don’t have enough to sustain their current standard of living.
Therefore, in these times of abysmal returns for savers, it’s little wonder that increasing numbers of people are turning to the stock market in a bid to increase their income and savings.
The problem is, today’s markets offer such a wide variety of opportunities; it’s hard for beginners to know where to start.
This all-to-common problem is compounded by the bad advice, over-optimistic projections, and outright scams which are so prevalent in the financial world.
Fast approaching retirement, Carol Lawrence found herself in a daunting situation. Her employment situation was insecure, and her savings were rapidly dwindling. Despite a series of early setbacks, she remains committed to trading as a way of funding a secure retirement. With the help of RagingBull she’s quickly building the skills and confidence needed to realize her dream of a financially-stable retirement.
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Take, for example, the unfortunate experience of Carol Lawrence of Inola, Oklahoma. Carol’s stock market journey began ten years ago when she started acquiring shares of stock to be primarily a buy and hold investor.
As the term implies, “buy and hold,” also known as value investing, is designed to build wealth by buying the stock of good quality companies which have the potential to grow and produce substantial dividends in the long-term.
Stock dividends can serve as a source of supplemental income, or you can reinvest them by acquiring more shares in the company. Over time, this can produce a powerful compounding effect.
Now, there’s no doubt that a well-planned and executed value investing strategy can yield impressive rewards. Indeed, it’s such a strategy which has made the legendary “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett, and many of his disciples, some of the wealthiest individuals to have ever walked the earth.
The problem is that buy and hold is, by definition, a long-term strategy which requires many years to deliver its full benefits; as Buffett has explained, “You should buy a stock the way you would buy a house. Understand and like it such that you’d be content to own it in the absence of any market.”
Typically, this is sound advice for those who can afford to be patient, and ride out the inevitable fluctuations in the market, but unfortunately, things didn’t work out so well for Carol.
“I was introduced to the stock market about ten years ago and was in as a “buy and hold” investor. I gained some and lost most of it with declining markets using a financial adviser assisting me. I lost more than half of my account and decided to go about investing on my own.”
Just a few years ago Carol found herself rapidly approaching retirement age without regular employment and with one of her primary savings vehicles, Certificates of Deposit (CDs) having produced results that could be described as disappointing, at best.
It’s a frightening situation to be in, but one which is sadly all too common in today’s rapidly-evolving economic environment. Even worse for Carol, as she recalls, was that her foray into value investing also became an expensive failure.
“I was introduced to the stock market about ten years ago and was in as a buy and hold investor,” she explains. “I gained some and lost most of it with declining markets using a financial adviser assisting me. I lost more than half of my account and decided to go about investing on my own instead of paying my financial adviser fees to lose money for me.”
It seems that Carol may have been poorly advised, but ten years is hardly a blink of an eye for the dedicated buy and hold investor. What she needed was a quick boost to her income, and that meant looking for short-term profit opportunities that stock trading, done well, can provide.
Unfortunately, her early trading experiences were even more discouraging than her value investing days. Having experienced little success on her own, Carol joined a slew of trading advisory services, only to suffer even heavier losses.
This move might seem counter-intuitive, but the essential problem with many advisories is that they amount to little more than online versions of old-fashioned printed tip sheets.
Although they can be helpful if you need recommendations on which stocks to follow, and the prices at which you should buy or sell, most trading services don’t do a good job at providing the technical training and understanding you’re going to need if you want to trade independently with any hope of success.
Short-term traders can’t take the same approach as mega-investors like Warren Buffett and his followers. These seasoned value investors have made a lifetime study of the process of selecting the companies in which they choose to invest, and insist upon carrying out exhaustive evaluations before buying the first share.
But neither can short-term traders rely wholly on third-party recommendations. Both traders and investors need to have a clearly-defined set of criteria on which to enter and exit the market, and a vital role of a good stock market mentor should be to help traders establish these criteria for themselves.
By her admission, Carol was discouraged, and even feeling a little desperate about her retirement income prospects. Fortunately, she had the will and determination to persevere, which is an essential quality for new traders. And she continued to learn as much as she could about the markets until she finally discovered BiotechBreakouts last Thanksgiving.
“Without a steady income, I desperately needed to find a way to fund my retirement. When I found Kyle and tried out his service, I knew it was for real and not just a scam, so I got excited and joined!”
Carol immediately felt that Kyle Dennis’ biotech service would be a good fit for her and got started right away. But much more important than the specific stock recommendations is the thorough trading education she’s now receiving from Kyle and other RagingBull mentors.
“I’ve learned so much in so little time with these people,” she says, “Videos, lessons, emails, charting, etc. A real eye-opener compared to some of the other services that just sent you a losing trade and offered no help with getting in or out of it.”
Rapidly gaining in confidence, Carol is now working with some of RagingBull’s other services while continuing to focus on the $2 to $10 price range stocks that tend to offer good opportunities for traders with her limited financial resources, trading objectives and attitude towards risk.
“My first trade was not large. But I was just testing the waters, so I went smaller. I was happy to even make a profit after all the money I lost before finding Kyle and RagingBull.”
Deliberately starting with small trades, Carol has already enjoyed some good wins, and although she knows she still has a long way to go, she’s made a great start towards achieving her long-term goal of paying off her mortgage and enjoying a debt-free retirement with less stress and worry.
Perhaps most importantly, in spite of all the setbacks, Carol has retained a positive attitude and persistence, which are both essential qualities for success in stock and options trading.
“Invest in yourself and believe in yourself,” is how she sums up her philosophy, “Never give up when all seems too far to reach. Each day is a step closer to a brighter future,” she says with a confident smile.
Do you have a Raging Bull success story to share?
Systems Security Engineer
Chief Technology Officer