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Personal Trading on the Stock Market

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mweiss
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As some of you may be aware, I am in a rather desparate set of circumstances in which I must come up with a staggering sum of money before the end of the year (taxes). Regular employment barely covers the regular bills, so I am thinking about ways to bring in real quantities of money (I'm talking about $10-15K/day). To my knowledge, the only legal way is to trade on the stock market.

So I've been searching Google on how to trade. But so far, I find a lot of brokers and I don't want to pay broker fees, as I only have tiny amounts of money to start with and can't afford to lose it to broker fees. A friend of mine in Primerica, who is securities licensed, told me last night that one does not need a securities license to trade personally on the stock market.

This piqued my interest. Hence my search for information.

I also heard about a homeless guy who, as the story goes, walked up to a rich guy in a fancy car and asked how he made the money. The investor mentored the homeless guy and the guy learned how to make money and made millions. I think he may have written a book about it too, but I'm not sure if this was heresay.

This also piqued my interest. So now I have some questions. I think there are some folks here who trade and know quite a bit about the subject, so I hope that they will respond to my request.

I want to know specifically where to find the educational and resource materials from which one can learn how to trade directly, perhaps online trading. I know of www.investopedia.com but I am looking for direct information on tool kits, firms that interface one to the stock market, or how to do this myself. Do I need special software? Where do I get it?

I don't have $500 to invest, like many of these brokers require. I realize I may have to work with junk bonds or penny stocks, as I would be working with sums of money that only a homeless man would have, such as $5-10. I'm at the point of selling off my stuff on eBay just to pay the utility bills, but I need a large sum by Dec 31st to avoid devastating consequences.

I'm pretty ignorant of money, the stock market and making money in general. The past 20 years have been an excercise in how to fail at various business ventures. Apparently I don't have any marketable skills, so I'm now facing the cumulative result of my lack of talent and earning ability. But my brief experience so far in Primerica proved to me that I can learn about things like life insurance, enough to get a state license to do business. This baby step taught me that perhaps I can take a bigger step. Circumstances now mandate that I learn to generate serious money rapidly. I want to know what steps to take, that will enable me to make $5-15K/day, so that I can meet the demands before the month ends. I have 21 days to learn and earn.

Where do I begin?

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Where do I begin?

As far as access and low broker fees, I use and recommend one of the online discount brokers such as sharebuilder https://www.sharebuilder.com/sharebuilder/p...rticle=PSSTR002

Depending on if you are interested in longtrem investments or day trading, their are a few different reasonably priced accounts. The monthly fees are from $0-$20/ month and the buys range from $1/trade -$4/trade and $12/buy-$16/buy regradless of the quantity purchased. Obviously these require a little larger then $5-$10 purchases to make sense but they are the cheapest that I am aware of.

I caution you that $5000-$15000/ day with $5 is not a reasonable expectation even if buying on margin. Arguably the greatest investor of all time, warren buffet, has managed a 23% return on investment per year over his lifetime. And even if you achieved his rate, you would need to have roughly $8 million dollars in starting capital.

If things are as dire as you explain, then it sounds like bankrupty might be something to consider.

I don't mean to rain on your parade or anything, but you could very easily lose what money you do have pursuing that sort of easy money.

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I don't have $500 to invest, like many of these brokers require. I realize I may have to work with junk bonds or penny stocks, as I would be working with sums of money that only a homeless man would have, such as $5-10. I'm at the point of selling off my stuff on eBay just to pay the utility bills, but I need a large sum by Dec 31st to avoid devastating consequences.

Say you put $100 into a stock. Even if the price of that stock doubled for you, you will have only made $100, and most of the time it takes a long time for a stock to reach that return for you(if ever). A more realistic goal especially for a beginner is to try for a 10% average return on a stock, but with the amount of money you have to invest, that will hardly pay for your brokerage fees.

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I would recommend not the stock market but the forex market (or foreign exchange market). If you trade the stock market with small sums then your account will get eaten by commission.

Best retail forex broker = https://fxtrade.oanda.com/

With this broker you can trade commission free and with as little as $1. They make their money off the bid/ask spread and their spreads are the absolute lowest in the industry. I can't recommend them enough.

Also it will take at least 3 years to learn how to trade properly, and you will probably lose a lot of money in the process which you can view as your tuition fees. Oanda.com has a free game in which you can trade on the same real money platform but for play money. This is a good starting point to learn about the market, but expect to lose money when you start trading with real money!

Just my 2 cents worth

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As far as access and low broker fees, I use and recommend one of the online discount brokers such as sharebuilder https://www.sharebuilder.com/sharebuilder/p...rticle=PSSTR002

Depending on if you are interested in longtrem investments or day trading, their are a few different reasonably priced accounts. The monthly fees are from $0-$20/ month and the buys range from $1/trade -$4/trade and $12/buy-$16/buy regradless of the quantity purchased. Obviously these require a little larger then $5-$10 purchases to make sense but they are the cheapest that I am aware of.

I caution you that $5000-$15000/ day with $5 is not a reasonable expectation even if buying on margin. Arguably the greatest investor of all time, warren buffet, has managed a 23% return on investment per year over his lifetime. And even if you achieved his rate, you would need to have roughly $8 million dollars in starting capital.

If things are as dire as you explain, then it sounds like bankrupty might be something to consider.

I don't mean to rain on your parade or anything, but you could very easily lose what money you do have pursuing that sort of easy money.

Thank you for that link. Although it appears to be a brokerage with fees. My friend told me that it is possible to trade without a broker, and that is what I'm very interested in looking into.

I may have mistakenly implied indirectly that I expected to make a lot of money with a $5 investment. I know that's not reasonable. What I meant was that is all I have to invest right now, without borrowing. I think that there have been instances where some investors have made a great deal of money in a short time, starting from rather small amounts and building over time. Quite a few of the links I've searched talk about people earning $15K per day in trading. One was an investment seminar link. My plan was to parley tiny amounts into bigger and bigger amounts through a series of quick speculative trades. I don't yet know the terms, but you mentioned margin trading, so maybe that might be one of the methods. That homeless guy went from penniless to millionaire in a short time.

I don't know of any way to discharge property tax debt through bankruptcy. I've already tried that route last year and was told that taxes cannot be discharged. I'm trying to save my paid-for house.

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I don't know of any way to discharge property tax debt through bankruptcy. I've already tried that route last year and was told that taxes cannot be discharged. I'm trying to save my paid-for house.

I think you are right about the taxes but it might be worth looking into. Or maybe file for an extension? An accountant might be helpful if you can get some money together. I hope everything works out for you.

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I think you are right about the taxes but it might be worth looking into. Or maybe file for an extension? An accountant might be helpful if you can get some money together. I hope everything works out for you.

This is not the IRS, which is more reasonable when dealing with taxes. This is the town, which has already set up several payment plans which were more aggressive than my income would enable me to follow, so I've been declared in default and the procedure is either a tax auction or selling the debt to a firm that buys tax debts and then collects by selling the property. This has been going on for several years, with everyone arguing from putting me into a rest home to living in my car, to moving to a trailer park in Arkansas, none of which are solutions that would enable me to enjoy the egoist lifestyle that I so desire.

Rather than make a last stand and die fighting the "good fight", I've decided to try and make a lot of money and do it ethically. I believe that if a homeless man can turn millionaire in just a couple of years, then that demonstrates that it IS possible for the formerly-ignorant (in terms of finances) to make a lot of money on the stock market as well and therefore, by extention, me.

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I would recommend not the stock market but the forex market (or foreign exchange market). If you trade the stock market with small sums then your account will get eaten by commission.

Best retail forex broker = https://fxtrade.oanda.com/

With this broker you can trade commission free and with as little as $1. They make their money off the bid/ask spread and their spreads are the absolute lowest in the industry. I can't recommend them enough.

Also it will take at least 3 years to learn how to trade properly, and you will probably lose a lot of money in the process which you can view as your tuition fees. Oanda.com has a free game in which you can trade on the same real money platform but for play money. This is a good starting point to learn about the market, but expect to lose money when you start trading with real money!

Just my 2 cents worth

This forex trading looks too random. I think I could better grasp trading stocks in corporations rather than currency trading. It's way too volatile and I have no grasp of how the markets work and what will affect them. I spent some time reading their forum, signed up for the FX game trading account and looked it over. The Noobie to Expert trader article was enlightening. I haven't got a clue!

I wonder if there is a simulator/game for trading regular stocks? I would like to explore that option and see if I have a better grasp of what's going on there.

I think it is easier to trade based on what I know about a company, or an IPO of a new company that I think has a good future. Are there any stock market simulators out there that can help me to explore how the system works?

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Rather than make a last stand and die fighting the "good fight", I've decided to try and make a lot of money and do it ethically. I believe that if a homeless man can turn millionaire in just a couple of years, then that demonstrates that it IS possible for the formerly-ignorant (in terms of finances) to make a lot of money on the stock market as well and therefore, by extention, me.

Let me say that I'm very much in favor of your new outlook on things. I remember reading your very frustrated postings, and you certainly seemed to be going through some stressful experiences. I wish you well in this endeavor.

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Mark, I'd like to echo "RationalBiker's" praise for your change in approach. I'm sorry to hear that the Primerica thing did not work out; you're probably right, that success in such an endeavor depends on having a large network of acquaintances.

On this current idea, I'm sorry to have to say this, but: it cannot be done. Stories about a street-person becoming a millionaire on the stock exchange should be taken with a pinch of salt. Even if true, a street person with a few bucks can win a lottery, and that does not mean one ought to buy lottery tickets. Success is possible on the stock-exchange; but the type of quick buck you're thinking of is impossible, except in the sense of winning the lottery.

I thought a lot before posting that, because I don't want to rain on your parade; but, I think it's better to be honest and tell you that you should treat that option as impossible, and more likely to lose you the little fund you begin with than to ever make you any money.

I have another idea, though. Even though Primerica did not turn out the way you wished, what about other companies? I know that when I took out a life-insurance policy, the agent was not known to me or anyone I knew. I simply chose the company and they sent an agent. Companies like that look for agents and often even employ people who are partly-retired. When I bought my policy, my agent was training a 60-year old guy who had just retired from full-time work, and who was tagging along to learn the trade. If you already have the right licence and training, this could be an option.

In a related field... have you checked out H&R block, to see what type of work they offer in the tax-prep field? I figure you might like the idea of helping someone pay less money to the government! I think some of these large tax-preparation places run training programs and then place people in their offices. Do not look for anything that requires you to have a network in order to succeed; instead, consider only those that place you in an office where one gets good walk-in or call-in business.

I know that you're saying that you cannot use a solution that earns you a typical salary, you want only "big buck" options. However, given the entire context, "short cuts" will almost certainly fail. So, I suggest that you make your plans with the assumption that "big bucks" are an impossibility.

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All good points, and all pretty much self-evident, at least to me. Thank you all for contributing.

I realize that neither the stock market nor the lottery can provide a reasonable assurance of wealth in the near-term. I know people who played the lottery for most of a decade without a single win. However, I’d like to think that the stock market is more like the game of poker, in that it requires some knowledge of the players (the corporations) and that one can look at trends and have a slightly better than random chance at predicting correctly.

I have not given up on Primerica. I have too much time and money invested in it, and I still believe that it’s an excellent company with a superior set of products. However, I am the wrong person for this type of business, as I am and have been most of my life—a misanthropic recluse. I think this fact has played a major role in all of my business shortcomings over the past 20 years. Ie., the problem is something in my psychoepistemology and my premises, probably formed at childhood.

Prior to my retirement, it’s been one miserable low paying job after another. Every new job would become insipid and boring to me after a couple of days, and from then on it would be a living hell. The commutes were long, the job not the least bit rewarding, the environments uncomfortable and the pay barely a living wage for a single guy (which I had been all through my working years).

After I retired, I thought perhaps I could run a nice little business, finally doing the things I dreamed about all through my working years. However, I was either too short on startup capital or just not smart enough to pull it off.

Now with the Primerica thing, I don’t need any brains to be a success, just the ability to become a robot and churn the numbers in telephone calls to total strangers (since I have no network of friends in the market). Problem is, after a month of intense telemarketing, I am feeling a sense of guilt (because I myself hate telemarketers with a seething passion, and now I’m ironically doing this dubious activity), and a sense of failure, because I’m the only one in our office of 203 reps who has not booked a single appointment yet. Others get rolling within hours of filling out their IBA and are off to a good start. I keep wondering if there is something wrong with me. Especially when the Asian woman sitting next to me at the meeting last Saturday tells me that she got 3 appointments after making 40 phonecalls.

Frankly, I am not interested in this industry. And my license is captive to Primerica—that means I cannot use it to do insurance production for any other company. Anyway, finances have always bored me. Tax filing time is depressing for me, because I hate doing all the paperwork and calculations. I just got into Primerica because an old coworker I bumped into at my wife’s club dinner invited me to a career overview at a time when we were hitting bottom in the radio business. I saw a neat, formulated business venture, one that I could train to learn, and the return promised was great. Who wouldn’t want to learn a little about insurance and finance to earn $68,000 a month like the RVP that gave the presentation that day? So I did some research, looked at the pros and cons and figured, great, my few friends and neighbors will love to join me in this great venture. So I believed. It turns out this is a business for young folks with young friends who are middle class and have kids and a home with a mortgage. Most of my friends are retired, some are wealthy businessmen. I also find it hard to sell when I myself have no success to show as an example.

Regardless of all that, my former coworker who brought me into the system says it only takes one recruit, to take me from the cold market to the warm market of referrals and from there things start to progress nicely. So I’ve decided, based on the success stories of some top income earners, that it can take three years or more for things to reach critical mass there. As such, I’m willing to stick with it for three years. But in the meantime, I need to raise a large sum of money in 20 days. It’s like paying off a loan shark where the numbers are close to six figures. Not something one could obtain through “honest” work, especially when the “honest” work barely pays the electric bill and the heat.

The things I am good at, video production, graphics, sound recording, typesetting, vacuum tube electronics, etc., are not areas that pay well or have much work. I’ve been doing radio engineering work for the past 8 years, quite out of serendipitious connections. But the economy changed, and the work dried up. The last four summers saw me increasingly involved in major structural renovations on my house, trying to do by myself, a job which was quoted at $170,000 by some contractors that looked at it back when I was trying to sell the place. The real estate agencies wouldn’t list it because of the condition of both the house and environmental problems on the land, plus its proximity to a wetland all drew red flags which made any realtor with the desire to avoid costly litigation to flatly refuse to list this property. The contractors told me I would be opening “pandora’s box” with the town inspectors and realized I was between a rock and a hard place, so I decided to do the work myself. Since there are literally thousands of man-hours of work involved in demolishing a house and rebuilding it and complicated by the fact that we’re living in the house and have to do it a section at a time while trying to protect the rest of the place from incoming rain, the project became a logistical nightmare. I was working on it from April to October since 2003, rebuilding one room at a time. The rot was so bad on the eastern half of the house that even floor joists had to be rebuilt and on the north end, part of the cellar had to be rebuild, down to the headers on the foundation. My friends cannot understand how I did it, and sometimes neither can I. Much progress has been made, but I have about four more years of work to put in before I can consider the house out of danger and a thing not to be worried about anymore. But my intense focus on that project made me unavailable for radio work during the summers and that cut into my income substantially. We’d been funding the materials for the renovations on my wife’s tax returns and on her credit cards.

I know I’ll never make a good employee, and I don’t want to try to mislead anyone into hiring me and then finding out that I’m really not right for the position. Anyway, companies don’t want to hire older people because the medical insurance companies try to discourage it and to keep their premium rates from rising drastically, they limit the age range to the low-risk groups.

For me, the realization that I can make in a day when my wife earns in a week has been demonstrated numerous times. Just not regularly enough to make a sound living. If I could take those business ventures to the next level, I could make a six-figure income. I had a brief stint with a marketing company for whom I worked as a freelance designer back in the 1990s, laying out faceplate ads for their coupon kiosks that were found at the now-defunct K-Mart, Caldor’s and Bradlees stores. I was earning close to $2,000/week and my production competed with their four-person in-house staff for quality and throughput. Things went well until the paychecks stopped arriving on time. The work continued, and I was assured that the money was on the way. Then I found out they had gone into bankruptcy. I was out $6400 in unpaid invoices by the time I became privy to the facts. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted. I’ve managed to take in over $500/day in broadcast engineering work, but that work has dried up with profit margins tightening and me pretty much having rebuilt most every radio facility within driving distance of home. Besides, the work was beginning to become physically too much for me. Climbing radio towers in an ice storm, pulling heavy multipair cables through a drop ceiling for 120’, etc, all are the kinds of tasks I’m trying to move away from. but the money was more than my wife takes home for a week and a half worth of work at her job.

If I were truly talented, I could write a valuable software program, or be a film score composer, or a movie director, or invent a useful product and get it to market and make a good living. Some tell me that I should write, but what would I write about? What would compel a publisher to consider my book and the public to buy it? I would not even want to write my memoires because there are things I did to get by over the years that, if the authorities found out, would land me in jail. But I learned a lot of down and dirty tactics to survive through some legal battles over the years. I just can’t put them in a book and sell them, although they would be valuable to other desparate people who may be facing the same situations that I “cheated” my way through by bending the rules.

I was such a slow learner throughout life that I found my time has run out by the time I finally figured out the basics. Being stubborn, I refused to let that prevent me from getting married and having a child who I may never live to see graduate from school. But I’m a selfish bastard, so that’s how it is, bad or good. I thought I would be able to maintain my standard of living, until taxes started to skyrocket and business started to falter. Not only am I trying to save a collapsing house from the elements, but I am also trying to save it from the clutches of my own government taxing authorities now as well. Since we can’t get a loan to front the tax liens, I’m trying to think creatively on means to generate that kind of sum (about ten year’s net income from my regular job) and get this paid off before the interest mounts even more, plus the new current taxes. And I believe there are ways to accomplish this. Some ethical and some not so ethical, but I am trying to stick to the ethical methods first.

Since my neighbor is a stock trader who spends all day on the exchange floor (his limo passes by about 5am and returns about 9:30 pm every weekday), I can sense that he’s really good at it and making a lot of money. But, like most of the other neighbors around here, don’t talk to anyone and keep to themselves. And, given that our tarpaper shack situated on a garbage dump is not quite up to the standards of their palatial mantion and an eyesore to them and everyone else, it’s not likely that I can strike up a relationship with them. All I know is that I want what he’s got. The guy must net about a million a year. That’s over six times the average income around here, which itself is pretty high. Considering that I lost $3,000 more than I took in last year, I’m alive only because of loss and expense deductions. But these last few years have been unbelievable because of the renovations that I am struggling to do by myself.

While my natural interests are not in finance and stocks, I realize that a lot of money has been made there. Perhaps it’s not in the cards for a meek fella’ like me to play in that arena, but society’s demands on me have exceeded what the meek can eek out. That’s why I am interested in learning about stock trading. I think it can a solution to making the kind of sums of money I need in a hurry and then eventually lead to a lifestyle where I never have to be a slave to the government again. I want my wife and daughter to have a decent lifestyle after I’m gone.

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I want to know specifically where to find the educational and resource materials from which one can learn how to trade directly, perhaps online trading. I know of www.investopedia.com but I am looking for direct information on tool kits, firms that interface one to the stock market, or how to do this myself. Do I need special software? Where do I get it?

I don't have $500 to invest, like many of these brokers require. I realize I may have to work with junk bonds or penny stocks, as I would be working with sums of money that only a homeless man would have, such as $5-10. I'm at the point of selling off my stuff on eBay just to pay the utility bills, but I need a large sum by Dec 31st to avoid devastating consequences.

...

Where do I begin?

The best source of investor information for individual investing is Investors Business Daily. Take a look at Bill O'Neill's "How to Make Money in Stocks" and his other books too.

O'Neill started one of the first, if not the first, computer database of of stock market activity. He has analyzed patterns of stock prices and volume (reflective on charts) and fundamentals (earnings and revenue) to find what are the historical patterns that are triggered by price moves brought on by high-volume institutional buying. It's called the CAN SLIM method. Look it up.

His methods are totally objective, based on numbers *not emotions*. He has rules that force you to cut losses at 6-8% so you have money to invest another day, and so that you can be wrong twice and right once and still come out ahead.

It takes time, discipline and study of how markets work and reading of a lot of charts and examining company earnings. The tools available at Investors.com and in the IBD newspaper are great with their proprietary ratings. And the tools at online brokers are good too. I use E-Trade and they're great. So is their service. Like everything else that is worth doing, it's worth it not because it's easy, but because it's hard.

It's fascinating and interesting, especially if you have an appreciation for economics and the role of prices as a signal of forward-looking market activity. And it works. Why? Because it's objective. No pundit junk, no CNBC and Money Honeys. Just the facts, and an emphasis on success - successful companies, successful executives and successful investing.

You won't get rich quick though. That's a trick that never works.

Penny stocks (there is a reason why they are penny stocks), options, leveraging through margin are best reserved for seasoned traders. And yes, to trade, my understanding is that to trade on NYSE or major markets you have to have a seat on an exchange or be licensed.

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I gather that is the case. And more depressing for me is to find out from this report...

http://jmooneyham.com/your-true-chances-of...-reference.html

...that rich people got there by:

Marriage 4.2%

Crime 26.8%

Inheritance 69%

Of the criminal portion of the rich, 89.1% are people within government and corporate positions!

Only 10.9% are "poster" criminals.

This truly is crummy news. But it gets worse... a CEO earns 531 times as much as a worker. People who truly earned their wealth legitimately (software giants, film directors, etc) are so few in number that they fall into the statistical noise and cannot be reliably measured.

So it seems that the only ways to get wealthy are to have charisma and be a snake in a business suit. That is, to attain positions of power in government or big business and exploit and defraud. Honest work so rarely pays and you have to be Steve Jobs or equivalant to be that lucky.

So that means for the rest of us, it's economic slavery and death. Not a very good life. Makes me want to shove the barrel of the .380 against the old temple and pull... All this time, I had the naive belief that wealth and prosperity came to those who had ideas, but when I was younger and had my ideas, either the company paid me $1 for them and went on to profit millions on my ideas, or I got taken to the cleaners by patent attornies and never saw a penny of my idea's value.

So it seems that in this world, the more corrupt you are, the more money you make. Honest people starve or work so hard that they die too soon to enjoy their retirement. This is quite an indictment of western society.

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Might be a good time to consider "Plan B."

Speaking of trading, I'm pretty happy with the margin trading I've been doing through my broker. I balance that with my 401K, and if all goes well, I should easily retire a multimillionaire on a middle class income.

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Might be a good time to consider "Plan B."

Speaking of trading, I'm pretty happy with the margin trading I've been doing through my broker. I balance that with my 401K, and if all goes well, I should easily retire a multimillionaire on a middle class income.

Oh, if only I could rewind the clock a half a century and proceed with what I know today... But the reality is that there is not much I can do. My time has run out, and I reap the reward of mistakes in judgement as a young man, as well as not recognizing that I came from an impoverished and sick family and should have left it at any cost so as not to have wasted so many of my starting years helping to support my parents. But those were lean times for everyone and I sacrificed. Had I been able to save my money from day one, I would have a nice nest egg today.

So the only thing that's going to save me today is a very extraordinary lucky break. It sure wasn't that 12-hour a day job stuffing feminine care napkins into boxes in a hot, dusty plant.

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You need to do what you love; money shouldnt be your primary. I think that was the problem with your recent business venture, and also a lot of your other jobs you previosly had. Still though, I see you searching for the best money-making jobs instead of finding a career you will love despite the money. Figure out what career you love and go get it.

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I realize that neither the stock market nor the lottery can provide a reasonable assurance of wealth in the near-term. I know people who played the lottery for most of a decade without a single win. However, I’d like to think that the stock market is more like the game of poker, in that it requires some knowledge of the players (the corporations) and that one can look at trends and have a slightly better than random chance at predicting correctly.

mweiss, I do not know of your troubles, and I feel for you if they are as bad as you indicate. However, I could not in good conscience let you continue to think that the stock market is your source of salvation, especially starting from small amounts.

Winning at the stock market is not like playing poker. If you treat it like that, you will inevitably not succeed, and may in lose more than you start with.

If you look at the average market return over hte long term, you can ignorantly (or "passively") earn maybe 15% per year by investing in index funds. 2/3 of the fund managers for mutual funds do WORSE than this market average. That is, they go out and actively invest based upon their assessment of the market, and still cannot beat the market average. These are the pros. They have more quantitative horse power and more higher math, and more quantitative analysis that goes into their work than you can ever hope to have, and the majority still can't beat the market.

Do individuals succeed where the average fail? Yes, but these are the very few, and it is not luck. If you propose to earn large amounts of money from <$100 investment in a very short period of time you are talking about doing what probably no one can do, even the likes of Warren Buffet.

Hopefully as you begin to do some studying before you invest, you will also find this out, but please do not start investing, and whatever you do, do not invest on margin or any other form of borrowing to invest (which is what margin is...).

The urgency of your goals, and the capabilities of the average market investor do not match.

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You need to do what you love; money shouldnt be your primary. I think that was the problem with your recent business venture, and also a lot of your other jobs you previosly had. Still though, I see you searching for the best money-making jobs instead of finding a career you will love despite the money. Figure out what career you love and go get it.

Believe me, your advice is what I would love to follow, and I think I have followed it pretty much, because I have been pretty lousey at doing the type of work that I have no interest or ability in.

For 20 years now, I have pursued the electronic arts, which I enjoy very much. But as far as commercial value, I was unable to find a steady stream of clients who saw such value in my capabilities. Graphic design and even video production and shooting have become a commodity, where it once was an art that paid well.

I have been doggedly pursuing what I love for those 12 of those twenty years (and even the radio work was not all that unrelated to my interest in circuit designing) and that stubbornness has lead me into poverty.

Now that I am past the point of desparation, I see no choice but to pursue work that earns a lot of money. That's why I didn't refuse to try the Primerica opportunity when a coworker from 27 years ago pitched it to me last June. In theory it's a good business, but for me, with no network of friends and no living relatives left, it's not getting off to a fast start. And frankly I hate dealing with the public. I hate people in general, especially Americans. I do much better with Asians, as our personalities are generally more compatible and they are less pretentious. But it's amazing the pressure to come up wit a large sum of money can do. I'll do just about anything--short of robbing a bank--to save my home, and by extention, my marriage. I spent a lifetime trying to find the right woman, and late in life I finally found her and I don't want to risk having homelessness happen because it will destroy what we have. I would never recover from that devastation, both financially and emotionally. I don't need any more stress in my life.

I have to be careful of my heart, not to push too hard and not to be under too much pressure. It's bad enough that I'm trying to rebuild the roof and it's taking me 8 years. But I'm a turtle, so that's just the way I work. Slow and methodically. Unfortunately, that always kept me from getting raises and promotions at work in the past. Industry wants speed and sharp minds.

I'm somewhat at an impasse as to how to raise this sum to meet the formal demand. The banks are all saying no due to the unsaleability of the property. We can't even get homeowner's insurance because it's an unfinished structure without a CO and only a temp electrical hookup that's been that way since 1966. I need a ton of money just to finish all these things. But the immediate threat is the tax auction.

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You need to do what you love; money shouldnt be your primary. I think that was the problem with your recent business venture, and also a lot of your other jobs you previosly had. Still though, I see you searching for the best money-making jobs instead of finding a career you will love despite the money. Figure out what career you love and go get it.

I had a "crazy" idea pass through my head just now, and I figured, what the heck, I'll post it here.

Since the idea is to "do what I love" and thus, what I am good at, I thought perhaps my specialty could be building Bass Pig sound systems for extremely wealthy audiophiles and maybe rock stars. I don't know if that would have a market, or if I could even get the clientelle. It's just a crazy idea. I never seem to tire of building speakers, testing them and installing amplifiers, etc. What are the odds that there are some really wealthy folks who would pay serious money to have the ultimate sound system built for them, or perhaps a home theater?

Just brainstorming...

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If you were a rich guy looking for a great system like that, where would you look for expertise? Where do the potential customers go for help?

That's hard to say, since I'm not a rich guy looking for a sound system like that. :) I tend to be a DIY'er, so I have never relied upon, nor could imagine myself relying upon someone else's expertise.

I know there are installation companies that do this sort of stuff, and I've read about them in those fancy magazines that showcase the $2-5M homes, but I think those companies have a prestigious reputation.

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That's hard to say, since I'm not a rich guy looking for a sound system like that. :) I tend to be a DIY'er, so I have never relied upon, nor could imagine myself relying upon someone else's expertise.

A couple of years ago I catered a party at a wealthy gentleman's home, and I overheard a discussion between the host and a guest about how much they'd like to have someone come in and do exactly what you're describing--customize an audio system that would work throughout his house and be discrete and out of the way of things (all the wires hidden, etc). I know there is a market for that sort of thing, at least in Houston.

I know there are installation companies that do this sort of stuff, and I've read about them in those fancy magazines that showcase the $2-5M homes, but I think those companies have a prestigious reputation.

Have you thought about going to work for a company like that, that already has a reputation and clientele? Or you could research and find out how they got so prestigious and try and do the same (or different, if you think you can improve on the idea, better yet).

Also, when you say that you build speakers, do you mean that you assemble speakers from kits that you buy, or do you design and build your own speakers from scratch? If the latter, have you thought about selling them online, or to music stores?

Edited by Bold Standard
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A couple of years ago I catered a party at a wealthy gentleman's home, and I overheard a discussion between the host and a guest about how much they'd like to have someone come in and do exactly what you're describing--customize an audio system that would work throughout his house and be discrete and out of the way of things (all the wires hidden, etc). I know there is a market for that sort of thing, at least in Houston.

Have you thought about going to work for a company like that, that already has a reputation and clientele? Or you could research and find out how they got so prestigious and try and do the same (or different, if you think you can improve on the idea, better yet).

Also, when you say that you build speakers, do you mean that you assemble speakers from kits that you buy, or do you design and build your own speakers from scratch? If the latter, have you thought about selling them online, or to music stores?

Well, there are no companies around here that do that. Even if there were, as an employee, I'd get the typical pauper wage of an installer, or about $10/hr. Now if I RAN the company, my income potential would be much greater.

I design and build my speakers. I have even designed a low frequency transducer about 7 years ago, but then a group of small companies invented the same woofer concept in 2000. But I do build speaker SYSTEMS of my own design. I've built roughly ten different systems over the past 35 years and sold the ones that were stepping stones to my magnum opus.

My specialty is in high output systems with very extended frequency response. These types of systems would not be safe to use in ordinary dwellings.

But the really hard part is to get the reputation. I'm relatively unknown, outside my web site, and people tend to hire the prestigious companies from Texas, Washington, Colorado and California. If I were young, I could have time to build that reputation, but seeing as I've already outlived all my relatives, I'm on borrowed time now, as they say.

Edited by mweiss
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