Clay Trader Podcast
STR 225: A Positive Energy Guy Taking It Slow
I’m a big believer that the success you have in life is influenced by who you choose to surround yourself with. In this week’s discussion, I talk with someone who truly gives off a positive vibe and I was soaking it all in. My guest, Jerry, got off to a great start in the markets back when people still talked to their broker on the phone, but then….well… things changed a bit. Back to the drawing board Jerry went and thus began his journey towards finding and establishing consistency. I really respect the pathway Jerry has chosen in both life and pertaining to his goals with trading. Sure, it may not be the pathway that creates overnight riches, but it is the proven way to a slow burn that produces results. There is certainly something for everyone to take away from in this discussion so let’s get to it!
Clay: This is the Stock Trading Reality podcast episode 225.
Abnnouncer: This is the Stock Trading Reality podcast where you get to see the realistic side of a trader’s journey. Get inspired and stay motivated by everyday normal people who are currently on their journey to trading success. And this is your host who spend most of his day printing out comic book coloring pictures, Clay Traders.
Clay: Spider-Man, Thor, Thanos, Hawk, Captain America, Iron Man, I guess the comic book people in Ninja Turtles, the question really becomes who haven’t I printed out a picture of at this point. Now, my son Trip, he’s just over three, so he’s into the backhoes and the bulldozers, and he calls them scoops. So now I’m printing out pictures of scoops. I don’t know when I have enough … I honestly don’t even know how I’m able to pull off this little intro right now. I got a little downtime and no printing pictures off, so I figured I’d better take advantage of the opportunity. But now, of course, it’s fun to do, not always convenient, sometimes I do have to say no, no, no, it’s 9:37 right now, kids. Don’t you know time, yet? The market just opened seven minutes ago. No, I cannot print you out a picture right now.
Clay: I think they have a vague idea of when the market maybe opens and stuff like that because yeah, the first 30-ish minutes for sure, you know, that first 90-ish minutes, I think they’re starting to learn that daddy is pretty locked in there and that I can’t be looking and finding and letting them pick out a picture. But it’s all in good fun, but they like to color just in general. They like the comic books and all that, not that they’ve seen any of those movies, but I’ll show them the coming attractions and stuff on YouTube, which they feel as though is a movie.
Clay: But yeah, they like to color, and I’ve kind of figured out okay well, why don’t we try comic book pictures. And it backfired in a sense because now they seem to want them all the time. It’s all in good fun, but yeah, that’s what a majority of my day is now spent is I don’t know, Clay printer, maybe we should change this. No more Clay Trader, just Clay Printer because that’s kind of what things seem to be all revolving around at this point. Like I said, all in good fun.
Clay: Speaking of fun. I had a great time with our discussion today with Jerry. And Jerry is a very just happy-go-lucky guy as I confirmed at the beginning of the interview. I mean, if he’s looking at a glass, he sees the glass as half full, and there’s no doubt about it. This is nothing new that I’ve said, but it’s always a matter of who are you surrounding yourself with? I realize sometimes you don’t have control over who you surround yourself with, you know, if it’s family, stuff like that. But in other situations, you do have control over who you surround yourself with. And Jerry is one of those guys where I think I could make a pretty strong argument he is the type of person you would want to surround yourself with.
Clay: I mean, like I said, he’s very positive. He’s very just energetic and happy and all that stuff. He’s got his mind in the right spot. I mean, these are the type of people that I highly encourage you to surround yourself with, but I mean, if you’re listening to this, maybe that’s what’s going on. It’s like well, you know, I don’t have people like this, but at least guests here on the show, they keep it real, so I want to surround myself by hearing what they have to say. I like your game plan in that regard too.
Clay: But in your “real life”, find people like Jerry. Find people like this because, like I said, I feel good after talking to the people. I don’t know how to describe it other than you just have to find positive people to hang around and that just make you feel like let’s go, let’s get it done. I feel good about things. Jerry is by no means as you’ll hear about, a perfect trader or anything like that, but he’s another one of these interesting situations where he got started in trading 20 years ago when there was still the dial-up internet and all that sort of stuff.
Clay: And a little spoiler, the technical charts would literally have to come in the mail to you. He started with a whole different generation, and then some things happened and he’s getting back into the game and all of that. But a lot of nice ups and downs, he’s got some good perspectives on things that I’m confident that everybody, whether you’re brand new or just an experienced trader, or kind of in between, that you’ll be able to pick out from the interview. So without further ado, let’s hear about Jerry and his story. Jerry, welcome to the show.
Jerry: Well, thank you. Man, it’s so awesome to hear you talking to me live.
Clay: And it is live.
Clay: I will say this, this is still a guess on my part, but you seem very energetic. You seem very enthusiastic. I’m thinking this should be a … You’ve set my expectations pretty high now. You seem like a happy-go-lucky guy. I like people that … I’m guessing that you’re more of a glass is half full type guy.
Jerry: Yes, sir, exactly, that’s right.
Clay: Perfect, alright. And that’s kind of the impression that I’m getting. Now, I guess we’ll hop right in. I was going to say, are you active in the chatroom very much?
Jerry: I’ve been in and out of it. I wanted to learn so I could understand more about what’s being said and understand, so, obviously, I’m in the university right now. I’m at L2. I started L2 yesterday.
Clay: Okay. Alright, nice, nice. So that gives me a little bit of … It’s not like we are talking often in the chatroom or anything like that then.
Jerry: Oh, no. No.
Clay: Okay, good, good. I just wanted to make sure that you’re not somebody that we’ve had a bunch of interactions with and it hasn’t dawned on me. I’m trying to mitigate risk right now, Jerry, that I don’t look like a total moron.
Jerry: Oh, no. Sure.
Clay: I’m glad to know that is no longer a risk. And for you listers out there, this is all unscripted. I assure you I hopped on and said, “Jerry, are you ready to go?” And we’re going. The whole idea here is if you’re new to the show, I want this to be as real as possible like you’re just a fly on the wall listening to Jerry and I talk trade and talk his journey, which I don’t know about. None of that was staged. I just want to make sure that this isn’t somebody that I already … And, you know, I realize some people, you need to have more organization. Yeah, but a lot of other people like the free flow. Jerry, as somebody that you admitted to listening to the past episodes, are you good with the realistic type rawness of these things where, sure they’re not structured in any way, but I mean, as a listener, do you enjoy the format?
Jerry: Oh, perfect, yeah. It’s amazing how much the other podcasts I’ve listened to, they’re so much like my story. I get to thinking well, I’m all different until you get to hearing them, and then ow wow, man, this person has faced the same problem I had or the same issue or whatever. So I love that.
Clay: Yeah, absolutely. Misery loves company at least for me.
Clay: In a sick and twisted way, I’m like oh yeah, you can relate to that? Good, I know I’m not a total loser. Alright, awesome. Where did all of this actually start for you, Jerry? I mean, where did you hear about the markets, and what sorts of things all played out that got you more interested to the point that you wanted to get more hands-on with it?
Jerry: Well, I’d say back in the mid-90s, I should say, back before internet was … It wasn’t dial-up. I mean, it as still dial-up at that time. And me and my wife had gone to the … I have three children. We was at the doctor’s office with one of the kids. And I’m sitting there in the waiting room and grabbed a magazine. And there was a little magazine there, a little pamphlet, that said, “Make an extra $500.00 in a month trading commodities on the futures market.” Oh, wow, okay. My grandfather always said that a man needs to be making money while he’s sleeping somehow, whether that’s with crops, with oil, with cattle, or even the market. You need to be making money somehow because that 40-hour a day J-O-B just out of bankruptcy wasn’t going to be enough. You’re just getting by.
Jerry: I seen that and I thought wow, I’m going to check into this. I read through there and thought, you know, I think this is something I can do because I had done everything, network marketing, raised catted. I had 25 momma cows. I had done everything, sold vitamins, everything. It was good for a while, but it just didn’t sustain. So when I seen that, I thought this is something I can do at home. So anyway, I opened a margin account. Of course, at that time living here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I don’t know if I can say that, but that’s where we’re at.
Clay: No, I love to hear where people are from. Usually, I don’t always want to ask because I don’t want people to be like mind your own business. But no, I love to hear where people are from. Tulsa, Oklahoma, nice, I love it.
Jerry: Yeah. I opened up a margin account. When I done that, I went through, I ordered the program, and my oldest son at that time, I think, was in the seventh grade. And I got him all excited about it because I wanted him to learn this right with me at a young age. We got the material, we’d sit down, we learned this inside and out of what we could through mail. Then, of course, I went to work telling some of the other guys about I’m opening you this account. I’m going to start trading commodities. Well, they got interested too. Oh, this will be cool. I’ve got somebody else here side to side with me that could help, or we could discuss and whatever because it wasn’t no chat rooms at that time like there is now.
Jerry: I got a broker, opened the account, and started trading here and there. And was making $100.00, $200.00 a week maybe. And I built my account from $2,000.00 to $5,000.00, so I’m doing pretty good, man. This is great. I’d come home from work, and my son would say, “How did we do today, dad?” “We made another $100.00 today, buddy.” “Alright.” Well, one Friday evening, of course, then, to get a quote, you had to call the broker. I was calling him two or three times a day to see what the market was doing because I couldn’t grab my phone and just look like you can now. And I’d study charts. I’d get charts in the mail every other day it seemed like. And I’m going over charts. They were just line charts at that time.
Clay: Part of what you learned, was it how to use these line charts? What that part of the “system” that you learned from?
Jerry: Yes, right.
Jerry: Right. Say the market dropped down and started back up. It come back up 50% of where it had came from, then that would be your point to sell because the market is probably going down. In a short, that’s how you did it. It was working for the most part. Well, then, like I said, my broker called me. He said, “Hey, there’s a corn report coming out on Friday or Monday.” He said, “This is where you can turn a small trading account into a little bigger one.” He said, “You can double your money on this report.” So I said, “Okay.”
Jerry: So I bet the farm. I went long on all of it. Come Monday morning, of course, you know what happened. It gapped down and went through my $5,000.00 plus another $500.00. I’m sitting here with my hard-earned life savings gone plus $500.00 more. Oh, I’m sick. I am just sick.
Clay: Out of curiosity, you had to, obviously, call. I’m assuming your broker didn’t call you and be like, “Hey, Jerry, it gapped on.” I’m assuming you had to call him to get the news.
Jerry: Yes, sir, I did.
Clay: Do you remember that conversation at all? I mean, did the broker try to throw somebody else under the bus? How did that whole convo go?
Jerry: Yeah. He said, “I hate to tell you this,” but he said, “That report didn’t go in our favor like we thought.” And I go, “What?” And he goes, “Yeah, it didn’t.” He said, “It opened up gap down.” And I said, “Well, how far down?” He said, “Well, you owe the margin account $500.00.” I go, “What? I lost $5000.00 on this?” And he goes, “Yeah.” He said, “I apologize.” He said, “I’ll take care of the $500.00. You just pay me whenever.” He felt bad about it, but this guy was probably rich, so it really wasn’t no big deal to him, but it took everything from me.
Jerry: Losing the money really hurt, but losing that dream of what this could do for me hurt even worse. I found something I could do here. I was learning. We was doing good. Anyway, I said, “That’s it. I’m going to step away from this.” I finally paid off that $500.00. I closed my margin account, and I just sat on the sidelines forever. Of course, one of the things that drew me to you was the fact that you said something about working at Honeywell in one of your 101 podcasts. That’s where I work. I’ve been there for 33 years. And so wow.
Jerry: I said, “Okay.” Honeywell had sent somebody down pushing the 401K. If you put in such and such amount, by the time you retire after 25 years, you could be a millionaire. Okay, well, that’s just what I’ll do. I’ll just start cramming everything I can into my 401K, and we’ll go that route. As bad as I wanted back in the market, 20 years went by, and I still never did.
Clay: You were cramming into your 401K though over those 20 years?
Jerry: Oh, yeah.
Clay: Are you still with Honeywell right now?
Jerry: Yep, I’m still there.
Clay: Because I remember when I was there, they matched like what, dollar for dollar.
Jerry: Dollar for dollar.
Clay: 8% of something like that?
Jerry: Exactly, good job.
Clay: Alright, nice.
Jerry: Now, they pulled it back after 9/11 to 50%.
Jerry: 50 cents on a dollar, but now it’s back up to 87 and a half, so it’s still pretty at 8% of what you put in. Yeah, I’ve been cramming there. I’m over halfway to my million dollars. I’ve done really good on Honeywell stock because I’ve played nothing but Honeywell.
Clay: Yeah, Honeywell has been a monster because when I left, I didn’t have a whole lot in it because I was never with them for too long, so I just cashed out my 401K. But I kind of wish I would have still had some in there because when I was there, it was fluctuated in the 50s and 60s for a while.
Clay: And it’s a whole lot higher than that now.
Jerry: Yeah, I think at 172 today or something like that. Yeah, it’s done really well. So anyway, I roll on here. A couple of years back, I got on this deal. I get a mailer in on investments, where else to invest. So I’m getting these emails every day about oh man, you need cannabis, and [phonetic 00:17:42 phygee], and [phonetic 00:17:44 valavium], and liquid energy, and all of this stuff that people are trying to get you to invest in. I was just about to pull the trigger on one of them, and I said, “You know, I’d better pull some reviews. Look at some reviews and see exactly what’s going on here.” Boy, did I get my eyes opened up.
Jerry: One of the deals said, “Don’t invest in that stuff.” It said, “Try this one, or look at this one, or go to this place.” So I started going. I just clicked on a Google stock trade on YouTube. Well, guess what. Some guy come on there that looked like he hadn’t shaved in two or three days and needed a hair cut.
Clay: I like this guy so far.
Jerry: He was wearing a t-shirt, and you made mention something about this is not a get rich deal, a quick get rich deal like all of the others was pushing about oh man, making all of this big money. Of course, that’s very intriguing, you know. And your ears like hearing that, but when you said this wasn’t a get rich quick deal, you really got my attention. Anyway, I watched, I don’t even remember which one it was, one of the 101s. I don’t remember. I looked at a few more and, to be honest with you, I’m kind of like … It was Carol, wasn’t it? That was our last podcast?
Jerry: Carla, that’s it. I’m sorry. Yeah. I had subscribed to another emailer. You know, whatever because I still wasn’t for sure which way I’m going. I just don’t know what to do. I’m lost, trying to find my way. But every time I would click on something, or get back, there you’d be again. Okay, one of them was Honeywell. The second one was a youth leader. You said dom about being a youth leader. And me and my wife have been youth leaders at our local church here for 15 to 20 years. So that really resonated with me.
Jerry: I thought, man, this guy keeps popping up here, maybe the good Lord is trying to tell me something because I keep running into walls or not believing what I’m hearing. And so I just started listening to you. Every podcast you had, whatever, I just started listening. And finally, I said, “Okay, this is it. If I’m going to do this, let’s go it. I jumped in full force to the university. And man, I love it. I can’t get enough of you. And I think it was John, maybe, a couple of weeks back, three weeks maybe, said that he was eating, drinking, and sleeping with you even taking a shower.
Clay: That’s right. Yeah, yeah.
Jerry: I really love you, man, but I’m not going to sleep and take a shower with you.
Clay: No offense is taken.
Jerry: Everywhere else, you’re with me wherever I go.
Clay: Yeah. He was definitely the first that admitted to, I mean, maybe there’s been others, but yeah, he was taking some showers with me, but I’m not offended that you’re not into that. Okay. Just a little reference point, how long did it go where you had found me, and you were like okay, this guy, maybe does he not own a shaver, and all of that, and then you started to … I mean, what was the time period from when you had first stumbled upon the guy in the t-shirt who needed a shave versus when you finally decided to go all-in?
Jerry: It was probably about a month I would say. I’m still kind of on the fence here, but I loved everything you had to say. It seemed so real. It wasn’t a bunch of hype that was going on. Yeah, it was probably about a month before I finally pulled the trigger.
Clay: Okay, alright. And then follow up to that, what was your status going in as far as your understanding of let’s just say technology analysis and charts? In your mind, was all that stiff still line charts, or had you come across candlestick charts, for example? What was your viewpoint of the markets going into when you came back into things? Because it sounds like, I mean not sounds like, it was almost like you were in a time machine where the last time you were doing it was dial-up internet. You had called up your broker. Charts literally came in the mail. And now all of a sudden, like you said, 20 years later, a lot has changed. What was your impression of the market when you were getting back into it?
Clay: Does that make sense?
Jerry: Oh, it makes perfect sense, yeah.
Jerry: Yeah, perfect sense. For one, there’s so many things to look at, so you know which way to go before you pull the trigger on a buy or sell, or whatever, in the market, which I didn’t have back then when I was trading commodities. Basically, you just went by what that line chart did and that was it. As far as your supports and your resistance, none of that. Oh, wow, this is so cool. Surely somebody knew something about that in the mid-90s. Obviously, it was there. Like I said, I’m back new to this old game, but maybe in the futures market, the commodities, maybe you do it a little different, I don’t know. But listening to you, you keep saying it don’t matter what it is, this is how you do it, whether it’s options or whether it’s futures or whatever because they all read the same.
Jerry: Oh, man.
Clay: A chart is definitely a chart. I know you mentioned there was a lot coming at you, but in some sense, do you feel almost overwhelmed because back 20 years ago, I mean, not that you weren’t overwhelmed, but when things are just showing up in the mail and it is what it is, there’s not much else that really can go into anything? It’s just okay, here’s what showed up in the mail, and this is what I can operate from. But now, as you know, and I’m sure listeners understand, there’s just so much at your fingertips. It almost seems like you don’t … I don’t know. Some things are annoying like I’ve got to call my broker all the time. But on the flip side, it seems as though that might actually not be that bad of an issue to have because just the simplicity of things. Do you enjoy having so much at your fingertips?
Jerry: Oh, yeah. Now, if I could call Clay every day and say, “Okay, Clay, this is what I want to do, or thinking about it, or this is what I read.” It would be one thing, and that’s what I did. My broker back then, he was fully aware of the program I was going through. And he didn’t like it. He thought I needed to go the way he was going, which okay, that’s fine. But I wasn’t learning anything, you were just telling me you need to do this, or you need to get into this. Buy corn today or whatever. And I wanted to be able to do it myself. And that what was so good about you that you wanted to teach me how to do it myself, not just get a text in the morning saying I’m swinging this at such and such dollars with my stop here.
Jerry: Yeah, that’s nice, and that might be a confirmation maybe of what you see when you’re first learning, but no, I love having so much approvals of what I’m seeing, or what I’m wanting to do, or what I think is right.
Clay: Where does that come from? Because a lot of people are like, I don’t want to have to do anything. Basically, you just said you just want to be self-sufficient, so where does that come from, because, like I said, a lot of people, they don’t want to be self-sufficient. They’re thinking wow, a text alert, I’d rather just go that route. Is that just a function of how you were raised, or where did this mentality of you wanting to actually learn how to do it for yourself come from?
Jerry: Well, to be honest with you, working every day, that is nice to be able just to do that, but I have aging parents. And my dad retired from the largest airlines in the United States, and he retired in 2004 with a nice retirement. Well, that was however many years ago, 25 years ago. At that time, he was doing really good. Right after retirement, he had plenty of money, things were good. Well, fast forward 15 years and my mother, she’s a diabetic. She’s having complications there, so now you’ve got doctor bills and medicine, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Now that retirement is not near enough that it was back then.
Jerry: That’s what really pushing me to saying, “Hey, I’ve got to get in here, and I’ve got to learn this.” So I got, kind of like Carla said, I got something I can do to make me money once I retire. I’m 57 years old. Of course, I’ve got probably another 10 years to go before I can retire, but I want to be able … Like my dad, he just solely relies on his retirement and social security. Of course, then what happened? American Airlines files bankruptcy, and he loses part of his benefits that he had paid for all of them years. Oh, man, I can’t let that happen to me. I’ve got to get in here and do something so I’ve got some income coming in after I retire. I’ve done real good in the 401K, but I can’t just rely on that.
Clay: That makes actually really good sense. And it’s something that I feel like a lot of people, they don’t quite understand is, they think that okay, I’m just going to pay for text alerts, or I’m just going to pretty much fully depend on some other external thing. And you’ve always got to wonder, which you clearly realize, is well, that’s still not in your full control. What happens if something happens to that, and then what? Like in your dad’s case, he was depending on this, and then bankruptcy stuff happens. And oh, well, he got the short end of the stick there. I mean, he’s been paying in, but something totally out of his control happened. That does make sense for you to have witnessed those things. Yeah, why wouldn’t you want as much control as possible going into the future? No pun intended. But as you work forward.
Clay: And before I forget because I was curious about this. The strategy you had back when you were doing commodities, was your broker still, was he executing that for you? So you would figure out what you wanted to do, and then you would still call him, right?
Jerry: Well, no. I was reading the charts. I was doing the charts.
Clay: But I guess did he benefit from the strategy? Was he still getting commissions?
Jerry: Oh, yeah.
Clay: Alright, interesting.
Jerry: Definitely, yeah.
Clay: Yeah, I guess I don’t understand his angle then because you said he was against it. I could see him being against it because well, you’re using that strategy, and I’m not making any commission, so come do what I’m doing and I’ll tell you what to do when I get commissions. But if he was still getting commissions, then I don’t know. That’s interesting. I’m not quite sure. I don’t know. Do you think he-
Jerry: Well, thinking back on it, of course, I’ve done a lot of thinking back then on what happened. He wasn’t making a whole lot off of my little account. He wanted my account to grow.
Clay: Ah, yes.
Jerry: That way he could … I was trading a lot more shares in and out a lot more. And so, because I was calling him three or four times a day to see what the market was doing, he definitely wasn’t making no money on me on my little account. He was trying to build my account so it would be worth his while to mess with some little guy like me. Anyway, yeah, he ended up losing me anyway.
Clay: Alright, that angle makes sense, especially if you were calling that much. He was probably thinking listen, I’m either going to blow up this guy’s account and that way he doesn’t call me anymore, or I’m going to get his account really big so that when he does call me, I’ll actually start making some commission.
Jerry: Yeah, it’s worthwhile.
Clay: Yeah, there we go. Okay.
Jerry: Yeah, that’s right.
Clay: The financial industry, a savage, savage business. I would assume that you definitely don’t take this online brokerage stuff for granted anymore. For me, I don’t know anything different, but I would assume somebody like you can appreciate the fact that you don’t have to deal with any of that. You just type in numbers and then be done with it.
Clay: Alright. Well, as you stand right now, you mentioned you’re in Clay Trader university, and you’re going through level twos. What is your game plan? Obviously, you’re studying right now. I assume you’re not actively trading, or are you putting some money into the markets right now?
Jerry: No, I am not. I am not. I haven’t yet. I do have my charts, went ahead and subscribed to charts so I can day trade, not day trade, paper trade. I can keep track on what’s going on, get more familiar with that. I have not opened up an account you’re, but I’m just taking my little steps right now. So many of your podcasts I’ve read, man, I don’t want to get caught speeding. And I got caught one time before, I don’t want to get caught again.
Clay: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. Those speeding tickets in the market can be a little bit more expensive than the speeding tickets that you may get in your everyday life. I mean, do you have any idea of where you want to head? Do you want to go back into futures again? What are you thinking in that regard? Where do you envision the vehicle that you’re going to use to do your trading, or are you still just not sure?
Jerry: Well, I’m not really sure. I’m sure as just on the market. I probably won’t go to futures. You know, who knows? Maybe a little bit of all of it as I get down the road and I’m more comfortable with what’s going on. I may do it, I may get back in it. I don’t know. But right now, just trading the market with small caps, large caps, that’ll be fine. I’ve got a while before I really … I’m just having fun, man. This is just awesome. I’m telling you.
Clay: And that is a big part of it. And I know what you mean about you are … Well, I guess I want to make sure. Maybe we have a learning moment here, I don’t know. I’m assuming when you say you’re just having fun, you’re having fun because you just enjoy this stuff, and you have a passion for it. And that’s what you mean by fun, you don’t mean by fun in the sense of hey, this is just like Las Vegas except I don’t have to pay for a plane ticket to go to Las Vegas. I’m just out here gambling. I’m assuming your fun and your loving it is from a passion perspective, right?
Jerry: That is correct, yeah. Yeah, no gambling. I don’t want none of that.
Clay: Okay, good. And that’s what I figured. Me neither. Me neither, but I always want to make sure. You’re going through everything right now, and you’re not quite sure, but you did mention that you’re paper trading right now. Or did I understand that properly that you got signed up for it?
Jerry: Yeah, and no. I’m not officially. Of course, I’ll take the Honeywell stock because that’s near and dear to my heart. And it’s doing so good. I’m watching it every day, and it broke out today. It broke above the resistance, so it should take on off now. We’ll see, but yeah, Spy, several of them, I’ve looked at the charts. Okay, this is what I’m seeing. This is what I’ve been learning. This should do this. Let’s see. That’s kind of what I’m doing right now.
Clay: Okay, so you’re paper trading is not necessarily like okay, you’re pretending your buying anything. You’re more so just looking at patterns, looking at how things are taking shape/ and then you’re trying to take that and say alright, now I think that this is going to happen next. Is that-
Jerry: Exactly right. Instead of looking at just randomly pulling up a number, I mean a stock symbol and looking at that chart and saying, “Oh, man, no. This is ugly. I don’t see anything here. My 50 is down. My 200 is down. No, I don’t see a thing here.” I just keep going through until oh, okay, now I see stuff happening here. I see a flag. I see a pennant. I see my support. I see my resistance. Okay, if I’ve learned anything, once it hits here, I should be good. If I put in a buy order at da, da, da, would I be good? And I watch it for a few days, and yeah, most of the time, yeah, I’ve done it. It’s did just what you’ve taught us to do. It’s done what you said it should do that we’ve been taught. I love that, man. I love it.
Clay: It’s kind of weird how it’s almost like this stuff works every … Jerry and myself, we’re not proclaiming any of this is perfect stuff, but call it self-fulfilling prophecy, call it whatever you want. Charts are not the perfect tool, but they’re definitely a tool worth learning and digging more into. And I know you’re in no rush, which is awesome, which is perfect. And you’re taking those small steps. Is there some sort of … I don’t know whether that’s a number or a date, when do you think, or how do you know, or how do you think you’re going to know when you’re ready to actually start to actually trade and move it into the real money? Do you have any sort of goals, or when do you cross that line into using real money?
Jerry: Well, once I get through the university completely, and I am fully competent in what I’m doing, then yeah, I’m ready to jump in. Hey, I’m ready to open that account up and hey, let’s put it to work. You know, you’ve got to stay disciplined. I read a deal one time that said, “If you want to be successful, you’ve got to make your bed.” Now, what? It said, “If you ain’t disciplined enough for your feet to hit the floor in the morning and make your bed, then you’re probably not disciplined enough to be successful. So from that point on, my bed does not go unmade. Most of the time my wife makes it because she’s still in bed. But if she’s gone, that bed is made. You’ve got to have discipline.
Clay: Yeah, is that the former Navy Seal guy? Is that who you’re-
Jerry: No, this was … He may have said the same thing. I don’t know.
Clay: Yeah, the one that’s, I mean, I don’t want to call it a famous speech, but there’s a former Navy Seal and his first principle is exactly that. It’s like you make your bed every day. His whole logic was it’s a little victory. It’s like okay, you’ve got something done for the day. And then you can build upon that, but at least you know that every day. But same thing, and I like that angle too, it’s a function of just being disciplined too.
Clay: Which is going to be a little bit required in the world of trading. You’re going to want to be a disciplined person. I don’t know. I’m trying to think, can I factor that into the title of this? Because that’s true, trading success really starts with your bed or something like that because that is really a great way to look at it. I’m with you though, usually, my wife is in bed already by the time I get up, so I can’t say that I make the bed very often. That is a good way of looking at it. Do you make your bed? Now, I’m curious, your son you said 20 years ago, he was in the seventh grade. Are you sharing any of this with him or any of your kids right now? Obviously, the dynamics have changed over 20 years, but I’m just curious, do you talk the markets with any of them or anything like that?
Jerry: Oh, yeah. Well, the son, I have two sons. And one is a doctor, and one works for the airlines. And I told them that I was getting back in the game. My oldest one, he goes, “Really? Are you really, dad?” I said, “Yeah.” The thing that he had done, him and a buddy of his had done a little bit in the market. I don’t know, they kind of got into something, and they done good. And then, of course, naturally, they lost what they had started, so they just got out. His first question was, “Hey, are you ready to do this?” I said, “Yeah, this is totally different than what it was the first time when I lost my dream.
Jerry: I’ve got my dream back now. I’ve got a way I’m going. I see a focus. I’m focused. I see where I’m going. I’ve got a roadmap. And I’ve just got to stick to it, man. So yeah, they’re all excited. My youngest son come in the other day, and he said, “Hey, you ready to go to Wall Street yet?” And I said, “I’m working on it, man.” Because all I do, every time they come in or anything I’m going, I’ve got my headphones on, I’m listening to Clay.
Clay: I like it. Are you going to … They have full confidence in you. They know that you’ve got it. Do they live local where you see them pretty often?
Jerry: Yeah, uh-huh (affirmative).
Jerry: Well, the oldest one, he is in Miami right now on a job working for another airline down there, so he travels back and forth once a weekend or whatever. He got caught up in that corporate deal, 18 years. Same way with my wife, they all work at the same place, a large airline. I come in one day, and my wife, after … In fact, we were on a cruise. We was down in the Bahamas. And we had went in this little dive restaurant. And they had internet there because we didn’t want to pay a high internet price. Anyway, she flips her phone on, and she gets this text message from this guy she worked with saying, “Hey, I’m so sorry about you getting let go.” She goes, “What? What is going on?” And all of a sudden, she’s getting all of these text messages after almost 30 years with the airlines.
Jerry: And then they said, ‘Hey, we’re going in a different direction. We’re going to let you go.” So boy, that kind of ruined that cruise real quick. So we get back to Miami, and my wife calls my son because he works there at the same airlines, and said, “Hey, what’s going on?” He goes, “I don’t know, mom. I got let go too. I can’t tell you what’s happening. So wow. We had all of these plans and thought everything was on track. And then boom. Of course, she got to retire, but it was early. We wasn’t ready for her to retire yet. And so anyway, that was even more of a reason to get back in the market.
Clay: Well, it makes just that much more sense about why you have … Going back to the question of where did this whole attitude of I’ve got to learn how to do it on yeah own, self-sufficiency come from. Well, there’s another perfect example of yeah, your wife not being in total control, granted she got to retire. But like I said, it was early that what everybody was planning on because it wasn’t totally in her control.
Clay: Yeah, that makes very good sense. And I hope you as listeners out there, like you said, I’m not saying you need to go and do anything in particular, but it’s wort at leas nothing. I mean, that’s why I love these. This is real-life stuff we’re talking about. Are you in full control? You should go through your thought processes. Go through where things stand. I mean, are you totally at the mercy of somebody else? That’s kind of what always got me too was that little sense of you know, if things just go, I guess down the tubes, I’d rather have it just be the guy in the mirror’s fault rather than some sort of external force that I didn’t have much control over.
Jerry: That’s right.
Clay: Yeah. That’s good real-life stuff right there. So again, listeners, just throw it out there. Do some brainstorming with yourself as you drive, or you’re working out, or whatever you do when you listen to these. I mean, where do you stand as far as you being in a leverage point of control, or do you have some … I’m not saying quit your job and go try to … But just things out there to contemplate because that has some real-life repercussions on how things play out. Now, I kind of asked this, but I didn’t ask this exactly. You don’t quite know what you’re going to trade yet as far as futures, options. Do you envision yourself being a day trader, or a swing trader, or what sort of “style” of trader, or have you put much thought into that at all? How do you envision things playing out for yourself?
Jerry: Well, yeah, I would love to day trade. I would love to sit here and watch the market when it opens up, and stay on here for an hour, an hour and a half, two hours, and make my money, and be on my way, and have all day to do whatever I want. But, obviously, working every day, I can’t stay tied to a computer or my cell phone. So yeah, if I could swing, do some swing trades, maybe get in, put my order in, whatever, it hits my vibe, and go on and buy 100 shares and get out with $100.00. But at the end of the day, I would be tickled pink, or two days later, whatever. I would be very happy with that.
Jerry: I see all these emails all the time, not that it’s not real, obviously, it is real. I made $1000.00 today. I made $500.00 yesterday. I made $1,500.00 the day before, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, that’s real, but that’s not me right now. If I could make an extra $300.00 or $400.00 a week, phew, man, that would be awesome. Someday I’ll be good, but right now, just little steps, baby steps.
Clay: That’s a great quote. It’s real, but it’s just not me right now. Yeah. I mean, not that other guests don’t have good solid quotes, but that’s a really good observation. It’s real, just not me right now. And that’s something that I think a lot of people, myself included, they’re like oh, that’s real, therefore, it’s time to go. And then you start forcing square pegs through round holes, and things just don’t turn out well. Now, I’m curious about this, going back to that first strategy, you said it worked well for the most part. So I’m assuming there were some losses that strategy gave you of when you were building your account. It wasn’t like every single trade was a winning one. I’m assuming you had some losses.
Jerry: Oh, no. I had some losses. I set my stop loss down there at 5% or whatever. It didn’t hit me real hard, but yeah. For the most part, I was doing good. I just got caught speeding, or I got away from the program I guess you could say. Even though the program did teach us to listen to the reports because the market is going to react to this report probably before the report comes out. And so we knew when, at a certain time of the quarter or month, whatever, I don’t even remember now when the reports come out. I don’t know. Like that one, Venezuela, oh man, they were in a drought season. The price of corn is going way up.
Jerry: That was part of the strategy of that, line charts and reports. But it wasn’t to sell the farm on a bullish report or a various report, and that’s what it did. That’s where I got away from the fundamentals of what I was taught. I listened to somebody else instead of sticking with the fundamentals.
Jerry: And it cost me big time.
Clay: And you got caught speeding.
Jerry: I got caught speeding.
Clay: Let me ask this though, you said you put in your stop losses, was that, I don’t know if easy is the right word, but did you ever find yourself struggling with the ability to need to honor those stop losses, or was it pretty cut and dry for yourself?
Jerry: Well, yeah, after I got stopped out a few times, and then I thought, man, I may have been a little too tight with my stop. Maybe I should’ve moved that down there and been willing to take a little more loss because it fluctuated so much that gah-lee if I had just stayed in it. Because that was the same thing on that corn report. On Monday, it blew plum passed me, emptied me out plus $500.00. Then on Tuesday, it gapped up, the same thing plus more. It was just like okay, we’re going to show this guy. Of course, obviously, I wasn’t going to have my loss down that low, my stop loss, so I could have gained that back the next day.
Jerry: But yeah, so many of them losses, you get stopped out just barely, and then it turns around and goes up. Well, that’s okay. That’s alright. That’s what that loss os for because the next one may be really low. Yeah. One of them, I don’t remember which one of the callers, it was talking about not putting that stock or just going in and just trading without a stop loss maybe. I don’t remember where I heard somebody talking that on one of the … Meko, I think it was. I think you kind of got on him for that, for not putting his stop loss on there.
Clay: Come on Meko. Exactly. Yeah, there’s been several. It’s not like Meko is alone, but yes, he’s been a recent person that said that. I guess this was my roundabout way of asking because you have some data that you can rely on from a psychology standpoint. So it sounds like whenever you go live, whenever that may be, that for the most part, you’re pretty good from, like I said, the mental standpoint of just okay, I need to put a stop loss in, and I need to honor that stop loss. It sounds to me like you didn’t have a track record when you were back doing the system of okay, that’s supposed to be what my stop loss is, but cancel.
Clay: It sounds like you were very … Of course, it’s never to get stopped out and then have it go in your favor, but, like you said, welcome to the world of trading. But it sounds like that’ll definitely be a benefit that you’ll have where a lot of pp struggle in that regard as far as setting and honoring stop losses and staying disciplined to them. But for you, it seems that’ll be definitely a benefit that’ll ideally give you some momentum in the sense of you don’t really see to have struggled with that, the idea that yeah, you could be wrong, and you’re going to lose some money.
Jerry: Yeah. Oh, no. I realize that I’ve got to lost to make. Now, like yourself, 73 trades and didn’t lose or Nate in one of the podcasts where he couldn’t give you a red sheet. Everything he was giving you was green, and you wanted something real. Yeah,that will come. Obviously, that’s real, but you’re going to lose. At some point, somewhere, you’re going to lose. And you may lose a lot at first until you really understand, or maybe where you can afford to lose a little more to catch that gain back up. Set your stop a little lower. Right now I need to be conservative, but when you’re sitting with a large margin account, then you can do that, set your stops a little lower because, obviously, you can afford to buy more stock shares or whatever to gain more to offset that, so baby steps.
Jerry: But also, back when I was doing it then, with didn’t have internet other than dial-up. By the time you looked at the market, you were an hour behind what the market was. Right now, when you get real-time, you really have to be disciplined because you can see exactly what’s going on. I don’t know. We’ll see.
Clay: That’s what’s interesting about your story is you have that past history with that, and then granted, yeah, there’s that 20-year time span between there. You said it perfectly, you’ve got to lose money sometimes to make money. And that’s essentially business summarized, and trading is a business as I know you know. And that’s just kind of part of it.
Clay: I’m looking at the time here. We’ll start to wrap things up as we’re creeping up on an hour here. Do you have any other, and obviously, you have goals such as small steps and all that, but do you have any other goals that you just kind of are floating around out there? Or are you just taking it day by day? Are there any other kind of milestones that you want to hit or anything of that nature?
Jerry: No, not really. I just want to learn the game and be comfortable with it and feel like I am comfortable with what I’m doing. I did that once and got too comfortable and got caught, so anything and everything, I can’t absorb enough right now. My wife feels like she’s lost her husband to the Clay Trader.
Clay: At least you’re not taking any showers with him, so she doesn’t need to be that jealous.
Jerry: That’s right. Oh, man.
Clay: Tell her it could always be worse, okay? Tell her it could be like that one guy … Well, you know, this one guy … I mean, it could always be worse, I guess that’s the best way to approach your significant other in that situation. Alright. Well, I know you know what’s probably coming here because you’re a listener. Time machine, if I were to give you this time machine, and you could go back to the start, what would be one bit of advice that you could give yourself. And it can’t be, don’t listen to your broker. Besides that though, what would your bit of advice be?
Jerry: Yeah. Just don’t get caught speeding. It will happen. It will get there. Just don’t get reckless with your account. One of the things in one of your podcasts I listened to, you said something about open up a $500.00 account and trade in that $500.00, and go on from there. Of course, you listen to all of these other guys, and man, they’re wanting to blow this thing up. So before I heard that, I had $20,000.00. I’m ready to open an account with $20,000.00. Whoa, you said $500.00. Man, that just makes perfect sense. That way I’m limited to what I can do. I’ve always got the rest of that money there if I need it, but let’s see what we can do with $500.00. Don’t get caught speeding, man.
Clay: That’s a great bit of advice. And you’re right. Probably one of the most common questions I get is how much money do you need to start, what’s a good amount to start with. And I don’t care if you have five million dollars, start with $500.00 because you are going to do something stupid. And this includes if you go through my program. I can’t sit here and be like, listen, just go through my program and you’ll never do anything stupid. No. I still do stupid stuff, even if its oh oops, I pressed the wrong button. Or even if it’s just oops I was paying attention to … I meant to type in a four and I hit the seven, oops.
Clay: There is going to be some sort of oops. There is going to be some sort of stupid thing. You’re going to try to speed, but I’d rather have you being stupid, or speeding, or doing something with $500.00 rather than a $50,000.00 account or a $5,000.00 account. I mean, that’s why listeners, just $500.00. The whole idea, first, is not to go Lambo shopping next week, it’s let’s just get your feet wet and figure things out so that when you have an oops, it’s an oops with $500.00, and it is what it is. Now, if $500.00 is going to send you underneath a bridge, well then, fine. Start with $50.00 or $100.00. The point is, you don’t want the stupidity to send you off into never-never land where you can never quite come back or to Jerry land where you owe $500.00 because you lose it all, which is actually a good warning in and of itself as far as margin is concerned.
Clay: Now, before I move into the fun questions, Jerry, did you have any other points or things you needed to say? Because I mean, the show is yours, I’m just here along for the ride.
Jerry: No. I’m just honored to be a part of this. I really am. You need to have some get-togethers you know? Or maybe you do.
Clay: No, you’re right. We’re working on one. We’re working on one, but they’re so much work and Nate and I, we’re not event planners.
Jerry: Yeah. Well, I don’t know how you keep up with what you’ve got.
Clay: Neither do I. That’s a good question. I don’t know either. Here we are, and we’re getting it done. But to your point, when you like this stuff, when you love it, when you’re having fun with it, when it’s a passion, I don’t know, I’m not quite sure how I get it all done, but it’s fun. To me right now, this is not work. This is just talking trading with somebody that’s got a passion for taking trading.
Clay: We’ll definitely have to have you back though at some point in the future just to hear how things continue to go. Alright, we’ll move into the fun questions here.
Jerry: Oh, yeah?
Clay: First fun question, what is your favorite movie?
Jerry: Probably Legend of Bagger Vance, yep.
Clay: Is that the one with Will Smith?
Jerry: Yes, sir, it is.
Clay: Okay. And that’s a golfing one, right?
Jerry: That’s it, yeah.
Clay: Okay. Are you a golfer?
Jerry: I am, sir.
Clay: Ah, alright. I didn’t know there were golf courses in Oklahoma. I thought it was just tumbleweeds and … I’m totally stereotypical like Oklahoma, my mind defaults to tornadoes, tumbleweeds.
Jerry: Oh, wait, what about Boomer Sooner?
Clay: So you’re a college football fan then, huh?
Jerry: Yes, sir. Yeah, we’ve got to plant that flag, you know?
Clay: I know. I’m in such a tough spot though because I am a Browns fan.
Jerry: Oh, yeah. There you go.
Clay: Well, all that is a very big predicament for Ohio State fans that are supposed to be Browns fans. It’s a mess. It really is a mess right now.
Jerry: Well, you know, I am a Browns fan now. That’s for sure now. I never watched any Browns games in all my life until last year.
Clay: Yeah, I don’t know, it’s goofy. I don’t even know what to think of it. It’s nice to have a Browns team that is actually not … I mean, there is work to be done, but it’s not nearly as what it was.
Jerry: Yeah. I think you at least make one game of the playoffs next year.
Clay: Yeah, we’ll see what happens. Are you an NFL fan even before?
Jerry: Oh, yeah.
Clay: Okay, so who do people in Oklahoma route for? Are you like a Cowboys fan then? How does that work?
Jerry: Majority Cowboys or Kansas City, the Chiefs, yeah.
Clay: Okay, alright.
Jerry: Generally those two, yeah.
Clay: Okay, gotcha.
Jerry: Since Oklahoma don’t have a pro team.
Clay: Exactly. That’s why I was curious.
Jerry: It’s five hours to Kansas City and five hours to Dallas, and so we’re all kind of split.
Clay: Okay. I was curious how that would actually work, but that does make sense. For me, I’m kind of a Kansas City plan B team just since I used to live there back in the day.
Jerry: Oh, yeah?
Clay: Yeah, that’s where I worked for Honeywell. I was in Kansas City when I worked for Honeywell.
Jerry: I figure you were up there in Coon Rapids, Michigan, there’s a Honeywell site or something.
Clay: Oh, I don’t know. I’m in Grand Rapid. I’m not sure where the local one was. But yeah, I worked for the Kansas City plant. Technically, I worked for the Department of Energy, but Honeywell, they ran the joint, so they were in charge of the people. So I got a paycheck from Honeywell, but it was actually Uncle Sam dripping money into-
Jerry: Oh, I see.
Clay: It was not really the real world. I say that because they were, “We’ve got deadlines. There’s budgets to make.” And it’s like, no, the government is paying us. If we go over budget, there is no consequences because the bottom line doesn’t matter. I was in the real world, but in the same sense, I was not in the real world. Whereas, I had a buddy that went to work for Medtronic.
Jerry: Oh, yeah.
Clay: And he was like, “Oh, yeah, Clay, it’s different. Budgets actually mean something at Medtronic when you don’t have the government” … the gravy train as we called it. We could have a whole other podcast on that. What about food-wise, what do you like to eat in Oklahoma? Barbecue?
Jerry: Well, barbecue yeah, but mainly steak, man.
Clay: There we go.
Jerry: Just grilled steak, yeah.
Clay: Have you got any of these 25 cattle left, or were those steaks a long time ago?
Jerry: No. Yeah, they’re long gone, yeah long gone.
Clay: Long gone.
Jerry: Yeah. I just poured my heart and soul in Honeywell after all that, working 10, 12 hours a day, seven days a week. At Honeywell, you can’t work enough hours.
Clay: What do you do for them if you’re willing to disclose?
Jerry: Yeah, aircraft mechanic. We’re in aircraft here in Tulsa.
Clay: Oh, nice. And you’re a mechanic, so a skill that is definitely in high demand, at least from my understanding. Just out of curiosity, how is that from … On the horizon, do you see a shortage because there’s not enough people of the younger generation stepping in to learn the skill? Or does it seem like they’re still … Do you work with anybody younger, or how is that? Because you always hear about the skills and the trade, you know, the trades such as mechanics, everybody just has been sold the bill of goods that you’ve got to go to college and major in the philosophy of wooden shoes. Do you see a job shortage on the horizon?
Jerry: Definitely, yeah. Yes, definitely. It seems like there is such a range because when we started, Honeywell bought our division in ’97. And so when they opened up this company here, our legacy company, they hired 100 people. Well, and they was all in their, the majority of them, in their 20s. We’ve all just been there forever. Well, now we’ve got to the point that some of them is retiring and whatever, and there’s such an age gap in these kids. Most of them, they’re all so computer savvy, but you can’t find any that’s hands-on. You’re right, it’s a dying art. It’s going to be tough.
Clay: It sounds like if there was a youth and they are thinking listen, I’ve always been told you can’t get ahead in life. It’s those greedy corporations. It sounds like you would say, hey listen, Johnny, listen, Susie, how about you learn the craft? How about you learn the trade of becoming a mechanic, or an airplane mechanic? There’s a big job market there for you. Would that be a viable path to-
Jerry: Oh, yeah, definitely.
Clay: there we go.
Jerry: Especially here in Tulsa. Oil and aircraft, that’s the biggest employer here in the state, aircraft and oil. Yeah.
Clay: So there are jobs out there. Sure, you may not be able to do anything with your philosophy of wooden shoes, but if you’re willing to get dirty a little bit, hey there you go, a skill that I would assume pays pretty nicely.
Jerry: That’s right. Yes, it does.
Clay: There we go. Long story short, anybody that says oh, the system is rigged against you, no, I don’t want to hear your excuses. Learn how to become an aircraft mechanic. And you just heard it here, there’s plenty of job demand out there for it. Alright, and then final question. I really derailed that conversation. That was good though. But final question, three words, what would those three words be that you would associate with successful trading or just what it takes to become a successful trader?
Jerry: Yeah. You control the game. You’ve got to control the game with your stops whatever. Don’t get stupid. Don’t get caught speeding, that’s my number one thing. And stick to the fundamentals, man. Stick to what you were taught. Don’t deviate.
Clay: I like that.
Jerry: Of course, I’m kind of biased to that because I got caught and got caught hard. I’m living it.
Clay: Awesome. I don’t know what I like, the don’t get caught speeding, it’s real, but just not you. That was another great quote. So this was filled with some good little soundbites here. So Jerry, though, thank you very much for hanging out and taking time out of your evening. And I guess you already said that you’re willing to come back, which is good news for me.
Jerry: Oh, yeah.
Clay: But thank you very much for hanging out.
Jerry: Clay, I appreciate it, man, I’m excited. My dream is alive again.
Clay: Good. That’s awesome. And that’s always good to have something that you’re passionate about. And I look forward to hearing how things continue to play out. But for you listeners out there, a final few things before we go. First off, if you’re listening on iTunes or any of the other podcast players, make sure to subscribe. That way you are alerted to when new episodes and new content comes out. And especially on iTunes, if you could leave us a rating, and especially a comment where you leave us actual words, but if you just want to click the stars, that works too. But that really helps us out and goes a long way.
Clay: If you are listening on ClayTrader.com, on the show notes page there is a live chat box right there. So if you have comments, questions, suggestions, whatever, it will get to a real person assuming it’s not at 3:00 AM in the morning, but that is a way that you can reach out to us via the website itself. But like I said, at the most primitive and basic form, if you could leave us a rating on iTunes or any of the other podcast players that really does help us out.
Clay: Thank you to you as listeners. Thank you to Jerry. We will see you all back next week.
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