Mark Minervini's Official Blog

Stock Market Wizard, U.S. Investing Champion Mark Minervini Shares Ideas and Wisdom Here FREE!



My Walking Barefoot in Four Feet of Snow Story

September 16, 2014



At some time in your life, you’ve heard a story like this, probably from your parents or grandparents: how they had to walk barefoot six miles uphill each way to school in four feet of snow, carrying their brother on their back. Well, I’m going to leave you with my own “in my day” story.

 

When I started trading in the 1980s, I had no quotes, no charts, and no research tools to speak of. There was no such thing as an Internet connection (at least one that I could connect to), no online trading, and no level II system for the average trader to find out where the market was. All I had was closing prices printed in the newspaper each day and some graph paper to hand plot charts.

 

Making matters worse, stock commissions were extremely high: more than $100 per trade versus $5 or $10 today. Even when discount commissions were introduced, they were still around $60 per side. At the time, however, that seemed like quite a bargain. Finding out where the market was at any particular moment was just about impossible for a small-time trader like me in those days. I had to be resourceful and a little audacious to make up for the tools I didn’t have.

 

When commissions finally came down to a reasonable level, I opened a trading account at a local discount brokerage house. That brokerage office offered a very useful feature: a stock quote machine in the lobby. These were not streaming real-time quotes but rather snap quotes that you could pull up static one stock at a time. The machine was meant to be a courtesy for customers who stopped by the brokerage office and didn’t invite frequent use.

 

The computer terminal sat on a table without a chair. The message was clear: look once and move on. That, however, did not discourage me. I stood outside that branch office every trading day, rain or shine, reading the newspaper. Then I’d go in every 10 minutes or so to check the quotes. Sometimes I’d take a break across the street for a hot dog or a soda. Otherwise, I didn’t leave my spot for the entire six-and-a-half-hour trading day. How else could I know where the market was?

 

Eventually, I purchased a computer to get market data, but there was no Internet trading in those days, no point-and-click two-second execution the way there is today. In those days, I made my money by picking up the phone and paying hefty commissions.

 

When people tell me that trading today is too difficult, that the market is too complex and the pros have all the edge, it makes me chuckle. It’s a much more level playing field today between the amateurs and the professionals. Even casual investors have tools at their disposal—from online trade execution to free charts—that I couldn’t imagine in the old days. Today you have the equivalent of a fully equipped F-16 fighter jet at your fingertips.

 

Don’t think the deck is stacked against you, retail players can’t win, or only the professionals make money in the market. These are simply excuses. I dropped out of school at age 15 with virtually no money and no education. If I could make big money in the stock market, think about how well you can do. There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to achieve far more than I have.

 

Go for it!

 

Mark Minervini



Data and information is provided for informational purposes only. The information provided has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. Neither Mark Minervini, Minervini.com or Minervini Private Access , LLC nor any of its data or content providers shall be liable for any errors or omissions or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. By accessing this website, and its pages, links and trading services which users may access through this site, a user agrees not to redistribute the information found therein. All material in this website and its related websites and pages are protected under copyright laws of the United States. Unauthorized forwarding, copying or reproduction will be treated as a breach of copyright. Mark Minervini is not an investment advisor, financial planner, nor a securities broker. Minervini Private Access, LLC is not a registered broker-dealer. The Information provided in this website is not to be relied upon for your investment decision. Your decision to buy any securities is as a result your own free will and your own research. Individual performance depends upon each user or student's unique skills, time commitment, and effort. User's and students sharing their stories have not been compensated. Student stories have not been independently verified by Minervini Private Access, LLC. These results may not be typical and individual results will vary. Past results are not indicative of future returns. There is a very high degree of risk involved in any type of trading. Stocks, Options, ETF's & Futures are not suitable for all investors. Minervini Private Access, LLC., its subsidiaries and all "affiliated" individuals assume no responsibilities for your trading and investment results. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits. All investors should consult a qualified professional before trading any stock. Under no circumstances should anything contained in this website be construed or considered as an offer to sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy. While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information contained herein is not untrue or misleading at the time of publication, we make no representation as to its accuracy or completeness and it should not be relied upon as such. From time to time Minervini Private Access, LLC and any of its officers or employees may have a position or otherwise be interested in any transactions, in any investments (including derivatives) directly or indirectly the subject of this report. Entities including but not limited to Minervini Private Access, LLC, its members, officers, directors, employees, customers, agents, and affiliates may have a position, long or short, in the securities referred to herein, and/or other related securities, and may increase or decrease such position or take a contra position. Opinions expressed herein are statements of our judgment as of the publication date and are subject to change without notice. Specific Entry Point Analysis®, SEPA®, Leadership Profile® and Minervini Select® are Registered Trademarks of Minervini Private Access, LLC. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.