In 2020, I will train ten formerly incarcerated or registered people to become profitable options traders. As part of the program of instruction, I will give each phase four particpant $5,000 seed money to fund their brokerage account once they have demonstrated that they have mastered the skills I’ve taught them while “paper-trading” in a simulated trading environment. Once the student makes at least a 100% return on the original $5,000, he will be asked to repay the loan so I can train others. If the student loses the original $5,000 stake, they will owe me nothing.
The project, dubbed the “Last Laugh Traders Consortium” (LLTC), aims to break the cycle of unemployability and at-risk employment for those with a record of felonies and sexual offenses. Almost as bad as the inability to find meaningful employment is the constant threat or fear of losing whatever job you might be lucky enough to have at the whim of an employer or due to the actions of a retribution-minded “activist.” Let’s face it, no job is forever, and you will never become independent and/or wealthy while punching a time-clock. That’s just not how the world works.
While it’s true that many of the wealthiest people in the U.S. either inherited their wealth or built large successful companies that paid off handsomely for them, there are also many people who have become incredibly wealthy simply by investing or trading. Those two words are not synonymous, by the way. Trading is very different from investing. But more on that later.
I will identify ten (more or less) candidates who meet certain prerequisites and I will train them to create income through trading equity options. Those students who are successful in the 2020 cohort will be expected to help train the next cohort of students in 2021. If this project establishes a positive and verifiable track record, our goal will shift in 2021 to obtaining crowdfunding or sponsorships that would allow us to train hundreds of people in the coming years.
While I fully support criminal justice reform and all that it entails, I also believe that the fastest and most effective way to improve the lives of people impacted by our dysfunctional criminal justice system is to teach them how to be financially independent.
I’ll train the way I trade. When I trade, I let my stocks self-select. I wait for a price to come to me; I won’t chase a price. I choose the right entry point, and know what will trigger my exit. I look for technical indicators that provide me with assurances that a price is doing what I expect it to do. If it doesn’t, I’m out of the trade.
That’s how I will train my students. They will self-select by meeting certain criteria and by contacting me. And either they will do what is necessary to succeed in this program, or they won’t. It’s really just that simple. I will not simply hand someone $5,000 and expect them to start learning what to do with it. That seed money comes at a point that will be closer to the end of their successful training program than the beginning of it.
With that said, lets go over prerequisites and milestones:
Early Prerequisites (If you can’t meet these requirements, don’t even think about it)
- Own a reliable internet-connected computer
- Seriously, if your computer is junk, you won’t be able to do this.
- If you aren’t allowed on the internet, you can’t do this.
- Have a Twitter account and a working email address.
- Why? Because that’s where we will discuss the training.
- I will do the training from my @TraderMichaelM account
- Have a bank account in good standing
- If you can’t get a bank account, you won’t be able to get a trading account.
- This is how you get paid. Get a bank account.
- Have the desire and the time to learn
- If you don’t have the time for this, please don’t bother.
- Leave your politics out of this. Not interested. Period.
- If you think capitalism and money are evil, don’t waste my time. If you think the markets are all a scam, don’t waste my time. If you’re expecting armageddon right around the corner, don’t waste my time. Good luck with all that.
Phase One: (Your entry ticket)
- Obtain the three books that are required reading:
- Real Money, by James Cramer
- Lessons from the Greatest Stock Traders, by John Boik
- Options Made Easy, 2nd Edition, by Guy Cohen
- All three can be picked up in used condition very cheaply, or even borrowed from the library.
- You’ll be asked to prove that you have at least ordered your books by Jan 31st.
Phase Two Milestones (Start participating)
- Participate in the LLTC Twitter chat room.
- At least start reading the books in this order: Cramer, Boik, Cohen. We will discuss them from time to time.
- Download/install the Think or Swim online trading platform
- Establish a Tos paper-trading account (simulation account)
- Establish a (free) TDAmeritrade live account
- Be available at least occasionally during the trading day
- Trading hours are Mon-Fri 9:30 to 4:00 Eastern
Participation is a measure of your commitment and success in this training.
Phase Three Milestones (Developing competence)
- Complete the three books listed above
- Be able to interpret and “tell the story” behind a chart
- Understand how options differ from stock trades
- Learn at least 20 of the most basic trading patterns
- Understand how to read the bid/ask ladder and options tables
- Complete a series of simulated mirror trades in ToS
Phase Four Milestones (Demonstrating competence)
- Accomplish all of the above successfully
- Show an good understanding of LLTC Rules of the Trade and demonstrate a willingness to follow them
- Demonstrate a consistent record of profitable trades and increasing account balance in ToS paper trading
As you can clearly see, embarking on this path isn’t going to be as simple as saying, “Sign me up!” It’s going to take a lot of work on your part. You should definitely plan on spending months (if not years) learning how to do this competently. If you thought that this would be something you could learn in just a few weeks, you were wrong.
Fill out the form here, and tell me a little about yourself.
- Amazon: Real Money, James Cramer
- Amazon: Lessons from the Greatest Traders of All Time, John Boik
- Amazon: Options Made Easy, Guy Cohen
- You Tube: Principles for Success, Ray Dalio
- You Tube: How the Economic Machine Works, Ray Dalio
- You Tube: How to Trade Options
Guides and Reference:
- Investopedia: Financial Terms Dictionary
- Guide to Candlestick Patterns, Rayner Teo
- Chart School, Stockcharts.com