How did you first become interested in the markets?

halamadrid's picture
Rank: Monkey | 40

Alright, I've got to ask...

How did you guys first learn to enjoy following the markets?

Were you immediately hooked watching bloomberg/cnbc? watching an endless array of stock/bond prices move in small, seemingly contradictory directions?

While I understand it likely comes easy once you are immersed in it on the floor as your job, I have no idea how I can come across so many undergrads with a seemingly limitless knowledge of the markets and hunger for the latest bit of company/market news. I mean, I'm just as intrigued as the next person here when reading books like When Genius Failed, Black Swan, etc... Hell, I even tend to enjoy all of my Economics/ Finance based courses. However, when I turn on Bloomberg news I may as well be watching a CSPAN broadcasting of Al Gore on Global warming judging by my interest. I just can't get into all of these small, continual price movement alerts and info on company xyz, or the same rehashed economic prospectus by an analyst.

I'm hoping its just because I don't have a firm understanding of how the markets/fundamentals work and connect. I'm assuming that these undergrads aren't just memorizing lines they heard from analysts and brandishing them around to look cool? Do the target schools trully have such better professors/programs that they really learn the markets inside/out on top of the usual theoretical stuff?

I admit there is something very enticing about the markets and trading, as I am very interested in anything that allows you to form a "systematic" approach and try and use your knowledge to make predictions on future events whether short or long term.

** Anyway, my true question is where should I start/ what can I do to try and interest myself more in the markets? Is the only way to actually put some money in an account and starting trading? (I have tried a practice account but that doesn't give me a big enough incentive to get home from 10-14 hour work days and look further into it)

Comments (38)

Mar 7, 2010

If you are at all a sports fan, try fantasy sports or sports betting. A lot of similarites between those two and investing or trading. I would also suggest putting some of your own money at risk - the idea of turning what you have into more tends to be a great motivator.

Mar 7, 2010

I think it's mostly pretending.

Mar 8, 2010

So no one can give me their own experience?

I suppose I should first focus in on one sector/product and learn the specifics?

Since I'm most interested in the FICC side, specifically FX, I have decided to first go through a few economics fundamentals books and start following tradingeconomics.com. I also bought the book, trading currency for dummies (yes, I know).

Essentially the question is should I just jump right into it and trade my own money while being forced to learn along the way so I don't lose all my money? Or should I continue trying to understand all of the macro fundamental relationships and indicators as well as reading a few books on currency trading before I begin trading my own account?

Mar 8, 2010

Jumping right into trading and losing all your money, while expensive, is one of the best lessons that you can ever learn. Waiting until you think you've got it all figured out because you read another 3 books is a terrible idea...number of books read and PnL probably has a very low correlation.

If you're planning on trading currencies on macro news you're going to get smoked - plan on it. If anything you'll break even and your tx costs will eat up your account. But, if you're serious about it, make small bets and consider your losses learning expenses. You need to get familiar with the price action if you want to be successful - there are plenty of successful currency traders that don't know a lot about economics.

Mar 8, 2010
rooster:

Jumping right into trading and losing all your money, while expensive, is one of the best lessons that you can ever learn. Waiting until you think you've got it all figured out because you read another 3 books is a terrible idea...number of books read and PnL probably has a very low correlation.

If you're planning on trading currencies on macro news you're going to get smoked - plan on it. If anything you'll break even and your tx costs will eat up your account. But, if you're serious about it, make small bets and consider your losses learning expenses. You need to get familiar with the price action if you want to be successful - there are plenty of successful currency traders that don't know a lot about economics.

i am not sure i agree with the above about going in blind and expecting to blow up your account as a price of tuition. When I started trading my own money I did a ton of reading both on the product I intended on trading and on the news/fundamentals in the market i traded. I understand that maybe for some people there is a certain paralysis that comes from over-analysis and they should just jump in the pool at some point, but for me I read for months before i started because i didnt fell like throwing away thousands of dollars that i worked hard to get.

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Mar 8, 2010

Wanted to study marketing because it's more than just advertising. It's strategy and business development. Then I learned in college that you need to know finance for corporate strategy. I enjoyed studying business strategies and found that (fundamental) asset valuation was that. Since then adding designations helped turn it into a trade instead of filling genereal curiosity.

Mar 8, 2010

Wanted to study marketing because it's more than just advertising. It's strategy and business development. Then I learned in college that you need to know finance for corporate strategy. I enjoyed studying business strategies and found that (fundamental) asset valuation was that. Since then adding designations helped turn it into a trade instead of filling genereal curiosity.

Mar 8, 2010

Do any of you guys use the Investing IQ app on facebook ? It is very limited, but it is a facebook app so that is to be expected.

May 24, 2010

8th grade. We had to invest 5k of virtual money and my competitive side wouldn't let me lose. Ended up scouring through every single stock on NYSE that day and picked three (based on the terrible, completely idiotic idea that only stocks with a p/e of 10-11 were fairly valued.) Portfolio went up 10 percent the next day, based exclusively on luck of course, and I won.

It was stupid but it got me interested in the markets....

May 24, 2010
ElliotWaveSurfer:

8th grade. We had to invest 5k of virtual money and my competitive side wouldn't let me lose. Ended up scouring through every single stock on NYSE that day and picked three (based on the terrible, completely idiotic idea that only stocks with a p/e of 10-11 were fairly valued.) Portfolio went up 10 percent the next day, based exclusively on luck of course, and I won.

It was stupid but it got me interested in the markets....

That's not stupid or idiotic, I'm 31 and I still rather invest in companies with low PE's.

But back to the question, Black Monday -1987 was my first real exposure to the market. I already knew what the stock market was but when I heard stories about guys committing suicide, I was like wow that's pretty crazy.
I followed the major indices after that, but didn't start following individual stocks until 12th grade.

May 24, 2010

11th grade highschool economics class

Aug 5, 2012
blastoise:

11th grade highschool economics class

Oct 23, 2010

11th grade Macroeconomics.

I win here, I win there...

Oct 23, 2010

Watching a tv show called Traders . . . there is a thread with a download link for the series, it's a must see.

Oct 23, 2010

After listening to the intelligent investor (audio book) while in the womb, I started trading variance swaps when I was two years old.

    • 1
Aug 5, 2012

I interned for a market making firm specializing in toilet wine.

I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum.

Aug 5, 2012

High school economics was when it first started for me. My dad and I opened a brokerage account and messed around with it for a few years. Now I have my own brokerage account and we compete against each other from time to time.

Aug 5, 2012

When I sold YHOO for 498 3/16 within a few dollars of the peak in Jan 2000. I was into the market before that, but that really sealed the deal. It helped that I bought YHOO for about 115 a little over a year earlier, before it split (less than 60 cost basis). I loved the late '90's stock market. Luckily, I was dumb enough to participate in internet stocks at the time and lucky enough to sell all of them the first week of the year 2000.

Yes, believe it or not, stocks were quoted in fractions at that time.

Aug 6, 2012

11th grade economics class as well. My dad used to always talk about stocks back in the late 90s and early 2000s before and after the tech bubble and I was always interested in it. There's something about trading that is just became interesting to me it's unexplainable. It might just be the game. The fact that you can play a game for a living and compete against other people. Then again life is just a game anyways

Aug 6, 2012

11th Grade Macro. Plus crisis was going on.

Here to learn and hopefully pass on some knowledge as well. SB if I helped.

Aug 6, 2012

On and off in freshman year, but started consistently following in second year. Trading a small personal portfolio, even on paper, kinda forces you to follow what's going on.

Aug 6, 2012

Second year undergrad.. First year I didn't really care too much about building a career in financial services/IB

Aug 6, 2012

senior year highschool

Aug 6, 2012

sophomore year undergrad

Aug 6, 2012

half way through my SA stint

Aug 6, 2012

I am a trader and dont follow any markets... was never into stock market

Aug 6, 2012

consistently since junior year of hs

Aug 6, 2012

Junior year of high school.

I win here, I win there...

Aug 6, 2012

I started in 5th grade, when my dad gave me the quote sheet from the WSJ to read over breakfast. One of the better things he did for me, in my opinion.

Aug 6, 2012
FinancePun:

I started in 5th grade, when my dad gave me the quote sheet from the WSJ to read over breakfast. One of the better things he did for me, in my opinion.

sounds like a prick lol

Aug 6, 2012

3rd grade

"Make 'Nanas, not war! "

Aug 6, 2012

unfortunely i stopped in 4th

"Make 'Nanas, not war! "

Aug 6, 2012

do you think following the markets at an early age gives you an intuitive feel just like if you started playing baseball at age 6, you probably have a more natural understanding of the game

Aug 6, 2012

Sure you do. A lot of our reasoning is inductive and subconscious. As long as you are capable of some sort of reflection and don't start to accumulate false beliefs, the sooner is always better.

"Make 'Nanas, not war! "

Aug 6, 2012

Junior year high school, my dad kinda dropped it on me.