Rachel’s note: Today, we’re handing the reins to colleague Larry Benedict. Larry has been trading for 35 years… and his track record is legendary. While he was running hedge funds between 1990 and 2010, he never had a single losing year. And even during the 2007-2008 financial crisis, Larry was still turning profits. In fact, 2008 was his fund’s best year. It made $95 million for employees and clients.
Larry says becoming a trader is like anything else in life – you have to start somewhere. So today, he’ll show you what you need to get yourself an edge in the markets. Read on…
By Larry Benedict, editor, Trading With Larry Benedict
Imagine I strapped you into the driver’s seat of a Formula 1 car.
The engine’s running, the crowd’s roaring, and you’re in the front row of the starting line.
Millions of dollars are at stake. You’re surrounded by the world’s best drivers. And your only experience racing is from a go-kart track.
Safe to say you’d be a little nervous. You don’t have the experience you need to succeed at such a high level.
The same goes for financial markets… You have to work your way up before you can hang with the world’s best traders.
But you don’t – and shouldn’t – have to do it alone…
Let’s revisit the same scenario from above. Same car, same crowd, same chances.
Except this time, you’re wearing a headset with Michael Schumacher on the other end, one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers ever. He’s giving you turn-by-turn advice for each curve on the track.
You’d feel a little more comfortable with such an experienced mentor…
Becoming a trader is like anything in life. If you want to be really good at it, you have to start somewhere. You won’t have 30-plus years of experience from the jump.
And if you want an edge, there’s no better place to start than by learning from someone who’s already paved the way. That way, you don’t go at it alone.
The Key Thing a Mentor Provides
A good mentor provides, first and foremost, a methodology to follow.
Most traders struggle because they have no real methodology. They take positions willy-nilly, with no real concern for position sizing or an exit strategy. It’s a make-money mentality… but with no firm plan.
To be a successful trader, you have to be able to deal with the finality of a loss on the downside… and know when to take profits on the upside.
Taking a loss is one of the hardest things in trading. But when you take that loss, you’ve now locked in that loss and have to make it back. If you don’t believe you can make that money back, you’ll never get out of a losing trade.
That’s a crucial piece of discipline that’s extremely difficult to just figure out on your own.
Having a mentor show you how to execute trades, explain when to get in and when to get out, and model how to control your emotions will help you develop the ability to take a loss and move on.
I’ve had a few mentors throughout my career. But one sticks out… because he saved my career.
How I Found My Mentor
When I started out on the trading floor, most floor traders didn’t go to college. They just learned everything on the floor.
I went to college, though, which meant my colleagues had the advantage of four years’ experience on the floor ahead of me. I was blind coming in. I had no idea what was going on.
As I continued to grow, I was drawn to the outlier traders… the one or two guys who were really good. They were able to consistently grow their positive P&L (profit and loss) and put on larger position sizes.
One of those guys was Larry LoVecchio. I worked under him at the firm Spear, Leeds & Kellogg.
He was the best mentor I ever had. He taught me discipline like I’d never known. I’d watch him and be in awe of not just his performance but how calm, measured, and unemotional he was…
Meanwhile, I was like a wild, bucking stallion. I had the “it” factor: aggressiveness, and the will to win… but I didn’t understand how to make it all work together.
LoVecchio was really aggressive but also incredibly disciplined. He knew when to take risks and how big of a risk to take. He didn’t overleverage his trades, and he never let his emotions get ahead of him.
That’s why I say he saved my career. Before I met LoVecchio, I was just throwing all of my money into one trade, swinging for the fences… and usually missing.
It’s not easy to bounce back, time after time, after you’ve lost it all. And in my early days, I lost it all multiple times.
I might’ve wound up quitting, had LoVecchio not taken me under his wing.
The critical thing he taught me was the importance of position sizing. Other traders would throw too much money into trades… hold onto losers too long… freak out at their massive losses… and stagnate.
But I learned to cut my losses early. After booking some wins, I could size up to bigger and bigger levels comfortably.
My advice for any new trader is to be eager to grow. That’s the key to trading.
I didn’t start out doing 50-70 trades per day. My position sizes were extremely small, meaning I put a very small percentage of my overall capital into each trade.
Then, I started to get better. I accumulated one small win after another and started adding more trades each day and sizing up my positions.
But I had to watch someone else to learn that. I had no other experience to draw from.
I say all this to show you something important: you don’t have to go at it alone when you’re learning how to trade.
In fact, that’s exactly why I try to come alongside my readers and show them how I’ve succeeded over the years…
The 750% Boost
During my time on Wall Street, I spent decades working for hedge funds – including running my own.
I learned about ways to make money that few people know about. You don’t hear about these deals on CNBC or by reading The Wall Street Journal.
They aren’t stocks, bonds, options, or crypto… They’re unfamiliar to most traders and investors.
And that’s a shame – because these kinds of opportunities provide different ways to build wealth… hedge risk… and take on the current market volatility.
Of course, these deals can be intimidating if you don’t have someone to guide you through them. That’s why I’ve been stepping forward to help my readers like I was helped in the past…
Because the payoff is worth it.
Your typical savings account these days yields less than 3%. That’s pitiful. CDs and Treasury bills aren’t much better.
The opportunity I’m talking about can beat those yields by 750%. And it can do that while also limiting your downside risk…
That’s why beginning Wednesday, December 7, at 8 p.m. ET, I’ll be stepping forward to show exactly how they work at my 750% Boost event.
If you’re sick and tired of sitting on cash with inflation at new highs – or getting whipsawed back and forth in the markets – then I’d highly encourage you to join me on December 7.
Editor, Trading With Larry Benedict