Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value. – Albert Einstein
When I first started trading, I was totally overwhelmed by the amount of information available. I dove headfirst into reading numerous books, blogs, and (sadly) was watching and reading the news. Over time I learned what worked for me, but I spent an incredible amount of time filtering out useless information and trying to make sense of the bigger picture.
What I found is that while the vast majority of trading information is fairly worthless, there are a few very knowledgeable people who can and want to help. The people on this list all provide information that has a practical application and sped up my learning curve immensely. Everyone listed provides information that goes beyond just trying to make money from new traders; they clearly want to help.
In the spirit of helping new traders, I reached out to everyone on the list for a quote. I asked everyone what they would tell a new trader or how they would describe their trading process. The responses were awesome and probably have more value than anything I’m writing here, so let’s get to the list.
Note: I used a random number generator in excel to create the list order below and, as a result, the list order does not imply anything about my perceived value. Everyone on the list adds value in a different way.
1. Brian Shannon of AlphaTrends.net
Site Tagline: Objective & Unbiased Technical Analysis
Brian said: “The market doesn’t care about our opinion of news or what commentators are saying, learn to listen to the market and take your timing cues from price action. Only price pays!”
Why you should check him out: Brian produces the best technical analysis videos I have come across and I’ve watched quite a few. The videos are always extremely objective (his verbiage) and presented in a way that helps you understand what the market is doing. Brian does a great job of helping you develop the analytical skills to become a successful trader and has a strong focus on risk management. In addition to his videos, he wrote a book that is literally the only technical analysis book you’ll ever need to buy.
Most recent blog post: Stock Trading Ideas for 11/14/13
2. Mebane Faber
Site Tagline: Mebane Faber Research – Stock Market and Investing Blog
Why you should check him out: Mebane puts together an awesome blog with some extremely interesting research that you won’t see anywhere else. My personal feeling about the creative process for Mebane is that it probably involves coming up with a really interesting idea related to trading/investing, writing up comprehensive research, and then taking it to much higher level while other people try to mimic what he was initially doing.
Mebane presents research that is simple and powerful. His research makes you look at markets in a totally new light that can rekindle a love for markets. I know that sounds sappy, poetic, and has no place on a trading website, but it’s just true.
Most recent blog post: Are Stocks Overvalued?: CAPE vs. Dividends
3. Jared Woodard of Condor Options
Site Tagline: Condor Options – Effective Strategies
Jared said: “My advice to new traders: assume that it’s impossible to beat the market over the long run in risk-adjusted terms. That way, even if you don’t disprove the assumption, you won’t have lost a lot of money along the way.”
Why you should check him out: Jared provides an advanced look at volatility and options concepts in general. He does a great job of identifying complex problems and then presenting commentary that is accessible regardless of your options background. Condor Options is a phenomenal resource for learning about iron condors and risk management with a successful track record that goes back several years.
Most recent blog post: The Gamma Problem for Straddles, or Why VIX Futures are Necessary
4. Michael Covel of Trend Following
Site Tagline: Trend Following Trading Systems & Research – Trend Following, Absolute Returns, Risk Management, Psychology, Uncertainty, Black Swans
Mike said: “Trading is straightforward: pick a portfolio, decide when you will enter, have a plan for exiting with a loss, have a plan for exiting with a gain and know how much to bet each trade. Does anyone ever say this on CNBC?”
Why you should check him out: If you want to learn about Trend Following, you absolutely need to read, watch, and listen to Michael Covel. Michael is creative entrepreneur who has been able to get inside the offices of the greatest trend following traders in the world. The information he is able to bring out in his interviews is incredibly valuable and can’t be found anywhere else (check out his podcast).
Sidenote: Aside from providing great information about trading, Covel is a creative entrepreneur. He started trendfollowing.com from nothing and has built it up to the point that’s he’s “the” authority. If you’re interested in his entrepreneurial success and his personal story, you can check out this podcast.
Most recent blog post: Aim for the Highest & Watch the Dark Horse
5. Mark Sebastian of Option Pit
Site Tagline: Stock and Index Options Trading and Mentoring for Options Traders
Mark said: “Anyone that says trading is easy and anyone can do it is a liar.”
Why you should check him out: Mark is a super bright and a seemingly skeptical guy that can teach you a ton about using volatility information in your trading; plus, he’s a former member of the CBOE. He takes advanced volatility concepts and applies them to trading in a way that is conceptually easy to understand, even though the topics aren’t. His videos on skew and changes in skew definitely changed the way I look at my trades. The way he thinks about options trading is very 3 dimensional and his commentary is always entertaining.
Most recent blog post: Where Will VIX Be Next Friday
6. Timothy Sykes
Site Tagline: How to Trade Penny Stocks Like Millionaire Timothy Sykes
Tim said: “The secret to my success is a. ) choosing a niche with little competition b.) being more prudent and meticulous than my competition and c.) recognizing that my competition never changes so the patterns and setups never change…all of which leads me to take high percentage trades over and over and over which is why my winning percentage on trades is 72% and the more good trades I do, the wealthier I become :)”
Why you should check him out: Even if you don’t want to trade the way Tim does, it’s impossible not to follow him because he’s incredibly interesting and entertaining. Wall Street Warriors anyone? Tim’s story is that he took a small amount of money (roughly 12k) and turned that into around $1.65 million, started a hedge fund, and is now the best Micro Cap/Small Cap educator around (not only is that my opinion, it’s absolutely true). I have a ton of respect for Tim for three reasons: he has always stayed very true to his niche and perfected what he does, he’s great at promotion, and he’s done all of this before even getting close to 40. Cheers Tim.
Most recent blog post: The Most Expensive Car Accessory
7. Eric of The Stock Option Assassin
Site Tagline: Stock and Option Information to Make a Killing
Eric Said: “One thing I find myself saying a lot and telling members and subscriber is that “Missed Money Is Better Than Lost Money!” I didn’t write that quote but I use it a lot.
The two instances where this is most applicable is when you are in a profitable trade and you reach a target and then close the trade. All good right!? The next thing that happens though is that the stock keeps going in your favor giving you the feeling that you missed out on some profit. A lot of newbie traders beat themselves up over this missed money. Most of these types of traders are the same ones who will have a profit and then let it turn into a loser because they held out for more and end up losing money.
The next instance is that you are stalking a trade and it just misses your entry so that you never actually get into the trade. Then the stock does what you thought it would do. Newbie traders again will beat themselves up over the missed profits of trades they “should’ve taken”. This missed money can end up altering your trades because of the fear of missing out on the next winner. This is not good for long term success in this game.”
Why you should check him out: Eric does an awesome job of explaining how to use technical analysis to trade options and a ton of the value he adds comes through in his heavy use of video. His videos not only use technical analysis to discuss his options trades, he also does a killer job (pun intended) of identifying news events and fundamental factors that are moving the markets. When you’re learning how to trade it can be extremely helpful to see how other traders think about markets and it’s definitely worth watching Eric’s videos to see how a successful trader thinks.
Most recent blog post: Linking Watchlists, Charts, and the Trade Tab in Thinkorswim or Bear Call Spread on GLD – Technical Analysis
8. Dan Sheridan of Sheridan Options Mentoring
Site Tagline: The Most Effective Options Education in the Business
Why you should check him out: Dan has a whole library of videos on the CBOE website that are both entertaining and conceptually helpful. He has a big focus on adjusting positions and does a great job of explaining various options adjustments and when they can be helpful. The videos he puts out are very comprehensive and can be followed by anyone with even a general understanding of options. Bonus, he’s a funny guy.
Most recent blog post: Options Safari: AAPL Iron Condor and VIX Call Debit Spread
Thanks for reading this far. While this list isn’t totally inclusive, it’s a great start and everyone listed has helped me immensely. If you know someone else who might enjoy the quotes, please pass this along using the share button above. Thanks again everyone for the awesome quotes.