Immigrated to Los Angeles from Yerevan, Armenia at age 13.
After the collapse of the former Soviet Union, Armenia became independent, but times were tough with constant electricity outages and poor economic conditions.
Graduated Hoover High School with high GPA and math excellence awards, but was deported shortly after.
Since I couldn't go to college without a social security number, I had to pay for every semester cash out of pocket. This is where I worked numerous odd jobs including valet parking, waiting tables at banquet halls, and even diamond cutting. Every time I chipped or burned a diamond, there went my entire weekly paycheck. .
After struggling for 9 years, immigration judge finally granted me permanent residency. Ironically, I won the green card lottery in the same year, despite applying every year since 1995.
It's as if an angel gave me wings and all the pressure was lifted off my shoulders. I got my first job at a mortgage company at Metrocities Mortgage in Sherman Oaks, CA making $15/hr.
The very first stock I bought, made $1,800 (92% gain) in one day when Hurricane Katrina hit Gulf Coast the very next day. I randomly chose a small energy company named Blue Dolphin Energy that happened to be in Gulf Coast. What were the odds?
Think about it statistically for a second, the odds of that happening is astronomically small. This was a sign from the universe that stock trading was the way to financial freedom.
Made a record profit of $11,280 from a penny stock Xechem Pharmaceutical. Around the same time I lost $7,600 on GameZNflix, which was basically Netflix for games.
This is when I realized that the size of gains didn't matter, if you could lose a similar amount on another trade. I was gambling. What matters is the percentage of returns you can deliver on consistent basis. This is when my love for finance bloomed. I didn't know anything about financial valuation until shadowing a portfolio manager at Solomon Smith Barney.
Dodged a bullet when an airplane I was on went off the runway in San Antonio after the landing gear malfunctioned.
I began developing panic attacks as a result and at times extreme claustrophobia. It was so difficult to keep an indoor job as I always wanted to escape outside during meetings.
Received a BBA in Finance from University of Texas at San Antonio despite wanting to quit several times. Although already I was earning $90,000+ as a trader.
At this point in my life college seemed like a waste of time as my focus was on "point and click" High Frequency Trading, where I scalped small profits at overbought/oversold conditions.
Algorithm based softwares were sweeping Wall Street, making scalping strategies efficient only at the market open, forcing me to develop longer term strategies.
Do you know what happens to your confidence when your average yield is reduced by 60%?
Met with several proprietary trading firms including T3 in Irvine, CA and Kershner Trading in Austin, TX. Empty chairs everywhere as most Day Traders were disappearing.
Up to year 2009 many high frequency traders were exploiting the markets with scalping small profits 30-50 times a day, causing large financial institutions to lose billions of dollars. In response, Quantitative Analysts were hired to write algo programs to destroy retail daytraders.
Jim Cramer used to drink cheap scotch on a linoleum floor after a big loss. I used to get drunk in my transformer mask. Kate Spade's 15% earnings drop cost me $4,300 in losses from a $1,050 gain minutes earlier. Ouch.
I was up $1,050 after earnings release and immediately got too cocky. By the time I went to the kitchen, drank orange juice, made a 5 min. phone call and returned to my monitors, my account was down $4,300 from Kate Spade's reversal due to lower guidance. Lesson learned from not setting stop losses.
At age 35 I finally understood how HEDGING in inverse relationship securities can minimize losses and provide a constant stream of profits if executed correctly with Options.
The confidence I lost as a HFT finally came back when I gravitated away from Technical Analysis and began focusing more on Fundamental Analysis.
Stocks Boot Camp is born. It is the first online school to teach professional hedge fund management by combining Fundamental Analysis with Technical Charting.
Having executed over 50,000+ trades in the last 16 years and analyzed over tens of thousands of charts, I'm now earning triple digit % annual gains on consistent basis. Life is good!