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 4.2 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 9 years of persistent court appearances, immigration judge finally granted me a permanent residency. Ironically, I've won the green card lottery in the same year, despite applying every single year since '95.
It's as if an angel gave me wings and all the pressure was lifted off my shoulders. I got my first legal job at a mortgage company at Metrocities Mortgage (currently Prospect Mortgage) in Sherman Oaks, CA making $17/hr.
On my first stock trade ever I made $1,100 (92% gain) in one day when Hurricane Katrina hit Gulf Coast. I randomly chose a small 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 another record gain of $11,280 from a penny stock Xechem Pharmaceutical. Around the same time I lost close to $8,000 on GameZNflix, which was 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. Nobody cares that you can win a poker match, the bigger question is can you win that poker match every year and deliver gains consistently every year?
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 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 take a longer term approach and overnight risk.
Do you know what happens to your confidence when your average yield is reduced by 60%? Depression set in especially after losing my father, grandmother, and girlfriend in the same year.
Met with several proprietary trading firms including T3 in Irvine, CA and Kershner Trading in Austin, TX. Empty chairs everywhere as most High Frequency Traders were disappearing.
Up to year 2010-2011 many high frequency traders like me were exploiting the markets with spoofing and scalping small profits 30-50 times a day, causing large financial institutions to lose hundreds of millions of dollars. In response to this, Quantitative Analysts were hired to write programs to beat guys like us. It was time for a new strategy and an approach that would yield consistent profits - OPTIONS SWING TRADING
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 $960 gain minutes earlier.
I was up $960 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. Broke my record at $250k+ and counting!
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 official online school to teach stock options trading and investing.
Having executed over 40,000+ trades in the last 15 years and analyzed over thousands of charts, I've learned a thing or two.