CHAPTER 12

Ten Horror Stories

I began this trilogy with how I was able to retire at 36 after saving my money and investing it in stocks like Michaels Stores, which then soared 5,000 percent. It seems fitting that I end it with horror stories, trading disasters that snuck up on the people involved. The emotional toll on an individual or family far exceeds the monetary loss.

The trades were made by men and women who will remain anonymous. They gave me permission to discuss their stories and share their pain with others. I edited their emails only for clarity and style.

THIS IS A WINNER, MOM. BUY IT!

You often hear the saying that a successful first trade can make a novice trader or investor think that making money in the markets is easy. Success breeds overconfidence and overconfidence leads to losses. Here is a variant of that, shown in Figure 12.1.

FIGURE 12.1 An example of buying high and holding on until almost nothing is left.

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I thought I could trade and make millions! I had a few successful trades with General Electric, Pfizer, and Coca-Cola, and decided to invest my money in China Agritech (CAGC).

My first four trades with CAGC were very successful, and I managed to make around $2,000 in just a few days. I thought the good fortune would continue, so I put all of my money into the stock and bought shares worth $13,604.

I also convinced my mother to open a Roth IRA and put ...

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