The Artist Point, Yellowstone National Park  *  Photography by Dennis Phan




请阅读潘家墉作品 * Xin mời đọc một số tác phẩm cuả Dennis Phan.



The Investools package I signed up in 2005 included course manuals, DVD sets, coaching sessions and unlimited live seminars during the length of the contract. I personally enjoyed going to live seminars. To me, going to live seminars is like having double training from the instructor as well as from the other traders attending the class. Another reason I like is the atmosphere of the seminar. Almost every trader has a positive attitude which I consider one of the main elements to be successful in this business.


I had a choice of waiting for the seminars to come to me or going to the seminars. I chose both. During the length of my contract, I went to various live seminars in different cities in California, Las Vegas in Nevada and Salt Lake City in Utah. Different instructor has different teaching style and perspective. I always learned something new by going to the same seminar taught by different instructor.


I went to stock seminars taught by Mr. Mark Larson, Mr. Bruce Dinger and Mr. Mark Broberg.  In his stock seminar, Mr. Mark Larson spent half of his session explaining the concepts in the manuals and the other half concentrating on live market examples and analysis. I loved his style because he helped us to get more from his trading experience. He also emphasized burning desire and positive attitude are very important in this business. He went on to show us the word ATTITUDE. If we assign a number for each letter according to the order of the letter in the alphabet and add them up, we will come up with 100%! That is amazing.


By the time I attended the basic stock seminar again in Pasadena in January 2006; Mr. Bruce Dinger was no longer a helper. He was the instructor. I was thrilled by the fact he still remembered me and more amazingly, he remembered the comment he made about me almost a year ago. I told him he was right and I was happy to sign up for the advanced program. He gave me a surprise when he publicly mentioned my story before he started teaching the class. Mr. Bruce Dinger had a different teaching style. He spent less time on live market examples. He spent more time on the manuals and talked a lot about his personal trading experience and discipline. One of his trading philosophies I like is do not go for “home runs”, concentrate on consistent returns instead. He went on to say it won’t do any good if we make 100% return this month and lose all of it the following month. With his level, he was shooting for an average of 6% or more monthly return. He also said with proper trading knowledge and experience, he could make that percentage gain on relatively conservative spread trades. I was almost blown out by his comment. Think about it. A 6% monthly return with relatively conservative approach. However, I also paid attention to his key words. He mentioned about proper trading knowledge and experience which I do not have at the moment. To me, 6% monthly return is not impossible. It is doable with, as Mr. Bruce Dinger said, proper trading knowledge and experience. I determine to work for that goal if I want to make that kind of return every month. However, being a conservative trader, I will shoot for a lower monthly percentage return first and will work for a higher goal when I have proper trading knowledge and experience.


I made a trip to San Francisco to attend another stock seminar taught by Mr. Mark Broberg. That time, I brought my wife along as my guest. Mr. Mark Broberg is a specialist in market forecast. So it was not a surprise to see him setting aside some of his time in the seminar to talk about the subject. He also spent time talking a little bit about basic option with call, put and option chain. As a long time student, I loved his style but my wife was confused because that was her first stock session and she was overwhelmed by all the new concepts. During Mr. Mark Broberg’s stock seminar, I was thrilled to have a “bonus” presentation about the market forecast. I attended three stock seminars taught by three different instructors and I learned different concepts from them.


I attended basic option seminars taught by Jim, whose last name I forgot, Mr. Eben Miller, Mr. Scott Martin and Mr. Mark Broberg.


Jim taught the very first Basic Option Seminar I attended in Northridge area. That session was important to me because shortly after the seminar, I began the basic option coaching sessions with my coach. Jim had a casual style of teaching. He made the session relaxed and fun. He spent time talking about implied and historical volatility which will basically determine if the option is overvalued or undervalued. The concepts of intrinsic value, time value and option quote were also covered in the seminar. He also spent a lot of time analyzing live examples from the market which I loved to listen. When talking about the green and red arrows, he mentioned them as the “training wheels.” With his level, he can find a way to go ahead of the arrows. I was very interested about how he did it and I determined to find out. One of his comments was interesting. He told us he trades better than most of us not because he is smart but because he is educated about trading. He went on to say we don’t have the technology to “download” the trading knowledge from his brain to ours, so we have to do the old fashion way: Learn it! That is what I am going to do in the following months and years. I personally believe my learning process in this business will never end as long as I want myself to be a better trader.


Mr. Eben Miller was the other instructor of the Basic Option Seminar I attended in Orange County. His favorite statement was saying he knows for sure the market will either move up, down or sideway tomorrow and gesturing his arm up, down or sideway while making his statement. To tell the truth, I did not like his teaching style very much because he spent too much time on the manuals and too little time on live market examples and analysis. However, my trading partner Judith, who was a beginner at the time, loved his teaching style. As I said before, different instructor has his own teaching style serving different students at different levels.


I signed up my wife as a guest when I attended the Basic Option Seminar in Orange County taught by Mr. Scott Martin. Mr. Martin talked about the Bollinger Band Study Set and mentioned about the “squeeze”. He told us when a stock is squeezed between the bands; watch for either an up or down movement. He went on to use an example of when our hands are wet and we squeeze a soap bar, the soap bar will eventually fly either up or down fast. That was a clear picture. I made several profitable trades remembering his comment. He also disclosed one of his trading philosophies: He would rather miss an up trend than participate in a free fall. Hence, the earning release date alert was added to my watch list. Mr. Martin also mentioned about positive attitude in this trading business. He told us not to walk away from people who complain too much, run away from them.


I went to San Diego to attend another Basic Option Seminar taught by Mr. Mark Broberg. He told his story about how he became a trader and eventually an Investools instructor. He used to be a policeman in Salt Lake City, Utah. He spent time and money for his trading education. He lost money at first but he did not give up. The rest was history. One of his comments was interesting: It is good to try and fail but it is not good to fail to try. Persistence is the key to his success in this business. He went on to say having a mentor is also important. In his case, Mr. Mike Coval is his mentor.


I attended both Advanced Option Seminars in San Gabriel and Orange County taught by Ms. Stacy Acevedo. Stacy is known as “the SPX lady” due to her unique talent in trading the SPX index. In both of her seminars, I was lucky to have a chance to learn from her SPX trading experience. To me, she was not teaching me how to trade the index; she was teaching me how to print money legally. Not too long after I attended her first Advanced Option Seminar in San Gabriel, I attempted to trade the SPX. I got in and out of the trade in one-hour time span using her method. I made money in the trade but the pressure was overwhelmed. I personally think I am not ready for the tremendous pressure due to the nature of index option trading. I will wait for a while before attempting another SPX trade. I will trade the SPX in the near future when I feel I am psychologically ready for it. My trading partner, Judith, entered the trading business after me but she loves trading the index. I guess every trader has his/her own trading style and technique.


My experience with Mr. David Johnson in the Advanced Technical Analysis Seminar was quite interesting. My first seminar with him was in Las Vegas, Nevada in June 2006. I went to that seminar with my trading partners Judith and Silvia. In that seminar, Mr. David Johnson spent almost the whole morning on the first day to talk about motivational stuffs. Not surprisingly, he ran out of time to cover the class materials. He was rushing in the final hours of the seminar on the second day. The Advance Technical Analysis Seminar covers mainly the candlestick  chart and price patterns. It was an interesting seminar but I did not learn much from his session in Las Vegas. I let my frustration expressed in the survey form filled after the seminar. I was not alone; my trading partners Judith and Silvia felt the same.


I attended another Advanced Technical Analysis Seminar in Sacramento 5 months later hoping to see another instructor. I saw the same one. I was a bit disappointed. However, Mr. Johnson gave me a surprise this time. He was more organized and did a much better job in Sacramento. He was a different instructor from the one I saw in Las Vegas. This time, I learned a lot from his presentation about the candlestick chart and price patterns. The hammer, hanging man, double tops, double bottoms, to name a few, made more sense this time. I learned a lot about candlestick chart and price patterns in this seminar. The candlestick chart is a great tool for short term trading. At that time, the term “training wheels” from Jim’s comment came into my mind. He probably used the candlestick chart and price patterns to go ahead of the arrows. From this seminar, the concept of trading bearish strategies began to kick in my trading plan. Mr. Johnson is known as “coach of the coaches” and he really showed it in Sacramento. One of his comments I like is sticking to our own trading plan and don’t copy it from other traders. Every trader has different trading style, technique, capital and risk tolerance. Our trading style may look silly to others but if it works for us, keep doing it. I can’t agree with him more. He went on to say trading is like playing chess. After we enter a trade, we have to prepare our next moves in case the market changes direction against our trade. At the end of his session, he wanted us to believe we are all good traders by looking at the mirror every morning and say to ourselves: “I am a good trader, I am a good trader, I am a good trader and a darn good looking one too.” We all had fun doing that “exercise.”


I also attended a 3-day live training session with smaller scale classroom in Salt Lake City Utah with my trading partner Judith. The class went into details of market forecast, money management and volatility index. I also learned the importance of candlestick chart reading, volume, support and resistance in this class. We were given a chance to simulate market trading at the end of each day. During my 3-day live training in Utah, I had a chance to meet my coach personally. We had nice chat about my learning process. One unique experience I remembered well during my 3-day class in Utah. On the first day, the instructor asked us to introduce ourselves before the class started. Judith and I were one hour late on our first day of class because we overlooked the class schedule. Needless to say, we were the last one to introduce ourselves so we got all the attention of the instructors and students. When it was my turn, I talked about joining Investools was like having a “money machine” almost every month. I was thinking about the combination of selling naked put and covered call when I mentioned the term “money machine.” During lunch time, one student approached me and half seriously, half jokingly asked if I am a “planted” Investools employee coming to class to do the advertising for the company. I bursted into laughter after hearing his comment.


I also went to the Investor Conference in Las Vegas Nevada in early March of 2006 one year after joining Investools. Attending the conference was another experience for me. I had a chance to talk to different investors from different parts of the country. I attended about 10 mini workshops lasting 60 to 75 minutes each. I did not sign up for the SPX trading workshop taught by Ms. Stacy Acevedo because I thought I was not ready for index trading. However, the SPX workshop was very popular. A lot of investors were talking about it during spare time and dinner. I was curious. Fortunately, Investools made a set of DVD for all sessions so I had a chance to watch the SPX session on DVD when I got home. I attended the live session “How to correct a bad trade” taught by Mr. Mike Coval. I personally thought that was the best live session I attended in the Las Vegas Investor Conference. Mr. Mike Coval talked about when we entered a trade, considered it was just the first step. Be prepared to change if the market changes. He gave us an example of driving to work. We can’t drive straight with constant speed and expect to get to the destination safely. We need to make turns, slow down or sometimes change route if we meet obstacles. His example made sense to me and made me think of Mr. David Johnson’s comment of trading is like playing chess. During his session, Mr. Mike Coval talked about the importance of price patterns. He told us he can make profit from almost any given stock because he recognizes the price pattern. The minute I heard his comment, I told myself “I want to be like Mike.” I want to make profit from any given stock by recognizing the price pattern and how to trade it. I know it takes time and practice but I will be there sooner or later. Mike is right when he says we are what we believe we are. If we believe we are the best trader that ever trades the market, we will be the best trader. If we think we are just an average trader, we will be just that, an average trader.


The training I took during the length of my contract was fun and productive. I learned from the manuals, coaching sessions, live seminars, investor conference and interactive with members of my master mind group either from actual meeting or message board. To close this article, I like to express my sincere thanks to my trading partner Judith for signing me up as her guest for the Advanced Option, Advanced Technical Analysis workshops and 3-day live training in Utah. I will talk about my trading experience in my next article of the series.



Dennis Phan   家墉

Khai Minh, UCLA & Investools Alumni

Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., 05 May 2007





***  投稿電子郵件請寄 ***

Bài vở & hình ảnh xin gởi về Ban Phụ Trách KHAIMINH.ORG