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How to Become a Stock Trader and Investor: Rose Rapson’s Story

How to Become a Stock Trader and Investor: Rose Rapson’s Story

Brendan Fagan,

Stock traders are often parodied as Wall Street whirling dervishes, moving from monitor to monitor, spewing expletives, buying and selling many times a day. Rose Rapson defies that stereotype. She lives in a small city in northeast Australia, about a two-day drive from Sydney. Her path to stock trading started back in 2016 when some friends suggested she join them for an stock trading and investing 101 class at the nearby Townsville Investor Share Trading class.

The class centered on an approach by William J. O’Neil, founder of Investor’s Business Daily and author of How to Make Money in Stocks: A Winning System in Good Times and Bad. Rose used O’Neil’s ideas to discover growth stocks on the ASX, manage the portfolio and exit successfully.

We talked with Rose, who trades on an IG platform, about her journey from value investor to more active trader. Highlights follow:

What kind of trader are you?

I hope to discover growth stocks early in their move, hold them for 6-18 months, and sell them after their initial growth. I do sell them very fast if they hit my initial stop. But I see myself as a long term investor rather than a short term trader.

Can you describe your trading setup?

I use a stand-up desk, and spend 70% of my time studying and researching, less than 5% of my time watching the market and maybe less than 5% of my time clicking on the button to buy or sell.

Do you benefit from a trading mentor or a trading club?

Absolutely, the tutors at the Townsville Investor Share Trading class helped me to dive into the method. People in the class also helped me initially, some of us formed a study group and we used to have a discussion in the local library until last year. Now we do Zoom meetings once a week.

Are there other stock trading resources that help you learn or gain insight that are valuable?

Yes, the Enneagram Personality Test and Trading Tribe book’s concept helped me to learn and understand my own personality and trading psychology so that I could choose the trading rules best suited to me. Trading in the Zone and Disciplined Trader both by Mark Douglas are both great!

Does the news influence your trade decisions?

No, I distance myself from the news. I buy on fundamentals and charts, and only sell on charts. I moved completely into cash in early March 2020, not because of the news, but because of what the charts suggested. Gradually I went back into the market starting a month later, in April.

Any last thoughts on stock trading or investing?

I believe investing in the market is a great gift from capitalism for any man or woman. It is not meant to be easy, it is not a 9-5 job. It is an elite sport, and like any skill, practice is vital. 10,000 hours of hard studying and focused practice is required, and willingness to make mistakes and learn from them. I logged my first 9,980 hours and thought I would become the master of the game when I reached 10,000 hours completed. As I logged the 9,980 hour, I realized those hours just got me in the door, and how much I didn't know.

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