Hello! I'm Justin. I live in Chapel Hill, NC, USA with my amazing wife and 3 great kids (son, daughter, son). I've been trading since the late 90s, and helping other traders since around 2010.
Below is my trading "journey" in great (and sometimes painful) detail.
I share my story because a lot of traders have told me they've gone through similar.
My Goal With This Site & Service:
As you'll see from my story below, I've been through it all when it comes to trading. I've seen the highs and I've seen the lows.
So, my goal with this service is simple. I want to help you experience more of the highs and fewer of the lows. And, while I think there is some benefit in "struggle," I don't think it's mandatory if you can find a better way, and I want to help you avoid being stressed-out for a decade like I was.
In the simplest terms, I want to help you become a better trader. I want to help you achieve all of your trading goals (and more). Not through hype or some "magic" indicator, but by helping you learn the TRUE SKILL of trading.
I want to help you trade with consistency and confidence. I want you to understand how to "read" the market so you can put yourself in high-edge, high-expectancy trades, day
My "Trading Journey" In One Picture
Like I mentioned above, my trading story was...let's call it "challenging"...at least for the first 7-8 years. It didn't go according to "script".
Why Share My Story?
First, when I've told other traders my story in the past, it turned out a LOT of them could relate. Many of us have similar stories.
Second, I've been told many times that it gave some "hope" to traders that were struggling. They realized they might not be as "clueless" as they sometimes feel.
Third, I think it's important to learn from the mistakes of others. I hope this can help you avoid some of the mistakes and false starts I went through.
The First Blowout...And Lessons Learned
In the late 90s I read about the "Turtles" who were a group of long term trend followers who made a killing in the 70s. I bought the so-called "manual" for that trading method. I thought I had it made in the shade! I took the $75,000 inheritance I was lucky enough to receive from my grandfather and proceeded to lose about $50K of it in less than six month. Wow...that was painful.
I did, at least, learn a few things...at least after the dust settled and I had time to process it that is.
One, I didn't have the "stomach" to lose 80% of the time with that hopes that my 20% winners would be huge and make up for the loss. I'm not saying you can't make that style work...I'm just saying I didn't have the stomach to deal with it.
Two, I realized I wanted and needed to be a day trader. I wanted consistency. I wanted to see my account going in the right direction most days. I realized I preferred being in and out of several trades each day and then being flat at the end of the day rather than trying to hold trades for days, weeks, or even months.
I'll Try My Hand At Day Trading
This was around the turn of the century. At that time, the internet was relatively young, and I was certainly more naive. I fell for someone promising me the world and bought his "system". I'm not even going to tell you how much I paid for it. Again, I thought I had it made.
Turns out, he was selling garbage. It was just looking at a few basic oscillators and trying to find divergences.
Long story short...I blew out most of my account within a couple months.
I Stayed With It...And Started To Gain Some Consistency
At that point, I decided I really COULD do this. And, now I knew about various "technical indicators", so I was set. Again...remember...early 2000s.
I was starting to become consistent too...a consistent loser.
I would spend countless hours researching and developing my latest trading ideas and turning them into a "system" and then backtest them. Then, after weeks of testing, I'd take my setups to the market. After a day or two of losing, I'd abandon them and go back to the drawing board and design a new system and then backtest it, etc, etc.
I did this pattern (sadly) for a couple of years!
Quest For The Holy Grail
I had a "day job" by this point (2003-4). But, I would still work the night away trying to figure out my "way" to make this work.
But, I suppose you could say I made a shift. Rather than trying to do it all on my own, I went down that rabbit hole that almost all of us have gone down. I decided there MUST be the perfect combination of indicators that would tell me, without fail, when to get in and when to get out.
And, as it turned out, there was no shortage of people on the internet (which was maturing by this point) who promised me the answers!
Well, you know how this goes. Some were better than others, and I certainly learned a lot along the way...but guess what? I didn't find the holy grail! How about that for a shock?
I "Started" To Make Some Progress
As time went along, I started to learn a few things. I realized I was totally indicator and entry focused. I was just looking at charts.
Yet, I'd listen to successful traders and they seemed to have a fuller understanding of what was really going on. To them, the market made sense. The market was representative of something greater than just lines and symbols on my screen.
Plus, I began to learn that how I related to the market was just as important than the market itself. In other words, success depended on more than just reading charts...it depended on a certain level of emotional maturity and understanding.
Did that knowledge solve it all? No. I was still a net-losing trader. But, I was losing a lot slower (that's actually progress!). And, I knew there was a larger world I needed to discover.
So, I started devouring education. I'd read books, go to seminars, watch videos. On and on.
I Got Lucky And Met Dave
I really have no idea how I stumbled on Dave's website at the time. It wasn't highly marketed. And basically, he was just a trader who coached a few people per year on the side.
Anyway, I found his site and something about it resonated with me. He wasn't hyping everything up. And, he talked about understanding the "story" of the market as step one and then letting the entry be step two.
So, I became his student. Needless to say, this was a huge turning point for me. And, I did so with the thought that "this is it". I either go down a new path and start to make money or I'm done with trading.
Dave helped me understand the "context" of the market. What does that mean? Well, I like to think of it in sports-terms. Let's say you're watching a football game. If you're just looking at the game in a play-by-play manner (in isolation) you can see that some plays work, while others don't. But, you're just seeing plays.
However, if you understand football, you start to see each individual play differently. A 2 yard running play isn't that big of a deal in isolation. But, a 2 yard run on 4th and 1, when you're ahead, with 1 minute left in the 4th quarter, IS a huge deal. It makes a lot more sense if you UNDERSTAND what you're seeing. (hopefully, even if you don't understand American football, you get the concept I'm going for)
With Dave's teaching, I started looking FIRST at the market's "story" and THEN (and only then) would I look for entries. This seems subtle, but it's a monumental shift. And, it's what helped me turn the corner.
I started having success in this business. I started seeing the market like never before. And, I started to understand my role as a trader so much better. It wasn't about winning or losing on a given trade, it was about making the best decision I could with the information I had at the time, living with the result, and then focusing on making the best decision I could again.
The pressure fell away. I was just a professional decision maker. And, since I finally knew what to look for and how to make sense of it, most of the time I did well. Did I make money on every trade, every day? Of course not! But, I did better and better. And, I finally had confidence.
Dave And I Partnered
As we worked together, Dave and I became friends. We saw things similarly and we realized there was a good partnership opportunity.
Plus, one of my "day jobs" when I was rebuilding my trading account was to do some web design and marketing.
So, around the end of last decade we partnered up on his old site. We made it better and worked with more traders. Plus, I found that the more I taught and helped other traders, the better trader I became.
We Developed A New Software
A couple years into our partnership, we decided to develop a new software tool. We liked a lot of tools in the market, but none were "exactly" what we personally wanted. So, we set out to make a tool that he and I would use in our personal trading, figuring others might like it as well.
That's how we developed our "Relative Aggression Bar" software.
It's a great tool. It helps you see "under the surface" of the market in real-time. You can see which side (buyers or sellers) is in control at any time, and also the degree that the buyers/sellers are in control. This better tool led to better decisions, which led to better results.
I'm biased, obviously, but I can't imagine looking at the market without it. And, that's what we kept hearing a lot from other people that began using it.
The Software Was Simply A Tool. A Very Good Tool...But A Tool
I don't say "just a tool" as a bad thing. The DTTM software is a great tool that helps you better see the "story" the market is telling you. However, it's most valuable when you really take the time to learn what it's telling you and you have the experience and knowledge to put everything in context.
That's why our clients really tended to like the live sessions we would do. We would help them utilize the software to make sense of things. (And, that's why I'll be doing a LOT more live sessions going forward).
I Developed My Own "Style"
Over time, while using the software just about every trading day for over 6 years, I developed a lot of my own techniques.
Basically, it's gotten to the point where I have a step-by-step methodology that helps guide every decision I might fact throughout a day.
What Is My "Style"?
The method consists of a few parts, which I'll be teaching you step-by-step:
- "Box Theory"
I have a rule-set for drawing "boxes" and these boxes really frame the market (you won't believe how well once you learn it).
The boxes do a couple key things. One, they help you truly understand the "story"the market is telling each day (trend? chop? reversal coming? etc). Two, they lend themselves to nice trade setups...
- Trade Entry Setups
I have 12 setups I use. Four of them are pretty simple, and you'll want to learn them first. The rest are a little more advanced, and you can get there over time. But, they work nicely. Especially when you learn to "score" trades...
- Trade "Scoring" On A Scale Of 1 to 10
Once you've identified a trade, I'll then teach you to "score" it. This is a formula that balances the short term market story, the longer term market story, and the amount of risk you would need to take for a given trade.
The higher the score (say an 8, 9, or 10) the higher-expectancy the trade.
This score will help you decide:
- Should I take the trade? Or wait for a better one?
- If I take it, should I get in more aggressively or more carefully?
- Once I'm in, how should I manage the trade? Quick profit? Go for a big move?
- Much More
There's a lot more to learn and we can get relatively advanced over time. There is a method for exiting trades, a method for account management, ideas on managing your mental game, concepts on continual improvement, etc, etc.
Now, this isn't the holy grail or anything, but, it's a really solid way of making better trading decisions more often. It's about "reading" the market. You will learn to better "read" the level of opportunity available. You will learn to better "read" the amount of risk you would need to take.
That leads to better entry/exit decisions. Better decisions lead to better results.
Was My "Style" Teachable?
Toward the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, I had a few requests for one-on-one coaching. So, I did it. I designed a very extensive program where I taught these clients my method, step-by-step, A to Z.
Well...it worked for them. The feedback was very positive.
And, I've been encouraged by them to bring this method to a wider audience. I really didn't plan to do so. I figured maybe I'd coach a couple people per year, but basically just leave things alone.
Dave Decides To Semi-Retire...I Have A Choice To Make
Dave decided to semi-retire toward the beginning of 2017. So, I had a choice to make.
Keep this business running as is? Shut it down? Or, take it in a new direction?
At first, I decided to just move on...just trade. Yes, I'd lose some stable income from the business, but it would certainly make life simpler. But, after a lot of back and forth with my own thoughts, I decided not to.
Instead, I decided to change things up and create a limited membership program where, instead of just selling a "tool" I would teach my personal methodology. And, I'd do it with a lot of live sessions as well.
In other words, I'd take the same program I taught to a few people in a one-on-one setting and offer it in a limited group setting.
That Brings Us To Now
If you're someone who is serious about day trading for a living, I think you'll gain a lot from this program. And, I've priced it low.
To learn more about the program in general, click on this intro/overview video.
To learn more about what you get, how much, etc, click on the "become a member" page.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions you might have. I'll get back to you as soon as possible.