I have been a trader for well over a quarter of a century now. Like most, I began by trading my time for money, in my case trading long hours picking green beans in exchange for $3 for each bushel I was able to haul out of the field. But not finding much enjoyment working in the hot sun, surrounded by snakes, some of them poisonous, I envisioned a better life. It wasn’t long before I traded enough of my time away to have accumulated enough money to buy my first car, which allowed me to drive off to college to study for a career as an electrical engineer.
Surely the life of an engineer would be better than that of a farm worker. However, upon leaving college, I found that my education, while rich in theoretical physics and statistics, did not contain the real life knowledge most employers were seeking from job applicants. Besides, by the time I was ready to look for employment, most of the engineering jobs had already been outsourced overseas. So, I chose to delve into what appeared to be a promising career, and begin trading real estate.
Unfortunately, I did so at the end of the booming U.S. market of the 1980s, and as the market reversed direction I swiftly went bankrupt. Not one to give up easily, I took a job delivering pizzas in order to earn enough to get back into the real estate market, but this time as a contrarian investor. I learned to buy the houses that nobody else wanted, at dirt cheap prices, and in doing so I was able to prosper for the following two decades.
Eventually, this mindset carried over into my stock trading, causing me to become a bargain hunter. Having benefited nicely, by getting out of the bull market of the late 1990s and again in 2007, and going all-in during the bear markets of early 2003 and 2009, I found myself spoiled by the huge returns that followed.
With interest rates in the tank, and the low probability of repeating my luck in the stock market, at least in the near term, I turned to the world of options. Here I became somewhat of an options scientist; using my engineering background to help me mix and match options as a means of preserving my portfolio and outpacing inflation. I currently study options on a daily basis, trade options almost exclusively, and enjoy sharing my experiences with anyone who is interested.
Christopher co-authored the option trading book Show Me Your Options – The Guide to Complete Confidence for Every Stock and Options Trader Seeking Consistent, Predictable Returns.