Never Stop - 1 How it all Started
If you are experienced or even new to the market, you will all agree that the market has a habit of knocking you down and making you shut your mouth. It will beat you to the floor then grab you by your ears and drag you back to school from time to time. Nevertheless, we all love the markets, we all keep going back to them because we still have hope that we can make money and we keep pursuing that dream, but also we know there are many ways, strategies and methods that can be used to make money. One of the key aspects to winning, usually neglected, is mentality, you need to have the right mind set to make the most of the market, obviously you can't just prep your mind alone and expect good results, you need to lay down the right foundations and build upon it.
Before I set off talking about the market, trading and the world of investments, and what investors and traders should strive to learn, I thought it might be useful to give you a small introduction into my life, how I got into trading and what might have helped me see a certain level of success in the recent years. I want to remind myself first and others that success isn't permanent - neither is failure. No one is forever deemed a success or a failure, we are as good as our last investment, we can minimise and mitigate against fatal failures. While we can't fathom certain level of uncertainties, calamities or failures that might be thrown upon us, with careful planning, a solid strategy, the downside can be minimised, whilst still potentially profiting from the upside as and when it occurs.
First of all I was born in Algeria, where I grew up in Belcourt (in Algiers). Hence the Belcourtoi nickname, to remind myself day in day out of my journey from there to where I am, but above all so that I never forget my roots, where I came from and that despite all that life can throw at you, there is always a way out and there is always hope the future will be better. I decided to leave when I was just over 20 years old, full of dreams, with big goals and I knew if I ever wanted to be anywhere close to where I wanted to be, I needed a change. I needed a better environment, somewhere where I could work and thrive.
Upon my arrival to the U.K I had many challenges to overcome. First of all the language barrier, adapting to a new culture and also finding work so I could endeavour on my studies. I started my new life working in a Pizza place during night shift whilst going to university during the day. I had to work hard and long hours to be able to afford my tuition fees, rent, and living costs. I wasn't entitled to receive any funds from the government, nor good enough to pull a university grant from anywhere. I was alone, sailing in a rough sea in the dark. I forgot what a day off meant, what relaxing feels like, or taking time to enjoy a cuppa. It felt like being stuck in a spinning wheel that never stopped. Those years taught me alot and probably had a great impact on making me the man I am now, I had to limit my spending, live on a tight budget, be organised and sharp on what I do. After a hard 4 years I managed to finish my Engineering degree in Aerospace and finally managed to find a way out from the burden of nights shifts and long hours cooking and serving Pizzas to a more relaxed and enjoyable office job in the industry I loved, Aerospace.
As you can see I had very humble beginnings and I am proud of that. There is no shame when you have to work your way up, devoting every sweat and effort to reaching your goals. I wasn't born into a privileged background, my family had just enough to get us by and have food on the table. But life in Belcourt was both full of hardship and tests, the 20 years I spent growing up there taught me a lot. It sharpened my view of life, it gave me a perspective that one can't buy with money, it made me tough yet probably wiser. I had to make major life choices that could have ended either badly or terribly wrong, but that never distracted me from willing to get more out of life. Despite now finding myself working in Airbus. I felt a void, I was still aiming and wanting more out of life, out of myself and felt the need to diversify and endeavour on new ventures to increase my earnings. Not because I was keen on simply making money, but I wanted more free time, I needed more income so I could help buy a new house for my parents, get them away from the Ghetto into a more liveable area. I wouldn't expect many people to know what Belcourt is like, but let's just say it is one of the roughest, liveliest and crowded areas in Algiers. So one of my main goals and reasons to succeed was to get my parents out from there and into a better and bigger house.
I wanted to be able to make a difference, not just to my life but also to the life of those close and dear to me. For me achieving that goal was what I would live and strive for for years. This should hopefully give you an idea on my motivation to find new ways to earn more, and I mean I tried many ventures (from working the odd jobs on top of my office hours, to new start up business that failed. Miserably).
Until one day (late 2009) a friend at work was checking up his Peugeot shares, it got me curious and interested in the concept of investing and trying something new, so I started looking up shares, share dealing, investing etc and one day I discovered AIM and the world of Oil & Gas in 2010, the days of Rockhopper, Sea Lion and all the oil and gas drills and thrills that happened that year. From that point on my life was never the same again, the dream of buying that house for my parents suddenly felt achievable... if I managed to hit the right shares at the right time and exit at the right price. Suddenly I was seeing the way out signs from the rat race.
From that point all I had to do is to learn and figure out a way to earn enough from trading/investing and to make enough money to achieve my dreams and the lifestyle I wanted. Let me tell you this, it was not easy, for at least 3 years I was aimless, I made some money, then lost most and more pretty quickly. I started even using my wife's savings and quickly found myself trapped in the never ending landslide of AIM. I was not making money. The dream was quickly turning into a nightmare and suddenly I realised that if I didn't act now, if I didn't make the right moves, the right calls, I would end up in a much deeper hole than when I first started. It wasn't until that point when there was a major shift in my mentality. I was tired of just having potential, I wanted my now. I wanted to be good at this game, I wanted to succeed, to see my dreams come true instead of living and waiting for a future that never came.
I was rock bottom, but rock bottom can be a good and solid foundation to build on. I had lost nearly all my savings and my wife's savings. As newly weds, we were living in a small one bed flat, we were saving for a house and I just handed it to Mr Market. I was furious, sad and above all hating AIM. I was in denial, I didn't want to blame myself for making the mistake, I wanted to blame someone else for my failings - I was a victim (note: these type of feelings are destructive, I learned how to suppress them and that no one else was responsible apart from me). For me that day was one of my lowest points, I had to face the music and tell my Mrs that I had screwed up. Miracles do happen - she understood and simply replied"I am sure you will find a way" Those words fuelled me to fire up, go find a new way and evolve into a better version of me. I needed a change and I needed it now. Then it clicked, I started looking at AIM as a business. Investing was just that, any company I put money in I consider it my business and if it didn't tick certain requirements I would simply walk away, I hadn't quite figured my strategy fully, but I had a solid structure I could build on, I was certain it would work. I was confident I would make money from AIM and above all I was positive about what I was doing, failure wasn't an option. I had to accept responsibility for the catastrophe I created, all the wrong investments I made were my fault, no one else was responsible. Taking full responsibility was the first step in turning my misfortune around, I decided that those failures in the market would not define who I am and who I could be in the future, I decided no matter how many times I failed and will fail, I will rise and rise again, I decided to never give up.
To be Continued ...