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This is a two part question:

I. Would anyone recommend some resources for getting into stock trading as an 18 year old. I make ~30k/yr if that helps.

II. On the legitimacy of big youtube videos about stock trading and investing to 'make it big'. Would anyone actually give real sound advice on this topic. Wouldn't it be like giving away your secrets?

Thanks.

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The incredible number of instant gratification successful day trading stories that your read across the web is like the new condoms that come in three sizes: Small, Medium and Liars. About 90% of day traders lose money so your best chance of making a million dollars by day trading might be to start with two million dollars. If you somehow manage to be in the 10% than makes something, it will be because you learned about equity and perhaps derivative markets before diving in.

Becoming financially literate and understanding a decent amount of financial markets is like learning a foreign language. Watching some YouTube videos isn't going to cut it. It takes a lot of time and effort, something most people don’t want to do. Lacking that effort, most lose money. Consider some other venture if you think trading is easy money. Save yourself a lot of stress and regret. Burn the money on something tangible that you will enjoy (a vacation, a new car, etc.). That way, you'll have gotten something of value from your money.

Beginners should read general information books and web sites. Investopedia.com is a great general information site for learning the language. There are 50+ Investing for Dummies books which will introduce you to various aspects of the market. Some of them will make more sense, some less. Over time, your financial knowledge will increase and as you understand more and you get an idea of what interests you (options, stocks, mutual funds, etc.), you can focus on those areas, particularly with more specific and more technical books written by experts in those areas. Make it a 5 year plan.

And yes, I have done a lot of trading and I have had some spectacular years with it so this isn't sour grapes advice. Good luck.

  • "start with two million dollars" I assume by this you mean to say that you'll probably lose half of your investment, not make a 50% return, right? – D Stanley Sep 6 '18 at 18:34
  • Yes, you are correct. I could probably word that a bit better so the intent is clearer :->) – Bob Baerker Sep 6 '18 at 18:38
  • I've said before that the easiest way to make $1 million is to invest $10 million in index funds, so the math threw me a bit :) – D Stanley Sep 6 '18 at 18:41
  • I have a bit of financial literacy but I never claimed to be Shakespeare :->) – Bob Baerker Sep 6 '18 at 18:43
  • -1 for the irrelevant digression about day traders. OP wouldn't even qualify for a day trading account. – Money Ann Sep 7 '18 at 22:27
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I. Would anyone recommend some resources for getting into stock trading as an 18 year old. I make ~30k/yr if that helps.

There are many books, including college textbooks written on this topic. You can buy or borrow one from a library, read, and then look further into specific areas that interest you. The Intelligent Investor by Ben Graham is a decent introduction to investing for newbies, but there are others.

II. On the legitimacy of big youtube videos about stock trading and investing to 'make it big'. Would anyone actually give real sound advice on this topic. Wouldn't it be like giving away your secrets?

They might have a grain of truth but they would probably be a waste of time. There are a lot of people who will watch even poor quality videos, so there is no real quality control mechanism.

As for giving away secrets, there are no "secret tricks" that will let you get rich easily. The people who do get very big returns rely on very complicated strategies that would take hundreds of hours to explain, and most still wouldn't understand them. Merely discussing basic principles of investment isn't going to meaningfully "give away" anything.

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With $30k/ year, you don't have enough money to invest. That's not to say you can't buy stocks.

I'd recommend some of the basics like The Intelligent Investor Securities Analysis and Common Stocks & Uncommon Profits.

You should approach this as a learning exercise. There is no better way to learn than by putting your own money at risk. You're not going to have enough money to diversify but you can buy a few stocks and learn how to analyze industries, companies, and read financial statements.

Also, stay away from YouTube. None of that stuff is reputable. Also, if someone has found the secret to making easy money, they are never going to release the secret to the world.

Martin Shkreli's YouTube channel is pretty entertaining regardless of what you think of the guy. He has some "tutorials" that are worth a watch if nothing else, to learn how to set up pro-formas in Excel.

  • Yes, YouTube offers a lot of garbage. And no, losing hard earned money is not the best way to learn. Give or take, traders are going to lose 1/2 the time. Learning disciplined risk management and how not to lose big on those losers is the invaluable lesson (cut losses, let profits run). – Bob Baerker Sep 6 '18 at 18:42
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    Not sure what I got the down vote for. There is a whole other dimension to “investing” that you’re not going to truly internalize by reading. You mentioned discipline, and that’s what I’m talking about. Maybe I should have been more explicit. Someone can tell you all day that the stove is hot, but once you burn yourself you’ll have a whole new appreciation for what that means. When you make careless mistakes, which all humans do, and they actually cost you, you tend to remember them and not repeat them. – user18561 Sep 6 '18 at 19:03

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