Trading in the financial markets is not an easy thing to do but it is something that I decided I would set out to achieve many years ago when just a young man. Besides, finance is a passion of mine and I like nothing better than fiddling with trading systems and scouring various stock charts. Along with music and travel, it’s one of the things that I’m most interested in and it’s been that way since long before I even got a job in the industry.
It’s because of this passion that I decided to put together my own course on stock market trading but this wasn’t an easy decision at first. You see, at first I worried about giving away my knowledge. I worried that if I gave away all my trading systems (and code included) that it would be harmful to me and that people would get all this knowledge for just a tiny cost.
Most courses are not worth a penny
You see, in the past, traders have been extremely secretive about giving away their systems but what I have found is actually the opposite. In fact, I’ve found by giving back to the community I’ve become a much better trader myself. I now have a responsibility to provide students with the right information and that gives me the motivation to learn even more about trading.
What does it take to trade?
This process has also made me realise that many times you can ‘lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink’. Indeed, I had one comment recently suggesting that none of the trading systems I provide work!
Well, I will talk about this in more detail in a later post, but it seems to me that finding a profitable trading system is not that difficult. And it seems to me that the problem is often not with the trading system itself but the person who is trading it. In other words you can give someone all the tools they need but that still doesn’t mean they’ll make money.
Because as I say in the course, it’s better to come up with your own trading strategy anyway. And it’s crucial to find a strategy that fits your own psyche. The trading systems provided are ideas to be built on and around, not necessarily to be used out of the box.
My course on stock market trading
But to say that my course is just about trading systems would be wrong since a good deal of the course is based on fundamentals. It also includes risk management, technical analysis and psychology.
Some may say that this is a lot of ground to cover and I would not disagree but I would also say that you need to discover a strategy that works for your own personality, and you may need to go through a lot of hoops to get there. So learning as much you can about how to trade and the different ways to approach markets is useful.
In this regard I am completely in agreement with Aswath Damodaran of the Stern Business School in New York, who is ”agnostic” about market techniques. Like Aswath, I do not classify any trading strategy as better than another. I find uncertainty in technical analysis but I know that there are traders out there who have been successful with it. Conversely, I think value investing and trend following have many admirers and these techniques appeal to me because they can at least in part be quantifiably tested.
So what exactly is in the course?
Well, as I mentioned already, the course covers a vast amount of material, and in some ways it is just a concise guide to financial markets drawn from the output of hundreds of books and journals.
And then there are the 21 trading systems; most of which are trend following. There is also a value investing system, a regular investing strategy and a couple of mean reversion strategies.
These systems were tested on data between 2000 and 2010. And as I will show in a future post, many of these systems have performed handsomely since 2010, giving them some out-of-sample worthiness at least.
How is the course delivered?
In order to deliver the course on stock market trading at the highest level and to give users the best experience I chose to employ a professional voice-over artist to deliver some of the content. This ensures quality delivery of the material and high level audio. I felt that this, combined with my own video, would be the best approach.
I also chose Udemy, the learning platform to host the course since this allows traders to learn at their own speed and it means everything is in one place without need for downloading large files. And there is another big reason why I chose Udemy:
Constantly adding new content to the course
Yes, one reason for using Udemy is that it allows me to continuously hone the course, adding new content and responding to questions. It is my hope that the course grows over time so that concepts are expanded on and new topics are added as they come to mind.
For example, last week I added a new lecture to the course about selection bias and this was made immediately available to all students. And in the future I hope to add videos about using Amibroker and more information relating to trading system design.
It is this kind of set-up that makes me really excited about online learning. In this way, a course on stock market trading can have infinitely more value than a book as a book cannot be expanded on once it’s printed.