Yeah, so this goes back to the very start of college. Currently, right now, I'm 26 years old and I started getting involved in trading, probably around when I was 19. I always had an interest in stock trading when I was 17 or 18, going through high school, but I really never thought it was something that I could do or something that I could really pursue.
As I started getting older, I started realizing that this wasn't what I wanted to do. When I was in college, I was a criminal justice major — a little heads up for you. So, of course, I respect police officers and everything they do. Just for me, that just wasn't what I wanted to do. I wasn't going to be happy waking up, you know, for the next 20 years of my life doing that. Especially having a boss, having a salary, doing that day after day and I just knew from the very start of who I am that I know I can do more. I know I can go after anything I wanted and really achieve that. I just never really knew what I wanted, and that was kind of the biggest question kind of growing up is, you know, what can I do? What is something that I can start? What is something I can find that is going to lead to being able to make money and be successful?
Now, the thing is, you know, money's not the most important thing in the world to me, but I do want to be able to have that financial freedom to be able to supply for myself, supply for my family, and not be underneath restrictions of let's say a 9 to 5 I'm not happy with. So, throughout college, I realized a lot of things. And one of the big things I realized was, one day I was sitting down on a bench in my campus and the bell would ring, you know, at 9:30 when people would start moving from class to class, and I didn't go to class that day.
I sat there and I saw everyone move from one building to the other building. Ten minutes later everyone is absolutely gone, learning from their professors. 45 minutes, 50 minutes go by — same exact thing. Next class, next class, everyone moves around and goes, you know, and does their thing. And I'm sitting there, and I think to myself, where do we be different? Where do we break away from the norm? Because when I think about the norm, I think about every single one of my friends. My friends that did that normal route who are now underneath the 9 to 5, underneath a job that they're not happy with, stuck into debt, saying to themselves, you know, is this all I have? You know, for the rest of the next twenty years.
And that was a really big eye-opening day for me, because I said to myself, if I'm learning the same thing that every other kid is learning at this time, where am I going to be different? And I always like to use the example, if I look out my window right now and I look down the street, I'm going to see every single person, probably driving, you know, a car lets say that's going to be between $10,000 to let's say $30,000 to $40,000. There's only a very exceptional amount of people who are driving cars that are maybe $100,000, $120,000, $200,000 — something along those lines. Now materialistic items, this is just an example, obviously aren't the most important things in the world. But it just gives you a little bit of visualization, how do people again, afford that? Because going the normal route, learning what everyone else is learning, we're not going to be able to break out.
So, at some point in our lives if we want to be able to have that next step, that financial freedom, to be able to get free of that 9 to 5, we have to at some point in our lives be able to do something different that no one else is doing. But the hardest part is, of course, doing that. Because when you're first starting, guess what? People are going to look down upon you. When you're first starting, people are going to talk behind your back and say, why's he doing this? But the thing is, why not try to go do something? Why not try to be someone? Why not try to go ahead and make something of yourself? Because the worst-case scenario, you fail, you're right back down to where everyone else is. That's the worst-case scenario. That you fail and you're back down to your 9 to 5, you're back to where everyone else currently is.
So, the thing is, why not go try to be someone and go try to do something and try to make something of yourself? And that's something that really hit me, especially sitting on that bench that one day and seeing every kid do the same exact thing, class to class, professor to professor, learn the same exact material. I said to myself, if I want to be someone and be able to have this freedom, I need to at some point break away from the norm. And I can't care what other people think about it, I can't care about the judgment or what people may say. I need to know that I am not, you know, part of this norm and if I want to be able to live an exceptional life, I need to do exceptional things.
So, I started trading back in around sophomore year, is when I started really taking is serious. And then sophomore year is where I started paper trading and just learning about the market. Now, you need to understand, I was just a broke college kid. I didn't have thousands of dollars to start stock trading. But the thing I always say is, being a broke college kid was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
And why was being a broke college kid one of the best things that ever happened to me? Well, it didn't allow me to start stock trading right away. If I started stock trading right away, I would have lost everything right away. So, the best thing was it allowed me to paper trade for about a year straight before I was actually even able to open up an account. I had to save up for about a year before I even started stock trading. I saved up about $1,400 and my one friend, actually loaned me $1,400, and I was able to start up an account with just around $2,500, a little bit over that area to start pursuing my stock trading. And that was very awesome and I was very happy, but the thing was I had over a year of paper trading, a year of learning, a year of making mistakes, a year of finding what's right and finding what's wrong before I actually started stock trading.
So, starting off with about $2,400, $2,500 as a sophomore, that was one of the best things that happened to me, because it was after a whole entire year. But how did I really find stock trading? That's like another funny story as well, as when I was, after the day that I was sitting on the bench, and I said to myself, you know, what can I do differently? I didn't really know where to start. You know, everyone wants to make money but where do you start when you say I want to make money? So, what did I do, just being very naive, I went straight to Google and I typed in, how to make money. And one of the big articles I read, was the big three things that came on up. Three things that came on up that's changed the course of who I am today which is number one, get involved with real estate. Real estate's a great way to be able to financially free, but of course, you know, I always think getting involved with real estate you're going to have to have large amounts of money, buying houses, renting them out, flipping them, doing everything along these lines.
Number two, you can start some sort of business if you want to. You know, business is something that I've always loved. I actually remember when I was a freshman in college that's actually where I kind of had my first hit of business life. We actually sold homecoming t-shirts. I actually saved up my whole entire money that I had over the summer, about $1,000, sold homecoming t-shirts, and was able to make $3,000 in profit just from selling homecoming t-shirts. And that was kind of like my first big business expense I ever did and that was absolutely awesome, and that definitely has helped me carry over and everything I am now.
And the third thing, of course, was getting invested in the stock market. Now, getting invested in the stock market, that's something that intrigued me. You know, the whole business side, you know that wasn't even here yet whatsoever. Everything now was just about getting involved in the stock market. Learning how to trade and that was something that I wanted to say to myself, alright well how do I do this? You know, right away when you hear about stock trading you're going to hear about, you know, options trading. You're going to hear about the SQY. You're going to hear about blue chips and of course, you know, if you dive deeper into it you're going to learn more about penny stocks and day trading.
Now, the first thing of course, when you read about on the internet of day trading and penny stocks, and all this different stuff, is that it's extremely high risk. But people with small accounts, of course, can get involved because you're trading stocks that are not costing as much. So, if we can play these stocks and we can find some sort of strategy that is allowing us to make a large amount of money, that limits our risk, then you know, that would be the perfect strategy. And that's what I've been trying to perfect, you know, year after year, after year and it took me a whole year of paper trading before I found something that started to work.
Because you hear about these stories of kids in their dorm rooms, you hear about these stories of people holding overnight, stores about people within a day making $10,000, $20,000, $100,000, and you say, why can't that be me? Now a lot of times these people do get lucky, you know, maybe they're holding some sort of large amount of shares and a press release comes out or some sort of crazy news comes out, or some sort of big momentum push goes flying on in and these people make money. But I say to myself, if someone can make, you know, $50,000 in a day, how can we predict this? How can we say, okay, I want to limit my risk and I want to maximize reward? Is there a way that we can do that?
And over the past few years, you know, I've been able to definitely work out some kinks and be able to be a successful trader. I've been full-time stock trading now for the past 5 years of my life. And every single year profits are getting bigger and bigger, because the account's growing more and more. On top of that, every single day is a day to learn. Even though I've been trading now for, I would say 6 years, because that first year I was also paper trading, you know, there's no ceiling on education. Every day, even at my level, I'm going to learn something, I'm going to subconsciously even, pick up new material every single day.
So, starting off with my stock trading, I know again kind of going a little long right there, but it really started back in college. Just wanting to be someone, wanting to be something different, wanting to make something of myself and realizing that if I just follow the norm, follow the every single person path, I'm going to end up like everyone else, and where is that going to leave me? You know, so I always wanted to break off. And I encourage everyone who's listening to this, to take that chance because what do you have to lose? Be someone, that you guys can definitely make something of yourself.