Friday, March 5, 2010

The Kirk Report

The Kirk Report

Make It Fun

Posted: 05 Mar 2010 10:53 AM PST

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In law school when I started trading actively on a full-time basis, I had little money and lots of interest in the market. In order to continue to improve myself and learn to be better, I had to find creative and fun ways to test myself. I simply could not afford to lose any money because I had so little of it to begin with!

Fortunately I become close friends with several other newbie traders early on who were in the exact same position as I was - i.e. lots of interest and desire to learn to trade but very little capital to learn with. That forced all of us to be extremely creative during the beginning years. Looking back at now, that was also one of the best things that could have ever happened!

Almost every week we would figure out some sort of side game to play concerning stocks and the market. Whether it be how many days until a certain stock managed to break out from a trading range to when the market itself crossed a specific moving average. Each week would be something different and would present a fun test. The loser from the prior week would select the side game to be played the following week so it made for a fair competition. And, in case you were wondering, we never once put money on the line in these games.

Only our pride was on the line.

Given how competitive in nature we all were (and still are today), the weekly contests have been a fun opportunity even when I was the big loser which happened more often than I would like to admit. As payback, I've had to do some really crazy things over the years after losing. My two personal favorites required me to eat a pickled pig ear (which I gagged) and playing in a golf tournament I had paid big money to play in while dressed only in pink clothing (pants, hat, shirt, socks, bag, etc.) with people I didn't know. You can imagine the embarrassment! Others in the group have been forced to skydive, run in marathons, jump in a lake on a cold winter day, serve as an unpaid volunteer for the political campaign the loser hated the most, shave off all of their hair, etc. In picking the punishment, we'd usually focus on whatever the person would fear the most and it was sure has been fun watching last week's loser squirm when they lost!

To this very day, I continue to play those same games with the group of guys I started doing this with over 12 years ago. Although, I must confess that as each of us has grown older and the payouts have become far less painful or interesting (because we're getting older and we now live in different areas of the country making it difficult). But, it is something we continue to do even though capital is no longer an issue for us now. Most of the guys in the group now manage money professionally or trade full-time independently and have become quite successful (two are already retired). In a recent gathering, most of us attribute it to the fact that we "made it fun" early on and enjoyed what we do much more than making money.

So with that in mind, I really encourage you to find and explore new and creative ways to make trading and investing fun especially with others who share similar interests. While this is a zero sum game in many ways and making money is a serious business, if you can learn to enjoy the game more than the bottom line, I think you will give yourself a greater chance of long-term success. Surround yourself with people who enjoy and revel in the challenge and you'll raise your own game to new heights.

Dave Landry

Posted: 05 Mar 2010 06:21 AM PST

Dave Landry
Dave Landry from will be here at 12:PM EST to take our questions.

To attend the session live (or read it later) please visit the following link:

Strategy Session: Dave Landry

It is difficult to believe that it has been almost an entire year since our excellent Q&A with Dave. That was one of the more popular Q&A sessions last year (take time to read it if you haven't already) and it will be fun to have him here again today.

We hope you will find time to join us!