Gregg Interview


Cam: Hey, it’s Cam from Investors Underground. Today, we’re speaking with one of the most famed and followed traders in the world. Anyone who’s visited the leaderboard would have seen him dominating the number one position for pretty much every category there is on there. He’s made well into eight figures trading stocks, and he’s probably the wealthiest guy I know who’s happy to take my phone calls. I’m super excited to be able to speak with him today about trading and life. Gregg, lx21. How are you doing, Gregg?

Gregg: I’m doing great, Cam. Thank you. How are you?

Cam: I’m doing well. Thanks for asking. What is it that got you interested in trading stocks?

Gregg: I was always interested in the stock market. I can go back to, I think it was the 9th grade when in my school, we had a stock market contest. One of those 10-week hypothetical games where you have a portfolio and you can make trades and essentially compete with other teams in your school as well as, it was a regional thing among many schools. Ever since then, I remember just that whole concept of, you can money by playing with numbers. That was always fascinating to me. Even though that was just a school exercise, it planted the seed in me. I remember even back then thinking, wow, wouldn’t that be awesome to be able to do this for a living? It occurred to me how much money you could make if you just figured out the right thing to do. Even though it would be many years later until I actually did something with it, the thought never left me. When I was in my swing set business, that was 1998, and this was when the Internet bubble was starting to take off. If you think about it, this is primetime.

If you’re ever going to take a stab at stock trading, it probably couldn’t have been a better time to get into the stock market just as online trading is taking off. The market’s going crazy. People that lived through that time as traders, I think we would all agree, there’s never been anything like it since and perhaps in our lifetimes, there never will be again. It was really an exciting time to get started. Even though I was admittedly quite naïve when I first started, it’s almost like the enormous amount of opportunities available at the time made the market a little bit more forgiving. I don’t want to say it was easy, but when there’s that much activity and action going on, I think it’s really a matter of being at the right place at the right time. Traders at the time who were experienced and knew what they were doing were probably making far more money, but if you even had a little bit of a good strategy, it was the right time to get started because the positive feedback of early success, obviously, can propel your account and confidence so that you can continue through when markets were no longer so favorable.

Cam: What were you doing before you started trading? How was it that you transitioned over to stocks?

Gregg: Back in 1999, I was a contractor working for a company that sold swing sets. My job was to deliver, install, and build wooden swing sets in people’s backyards. It was actually a lot of fun. I actually like that kind of work. I was outdoors and making things and driving around. Not much to do with trading, to be honest. The one thing that segued into trading was the fact that I was putting away a little bit of cash at a time, getting ready for a tax bill due in April. By the end of my first year of working, I had about $25,000 in the bank and I wasn’t sure how much was going to be owed for taxes. So, I had about five months or so with that much money in the bank in a savings account that was probably making, who knows? One percent, something ridiculous. This was also the time when the Internet bubble was taking off. You could imagine, it seemed like everyone out there was making millions trading online stocks. All these Internet stocks going crazy, and I’m making potentially a few bucks a month in a savings account. It occurred to me, maybe I want to invest in the stock market for a few months before I have to hand this money over to the IRS. That idea was already there, but as appealing as it was, I’m not a gambler, especially with money that’s owed to the government.

Cam: It’s borrowed money, right?

Gregg: Yeah.

Cam: It had an expiry date on it.

Gregg: Yeah, but it is hard to sit there for five months making hardly anything on it. I thought to myself, what if I figure something out? Just to invest for a little while. Make some money off of this and then see what happens. I decided to study the stock market, essentially. I started learning as much as I could, but the work I was doing, it was seasonal because I was in the Northeast U.S. through winter. You can’t really be doing much outdoor work when it’s snowing and below freezing. I knew I was going to have a chunk of time, but before this even came about, this is probably November. I was still working, but it occurred to me that very soon, this was imminent. I started studying whatever I could. I started reading books on trading. This is, of course, before the Internet was what it is today. So, a lot of the information was still in the Wall Street Journal, newspapers, magazines, Barron’s. I started just poring through numbers and stock prices, and I did online research as well.

Going through stock chart and downloading data and just going through whatever I could. I didn’t have the guts to just say what’s the latest, hottest stock? And I’m going to pull my money into that. I wanted to figure out, was there a way to make money essentially, in a reliable way? Is there a way to put the odds in my favor? As I said, I don’t want to gamble. I wanted to find a way to be the casino where I don’t mind taking some chance, but I want the odds to be in my favor. I opened an online account before I even made my trade. I just kept researching and researching and researching. I was going through all kinds of different stock patterns, looking for some kind of predictability within the numbers. When certain things lined up, was there a way to predict that? There was a good chance of a profit if you traded that setup. I found something where it looked like it was relatively consistent, and it made good money. It still took a few, it was a few weeks, couple months. It took until January until I actually had the downtime that I knew was coming, and placed my first trade, and it worked.

Cam: How did it feel?

Gregg: Well, I expected it to work. In fact, I had a little bit of a naïve faith in it. You just assume, well, here’s something where I found perhaps 70 or 80 instances of it in the recent past, and every time that this particular thing happened, three days later on average the trade would have made 20 percent. That’s pretty much what I was looking at. It was actually a very profitable strategy. I didn’t think through any of the limitations. I just thought of the—

Cam: The upside.

Gregg: Yeah, the upside. With that, I went into it, and it worked. Of course, it feels good. I’m not trying to say I had no doubt, but I did expect it to work. When it did, I made over $1,000 my first week. Then, the second week, made over $1,000. My third week, I made over $2,000. Then, that’s when I really started to realize I had something.

Cam: That was pretty good money back then, right?

Gregg: Well, I guess you could argue it’s not bad money, even today. It depends on your account size. That was a $25,000 account. Even today, making that is not bad, but it was during the Internet bubble. One of the things to keep in mind, back then everybody acted like they were making a killing, and there were a lot of cases where people were just nailing it out of the park. People were buying Cisco or Yahoo or E-Trade and just doubling their money in a few weeks. Everybody’s just making it look so easy. When I’m making 5% on my account in a week, it didn’t look impressive compared to the rest of the world, because everyone else is just making a killing. I wish I would have had the same kind of, I don’t know if you want to call it faith or what, this ability to buy these momentum stocks everyone was buying back then. There are people that had no clue what they were doing that were growing accounts to obscene levels. Of course, two years later, you’d hear the horror stories of the same people, but at the time, there were a lot of people making a lot more money than me. I didn’t feel like it was anything special, but it fit my personality. I just could not pull the trigger on buying some kind of hot tech stock.

Cam: On the other hand, that’s what saved you when it all came tumbling down.

Gregg: Absolutely. I had extreme skepticism about that whole Internet bubble. I don’t want to say that I knew what was going to happen. I wasn’t experienced enough to understand how bubbles work and the whole thing was going to explode. I don’t want to go that far to say I knew that, but I did know that something wasn’t right about it. It did not feel right. I knew that even though I didn’t know much about investing, you could tell. This is not how it’s supposed to be to invest. You’re not supposed to be able to just buy any old stock that just happens to be popular and double and triple your money in a few months. It was just absurd. I honestly do think it was a blessing in disguise, because it protected me from later losing a lot of money. Even more than that, it forced me into a constant search for things which I hoped would continue to work after the Internet bubble burst. I was a constant search. Even when I found my first strategy, I was very insecure that I wouldn’t be able to keep making money trading. There was this constant feeling like, this is easy now because it’s at the tech bubble.

Cam: So, you were asking yourself, when are the good times going to come to an end?

Gregg: Yes. I wanted to learn how to trade. I really wanted to know how to do it and to be able to do it once the madness was over. Even as I was making money, I was constantly almost obsessively researching, looking for the next strategy which could save me when this all came to an end. I think that early attitude is really what made me into what I am today in the sense that I didn’t feel comfortable resting or just because I was making money. Like, okay, now I know how to trade and that’s it. I was constantly studying and looking for new things. Trading became my full-time job and my part-time became researching technical analysis and testing systems and plowing through data, looking through how insider sales affected stocks and how analysts, when they made calls and how stocks—just looking at everything I could think of and try to figure out how do you take this data and turn it into something which can predict what a stock’s going to do?

Cam: You mentioned that you were rewarded with some early success in your trading, which probably helped propel you forward in terms of growing what you were doing and scaling it. When exactly was it that you realized you were pretty good at this and that it was a possibility that you’d be able to do this full-time for a living?

Gregg: I think there two answers to what you’re asking. The first one is, when did I decide that that’s what I was going to do? In other words, make a living at it. I decided that once I was making more money trading than my previous business. My intent in the very beginning was to go back to building swing sets. I didn’t start off saying to myself, here’s my new career. My thought was, I’m going to make some money trading. When the winter is over and the snow melts, I’m going to go back to building swing sets, and I’ll have my fun and make some money and maybe I’ll do it again the next year. But it didn’t really occur to me to make it into a full-time endeavor. Perhaps in the back of my mind I hoped it, but I didn’t actually really think it until spring came and I was making a lot more trading and enjoying it. I didn’t really make the decision. I just simply never went back. I never sat down one day and said, today I’m going to decide. I just kept trading, because when you’re making more money doing it and you love it, it’s hard to stop. The other half of the question, when did I know I was good at it?

Cam: Yeah. It’s obviously something that you’re very talented at. When did you realize it yourself?

Gregg: I think the first time I really, really felt that in a strong way was in 2007. I actually made really good money even my first year.

Cam: Really? In your first year? That seems to pretty uncommon. What were your results like?

Gregg: In ’99, if I recall, I made somewhere around $700,000.

Cam: Wait. So, $25,000 to $700,000 in your first year?

Gregg: Yes, and I knew there was something special about that on the one hand, but on the other hand, I knew it was the Internet bubble. I still had this incredible insecurity that this was not because I was anything special. It was because the market was just absolutely insane. The next year, I still felt that way even though the next year I made even more. I kept thinking to myself, okay. There was several metrics I kept looking at. Most traders don’t last two years. When I lasted more than two years, then I started, okay, maybe that means something. As I kept trading, it was really hard for me to really feel that high level of confidence. I think that it was a blessing in disguise, because even as I was doing well, it’s like a insecurity that drives you to try to do better. I kept trying to learn more and research more and find new systems, new strategies, and test ideas. I didn’t stop doing that, even as I was making really good money, which may seem really odd. In 2007, I remember a particular moment when I was feeling really frustrated. I was probably having a slump. I don’t know what it was. Maybe a month or two. I just wasn’t making a whole lot of money. I don’t think I was actually losing much, but just going through a dry spell where you start questioning whether you’re going to be able to keep doing it if you’re not making money.

Out of that frustration, there came a moment where a couple hours after the open, I just decided I’m going to leave it for the day. I’m not doing anything and there’s just no point in this. I needed a mental break. I brought my laptop out to the kitchen, and I was doing other things. I remember taking a glance at the screen and it was that was up. I had no intent to trade or anything. I was just taking a glance. This was a few hours later, in the afternoon, at that point. It was very strange because I remember seeing some kind of headline, and I just had this moment where I read the headline and I just had this clarity where I was just like, oh, that’s a buy. It was just this very strange moment of, I wasn’t looking to buy. I was going to. It was almost like where the intuition after all those years of studying finally kicked in. That memory sticks with me because I remember that was a real turning point in my confidence. In retrospect, obviously, it was a great buy. It was that moment where I was like, you know what? Maybe I do know how to trade. It’s like you’ve finally reached that level where you realize, okay.

Cam: It’s like other people reading the headline were just staring at the words, but when you read the headline, you could see the meaning immediately.

Gregg: Yeah. That’s really what happened. I made great money for all those years, but yet there was still that moment where all that lack of confidence and insecurity, you finally reach that point where you’re just like, okay, maybe I have arrived. Maybe I do know how to trade, because you finally start to read the market at a higher level.

Cam: Obviously, having started with $25,000 and now making several million dollars a year, you must have scaled what you were doing considerably to get up to those numbers. Can you talk to us a little bit about your strategy around scaling your operation to be able to get into the big bucks?

Gregg: Well, I come from a background of systems trading. My whole approach from the very beginning was, I always wanted to find a mechanical system, almost the holy grail trading. If you can find this magical method of putting numbers into a computer and having it tell you when to buy and sell, you could essentially retire. Just have the computer make your trades for you. Much of my research the first few years of my trading was based around that approach, but that mentality is what shaped my trading today. So much of it came from that approach of trying to think more mechanically or thinking like a computer programmer versus thinking like a trader would, where I try to make things more automated. From the very beginning, when I looked at my very first system that I developed when I started, it was always an interesting exercise for me to put the hypothetical account into a spreadsheet and see how it would grow, and looking at the amazing power of compounding.

If you had a system where you could find one trade per month that made 10% and you traded a $50,000 account for five years, your account after five years would be worth $15 million. It’s mind-boggling how much compounding works. Of course, applying that to real life doesn’t quite work the same, but the appeal of that always made me think in terms of maximizing the account to compound the return. It never occurred to me in the beginning that you should try to make a certain dollar amount per day or per trade. It always just seemed to be natural to put all your money into a strategy or a system and compound it as much as you can. It seemed to me like it’s worth in the beginning. It’s a risk, the $25,000 I started with. If you put in the results and you see that after several years, that could turn into millions. I’m willing to risk $25,000 for that, especially if the odds are in your favor. Apparently, that’s not how most people think.

Cam: From my point of view, I find it quite interesting that it almost seems like these are opposing personality traits. On one hand, you were very nervous and lacking a lot of confidence for your own trading, but on the other hand, you were compounding your size all the time.

Gregg: Yeah. I see your point. I guess that’s true. I think on the one hand, they go together very well because if you lack confidence, you want something which takes away from the bad decision making. On the other hand, I could see why you’d be less aggressive. If you have faith in the system, that takes away that confidence factor.

Cam: Now that you’re at the very top of the mountain in terms of trading and experience and expertise, do you find it difficult to find valuable additions to what you’re doing in terms of valuable content or information or mentors, so to speak?

Gregg: When I first started, I read a lot of books. It was the early days of the Internet. So, there weren’t too many trading services I was aware of in the beginning, but obviously, there are a lot of them today. I did try different strategies and I read a lot of different books, and I would subscribe to different services as I found some that seemed like they had some merit. The truth is, for the first 10 years of my career, I never found anybody that had any value, and everything I ever learned about trading that worked came from stuff I discovered on my own. I never had much need for learning from others. I have since then found some people who I do think have some solid ideas and you can learn from, but because that’s never been a strong part of how I would learn new ideas and broaden out my strategy, it was never a factor.

Cam: What was it about Nate and Investors Underground that attracted you to the service?

Gregg: A few years ago, I heard of Investors Underground. I have tried many different services over the years, and whenever I hear of one where it sounds like there might be something there, I love to give it a try. Unfortunately, probably 95% of the things that are out there are garbage or useless. So, I had the same skeptical attitude of most of them where, I’ll try it for a month and almost automatically, I’ll end up cancelling it. With Nate’s service, it took me a little while to really catch on what was going on because his trading style, even though we have a lot of overlap, we trade a lot of the same symbols, but his approach is a bit different than mine. I think early on, there were probably some penny stocks that we were both trading where I think what caught my eye was in some of his commentary, I think Nate is very talented when it comes to some of the penny pumps. I’m thinking of the LEXGs and Jam and Java. Some of these stocks that essentially went down into the hall of fame of penny stocks.

I remember on some of those, Nate had some phenomenal commentary, which probably saved a lot of people a lot of losses by keeping them from shorting too early or from keeping them from buying after the thing was ready to implode. Something along those lines, I’m sure, stuck with me and resonated because even though I’ve made a lot of money trading those types of stocks, I’m honestly not an expert. I’m sure there was something back then that added value to my trade, and that’s what caught my attention. Sometimes, with someone like Nate, you have to give the strategy a chance, so to speak. Even though on the surface sometimes a lot of his trades don’t make sense, because we have a much different style. Sometimes if you just give it a chance and try to actually slow down and watch what he’s doing rather than interpreting it through the usual way that you approach it, you start to realize that he does know what he’s doing. It’s just different. I watched his DVD a few months ago.

Even though I’ve already been in his room for a while, that added tremendous value. Even if I didn’t start trading his strategy, now I understand that much better. I just think it always helps to have one more tool in the toolbox, or even just one more perspective on stock. Just one more way to perceive a setup which maybe you’re trading a stock and he’s entering it at a very similar time to you. Even though you both have a different approach to it, it’s still helpful to see, how is he trading it? Because he’s looking for something completely different than me, yet we’re both entering it at the same time. That must mean something. It does add value in that way. I would say, after being in Nate’s room for a few years now, I think it’s the best room that’s out there. As I said, I’ve tried many different services, and there are very few I’d recommend to anybody. I think most of them are just useless. Nate is certainly an exception to that.

Cam: I think with Nate leading by example and encouraging that sharing and supportive vibe in the community really means that everyone shares the same mantra in the room. Sometimes I think to myself, where else in the world can you get a situation where people who are at the very top of their game are willing to share information for next to nothing? It just doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world, where super successful people are happy to share the secrets to their success for the betterment of the community.

Gregg: I would have to agree. I think sometimes it perplexes the mind a little bit. Why would a good trader be willing to be open and free with his ideas? I think what it boils down to is one of the core things about Nate’s room is community. There is a strong sense of community. It’s something which I’ve learned. I’ve been questioned occasionally by friends or people that know me pretty well saying, why would you go out of your way to help somebody in a chat room? Or some question like, why would you take your time to help someone? At first, I would agree. Why would I waste my time doing that? It’s not someone I know. It’s not someone I care about, but the amazing thing is, trading is a small world. I can’t tell you how many times you start of by either helping someone or just being friendly for the sake of being nice with no reward in sight.

It does come back full circle. I’m really surprised by that, how many times someone who you helped a year ago, you meet them later on and now you’re in a position where they can help you in some way. Whether it’s passing along some information about a stock or just giving a referral to something which ends up being very helpful. Or just someone else’s good word being said about you which then helps get you elevated in some completely different circle. It all comes around. It’s amazing. I’m really surprised by that community aspect. I never would have thought it would be—in an online community, you would think with people having usernames where they’re anonymous, who would care to be nice in that kind of environment? It kind of defies logic, but it’s there, and perhaps it’s not true in all Internet chat rooms, but I think it’s one of the best features of Nate’s room which is that there are just really good people there.

Cam: What is the number one question that traders ask you? What do you believe is your answer to that?

Gregg: The number one question I get is, how are you doing today?

Cam: Everyone wants to be your friend, right? What are you trading? Can you just let me know each time you enter an exit a stock please?

Gregg: Yeah. I’m not sure if this would be the number one thing, but I’ll tell you the one thing that sticks out the most in my mind, which is pretty common is, people often will overcome their shyness and fear of speaking to someone they don’t know when they’re in trouble. Therefore, it is somewhat frequent where someone reaches out because they’re having a problem. Often, that problem is because that they’re under water in a stock, in a position that’s too big. Or perhaps they’re just in a horrible trading slump where they’ve just been losing money over and over and over. They’re reaching out. The desperation motivates them to come out of their shell. Often, when you’re in that position, you don’t really care anymore. It’s like, well, maybe this guy will be rude to me, but heck with it. They click on your name and they’re like, hey, can you help me out? Honestly, sometimes that’s the most enjoyable problem to help people with, not because you’re glad they’re suffering in that way, but because if you can help them, there’s certainly some enjoyment in helping someone in that way.

Cam: Right, and that’s when you’ve got the opportunity to make the most profound difference. If you help someone who’s already having success and they get more success, you’re not making as profound a difference as if you’re helping someone out who is struggling and you’re able to turn them around.

Gregg: Yeah, absolutely. If I help Bao with something, he’s a friend, he’s a great guy. If next year Bao came to me and said, you know that advice you gave me helped me make another $100,000 this year, I’m sure it would feel good. It just wouldn’t quite be the same as getting that feedback from a guy who goes, I was about to call it quits and move onto a different career. You saved me and now I’m a trader and I love it, and this is the best thing in my life.

Cam: Right. Hey, trust me. Bao doesn’t need anymore money.

Gregg: Yeah, I know.

Cam: I guess a lot of the time, people are hitting you up when they’re not doing so good.

Gregg: Yeah. I think it’s when they’re on the slippery, steep slope heading towards the bottom. They’re either about to blow up their account or they realized they’re on that path. Even if it’s not a horrendous blow up that they’re destined to, they sense the great trading experiment coming to an end, and they’re just reaching out because they’re trying to salvage what they have.

Cam: Right. Sometimes it can be a bit of a tough market out there. From a personal standpoint, what kind of goals do you set for yourself in terms of your trading? How do you track your level of success?

Gregg: If you look at the traders in Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards and the obscene amounts of money some of those guys have made over the years, anywhere from $10 million to hundreds of millions, and then you look at the Internet culture, especially back in the good old days when message boards from the hot way to communicate, everybody would talk about how much money they’re making, and everybody’s making tens of thousands of dollars, hundreds of thousands. Everybody’s a millionaire on the Internet. I’m naïve, of course, and I believe a little bit too much of it. I have all of these numbers planted in my head. When I started trading, the bar as far as what I thought a successful trader would make was very high, and it’s amazing how much that can change your psychology. You tell someone in sales that, a good sales person at our company makes half a million a year, and if that guy makes $200,000, he’s going to have low self-esteem. He’s going to think there’s something wrong with him. If you later revealed that you were just kidding and the average sales guy makes $100,000 a year, he just blew away the average.

That concept is a lot of what drove my trading until recently. I always had the impression that good traders were making far more money than me. Therefore, when I started on a few years ago, I joined when there were not very many members. I don’t remember. It was probably just over 100 members when I signed on. I thought, if this website where you report your profits, if it’s ever going to take off, which it did—I really honestly never even gave myself a chance. I automatically assumed I’d be bumped off the top 10 in no time. Assuming traders show up. Honestly, that was the first time I realized that my profits were something special, like actually really good. I swear to you, up until them, I’m not trying to say I didn’t think I was successful. I absolutely did, but there’s a difference. I was still comparing myself to these guys in the Market Wizards books. Up until recently, I had not made more than $2.5 million in a year. I have fortunately surpassed that more recently. For more than 10 years of my career, I never surpassed that. Measuring myself to these standards, which were constantly out of reach, so I just assumed I’m pretty good. That was where it ended. Part of the point here to make, though, is I think it’s actually more important not to focus on my story to make a point here, but on the example of the sales person.

If you come into trading thinking that making $500 a day is awesome and you’re going to be happy with that for the rest of your life, that will have an impact on the results. If you go into trading thinking that you need to make $10 million a year, that psychology, the attitude, it really is a big part of your subconscious of driving you towards your trade size and your risk tolerance. If you forever think that $500 is a huge deal, you’re always going to be scared of losing $500, and you’re always going to be thrilled to make $500. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s not bad at all if that’s what works for you, but the point is, if you want to make millions, which is what some people in trading are striving for, then you have to have the ability to think in those terms. You can’t be amazed by a few thousand dollars. If you want to become a millionaire, you have to think and act like a millionaire in order to ever get there. Making $50,000 from time to time on a single trade is to be expected. It’s almost like when you see people high five each other, especially when you watch an NFL game. You see these guys sometimes make a touchdown, and sometimes their response, it’s almost comical.

Cam: It’s sort of like they’re shocked or surprised.

Gregg: Yeah. Five minutes of celebration, but it goes back to the saying. Act like you’ve been there before, even if this is your first NFL touchdown, which most of these guys, it’s not. Act like you’ve been there. If you’re trying to say to the world, I expect to do this frequently, then you shouldn’t be acting like you just won the lottery by scoring a touchdown. Likewise, with making $50,000. I’m not trying to say the first time you make $50,000 you shouldn’t celebrate, but stop acting like it’s a big deal. If you want to be a millionaire and make a million trading, at some point in your life, you’re going to have to say to yourself, I need to expect this to happen. I need to expect to make that kind of money from time to time, and I need to also be able to understand that losing $10,000 while that’s an absurd amount of money in the real world to just throw around and lose in a day, in trading that’s a normal amount, and it’s to be expected to make and gain that amount of money.

Cam: If you’re at million-dollar stakes, right?

Gregg: Yeah. I think that psychology plays a huge part of your level of success. It might not change a whole lot whether or not you’re going to be good or bad or whether or not you’re going to make it, but it will change whether or not you’re ever going to make it big. Nate is awesome. I love everything that Nate does, but the one thing I notice is, he does have that sense of when an account gets too big, he wants to pull some money out. So, he doesn’t quite do what I’m saying, because he hits the reset button. To him, when the trade starts to get too big, he doesn’t feel comfortable with it. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you ever want to get to that level where you’re making huge bucks, there needs to become a point where it’s no longer special to make that kind of money, and you’ve got to expect that on your growth to larger numbers that it’s not anything extraordinary. This is part of the process of becoming a good trader. The site, I finally found out that yeah, it’s pretty rare to make $2 or $3 or $5 million in a year, but I still sometimes look back at the Market Wizards, and that always puts it back in perspective. It’s like, yeah, I do pretty good as a day trader, but you know what? There’s still guys that kick my butt.

Cam: I also feel like you might have been making some kind of commentary at the same time while telling the story about the NFL players about some of the guys or other gurus on Twitter maybe making one good trade, just giving high fives for the rest of the trading day, not doing anything else.

Gregg: I know, yeah. I’ve always been reluctant to celebrate in that manner. It amazes me how much some people seem to get a kick out of the celebration and the congratulations that follows a trade. Almost as if that’s more important than the money you just made. Or, what’s even more amazing than that is when people want to be given a pat on the back on Twitter or wherever else because they called the bottom on a stock. It’s just like, wait a minute. Did you trade it? Did you actually make money on in? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made money on a trade and some other guy is going on about, I called the bottom on that one. I’m like, yeah, I guess he had a better entry than me. I didn’t get the bottom, but the guy’s all excited because he made $200.

Cam: And he didn’t even verify the $200 anyway, right?

Gregg: Yes. That, too.

Cam: I know that you’ve been pretty involved in the Traders for a Cause charity that Nate founded earlier this year, and I understand that you’re also going to be speaking at our first event in Vegas early October. Tell us a little bit about your involvement in this charity and what the plan is for the three-day event.

Gregg: This was Nate’s idea to start Traders for a Cause, a charity essentially run by traders. I think it’s a wonderful idea for traders to give back. Something I believe strongly in. When I first heard of this idea, it didn’t take much to convince me to participate. Nate asked me to volunteer to serve on the board, which I gladly did. It’s a new organization. We just started up, and yet we’re off to a great start with this event coming up in Vegas. It looks like we’re going to have a tremendous turnout. I think Nate and Zack and some of the other guys that are organizing this event are doing a great job. It looks like we’ve got some real good speakers lined up. Besides just this event, the whole idea of traders giving to charity, I think is something which deserves a little bit more attention. We live in a world here, us traders, where there is so much money circulating. There’s almost a disconnect with us and the rest of the world. There’s so much need and so many people that have so much less than us.

As traders, consider how much money some of these guys make, and then you compare that to some of the poverty in the world and some of the issues that some people deal with. I just feel like the whole idea that we should remember that, that there are a lot of people less fortunate than us. We can all obviously give to charity at any time, but the idea of a charity run by traders, I think that helps put some emphasis back on that whole philosophy. It’s something I deeply believe in. I hope this is the beginning of something much bigger. We’re off to a great start, but I’m hoping that this organization, it’s just the start of a long-term operation which can really not just generate money for charity, but educate traders on the fact that giving back is very important, and thinking of others and causes that are out there in this world helps put some perspective back in our lives about what’s really out there besides the wild world of finance.

Cam: Where it’s all about the P&L.

Gregg: Exactly. It’s great fun for us to count the cash, but there really is so much more to life and so much more to this world than just making money and having money. Money can’t buy happiness. We know that, but money can buy you the ability to help others. If you think about that, that’s powerful. Never mind the Lamborghinis and fancy mansions. All that, that’s fun stuff, but that’s never going to buy you happiness. I’ll tell you what. If you give to someone who really needs something and you end up saving a life in the process, that is meaningful, and that’s what money can do if you think about it. That’s something we should all keep in mind.

Cam: I really agree with that sentiment. Gregg, tell us about where you see yourself in the next five years in terms of your trading and achieving a balance in life.

Gregg: You know, Cam, for the next five years, I plan to continue trading, yet I hope to strike more of a balance in life and take a little bit more time off, have some more time with family and do a little bit of traveling. At the same time, I plan to diversify a little bit into some other investments. Some that I’m already working on now, but there’s some other projects I want to do. I’m also looking into helping some others. I’ve been teaching my brother-in-law how to trade. I think with time, I’m probably going to want to get a little bit more involved on the people side of things, not just trading stocks and accounts, but doing a little more time helping others.

Cam: Gregg, I really think that you’re a huge asset to the Investors Underground community, and I know that everyone appreciates all the input and help that you give to the members there. I also want to thank you for sitting down and spending the time with us today to help our members and our YouTube subscribers understand a little bit more about your story.

Gregg: All right. Thank you, Cam. I enjoyed it, too. It was nice talking to you.

Cam: Thanks again.

Key Points

  • Gregg is one of the top short sellers in the world of day trading, with millions of dollars in profits
  • Gregg turned $25,000 into $700,000 in his first year of trading
  • Gregg obsessed over the market and constantly worked on refining his strategy
  • Focus on making your trading strategy as “mechanical” as possible
  • Set bigger goals for yourself because they will shape your mindset
  • Psychology plays a huge role in trading success