Who am I? My name is Bryan Bonwich and I am a regular guy who was able to beat the stock market, buy my first house, and create real wealth to accomplish my financial goals. Read on to learn how my experience isn’t unique, and how you are overthinking the process of making money in the stock market.
Making money in the stock market is one of those things that I was always interested in, but never confident about.
The guys on Wall Street make it look so easy, right?
I’ll be honest. If you do what they do, it really isn’t.
Which is why when I first began to trade, it was a total uphill battle—I was trying to do what the guys on Wall Street do, and that was my first mistake. I will say, though, when I stopped trying to copy them and focused on a strategy that was right for me, things changed in a big way.
Recently I was able to afford the down payment on a house, and the money from my investments played a big part.
This is the day I became Bryan Bonwich, homeowner.
My point is, you won’t accomplish your financial goals by doing exactly what “the experts” do.
And it’s not because you don’t have as much money as they do. When I started exploring how to make money in the stock market, I was overwhelmed. I was reading about superinvestors like Warren Buffett who are moving around truly staggering amounts of money.
My epiphany came when I learned something that totally changed my perspective on what it takes to be a successful investor and trader. You don’t need a lot of money to beat the market. Buffett himself is known for referring to not having a lot of money as “a huge structural advantage.”
Hey, if he wants to give away part of his eighty-two-billion-dollar fortune, I would be more than happy to lighten his load.
That’s not really what he means, though.
I’ll say it again for the people in the back: you don’t have to be independently wealthy to make money in the stock market.
The realization that small-time investors (regular people like you and me) have the ability to outperform titans of trading precisely because we aren’t superinvestors was a total game changer for me. It was the first domino to fall in a long line of realizations that led to my being able to buy a new house and create a stable future for my family.
But I have to give credit where credit is due. Let me start at the beginning.
I am a writer by trade. I have written about a seriously wide range of topics, which is interesting and rewarding in its own way. But it isn’t always interesting or rewarding for your bank account, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, I settled into writing about personal finance. So the topics I would explore—Social Security, retirement planning, saving and budgeting, etc.—were never far from the topic of investing.
In my work for ClydeBank Media, (you are probably reading this on their site right now) I got a chance to work with a man by the name of Ted Snow.
The plaque on his desk reads “Ted Snow CFP™, MBA” and he is one of the aforementioned “experts.” Seriously, it isn’t even worth approaching him unless you have at least $250,000 for him to manage. You could say I was a little intimidated, to say the least.
Here I am, a fledgling—and largely unsuccessful—investor trying to decipher the charts and graphs that I thought were essential to being successful. And then there is Ted, a veteran financial planner who manages something like $50M in assets.
To his credit, Ted was infinitely patient with me.
He explained that I was overcomplicating things, and that the secret to success was to rely on simple, time-tested tactics. What I learned from Ted made a world of difference for me, but most important by far was his wisdom regarding the amount of money needed to be successful.
If you look really closely, you can see “WTF” written all over my face.
He taught me that there is a place for regular people in the stock market, that the small size of our trades really is an advantage, and that there really are easy-to-understand ways to make money in the stock market.
And then the floodgates opened.
I learned how to make smart trades, what indicators to look for (without having to spend hours researching), and how to ride out market fluctuations.
I learned that when other investors are running for the hills and pulling money left and right, there are tremendous opportunities to be found. I learned that stock market success doesn’t come from talent or intelligence, and I learned that for the first time in my life my financial goals weren’t as far out of reach as I thought they had been.
I have to tell you, making your first thousand dollars in dividends and capital gains is a good feeling.
Fast Forward to Today
During a conference call with my colleague John, the director of ClydeBank Media, I casually mentioned I was buying a new home and that the concepts Ted outlines in the book helped me get there.
A call slotted for thirty minutes turned into two hours of me unloading everything I was doing.
John listened intently and asked a few questions here and there. Then at the end, he had one big question:
“Why didn’t you tell me all of this sooner?”
He pointed out that if a regular guy like me was able to learn all of this and really make things happen in my life, then there had to be people out there who could also benefit from that kind of insight.
So that’s exactly what we have done.
You Can Do It Too
Maybe you want to buy a house like I did. Maybe you are in serious need of a vacation, or maybe you need to start saving to send your kids to college. Whatever your financial goals are, if they seem like they are out of reach I can tell you that they aren’t as far away as they seem.
I truly believe that everyone can and should be able to live the life of their dreams.
I wasn’t able to accomplish my goals because I am any smarter or luckier than other people. And yeah, it took work.
There were some false starts, some mistakes, and a lot of self-doubt.
But I got there. And I want to share my journey with you, but, more importantly, I want to share the exact tools and tactics that made my financial goals a reality.
I’ll admit, being a homeowner isn’t as sexy as buying a boat or flying to the Caribbean. But it was my dream and I am truly thankful that I have been able to make it into reality.
Bryan is a the Senior Finance Contributor for ClydeBank Media. He specializes in the worlds of tech and finance, having both authored and collaborated with industry veterans on a variety of titles. Listen for his voice when searching for investment strategy and financial wellness tips. Bryan’s newest investing course is available now on the ClydeBank Media Campus.