What I’m Trading: Esteban.

Occupation: Student

Industry: Talking

Age: 22

Location: Buenos Aires, Miami, Boston, Sydney. Wherever the world takes me. 

Portfolio Size: US$3012.28

What do you invest for?

As I am choosing between majors, investing has given me the opportunity to learn a little bit more about financial markets.

I invest to learn. Although the market has given me positive returns, what I have gained most from trading has been the life lessons.

From different strategies, to different metrics to look at, to managing risk, being invested in the stock market has given me access to real-life information that I wouldn’t gain in any of my finance classes.

How much time do you spend on your portfolio each week?

I usually stay up late and check the market for the opening hours of the stock market.

Most weeks I am up for about three hours, with 30 minutes dedicated to strategising my trades. I don’t, however, stay up too late following the market as I usually get up early.

When I wake up, I check my portfolio and see what has happened in the market and the returns I got for the day.

What’s in your portfolio right now?

I currently have a pretty diversified portfolio. I’m in:

1. Microsoft (MSFT)
2. Alibaba (BABA)
3. Marathon Petroleum (MPC)
4. Facebook (FB)
5. Apple (AAPL)
6. Micron (MU)
7. Immutep (IMMP)

How are your returns

Overall portfolio return since I started investing with the USD$2,000 I received has been approximately 51%.

Although my returns look promising, I have made some mistakes as everyone does. I guess it just shows the learning pays off.

What are you watching? why?

A couple of stocks I am currently watching are:

1. Petrobras (PBR) — I’ve been in and out of PBR for quite some time. I always have it on my watchlist to see its behaviour in the market

2. Universal Display (OLED) – My dad told me to invest in it. I didn’t take his recommendation after doing my analysis. A few days later, it spiked up 20%. Maybe you should listen to your parents?

3. Tandem (TNDM) – Tandem was my best buy, but not my best sell. I have it on my watchlist to see if one day I’ll buy back in and not make the same mistake of getting too attached.

4. Atlassian (TEAM) – Intern Alex getting in my head. Was all over it and wouldn’t stop talking about it so decided to add it on my watchlist.

Whats the best trade you’ve ever made?

I’m back on the sidelines watching Tandem, I did own some shares of it a few weeks ago. At one point, I was up 20% in only a week. As you do (but shouldn’t), I got attached to it and held it longer. I ended up selling with a 6% gain. The most important gain of this trade was the lesson I took out of it to never get attached to a stock.

And the dumbest?

Ironic since I am from Argentina, and it’s an Argentinian stock: Banco Macro (BMA). Home pride does not return in the market as it does in football.

Wanting to diversify a bit and increase my risk, I decided to invest in a financial services firm from Argentina. Knowing that the economy in Argentina has been extremely volatile, BMA offered an opportunity for high risk, as well as potential high returns. My total return on the stock was -20%, and I consider this to be one of the dumbest investments I’ve made.

Do you have a trading strategy you follow when making decisions?

When I began investing, I put my money in stocks that I thought would go up without much analysis. Of course, these stocks were strong, such as Facebook and Apple.

As time has passed and I have shifted to getting more structured with how I manage risk. I think much more about managing my risk to minimize losses and look at metrics like the trend, volume, resistance, and support of a stock.

Is there anything you’re trying to improve about your strategy?

The managing of when to sell in my strategy isn’t as polished as I would like it to be. Like what happened to me with Tandem, I find myself getting attached to bullish stocks and not selling when I should.

Additionally, I could manage my risk better. Banco Macro gave me returns of -20%, and I could have cut it earlier with better planning. Placing stop-loss orders at specific levels is an important aspect of managing risk and I haven’t been particularly accurate with them.

How did you first get into trading?

Having both my parents working in finance, one as a trader and one as an asset management director, I have always been interested in following my parents’ footsteps. However, growing up I didn’t have much to invest in the stock market. I never had a proper job and used my little amount of savings for trips or food. Still do…

For my high school graduation, my mom and step-father gave me USD $2,000 to invest in the stock market. With a little guidance of both parents, I began playing around and developing. Those are still the only funds I have traded within the stock market. They got me in to learn though so when I graduate and get a full-time job I’ll be more confident in putting some more dinero into the market.

Do you remember the first stock you bought?

The first stocks I bought was a complete bandwagon move. I bought Apple and Facebook as soon as I got the money to invest. Being a novice, I didn’t have a set strategy and invested in what I thought would go up as both are pretty solid companies.

It has been a positive run for both these stocks. I have gained 75% on Apple and 107.68% on Facebook. However, these have been long term holdings and yielded these returns after three years.

Any lessons you’d give to someone who’s never invested or traded before?

Don’t be afraid to invest in the stock market. Everything is a learning process and you won’t become a professional unless you start learning from somewhere.

I still don’t consider myself an expert. I continue to learn day to day. When I began investing in 2015, I did not have a clue as to how everything worked, but after investing in the stock market I have gained a lot more faster than I thought I would..

Who do you lean on for advice with trading?

My father is my right-hand man when it comes to trading advice. Being in the market professionally for over 20 years, he is a seasoned trader and has many tips and insights when it comes to my strategy, what stocks to buy, and when to sell.

If you were to buy a US stock or ETF right now, what would you buy?

If I had the capital, Amazon.

Who doesn’t want to be invested in them?

ICYMI: make your own decisions

This is not investment advice, just my opinion. It doesn’t reflect any opinions of Stake. I’m as fresh to this as the next person off the street. Do your own research and make your own decisions.

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