To say I was unprepared for the Forex business would be an understatement. I spent my professional life working with trees! I figured that Forex couldn’t be too different, right? Wrong! Let me say that again: WRONG. Yes, it deserves to be capitalized.
Like with most business models, the tree business has plenty of vendors and operators just waiting to take my hard earned money. The difference is that, when you work with trees, you can usually see exactly what you are going to be paying for. You can tell with a look if a machine has up to date (or even breakthrough) technology. You can easily see which machines are going to cut down on your work load or make your day easier. You can also tell which machines need repairs or might not be up to snuff. It’s easy to tell that, with the tree business, you get what you pay for. This is not true with Forex!
We’ve all heard the cliché “A fool and his money shall soon part.” My parents used to say that whenever I’d want to spend my money on anything they deemed unwise (also known as anything “fun”). I’ll be the first to admit that my first ventures into Forex turned me into quite a fool!
The first thing I did was let myself believe that if I just kept throwing money at a problem, eventually it would fix itself and I’d make a return on my investment more quickly. So, acting on an impulse one night, I chose a program I saw advertised on television. The ad went on and on about how “easy” the program was so I pulled out my trusty credit card, called the number and promptly maxed out my card. This is the first thing I did wrong.
The second mistake I made was not telling my secretary what I had done. She found out when the bill came in and she let me know, in no uncertain terms, that she thought I was making a major mistake.
I tried to tell her that, when I first started out in the business world, I worked with clients in the banking business. These clients had told me that most of the money they made was from factoring and Forex. I asked her, “If a bank can do it, why can’t a guy who works with tree? How hard can it be?”
My secretary was not convinced. She reminded me of my bad financial judgment at every budget meeting from then on!
The program I purchased cost $3500. It came with a bunch of pretty charts and an affiliate link to the program’s trading desk. The idea was that I would spend a few weeks watching videos and carefully reading the information on the company’s website (the program referred to these as “training materials”). Obviously, when I finished all of the videos and the website pages I realized one thing quite clearly: I was going to need more training.
The “advanced” training materials ended up costing me $7500. I got more videos in the mail as well as a few books and CDs. I was supposed to be given a thirty minute coaching session after I finished each “class.” When I tried to take advantage of the individual coaching, I was charged an arm and a leg for every hour I spent explaining what I had learned. They even used a lawyer’s clock to track the time!
Imagine how miserable I became when, after spending all of that money, I learned that a lot of other people who were starting out had used same system and gotten a different pricing schedule. I guess that, because I had more credit available, I could have had the exact same course for half the price that I actually paid.
As it turns out, my secretary was right. I wasn’t going to recoup my investment. After $3500 on initial training and more than $7500 on “advanced training” it was still going to cost me $2000 to open my own account and I only had sixty days to come up with it.
This learning stuff was getting expensive!
I was desperate to get back the money I had lost. You’ve probably heard of “revenge trading”: the trading you do in an attempt to make back the money you have just lost? To say I was motivated to find a way (any way) to recover some of the money I had lost would be an understatement.
The economy was starting to change. Tree and field work were slowing down. It wasn’t long before my secretary forced me to realize that, not only could I not afford my Forex training anymore, I couldn’t afford to employ her! It was beginning to look like the only way I was going to be able to keep my house would be to sell my tree and field equipment.
I did what anybody in this situation would do: I hired a personal trainer. For $200 per hour, my trainer was going to get my Forex skills into such good shape that I would be able to use Forex income to support myself, my family and my business. At least, that’s what I thought.
We worked together for eighteen months. He gave me his undivided attention and we had one-on-one sessions over the phone and online. He had a specific Forex method that he was doing his best to teach me, but it wasn’t long before I had racked up $2500 in personal training costs–without getting even one inch ahead in the game. In fact, I was falling farther and farther behind!
It was at this point that this personal trainer offered me a chance to participate in a Forex training seminar. This seminar would run me another $2500. I should have seen it coming.
Thankfully, due to some circumstances beyond my control (health scare), I was given a chance to take part in the course for free in exchange for promoting it and bringing in new students. “Finally!” I thought. “I’m catching a break!”
It wasn’t long before hundreds of other potential Forex traders had signed up to take the class. We didn’t have a set meeting time–we met at all hours, day and night. Our teacher was great and was happy to show us his trades as they took place (okay, they were slightly time delayed thanks to the internet but it was good enough for me!).
We could watch, in (mostly) real time how this guy was able to bring in three PIPs of a break out or reversal. We watched this happen over and over again. His web page illustrated the literally thousands of PIPs he brought in just a few months.
I should have felt encouraged but I didn’t. Even though our trainer was great, nobody in the class seemed to be getting the level of PIPs this guy was getting. Could this be the teacher’s fault? I can’t say definitively. He spent hours and hours answering questions. The problem , it seemed, was me. I just wasn’t getting it. The proof was staring me in the face. The fifteen thousand dollar investment account I had worked so hard to build up was empty. For the record, our teacher had been very clear and warned me early on that trading live money wasn’t a guarantee and that I shouldn’t trade in an active account if I wasn’t prepared to lose the money that was there.
It felt like everybody was telling me “I told you so.” And my losses were growing by the day.
Finally I had to take a step back and look at the situation objectively. Why was I losing money faster and faster as time went on? What, exactly, was it about Forex that I couldn’t get? Why could my secretary see that I probably wasn’t cut out for this business when I thought that I would eventually get a handle on it? The situation spread out before me wasn’t pretty. Whoever said that Tree Dudes don’t cry hasn’t ever watch one lose as much money as I had in such a short time.
I was working more than eighty hours a week in an attempt to provide for my family and, instead of bringing home a healthy payday, I was losing our money hand over fist. I had no way to pay my bills or mortgages. My business was down to one employee: me. I did it all, right down to my own equipment repairs because I simply couldn’t afford to hire anyone to help me. It was clear: I needed help. Big time.
Thank God for my wife who never once even hinted at an “I told you so.”
Next time: The Light at the End of the Tunnel!
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