A Year In Review: The Wins and Losses of a Budding Watch Trader
Every journey begins with a single step, I know, it sounds corny as hell …
“Nick what fortune cookie did you get that from? Seen the Kung Fu Panda Trilogy lately haven’t you?”
I have a few answers to that, one, that movie is amazing so get off my back. Two it’s true, I started out in May 2019 and as I come up on my first year as a trader, I have won big, lost some and made mistakes. I both learned a lot and have yet, a lot to learn. It is my intention to share with you some of the key tenants of knowledge so you can do the same, and maybe, just maybe, do it better.
- Starting somewhere is better than not starting at all
Your success today is a direct result of your habits yesterday. I’ve truly lost count of how many times I’ve been asked over the past year how much money is needed to begin watch trading. The correct answer is that no amount is too small to take that first step toward your financial freedom. I began investing with $800 that I received as a gift after graduating college. It was to hold me over until I “found a real job” A member who is now a good friend sold me my first watch on 5/5/2019 It was a Breitling Colt Quartz for that exact amount.
Now I’m sure some of you are thinking
‘Wasn’t those funds supposed to last you a while? What if you fail?”
Trust me I was thinking that but I figured worst case I would be an unemployed college grad living with his parents, and since you know I was already that It couldn’t get much worse
The lesson here is to start, just start. The advanced stuff is helpful but I see so many people asking me what courses to get without going through their first transaction, More ‘stuff” doesn’t’ automatically make you better, taking action does.
- It’s OK to lose money
In the words of great American hero Gordon Gecko “Greed is never good” or did he say the opposite? I don’t know, but I’m saying it now. Early investors usually suffer from the “I’ll show them” mentality by refusing to admit defeat on any of their investments. I know I was pretty stubborn when I started. But the fact is, we’re all going to lose money at some point. Even the best investors in the world are only going to be right around 60% of the time. But if a handful of watches you own make you 15% or more, do you really care that a couple of other dart throws lost $50, $100, or even $250?
My general rule is to break even at the very least. Here’s the truth, most of us have other jobs, so we really have no reason to be losing crazy amounts of money. Don’t buy things you can’t afford and then you won’t be too worried about letting it go.
Now the exception to this rule is if it’s a relationship play. If you have a big dealer or name in WTA that you want to get a reference from THEN and ONLY then do I think taking a small loss is appropriate. I’ve done plenty of deals where I break even to build a relationship so I can get the contact and then score a better deal. Think about the bigger picture next time youe fighting over a shipping label, you wuss. *said lovingly of course*
- Emotion is the enemy
I’ll admit contrary to my mom’s belief, I am not perfect. One of my biggest flaws as a trader when I first started was taking things personally, Let me be real with you, people will be rude to you in this business, they will lowball you and there will be times when you feel like a champion and a failure all at once.
Emotions and money never mix well, that’s why you have to stick to the data provided in the market and which is readily available in the community.
When I first started when someone would low ball me I would cuss them to no end. Call them jerks and complain about them,
“Didn’t they know that I worked really hard to afford my first piece?”
‘Didn’t they see the time, effort and skills I employed to get a piece at a price I thought would make sense only for some bozo to come in and ask for $500 less than my in price?”
Let me let you in on a little secret, while in some cases you get low balled because are genuinely in too high, more often than not, if you follow the training people low ball you to bait you and test your resolve. To see if you actually know the market or if they can take advantage of the fact that you don’t. So trust yourself first and trust the process.
- Be Careful who you align with
There’s nothing wrong with wholesalers or dealers, let me make that clear. But you are only as good as the circle you keep. When I first started, I aligned myself with traders who cared more about building relationships and doing the right thing than squeezing profit out of people. I as a result became the same way. The traders who say they care about the bottom line only, really don’t because to me, this is a service business and doing the right thing now by taking a smaller margin so a new guy can have a pleasant experience or helping another member will result in positive buzz, positive buzz means repeat business and that is where the money is.
Pay attention to reference checks and always pay it forward. If you’re not a new guy now, you once were.
- You may sell time now, but yours is limited
Would you dig a ditch for 5 hours for for $100?
Since that’s a rhetorical question of which I already know the answer, why then would you spend hours a week looking for the right deal only to sell foe minimal profit?
This was something Cal Knight taught me when I was more focused on making quick money than building a business.
Retail is always the best possible option because it breeds loyalty and margins. A private buyer is going to refer you to his friends and family, praise you when you find him a watch tailored just for him and be frateful.
Traders are good people, but they are, by definition traders. We are trained to look for the best deal, and we should because that’s how business works. A trader or wholesaler will never be loyal to you, they will never rave about you and they will EXPECT the best deal. Truthfully I always laugh when I see people post that they are looking for deals at wholesale pricing only
Like – “sure, let me spend hours looking for the right deal and building a network of suppliers just to then offer you a deal on a silver platter”
Your time is valuable guys…spend it cultivating a client base who pays a premium to work with YOU.
- Your Biggest weakness can be your biggest strength
It’s no secret to those who know me, I have a disability. It can be challenging and painful at times and for those who don’t know I spent the entirety of 2007 switching between a wheelchair and a hospital bed…suffering some severe depression and anger about the turn of events that got me there for a while. It wasn’t until my father, a successful entrepreneur in his own right, had a conversation with me about my struggles
“You think your disability is in your body now, it’s not, it’s in your mind”
You see… luckily, or unluckily I guess, I had a family that didn’t really care. They pushed me just as hard, if not harder to succeed. Because of that I grew up being very comfortable to take risk. And, when it takes you five minutes to tie your shoes, you become resourceful. (no not crocs, I wouldn’t be caught dead in those) I’ve learned to keep at something because I have always had to work harder. This is why I am writing this at midnight while most people are sleeping, and why I encourage people to work for free if they want a mentor relationship.
I turned my weakness in life into a strength I can use in watch trading. I am not smarter, but I outwork most. You can too. Not meeting enough clients because you don’t have time? Wear a watch, it’s the best business card you can have.
Not enough time to learn in the community due to other responsibilities?
Listen to the masterminds while washing dishes.
There are plenty of ways to put your “reps” in but my point is if you look at life as a problem and not as an opportunity to challenge yourself, you will never reach your full potential.So that’s it! Year one almost done with many more to go! I would like to take this time to thank the WTA leadership team PJ, Cal Allysa and the rest of the community for being such a big help.