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Alex 0:21
Thank you for coming on Mike! Could you walk us through how you found trading and your wall street career?

What It Was Like Working in the Wall Street World

Mike Spinosa 0:39
I basically, you know, like everyone went to college looking for like, I want to be investment banker, or I want to be working at a hedge fund, no one really knows what that means, right? So I got a bunch of licenses, and I was a broker and an analyst for a little bit. Just honestly was super boring. It wasn’t what everyone thinks it’s going to be. As a broker. It’s a lot of just, it’s really customer service more than, you know, investment knowledge, a lot of the times because you’re catering to people, and it’s a very thankless business, you know, so the analyst part was, like, me, trying to take a small cap company, and using fundamental analysis to give it a price target and like us, you know, now look at that, like, What a joke, right? I found out that way that like, that’s impossible. So I always thought that career was kind of a joke. And then I’m just like, found a trading, you know, after and I was like, I feel like this is the only thing left, because I’ve realized that the other paths are kind of food guys, and you’re susceptible to the system, right? I always felt like brokers, I was like, commission is gonna go to zero. And we see that it’s that was like, at least a decade ago, and like, now we’re there. Right? So that’s where technology comes in and removes jobs. And so I always thought the broker analyst jobs are gonna be gone, they probably will be in the next, like, in our Platinum, right?

James 1:57
Absolutely. Did you find that like working on Wall Street? Were you just like, not, like, fulfilled at all? Was it just like, less like zombie kind of?

Mike Spinosa 2:06
Yep, a lot of you feel like a number. It’s a lot of alpha males. So everyone’s trying to outperform each other. So that’s not really authentic people, right. And it’s a grind, it’s, there was definitely a grind. I felt like you as a broker, I was basically when I started out, like, we were getting 300 bucks a week. So imagine that today, right? Like people know, right. And so, but the point was to build your book up, and I was probably making like, 1000 phone calls a day to build up my book. So like, that you do the math? How many hours do you really have to be working? Like, you have to be on the phone, like 13 hours a day, you know, and then you’re freaking sleeping for, as eaten going to the gym, whatever is left at that point, right. And so that’s where the career is not even worth it. You know, that’s just like any other job. You felt like it was a rat race for sure.

James 2:59
Oh, I could never do it. I feel like especially now knowing like, how I trade stocks and stuff like that. Like, I used to think the dream was to like, run a hedge fund or like, you know, being able to do all that stuff. And like now looking at it like that sounds like so boring and dull. Was it like, especially now for you?

Mike Spinosa 3:15
You dont know when you’re young, right? You don’t know. You think you’re gonna marry on paper, right? And all you think that all your professors are smart. In hindsight, they’re professors for a reason, because they couldn’t figure it out, right? So it’s a tough, but it’s a good experience for everyone. It’s just, I feel like I started at 27. So I wish someone kind of kind of saved me 10 years of figuring it out.

Alex 3:42
Was there a catalyst that propelled you to say, You know what, bro, like, I’m quitting and it’s time to do for myself.

Mike Spinosa 3:48
Yeah, it was like a feeling of desperation. And like, lack of control in my life is the truth. You know, like, waking up every morning and not really able to, like, do what you want. And then that was just like a leap of faith. I’ll give credit because this is like OG shit. Foose was I saw his videos. And I was like, I’ll never forget showing my boss like, you never see this guy before. He’s like, get back to work now in my mind, like fucky do and that’s a quit because these videos are dope. And I felt like if I didn’t try, because I was 27 you know that 30 numbers like psychological I’m like, I have to try now. Because, like, you know, when you’re 35 40 it’s a different situation for people, right? So that’s where I always tell people like your 20s is where you can fuck around. Right? And like, take the risks.

Alex 4:36
Mike, how old are you now?

Mike Spinosa 4:38
34 34 Yeah, I started at like, like, fucking I think I quit my job like 2526 for like six months was like, trying to figure out the trading stuff without like really doing it properly. So I’ve been through it. It’s like my eighth year.

What He Learned From His Early Trading Career

James 4:54
that’s crazy. Dude, I remember that video so clearly too, because I remember getting into trading and seeing you sitting on the couch.

Mike Spinosa 5:02
Crazy because my life since then has changed so dramatically that when I look back on it, there’s a lot of like disassociation, which is like it feels like a different life. That’s fine move down to Florida right there in COVID. And that kind of just, you know, everyone has their own story right?

James 5:16
At that point, like a whole thing for you like you went from this like, kind of the not so depressed but like not happy with your job, not happy with life  And then you just moved to like sunny Florida. And like, was that something that that instantly just like, even make your trading better? Was it like everything?

Mike Spinosa 5:31
Definitely. I mean, on paper? Yeah, I was like, a trader that was making, you know, like 200 to three 400k. And then down here got me to that next level, because I felt like Florida with the sun and the lifestyle. This is a stressful career. I think something that needs to be addressed is I don’t think the body interprets trading is healthy. I think it’s super bad. The cortisol, it’s a drug in terms of the stress. It’s like being in a casino all day, right? So I think if you don’t have a proper outlet, to allow that stress to naturally leave the body, you long term, you’re fucked. So fucked. You don’t think about that when you’re young. And then this is where you know, I’m 34. Now it’s something you have to start to consider. Because I know older traders that have had health problems because of not, you know, handling this career properly. Isn’t the truth.

Harry 6:22
Was there anything from that job that like you learned that you still use today? Or just absolutely nothing?

Mike Spinosa 6:28
I learned that the fundamentals are bullshit in terms of certain cat in the short term, certain market cap stocks. And then I just learned the broker side was a little bit of like, clearing firms and you know, that side of the business a little bit, but nothing major, like syndicate business, which is like IPOs, and like, underwriting business, private placements, etc. Yeah,

Harry 6:54
yeah, definitely, definitely use those. I would say today, like, as far as like underwriting private placement, like it’s all very like relevant, I would say, Yeah,

Mike Spinosa 7:03
especially when you’re looking at filings with small caps, right? Like certain pipes and stuff like that.

Alex 7:09
Yeah. Like, did you have instant success? Or did you kind of struggle at what, when you started trading? Were you buying breakouts? Do you start with options like, Well, how do you start? Do you have any success? Or what? What kind of lets you like you said, making 400k a year? That doesn’t happen overnight? I believe, right?

Getting Into Trading as a New Trader

Mike Spinosa 7:27
Yeah. So there’s a lot of trial and error. So as a broker was a lot of like swing trading large caps and stuff, so I got to, I guess you could say was experiencing that, right, I would mess around with options on the side. And then realize that those are just like, playing blackjack, they’re not like it’s like more like Roulette is what options trading feels like. So and then experiencing just seeing where you can make like a few percentage a year on your money with some of these, you know, whether it’s like a CD or read or like private placements, something like that. And so I saw the whole ball of wax, and then I was like, Alright, it looks like intraday trading equities is like the next next thing. And so I started by only longing, and buying breakouts, and like consolidation patterns, or stocks that are like are down 80%, you know, and that definitely worked for you realize that it’s a lot of like, you have to take a lot of those setups and manage your risk properly. Because like, the first couple years of long was just like, I was able to pay my bills. And that’s it, which was like, I don’t know, 40 to 50k a year. So impressive. Definitely impressive. I guess, you know, I coming from Washington, you definitely, I definitely have an understanding of the market liquidity and charts a little bit. So that probably definitely helps with the learning curve.

James 8:45
Do you find now it’s like way harder to get into trading as a new trader? Because like, now you’ve experienced, like, a lot of different markets coming from like, COVID to now it’s like, slowly time, do you find it’s a lot harder now?

Mike Spinosa 8:56
Um, it’s just different. I think that I don’t think it’s harder, I just think the window of edge gets smaller. So like, those setups that we’re used to panning out in a longer period of time are happening in like, 10 minutes. Yeah, I’m sure you can. Right, Alex, you feel that way. Some of these things happen so fast with technology, that that’s the patterns are still the same, they just happen faster at a different timeframe. Correct. Right.

James 9:22
How do you keep yourself sharp then, like, how do you keep yourself like, like, I know, I know, I’ve talked to you a lot about like, mind, body and health and stuff, is that all you can do in your opinion, is just stay in

Mike Spinosa 9:31
Screen time matters. If you’re if you can’t not put in the screen time, right? Or if you’re, you know, I don’t really like track data, not like a Excel guy. But I think that you definitely need to put in the screen time because the the brain is a pattern recognition tool. So if you put yourself in front of the screens and see these plays happen, then I think you’ll be in tune with the market. But that doesn’t mean still that you know, there’s still a high failure rate business right now So, a combination of things, I think you got to keep your health right, as well as putting the screen time. Right, manage the stress of the business. Does that feel a lot to it? In my opinion?

Harry 10:10
Is there any ticker that, that you kind of had like an aha moment on that you remember, or not really just more so pattern recognition, because I know we’ve had some other people on here where they’re like, this ticker is the ticker that really like kind of changed my career. And in terms of process or in terms of,

Mike Spinosa 10:29
I wish, I’m a big like, I’m not like a big size trader, I would just big on like singles and doubles. And like, that was really kind of what I pride myself on like my first 30, COVID, it changed, like the slow liquidity in the market changes, right, everyone’s sizing changed. But before that I didn’t have I like to read months and like six years, and then my draw downs, were very limited, because I was very big on managing my risk. And then when you take the next level, obviously, that risk has to go up. There’s no such thing. Right. So natural evolution, I think that the sizing, you can still be a successful trader not taking massive size in my like, 30k account, like making 500 to 2003 days a week completely realistic for anyone. Yeah. And I think that that’s applicable for more people, most people don’t have that much money, right. So

Harry 11:23
what do you think allows you to kind of have that, like, risk management? Like so kind of in tune? You know, because a lot of people, the reason why they’re not successful is because of the risk management, risk management. So what do you think it is, like, kind of about you that? Or is it just your personality, that you’re just a good risk manager? Or like, what do you think the secret is, in terms of that,

Mike Spinosa 11:45
it’s a combination, I think of like keeping your so I’m big on your size is your stop, right? So he’s like, You never take enough size that can really ruin you. Because everyone’s you think you’re gonna stop out until it’s halted, right? And then you got to adapt. So you’re sizing, I keep my sizing, right. And I’ve never allowed like one stock to blow me out of the water. I think also, this should be a rule of thumb, like, you should never risk like more than 10% of your account in any single trade. So like, if you have a 30k account, you should be risking, like 300 to 500. And that would be and then if you’re wrong, like you take two trades, and you’re wrong. A lot of the times like you’re gonna continue to be wrong, or like the first race I’m big on like, today, I traded Carvana, I was wrong within the first like, five minutes, and then I stopped and then trade the rest of the day. And then if because if you know, when you’re just like, it’s kind of like sports, where when you know, you’re off, you’d like to, you know, you’re off. There’s definitely a mental intuition, in my opinion. I don’t know how you guys feel about that, you know, like, on or off, or when you feel in the zone, you know, you’re in the zone, right? There’s, there’s an intuition for sure. Yeah.

Trading Is a Mental Sport

Alex 12:54
What I noticed, is even the way they are answering these questions, it’s all psychology based, you understand at a very, very firm level, that trading is a battle of your mind, I think a lot of people need to kind of just take a step back and just understand that because what Mike is saying is like, it’s a very stressful job, we need to be able to have an outlet. So getting out of New York and going to Florida is one way to fix it. By making sure that you’re not aggressively sizing, you’re keeping your stress under control, by making sure that you’re giving yourself a proper stop in terms of risk in terms of when to attack and when to not attack, again, is helping your mental capability to attack the stock. So I think for all the viewers listening, you should really take a second to understand that this is really deeply a mental sport, right? Is it a mental sport, at the highest level? You know, an example of a physical sport is that football soccer, we’re not playing, you know, football here, but we’re playing a different type of sport. Yeah, conditioning properly, the way that Mike is saying, whatever that may be in your own personal life, in terms of risk location, and stops, then over time you’re just doing because the brake only handles so much stress. The brake only handles so much pressure and you actively work out. I know that you take mushrooms. So is there anything that you do in your routine? Side note, maybe we’ll get into more of that, but how you are able to mentally stay sharp and Stay on your game at all times?

Psychedelics and the Brain

Mike Spinosa 14:29
Yeah, so I think that some of the biohacking is big because if we want to, it’s a mental sport, right? So if we’re playing football and you want to keep your body strong, there’s certain stuff you’re going to do, right? But what we can do for our mind, so like working out in the morning is more about getting the blood flow going. So like pre market is a huge correlation with like walking for like 30 minutes to an hour. And this way you sit at the desk, and like your brain is sharp, right? So like that’s one way to do it, making sure you’re super hydrated. We’re using our brain all day. If I take those spoonful’s of salt and if you guys have seen that lately it’s starting to like come about which is funny because all of our parents like no salt, but I’ve been in situations where I’ve gotten so dehydrated that you’re supposed to a spoonful of salt and the only thing I bring you back the mushroom is we can get into I smoke a lot of pot. I’m fine like talking about that. Because there’s on a CV that’s up the CBD website. Like the Board of Health I can send you guys the link after it proves that cannabis, multiple things one of those keeping foreign substances out of the body so inserted COVID Or you know, any type of sickness I’ve been smoking weed my entire life like a decade, I won’t smoke premarket I wait till after four in all fairness, that helped me relax after the stressful day. I think that leads to the bruises going to my bruises cancer to me bruises like death in a bottle. You know, I don’t really have like a beer now. And then I’d rather smoke weed and take some machines machines, it’s like peanut butter and jelly. I feel like crazy. Not a doctor. In all fairness, this is just from my experience. I have some homies that also dabble that agree. But mushrooms are really good for like gut health and inflammation. So like, I take some small micro and I’ll work out in the morning. And like that it makes me feel incredibly good. Where the whole marrow thing of boop boop, boop, right with the the mushroom. Like to me, they got it from that. And that helps your brain just slowly relaxed, or like after the day, or even on the weekend, you’re not going to think about your screens, you ain’t thinking about nothing, your brain just goes into this. You have this thing where you eat mushrooms with it’s called the yawn where you’re just yawning all the time. It could be like the middle of the day. Because your brain is so relaxed. It’s definitely stuff that every trader should consider the psychedelics are definitely allows your brain you know, to relax. weed is like I know people think it’s, it’s for the mind, definitely. But it’s a lot of body CBD is for the body. THC is for the mind for the brain. You know, I could write a book on all this shit is the truth. I lost a ton of times, that’s something else. That it’s like it really is. It’s it’s called the best word is it’s lucid dreaming. There’s a lot of like throwing up and purging, which they say is like you throwing up parts of yourself that you don’t like, which is very valid. It’s you go through like the worst experience of your life to reach bliss for like 20 minutes. But it helps you It helps your brain get to a different place. So you can have a different perspective on things. And I think this all goes back to like neuroplasticity, you know, like, even this game. This is about like, how adaptable is your brain even under stress? Right. So that’s where I think psychedelics help the brain workout. If that makes sense, you know?

James 18:08
Absolutely. That’s, it’s crazy to me, because it’s something you’ve said before is like that as traders too. We all have like, I think you’ve said like almost like a shelf life, like our career. Like it’s not meant Yeah, that’s

Mike Spinosa 18:18
definitely no, think about that. You know? Yeah, you got older than that, you know, I think about it, because to do this career 40 is different than starting at 25. You know, family, you got kids, you can’t take the same risk, you know? Yeah, definitely. And the shelf life too, in terms of like, it’s a sport, right? So how long would you guys say most athletes careers are maybe 10 years if they’re lucky, maybe like five to eight. So trading? You know, I see it at least already. My bandwidth is not the same. So like, I can’t trade eight stocks at once and, you know, make the same quality decision all of them. So I think that that’s just something people to think about. You know, and there is there’s an end goal in trading. I don’t think enough people talk about you should have what’s your exit strategy. And no one wants to really think about that, because they’ll just like, right, I see you smiling. How are you like, I get there? I’ll figure it out.

Harry 19:15

Oh, okay. You already know what I was gonna fucking I was gonna say what the hell is your exit strategy?

How to Know When to Start Sizing Down

Mike Spinosa 19:24
If you’re a basketball player, what’s your exit strategy? Right, your NBA? Yeah, right. Yeah, you have the blueprint, right. So I think that we need to have an asset like real estate I think is huge for for traders. I don’t think I think if you rent forever, you’re just going to size up forever. I think real estate’s big you need to build a nest egg. You know, like your nest egg as a trader needs to be anywhere between like half a million plus. And then you have that nest egg and then you make sure that you never risk that nest egg and try and slowly grow that over time. And any money that you have outside of that is like trading and risk and you can afford to do Who’s that, but you never lose your nest egg. And then I think that that’s a building point for people, because I think if you trade properly, then any other job to get half a million bucks, you you got to make like 50 60k a year, it’s gonna take you 10 years, after taxes, you know, maybe longer trading is a career where you maybe that’s a few years. And that’s something that I think people can build off, if you ever want to risk losing that and there’s a lot of people in the industry is nothing wrong with sizeable traders, I know, you take good size out, you have to manage your risk, though, and you know, like, where you can afford to lose, but anyone that loses like, half a mil is fucking done. So like, I think that the blueprint should be based off of less than that, right, than trying to be like $100 million trader, you know, trying to get to the, the Hall of Fame, being like forfeit seven, you know, odds are like really just against, you know, and there are building blocks to the career as well as building blocks on the way out, you know, the sizing and making sure you don’t lose, well, you spent 10 years, you know, working up to, because I’m sure, I’ve seen people, I’m sure everyone people are transparent sometimes in this industry with their losses, but like, can make people vomit a see anyone lose like seven figures? Yeah, it’s, yeah, I have some homies that, like have family that are from Wall Street. And they’re like stories back in the day of traders losing like 3 million a day and jumping in front of trends. And no one wants to act like, you don’t even think about that. Because you wouldn’t even, you know, Oh, that’ll never happen to me. But imagine you put yourself in that position. That’s what’s part of this career. Right. So there should be sizing up and then like sizing down. And I think like the the base of an exit strategy is to know when to start sizing down. You know,

James 21:50
how do you how do you handle because like, we all know, this industry, like it brings the highest highs, and the lowest lows, and like I’ve seen you talk about how like, a bad lot like a loss just feels so shitty. And it doesn’t always feel better than that, like little win. Like it’s just that down of that loss, like how do you manage that perspective of like keeping it. So in check, because you’re someone who’s very consistent, you always do very well every day. And you know, and I’ve seen you manage risk on a losing day? And how do you kind of keep that in check.

Mike Spinosa 22:21
So a lot of you get numb to it a little bit like, I mean, I’ve had days where I’ve lost like 50 60k I had a day where I was like down 120 and then ended up down like 70. So I’ve like I’ve had losses, but I think that I’m like my realization recently is that there’s certain risks, that’s not worth it for me. And so once I get down, like two to 5k all my fat losses, like I can look at my Trader view and I always start up and then run some down, go red from like a five figure green, so I go red. I’m just like, I know what happens here. And I think that’s knowing yourself, because I’m definitely have like a addictive personality when like anyone else when it comes to things and so I can get into that tunnel vision pretty quick. You know, I think once you go there a few times, that fear scares enough of you, it should at least where you want to change, you know, and that’s the part where I think requires people to kind of be aware of themselves, right?

James 23:25
Absolutely. You’re like so realistic, dude. Like, you’re very much like a you’re very down to earth. But I feel like you have a good perspective on like money and like, all like the parts of this game. Like why? Why is it that you think that most other people aren’t like this, like a lot of people won’t tell you kind of like the darkness of it.

Mike Spinosa 23:43
I think that so like when I was started on Wall Street was a lot of harsh criticism, especially as a broker. And so you develop that thick skin and you know, like, when to take criticism well, and so like this business is immediate feedback, right? So like, this is probably one of the only careers that’s like, within 30 seconds you’re not you’re getting feedback. Wait like all week for that shit. Right? So you get that immediate feedback and you either gonna take it and as a lesson are you going to be stubborn as fuck? And be like no, like, You’re wrong. I’m right. And I think that like if you know that it takes some you know, I think it’s I don’t know why I don’t know why people are super stubborn nowadays. No one really wants it’s a societal thing. I feel like right no one wants to take constructive criticism well it takes the I think it’s that’s the higher road which seems difficult for people. It definitely early on in my career taking that criticism at the certain careers like the Wall Street’s brutal were definitely that whole like idea of those alpha males and like, like shredding each other every second of the day, even though they your homies it’s like all environment. It’s healthy in a messed up way. I’m sure Boston in New York. They’re a little bit like that right now. They’re like, harsh. I think that’s what builds the thickness and people, you know. And so this career is gonna let you know real quick, you know how sensitive you are. And you either adapt to that or you don’t I, you know, it’s part of the career, I guess.

Harry 25:14
What’s your trading strategy like now? Is it mostly just like scalping? Is it more so kind of like trying to hold for a bit bigger move like that day one gap or gaps up? And like what’s in your mind? Like, what are you thinking? Because

Mike Spinosa 25:27
I tell my, my group lately and like, avoid the day one short, just like completely. So if I’m looking at day one, it’s a long and I’m probably scalping it. But I’m usually wait until after day one to short because I think that that’s the best one of the best rules you could have right now just for survival. You know, there’s some rules like if it’s up 300%, day one or two or 3%, they want to take a look. But other than that, it’s a lot of scalping, right to get if you can catch a 10 or 20% Move. Right and risk like three to 5%. That’s like an ideal trade for me. Anything else after that is just like extra. But I think everyone can agree the all day faders are tough lately. Right? They pretty much don’t exist anymore. They don’t anymore. It’s too good. It was too good. And like anything else? Things change. Right, more

Alex 26:16
smart. And what I’ve what I realized this year is the algos got real smart, real quick. And I think it’s because when the bear market hit and stocks are not really going up, the algos needed to find an edge or something else. I think they found their edge is squeezing the stocks midday when catching everyone off guard.

Mike Spinosa 26:34
Definitely. I mean, so here’s some cool stuff, I guess I’ll share without naming any firms but some stuff about Wall Street and this order flow, right and the firm’s that capture most of this order flow. They have a network where they bring in, they bring in trading psychologists, they bring in nerds that are just mathematicians, right. And it’s all data. So imagine they got all these traders, we had the most retail traders ever during COVID. Right? So they got two years of that data. And every day these algos are able to get better, like every single day where like we do not adapt that fast. They can take the trades from today and then get changed the pattern or the time a little bit tomorrow. Just to fuck with people. Like I think one of them today was MMV. You guys are watching that move. You know the clear outs are getting violent. Yeah. So like, they’re really changing it in such a small way. And I’m sure right, you guys see it where it doesn’t matter. And every day, it seems like it’s a little bit different. Look at these candles.

James 27:38
I didn’t even see that today.

Harry 27:40
Yeah, It was violent, it was a China ticker.

How Do You Manage Your Risk?

Alex 27:44
Take, it to a low of the day, they got to almost a halt up at high the day, and then they take it again.

Mike Spinosa 27:51
So what happens when they say Alright, let’s do that maybe three more times before we pull it? Or let’s do it, then and then we’ll consolidate then we’ll do it another three times. And this is where I think technology does matter. Because that edge is still there. It’s just more levels and liquidity based than it is. pattern. But I think the halt bands definitely matter. So much with right. That’s kind of I don’t know how you manage your sizes, your risk at that point, right?

Alex 28:18
Yeah, and it’s really funny because like, I feel like whenever we get together, we always talk about these conspiracy theories that we’ve been talking about a lot is the broker of black boxing. So like what a lot of people don’t know is a lot of brokers what they’ll do to get some extra money because think about it, a lot of brokers charge free Commission’s or the commission is close to zero. So like they need their traders or trade humongous size to at least make a little bit of money, right things are different back then because they will charge and make money. Now, they need to find ways to make money, whether it be selling order flow, selling short order flow that you talk about Mike or a lot of them do is a lot of brokers know that 90% of traders fail. So if 90% of traders fail, if you just do the opposite of that, you’ll probably make money. So a lot of these brokers non specific specifically, but a lot of these brokers, what they’ll do is they’ll take the opposite side of your trade. So like let’s say you’re a brand a trader, and you’re buying MMV the broker is like wait a second 90% Traders would have failed. So this guy’s buying it is probably gonna do the inverse universe. So what they’ll do is they’ll either front run your orders, they’ll take the opposite side of the trade, they’ll hedge themselves, and it’s almost like they are playing their own game within the game. So I mean, are there any other conspiracy theories that you don’t like or ?

Mike Spinosa 29:44
it’s a lot of that where it’s essentially? Yeah, I know that they can tag accounts. So like if you’re a sizable trader, they can specific specifically sell the order flow of your account. So if you’re a sizable trader, you know, that’s something that you have to think about because it’s essentially like this. So you also the brokers, they have a nest egg too, right? So what if their all their traders were short tops and brokers that not smart enough, then that whole broker can go under, right? So they look at it from that standpoint, how do we manage our risks? So, again, I don’t know exactly. And not naming any broker, specifically whatsoever. But if I was a broker, it would be like, alright, if he’s short, at nine bucks, I should go long at 901. So that if he blows up, then at least we’ll we’ll be okay. That seems pretty logical, right? So that’s called boxing. For anyone that doesn’t know, alright, I’m going to box my trades. So that it’s like, basically, the analogy is over, let there’s black and red, I’m gonna bet on both. And then nothing can happen to you, as long as you, you know, hit red, when it’s red and hit black when it’s black, back. But if the brokers will do that, to manage their risk, and the question you have to ask yourself is, if they can do that, then like, anyone can be right, as long as they have that order flow. Correct?

Alex 31:04
And then sell that order flow. Oh, still, there’s plenty of funds, there’s plenty of places they’ll buy that flow and do it themselves.

Mike Spinosa 31:12
Prop firms like they should this example, as a prop firm. They know who’s short what, at what price and at what size, right? So if you’re a prop firm with a lot of traders, you can say, Oh, look, we’re short 300,000 shares at an average price of this. I’m pretty sure to anyone. That’s pretty valuable information now. We’ve become we’ve gotten to the market where the edge has gotten so desperate that it’s like the big players have gotten into this small space, like you said, right, Alex, the loophole that I can’t figure out is how they can buy the float intraday, and dont  have to file

Alex 31:50
I think the rule is that as long as they dump it by the end of the day, they should be fine. And that’s why we see a lot of ease and the day like to push and exit

Mike Spinosa 31:56
Yeah, because the after hours that you know, you see the things trading after hours like they’re during the market. Psychopath psychopaths

Alex 32:09
dump it at two or three, and they’ll even buy it back at after hours or pre market the next morning. It’s like,

Mike Spinosa 32:16
they hold are they managing? You know, are they working a core for fucking a week? It could be anything but

Alex 32:22
like, example, UCAR I mean Harry, if you want to pull up the two day chart, they have destroyed UCAR into the close yesterday. And then they just ramped it up after hours, pre market and boom,

Mike Spinosa 32:35
because the question is, were they still in more than 10%? Overnight for that move to happen?

Alex 32:40
Yep, we’ll get this man Dave destroyed in the clothes. And then they brought it right back for him when no one’s looking no liquidity and bull.

James 32:51
These guys are just so smart that they can probably look at the short interest and they can see they know exactly where

Alex 32:58
they have the data, they can

Mike Spinosa 33:00
you read these things 52. So most people trade on margin, right? Most people. So if you move it 50 To 100% from the price, you’re gonna create a margin call. And then whether you like it or not, I’m sure maybe we’ve all experienced this, your broker is going to sell you out. They can call you they can email you doesn’t if you don’t answer, you’re gonna get margin doubt. So they know that if they can get it from two to four, they’re probably going to create some habit. Right? And that I think is what I tell some of my group is something to think about from a percentage standpoint, when you’re trying to gauge like, where could this thing go? Or where would it create a really fat margin call for people, right?

Lessons Learned From the Current Market

Alex 33:40
What do you guys think about these days because, like, if you think about real estate 25% is freaking nothing on some

Mike Spinosa 33:45
of these nothing, and then they move it like 500% and they know that like alright, if there’s 500,000 shares short at this price, then guess where our cover is wherever those shares are. And I think it’s where we where we’ve gotten

James 33:59
there. I think that market has like wiped out so many traders because in my opinion, I’ve been trading for like six years. I think this is the hardest market I’ve seen for like a lot of people and I think if you’re new I think it’s tough. I think it’s like it’s hard to battle something like this. Like you said the shrinking edge and it’s difficult.

Mike Spinosa 34:18
It’s definitely bound I think there’s still edge there there’s it’s just the sizing in my opinion is what keeps people safe, right? As long as you keep your sizing proper, and it’s a lot of waiting. We got spoiled during the past two years during the pandemic because the action was internet bubble shit I’m sure everyone would agree. And then before that though, it was a lot of waiting. Don’t you feel that way out? It was like maybe two three days a week you get a solid setup and then a lot of time you were just bored

Alex 34:48
Yeah 2020 points on one was really different because if I if I remember correctly now seems like an eternity ago right? Because so much shit happens. It was like three to five stocks a day every single day ever since all day. And now what we’re getting is well, the markets kind of heated up a little bit more about, I would say maybe like, eight months ago, six to eight months ago, it was maybe one stock a week. Now, we’re kind of getting like one to two stocks today. But they’re Trappy stocks that are kind of sketchy stocks. So, I mean, I think we could all agree that the edge has definitely shifted, and a lot of people have been washed out market. And the ones that are still here are the ones that are trying to be here long term. But just like everything else, there’s going to be a catalyst that comes in right now it’s AI, that’s going to bring euphoria and new money excitement into the market. And that’s what we’re seeing the greatest biggest mega cap stocks are always an all time highs for all time highs is Ai, ai is bringing that hype. So in my opinion, there’s going to be a lot of new age AI money entering the market looking for these next AI small cap, whatever it may be. And we just got to be here to capitalize it on it on the long and the short side. Because something for me is my biggest regret during the toy floods, my one is not going long, because the easy money was made on the wall, not going bigger on the backside. So something I’ve been focusing on personally this year is trying to go long, more of these day one stocks and trying to size up a little bit larger on these day two stocks, because I learned a lot of lessons during that those two years of 2008 2001. And those lessons are going to be poured into that next cycle bubble that happens, which I think we’re kind of starting right now.

Mike Spinosa 36:35
I think it’s like human behavior, too. So during the pandemic, everyone was super hyped. And it was a lot of optimism where it felt like a high. And we also reached the point the past six months where there’s a lot of pessimism in the market. So like that’s where I think the market is like a seesaw too. And it’s seasonal, where like, I didn’t really the past, I think from like June 2, so from like September to like February, I didn’t trade that much. Yeah, I was very, very open my room. I’m like, because there are periods where I think you should wait it out or just drop your size dramatically. And then for all we know, we get an internet bubble type move the next year, because the Fed starts to pull back and rates and the market rips back. And so if you wasted your mental capital during the past, like during that time, you’re not prepared right for the new action. So that’s where like, you know, a little bit with Alex was saying, right? There are times where you learn and then once you take those lessons, you can apply them because the market their opportunities are always there, once the stock market goes away, and then we have more to worry about. But I don’t really think the market is gonna go

Alex 37:39
Yeah, anything that if the pandemic taught me anything, it’s that the only business that survived a global virus was the stock market is not on a

Mike Spinosa 37:48
Its a credit card for the entire world. The US stock market is definitely the world credit card. So it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Yeah, big money

Alex 37:56
It has way too much interest in it. There’s no way they’ll ever stop it because it’s what keeps people rich and literally keeps the biggest CEOs it keeps companies able to raise money. So once this if it’s not gonna happen if there were ever a day where the stock market was shut down for even a month or two months pay ups, chaos was happening broadcasting, if you’re worried about

Mike Spinosa 38:19
Don’t be like, Hey, I got a regular job. The whole world is about to end

James 38:24
Game over

Alex 38:26
I wanted to ask you, Mike, I know you started trade club in Florida. So I was gonna ask you how you met Austin, if you could tell us a little bit about trade club. And I know that you also are starting a shooting range. I want to know a little bit more about that, too. Yeah.

Mike Spinosa 38:40
So this is where I try and like to be a little bit of like a role model for balance. Right. I think everyone should take any success they have there in trading and try and branch it out into areas outside of trading just to give you some balance. So that office trade club, a partner, Austin and I met him when I moved down here. He’s the homie he was super nice because I moved down here. I didn’t know anyone. So I started hanging out with him. He was younger than me. I think he’s like 22 to 23. So like, almost 10 years younger than me. And he was trading futures in crypto and he had a mini office that I would go to I’m like, This is dope, like because it’s getting out of your house and not feeling like a time right. So we started that office. And it’s basically a co working office for traders. I bet so it was three or four months of building it out. It’s in Naples, Florida for anyone that’s interested. I go there now and then it’s his business now because I started working on that shooting range. It’s called train Club, which I’m super pumped about. It’s basically just a luxury golf course meets a shooting range. There’s far this big on obviously right your rights and shooting and there’s not enough luxury places down here to shoot. So It’s over on West Palm, and 200 members. It’s imagine like a 10 acre property with luxury amenities, Chef, cold plunge sauna, three shooting bays, workout area, little bar area out and like, you know, the state of Florida. And it’s just a place where we’re going to train people from the guide involves Rob O’Neill. For those of you that know, he’s the guy that path Bin Laden, so he’s like, American, you know, in the guard, he’s the man. So we’re going to have a lot of these special operators that, you know, they should be the ones trained on the cops, in my opinion, they’re not so they can be trained as civilians. And, you know, that’s the goal of the mod. And so we’re gonna have classes. Our boy Jeff bomb, he’s navy seal, he like wrote the book on hand to hand combat. So we’re gonna have classes there for that. I think it’s important because I think trading is trying to make money, right financial literacy. And then you have to learn how to make sure no one takes your money.

James 41:27
What am I doing in Boston? I don’t know.

Mike Spinosa 41:31
Down here for a weekend, James, and we’ll hang out, I’ll show you around.

James 41:36
Sounds so good. And I love that you have something that you’re so passionate about. Outside of trading. It’s so cool. gets to you know,

Mike Spinosa 41:43
we’ve talked about this , right? It gets mundane, you know, you can make a ton of money, but it definitely gets mundane. So I think having stuff outside of trading makes you love trading more, you know, because you’re not doing it all the time.

Trading Your Whole Life

Alex 41:55
Make trading your whole life that actually makes it really depressed that you will be

Mike Spinosa 41:59
like in a straitjacket. You know,

Alex 42:03
it’s tough. It’s tough. A lot of people don’t understand that aspect. So I’m glad that you’re kind of coming on here and reminding me because like, even me, bro, like I have like really solid days trading. And I’m just like, those is actually lately what it’s been is those big days and actually made me the most upset because I’m just like, What the fuck is the point do like, all right, like I made a decent amount of money, like I’m not happy, like why am I not happy? Is it because of x is because of why is it because like, if I don’t have max size at the top and the bottom and might not have had max size at the top and bottom, I want more buying power, I want more and more and more. So kind of finding a little bit of love outside of the market will actually help you stay grounded within the market.

Mike Spinosa 42:43
Definitely. And the expectations has to be managed, right. So like, I think we no matter what we’re always, I always say always mad. Because we always no matter what we do, you’re like I could have done this better. So you’re always mad. So like that needs to be addressed. Because it’s unhealthy to long term standpoint, you’ll drive yourself absolutely bonkers, right? So I think managing expectations where, like if you have a daily goal for that trade, which you should have in mind. And if you get that or exceed that a little bit, you make it like a conscious effort where like I’m going to be happy. You know? Because then you could go out you could make like 100k in a day if you see so make 102,000 You’re fucking hold back. That’s wrong.

Mike Spinosa 43:30
it so you compare yourself to people that are already doing super? Well I think that’s a big thing to the

Alex 43:35
company to compare yourself let’s say I’ve been doing it nine years someone’s been doing it 15 years 18 years and you’re like wait a second it’s the same thing as a batch notice six months comparing yourself to the guys can do it as six years so it’s really what they say is everyone’s on their own journey focus on yourself if your most important thing is really horrible social media so I think if people are struggling with you know comparing themselves to get off social media just and that’s the best way to do it. Because your social media is really toxic, bro. Like it’s it’s not a positive place. People are always bragging people are fake.

Mike Spinosa 44:10
Do so I look at it. This is like I tell my fiancé this. Like there’s two types of people that use social media, they have a business, and the people that just post and they don’t make any money off it. They’re just trying to post right. So you should use it like a tool. So for us, like if you’re going to use Twitter, you want to use it as a tool where Twitter is probably the best news dissemination platform out there. Right so like you kind of have to be on it nowadays, right? Yeah. Especially since the homie Ian took it over. So you have to be on there but use it as a tool so like curate your feed so that anything you see is only going to be stuff that’s like positive to your trading right. And it’s like following other traders and seeing their stuff makes you upset that like make sure you don’t see that while you’re trading or like at all right same thing with Instagram. You know, so that’s where I think your mental diet is the information be taken, that’s something else that people have to also look at. Right? Same thing with me. You look at the wrong shit. I think they say that if you look at your phone between 11 at night and like three in the morning, it’s guaranteed to make you depressed. So like, don’t look at your phone between them. There’s certain things

Alex 45:17
when these ads so it gets me really hungry to smoking, they’re probably hungry.

James 45:27
That’s it. That’s funny. Like, I think a random ask question, actually. But what is it like having a brother that can cook up?

Harry 45:35
Oh my God, That was literally my question too!

Mike Spinosa 45:40

Its funny he didn’t start cooking. Like he went to culinary school to work in some of the best restaurants in the city. But within like, five, six years, I think he’s been cooking, and he 1200 people apply to that show. And they picked like 15 and he was one of them. And he was just right place right time. The fact I still see it like, you fucking cook that and you don’t tell me? Are you kidding? Me? So my little brother. I love him to death. He’s the prime I think, top chef in the world. If I didn’t know for the record anything, he signed an NDA. He couldn’t tell us shit. So it surprises everyone. Yeah.

James 46:21
Have you ever like made you something like ridiculous? Like, are you ever like holy shit, like,

Mike Spinosa 46:26
I was New York and I remember going home to my parents house. Because I would trade and they had a hot tub to drive home to go in their hot tub, just like Rinpoche on one day was like, Well, I’m gonna cook you lunch. I’m like, Fuck, yeah. And then I came up to the kitchen, and there was like, a luxury meal there. And he already left and I’m like, Who the fuck made this damn Christmas Special.

James 46:49
Sick.

Mike Spinosa 46:50
He’s gonna He’s gonna be involved with the range, you know, cooking there. And in all fairness, tend to this adds any value. Like he saw me moved down to Florida. I visited alone. He was like miserable in New York. And then he followed me exactly a year later. And he’s, like, never been happier since and I think the success you see on the show, too, that says a lot. You know, you felt positive to take the risk. He was in a great environment. I think a lot of luck is preparation meets opportunity. Right Place Right Time. Right.

How Does Having a Partner Help With Trading Stress?

Alex 47:21
yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I actually want to ask you one more thing like is, how has your girl burden in terms of supporting your trading journey, because I find that like, I’ve never really like I never really been transparent about like, my trading struggles until like, I met my girl because I needed that type of support. And now she understands what a good day is, like, she understands when the bad days like you understand, I support me. So how is your girl did in terms of like your bad days to support you? Do you think that like, not to say people shouldn’t have forcing relationship? But do you think that having a partner kind of helps that psychological stress aspect of your trading?

Mike Spinosa 48:00
Yeah, I mean, listen, all men need love, right? Otherwise, if we’re just men on this earth, the budget barbarians, you know, like, I think it’s, it goes back to having stuff outside of trading, right. So you should have some values, and you know, having a significant other, to have to balance it all is definitely important. It’s also an offense to them. Because I’m sure there’s a stereotype like you date a trader, right? So you know, where it’s a stressful as career. So my goal, like earlier on, she could see when I had a good day, and then she could really see when I had a bad day. And to the point where like, so my bad days, were like, you know, popping Xanax or fucking whatever you can to manage the stress, at least earlier on in the career, you know, because the stress was so bad. So like, I think anyone that you should have a girl and your goal should be to I want to get to a point where she can’t tell if I’ve had a Green Day or a red day. And that’s better for you. Because then you can manage that you’re you’re managing it better, right? And so it helps me work on that. And because without her I’d probably you know, you’d have a green day goes as a man you go splurge on some shit and go get fucked up. They have a red day. You probably do the same thing. You that vicious cycle. So you definitely the girl in there. It’s important. I think it’s a maturity. You know, I also big on like, if you got to have a trader as a role model that you should see what your life is like outside of trading. It says a lot right. Now for

Alex 49:34
sure. And one last thing before we wrap up like Do you have any advice for a newer struggling trader that’s trying to make it in the industry?

Mike Spinosa 49:44
Such as the hardest question on the wall, right. You know, I in all fairness, I like spent a ton of money on education to figure it out. You know, I think people should take advice from everyone. And then that’s more of like the Uh, shoot Aim Fire approach instead of thinking that like I’m going to find this one dude and he’s going to solve it all. So I think like everyone should be open to like getting a little bit from everyone to form your own basis because that’s kind of the route that may be success you know instead of just being very narrow minded in your approach you know, and paper trading works so that you’ve learned how to buy and sell like you should really like paper trade and then get right into trading even if you’re trying to make five bucks I think that that paper trading is only works so far you know?

Alex 50:33
Any questions for us

Mike Spinosa 50:36
just come down to Florida so we can chill and we’ll do another one of these but a little bit more in person

Alex 50:54
Ill have to be strapped there

Mike Spinosa 50:57
That would be dope. Yeah, for sure. For sure. People find like so just go to train club.com Without marketing too much because it’s just a super small niche. So you basically go on the website you apply then we send you a code is like a small application and then we set up a phone call will be give a soft opening in July and we expect to be like fully operational by like October cool

James 51:25
dude I just I just want to say like before we wrap up that you are very like awesome dude. I like think it’s cool when you meet someone that is the same way they are like on social media and like in person like I really appreciate you coming on man.

Mike Spinosa 51:40
You guys are all the homies to be transparent you guys are the one of the only other groups that I trust. But you know, you gotta was a great team. Appreciate what you guys are doing as well. You’re just as motivating to me as I hope to be to you guys.

James 51:55
Oh yeah. Cool. Thank you again.

Harry 52:00
Thank you.

Alex 52:01
That’s it bro.

 

About the Author
113 posts
James F.

James Freedlender is a driven day trader and entrepreneur hailing from Boston. Since embarking on his trading journey in 2018, James has honed his skills and specialized in trading penny stocks, with a focus on longer time frame moves. His dedication and sharp instincts have contributed to his success in the competitive financial world. In addition to his day trading accomplishments, James is a thriving business owner, running a popular barbershop and collaborating with his family in the design and renovation of homes and businesses. His entrepreneurial spirit and keen eye for detail have paved the way for continued success in his various ventures. Outside of his professional pursuits, James is an avid golfer and hiking enthusiast, always eager to explore new trails and perfect his swing. His love for travel has taken him to many corners of the world, enriching his life experiences and providing inspiration for his work. A firm believer in giving back, James is passionate about helping others achieve their financial goals and guiding them on the path to success. His wealth of knowledge, combined with his dedication to uplifting others, makes James Freedlender a respected and admired figure in both his professional and personal life.