My name is Kim Klaiman. I have been actively involved in the financial markets since 2002, and became a full time options trader in 2012. I founded an options trading advisory service SteadyOptions.com to share my trading experience and philosophy and to help people to become better traders.
This is my story.
I am a Software Engineer by training. I have been in Software Development for 20 years, but financial markets have always been my passion. I started actively investing in stocks and bonds in 2002. Next year was my first full year as an investor and produced 57% return for me. We all know that it was the beginning of a new bull market. Back then I still was not aware of an old saying "don't confuse brains with a bull market". When the profits pile up during a bull market, it's easy to think your superb analytical skills are responsible.
After trading for a few years, I became more confident and started using some leverage. This is when 2008 came and brought me down to earth. I realized how much I still didn't know. But it was a good lesson, one that every trader has to go through. I figured out that in order to succeed, I need to treat trading as a business. I started reading more books, attending trading webinars, and subscribing to trading newsletters. It was an excellent learning experience.
I had been trading a lot of options strategies, directional and non-directional. Similar to many non-directional traders, Iron Condor became my main strategy. My trading became much better, but still lacked consistency. Similar to many traders, I'd say “I would have had a great year if it wasn’t for one or two big losing months”. Similar to many traders, I tried several trading newsletters, trying to find my unique trading style.
The turning point was in 2009 when I decided to concentrate on studying and mastering a handful of non-directional options strategies. I read a lot of other books - you can find some of them here. I came across few books by Jeff Augen, including “The Volatility Edge in Options Trading”. One of the strategies described in the book is called “Exploiting Earnings - Associated Rising Volatility”. I started implementing this strategy in my account, trading straddles and strangles on stocks before earnings.
I became consistently profitable only when I completely abandoned speculative directional strategies and started trading a limited number of non-directional options strategies. Each strategy has been extensively backtested. The key to success in options trading is using a variety of diversified options trading strategies, like straddles, calendars, iron condors etc. In my opinion, you can rarely succeed in options trading by buying some cheap out-of-the-money options and “hoping” for a big move.
In 2011, I came across several articles on Seeking Alpha, that described similar strategies from a different angle. I decided to write my own article. This article became my most popular and most commented article on Seeking Alpha. I realized people were starved for strategies that produced consistent returns by managing risk.
Since my first article, I wrote over 160 articles for Seeking Alpha. After a couple of months I ranked #1 in their options category. I started getting requests from many Seeking Alpha readers to provide options mentoring. This is how SteadyOptions was born. I became a full time trader.
With our 5 Year Compounded Annual Growth Rate at 82.5% I haven’t looked back since.
"Our world needs less gurus and more teachers. Gurus are about helping themselves become successful. Teachers are about helping others become successful."Joseph C. Kunz Jr.
Since inception, SteadyOptions provided options education to thousands of traders from different backgrounds. We have novice traders and full time traders. Our members come from over 50 different countries. SteadyOptions is a top rated newsletter on Investimonials.
Here is the truth about successful trading: It’s work. My first advice to novice traders? DON'T GIVE UP! There will be a lot of bumps along your journey, but if you are committed and determined, you WILL succeed!
90% of retail traders lose money in the stock market. You know why? Because they give up too quickly. Success in trading requires long term commitment, determination and discipline. Unfortunately, many people concentrate on short term performance instead of investing in their education and building long-term goals. New traders expect to make money with a new strategy after few months, which is usually not realistic, and quit in frustration.
Over the years, I developed some simple rules that helped me to become a successful trader:
- Set your performance goals in years, not months or weeks. Try to look beyond the last few trades.
- When following someone, try to understand what he is doing. If you don't understand the rationale and the risks of the trade, don't take it.
- Position sizing is the key. With proper position sizing, even few consecutive losers will have little impact on your account.
- Paper trade first. It takes time to get used to new strategies. When you are ready to invest real money, keep it small, and increase your allocation gradually.
- Don’t expect to become financially independent. It is unrealistic to expect a $10,000 account to generate consistent income to replace your regular job.
- Focus on following your trading plan not its short term results. Robust strategies are profitable in the long term time frame.
- Don't give up! You have to have patience, discipline, and perseverance to succeed as a trader.
If you are ready to start your journey AND make a long term commitment to be a student of the markets: