Stock Trading for Dummies

In the past couple of days, John has been bombarded with a lot of ReviewMe orders and, well, he wasn’t quite prepared to do this many reviews in such a short amount of time. He wants to have them included in his February blog income recap, so he asked me to step up the plate for a third time and lend him a hand.

I’m not entirely sure why he gave me this one. I know next to nothing about investing, let alone the complexities of dabbling in the stock market, but John said that this made me perfect for the job. Stock Trading 101 is run by Blain Reinkensmeyer of Michigan. As its name implies, it’s supposed to be a beginner’s course in the stock market. Reading through the first few posts, I can tell you that it’s not exactly noob-friendly.

Who is Blain Reinkensmeyer?

This is Blain

Never heard of Blain? Me neither. That’s because Reinkensmeyer is just a 19-year-old college dropout (as well as a valued reader of John Chow dot Com). Instead of finishing up his academic career, he ditched college in his freshman year to trade stocks full-time. Who said college dropouts can’t be successful?

Blain established the Falken Investing Organization as a non-profit to “connect traders of all experience levels together without ‘must buy’ products and services.” He’s still a very young guy, but he seems to know his stuff when it comes to trading stocks. Of course, this is coming from someone that knows nothing about the exchange.

Graphs and Charts Up the Wazoo

Blain likes charts. Lots of them. But they all look kind of the same. This makes perfect sense considering this is a blog catering to stock trading, but it can certainly be intimidating to newbies. Take, for example, Blain’s recent post “Google Caution Flag at $455 Support“. I have no idea what that means, let alone with the chart is supposed to tell me. He also uses lingo quite extensively. I can decipher some posts, but most just come off as Greek to me. Stock Trading 101 this is not. This has got to be at least 102.

One issue that I have with the layout, however, is that when he includes charts in his posts, the text becomes a little “squished.” He’s gone with a three-column layout, so when he plunks a fairly wide chart into a post and wraps the text around it, the resulting column for words is quite narrow. I’m sure it looks better on a widescreen monitor with a higher resolution, but on my computer, it just looks odd. Maybe he should just center the chart and place the text below it.

The Chart Effect

Educational Posts

Blain does make an effort to teach us some basic stuff though.

Making Lots of Money

Just as John Chow does here, Blain documents all the money-making schemes that he’s involved in. He’ll let us know when he picked up a juicy stock and when he decides to dump one off for profit. These posts are incredibly succinct (just the ticker and how much it went for), but they get the point across. Yesterday, he bought four stocks, only to sell three of them before day’s end. The one that he’s hanging onto is Apple Inc.

These helpful stock picks are just one part of the picture. Other categories include Stock Market Recaps and Stock Market Education. Someone named Teresa also chimes in from time to time to post an entry.

Monetization and Layout Issues

I’m not really a fan of the three-column layout, but that’s largely a matter of personal preference. Blain seems to have learned a thing or two about Google ad placement — he has included a big landscape banner on the very top of the page, which is supposed to do well — but he has not capitalized on the most lucrative ad style and placement: the 300 box. If he wants to get a better CTR and eCPM, he may want to look into implementing the box, especially in his longer posts.

I found the blog to feel a little crowded. By combining the two columns on the right into a single one, shrinking the MyBlogLog widget, and creating some more white space, it’d a little easier on the eyes.

This is Not Stock Trading for Dummies

Don’t let the blog name fool you. Stock Trading 101 is not exactly a beginner’s crash course in the world of stocks. I do think that some of his posts are useful for people who have gained a little rudimentary knowledge of the game, however, and each post is worded quite well and makes for a good business-oriented read (if you can get past the lingo).


90 thoughts on “Stock Trading for Dummies”

  1. Leftblank says:

    Seems to be a very interesting website, I’m a total newbie to the stock trading thing, but I’ll surely pay it a visit later today – nice review as well Michael!

    1. Me too. I have my 401K but I need to research the companies I have stock with more….

      1. hey guys, I just want to caution some of you newbies to stock market investing. First, it is NOT easy, and if you WERE interested in learning how to get into the markets, I personally would not recommend day trading as a place to start!

        I give this guy props for gutting out the textbook lifestyle, and to find his passion.

        I too found my passion in the markets, and Im glad to find another guy who truly loves his work (well, him, John, and a lot of you guys as well – HEY i’ve been creeping around some of your guys’ blogs as well!)

        POINT: don’t get fooled by the quick cash. This guy (as I did as well) took our stumbles in the beginning to learn, and while never taken up day trading myself (I chose not to watch tickers move on a second-to-second basis), still want to caution you guys.

        Kunal, the guy behind The Super Hot Stock Market:Bull-ying the markets one day at a time – http://www.stockshaker.com

  2. Aniela says:

    I like Blain’s site, provides a lot of useful information for someone that’s looking to learn about stocks. I’ve got a financial planning background and I can tell that Blain knows what he’s talking about.

  3. With a finance related blog myself, I am immediately drawn to sites like this. Nice review and thanks for bringing this site to my attention.

    1. derrich says:

      He has to. Thse charts made me dizzy, and I look at them everyday. Nice blog for sure. *thumbs up*

      1. Leftblank says:

        Alright, perhaps I should look a bit more at those myself then, perhaps I’ll get used to them πŸ˜‰

      2. Jeff Kee says:

        haha i find myself happy as long as i see the TSX chart go up. My mutual funds usually tie its fate with the TSX, as many of my funds are major index funds… with the exception of my precious metals funds.

        1. derrich says:

          “Golllllld.”

    2. That makes sense – but this site is a true recourse for any blog who wants to monitze!

  4. Whoa, guys! I am pleased that this fellow has found a career that satisfies him.
    I think it is perfectly OK to drop out of a university that doesn’t inspire you, but success isn’t just making money and getting known. Success is having a good life, so dump the university, fine, but educate yourself and get some culture in another way. Life with nothing much to talk about and not understanding the world is a pretty sad affair.
    Making money and buying toys just can’t be all there is, drop out or not.
    Otherwise, good review.

    1. Paul J. says:

      Money defines success in our community – its a sad truth.

      1. In a way, yes – but so does readership!

        But they almost go hand-in-hand, don’t they?!

      2. That’s why I now live in a different community. It was just too sad a truth that more people knew who Donald Trump was than Yo-Yo Ma.

  5. Kenny says:

    Good example of how not everyone is “supposed” to goto college or university. He found something he was interested in and good at, and took advantage of it. Day trading while hanging out in the dorm room, gotta love it πŸ™‚

    Interesting blog, I’ll definitely check back from time to time as I always want to learn more about the stock market.

    1. Well, who says that only the highest educated people can survive or make it big in society? Not being that ‘smart’ does not deem one a failure.

      In the case of Blain, he managed to find what he did best and succeed in it. That is what I call a fine example of success.

      1. I agree. I also think that being smart is one thing and being highly educated is something else. I know a lot of brilliant people that don’t have high levels of education.

        1. Zach says:

          if you can manage to pull something off like that then i say go for it

  6. Nate W. says:

    Earning consistent money in the market is next to impossible for anyone who does not spend a ridiculous amount of time studying it.

    1. HMTKSteve says:

      This is true. I have made some small moneies in the market by focusing on one area of investing.

      1. Don’t they always say to diversify?

    2. Daniel says:

      I agree, in fact you I think that you should decide on what you want to focus your energy, and then hire guys that are expert on their fields to do the other stuff.

      Economies of scale and economies of learning!

    3. I agree. I see something that I use and think it’s gonna be worth more. Then I buy it and it tanks. My ‘research’ is often personal preference and that really doesn’t go too well.

    4. Ryan says:

      It also helps to be patient. I know that there’s a big fad going on with quickly buying and selling, but I tend to like the be patient approach.

      :mrgreen:

      1. You would mean ‘scalping’ aka making small quick profits. Depending on your broker fees and market conditions, it may not worth it to think along this line.

        Unlike FOREX, stockmarket is rather long-term investing, which I agree. I would not say it takes a ‘ridiculous’ amount of time to deal with stocks. It is actually discovering a way of playing smart.

        It is rather like studying. You can either concentrate on memorizing everything that is in the text, or by studying ‘smart’.

  7. Glenn says:

    College isn’t for everyone, it has been proven. People can be successful if they set their minds to what they want. People need to set goals, and plan out how they want to achieve them in the future. And that is what he basically did. I solute him for that.

  8. David says:

    I’ve always wanted to explore the stock market, I guess I’ll have to explore this site first, and see where it takes me. πŸ™‚

  9. Cory OBrien says:

    As always, a great review. The site is pretty impressive for a 19-year-old college dropout. I really like how he walks you through his thought process when making a trade.

  10. Gary says:

    It’s impressive and I’m gonna test out his advice on the social community site John told us about last month – SocialPicks. I need to really practice all the stuff I’ve been reading before I really invest some serious money into the market!

    1. The best investments I ever made were the result of being out and about and talking to interesting people. They all do something, and they can often offer better info on an industry than an article by an investment broker.
      Get a life, use that life.
      (I also get good info by cooking for them!)

  11. It is very ‘chim’! In my language, it means pretty hard to understand, for a newbie. Will be taking some time to digest this.

  12. Cody says:

    This guy’s knowledge of stocks is impressive, but the site is not. It feels cluttered at first glance and is VERY non-web2.0-looking. He should pay someone (or ask advice) to redo the site with a fresh look. But again….impressive knowledge.

    1. Yeah, might be worth investing the dollars to get a more pro looking site.

  13. I think it’s super interesting that he wanted John to review his site since it’s a totally different target market. Sure he’ll get some visitors but it seems like he won’t get as many interested ones.

    1. Roosh says:

      Maybe he’s rolling in so much cash from his stock investments

    2. Staying within a particular community, such as blogging for money, makes the whole thing a bit like a pyramid scheme. Everybody selling the same thing to each other. I have had not one single visitor from here, as far as I can tell, but I still think I am gaining knowledge I can use.
      Some activities must be reserved for things outside one’s tiny world.

  14. HMTKSteve says:

    I wonder how advertisers feel seeing their blog reviewed by someone other than John?

    Granted there are fewer typos and grammar mistakes πŸ˜‰

    1. derrich says:

      Steve wif da speling! Man your harsch. πŸ™„ πŸ˜‰

      1. He sure is! You’re always commenting on John’s grammar!

    2. Daniel says:

      if the guy could get the same exposure, the same price, it would definitely be a good deal hehe

      1. I would agree. I guess that the main aim of paying for a site review is to gain exposure for it. What’s wrong with getting the right person to do the right job?

        Especially if it is one assigned by John himself.

    3. I think it’s the presence on johnchow.com that makes it worthwhile no matter who wrote it. Some people may not even notice the authorship tag if it isn’t explicitly stated in the text.

      1. Of course. And I believe that the requester would have been told who was writing the review even before both parties came to an agreement.

        Just the presence of the review here is worth the money spent, would anyone not agree?

      2. derrich says:

        I don’t completely agree with that, but I certainly see your point…primarily because I didn’t see the author until about a third of the way through the review. 😳

    4. Paul J. says:

      Whats up with you and grammer. I have been reading your comments for the past few weeks, and I cant help but say that its very annoying.

      I feel like all you care about in life is grammer. If you like to point out spelling mistakes for a fun time, then make a blog about grammer or something.

      JESUS!!!! πŸ‘Ώ

    5. If I paid for the review, I would definitely want John to do it. I’m sure that John would do it himself if you asked him too.

      1. That’s not how ReviwMe works, I guess you could send John (or whoever) an email and ask for them…

  15. Jeff says:

    I’m personally not too keen on trading stocks on my own.. I’d rather get a stock broker to do it for me, but then that’s me..

    In my own realm of business I like to be the spearhead but otherwise.. I’d rather let somebody else do it for me and do a good job. I’m the kind of guy who would get a reputable realtor to sell my home/find me a home than to try to save money through the 1% deals.

    I currently have mutual funds that are doing quite well. A fund manager takes care of the funds for me and buys/sells stocks appropriately. It’s good enough for me.

    1. Yea if you are not the savvy type to sit down real good and stare at charts, figures and facts, it is better to get a financial adviser instead to do the trading.

      Convenience and a better safety net for those looking for an answer. Why not let an expert do the job for you?

  16. Allen.H says:

    As someone who has been a big fan of the “Stock Market Blog” (that has become inactive lately), I hope that Falkin Investing’s blog will become a place that I visit to stay on top of things that are happening in the stock market.

    Allen.H

  17. collis says:

    boy when it rains it pours with these reviews… ReviewMe’s 50% off month must have done wonders for their recognition in the market, they seem to be everywhere…

    1. In fact with the popularity of John’s blog, he can basically do without ReviewMe. They take pretty much the cut when all they do is putting up the blog for advertising.

      I bet people will still be pouring requests over to John.

  18. Scott Howard says:

    I agree with Jeff. Actually, after taking the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Course, I have decided that it’s a better desicion to invest in large mutual funds so you don’t have the dramatic risk. You can figure that you will make at least 12% over any long period of time. And of course you just need to be patient and sit back and let your money work for you.

    1. derrich says:

      Mutual funds just aren’t as fun. :mrgreen:

  19. ilker says:

    I have no idea what he talks about on his site 😳

    1. Allen.H says:

      Neither do I, I hoped to at least understand portions of it, but I guess it is a valuable resource for those who have been in the market for a while.

      Allen.H

    2. “Stock Trading 101 is not exactly a beginner’s crash course in the world of stocks. ” quoted from above.

      Well, it was never meant to be for those who are totally new in trading. That means that you would have got the fundamentals and basics of trading to be able to comprehend.

    3. Me either, The Market is way over my head and I don’t have the time to sit and learn it! πŸ™

    4. Hey guys, read through the education posts (links on the sidebar), or just click on the “education” tab at the top of the blog. That should help send you to the right content!

  20. Pretty cool post! I like the site but will be sticking with Seeking Alpha and Google Finance…

  21. edit- looked at the site again, definitely not impressed. Not sure I need investing advice from someone who is trying to get people to come to his site with $20 giveaways and reviewme.

    1. derrich says:

      Maybe he’s evil like John Chow. 😈

  22. Ryan says:

    Wow, that’s great information for do-it-yourselfers.

    I agree though–maybe a two column layout would be better with a different ad placement?

  23. hey everyone, thanks so much for the feedback, both positive and negative! I did this reviewme to not only spend money supporting one of my favorite bloggers, but to also get some constructive criticism. I love it!

    The advice Michael gave is great, and I will be making the enhancements here today. My immediate thoughts are to go with a single sidebar,and implement a 300 box.

    Also, I am working on making the education portion alot easier to understand, and in fact may just start producing videos explaining the most basic concepts. Perhaps that will help the “101” portion of the site!

    Any more feedback is truly appreciated beyond belief, thanks! :mrgreen:

    1. Leftblank says:

      I think you can sleep well knowing the money was well spent now πŸ˜‰

    2. Ryan says:

      I think moving from the three column to two column layout will help you out a lot.

      Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the 300px boxes are pretty effective.

    3. Michael Kwan says:

      Glad to hear you were pleased with the review. πŸ™‚

  24. “I think you can sleep well knowing the money was well spent now”

    Most definitely πŸ˜›

  25. Roosh says:

    Only a miniscule percentage of investors can beat the average over the long-term. Put your money in an index fund and walk away.

    1. Jacob says:

      I disagree with you here. Anyone can make it on the stock market. But, you need to get into the mode of the stock market. You need to be willing to lose. That means, if you have $10,000 you want to invest, say goodbye to it. Don’t get attached to it. You MUST be ready to lose it. Only then can you take the risks necessary to make money on the stock market. And it’s something that you need to spend your day doing. To be a successful stock trader, you need to be a stock trader. You need to always be watching for rises and falls. The good thing about it, though, is that it is a 9-5 job if you live on the eastern seaboard. It’s a 6-2 job if you live on the western seaboard.

      1. Need to be willing to lose it? 10K? Sounds more like a mentality for going to Las Vegas. I guess I’m just not engaged enough. The index fund sounds more secure to me.

    2. I concur with Jacob. You have to:-

      – learn your risks
      – do research
      – take chances
      – be prepared for ‘failures’

      Not everyone is suitable for stocks trading, yet it doesn’t mean that only the smartest citizens can win.

      1. derrich says:

        Greediness is the hardest part of trading to overcome…and it should definitely be #1 on the list of priorities: don’t be greedy (cut your losses early).

        1. Yea. The one thing that many people find it hard to accept is ‘losses’. The most important thing is to maximize income, and cut losses.

          There is no way for one to keep winning forever, no matter how bullish or bearish the market is, so long as you know your limits and when to stop. E.G. exiting early in a loss stock.

    3. I would go with a mutual fund over an index fund. Index funds are going to have the best and the worst stocks in the index. It seems like it would be a better idea to just buy all of the solid ones.

  26. I agree with both sides here, because it really depends on what route you want to go. If you are looking for safety and security, then buying an index fund and holding it for 20+ years isn’t a bad idea. But on the flip side, if you want to make aggressive returns and beat the market averages, then you have to be disciplined and have the mentality to handle losses.

  27. Jonix says:

    well stock market it’s not for me. I tried forex (it’s not stock market i know, but it’s not much different the basics), and it runned ok for some time, but then, booom, no luck at all, even with the supposed best of the best tips and tricks. It’s very high risk stockmarkets, but if you have the time, and specially lots of money, go for it πŸ™‚

  28. Soultrance says:

    I have to agree with Michael on this one, for a stock market n00b like myself that is interested in learning more but doesn’t know a thing, there is way to much terminology and jargon used on the site. It’s hard to get good information out of the site when you can understand the slang and industry terms.

    1. When you can hardly comprehend the technical jargons on the site, you would realize that you would have to read up on the fundamentals first. We ‘had been warned’..

  29. Gregg says:

    Looks interesting, I’ll be checking it out! I’ve been quite interested in the stock market recently.

  30. Das Brain says:

    I give a thumbs up to Blain, who at his age is taking his destiny into his own hands and doing something that he likes and can make a living at.
    My brother day trades stocks full-time makes a good living as well ($200 USD a day), and I got a friend who’s been doing it forever he is now worth 13 million canadian dollars.
    I however, usually don’t day trade, I do short-term trading according to Toni Turners book that is buying and selling within 2 weeks or more. However my specialty is more towards options trading and I have done well with that year over year.
    I am currently reading Toni Turner’s day trading book, cause I would like to eventually get into it, I will be doing a book review of that on my blog once I am finish the book.
    Anyway, thanks John Chow for pointing me to Blain’s blog, good information on his blog.

    Das Brain
    MoneyAccumulator.com

  31. Stuart says:

    Maybe I’ll take a look, I’m getting more interested in the stocks lately.

  32. zaki says:

    The post timing is really right for me..My CDS account (stock account for investing in Malaysia was just granted) and I can start investing after receiving the letter from Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange HQ πŸ™„ πŸ˜›

  33. Jez says:

    Interesting site, would be useful if I had some money to gamble !

  34. I’m a noob in stock trading but interesting webbie there.

    Personal Development

  35. Zach says:

    talk about a site that gives you everything you need to know. Def. a must bookmark site

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