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).