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FIO 10-year Anniversary: Over $18,000 in prizes, awesome webinars, and events!
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FIO 10-year Anniversary: Over $18,000 in prizes, awesome webinars, and events!

Hammond LA
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker/Data: Ninja Trader
Favorite Futures: NQ, ES and SPY options
Skid's Avatar
Posts: 185 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 283 given, 308 received

My Journey

My best friend said "How much money do you have?" I replied 1 quarter. He had fifty cents. So we walked clear across town in the snow to play our favorite game in the arcade. He made a new high score and I came in second that day as several watched. I was addicted to games. Just like a junkie needing another fix, my friend and I would spend our last quarter on games.
Growing up, my dad was constantly listening to the radio. I would hear the words "Dow Jones" and would laugh when I heard "pork bellies". But I was not at all interested. He asked me "why don't you learn the biggest game in the world?" I replied "because the stock market is so boring".
I went on to get a job at a pharmaceutical company where I met a young guy there who was working just to put himself thru college as a programmer. We became friends and he wrote programs that would give us the edge in the online games we would play. It felt good to dominate over our opponents. Twenty three years had passed, and my job was, what most of us called "comfortable misery". It paid the bills, we drove nice cars and lived in nice houses. But when we clocked in to work, it was like checking in to a prison. Was this the American dream? From the outside it looked like it. (Pic below of my home at the time)
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My dad showed me how he had turned five thousand dollars into a half a million by buying stock in a new company. This had now rekindled my interest so much that I was now ready to learn about the stock market. I began to trade stocks. It slowly became my new game. I heard about people called day traders that really sparked my interest. Wow! Now that's a dream job I could handle! I found a school and gave them a call. The salesman said to me "Our students make an average of 500 dollars a day and the good ones a thousand or more". So impressed with what he told me I took a leap of faith. I quit my job, pulled out all my 401k money from the company and went to day trading school, not knowing anything but how to buy and sell stocks on line.
As a noob, I was so excited. I learned about something new called futures. The day before I was done shelling out thousands to this school, the salesman that had talked to me said he was quiting. When I asked why, he told me because he was tired of lying to people. He told me the truth was that most of the students fail and go back to a job broke after they face reality. Really! I had quit my secure job of 23 years on a lie? But he was right as I went on as a full time day trader only to take heavy losses. I lost thousands. By one year I had lost half of my life savings.
I began to search for real traders in what I now know as a school of sharks. Buy my latest indicator and rule the market! Come to our school and live the life of your dreams! And I fell victim to some of these scams because I didn't want to go back to punching a clock.
I was lucky enough to come upon this website called "Big Mikes Trading". I met online someone called Jeff Castle. He began to help me and even shared his indicators with me for free. What? Big Mike even invited me into a private chat at that time and I heard when he took a trade. Wow! These guys were just like me. Really trying to become successful as a real day trader. The price to join Big Mikes was peanuts compared to what I had shelled out to that school, but the information I learned helped me to achieve my dream job and by the third year, as a full time day trader, I was making money. It was Awesome!
(Pic of me starting out)
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I became real religious and was asked to become a full time youth pastor at our local church. Because I loved day trading so much, the only way to give my full heart into the ministry was to burn my day trading bridge. So I gave over to the church all my money and closed my accounts. The church built a nice new fellowship hall with a full kitchen. I walked away from trading over three years. Then the pastor one day spread lies about me and kicked me to the curb. I understand what it's like when the Amish talk about being shunned. All over theology. My house went into bankruptcy and me and my family lost everything. You can't even draw unemployment if you lose your job working at a church because churches don't pay taxes. My great credit was ruined, people I thought were our friends turned their backs on us, so we moved just to get away. It was a tough next two years as my wife and I relocated and started new jobs. I landed a job working part time as a forklift operator. One day my new boss said "hey, have you ever hear of Robinhood? You can trade stocks for free." This started my journey back into trading by opening an account and trading options for free.
I traded options until I could open up a futures account with Ninja Trader. I found my way back by Googling "Big Mikes Trading" to find it was still going, just under a new name. Yes! I was so excited because I knew real traders would be in the forums. I slowly learned Ninja Trader all over. I was used to 6.5 and now it was Ninja 8. Or should I go with 7 since there are more indicators for that? What about ThinkorSwim? A Nice platform as well.
I have to confess that I blew up my account in just two months. When I had thousands, day trading was a little easier, and you can be a bit sloppy and still pull out a win. But when you only have a thousand dollars in your account you better be wise. I confessed this to Cory a cool guy on this website. He told me basically to act like a hunter and give yourself one shot a day. If you can only trade once a day you will learn to be more precise with your trades. He advised me to also quit trading on those small time frames. Ha! Ha! as I blew up my account trading on a 55 tick chart. So back to the min. chart I go.
I refunded my account with some tax money I got back and this last week every day I have made money. There are several people I would like to thank, but a big shout goes out to Cory for helping me with indicators and being a friend. Also to Fat Tails for his wonderful indicators. And last but surely not least is Big Mike. When I saw him handing out food and toys to the needy at Christmas it showed me the kind of heart this guy has. If it wasn't for Big Mike starting this website and all the hard work he has done, where would a lot of us be? Instead of looking soon to being able to go full time again at my dream job as a day trader. I might have been the old guy welcoming you at the door of Walmart.
To everyone that is a part of this community, if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. Allow your passion to become your purpose. Happy Trading.
P.S. I can't forget my wonderful wife who stuck by my side believing in me as I drug her along on this roller coaster of a ride. It helps to have a good woman by your side when things get tough.
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If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. Allow your passion to become your purpose.
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sacramento ca us
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja Trader,Trade Station
Favorite Futures: es
Posts: 4 since Aug 2015
Thanks: 6 given, 14 received

Thanks for sharing your journey that was very inspirational

The following 8 users say Thank You to joe s for this post:
Legendary market donator
Indianoplace, IN
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart
Broker/Data: CQG
Favorite Futures: Currencies
Rrrracer's Avatar
Posts: 1,983 since Feb 2017
Thanks: 12,091 given, 7,263 received

joe s View Post
Thanks for sharing your journey that was very inspirational

Totally agree. Thanks for spilling your guts @Skid man, this is the sort of thing that brings us all together.

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The following 7 users say Thank You to Rrrracer for this post:
Legendary market donator
Indianoplace, IN
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart
Broker/Data: CQG
Favorite Futures: Currencies
Rrrracer's Avatar
Posts: 1,983 since Feb 2017
Thanks: 12,091 given, 7,263 received

I am totally humbled to be here. Just like my life, a bit late to the game but eff if I am not playing it. FIO is a home. I've been fortunate enough to meet people here that have changed my life. Regardless of my success or failure in trading, I am fortunate to have a partner in life for life, and friends that make being alive worth every minute. I don't think that I would be here in my life if it were not for trading. Thanks @Big Mike for making it happen, man. Wish you and everyone here the best.

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The following 15 users say Thank You to Rrrracer for this post:
Super Moderator
Sarasota FL
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: ES, YM
bobwest's Avatar
Posts: 5,126 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 39,526 given, 17,394 received

I'm not going to put in a big personal story, and, anyway, there are many that are moving and much more interesting already.

I'll just say that the people on are genuine and supportive, and there is real trading knowledge and experience freely shared here. It's a good place to check in every day, and a good group to be part of. You'll also definitely learn a lot, from people who actually want to help you. Plus, there's a ton of people who are in the same boat as you are, just wanting to improve their trading and willing to share about it.

Thanks Mike, you did good.


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The following 17 users say Thank You to bobwest for this post:
Oklahoma City OK US
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: Sierra Charts
Favorite Futures: ES M6E/6E
binarylonewolf's Avatar
Posts: 17 since Nov 2014
Thanks: 46 given, 66 received

Just a lonely Wolf looking for a pack


I've been with FIO since the days of Big Mike's Trading. I don't really have a story other than, when I joined I had been burned by several scams online regarding trading. I still have the burned T-shirts from the experiences.

But every time I have looked for information either about a company, a strategy, an indicator, or some twisted-trading theory that pops into my head in the wee-hours of the night, I come to FIO first. I don't think I have made a trading software, program, strategy purchase in 5 years without consulting FIO. I have made purchases against the better recommendation of more veteran trades here, and of course we all know what usually happens!

I did trade off and on for the last 5 years, and finally am at a place to be able to dedicate the time and energy to trading
that I could not before. This site has been instrumental in providing guidance, advice, and help for someone who is still a beginner trader.

I love this site, even for non-elite members you can find a wealth of information here, and usually it is said with a tough love approach. I have recently started reading postings from @bobwest around the site (not at all in a stalkerish manner, no! ) because I love his/her approach to a topic. It has been very interesting reading some of bob's postings.

I have also started following several trading journals and I truly find those helpful! It is there that I found out more about the TopStep Trader and OneUp combines, and finally made a decision based on the total transparency of one funded trader.

Based on everything I just typed in this long-soliloquy, I am ready to take the plunge and become an elite member, and I give a big thanks to Mike and the rest of the "regulars" who make this site the best out there!

All the best to you Mike for the tremendous growth and support over the years! All the best to those that are truly dedicated to the success of not only this site, but to the success of your fellow traders!


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The following 9 users say Thank You to binarylonewolf for this post:
Posts: 37 since May 2015
Thanks: 2 given, 6 received

Hello from distant Volgograd

Congratulations to the administrator and all participants on this anniversary. And although I am not an elite member and do not have access to many forum bonuses, I found what I was looking for: a community of real traders from around the world. And although I am not a practicing trader, it is this forum that adds morality and strength to continue to search for the path to trading. Good luck and more users and bonus programs

The following 2 users say Thank You to Your demo account for this post:
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES 6E
Posts: 17 since Aug 2018
Thanks: 111 given, 22 received

Happy 10th anniversary FIO community!

I joined the community because of the information. When I first found FIO, it quickly became apparent that itís the real deal. The users, the moderators, the content and discussion, it is all priceless information. Itís easy to recognize the passion and commitment this community has towards learning. Educating myself is paramount and the FIO community has delivered time and time again.

I joined recently, in August of 2018. I knew right away I wanted Elite Member status. However, I spend most of my time browsing through the general forums, asking as many questions I can. Without fail, every question Iíve asked has found an answer or, pointed me in the direction of where I can find one. Iím sure, as like many others, Iíve gone down the rabbit hole of Google searches, opening a thousand tabs, looking through each page of information to compare it to rest. Which is fine, you usually find some good information. But then after that, I find myself returning to to search though itís catalog. To find a second opinion for the new information I think Iíve learned. Almost like a teacher that will grade my work. Thatís indispensable to me.

Iím quite new to the world of trading and the FIO community has made sure that my first steps were in the right direction. I feel incredibly blessed to have found a resource like this so early in my journey as a trader. Reading stories about past triumphs and failures is unbelievably eye opening. Receiving real-time feedback from a community of weathered traders is something you could only dream of. Without a doubt, FIO has provided a foundation of information on which I can build my trading knowledge.

I dabble in many skills, crafts and hobbies. They all lead me to find online communities where I can find answers to my specific questions. When I finally find the right place itís such a relief knowing that I have a resource I can turn to. Sometimes these types of resources can be a hit or miss. Fortunately, FIO is a total hit. The community is active and engaged in the topic of trading. From theory to practice, from definitions to discussions, someone here is interested in or, interested in becoming interested, in the topic you want to talk about. Itís essentially a big family of traders that want to improve their experience and help improve the experience of others.

Iíll end with saying thank you to the team, everyone who works on this site and keeps it running! Thank you to the community! Congratulations on ten years, I look forward to ten more!

The following 8 users say Thank You to captraker for this post:
London UK
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: InvestorRT/TT/DTN.IQ
Broker/Data: LCT/Iq Feed
Favorite Futures: SandP futures
Posts: 356 since Jul 2013
Thanks: 46 given, 169 received

Hey Skid, thanks for posting a great story, am very sad that some of those things happened but also very happy that things look like they're working out for you

The following 4 users say Thank You to Keab for this post:
Palo Alto, CA
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: MultiCharts, NSDT, Python
Broker/Data: IB/IQfeed
Favorite Futures: E6, ES
Posts: 12 since Apr 2010
Thanks: 154 given, 20 received

Thanks BigMike!

Am usually a very skeptical guy, so did not get dragged in too many scams, but still spent a significant chunk of cash on the latest software and indicator and neural nets I have made 40g in 6 months and lost it all and more in the next month, so not a great trader by any measure, but I have learnt my lessons and taking it slow listening and learning from this community.

But even during the initial days (back in 2010) I found this forum to be one of the few places online where people were open and willing to help and I found BigMike playing the role of the benevolent dictator so well kicking scammers or toxic members before they can do damage to community. I have seen BM and other members battle through serious personal issues all the while helping others. I hope I make money trading, but I hope even more that this community stays around for me to share my (hopefully) success with.

Thanks BigMike and all the community members who keep this site going, looking forward to another 10!

Last edited by jaikumarm; June 7th, 2019 at 12:04 AM.
The following 4 users say Thank You to jaikumarm for this post:


futures io > > > FIO 10-year Anniversary: Over $18,000 in prizes, awesome webinars, and events!
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