HOW I LOST $60,000 TRYING TO BUY A VX1000

July 23, 2021/ Erick Carrada/ ARTICLES/ Comments: 9

I’ve always wanted a VX1000, and when the stock market crashed in 2020, I saw an opportunity to make it reality.

March 16th, 2020 was the first day I jumped into the stock market, which was the day the market bottomed. Then lockdown was placed in California and I was stuck at home with my family and a lot of time, getting hefty COVID relief money from unemployment and stimulus checks. With that time, I traded stocks, and after consuming enough stock market videos and articles, I decided to dabble in options trading. It was hit or miss at first, but then I struck wins one after another, and that’s when I started sending screenshots of my gains to friends and family.

I stared at my computer screen and smiled in disbelief and excitement. In about a month, I made over $60,000 in the stock market with trading options. I won’t go into the lengthy details on what options trading is, but essentially, it’s like trading stocks but with higher risk and reward. It was crazy, because I made more money than I would’ve made in over two years at my job working as a machine operator. I kept thanking the universe out loud like a crazy person. It felt like I could finally relax and not worry about money, like I finally had a way out of being poor. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt.

“I felt my 30’s creeping in and I hardly had anything to show for”

At 26, I felt my 30’s creeping in and I hardly had anything to show for. I dropped out of college. I had hobbies that bordered on passions—skateboarding, filming, and writing, but I hadn’t done anything significant with them. And now I had the money to invest and potentially be in a position where I could quit my job and have more time to explore those hobbies. That was a profound feeling. From there, I bought new skateboards, new clothes, paid rent, and so on. I also opened a brokerage account for my mom and bought her some stocks. My mom was stoked, so she told my relatives about the money I made. Then I was hit up for investment advice by my relatives she told, most I hadn’t talk to in years. It was hilarious and endearing seeing everyone treating me like I knew something, but all that really happened was that I got lucky. I felt validated for sure, though.

At that time in the stock market, it was easy to make money. Buying the dip worked almost every time. It was a euphoric moment for investors and traders, but things got rocky. Before things went to shit for me, I talked to one of my supervisors at work about my gains. He told me to withdraw the money and run, that I was lucky, but I didn’t take him seriously. My supervisor told me how his family likes to gamble and that I could lose it all. “Don’t worry, I’m playing it safe, I’m playing it safe. I’ll be fine,” I told him.

The strange thing was that it wasn’t devastating losing the first $1,000, then the next, and the next, especially considering how little I made at my job (minimum wage). I was treating $1,000 losses like a minor inconvenience. The money in my account almost didn’t seem real, like it was an inconsequential video game. I’d lose and then I’d win. I’d be up by 5 or 6 am, tired because I got out of work at midnight and usually fell asleep after 1 am. I stared at charts on my computer screen as my family slept, watching the price action of the companies I was trading, demoralized by each loss or ecstatic and validated by each win, stuck in a tug of war of profit and loss. Then my account sunk into the $50,000 range, then the $40,000 range. Despite losing so much money I kept at it and depression slowly set in. I also wasn’t sending screenshots anymore.

“I was treating $1,000 losses like a minor inconvenience”

Once my account hit the $20,000 range, a part of me knew I would end up with nothing if I didn’t stop, but another part of me was still in denial and I believed I could get all the money back. “It was just bad risk management,” I thought, and if I was more careful, sure, it’d take longer to get it back, but I could get back on top and continue to grow my wealth. Inside I felt like a liar though, because I was given praise that I wasn’t living up to anymore. And that was probably the biggest fuel for my trading, to prove that praise wasn’t misplaced. I was only doing options trading on my Robinhood account, so I took some money out and put it into my other brokerage accounts to make it more difficult to waste that money. But I kept trading with the rest of the money.

“Fuck, I wish I would’ve just taken all that money out.” Thoughts like that echoed in me every day and it sucked so much. I wished that it was all a bad dream and I’d wake up with the money I lost back in my account. I did my best to hide my emotions, but I was visibly depressed and distracted. Sometimes when no one was home, I’d be on the floor staring at the ceiling with a heavy chest and hating my life. I couldn’t stop thinking about trading either. It’s all I thought about. I still studied and looked for help on Twitter (not the best idea), yet it was the same tug of war each time and I couldn’t break above $20,000. I felt like I was being punished for being so greedy, undisciplined, and stupid. I knew I should’ve focused on being a less risky trader and stack up more wins than losses, but I kept taking risky trades at times fueled by emotion.

Then on a Friday, I stared at my phone and I knew I was fucked. I put too much money in one trade. Even after the market closed, I still tortured myself and stared at the trade I placed. It was one of the longest weekends where I wished for some surprise accidental win, but I knew that was unlikely.

“I did my best to hide my emotions, but I was visibly depressed and distracted”

When Monday came my account was at around $9,000. I lost more than half of my money, but a part of me was expecting to see zero, so I was relieved that I still had cash. I took out half of it. I was going to trade with less. I felt like I had to start from square one. Despite feeling totally defeated, it was a bit cathartic having no pressure to get all the money I lost back. That was good, I guess.

I still got asked for advice by my family and friends, and at this point, I told them to be cautious because I lost a lot of money, although I didn’t say how much I lost. Nothing changed, though. I was still trading badly. I kept making money and then losing, and then losing some more. Eventually, I liquidated my stocks in my other brokerage accounts so I could trade more options on my Robinhood. That money got drained too. Then it came to a point where I was at my usual spot at the kitchen table, and I decided I was done. I took most of my cash out and bought a Sony VX1000 so I couldn’t use that money on options anymore.

My wife knew I was losing money too, but she didn’t know how much. I was so scared to tell her, and it was something I had to work up the courage to admit. One day, I decided to tell her in a parking lot. Fuck, I cried. I just told her everything, and she wasn’t mad. She just comforted me as I cried, and I really needed that. I think that was the day I finally had closure and accepted my loss. My mom and aunt still let me trade with their accounts.

Long story short, I lost a lot of it by the end of December 2020, and then I got most of it back during the short squeezes that happened in January 2021 with GameStop, AMC, and other stocks. After that my aunt asked for her account back. I finally told my mom the truth of what happened with my account. She was shocked but we laughed about it. I still felt so stupid and bummed though. After my aunt took back her account, I felt I was finally free.

I was a lot less stressed once it was over. I could sleep more. I wasn’t thinking about the stock market as much. I still checked financial news every now and then, but it wasn’t life-consuming. When I talked about my losses for the first few months, I’d say things like, “I lost a lot of money,” but never go into further detail. I was embarrassed, but that wore off with time too. Looking back at it, it’s clear that at the core of successful trading are good habits like patience, self-control, the ability to have equanimity at every point in trading, and so on.

My problem was that I kept trying to practice those habits only in trading. I should’ve practiced those habits outside of trading too because outside of trading you won’t lose the kind of money you could lose in the stock market. I might’ve lost all the money I made and ended up with about a 1,000-dollar loss from my initial investment for 2020, but I do think there is something to trading and investing, and I might try again someday. I just had beginners’ luck and didn’t cash out.

Because of that, now all I got is this stupid story and less money, so yeah. Oh well, that’s just how it goes. Play stupid games and win stupid prizes.

At least I finally got a VX1000. I’ve wanted one for years.

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Comments

  1. Papacohen

    July 24, 2021 1:12 am

    NO FUD.

    Hold.

  2. Maybe an idiot

    July 24, 2021 8:05 am

    Did he initially invest 60k? If not he didn’t lose 60k. Since he didn’t take his money he technically never had it, he just lost the money he started with. As long as you don’t sell you’re not losing anything right?

  3. Blackninja

    July 24, 2021 12:16 pm

    He already lost, hes a skateboarder

  4. Diamond Hands

    July 26, 2021 2:42 pm

    Damn, I almost did the same thing with GME…

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