Trading Your Way to Financial Freedom … Spinal Cord Injury Style

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The “Quirky Quad” tells you how you can learn to become a Day Trader from home!

Spinal Cord Injury is not synonymous with being helpless. Don’t get me wrong, when you first sustain a spinal cord injury it can take quite some time to get your “Spinal Cord Injury Sea Legs,” which can involve months of rehabilitation, infections, incredibly intense and debilitating neuropathic pain, pneumonia, surgeries, bowel accidents, caregiver training, etc. The list can be endless.  However, after a period of time, which is different for every person, you eventually are able to wrap your head around all of the ins and outs of being paralyzed.




In my particular case, I am at C6 complete quadriplegic, and I broke my neck taking a shallow water diving the Bahamas in 2010 at 27 years old. I would categorize myself as an outlier in medical disasters that I’ve endured. Having said all that, especially if you are a newbie and were just injured, it can seem of some impossible to envision a future without medical challenges left and right, and be able to build a life, both socially and financially, that is independent.

I’m here to encourage all those out there that there are multiple roads you can travel down in order to regain your freedom… In this particular article, I will touch on the subject of Financial Freedom.

When I was injured, I was fortunate enough to have the support of family and the financial support to get the rehabilitation I needed. I’m well aware that many folks do not have the financial resources and have to take part in some sort of Social Security Disability Insurance program among other forms of supplemental government insurance. Keeping this in mind when writing this article I’m aware that if you are relying on government support, you can only bring in something like $1100 and change a month without being cut off financially. So, there are many ways that you can supplement your income, and stay under this amount, from your home as well as on your schedule.

When I was injured, I had just quit my job in politics, and I asked my dad how can I make money without having to rely on other people in addition to making money on my own time. He mentioned to me that one of the last truly free avenues of financial freedom was trading. When I speak about trading, I am talking about trading in the stock market, the futures market, etc. on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. I quit my job and moved out of the Bahamas to start studying a form of technical trading (I will get into this more shortly). The particular type of methodology I was studying involved a 12,000-page course, which was not hard but took a serious amount of dedication, focus, and work.

After I had broken my neck, I kept trading even when I was in the ICU 🙂

Ali stock trading

Ali stock trading

Over the years of all of the crazy medical challenges I went through I continued to trade, but it was on my own time and on the days that I felt up for it, especially when the neuropathic pain is unbearable.

I have now almost been injured seven years, and I am a regular day trader. However, I only trade on the days that I feel well or I don’t have to train a new caregiver or have to deal with yet another medical hiccup in my daily life. As a C6 quadriplegic, I do not have the function of my hands and the back my arms. I am also paralyzed from the chest down. I adapted my computer with a very large keyboard and mouse so I can type upside down with my knuckles in addition to having a voice dictation software program.

Now, for the nuts and bolts of what I do … Originally when I thought of day traders, I thought of guys with greasy hair, high levels of stress, bad attitudes, and a bunch of other stereotypes! However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Trading is what you make of it, and you can make it a very relaxing activity as long as you make the decision to commit yourself fully to, not only studying how to trade but understanding the psychology of yourself. We can be our own worst enemies, and most would agree that trading is 90% psychology and 10% technique. What I mean by this is that if you have a position in the market, for example, you went long a particular stock, and the stock started going against you, the logical and rational move would be to get out of the position and find a new stock to trade.

This sounds easy, but, due to human psychology, sometimes we embark on, not just in trading, but in life, a “Hope Spree.” This hope spree can be detrimental to your wallet and your confidence. The lessons you take from trading and studying trading psychology are so incredibly applicable to your daily life. Is it not better to take a small loss or hold a stock for a long period of time, lose a lot of money, and destroy your confidence? I believe the answer should be clear on this one.

There are two types of Traders in the world… Ones that read the news and base their decisions on a multitude of factors such as company earnings, revenue, scandals, etc. These are called fundamental traders (a majority I would say). There are yet another group of traders who trade using something called Technical Analysis. Essentially, they pull up a chart on their screen and use a variety of different technical tools such as moving averages, Fibonacci lines, etc. these type of traders believe that everything that can be known is in the price of the stock or security, and not from all the noise in the media. Technical Indicators are just tools that can be learned, they seem daunting at first, but after reviewing thousands of charts it becomes second nature. I promise you that.

Specifically, I follow a type of methodology called DRUMMOND GEOMETRY (http://www.drummondgeometry.com/explores/ {scroll down to where it says “An introduction to Drummond Geometry”}). Essentially, I am searching for geometric patterns in the charts. I’m not a huge fan of math myself, but I do love to spot patterns. Now, it does not matter whether you have a spinal cord injury or not, learning to become a trader involves discipline, dedication, and a lot of hard work. The wonderful thing about this is that you can do it on your own time and when you feel up to it.

If you are just starting out, you can start with as little as $1,000 and trade some smaller stocks in the United States. For the purposes of not making this article a book, I’m always more than happy to chat with anyone about how to get started down this road. Feel free to reach me on my facebook page in my bio or leave a comment here, and I can answer your questions.

Ali's work screen

Ali’s work screen

I cannot stress strongly enough that to be a successful trader is not a trait you are born with, but, rather, a skill that can most definitely be taught!

I will finish up by walking you through a typical day for me …

  • I wake up at 6 AM and have my caregiver come in to do bathroom program, dress me, and get me up in my chair. This usually takes about two hours on a typical day. Then I get straight to the screens to deal with emails for the day, check out the charts, read the news, and deal with any other of life’s daily laundry list I have to take care of.
  • If I’m feeling up for it and decide if I want to trade, not invest (investing is where you hold a security for a very long time), I then work for an hour or two. Personally, I split my day between hanging out in front of the computer and exercising in my house with cardio equipment, hand weights, electrical stimulation, stretching, etc. when I have a doctor’s appointment I just don’t trade that day… It’s that simple. If you cannot focus whether that is due to an appointment, pain, or simply life’s distractions… DON’T TRADE.
  • Trading requires focus, but you don’t have to sit at the screens for eight hours a day. Often times, I will see something I would like to trade in the morning when I look at the charts, put in a position to buy that stock or security, and wait. Sometimes I will hold a position for a day or several days. The point is that I just peek at the screens throughout the day to make sure, in real time, that my position isn’t going against me and that I am not wrong in my anticipation. I will then go about my day exercising, hanging out with friends, etc. You do not have to live at the screen in order to be a trader. This is a serious misconception.

I do hope I was able to shed a little bit of light onto my current situation and what I get up to on a regular basis. I work very hard during the weekdays whether that be trading, researching, reading, writing business plans as a consultant for different companies, studying, etc., and on the weekends I go play!

It is so important to find time for yourself to enjoy the little things whether that be sitting in a park, having a drink, meeting a friend or whatever you like to do. I am not the best example of this is as I am kind of a workaholic, but I’m always working on improving myself as well! When I am not keeping my mind intellectually stimulated it can go to dark places and focus on the tremendous amount of pain I suffer from. Distraction is my technique for many things!

Here’s to FINANCIAL FREEDOM!

 

 

Ali Ingersoll

Ali Ingersoll is a delightful and beautiful young woman who is famous for her China Quad Diaries where she documented her fascinating trek to China for spinal surgery that would not be attempted in the United States.

She has now embarked on her newest endeavor, aptly named, Quirky Quad Diaries here on PUSHLiving in which she will delve more into sexuality, dating, and generally sassy life adventures. Ali, who loves to make people laugh, likes to do things "just for the story", and "even if this is a terrible idea, remember it is for the story!" So be sure to follow along as this highly intelligent lady talks about medicals outliers, stock trading, health, dating, pain management and how she has adapted in the six years since her C-6 injury.

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