Lessons from Great Investors

Ep 147: Why Trading Small or Less Beats Trading Large

August 10th, 2017

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Today I want to let you know to focus on trading small. And I want to show you why trading small is better and more beneficial.

It's more beneficial for you especially if you're getting started. But also even if you're more experienced, starting with a smaller size is better for you.

These are the main two points we'll cover right now:

  1. Why do we want to go big or trade larger?
  2. Why starting small is better?

When we look at going into a trade (for many people), we always want to go big. We want to trade large.

Why Do We Want to Trade a Big Amount of Shares?

Well, it's a simple concept of greed. We want to make more. Because we want to change our lifestyle, we want to see the effect of going big.

We think that trading big is going to solve this problem that we have. It's doesn't matter what the problem is. Maybe you want to have more money. Or you need more free time.

You think this: Whatever that problem is by going big it gets you to that destination quicker.

Not to mention we also think and believe that we are better than we indeed are. When we look at any general thing, we always think that we're better. This is something that we do as humans.

The truth is that we assume that we're better than what we indeed are. That realism hasn't hit us yet, especially when you're getting started. We always want to go big initially, but this is a fallacy. This works against us.

What Is The Most Important When It Comes to Trading?

You want to do trading consistently, time and time again. And ramp up that acceleration or your profits and have acceleration on that curve of your earnings. That's how trading accounts grow. That happens through that acceleration curve. It's not a lottery system. That's not the way trading and investment works.

It takes a staged approach - it's a stepping process. That's the way trading works. This is not a lottery system, and it's not gambling. It's a step by step approach. We want to start big because we believe that it'll get us to our final destination quicker. Whatever that destination is.

This is what your motivation might be:

  • making more money
  • having more free time
  • building up our retirement savings
  • getting to retirement sooner
  • quitting your jobs

That's why we want to go big, but it works against us. It doesn't work in our favor to go large. There's a lot of issues that happen when you want to go large.

Some of The Main Problems

Few of those things are:

  • emotional issue
  • the personal side of managing money
  • trade basis
  • experience

That's because when you have large trades, you get more emotional about it. And it creates more and further losses.

The personal side of managing money also doesn't work out well when you get to your end destination very quickly. That's the case when it comes to like a lottery effect. If you've ever seen some of those people that used to be broke and then they all of a sudden win a $100,000,000. What happens is that within 5-10 years they're broke again.

The main reason is that they weren't ready for what the lottery had to offer. They weren't prepared for that change in lifestyle and personal management of things. Trading is step by step approach. The smart decision is going small, and little increments allow you to preserve that capital for the long haul.

Whereas if you went ahead and got one stock and it went up 900%, you could have made a lot of money. But your ability to keep that money is also limited.

Important note: Starting small and doing things in incremental is better for you in the long haul. You'll be able to preserve that capital for a more extended period. It allows you to learn and teaches you to manage that money a lot better.

These are the big picture concept. We can look at a smaller idea like on a trade by basis. You can start large on a trade basis and you all of a sudden jump in with so many shares. Well, if that stock pulls back, the losses that you incur are quite large- relative to your account size.

What you want to do is if you start with a smaller amount that pullback is not going to be as painful. When the bounce comes, when you get that acceleration, you can go ahead and add more. It creates more flexibility for you in managing that trade.

The bad news is if you go too big too fast you've put in so much capital already in one area. Then it's difficult to add more to the position as that stock becomes more favorable and valuable.

And then when you get that whip back, you make less. Because then you have to make up those differences if you went in all at once.

When you trade small, it allows you to add to that position when the opportunity comes. Pullbacks are opportunities that are creating more volatility in the market. More volatility creates more risk which also creates more opportunity.

It allows you to get in at a second point or a third point as those pool backs happen. The other thing that this does which I like is it also teaches you the education part.

Educational Aspect You Need to Understand

When you start small, it allows you to get into trades and build that experience and education without risking too much. You can't walk into a store and say that you want seven years of experience and building a house. You can't tell that you wish to three years of experience in accounting and seven years of experience in photography.

That's not possible. You can't walk into a store and say give me these things and here's $50,000. You can't ask for it to be delivered on a USB Drive through your wrist.

It doesn't work that way. We don't have the technology that does this. But you need to get experience by doing it. This is how you gain experience - by doing things physically.

Starting Small Is Clever - This is Why

When you start small, it allows you to build that experience a little bit at a time without risking too much. Because if you went in and we started trading fifty thousand shares that could be a huge lot size for your experience.

You're not ready to trade the fifty thousand shares. It could be $10,000. You might not be prepared. Start at the beginning, learn to trade five shares first.

As those shares go up into strengths, you take one or two off. Now you learn how the business works and operates. You learn patience, and you learn a lot of things.

That five shares you can always multiply it times a hundred, thousand, ten thousand and see what the result would have been. If you're worried about commissions, that's why you start small, and you can do the same thing in option trades. Start with three contracts and take one off in the strength.

Take your profit. Then as you build things out, you might go into seven shares or ten shares. You start ramping things up. If you're consistent with five shares, you go to ten. If you're consistent at ten, you might decide to go for twenty.

Then you might go to forty or fifty. You can go and jump to two hundred, five hundred or a thousand. And then you could go into five thousand if your capital and size and permits in your account.

Starting slowly with the share amount allows you to get that experience. And that's why starting small is better. There's a lot of benefit from the emotional side to just personal managing. Don't forget the trading basis.

This Is Why Going Too Big Isn't Great Idea

Going to big won't allow you the opportunity to add. Because you've used your capital, by going small or going tiny, you could go ahead and add to that position. And you can gain that experience which is number four on our list.

Human behavior: As humans, we want to go big initially. This is normal for us. We shoot for the stars. That's what we're trained for. That's what we're ingrained for.

But remember success is counterintuitive. If you want to be successful, you got to work at doing things that a little bit more opposite than what you're trained for.

Many people say you need to reach for your dreams and set big goals that you may not even achieve. But in trading things are a little bit different. Take the opposite approach. See what happens. If you're struggling right now and you're putting on trades, it's probably for this reason.

You might be going too big because you're trying to get to your end destination too fast.

Conflicts Inside of You That You Have to Confront

You might be going too big because you're trying to get to your end destination too fast. You're not ready for that yet, but you'll get there. It's partly because of greed.

Two conflicts are happening inside of you:

  1. there's a RISK YOU
  2. there's a GREED YOU

And they're both watching out for you. They both are looking for good things for you. The greed inside of you is pushing you towards your aspirations and your goals. It wants you to succeed. It wants you to achieve time freedom. It wants you to accomplish the additional money that you could make from trading.

You also have that fear side. The fear side protects you. It's watching out for you, so that way you stay safe and comfortable. That way things aren't disturbing your peace. All of that means that they're all doing good things for you. They're trying to work for your benefit.


What you need to do as a new trader or maybe an experienced trader is to calm those things down. You need to calm the greed down, to ease the fear down. And if you can do that, it will help you give a lot of benefits.

It's important that you're able to trade for the rest of your life. Do it consistently. The way to do it is to start by trading small.

Scale In & Buy Stocks as they Move Up – NOT Down!

October 6th, 2015

Hey it’s Sasha Evdakov and welcome to Tradersfly.com where I share with you some interesting insight as well as some educational lessons about the stock market investing and in your money.

This week's lesson is all about some words of wisdom from some of the great investors and traders and that is to Scale in and buy stocks as they move up not as they move down in price. Before we even get into evaluating and analyzing what some of the great traders and investors said about scaling let's understand what is scaling and why it's somewhat important to understand.

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I'm Sasha, an educational entrepreneur and a stock trader. In addition to running my own online businesses, I also enjoy trading stocks and helping the individual investor understand the stock market. Let me share with you some techniques & concepts that I used over the last 10+ years to give you that edge in the market. Learn More

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This website and content is for information purposes only as Rise2Learn, TradersFly, and Sasha Evdakov are NOT registered as a securities broker-dealer nor an investment adviser. No information herein is intended as securities brokerage, investment, tax, accounting or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to sell or buy, or as an endorsement, recommendation or sponsorship of any company, security or fund. Rise2Learn, TradersFly, and Sasha Evdakov cannot and does not assess, verify or guarantee the adequacy, accuracy or completeness of any information, the suitability or profitability of any particular investment, or the potential value of any investment or informational source. The reader bears responsibility for his/her own investment research and decisions, should seek the advice of a qualified securities professional before making any investment, and investigate and fully understand any and all risks before investing. Rise2Learn, TradersFly, and Sasha Evdakov in no way warrants the solvency, financial condition, or investment advisability of any of the securities mentioned in communications or websites. In addition, Rise2Learn, TradersFly, and Sasha Evdakov accepts no liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this information. This information is not intended to be used as the sole basis of any investment decision, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the investment needs of any particular investor. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns.