A big thank you to Harvi for taking the time to let us interview him! In this interview, we explore what created his passion for the market, what his current strategy is, as well as why he decided to give TrendSpider a shot when we first launched our platform.
How long have you been trading?
As soon as I got my first full-time job about 5 years ago I began my journey into trading. I started consuming as much knowledge as I could by reading, discussing, listening to podcasts, and trying anything I could get my hands on with the end result of learning. I also started researching about successful investors like Warren Buffet to learn what they had read, and how they invested their money.
How did you get into trading?
My first exposure to investing in the stock market was in elementary school. Our teacher in grade 7 had us a play a mock stock market game where we would pick different stocks at the beginning of the year and then see who had the best picks by the end of the year. I was fascinated by that game. From there I started playing with stock trading simulators to see if I could improve. Once I started earning money, I wanted the stakes to be real! I also really enjoy finding value in things others may skip over, so when I pick an undervalued stock and it increases, it feels insanely rewarding and not only because it makes you money!
What do you trade?
My trading strategies aren’t super exciting. By reading books like “The Intelligent Investor”, “Technical Analysis”, and other value investing content, I try to look for strong businesses with good fundamentals that are overlooked by the market. I tend to view stocks from a longer perspective, between 3-10 years is my scope. I also stick to Canadian companies since I am located near Toronto.
Almost every trader has a story about losing big at least once early in their career. Tell us about how you learned to be disciplined?
The way I view learning and improvement, in general, is that it is a process and not a destination. As a young investor, I think it is important to make key mistakes early on, as long as it is not catastrophic. Basically, small controlled mistakes and experiments that allow you to feel “losing” and then internalizing it and strategizing to limit it in the future. A simple analogy is this, you can read about walking, the best form, the most efficient strategy, the best approach that limits falling, but at the end of the day, the best way to learn not to fall, is to fall in many different ways early and then move forward from there. This allows you to learn your limits and capabilities that much more. I still try to experiment and test new ideas, I just try to make sure these are small experiments so if it is a “losing” idea, the impact is not entirely detrimental.
What is Hashtag Investing?
In a simplistic description, Hashtag Investing is a platform that enables stock investors to make better trading decisions through the community, courses, and partnered tools. It first started as a chat group and now is slowly becoming more of a one-stop-shop for stock investors, particularly those who are self-managing their portfolios. You are able to discuss with other stock traders, discover other stocks, view charts, and learn through affiliated courses. The end goal is to provide a better channel for investors to grow their skills and make better-educated decisions and to become the highest quality online resource for self-managing stock investors looking to improve.
Why did you start it?
As I was starting my investing journey, I was constantly learning through different channels like books, articles, podcasts, and interviews,. but something was missing. I needed an interactive approach to learning, a community of people who were also in the stock investing game. I checked online for something like this and couldn’t really find what I was exactly after. There were a lot of other trading rooms and forums but nothing that truly had the warmth of a community aspect. The other websites seemed to have more noise, bragging, exaggeration and BS then what I wanted, so I just started Hashtag Investing in hopes that others were looking for something a bit more “genuine” as well.
How is it different than other trading rooms on the internet?
My goal with Hashtag Investing is to make it an extremely high-quality community. This is why there is an application that is required to join that really slows down the growth of the group. By high quality, I not only mean in terms of experts being in the group but more so with it being realistic and authentic. This isn’t a community that promises wealth or riches. What we do promise is that you’ll have other traders who may know more, the same, or less, but you will get real, true, and genuine conversation. Everyone is open-minded in learning together and sharing together. I will continue to ensure that this culture continues moving forward.
What are some of the most common mistakes traders make when trading?
The one that comes to mind first would be getting emotionally attached to a few particular investments early on. This also results in not diversifying and getting caught up on a few losers for too long. Another one is trading too much and getting caught up in day trading to start which likely just results in spending too much on trading fees. Both of these have been things I have been through. Luckily, I made these mistakes earlier on and learned quickly to never repeat them.
What advice would you give new, aspiring traders?
I think if traders come in with low expectations and a more realistic vision of stock investing they will be much more successful going forward. Many new investors expect to make unreasonable returns in a very short period time and this is usually unlikely to happen. When the new investor realizes they won’t make a million dollars in profit per month through stock trading, they quickly get demoralized and either make even worse decisions or give up entirely. My advice is to come in with more of a learning approach, start small with a little bit of money, read, learn, discuss, and experiment with different strategies. Expect to lose, and then every win will feel amazing. Just don’t let it get to your head! Stock investing is a marathon, not a sprint.
Back in the fall of 2017, when we were still in Beta, you were one of the first professionals in the space to support TrendSpider by promoting it to your members and inviting them to test our software. What was it about TrendSpider that encouraged you to do that?
I believe that innovation is a very important aspect of increasing value for people. People always want things to work better, faster, more efficiently, and smarter. I found that TrendSpider was a tool that followed that principle. There are a lot of charting tools out there but I found TrendSpider truly cares about user feedback in order to provide the absolute best experience. Many of the Hashtag Investing members ended up loving it and still use it today!
When you’re not trading or building a community of traders, how do you spend your free time and take your mind off the markets?
I really try to disconnect myself from work as much as possible. Things like going on hikes, spending time and sharing experiences with friends and family, exercising, reading, traveling and trying new things are ways I like to spend my time outside of work and my projects. I find that balance energizes me and allows me to stay motivated to grow Hashtag Investing. Growing an online community is extremely difficult and requires a lot of patience and persistence.
Please visit Hashtag Investing to learn more about Harvi and the #Investing community.