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Reflecting on 20+ Years of Trading: From Novice to Full Time Trader

Updated: Jun 29

This week I’m celebrating my 44th birthday and the 19th anniversary of Mad Money both coincidently on Thursday.

This post might stir up some controversy, but it shouldn't. I know Jim Cramer has a bad reputation with some traders, but you can learn a lot today if you open your mind. So my question to you is: “Are you ready ski daddy?”


If you are new to trading Jim Cramer was formally a hedge fund manager who is now a well-known television personality. He's the butt of many jokes and meme’s showing where he is absolutely wrong. The hype is so real there was an ETF fund Short Jim (ticker SJIM) started that shorted everything Jim was bullish on, but apparently they lost so much money they shut down. I couldn't help but laugh at them closing the fund.

You see Jim is a big part of the reason I'm as successful as I am. Let me say that again, the guy that so many people make fun of helped make me a millionaire before I was 40 and gave me the freedom to leave my corporate management gig behind forever. I can't give him all the credit, but I know he helped me immensely and you probably wouldn't be reading this post if it weren't for Mad Money.

How can this be?

I remember the first time I saw Jim’s show just like it was yesterday. I was 25 at the time, this guy had his dress shirt sleeve's rolled up past his elbows, playing sound effects like "buy buy buy" and "sell sell sell," using works like booyah, ski daddy, and FANG on a network where people are normally wearing suits talking about boring weird reports that don’t mean a thing to my main goal of making money.

I just wanted to make money

Like every other trader/investor - I just wanted to make money in the stock market. Normally when I would watch CNBC I thought "What do you mean the unemployment number ‘missed’ by 10,000?" I didn't know why stagflation was a problem. What does that even mean to my portfolio?

I thought: "Can someone just tell me which stocks I can buy today to make money tomorrow?"

Enter Mad Money

Jim caught my attention because his show was entertaining, but it was also useful to my goal of making money. He was taking calls from people like me, and giving buy/sell/hold recommendations on individual stock tickers in under 30 seconds for everyone to hear.

I admit the show felt different back then compared to today. I don’t know if it was my naivete of my 20's, but I believed the opening of the lightening round where he said: “I do not know the name of the caller or the stock” it seemed to me he really didn’t know what people were gonna ask. Its obvious he knows now, and the show has changed, but what hasn’t changed the last 20 years?

Mad Money taught the basic fundamentals mixed with entertainment. It was not just stock picks, there was education about doing your homework, diversification, risk management, building watch lists, a building a grading system for stocks in your portfolio.

Actual real information that I could use, at the level that resounded with my thought process and the profit/loss of my portfolio.

Leveling up

Mad Money built a foundation that helped empower me to make MAD amounts of money. Through the entertainment and the follow me trading Jim taught me to become my own trader.

As most traders make jokes and take stabs at the guy who gives his opinion on national television 5 days a week for more than 19 years, I'm expressing my gratitude to Jim and Mad Money. Happy Birthday Mad Money!

I hope you have a better understanding of why I won’t be shorting Jim Cramer. I won’t blindly follow him, although I don't blindly follow anyone and neither should you.

My Vision for GKT

I want Good Kids Trading to be entertaining, yet educational. You shouldn't follow our educational trade ideas blindly. You should figure out why we are posting the trade ideas and figure out how you can build a trading plan.

We are helping you build a foundational understanding while learning to make your own decisions and finding your trading style. Trading doesn't have to be stiff and boring.

My goal for you is to become be more successful than I have been. I will admit you have some big shoes to fill, but I know without a doubt you can do it, and GKT can help you.

I can’t possibly end this blog without ‘borrowing’ the ending of Jim’s show and yeah I have it memorized…

I like to say there is always a bull market out there somewhere and promise to try to find it just for you right here at Good Kids Trading. I’m Justin Maxwell and I’ll see you tomorrow in our discord. If you haven’t joined our discord, you should it’s free.

Look for my weekly email update on Friday straight to your email inbox. I have a cool story about navigating the market during the Covid Crash 4 years ago, you can subscribe here. No Spam, No Scams, No Cost!

Happy Trading Good Kids!

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