Trading During COVID-19: See How This Newbie Made Money While Wall Street Panicked

Steve Schoonmaker

Locomotive Electrician & Mechanic

There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

And this thought would surely resonate with Steve Schoonmaker, a veteran locomotive technician, and mechanic from Anchorage, Alaska.

Steve first got interested in trading a little more than two decades ago and enjoyed some early successes before being forced to quit by financial pressures related to his employment.

In the years that followed, Steve found his interest intermittently sparking up again. But it wasn’t until 2020, having built a healthy balance in his savings account, that he felt he was ready to make a definite commitment to learning the craft of trading.

It wasn’t his fault, of course, but his timing could not have been worse.

“In February,” Steve recalls, “with a desire to grow my money, I moved about 2/3 of my savings into a trading account and started buying stocks and studying options. Then COVID-19 stopped by to borrow 40%, and my account became redder than Santa's suit.”

This kind of sense of humor is a convenient attribute for a trader, and luckily, Steve was undeterred by his misfortune.

He had the foresight to invest some of his remaining funds in training with Kyle Dennis of Dollar Ace and quickly got to work, making back the money he lost in the market crash that followed the initial outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

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A 20-year veteran locomotive electrician and mechanic, Steve Schoonmaker of Anchorage, Alaska, has dabbled intermittently in the stock markets since the late 1990s, with limited success. But finding himself in 2020 with a healthy balance in his savings account, Steve decided to give trading another serious try with the help of Kyle Dennis and Dollar Ace. His early forays into the world of options, unfortunately, coincided with the market crash that followed upon the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and like most traders, he suffered heavy losses. But he persisted nevertheless, refused to panic, and by paying special attention to the timing of his entries and exits has enjoyed a run of significant wins.


Anchorage, Alaska


Locomotive Electrician & Mechanic

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Market Volatility Might Be Scary, But It Can Be Very Profitable

The months that followed the initial outbreak have been far from easy for Steve, “the learning curve has been steep and a little treacherous at times,” is how he puts it. But with the help of Kyle and his other RagingBull mentors, he has now started to enjoy some significant wins.

At the root of his difficulties was the volatility of the post-COVID-19 market, which would indeed make the timing of entries and exits difficult for any new trader.

On the other hand, this same volatility can spawn lucrative trading opportunities, and many traders have reported the first half of 2020 as being one of their most profitable trading periods in years.

So with a little experience, the right guidance, and, of course, sound risk management, there’s no reason why traders should be frightened off by a volatile market.

“I moved about 2/3 of my savings into a trading account and started buying stocks and studying options, then COVID stopped by to borrow 40%, and my account became redder than Santa's suit.”

Steve Schoonmaker

Locomotive Electrician & Mechanic

The Life-Changing Power of Learning To Trade

While some of Steve’s longer-term, buy and hold stock purchases are indeed still in the red, he has been able to make some very satisfying options trades.

“I have Kyle Dennis to thank for helping me understand and become more confident with my trade decisions,” he says, “Making the right decision at the right time is an empowering feeling, and it's what I value the most from the education I've received so far.”

By way of example, in one recent three-day period, Steve was confident enough to place no fewer than six trades, using ideas generated by Kyle’s scanner.

And to his delight, this newbie trader made a total of 46% profit.

That’s the beauty of options. Even on a relatively small account like Steve’s, the kind of percentage profits that are possible can quickly amount to considerable – almost life-changing sums.

"The Dollar Ace scanner almost feels like cheating because it already gives an indication of winning potential."

Steve Schoonmaker

Locomotive Electrician & Mechanic

$1,000 Profit in a Week... Almost

“I just had three (almost) firsts this week,” Steve told us recently, “My first (almost) $400 day was Wednesday. My first (almost) $500 day was Friday. And this was my first (almost) $1,000 week.”

For Steve, the most important thing about this successful week was realizing that he had finally found a way to integrate his trading with the demands of his job. It proved to him that even traders like him who work full time can still use the markets to supplement their income.

“I'm at work from market open to market close,” he explains, “I don't work in an office or with computers, and cell phone use is prohibited for safety reasons. I've been struggling to get trades placed at key times, and I've finally found a time that seems to work. This week my timing was the best I've ever experienced.”

What Good Is Having Money If You Can’t Enjoy It

Understandably buoyed by these successes, Steve set himself some new targets.

What’s interesting is that apart from building his account to the $25,000 he needs to be able to place more than 3 day trades a week, his goals are much more about the lifestyle he desires than achieving any specific monetary goal.

Sure, Steve could carry on as he is, using his trading to supplement the security of his full-time profession, but he now sees what could be a more fulfilling path.

"I just had three (almost) firsts this week. My first (almost) $400 day was Wednesday. My first (almost) $500 day was Friday. And this was my first (almost) $1,000 week. The big win for me is squeezing this in while working full time."

Steve Schoonmaker

Locomotive Electrician & Mechanic

Trading His Way To a Financially Independent Future

Steve has now realized that he doesn’t have to stay in his current job if he doesn’t want to. His newfound trading skills offer him the possibility of a completely different way of life.

“I want to save enough to sustain one full year on the road,” he says, “Keep $1.00 more than I'm willing to spend. Money has little value without the time to enjoy it. I'll exceed my financial needs and stop selling my time.”

And with that, Steve has become identified with one of the key motivations that drive so many traders.

It’s not that they don’t want to work hard or put in the necessary hours, but they are adamant about living and working on their own terms while reaping the full rewards of their skills and the trader’s lifestyle.

Steve Schoonmaker

Locomotive Electrician & Mechanic

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