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Remarkable People’s Life of America

Larry R. Williams

Perhaps there is not more popular trader than Larry Williams. In 1987 he set the current world record for investment. This result was outstanding; having $10,000 he earned $1.1 million on the derivatives market. Nowadays he teaches trading skills but occasionally he trades.

Larry R. Williams personifies American dream. He has earned a fortune virtually starting from scratch.

Larry was born in 1944 in an average American family. His father was oil refinery worker. He grew up in the provincial Billing, Oregon. Even at that time he was hard and ambitious, striving for independence. Going to school he earned money at the factory where his father worked. After he had graduated from a local college, Larry continued studying at the university in Oregon. In 1964 he took a degree in journalistic.

First he worked as a proofreader in one of the advertising agencies in New York. However, he looked for independence and he returned back and started his own publishing business. He started publishing The Oregon Report with his business partner. The newspaper covered political and economic aspects of the state. This activity pushed him to the stock market.

Larry tells the story in the following way. Once he spotted information that some company’s shares grew, he asked his fellow to tell about it in details. He told that the price had changed 2.5 points during the day. “It means if you had bought shares yesterday you would have earned $250,” added friend. In the mid-1960s it was rather big sum of money. Larry counted that no one of his acquaintances had earned so much money. That idea caught him on.

As he confessed he was totally obsessed with the idea. Even in his dreams he relied on himself; he decided not to work for someone and not to use consultancy services. At the beginning he decided to clear up the situation. From newspapers Larry switched to books on economy, stock market, technical analysis and attended constantly all the local libraries. However, there was lack of theoretical knowledge, so attending offices he studied the way brokers worked.

In 1966 he entirely switched to work on the stock market. The next year he got a financial advisor’s licence. Thus, he could give advices for newcomers. At the beginning he made attempts on the stock market. Books in those days convinced that charts gave answers to all the questions. Larry points that in the mid-1960s every technical indicator was significant for him. He gradually has changed his opinion, though he made deals taking into account predominantly technical analysis.

There is no telling that his stock trading was successful. Having seen Larry’s methods, one of his friends advised him to try trading on the derivative market. Larry switched completely to that area. Here fame and fortune came to Larry.

At the beginning of 1970s he made his first million dollars. However, he rose to fame only in 1987 when he won the 1987 World Cup Championship of Futures Trading from the Robbins Trading Company, where he turned $10,000 to over $1,100,000 (11,376%) in a 12 month competition with real money. It should be noted that 1987 was the year of fall on the U.S. stock market.

On Monday October 19, Dow Jones fell 23%. If it had not happened then Larry’s success would have been more significant. As for September his assets exceeded $2 million. This spectacular result has not been beaten yet and is considered to be world record on investment. By the way, ten years later his daughter Michelle won the same contest. Her result was “modest” 1100%, it was only the third.

Having won the first prize, Larry did not want to give up his successful trading career. It provided possibility for Larry to earn money sharing his experience of trading. In 1997 we succeeded again in making standard million. During one trading year having $50,000 he made more than $1 million (more than 2000%).

As Larry says there is nothing difficult in trading on the stock market. However, his work does have some trading merit. Larry has created a number of market indicators including Williams %R, COT indices.

There is nothing strange in the fact that Larry prefers technical analysis; he trades generally in the range of several days. However, technical analysis is not single method, which he uses in trading. If Larry realizes that the market is either bullish or bearish, he starts using technical methods in order to specify the right moment to enter and exit a trade. The major reasons of price change are in the events which cannot be forecast from the past. Most of his favourite indicators do not try to forecast situation in the future, on the contrary they reveal current market situation. For example, which trend is stronger at the moment.

That is why Larry does not accept intraday trading, though many consider him to be a developer of appropriate systems and indicators. Here is what Larry says about intraday trading: “If you’re day trading, you’re going to end up frying your brain. When you go home, you’re not going to be a nice person to be around. I’m already not too a nice guy to be around. So when I do a lot of that type of trading, who would want to be around me?

All the day traders I talk with are losing money. The oscillators, the supposed support and resistance levels, all that other technical analysis stuff out there doesn't work very well in day trading. Plus I found I make more money by holding overnight and trading out of positions in the next day or two. If I've really got a strong signal, it should last for more than a few hours.

However, trading on the stock market does not take all his time at the moment. Larry Williams sells actively his knowledge. There is a lot of willing to be taught by Larry Williams. His experience can be found in his books. He is the author of seven monographs, most of them are best-sellers of technical analysis. Some of them have been translated into Russian, in particular one of his most popular books Long-term secrets to short-term trading.

But the most interesting is his workshops. At first sight there is nothing particular in it. Everyone who is willing to attend it is welcomed. For four days they learn basic successful methods of stock trading. The peculiarity is in its clearness. At the end of the seminar real trading starts, i.e. Larry is trading using enlisted techniques. The sum is $1 million. After that profit is shared among participants. If there are losses, Larry covers it. Larry says profit is 20% as a rule. Thus, students may make money while they are studying.

It should be mentioned that meeting a legend is worth a substantial sum of money; one has to pay $5,000 for a lesson. The others may use his advices spread by his team on the Internet. Only for $450 one may get Larry’s advices for a year, but investors pay losses.