Get in the Pit and Love Someone: Why You Should Attend a Stock Meetup

Improve your investing by going to a local stock meetup.

Investors meeting casually
Get out and meet some fellow investors.

There is no doubt that as market participants, technology has become our best friend.  It has enabled us to trade or invest from the comfort of our home - perhaps even wearing some Sponge Bob pajamas - and to have the cumulative wisdom of the ages at our fingertips.

But that same technology has a tendency to turn us into financial hermits.  

There is nothing worse for the mind than isolation.  With only a continuous echo chamber of your own thoughts, theories, and ideas, there is a tendency to lose perspective.

 To lose objectivity. This is death when investing.

I was reminded of this recently when I attended some local investors meetups that I had been invited to. There were people there that were fundamental investors as well as technical traders. Every asset class was represented; equities, options, bonds, currency, futures, commodities, the whole gamut.

As I worked my way around the room getting to know folks I discovered that there was also a wide array of skill levels.  Some were so new to the market that they didn't know the basic terms and lingo. Others were pros who have traded for large institutions for decades.  But no matter what the skill level, everybody had something valuable to contribute to the event.

I had forgotten how cathartic and crystallizing the process of talking about the markets was for me. Nobody in my house really wants to talk markets with me. Not my wife, not my nine-year-old daughter, not even my five-year-old son.

 Shocking, huh?  But in a meetup, EVERYONE wants to talk about the markets.  It's like knocking down a dam holding back millions of gallons of water -- everything just pours out.

And when I am discussing ideas like stock selection, trade management, or risk/reward profiles, it helps me to reinforce my own methodology.

 Just speaking these concepts out loud, to objective listeners, is healthy because you will get feedback from them that keeps you in check and helps to identify any "weak links" in your strategies so you can eliminate them.

For those that are interested in finding a local meetup, the best place to start is with Investor's Business Daily Meetup Groups.  IBD hosts events all around the country on a regular basis.  Some of these groups are fairly large and have been in existence for over a decade, and you don't have to be an IBD subscriber to attend.

Recently StockTwits has been hosting local meetups as well, which you can find in your area by Googling "StockTwits Meetup."

No matter what investing group your hook up with, you will do yourself a favor if you attend these events with an open mind, a willingness to listen, and a willingness to consider new investing and trading ideas.  Nobody wants to hear someone ramble on about why they are the greatest investor/trader, or how they make so much money, or why their approach is the best.

Just go and chill.  Maybe even cold chill.  I can promise you that you'll find some good people who are like-minded in their goal to become better at what they do.