A long time ago I decided that if I was ever to learn what I then thought I needed to know in order to survive in this business that I was going to have to teach myself all of that required material. That was an easy decision when the process came to learning all about the options world, as practically nothing had been written about options trading by 1975. As for learning the basics of the machinations of the stock market I had an array of books on the subject, but even most of those were of dated material. So what was a newbie to do back then? The answer was and still is: teach thyself in any manner that produces positive results and trash can the rest. Thus the path taken and best taken today was and is that of: "Do It Yourself".

The temptation for the newbie trader in the media-dominated 21st Century is to become what I label as the "Do It for Me" type (DIFM) of trader. The DIFM trader has increased in size to somewhat epidemic proportions in its rate of growth as I sense things. And I do understand the rationale behind the DIFM mentality. That rationale is based on the fact that for many traders they just do not have (or make!) the time to do the homework that is required to survive in today's trading environment. Thus they instead seek out the latest "hot" experts who thanks to an enabling media are thought of as quasi-infallible stock, options and futures trading genii.

Critical for that DIFM path of logic is whether or not the "hot" experts are such and if so, can they continue so. My experience suggests the following: 1) do not confuse brains with a bull market; 2) do not buy into the fear sold to you by the permabears as all things must pass, including bear cycles; 3) never annualize any return; 4) the opposite of "hot" is "cold" which of course averages out to lukewarm; 5) permabears as well as permabulls are mere salesmen, but both are very adept at growing their subscriber totals when their bias is both market and media "hot"; and 6) live by the DIFM credo, die by it too.

If you are in the DIFM category you might want to resolve that in 2014 (if not today!) to alter that situation by becoming a DIY. Try it. You might like it. And OP/TheStreet.com is one very good place to begin that quest!

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