It's no exaggeration to say that Bob Gould (a.k.a. Bob G as he's affectionately known here at Option Alpha) may be one of the most helpful Community members.
What I admire most about Bob is how he helps and gives back to other traders with a consistently positive and supportive style that makes other traders feel comfortable asking follow-up questions, like he did here and here. Plus, he always goes the extra mile by adding templates to his replies, which helps everyone reading the post and allows them to quickly save and edit the automations being discussed, and unselfishly sharing of bot strategies, like his new Short Term Directional bot template shared last night, for the benefit of all.
I often find myself trying to "beat Bob at replying" because he helps at all hours, from posts and replies ranging from the early morning until late evenings and weekends.
In a world that often values self-promotion and individual success, Bob reminds us of the true essence of the type of community we are all collectively building here at Option Alpha: supporting one another, lifting each other up, and fostering a sense of unity vs. division in trading. His humility and helpfulness embody the type of traders we should all aspire to be, and our community is undeniably richer for having Bob in our midst.
So, we asked Bob some questions to learn more about him and his journey, and here's what he said:
Who is Bob? What is your story up until this point in your life?
I grew up in Southern California and had the opportunity to live out my childhood dream of becoming a police officer. My wife and I live in Goodyear, Arizona now, but Texas is my ancestral home and the place I will always consider home. We are blessed with a large blended family of seven kids and 11 grandkids.
After my 18-year law enforcement career came to an end due to an injury, I moved back to my home state with the plan of becoming a successful day trader. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out as well as I had hoped.
Despite the setback, I switched gears and transitioned into the role of an IT executive in the retail industry. Today, I manage large-scale SAP software programs for major corporations.
Why did you start trading?
Trading first sparked my curiosity in the late '80s as a means to supplement my income. I've always been someone who juggled multiple jobs, and I was determined to figure out how to make trading a reliable source of income.
I enjoy trading options, futures, and stocks but have yet to fully achieve my goal in trading.
What challenges did you encounter when you started trading, and what did you do to solve these problems?
The three biggest challenges I faced in trading were:
- Finding time to trade while working full-time
- Managing the emotional aspects of trading
- Developing a sound trading style
When the bots arrived, they were nothing short of a revelation!
These innovative tools allow me to explore different strategies, bring a sense of order to my trading chaos, and most importantly, keep emotions from clouding my judgment.
How has your trading philosophy changed since you started autotrading with Option Alpha?
I'm one of the old guys in the OA community. My adventure with Option Alpha began in 2018, even before the advent of bot trading. I can still recall Kirk's passionate vision for bot trading, which really resonated with me.
I've found the style that fits me best is securing small, frequent profits and using return on risk as my guiding star to measure success. I much prefer making quick returns, even when using longer-term strategies.
What advice would you share with someone considering a similar path?
Start small and diligently test as many bots as you can to discover which ones work best under various market conditions. Don't forget to share your knowledge and contribute however you can to the Community.
It is also important to accept that losses are an inevitable part of the game. Manage your risk by diversifying, selecting the right position size, and trading frequently.
How do you see trading fitting into your bigger life goals?
The beauty of Option Alpha's bots is they enable me to pursue trading while working full-time without sacrificing time for other interests, like cruise travel with my wife. There's nothing sweeter than witnessing the fruits of my bot's labor while we're on vacation.
What's next? What does the future look like for you?
With retirement on the horizon, I eagerly anticipate devoting more time to trading, travel, and enjoying our "golden" years.
I will wrap up with this verse from the New American Standard Bible, Deuteronomy 8:18: "But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as it is today."
This verse serves as a constant reminder to be grateful for the blessings I've received and to attribute my success to the Lord. I hope to continue to navigate the journey ahead with humility and gratitude.
As always, if you see Bob around the community, please pass along your thanks and appreciation.