Of all the traders in our community, Lee has always been one that sticks out, and frankly speaking, it’s hard to even describe Lee to those who have not yet “experienced” him. In the vibrant and wide-ranging trading sea of personalities, Lee shines as possibly the most unique and passionate trader who embodies the spirit of camaraderie and enthusiasm. Today, we are excited to cast a spotlight on Lee, a trader who infuses our community with his infectious playfulness and unwavering commitment to helping others.
First, if you haven’t yet watched Lee’s custom video he sent me years ago, you should do that right now - nothing will ever compare to it. It’s truly legendary. Immediately upon watching you get a sense of how passionate he is and how far he’ll go for people in the community - say nothing of the 5,842 comments and 621 authored posts over the last two years. But this is all still just the tip of the “Lee-iceberg.”
What sets Lee apart is his playful and jovial nature, which brings a refreshing and light-hearted energy to every discussion he chooses to join. In a world where trading can often be associated with overly serious and stuffy discussions, Lee's replies and tangents sometimes are just what the doctor ordered as a helpful reminder that learning and growing in the world of trading doesn’t have to be so serious; it can also be an enjoyable journey. He’s not only quick to respond but does so legitimately with a pure heart of gold trying to help others find solutions, think about something different, or just add a dose of reality to an otherwise stressful trading situation.
Finally, after speaking with him many times, trading lots of emails and messages, I can tell you undeniably he’s also one of the best traders out there. And while we do often see the “fun” side of Lee, I’m also glad he’s got another side that fights strongly for features he (and other traders like him) want to see which helps continue to push the boundaries for everyone. So yeah; he’s smart, funny, caring, and a great trader (but with skinny legs) he’s a rare bird indeed and we’re insanely grateful to have him here with us. This unique blend that is Lee is highly magnetic, making him one of the most followed traders in our community.
Lee's presence is a breath of fresh air, reminding us all that trading can be both enjoyable and rewarding. We are delighted to shine a spotlight on Lee and encourage you to learn more about him - what an adventure " )
Who is Lee? What's your story up until this point in your life?
I am a wild and crazy guy… especially if you look at some of my trades!
Born in 1959. Graduated high school in 1977. USAF 1978 - USAFR retired 1998. 38 years in Aviation .. and I can stop peddling now, it’s all downhill from here “ )
Retired .. and trade options .. and ride motorcycles .. now at the same time with bots!
In high school, I took an electronics class and then went to the Air Force. My first assignment was at Holloman AFB in New Mexico working the brand new (at the time) F-15. I was the crew chief and have been to Red Flag three times and Top Gun once. I loved it there.
I was on Jimmy Carter's speed dial .. He was the only president with a Ph.D.. I worked for Joe Kelly and it was the first ever Rapid Deployment Force! If you are into that look it up “ )
I even spent a year in Iceland KEF working on the F-4E. It was cold there, so when a position opened at the alert facility I jumped at that. We worked two days on, two days off and we had to have a 5-minute response time from the alert to airborn. We would normally get a call 30 min prior as our buddies in Sweden would say, “Bear is on the way.” One time I was sound asleep and there was an alert. I ended up just putting my boots on and launched in my underwear. Kind of like trading, you do what you have to do! Turned out it was an SR 71 that skipped into our airspace making a turn “ )
I wanted to stay in Active Reserve and was referred to the 732 who were looking for flight engineers. I said, “What’s a flight engineer?” Two months later I was one lol.
That was the start of my 38 years in aviation. When I started we still had navigators and ashtrays. I have 3,500 hours on the C-141, 11,000 hours in the DC-8, and was on the B727. I would operate all 3 in the same month on a regular basis and have been on every continent around the world, once going west and once going east. I have over 15,000 civilian flight hours between the DC-8, B727, and B747. I loved to work and still love it.
Why did you start trading?
I had a 401K and a 60/40 mutual fund, and they were always losing money, and charging me to do it. I decided I can lose my money just fine and not pay to do it lol.
I started trading when I learned a bit of math. You know, they used to put a monkey up against the top traders in the world and the monkey would win. That should have told me something!
Once I hit options I never looked back. I first studied options trading back when they traded in ¼ points and decided I was not ready. Then they changed to decimals and not to long after that I stumbled across Kirk and Option Alpha.
What trading challenges or struggles did you first encounter when you got started?
Early on I would follow traders (in the newspaper lol!) and was heavy tech at the wrong time. Didn’t listen to the suggestions of portfolio rebalancing. I lost the equivalent of two houses.
What did you try or do to help solve these problems?
Just make sure the trades are small so you do not really care if it wins or loses. I always obeyed the rules as far as account size and risk. And if you all have that sorted out you are way ahead of me.
As with most things, it is one thing to know what to do and a whole other thing to do what you know. I try to keep my dirty hands off the trades and let the bots do it all. No more fat finger trading, lol.
How has your trading philosophy changed since you started autotrading with Option Alpha?
Hmmm this is a fair question. My core philosophy is you are only limited by your imagination (and sometimes brute force works). In the end, it all works until it does not.
I have to say I LOVE my bots. But in the end, your bot is you; so first figure out who you are and stuff it in the bot. Many times on position review I will think .. hmm I should take that off now .. and dingy ding ding ding .. bot takes it off .. they travel at the speed of thought “ )
What advice would you share with someone who is considering a similar path?
Pretty sure trading is not for everyone. It is not magic although it seems like it sometimes “ ) (especially if you are running one of Reuben’s bots).
It does take some time. And the biggest thing I can say is to know who you are first. A very large mistake I made when I first started options is I took all the things I knew and tossed them out the window. You’ve got to bring your “A” game and bring all you know with it. A lot of sayings out there are sayings for a reason. “Be fearless in a small way.” And my favorite, “If a gift you see remove the risk and sing with Lee." :)
In the end you got to LOVE it .. if you are just trying to make money, you may be further ahead getting a second job.
Oh yeah, my favorite piece of advice: you need to save automations to folders! And before you mess with stuff, save the bot as a template.
How do you see trading fitting into your bigger life goals?
I think I am good either way. I almost bought an airport and was going to have drag races on Sunday at the airport. But pretty sure those days are in the past.. So my life goals now are to ride my motorcycle which is why I hung my hat up early.
Last year I bought a bike 700 Tenere and went to Alaska roughly 9,000 miles. The year before, I took the nicest bike I ever had, a Kawasaki Concourse and rode just shy of 8,700 all around the country.
Got some stuff to do at the homestead, but next year - if I do not go to see my little girl in Colorado - I will ride down to the tip of FL and up to Maine. I hear there is some winding road that needs straightened out in the smokey mountains lol.
And the best part is I can ride and trade at the same time with bots. How cool is that! THANK YOU OPTION ALPHA.
What's next for Lee? What does your future look like?
What’s next .. I hate change and I am normally trying to keep up with all the new stuff here at OA. I am so so happy I stumbled on Kirk back in the day. He has made a huge difference in my life (even if he has little girl legs LOL).
The future looks good. I am truly blessed.
PS - Can you imagine what we could do as a group???
As always, if you see Lee around the community, please pass along your thanks and appreciation, and try to do it with a YouTube video if possible ;)