The Road Downhill
The first two months of trading actually went well for Umar. He took his account from $20,000 to over $33,000, a $13,000 profit, in a two-month time frame. Yet with Umar’s lack of experience and expertise, it could have been considered beginners luck. But such luck never lasts.
It took the next four months for Umar to lose the $33,000 he had acquired, to just under $2,000. “Seeing yourself lose all the money you had saved up in a matter of a few months was a crazy experience, but I tried to look at it from a positive angle. I told myself I would somehow get it back from the market.” Umar said. When speaking to others about his experience, Umar received much backlash and negative feedback from those who believed that investing in stocks was as good as gambling, or that the only people who make money in stocks were Wall Street tycoons.
At such a young age, hearing people say that to you is extremely discouraging. “People would tell me that stocks are risky and you can’t make money from it but I knew that for every winner in stocks there’s a loser and for every loser there’s a winner. Meaning if you lost $100 someone else made $100 and vice versa. So I just had to figure out a way to be on the winning side”. For the next few months Umar decided to take a step back from investing in the stock market, and focus on college while he educated himself on how to invest correctly, and various rules he should follow.
Working While Learning
It is not an uncommon feat for teenagers who are graduating high school to be unsure of what they want to do for the rest of their lives. It can even be difficult for them to decide what they want to eat the next day. So it should be no surprise that at 18 years old, Umar was still testing the waters of college, and exploring different business opportunities.
Umar began his first semester of college at College of Staten Island with an end goal of becoming a pharmacist. This, however changed one-week in. He then switched his major to business, before later changing his major again to accounting.
Through the constant and sudden changes in his major and classes, Umar spent his free time during the next few months intensively following the market. He completed extensive studies and research, and spent hours practicing investing through a paper trading account, when he realized that his biggest problem was trading psychology—his emotions.
So, he sat down and created an outline of every trade he would get into.
The Ultimate Organizational Tool
Umar would write down what price he wanted to buy a stock at, where he would sell at for a profit, and where he would want to take a loss. This helped him eliminate emotions in the game of trading. “The greatest single thing I did with trading was making a trading plan that outlined my entry and exit points on a trade. My exit points for me to make money and lose money. For example, every stock I traded, I knew beforehand how much I was willing to lose on this trade and how much my project profit was if the trade went either way” Umar stated.
In January of 2014, Umar decided to begin trading again. Through his expanded mindset, and creation of goals and strategies, Umar was able to double his initial investment of that year, triple his profit in 2015, and triple that profit again in 2016, ending the year with over $350,000 earned in profit alone.
2016 was also the year Umar decided that college was not right for him. After changing his major so many times, and still not feeling the passion equal to the fire he feels when investing into the stock market, Umar stopped his education, to continue expanding his knowledge in the stock market industry full time.
Life After College
According to Umar, in this day and age, a college degree will not guarantee a person’s success. “I personally feel like college doesn’t set you up to be successful in life, especially in this era. If this was the 90’s then yeah college is important but a college degree today has no value. I also feel like many people who are in college are lost and go to college just because they don’t know what else to do and then feel comfortable for the next four years of college until they graduate and then realize it doesn’t get pretty afterwards.”
After Umar’s massive success in trading, he started Stock Market Lab – an educational platform that offers online and in-person stock trading training. “The idea of Stock Market Lab originally struck me when I was lost in trading and needed help in maneuvering my way around but nothing was there to help me” Umar admits. “The execution part kicked in when many people around me started asking me for help in stocks so I told myself why not create a platform where I could provide real training designed specifically for beginners wanting to get started.”
After 18 months later, Stock Market Lab now has over 1500 students worldwide and is still growing. This growth in under two years is a remarkable achievement. “My priority with Stock Market Lab is to make sure every student that joins, walks away having the proper skillset to earn money from trading. I personally contact every student after training sessions would come to an end to make sure they were on track and I think that’s the main reason we were able to grow at such a fast past organically.” Umar stated.
Stock Market Lab is expected to get a major redesign to their training platform and business structure in the upcoming months. “We have been working on ways to improve Stock Market Lab on a daily basis. I feel like we’re already at a great level but can take it a step higher with our current methods and training which we’re improving. A trading tool kit and Stock Market Lab book will be coming out soon along with a new redesigned website and online training course before the year ends. We also plan to implement payment plans because I’ve noticed thats been a huge issue for many students.”
Today, Umar is exploring new business ventures in the tech industry and online market place while he still actively trades and manages his day to day operations in his company, Ashraf Holdings Group and Stock Market Lab. Umar is still making solid trades and earning well over $40,000.00 a month. He is currently working on an app that he plans on releasing in the upcoming months and has a few more projects he plans to announce soon. “I’m always looking to start new things and execute ideas that I believe have potential. All my idea’s come from something that I would need or use. I’m currently working on two apps, one releasing in December and the other releasing the first half of 2018. I’m really excited about the app because the whole concept is based around something us millennial’s really need”.
Needless to say, we have not seen the last of Umar Ashraf yet.
To keep updated with Umar, you can follow him on Instagram @umarashraf .