Jon Johnson's entry into the world of trading began in the early 1980's.
He started in mutual funds but tired of returns that were typically below the overall market and a far cry from what individual stocks were producing. Jon was a lawyer and recognized the value of experts so he turned to brokers for insight into specific stocks that would produce large returns. Jon received a lot of advice and lost a lot of money on stocks brokers had a vested interest in pushing to customers. Jon decided the only way to find those stocks that became the big winners was to become an expert himself. He read every investment book and treatise he could get his hands on, all the while studying the movements of stocks in relationship to the overall market and economy. He began to see patterns that repeated again and again, not just for a few years but decade after decade. He began to see the relationships and scenarios in the market and in individual stocks that caused them to move up and down and that led to certain stocks producing the largest gains. He started applying these patterns to his own investing and his results started to change overnight. His brokers started to follow his trades, and then his brokers' customers. Eventually he started to teach his methodology to other investors also desiring much better returns.
Jon's self-learning, applied through research and the application of his plans, has led to successful strategies that help other investors produce superior returns both long-term and short term. The key is to gain that understanding of why stocks move up and down and then a willingness to disregard the conventional wisdom and your emotions and act according to what the market is showing you. This is not easy, but once you realize the market is a reflection of investor emotion that repeats over and over you can control your emotions and make more rational decisions. Jon believes you do not have to be extremely smart to make money in the market; you just have to view the market differently from the way we were taught.
Jon's philosophy revolves around the willingness to do the work it takes to get the job done right and be willing to give credit where credit is due. He knows he and those he works with will make mistakes, but he believes if a person doesn't make mistakes he is sitting on his butt and unwilling to try new things. He realizes you don't have to be the biggest or the best – just know what you want, arm yourself with the knowledge you need to get what you want, and go get it. He also teaches you to be realistic. "Take what the market gives" is something you hear frequently at Jon's seminars as he prompts students to question what is happening, look for opportunities and then take what is available. As Jon puts it, if you see a $100 bill on the ground, pick it up -- then go invest it in something that will make you $200!
This approach to investing has been shaped by Jon's discovery years ago that you can't control everything in life and it is a waste of time to worry about it. His Dad was a worrier and he was heading down that path when his wife taught him the great importance of understanding what you can and can't change. This was a great emotional awakening that has allowed Jon to be successful in what he does without trying (at least too much) to be perfect or viewing everything as a competition.
Another great life lesson was when Jon graduated from school at a time when work was very hard to come by. He learned to be independent and not have to rely on others to take care of him. This unintended 'self-employed' status taught him lessons never touched upon in college and formed the foundations of his understanding of what he calls 'real' economics. He worked as an independent in the oil patch, survived the oil bust, and then realized he needed more education. He went to law school, graduated with honors, and though he had not planned on it, went to work for a law firm where he practiced commercial and oil and gas litigation. He turned to full-time investing in the 1990's, taking along the lessons he learned from his self-employed days and his working for others.
"Most people make their decisions based on emotions. They define us, especially greed and fear, and that is how the market reacts." That revelation is what Jon uses to the advantage of his clients, by teaching you how to see changes coming and leveraging that for successful investing decisions.
Jon can be direct and honest without being rude, but don't waste his time. Be willing to do the work and learn from your decisions. Enjoy life and find and pursue your interests. He greatly enjoys his family. He came from a large family that didn't have much materially but taught him right from wrong and how to work hard. His experience in work showed him the need to work smart as well. This is something he shares with his wife and three young children. They, in turn, provide joy and meaning for him. He can take the time to really be with them and to pursue his hobbies and passions, such as playing guitar, exercising, fishing, boating, wine collecting and gardening.
Finding pure joy in simple things – catching a fish makes him laugh – are the rewards for living life by helping others and working hard.