College degrees continue to decrease in value. At least, in terms of their exorbitant costs versus the financial returns received by the careers they help one get. With an increasing number of college graduates, and a limited number of jobs for their respective fields, more people are opting out of pursuing higher education in favor of achieving success in a more entrepreneurial way. One of those people is stockbroker “Home Run” Jonathan Bouchard.
While in high school, Jonathan already saw that his path to success did not involve going through the motions like getting a college degree. Instead, he got involved in currency trading when he was just 17 years old, with the help of his father’s trading account.
Hailing from Montreal, “Home Run” Jonathan had demonstrated his ability to determine winners and losers in the financial markets. He took on the “Home Run” nickname after he made a windfall in profits from betting against pending Mergers and Acquisitions with the help of stock derivatives. This strategy netted him a remarkable 15x ROI. This was something that was virtually unheard of, which quickly helped him rise in the ranks among senior traders.
Just a year later, Home Run Jonathan was asked whether he wanted to manage $5 million in assets held by Montreal Trading Group. Seeing this to be the extraordinary opportunity it was, he grabbed it and ended up optimizing a couple of the trading firm’s most successful investment strategies.
The success Jonathan had at Montreal Trading Group led to him getting recruited by yet another financial institution, this time a major Canadian bank. He ended up becoming one of the youngest stockbrokers the bank had ever hired. Ever since then, Jonathan has ended up managing a massive $1.5 billion in stock trades.
The accolades don’t stop there. Home Run Jonathan has also knocked it out of the park when he broke the bank’s record for the number of trades executed in a single quarter for a high-level stockbroker. He closed a stunning $129 million CAD in just 90 days, which is more than practically anyone his age has ever been able to accomplish. Feats like this have earned him the respect of the most veteran trader, as well as accolades across the industry.
When asked how he manages to pull off such impressive profits, Jonathan says, “I trade like a casino.” He goes on to explain that he will first determine how likely either a profit or loss is possible on a trade before making one. This is a process that casinos follow to determine what the odds are so that the house maintains the upper hand. It turns out that applying this method to trading is working out flawlessly for Jonathan.
Even though Jonathan’s trading strategy has helped him net massive profits, he makes sure that he looks at everything as objectively as possible. He is someone who understands how trader psychology impacts stock trading. He has identified a pattern of where the way a stock is perceived will move the price up or down. Perception is everything.
- Applied Learning Trumps Classroom Education
Observing how veteran traders make moves has helped Jonathan when he was just starting out. It was how he learned to become the successful trader he is today. This observational and experiential learning involving watching what experts are doing in the field was the kind of education that wouldn’t have been possible for Jonathan if he went to college. Analyzing the market and what veteran traders did over the course of a few months was far more valuable than several years of theoretical learning in college classrooms.
Jonathan sees another issue with college degrees, besides them not adequately preparing people for immediate success in the real world. He sees them, along with personal connections through organizations like fraternities, being an unfair way to move up within the ranks of society. He strongly believes in meritocracy, where someone’s skills and proven results enable them to climb the ladder of success.
- Self-Actualized at 22
At 22, Jonathan feels satisfied and self-actualized. He finds that where he is in life, both personally and professionally, mirrors where he imagined himself being when he first started out trading. Rather than blindly following a path society expected him to take, Home Run Jonathan decided to blaze his own path to success. Making the choice to gain practical real-world experience of a theoretical classroom college education has led him to enjoy the fruits of that decision. Jonathan believes his story can be a source of inspiration for others who are questioning whether college is the right choice or whether there is a better path forward for them to take.