Friday, August 20, 2010

All About Honesty

This week I received the following comment on the blog:

"Bill, Isn't the truth that if you didn't have this column and the other service conduits you sell to the readers you email to, you would starve to death? Not totally trying to be mean, but let's have some honesty here. Mike"

I am absolutely irate. This comment came from someone who does not know me and has no idea how I make my money. Let me give him the honesty for which he asks. First, I am paid absolutely nothing for writing this column -- nothing, nada, zero, zip. Second, I am paid a proportion of the subscription fees for the three services I edit and in the course of a year it is little more than enough to pay for dog food and the veterinarian bills for my dog. I take on about 6 or 7 private mentoring students a year and receive less than $15,000 a year in annual income from that activity which I perform because I enjoy it. I make my living trading. If I didn't write these articles, the net effect would be that I would have more time for myself and my family. I am a long way from starvation. I have written these articles for several years in an effort to help people who are interested in trading. Folks like Mike who authored the quoted blog apparently just don't get the concept that some people really want to help other people.

In 1998 I owned a house with mortgage and had about $50,000 to my name with no other assets save a car and a truck. Today I own five homes from Colorado to Scottsdale, AZ to Kauai, HI (only one with a small mortgage) and trade my own large accounts. It did not come from writing this column or whatever dear Mike might think might be my "other service conduits" that I sell to readers Mike accuses me of emailing to. I have no "other service conduits." The fact is I email to no one seeking to get or increase any business of mine. It is true that the fellow who publishes these services does email but I have absolutely nothing to do with that and, frankly, don't care whether he does or doesn't. I love to trade and I have been very fortunate and very successful. I have been trying to pass on some of my knowledge to my readers for no compensations as I mentioned earlier.

People like Mike who make accusations without foundation should be ashamed of themselves. It's easy to fantasize and then accuse someone of something totally untrue. There, Mike, there's the honesty you crave. I wonder if you are big enough to apologize.

by Bill Kraft, Editor
Copyright 2010, Makin' Hay, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

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To comment on Bill's article click on the "comments" link below.


Anonymous said...

Bill, Had I been you I would not have given that lame post the courtesy of an answer. Why waste your time? Actaually take it down, what you have done in your "irrateness" is exposed private details about yourself to the poster. If he does not like what you do, he does not have to read it. Think. Peace, Paul

Unknown said...

Hi Bill,

A robust response which gives a lot greater weight to everything you say from now on. do I get to have a bunch of houses?

Kevin Joyce

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,

Thanks Bill!

Enjoy & appreciate your column. Bob

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,
Mike is probably someone as myself
who has continually been burned
badly from advise of people in the
newsletter business. It started over 25 years ago with a nest egg
of around 280 thousand.Today that
280 turned into 1080 dollars. My
last large hit came from a newsletter writer from Pa.,his
recomendation being a airline
on the east coast that later changed its name before declaring
bankrupcy a little over a year later. My account has been riddled
with that kind of crap from people in the know,but who's falt is that?
Mine of course. Most people should stick with what they know and devote their time and effort into it. I read your free news letter
from time to time but I do not invest in it because I hardly have enough left for an small option.

Anonymous said...

Bill, I am taking the time to comment, not because I am bored, but because I have always appreciated your instructive articles. You see, I am afflicted with a common "disease". Its called "tight-wad-itis" . I read all the free stuff I can get my hands on, and hope some of the pearls stick. I have seen how some of your readers try to abuse you in the past, and I am not really amazed that these folks have a need to blame someone else for their losses and vent through the keyboard. (Its so easy to honk your horn when safely inside your steel automobile). Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Steve in Geneva

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your help. I am trying for the first time to become a disciplined trader as I face retirement. I'm scared for my future and have a small stake to trade with but no debts. You have been a beacon of hope with your honest advice and so much of it for free. Please continue and know that you are making a difference in people's lives at a critical point in our history.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bill,

I have been reading your columns for three or four years and appreciate your good advice very much. You have certainly helped me to improve my trading; please don't let the jerks of the world stop you from doing what you clearly enjoy.

Regards (and Thanks!)

Anonymous said...

Dear Bill: I have read both of your books and got a lot of good info from them. I appreciate your group sending out the covered calls each week and I do many of them with about a 4.0 to 4.5% average return so far. Keep up the good work and I try to do what you are doing for our investment club; I helped to form 12 years ago. I am old,in my late 80's but I do enjoy trading. Frosty

Anonymous said...

For a very long time I've read your column and have appreciated it. Once a successful stock trader who simply didn't sell, I've sought to learn from the best. Well, your conservative, "Honest" approach has been welcomed in my world.
Don't take what people write personally. It could bother you. Don't get reactive. Just know this individual is Skeptical about everyone, not just you. We know you are an honest fellow and many us like your words of trading wisdom. I've read a lot of them.
Sincerely, Robert Ballentine, Trader, HHP

rbrownlnk said...

Hi Bill,

I have read your books, and watched your DVDs and your advice is solid.

I have been trading since 1985, and have done quite well over the years, but I have not matched your success with options, and I wanted to see how you trade them.

The secret to succeeding in the markets, as you emphasize again and again, is relying upon yourself after learning the intricacies of the markets, and having a trading plan. Add money management, position sizing, and take small losses when wrong, and a trader/investor should be fine. Learning about the markets takes time, and most people are not willing to put in the work.

The direction of the broader markets has much to do with success, and there are times when the odds of success are not as favorable, and one of those times is the current market environment.

Thank you for taking the time to write the column each week. I do a weekly video report, and I know what a grind it can sometimes be.

There are plenty of scams and exaggerations on the internet about how easy it is to make money in the markets, so I understand why people are skeptical. Most of these are hard sell promotions which are beyond being believable.

I have read that 95% of newsletter writers don't trade, and I know of a hedge fund manager who had his wealth in bonds and preferred stocks! He doesn't risk his own capital on trades he makes for his customers. Go figure.


Anonymous said...

Bill, I do not know you from Adam's off ox, but I think that If I did I would like you.
You did not owe this man an explanation, yet rather than kissing him off as just another jerk, you took the time to explain why you do what you do. I know nothing about stocks. I am a novice, but I know men, and I find what you did admirable.
Terry Clifton

Anonymous said...


Some people are just jealous of the successful ones out there and want to bring them down to their level.

Keep on truckin' Bill.


Gregory said...


I am pretty certain that by now you have received many comments challenging "Mike's" accusations about your income. And I appreciate your indignation, but I presume that you are aware that you provide absolutely invaluable guidance and mentoring to your readers. Most of us probably don't provide any income direct to you, but for budding traders such as myself, your words and comments are gold.

Keep up the good work, and those stress the haters. Get your energy from the positive forces in your life.


Dick Trembly said...

Bill, Your response to Mike was on target. He may not realize it, but your wise rebuttal should maybe even wake him up. There is good in the world and you demonstrated it very very well. It's good to know you. And God bless you for your help to Mike and your giving attitude.
Best regards, Dick

Anonymous said...

I've been trading about 6 years and have several great successes and even greater failures, because I took too many chances. I read a great deal in the markets but you're now the only trader whose articles I always read. They are full of common sense and are helping me to discipline myself. Thanks for willingness to share your knowledge.

Anonymous said...

for the second time, thank you for your FREE weekly letters. Thank you for for your intention to help others like me, very rare in our times.
The kindness in your spirit shall prevail no matter the personal problems of others.


Anonymous said...

Dont let one rotten apple spoil the whole basket. Keep up the excellent articles.

Anonymous said...


This is what happens when you try to help some one incapable of thinking rigt. You did'nt need to glorify that person by replying to his comments. Thank God there are still some people trying to help others.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for writing your weekend articles. I look forward to them.

Anonymous said...

If Mike had been reading your column for a while he would have already known the truth.
I appreciate all your articles.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Bill,

I have been following you for 3 years now and look forward to your free weekly e-mails on Saturday morning.
I also have purchased your book, "Trade your way to wealth"

"Mikey" does not deserve the attention you have given him, not to mention your exposing way too much personal detail as a result.

On the other hand, I am glad you put him in his place. Knowing you the way I do from all you have provided, "Mikey" is clueless and his claims are from air.

Let's move on... Mike should take a long look in the mirror and apologize to himself, not you, for his own ignorance.


kokaram said...

hi bill,
you are a very sensitive person, i read your colum "honesty" its very touchy, i liked it. I am not a trader here but i trade on sensex. I try to follow trend/wave not met with enough success after reading your articles on $10 trades i am now planning to subcribe. here on wards i will be reading all your articles. like you i own few properties not due ro trading but wish to follow your principles.
your articles inspiring me..thanks

Bill Kraft, said...

To all who have contributed on the blog this weekend:
I am deeply moved and extremely thankful for the many kind comments all of you have written. I note that Mike hasn't yet come forward, but I really didn't expect him to. For those of you who have suggested that I not take comments like Mike's personally, I want you to know that ordinarily I try not to, but when someone writes directly to me and specifically accuses me of lacking integrity and of dishonesty I don't know any way to take that kind of attack other than personally. Again, my deep and sincere thanks to those of you who have taken the time and effort to stand up for me. It is because of you that I make the effort to pass on what my trading study and experience has taught me. May your trading successes fulfill your desires!
Bill Kraft

~ Nona said...

Dear Bill,

I think if Mike had been reading you long enough he would have known better than to question your character and success. I heard you speak several years ago and knew immediately that you are an honest, forthright man with integrity.

Did I know whether you make money from your blog? DID I CARE? No to both questions.

Like most of the rest, I cared whether I could learn from you.

And I have.

Thank you from me -- and the rest of us who have learned from you.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the guy when he has to lash out at you... as far as I'm concerned, you've done a nice job for me with stock plays... recently things have been tough but life is cycles and maybe the guy who wrote you is just nursing sour grapes from bad investment advise he has gotten from others. Your blog is to polite for what I'd like to say to the guy but "up yours" is fairly close! Henry in Greeneville, TN

~ Nona said...

PS: And Mike should see what a beautiful home you have in Arizona!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill , If you are successful there is always someone who wants to do you harm.This guy Mike sounds bitter, and probably has racked up some big loses.
Using the planned exit ( which is now ingrained in my trading because of you ) I have save hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

Thanks for giving back


Anonymous said...

I rate Bill as one of the better ones that's why I always read his and a couple others and either file or delete the other 9 hundred to a thousand I get each week.
It's probably about the same for him here as being a legal immigrant in Arizona.

Anonymous said...


I have been receiving your weekly newsletters for about a year now, I am quiet new to this business. I am a small trader. I have done lots of research and find most 'Experts' a complete waste of time.

But you, Bill, I like your thoughts and have made money when I acted on your recommendations.

Keep up the good work because small traders like me, who do not have the time to research, research, research depend on you to put us on the path to be a successful trader/risk manager.



edee said...

Dear Bill,
I always read your weekend emails with great interest. Your knowledge, based on experience, comes through loud and clear. Trade Your Way to Wealth is my "bible". It is, as are your emails, a thorough explanation of how to benefit from trading written in such a way that novices as well as more experienced traders can benefit.
I'm seriously considering asking you to be my coach. I just need to get a few things taken care of first
Keep up your good work. I appreciate it tremendously and I'm sure that thousands of others do as well.
Edee (retired psychologist and author)

Unknown said...

Part I


First of all, thank you for all your effort in putting together these commentaries which I love reading. Your blog is one the few about stock market that I read.

Now that having said, I must confess that I am suspicious and skeptical, which I believe all amateurs like me should be, of financial gurus. The reason for this shouldn't be too hard for one to fathom, because remember the last crisis, or should I say the present, is directly attributable to fraud by all and sundry. We live in an age of Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, ML, Goldman - the list is endless. The name Madoff ring a bell? How about Tourre? Even in the hallowed halls of the Congress, two prominent cases of corruption investigation is going on. The hall of infamy is abound.

If it is not felony, it is incompetence. Let us say when the tech bubble burst, how many of the "professionally managed fund" you know that didn't take a hit at least as worse as the market? If an ordinary investor's fate is pegged directly with the market, where is the "professional management"? And where is the moral justification of collecting the huge fees in managing these funds? John Doe would be far better off investing in index funds. A wo/man on the street investing her/his 401K funds is so blissfully unaware that s/he is swimming in a shark filled tank.

As a nation, we profess capitalism, and yet the captains of the industry, come hat in hand to the government, begging for alms. All this at tax payer's money. Is this capitalism? Regulators hoodwinking and/or sleeping behind the wheels. As a nation, we laughed at the commies and the third world countries for their corruption. Isn't it time for us to take a good look at ourselves?

Wall street swears by an efficient market which provides level playing field for all. You know how far that is from truth. How about high speed trading? Have you added the jargon “flash crash” to your vocabulary? Look at the number of cases of insider trading these days. Look at the repeated deliberate bubbles – tech, oil, housing and now it is gold in all probability. We have loaded up on software engineers from overseas. The marts have lead the way with (cost wise, no comment on quality) cheap imports. Why all these? Because that's what generates billionaires and, as they would have us believe, good for the consumers. If that be so, why aren't we importing doctors or medicines from overseas? Before you jump the third world tag, let me ask why not medicines from Canada for crying out loud? Who are we fooling?

Unknown said...

Part II

Nobody has any problems with anybody making an honest work. We all applaud the innovators and path breakers. I have no problem with them raking in what they deserve. After all, it is payment for honest services. But does that mean every crook, be it at the corner drug store or the Street, should have a right to rip off your flesh?

Not that I am condoning the frontal attack that you describe, I can at least understand the reasons which gave birth to the attack, and you should at least give the person some benefit of doubt here. The way I understand it is, if you or anybody for that matter, desires to pursue an academic interest for pure intellectual reasons or to provide a platform of professional discussion, it would be best to run it without any marketing pitch.

Now I do understand that when you operate in the public domain provided by a third party, you cannot be absolutely pitch free. In that case, adhering to the highest standard of professional ethics, would (1) expressly provide a clause that the advertisements are those of the publisher and you are not endorsing it or have nothing to do with it (2) in the publisher's section provide a link for all your publications rather that in the body of your academic/professional discussion. I do realize that you are not bound by anybody's standard and are free to run your show any which way you want to, but if you want to command others' respect and keep things above the board, you might want to consider my humble suggestions.

I apologize for this long rambling post- please do bear with me, but I wanted to put a perspective on things.


Anonymous said...

Well your reply caught my interest as I was sifting through the field of e-letters I signed up for(free)to help in my invest-quest. Interesting is that I also have wondered about the wave of analysts that are abound at every corner and alley. I do not question your integerity but myself having only diving into this sham of monetary ups and downs this year have one question and one comment. The comment is that I will read your words now with a different level of intent knowing that you "DO" invest your own money and truly have a flesh and blood stake in the game.
My question is were there this many "GURUS" spewing their comments 5 or 10 years ago? Or has this field exploded in the last X-amount of years because of the way the market is publicly been opened up and exposed for what it really is...or is it due to the internet more so?

Bob a.k.a.cameltrader50

Anonymous said...

Also I thought that I would make it clear that my statements are not meant for any offense personally if it in any way seemed so...and the same is true when I describe the market to be a scam (simply put) which I am sure we are all aware. This does not mean you can not profit from it of father told me long ago if there are humans involved 99.99% chance its fixed...unlike dog racing(to a point)or animal fights...just accept it, figure out how you can profit and accept your losses like a man.

Anonymous said...

Bill, in your heart you know who you are,you like people and want to are a honorable man,and that's all it count, you responded to sitisfy yourself,now you get on with your life doing what you know is right.As you can see by the comments we like you and support what you are doing...and life continues,so move on,count your blessings!

Jeanette said...

I am from Asia and wanted to write to THANK YOU for sharing your experience via this conduit. Please know that it is highly appreciated and valuable for a newbie like me. Again, thank you.

Michael said...

Keep up the good work. I applicate the time you put into these weekly articles.

Bill Kraft, said...

Bob, you inquired about the explosion of gurus in recent times and though I do not have any hard data, it is my impression that the field has expanded hugely in recent years. I suspect many things have contributed to that growth but am guessing that the internet is the single most likely reason for the expansion. More retail traders are making their own decisions whether informed or not and many tend to rely on the so-called gurus. The significant issue for those who subscribe to services is what service they might choose. Some services put out so many trades that it would be impossible to follow all yet at least some subscribers see that there are winners among the picks. Those are the scattergunning services. Others, like my own are more rifle like and attempt to pinpoint (though not always successfully) good trades. I use the rifle approach because in the vast majority of cases my own cash is on the line. Whatever the case, the would-be trader or subscriber should be aware of the approach taken by the specific service and insofar as practicable learn whether or not the publisher or editor of the service is actually making the trades or most of them himself or herself. Thanks for writing, Bob.
Bill Kraft

Bob said...

Hi Bill, I've been reading your emails for several years and find them interesting. I also understand where the poster is coming from because like a lot of us I'm sure, your email inbox and real mail box are full every day with investment solicitations. Since I bought several houses 5 years ago and subscribed to a few paid services that I no longer use it's like a flood of crap. Some are legitimate I guess but most of it is "pump and dump" scams touting one penny stock after another. It's amazing how elaborate these things are. Some are like small books going on and on for 30, 40 pages telling the story of just one stock and how it's the greatest investment opportunity in the last 100 years. I don't blame the guy for being cynical but he could have taken the time to check you out a bit more before posting that. You did a good job of explaining things and that in turn prompted me to look into this blog. I'm always looking for new good sources of information.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,

As always, you demonstrate that you are a gentleman. All the above responders have stated the obvious: you are sincere, instructive, and appreciated. I have followed you for a long time and keep you in that select universe of "gurus that matter.".....the list is short. Long time investor/trader who finds this market extremely challenging. Please keep giving your sage advice...always appreciated. High five to Frosty who is still trading in his late 80's!


~ Nona said...

Dear Bill,

I should also note for others that when I enjoyed tutoring with you, you urged me to take a course in options trading. You were mindful that a single packed weekend of tutoring isn't enough for a newbie. Someone trolling for tutoring students would not have offered that kind of advice.

I followed your advice and, like your tutoring and blog, it was useful, profitable advice. In addition, you've made yourself available to answer questions on trades months after we met. Who else does that?

BTW, I don't mind letting would-be traders know that the options course I took was with Online Trading Academy. One thing I liked about OTA is that one can retake classes as often as one likes at no cost, space available.

Finally, I will mention that I think that it would be useful to return for another tutoring session because after trading for a while one develops experience and with that experience...NEW QUESTIONS!!!

Bill Kraft, said...

Thank you, Nona. I sincerely appreciate your comments and look forward to another session with you sometime down the road.
Bill Kraft

Anonymous said...

Bill, I appreciate your reply to All About Honesty. It's rare that readers get such a glimpse into the life of advisors such as yourself. Though the question may have been directed at you, you must understand how readers have little way of knowing the character of investment advisors and column writers such as yourself except by what you write. All readers of advice given or sold must maintain a measure of healthy skepticism or they and their money may soon be parted. I myself have put too much trust in advisors other than yourself (Martin Weiss) before realizing the track record for their advice produced many more losses than the few wins they managed to eek out, and bears little resemblance to what they preach. Your answer, however shows to have much higher character. I've also tested your advise and found you to be on the winning side. It's just too bad that the subscription fees place your advice out of reach to those of us who barely have the funds to cover the monthly rate while trying to recover from advisors who took us for a ride.
Sincerely, Scott K.

Anonymous said...

I have benefited greatly from your column and look forward to them. They reinforce what I have already learned and had to pay for as well as clarifying concepts that I did not fully understand. Thank you for giving information that is honest and to the point rather than erroneous (as you can make 120% gains every time) like many other 'trading mentors'. Hope you will continue to give your expertise and wisdom!

Mary from Dallas, TX

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your service Bill. Is a great help to me. I think it does help you to keep sharp by helping others, but definitely not for the money huh.

Don NC

Bill Kraft, said...

Thanks, Don. While a little income is realized from the subscription services and mentoring it isn't a living.
Bill Kraft