Last Updated on 14 October, 2021 by Samuelsson
Mark Cook is an American investor. He worked from his family’s 1870s farmhouse located in East Sparta, Ohio, where he manages his own account. Mark has more than three decades of experience trading the market. He offered advisory services, giving market timing recommendations on the bond and stock market to help other traders become better.
Mark’s early trading years were difficult, but he worked hard, gained valuable experience in the process, and learned what makes and breaks a trader. He started trading stocks in 1977, with his stock been Columbia Pictures. He bought the stock because the studio released the movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, which he considered a good fundamental for the stock.
In the early ’80s, he was fascinated with options and started trading them. At the start of his trading career, Mark used a longer timeframe to enter his position. Still, as he progressed, he switched into a shorter timeframe, after which he became a short-term technical trader.
In 1981, he formulated a system for selling options when their premiums seemed too high and found someone to program the rules for him. Every week, the program would give him signals to trade. But since he was selling options that were all out-of-the-money, they almost expired worthless. He ran the program on Friday after the market closes and put on the trades by Monday morning.
He had lost all his capital many times while learning how to trade. One example was when he lost more than his entire net worth. In 1992, he sold naked calls on Cities Service that expired deep in his capital. His account dipped from $165k to a negative balance of $350k in a matter of days.
During that period, he made a cumulative loss of $815k in his family’s account. However, Mark never gave up, and after five years, he had recovered all he had lost. Talking about how he recovered from his losses, he left a quick tip for new traders in an interview with Jack Schwager, “Hope should never be in your vocabulary. It is the worst four-letter word I know. As soon as you say,’Boy, I hope this position comes back’, you should reduce your size.”
He was the runner-up in the U.S. Investing Championship in 1989 and gained acclaim by winning the 1992 U.S. Investment Championship with an outstanding 563.8% return.
He developed the Cook Cumulative TickSM indicator. The indicator measures the number of stocks in the NYSE whose last trade was a downtick. When the indicator is above or below the band, the Cumulative tick indicator starts adding or subtracting the ticks from the cumulative total. It works similarly to the RSI, which identifies overbought or oversold levels in the market. When the indicator reaches extreme levels, the market usually reverses.
Mark’s fame has grown to the level that he toured Australia, China, and Singapore. His goal is to see that all his mentoring students become million-dollar profitable in their trading careers. His motto is: “Work hard, and the trading will be profitable. Success is consistency and perseverance.”
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