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Jim Schultz

Jim Schultz

Host: From Theory To Practice, WDIS: Options 201

Dr. Jim Schultz is a host on the tastytrade network. Jim’s flagship show, From Theory to Practice, explains theoretical trading concepts and provides a practical application around them.

Before joining tastytrade in early 2016, Jim was a finance professor at Winthrop University. While there, he taught courses including Principles of Finance, Investments, and Financial Policy Management. He has also been a motivational speaker and physique coach as the CEO of Fitness and Your Finances in an effort to help people get their lives on track and improve their wealth and physical health. Dr. Jim returned to his teaching roots in 2017, when he began to teach Brittany Shereyk options trading concepts and strategies on their beginner series, WDIS: Options 101.

Jim received his undergraduate degree in finance from Central Michigan University, where he also completed an MBA in finance. Additionally, he earned a PhD in finance from The University of Memphis.

Series Featuring Jim

More About Jim

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Years Trading: 8

How did you know you wanted to go into finance??

I’m a bit of a unique case because I knew on day one that I wanted to study finance, so I did it all the way through college (whereas most people play around and switch majors or don’t know). At the beginning of my freshman year in college, I was completely captivated when I glanced at a stock market ticker for the first time, and I was fascinated by the notion that billions of dollars were changing hands...I just knew I wanted to be a part of that.

So you love finance, but how did you get into trading?

For the longest time, I was drinking the passive investing Kool-Aid. I felt that dollar-cost averaging with a long-term bias was simply the best we could do. But then I started taking a more active role in my portfolio back in 2010.

I used all of the traditional techniques: technical analysis, fundamental analysis, directional bets, you name it. After some time with little success or consistency using these approaches, I turned to quantitative reasoning to guide me. This led me to the derivatives space, and once I realized that I could use mathematical properties to become a better trader, I never looked back. I’m now a complete convert to the active trading side.

A lot of people think they need a finance degree to trade options. Do you think that’s true?

Short answer: no. People need to realize that in order to get in the game, you’ve got to learn a bit every day and then use that new knowledge to place that first trade. Don’t worry about knowing everything before hitting the “send order” button. You never know everything about anything anyway! To this day, I’m still learning, and I’ve dedicated my entire professional life to this subject! Don’t think the math that is required to be successful is too sophisticated to be learned - it’s not. Just start small, and build your knowledge base little by little. Before you know it, it will all “click”. The important thing is not to give up. You may feel like you’re standing in front of Mt. Everest, but just focus on the first step.

Challenges haven’t stopped us humans from flying to the moon or performing open heart surgery. And those are way more serious than trading. The best way to learn about trading is by doing it. Trade small, trade often, (and trade short...obviously!). See if they let you do that at NASA or Mayo Clinic.

Sounds like advice you’d give your students! Did you ever use tastytrade in the classroom and what did your students think about it?

When I first started using tastytrade in the classroom, my students were blown away. This type of information is simply not taught in any of the finance curricula I’ve seen. Formal finance education has needed to be revamped for the last 35 years. We are stuck in the 80s, and tastytrade (and dough) are completely disrupting the industry. I think that’s what excited my students (seeing trading and investing through a modernized, technologically-advanced lens) and it is definitely what I love about being part of the team here.

What do you like about working at tastytrade?

Coming to work everyday to create live material about trading is invigorating, fun, exciting, makes everyday new and keeps things extremely fresh. tastytrade is a very creative and energetic place to work; we’ve got the best team in place. And also, I understand both sides of the investing fence: I’ve been the “buy-and-hold”, plain vanilla finance guy side of things and now I’m on the other side - seeing the opportunities in trading options and taking control of my money. I feel like I’m fighting the fight with the good guys. And I feel like we’re still the underdog. To be a part of this movement to help people get engaged in the markets is exhilarating. tastytrade is changing the finance game, and here I am at the center of that change.

Why did you leave academia to work in the finance world?

I wanted a new challenge. I literally called Tom and told him I had something to offer tastytrade. The rest is history!

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