Today we’d like to introduce you to Toccara Lanett.
Toccara, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I moved to LA from the Washington DC area, where I grew up, a little over four years ago to dance and to act in television and film. It’s almost crazy that I wound up in LA because my dream since high school was always to live in New York.
My background is in cheerleading and I majored in Broadcast Journalism in college, so dance and television have always been a part of my dreams. From competitive cheerleading in college to dancing in the NFL for a total of seven years for Baltimore and Washington, it was during my last season of dancing for Washington that the acting bug hit and I truly set my sights on New York. After five years of traveling back and forth from DC to New York, occasionally subletting there, I visited LA for a two week trip with a group of dancers. I completely fell in love with the LA vibe. Trips to the beach or a nice hike, count me in! You can actually count me in on most nature-related experiences. So being able to pursue my dream career right next to the beach, is what sealed the deal on moving to LA for me.
Within three months of “testing the LA waters”, I decided that I was staying for good. Literally only five people knew that I had actually moved and wasn’t coming back to DC. One month after my official decision, I booked my first tour with Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa and continued to tour with Snoop for nearly four years. In between traveling, I’ve had the chance to appear and work on a number of television shows as well as fulfill my dream of songwriting for myself and other independent artists.
While touring, I caught the investing bug. It started with cryptocurrency and then stocks. I’ve always had an interest in investing, however, only within the last few years has information been so accessible and trading platforms so user-friendly. I would place my trades no matter where I was on the road and always made sure I knew what time the market opened no matter what time zone I was in. I learned how to read charts and would study and watch the market during any downtime on tv and commercial sets. Soon I was growing my money to pay down debt, pay for acting classes, go on vacation, you name it! A number of my friends were asking me how to get into trading and all I could do was give them info on books to read or a few YouTube videos to check out. Since many of them were from back home, I kept trying to figure out the best way to teach them if I wasn’t going to be able to see any of them in person. Once the pandemic hit, my laser focus was understanding more about what was happening in the stock market during the crisis, so that I could become a better investor and be able to teach my strategy. After working out the tech stuff, Zoom ended up being the best way for me to teach my friends what I was doing, and I’ve since decided to open up the training to anyone else who wants to learn!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When I first started, I was looking at trading as my way to make the amount of money that would fuel my creative endeavors so that I wouldn’t have to wait for that “big break”. So initially, that is what drove many of my trading decisions. I was hit a bit financially after the cryptocurrency wave, based on investing from word of mouth and following other traders. That’s when I finally decided that I would learn how to read the market on my own.
Trading stocks, aside from having the skill, definitely has a great deal to do with what’s going on in your mind. I was able to learn so much about myself, and the way that I make everyday decisions, once I started trading regularly. There are so many people on social media and Youtube that you can follow, who are millionaires or “gurus,” and they can really have you wanting to get rich quickly. However, growing your money is a marathon, not a race, and the best way to pace yourself is to focus on placing great trades and not get all hyped-up over the potential money. A great trade will result in a great return, and you can’t always pinpoint what the market will give you.
Side Hustle Trading Strategy – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Side Hustle Trading Strategy is an online training program that teaches beginners how to read charts and set alerts in order to be aware of the best times to invest in an instrument. I’ve created a Discord group where subscribers can chat together and everyone receives trending alerts from a popular watchlist. I wanted to make sure that everyone can be made aware of trending stocks as they are learning how to do so on their own. There are also weekly Zoom calls to answer any questions, discuss any relevant news, and discuss strategic ideas based on the latest chart alerts from the watchlist. I’ve created an E-book and several worksheets as a guide to making potential investing decisions based on what is currently being presented on a chart.
The main idea is to help others understand the market without needing to become a full-time day trader, as many of the people who have joined the group have other passions. I’ve actually seen people like myself, who are actors and creatives, give up on their investing interests because they felt they needed to have trading take over their entire lives. While it may take some dedication to learn the skills on reading the market, you can take the skills and use them to place trades as much or a little as you would like. Once you have the information, you gain the power over your own financial status.
As a self-employed creative, it’s important to always have multiple streams of income. Knowing how to stretch the money that you earn becomes extra important if you aren’t currently “booked and blessed.” I believe that learning this type of skill from someone with my perspective can help the everyday person or creative understand that if I can do it, so can they. You don’t have to start out with thousands of dollars. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way, especially when it’s financial knowledge that most of us didn’t learn in school.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I used to be a “to-do list” type of person when it came to my goals and accomplishments. I figured that I wasn’t successful unless everything on the list could be checked off. After achieving several of the goals on the list, and then running myself ragged on a constant chase for the next, I’ve had to ask myself – without any of these “things” – what type of person am I? Who do I want to be and what do I want to contribute?
So, success to me is deciding who, not what, you want to be and fully living in that no matter what your career aspirations are.
- Website: http://toccaralanett.net for acting and dance and http://sidehustletradingstrategy.com for trading
- Instagram: @toccaralanett
Actors Collective LA, The Headshot Truck, Wes Klain, Iridescent Productions, Madden Photography