By Ask Gil

January 10, 2012 12:10 am ET

Q: What were some of your biggest biases or problems that you had to overcome when employing the CANSLIM strategy? After reading O’Neil’s book I wrongly assumed I could trade successfully within 6 months, but it wasn’t until almost a year of stock chasing and buying near earnings(learning the hard way in both cases) that I’ve gained the confidence to invest.

G: It took me two years to get it down. My biggest bias, and probably my only significant one, was that at first I tended to want to buy 15-20 dollar stocks, instead of realizing that 50,60, 100 or more dollar stocks were of much higher quality. Other than that, I was brand new to the business and the stock market in 1991 when I started as a broker at Merrill Lynch, and O’Neil’s book was one of the first I read, and certainly the first one that made any sense to me, so I really had no bad habits that I had learned previously. I was like a blank sheet of paper, so once I read O’Neil’s book there was nothing prior that had to be “erased” first! Be persistent, recognize that mistakes are part of the learning process, and you will get there.