Born in Cleveland, Ohio and better known to the trading community as “LLBullPlays”, Larry Johnson attended a “Gifted and Talented” elementary and “Blue Ribbon” middle school.
These are institutions of prestige where students are graded on advanced scales and constantly encouraged to embrace their interests and passions.When asked about attending these schools, Larry Johnson stated “It was wonderful. It was practically embedded in us to follow our biggest dreams. I feel like it’s imperative to drill this message into the youth. Looking back, that was definitely essential in my creativity and passions.”
This led to Larry Johnson becoming a magnet for math and creative expression. His interests included building puzzles, art, computers and video games. They then proceeded to music and fashion with age.
“Numbers always fascinated me.” he reminisced. “The feeling I got from solving a math problem or learning a new formula was the same as placing the final piece to complete a puzzle.”
Home life and family circles exposed him to a healthy dose of determination, education and entrepreneurship.
His Mom worked in factories and at times held 2 jobs.
“I learned loads from seeing my Mom work hard. She’s a go-getter to the core. Same with my Dad and Grandmother” Larry explained. “I feel like I was blessed to see a perfect trifecta of hustle, education and ownership.”His Father traded commodities, and owned businesses while his Grandmother worked as a math teacher, guidance counselor and currently operates a tax preparation business.This speaks to Larry’s practically insatiable desire for achieving his goals.
“I can’t thank my family enough for everything they did to nurture me in my youth and ensure I took the proper path to be successful” he said.
With help from his dad he eventually made his first investment. Upon entering the market, he chose to invest in Apple and Microsoft; two companies that related to his technological interests.
“I initially wanted to put my capital into a sector I was familiar with and leave it for 20 years” he laughed. “Before learning how to actually read a chart, it would seem like everything was written in hieroglyphics.” The more he learned about the markets, his approach became less passive. A combination of books, courses and lectures from his father opened his eyes to the technical approach of trading.
My dad taught me the technicals but more importantly he taught me the psychological and emotional aspects of trading.
Larry often danced with the idea of trading full-time, but held reservations due to his collegiate commitment and others’ preconceived notion of a typical trader.
I was in school to be a teacher, but at times wanted to be a full-time trader. Some people feel as if a trader should look a certain way, or have a specific background. I realized that I could bring assets and insight to the table too.
Instead of minimizing himself, he began to exemplify his fondness for music, finance and other passions just as he was taught in grade school.
“I had to learn to embrace my story, my knowledge and overall personality all over again.”
This shift led to the birth of his current trading moniker LLBullPlays; a reference to bullish moves in the stock market and also a play on legendary Hip Hop artist LL Cool J’s name.
“His name stands for Ladies Love Cool James. Mine stands for Larry Loves Bull Plays” he explained while smiling. LLBullPlays continued to trade, and ultimately graduated from Bethune Cookman University with a Bachelor’s of Educational Studies and minor of Social Science Education.
He planned to enter the teaching field but a chance encounter with a seven figure trader Ryan Persad helped to shape his future in a different direction.
The Options League COO recalls enjoying lunch at a local eatery, analyzing charts when a stranger approached and asked about his setup.
“My chart layout shows purple candles instead of red due to the emotional effect of a human seeing red, let alone a trader. My father introduced this concept to me. Ryan Persad loved the fact that I had made such a simple yet effective adjustment.” he recalls.
The two businessmen shared identical interests in finance, trading and entrepreneurship.
“When we first met, I instantly knew we both had the same formula to win,” Larry remembered.
They exchanged numbers and went on to support and help one another with their separate endeavors. At the time, Ryan was full-time trading with multiple entrepreneurial businesses while Larry produced a clothing line. In due course, they combined their rapport in the field of stocks.
The initial meeting grew into a friendship, which then blossomed into a business.
The duo combined their efforts and intelligence to form one of the internet’s leading financial literacy communities, Options League.
Larry Johnson’s background in education shines bright when working with members of the Options League team. These instances include answering market questions, teaching strategies and providing overall mentorship for the group.
“Once I established myself in this field I realized my biggest goal wasn’t to make money. It’s to consistently make sound trading decisions and to pass the knowledge and opportunity I’ve acquired on to others as well”