"Did it ever occur to you that trading is not going to make you happy long term? From what I see, you have a very good education - teacher, writer. I don't think you ''deserve'' to stay in the trading world. Taking money from others for our advantage, is not a good ethical thing to do. Sometimes you can make a trader lose his bank with a good single trade. Will that fit your educational standards? All I want to say is that we are affected in many ways: social life, family etc - those things are the real ''value'' for someone like you. To be honest, I take advantage reading your blog and learning from it, but I also think about you as a person. I don't know why, but I feel that sooner or later you will give up and get back to real values."
The above comment (slightly tidied up as author's first language is not English, though still high standard) was submitted by 'speedwave' to my blog following my last post. I thought to do it justice, I would need to answer it as an actual blog post. There are some really interesting questions there which I would like to delve into.
Did it ever occur to you that trading is not going to make you happy long term?
The short answer is 'yes!'. Of course it has occurred to me many times that trading possibly won't make me happy. In fact, it's made me rather unhappy for several years! That was until this year. Trading alone, is never going to make me happy. Love is what really motivates most of us to do what we do, in order to become fulfilled; love for a partner, love for family, love for our friends. But it is undeniable that, whilst money can't buy love, it can put you in a greater position to find/share/experience it, as long as you use it wisely.
I am not personally driven by material things. I don't buy anything based purely on what brand it is. I am not into flashy cars or jewellery or owning the latest gadgets or shelling out for the finest hotels or restaurants. These things do not motivate me. But trading is essentially, all about making money. To some extent, you need to be motivated by money in order to be successful at trading. For me, it is more about the freedom of choice that money can give you, not the material goods you can accrue with it. That potential freedom is what drives me as a trader.
The great thing for me personally about sports trading, is that I love sport. I would never be any good at financial trading because I have little interest in the subject. FOREX and Stock Exchanges and Futures just leave me glazed. But sport on the other hand, now I can get involved in that and truly enjoy myself. Now that I'm actually making money through trading, sport has become even more enjoyable! So trading is beginning to make me happier.
Is sports trading going to make me happy long term? I can't answer that. Who knows what the future may bring. But if it all goes to plan, I am certain that it can put me in a position where I am comfortable financially. And when I have that, I hope to have greater freedom than a 9-5 rat-race job with less opportunity to scale-up and take time off, could offer me. With that freedom will come greater opportunities to do things that REALLY make me happy - producing music, travelling, playing more sport and spending more time with those I love. There is no point thinking about the negative side too much. I would not have got to where I am without positive thinking. The moment you start focusing on the bad stuff, is the moment you start along the path of a loser.
From what I see you have a very good education - teacher, writer. I don't think you ''deserve'' to stay in the trading world.
By 'deserve' I think speedwave means that I deserve better than to waste my education being a trader. I do have a decent education although to be honest, both the writing and the teaching jobs I've done (just as with my DJ-ing) were not successful because of my degree. Having a degree gave me a quicker entry into becoming a teacher but if I hadn't been a hard-working, driven, self-motivated and positive individual, I wouldn't have gotten as far as I did. My freelance writing was built up entirely from scratch - no qualifications or training at all. DJ-ing and then club promoting, was something I worked hard to become good at; winning competitions, making contacts and behind all that, hundreds of hours of practice on my own in my bedroom, when I could've been out doing other things.
When opportunities came along, I grabbed them and took risks in all of those jobs. You could say it was down to luck but I don't believe in luck - you make your own 'luck' in life by putting yourself in the right position to grasp hold of opportunities when they arrive. You do that by being pro-active, positive, hard-working and open towards others. I could've done pretty much everything I've done without higher education.
It was my choice to go into trading. I was unhappy about being made redundant (twice) and always having that spectre of uncertainty about my job. I loved teaching but felt it had run its course anyway. I was exhausted with all the bureaucracy involved and the constant assessment and the awful management and the 9-5 grind. It was my choice not to go back into it. As with writing, I wanted to try trading so that my future would be better - more freedom. But I knew immediately with writing (and much later with trading), that it would take a long while before I got to a position where I had that freedom. Sure, there are professions that I would find more fulfilling but very few that could give me that financial and time-related freedom.
Taking money from others for our advantage is not a good ethical thing to do. Sometimes you can make a trader lose his bank with a good single trade. Will that fit your educational standards?
That's a bit hypocritical coming from a trader! If you seriously have these worries then you should quit trading right now! This is what we do, that's what trading is - taking money from others. It's dog eat dog, we are all fighting for the flow of money in the markets and some will win, some will lose. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, who doesn't understand this, is not trading properly. All my trades are based on what the market is doing and the market is just a collective term for all the bettors and traders. If you don't place trades based on what that collective is doing, then you are just gambling and guessing.
I've lost my bank on many occasions but I don't sit there and blame the people who took my money - it was my fault. We are all adults and have to accept responsibility for our actions. Trading isn't unethical. We all have the same access to the same trading tools and we are all watching the same sporting events. It's an equal opportunity for anyone (court-siders and insider-dealing aside!) to achieve. There is no clear advantage or disadvantage to anyone. And if you think there is, why even bother trading?
Being well educated doesn't make you more ethical than anyone else. Educational standards have nothing to do with this, it's not a question of morality. You cannot 'make' a trader lose his bank - HE loses his bank by being stupid enough to risk all that money. Rule number one of trading is 'never trade with money you can't afford to lose'.
All I want to say is that we are affected in many ways: social life, family etc - those things are the real ''value'' for someone like you. To be honest I take advantage reading your blog and learning from it, but I also think about you as a person. I don't know why, but I feel that sooner or later you will give up and get back to real values.
As I mentioned above, those values are the same for EVERYONE, no matter what your educational background is. I think speedwave means that I am trading at the expense of social life and family but to me, trading is no different to any other form of employment that can provide great financial reward.
If you were training or working towards being a doctor or lawyer or a sportsman or an actor, you have to put in the hours. No one became successful in any of those industries without some form of sacrifice. That might be giving up a varied social life because you have to swot up for medical exams or not having a serious relationship because you have to travel and compete all over the world as an athlete or not being able to spend any money and live in a nice place because you are an out of work actor waiting tables, trying to get your big break. At the heart of most success stories is a tale of sacrifice and often hardship. If you don't want something badly enough, there will always be someone who has greater determination than you who will beat you to it. Ask almost any successful long term trader and they will say the same.
I could give up trading and go and get an easy, dull 9-5 job with plenty of time for those "real values" but will that get me to where I want to be in 5 years time? If I stick at it and continue progressing, I could make a lot of money and who knows what other opportunities that may lead to - within trading or something entirely different. I've made a lot of sacrifices to attempt to become a profitable trader but I'm sure they are no different to many in that 1% (or whatever it is) who have made it as pro traders. But the aim is always for a better future (which would give me MORE time for those 'real values') and if I didn't have that as a goal which I believe I could achieve, I would have given up a long time ago. Some people are fine with the norm and just getting by, leading an average life but I'm not. I've always taken risks because that is what usually leads to great things (even though it can get you in hot water too!) and I'll continue to do so until I get where I want to be.
Thanks for the questions speedwave, I enjoyed answering them. I always welcome comments and questions, so if anyone has any more, feel free to leave some. They really help with material for the blog too!