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Why Are You a Trader?

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I'm interested to know what your reasons are for being a trader. What do you love about it? Is it the money, the risk-taking, the self-cultivation? What images or analogies does trading conjure up? Why are you proud to be a trader?

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Most folks suffer under the delusion that this profession is an easy way to make money...they soon find out that success in the financial markets requires skill and just as much hard work as any other business pursuit. Those with money often try to "buy their way in" and in the process provide income for vendors selling indicators, chat room subscriptions, advisories, educational courses, and of course brokerage services. The process is ongoing as long as people have capital to spend.

 

Clearly people want to be taken care of, and don't want to expend the energy necessary to "earn it". They look for services that offer a "green light = buy, red light = sell" approach...Those few adults in the crowd generally "get it" at some point and go out to find the tools, the education and the experience necessary to make a dollar in the business. In other words they take the time to invest in themselves....and along the way they obtain a more realistic view of what it means to work in the markets as an individual investor or speculator...

 

I'll go one step further in case there are any "adults" in the crowd reading this....what it "means" to be a self directed investor or speculator in the financial markets....is that you obtain trusted resources for information.....you learn to research....you become your own educator....and in the process you learn what it means to take responsibility for your own decisions....how to assess risk...how to manage risk effectively and where to look for profitable opportunities. Typically the person who finds success in this business, is one who can think critically, who can look dispassionately at the data and adapt to what they see, and most importantly when they are wrong (and every one of us are wrong at some point) accept it and make the necessary changes...It requires a calm self possessed demeanor that few people have naturally...but that can be learned if a person is motivated...

 

I hope this helps.

Steve

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These reasons will change over time for me persoanlly and I would imagine for many people over their career, but at present.........

 

I'm interested to know what your reasons are for being a trader.

A.....initially i fell in to the job back in the 90s.After starting as a junior runner I was approached by an older manager to work for him. Worked on a futures floor, then the equity options floor. After my first two weeks of full time trading I knew this was the job for me. So basically I became a trader through luck.

 

What do you love about it? Is it the money, the risk-taking, the self-cultivation?

A....initially, I loved the excitement of being able to make money just by using the brain and the speculative aspect of it. This quickly dimmed when I realised there is a lot more to it, and the excitement is not a great aspect of the job, trading should be boring, a process....at least for me. Now I am more focused on process, and building a business around the trading (a seperate issue) as to be frank I am a little bored of the computer and keyboard punching.. The real appeal of trading that I still love, and which inspires me is the management of risk. The understanding of risk - when to apply it, when to scale up, down - when to avoid it......when you are in the zone - this to me is about risk management. (as some of the early market wizards used to say, manage the risks/losses and the profits look after them selves).

The daily ever changing nature of markets and the endless number of recurring opportunities still inspire me at base level.

About ten years ago, I traded for money - as I travelled a lot, and needed to fund that, and I also took about 6 months off but found it bored me to tears. Unfortunately for me (or maybe not) I am very risk averse and hence the money I make will never put me on the cover of Forbes, so while its partially about the money, its also not, but i do like the instantaneous aspect of the PL as a measure of sucess.

 

What images or analogies does trading conjure up?

A...usually incorrect ones that imply more glamour than the reality actually is. I currently share office space with 14 people....all with different styles and ideas...all trading theor own money (and some client money). Most wear thongs (or flip flops), board shorts and t-shirts to work, and sit in front of tonnes of computer screens. Some come and go during the day, others work non stop....Last week was not a happy office in general as most of these guys got caught long (some had some big uranium company exposures - ouch), but they are all experienced enough to know that its all part of the speedhumps. While others made a lot of money last week.... There is no fixed image in reality.

 

Why are you proud to be a trader?

A....I have no pride or regret....to me its a profession.

One thing I dont like about it is when people who I dont know ask what I do and then ask for tips - for some reason it is always "how can I double my money" - my answer is - go to the casino and bet red or black - or people make comments like - "you are just a gambler", or speculators are evil......my answer to these people is - I hope you dont insure your house, use a bank or particpate in any government funded activities - as I help make a lot of these things cost effective, liquid and I pay my taxes - probably far more than they ever will. That usually shuts them up

Edited by SIUYA

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Great stuff guys thank you. I'm actually an experienced trader myself. Have been trading for a living for a few years now. For me it was more of a calling. The process of trading itself is inherently enjoyable. But I also am intrigued to know how others in the business view it, so that is why I asked. I hope everyone can pitch in and share their views.

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These reasons will change over time for me persoanlly and I would imagine for many people over their career, but at present.........

 

I'm interested to know what your reasons are for being a trader.

A.....initially i fell in to the job back in the 90s.After starting as a junior runner I was approached by an older manager to work for him. Worked on a futures floor, then the equity options floor. After my first two weeks of full time trading I knew this was the job for me. So basically I became a trader through luck.

 

What do you love about it? Is it the money, the risk-taking, the self-cultivation?

A....initially, I loved the excitement of being able to make money just by using the brain and the speculative aspect of it. This quickly dimmed when I realised there is a lot more to it, and the excitement is not a great aspect of the job, trading should be boring, a process....at least for me. Now I am more focused on process, and building a business around the trading (a seperate issue) as to be frank I am a little bored of the computer and keyboard punching.. The real appeal of trading that I still love, and which inspires me is the management of risk. The understanding of risk - when to apply it, when to scale up, down - when to avoid it......when you are in the zone - this to me is about risk management. (as some of the early market wizards used to say, manage the risks/losses and the profits look after them selves).

The daily ever changing nature of markets and the endless number of recurring opportunities still inspire me at base level.

About ten years ago, I traded for money - as I travelled a lot, and needed to fund that, and I also took about 6 months off but found it bored me to tears. Unfortunately for me (or maybe not) I am very risk averse and hence the money I make will never put me on the cover of Forbes, so while its partially about the money, its also not, but i do like the instantaneous aspect of the PL as a measure of sucess.

 

What images or analogies does trading conjure up?

A...usually incorrect ones that imply more glamour than the reality actually is. I currently share office space with 14 people....all with different styles and ideas...all trading theor own money (and some client money). Most wear thongs (or flip flops), board shorts and t-shirts to work, and sit in front of tonnes of computer screens. Some come and go during the day, others work non stop....Last week was not a happy office in general as most of these guys got caught long (some had some big uranium company exposures - ouch), but they are all experienced enough to know that its all part of the speedhumps. While others made a lot of money last week.... There is no fixed image in reality.

 

Why are you proud to be a trader?

A....I have no pride or regret....to me its a profession.

One thing I dont like about it is when people who I dont know ask what I do and then ask for tips - for some reason it is always "how can I double my money" - my answer is - go to the casino and bet red or black - or people make comments like - "you are just a gambler", or speculators are evil......my answer to these people is - I hope you dont insure your house, use a bank or particpate in any government funded activities - as I help make a lot of these things cost effective, liquid and I pay my taxes - probably far more than they ever will. That usually shuts them up

 

SIUYA,

 

Thongs? Thongs and high heels would be nice if they were female. I don't want to know what the hell is going on there if they are not female and are wearing thongs.

 

MM

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MM - in Australia a thong is footwear.....often referred to as.... ....Jandles, go- forwards, rice paddy riding boots, flip flops, camel toe sandles. You guys might now them by the brand name - havianas, or something similar. (while we are on this.... to all an sundry - Ugg boots are slippers people! They are not high end fashion, unless of course you like wearing dressing gowns and slippers down the road and still think we live in the 1950s)

 

I thought that thongs might whet the appetite of our American friends......:)

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MM - in Australia a thong is footwear.....often referred to as.... ....Jandles, go- forwards, rice paddy riding boots, flip flops, camel toe sandles. You guys might now them by the brand name - havianas, or something similar. (while we are on this.... to all an sundry - Ugg boots are slippers people! They are not high end fashion, unless of course you like wearing dressing gowns and slippers down the road and still think we live in the 1950s)

 

I thought that thongs might whet the appetite of our American friends......:)

 

I knew what you meant. We referred to them as thongs when I was a kid. Now they are categorically referred to as flip flops.

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Being a girl, I came into trading, being ridiculed by all or watching my friends and family, trying to avoid subject all together..and starting out in August 2008..and being RE investor..it was a pretty wild ride..But I strongly believed that if I followed my passion and walked through enough pain, I will get there, I learned the following:

 

To me trading offers sense of intellectual and emotional achievement on a scale, that very few careers can offer. Adding on top never boring markets, and it is The Funnest Game In Town, as long as You Stay Humble and Never Ever Ever Take Your Wins For Granted.

 

I see it as running marathon: when you start you are in excrutiating pain, that eventually gets better, and one day you notice, that running 20+ miles ( even in thongs) is possible..

 

or as yoga: when you start you can barely reach your toes( ouch...never ever in thongs)...but suddenly you become a Pretzel!

 

To all of you That Are Passionate About Trading, but are going through pain: and willing to spend 10,000 hrs of your own labor ( few of lucky ones may be a bit less) not with indicators and such: you will get to the fun part eventually.

 

If You Are In Trading Purely For Money: get the heck out ...its aint going to happen: safe yourself a lot of grief.

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For me trading is an integrated part of my overall path and plan, a path which for decades has been about better understanding and Mastering energy in many of its various forms. I trade the Futures market exclusively, which amplifies the energetic waves due to leverage. And in understanding these energetic waves (or sometimes just noise) I utilize my physics understanding, qigong, wilderness survival skills (which is all about using energy wisely), martial arts, etc., etc. So there is much lateral thinking and skills going on in my perceptions and awareness of the market. And though ultimately it is an exceptional way to add sigficant financial energy to my life over time, an energy which synergizes all else that I do, trading is also a fascinating tool towards further self-mastery. For in this trading realm where it is just you and the market, you simply cannot hide from any weaknesses in your psychology, including hidden and/or unresolved issues. It actually is a bit like when I am alone in deep wilderness facing constant uncertainty, and having to make quick decisions about how to use my energy to deal effectively with a dynamic and often hazardous environment. Every day and every moment has its unique opportunities and lessons!

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I fell in love with trading after visiting the stock exchange as a school kid.

And it has stayed with me for over 20 years! Trading represents the ultimate freedon to me - i am my own boss and I can determine how well or poorly I do to some extent, based on my own work, discipline and skill...and yes, unexpected events like earthquakes and tsunamis do upset this somewhat...but there is usually a way back.

I can trade anywhere, anytime. At any time of day or night, there are others like me, working to earn their living - and there's something nice about that.

I love the ups and I even love trading through the downs...for me, nothing else compares.

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