Dear readers of this site,
I want to address a few words to you, in all honesty, today. I wanted to do this for a while now, and I wrote a similar post years ago to the people of my first trading group. This site has grown immensely during the last years, due to Rolf’s continuing effort that no doubt involves a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. I hopped on a while ago in an effort to take TC even further than one man alone can and must say I am really enjoying the community and what I am doing here. Teaching others in our premium course and working with people is what gives my life purpose, as opposed to trading, which I love to do as well, but would probably bury me under a pile of depression if all I did was just that.
But with great power comes great responsibility. Our readership has hit well above 100.000 people each month and the more of you reach out to us, the more I see one single reason why people come into this business in the first place: desperation resulting from financial pressure.
I’d say 95% of our readership here is male and between 20 and 40 years old, just like myself. We all have the same problems. We want to enjoy life, we want to escape the cubicle of doom, we want to take care of our families. We want to buy a vacation for our mother, a pickup truck and a shotgun for our dad, present the biggest engagement ring ever to our girlfriend, or we want to blow it all on cocaine and hookers. We want MONEY and we want it NOW, while we are young. And we want TIME.
Let me tell you something. I want all of that, too! I would be a hypocrite to say I don’t. I live in Hong Kong where rent is expensive as fuck. I want a 2000 sqm loft with sea view and a rooftop pool. And while I am coming close to being able to realistically afford just that, I simply don’t want to put that kind of burden on my shoulders as I want ZERO pressure when trading. I would never spend more than 5% of my net worth and/or monthly income on luxury and/or fix costs, which is why I keep living in a small but nice apartment for now. And that is absolutely ok. Everything will come with time, if I am just patient and keep doing what I do best: making ticks day in, day out, without focusing on the monetary side of things, and keeping my happiness in check.
Sure, I don’t have to go to the office like you guys. I quit the slave machine a while back. Had I shown you my apartment after the launch of Edgewonk 2.0, you would have called me a dirty madman. My friends more than once per called me a nerd because more often than not I don’t have time to do sports, or eat properly, or what not. Often I just get a huge meal from McDonald’s two times per day and sleep 4 hours per night. But I am happy with my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Trading professionally involves a ton of work and dedication. You will want to keep your work-life balance but on the other hand, if you don’t live and breathe the charts, there is no way you will make it. It is a very thin line between love and hate in this game. And the same is true for your loved ones – as much as they try to understand, they will never get it. Being a professional gambler, living through the swings, experiencing the emotions, earning and losing in a day what others make in a month, those are feelings you have to deal with. No one can help you with that.
I’m a nature freak. I love the forests, I love the sea. The sound of the wind swooshing through the leaves of trees on a mild, sunny morning, with no person in sight for miles, that is my thing. That’s what makes my soul come to peace. I love hiking, and being one with mother earth. The smells, the colors, the sounds. Everything is beautiful. I don’t need a 5-star hotel where underpaid maids wipe my ass. That sounds like a nightmare to me, in fact. Anyway, I don’t have near as much time as I’d want for being in the green.
And should I have a family in the future, I won’t have as much time for them as I would like, either. Because trading is not a fucking hobby. Sometime in the future I will quit day trading and focus 100% on swing trading to at least have a bit more time for everyone and everything, but even then, it is still a job that needs a lot of attention both physically and emotionally. It is really a kind of hate and love relationship with trading, but 99% of the time it is love. It only turns to hate when I allow it to consume me and define me as a person. It happened in Poker, it still happens in trading, but luckily I have my loved ones that always get me back on the ground and tell me when I’m going too far. You need these people in your life.
And here comes the harshest truth of them all – you are going to hate me for it, but maybe thank me one day when you finally understand what I mean. You are NEVER going to make it as a trader if you are unhappy with your current situation. If you need money, trading is going to make it worse. If you are unhappy, depressed, have no respect for yourself or no self-esteem – trading is going to make it worse. If you cannot follow your dreams, hate your day job – trading is going to make it worse. Trust me on this. Trading will make everything worse if you see it as a solution to any problem. But yes, that is why 99% of the people come into this business – to solve a problem, whatever that might be for them.
I hated my life when I was working in the cubicle. I came home from work and would trade for the next 4 hours. No free time. Almost killed me, I can tell you. And I just didn’t become better, it seemed. Once I came to terms with everything – telling myself that I just stick to the job, make the best of it, and grow my trading account with my salary while taking it SLOW, that is when I started to make money faster than I had imagined actually.
You need to be happy with your current situation. You have to love your life and yourself and the people around you, because trading acts as an amplifier of your psychology. If you are in a bad spot, trading will make it worse thousandfold. Every tiny psychological problem you have will come up and swallow you faster than you can say WTF. Additionally, you give yourself way too much pressure if you see trading as a way out of your misery, and fuck your trading up even more as you will be impatient, ruthless and reckless with your trading account. You will be a gambler, not a trader.
So there you go. Next time you see me at the beach, remember, it’s a Sunday afternoon and those are my 5 free hours of the week. Sure, I am traveling a lot, Sure, I have my freedom and I live my own personal dream. But never forget that both Rolf and I worked our asses off to be where we are and we continue to do so, because the moment you rest on your laurels this business will eat you up. Comments welcome :).