Fulltime trader loner?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by innovest_11, May 25, 2013.

  1. Are fulltime traders mostly loner in character? I have traded fulltime for 1.5 years, actually I have enjoyed doing all these trading alone, no more office meetings, no interaction with colleagues except my kids and spouse

    Just that in longer terms , few more years down the road, I'm just wondering what kind of person I will become? Anti social? Even more of a loner? Any other Side effects since most of time trading is a lonely job without any interaction with colleagues, minimal human interactions

    Any fulltime over 5 years traders care to comment ? Thanks in advance
  2. Blotto


    Full time > 5 years here, reclusive. See http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&postid=3798294#post3798294

    If you don't want to end up like this, you need to actively plan new social interactions. Kids and spouse is good, if you lived alone all this time you might end up a little, erm, weird.

    When you get to the appropriate stage in your trading development, the need to work 60+ hour weeks will go away and you can work more "normal" hours, treat it like an ordinary job, and concentrate on rebuilding and improving your life outside work. Just don't put it off too long.

    Good luck.
  3. Pekelo


    It is rather easy to find a trading buddy nowadays. With Skype you can keep talking and still watching the screen or just the occasional PM, still less loneliness....
  4. rwk


    It's been 8 years since my last consulting gig, and I have had no earned income since then. There are a few things I miss about conventional work, either as an employee or consultant/contractor. Human interaction resulting in friendships is one.

    I think we need to have sustained, as distinguished from casual, interactions with people with whom we have common interests and objectives in order to develop meaningful relationships. One problem with trading is that it is hard to discuss it, because other people are usually at a different level of their development, and the conversation can easily become one-sided. When I talk trading with my girlfriend, her eyes quickly glaze over.

    Another problem with discussing trading is that it's hard to say much without disclosing our secret sauce. So trading can be a pretty solitary pursuit regardless of the setting. Trading is my passion, and I love to talk about it, but most of the people I meet know little or nothing about it. When they do, I have to keep biting my tongue lest I reveal too much.

    I also miss the sense of purpose I had in conventional work. It had a rhythm to it that is hard to find now. I have complete control over my time and tasks, which is a huge responsibility, and it's hard to put it down while I go play. Trading is always on my mind, and I can never really get away from it. I also miss the security of a steady paycheck.

    The flip side is pretty obvious. I don't have to work with people I don't like. I have an easy commute and a comfortable workspace. I have unlimited upside to my earnings and achievement. The independence I have developed through trading has likely ruined me for employment forever.
  5. Human interaction by and large is vastly overrated. Most social conversations take place because people happen to be together, rather than because they really have something meaningful to say.

    Being in a job gives you structure and a steady paycheque, but you can easily develop a structure with trading as well. I have, but still need to work a regular slot for exercise into it. Strangely though that is not because of trading but because of having to deal with the mundane aspects of life.

    I've not met someone I can have a discussion with about trading. I once tried explaining what I do to a successful businesswoman; after a couple of minutes she confessed she did not have a clue what I was talking about. In any case I have never particularly liked talking about my work, because I couldn't see the point in it. There are people who enjoy talking about what they ate and what they did with their day, but really, who cares?

    All my life working for others, I had to work with people. Rarely did I find that enjoyable. Being able to make my decisions instantly and to act on them without even informing someone is a real plus.

    Trading has not made me the person I am, it allows me to be that person.
  6. mo3pro


    Human interaction is overrated until you're actually deprived of it. I'd consider myself an introvert. But after trading independently for >1 year, I find myself actually going out of my way to find social engagement. The problem is not just that you're self-employed, thus obviating all the casual relationships you'd otherwise be having with coworkers and clients. The problem is you're a trader. As others have pointed out, this means that:

    1) 98% of people you meet don't understand what you're doing and their eyes will glaze over if you attempt to explain it.

    2) For the 2% of those who understand your job, you can't divulge much to them because it would give away your strategy.

    What people do for a living is a big part of who they are, so not being able to use it as a basis for forming relationships is a fairly large hurdle. A solution for me is that although I have a finance background, I've had to become as much a programmer as I am a trader. Programming is a safer topic with a broader community. So when you're with people, think of yourself as a programmer whose use case just happens to be building trading strategies.
  7. As I've said before, everyone is different so I understand that people may see the need to seek company.

    It's been 4 years now that I've lived a fairly isolated lifestyle. For anything up to 5 days a week, every week, I do not speak to anyone. That does not trouble me in the least, because I have more than enough to do that provides intellectual stimulation. In comparison, making small talk would be a colossal waste of my time.

    Again, that's just me. I have zero expectation that anyone else will see this as an ideal lifestyle as it is simply too eccentric for most people.
  8. just21


    The best thing I did was to get a desk space with people who don't trade. I tried an office with people who trade but found them introverted.
  9. J.P.


    You're right; it does look interesting. Part of the description:

    "She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked."
    #10     May 25, 2013