The loneliness of success

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by Smart Money, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. NoDoji


    I agree that one should either master swing trading or spend many weeks or months studying static charts in small intraday time frames and sim trading extensively before attempting live day trading, because of the speed of decision-making involved.

    It's like the difference between chess and speed chess.

    Inexperienced day traders have a destructive tendency to let day trades turn into swing trades when they run against them, because they trade on opinion instead of price action, and become a deer in the headlights when a breakout occurs against their position.

    If they'd learned to master successful swing trading first, this would likely never happen.
    #81     Apr 22, 2011
    beginner66 likes this.
  2. etile


    2-3% a week average? If you're compounding that weekly you're about tripling your money every year. If you banking that kind of coin consistently, why the hell are you here moping? Since the time you have posted on ET to now you would have increased your bankroll over 1000x. Go hire a shrink if you're that depressed and bank some more coin.
    #82     Apr 22, 2011
  3. Listen carefully to this man +1
    #83     Apr 22, 2011
  4. Handle123


    Thursday was my last day of day trading, retiring after 26 years of it. After I learned how to make money, trading became horrible boring. I went on to write systems for people, software, courses, contests, owned a brokerage, managed money, mentor, etc etc, all in the name I was bored. Can't really do more backtesting while trading, cause I had to concentrate, so I hired others to do it.

    My health has not been good for past three years, saw the writting on the wall, so I hired unemployed defense engineers to learn how I traded and trade my accounts. And oversee automated systems.

    So, there are ideas you can do to pass the time, always PC games and puzzles. There is much you can do while waiting for next trade especially if you trade off five minute bars, you have 4.5 minutes to study or read or write code.

    I learned early on, most folks don't want you to get ahead of their in life, so I went the other direction, when asked how's the markets, my standard reply has been "It can always be better" and have that disgusted look, keep the fine cars garaged and my 18 yr camry in the drive. One of the activities that has always bought me back down to Earth, volunteer at a homeless shelter couple times a month, I believe it made me a better trader.

    Good bye all, off to that beach for pina coladas.
    #84     Apr 23, 2011
    beginner66 likes this.
  5. This isnt meant to be rude or philosophical, but why the need to talk about it? You insecure at some subconscious level? Why the urge to actually seeek people to talk to about your successes? You dont need validation or acknowledgement from anyone other than from yourself and family. The way you live your life and how you carry yourself, and what you teach your kids are all that matter from any success youve made.
    #85     Apr 23, 2011
  6. A fair question. I like playing blackjack. After a visit to the casino, I enjoy sharing what I did. Basically, I just like to talk about what I'm interested in. I'm very interested in trading. I love it. I get a kind of adrenaline rush from it and like all of my other interests, I enjoy sharing that. I guess its my personality type. I like cars, so I'm in a car club so I can share the fun of working on and fixing them up. I'm in a coin club too. It's kind of the same, but with trading successfully, not only should I not talk about it, but it can affect how people think of me and potentially even lead to the loss of friends.

    The fact is, that if you won the lottery...say like $10 million, you do realize that if you divulge it to some of your friends, they would treat you differently, right? Not all, but some. And you'd have people suddenly trying to be your friend, so you wouldn't really know who liked you for you, and who liked you for what you had. It would be life altering beyond just the material possessions.

    And I guess I should address the comment of "get richer friends". The common denominator of my friends are intellect, honesty, and being fun-loving. I've carefully assembled my friends over my life. I'd hate to replace them with just some people who had one thing in common...a big bank balance.

    I want genuine friends. If I won the lottery, I think I'm the kind of guy who would try to keep it a secret as long as I could. But keeping a secret from my friends would feel dishonest. But that would be the price I'd pay, and I'd try to find ways to cope with it. That doesn't make me odd...I think it makes me genuine and normal.

    #86     Apr 23, 2011
  7. ^^ and a fair answer as well. Blackjack is my game also. I usually stick with the $10 tables even tho i could sit at way higher tables. I like to see the risk/reward emotions and actions of the avg person out there when it comes to money. It's amazing what you can learn. I've actually incorporated a lot of what i've observed over the years to my trading style.

    You're correct though, it gets lonlier at the top. If you happen to have close friends that are as financially successful as you, and they understand the risk/reward lifestyle of the markets, then all the better. If they're humble about their success, even better.

    But generally you'll find that most folks out there react quite differently of what you'd expect when you tell them tales of your market adventures; whether they show it or not. Imagine telling someone who's worried about losing their $30k/yr job that you made or lost that amount in a week or month's trading... erm, awkward.
    #87     Apr 23, 2011
  8. Smart Money,

    I suspect only someone who is in your shoes can honestly empathize and offer suggestions. I've been trading successfully for years and in 2008 I made such a windfall that I just stopped trading altogether and retired. At first I didn't tell anyone and just lived humbly and kept it under wraps. After a few years I decided I didn't want to do that anymore. The problem is if you go public with your success you end up changing the people around you into either haters or leeches. You can try to be friends with other successful people but it is hard because those people are used to getting the benefit of the doubt from their leech friends. Unless you are willing to give them the upper hand in the friendship it probably won't work. You probably won't do that because all your leech friends will be trying to hang out with you and being oh so nice and doing you one favor after another. Just know if you do go public people around you will change. I think the old adage "It's lonely at the top" is very true.


    #88     Apr 23, 2011
  9. First, let me say that any money made in the markets can easily be lost back, so until someone takes money out of their Etrade account and spends it on something, I don't think they can truly say that they have made it.

    That being said, onto my story... I've been trading for about 8 years now, and only recently have I found what I think works for me. ~500% returns in 2009, ~125% in 2010, ~60% YTD for 2011.

    I spend alot of time trading, and doing research on the computer, and some of my friends knew that I traded, but not that I was successful. Initially, I think they figured that I was just like any other losing daytrader, wasting my time looking at stock stuff. Of course they had no idea that I had as much experience trading as I did, so I guess it would be reasonable that they thought i was losing.

    Well, I guess this was a weakness of mine, but at some point I got somewhat annoyed at telling people who asked how I was doing, that I was doing "Ok", because I had never talked dollar amounts and I had heard through the grapevine that they had assumed I was just wasting my time. One of them asked me how I did one day, and I finally told one of them the truth, that I had lost ~70,000$ over the past 2 days, but that I had a trade that made me ~200,000$ a few weeks back.

    I cautioned that person that part of my strategy may only work during bull markets, and that I could lose it all back at any time, but it was too late... the grapevine had started working overtime, and they all kept asking me about how "Gambler2075 is going to make me 1M$ when I give him 5,000$" or "Gambler2075 can just fix the goverment budget woes, just give him some money to trade".

    At that point, people started asking me how to make more money with their money and people started really asking me to teach them to trade, at least several times a day. Eventually, I caved to the pressure and gave a 1 hour talk on my methods, which I figured would be over the heads of most people, who were non-traders. But I also wanted to make it cautionary, as a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

    Well, after that talk people began to realize that I have been a reasonably profitable trader. But I also noticed that people treated me differently. Even though I said that I paid well into the 6 figures from 2010 taxes, and that benefited everyone, I still got some jealous people.

    Some people told me "You realize that you are not contributing anything to society by trading?" and I replied that my taxes were contributing to society" but they were still unconvinced.

    Naturally, non-traders have no idea how many hours of work I have put into trading, well over 10,000, and just think that it is pushing buttons to buy or sell. I am reminded of Livermores response, when people asked them how to make some quick money in the stock market. Basically, he said that that was as ridiculous as going up to a lawyer or surgeon and asking how to make some quick money in law or surgery. The lawyer or surgeon would be offended that someone would think that they could just do that straight off the bat.

    The next thing they do is ask you to manage their money, which I absolutely refuse to do, mostly because I trade my trading style because it is my money and I could afford to lose it. I would trade differently if I traded someone's retirement money.

    So, in summary, it really changes how people interact with you... I have definitely noticed that people interact more 'cooly' with you, which I think stems from a thinly veiled jealousy of your success. I make it an effort to talk about my losses more, if they ask, because I think most people really want to hear about others losses, especially the ones that lost in the stock market.

    One final tidbit: Some of my trades are multi-month swingtrades, and I did mention which stock it was specifically, during that presentation. I have noticed that the people that really keep you at arms length now that they know you are successful, are the one's that do not trade your recommendations. However, the ones that are now much nicer to you are the ones that did buy the position that I mentioned in my presentation.


    p.s. I also wanted to add that there are people who will ask you to teach them how to trade, and then, when you hold back, they will think you are hoarding your techniques for yourself. As anyone on ET knows, trading is much harder than it looks, and a new trader is almost guaranteed to fail and lose whatever money they put in it. Maybe they buy that penny stock that has already run up, or they buy AMRN at 17 or whatever... they will lose their money. And so, by NOT teaching your good friends how to trade, then you are basically doing them a favor, because you are keeping them from losing money. Yet they think you are just hogging your techniques for yourself. As I said earlier, it is an unintentional insult that non-traders think that you could teach them to trade in an hour... As Livermore says, the fact that they think trading is so simple is an insult to someone who has spent years scientifically studying stock speculation.
    #89     Apr 24, 2011
    beginner66 likes this.
  10. Very well said gambler2075.

    When the economy and the markets are ripping apart the general public, best to just keep ones trading life and success/failure stories to themselves.

    When it comes to money, even the smallest well intentioned advice can backfire. They dont even have to LOSE any money! Just the simple fact they arent participating in a big run (like Au, Ag) already causes them to get resentful.
    #90     Apr 24, 2011