The Solitary Retail Daytrader's Credo

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by Duref Mudgins, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. For over ten years I have enjoyed the unique experience of hearing the thoughts and beliefs or disbeliefs of solitary retail daytraders. Their chosen path is not an easy one, fraught with perhaps more potential for failure than any other endeavour. To succor themselves against the inevitable gnawing doubts of success they have a collective credo. Taped to their trading screens. Scrawled on file cards. Inked semipermanently onto sweaty palms. It goes something like this:

    The game is not rigged against retail daytraders.

    Precisely because I am solitary and uninfluenced by others, I can find profitable trading strategies which are invisible to legions of PhD quants.

    I do not need inside information or a community of informed colleagues to be successful because the tape tells the entire story.

    My laptop, retail softare, retail broker and cable internet connection are sufficiently adequate that I don't need a Bloomberg or a fast machine on a colocated server.

    I am sufficiently alert and nimble of finger that a market crash cannot hurt me.

    My broker is supremely ethical and will never screw me.

    Being my own IT support, strategy developer, algorithm designer, coder, tester and accountant is synergistic, not distracting.

    Because my strategies are so brilliantly subtle, being based on immutable market mechanics, I will be able to scale up without limit so that all these years of solitary hard work will soon make me rich beyond even my own wildest imaginings. Two thou to a mil this year!

    My bosses at all the many places I used to work will envy me my independent success, and all the pretty women who rejected me peremptorily over the years will call me pleading for a second chance.

    Then I will finally be happy and self-approving and can become sociable. I may even join a prop shop. I hear it's a lot of fun.

  4. The flip to this is that it blows my mind to hear about folks that have every trading gadget you can imagine and they are out there trading 1 contract in something and think it is a big deal when they make $500.

    Two months ago my brother wanted a new truck. He had $2,500. He went to the dealership and worked out a deal. He told them that it might take him a few weeks but he would be back with cash.

    He started out with $2,500 and in about 6 weeks playing FAS options he made $33,000. He got what he wanted. He got the truck.

    He didn't know that much about options. But he did know that he wanted a truck real bad.

    I asked him if he was going to trade some more. It seemed like almost free money. He told me no way. He couldn't believe that people spend all day staring at lines and dots on computer screens. He told me he knows why now those trader guys make a lot of money - their job really sucks.
  5. Ha hah ha -- Hopefully, that list of beliefs, the trader burns through them faster than his account, so he can get over it and still keep going. Usually it's the other way around.
    It's better not to go by a credo of beliefs, but of disconfidence of beliefs; and emulation of the character of a wise and knowledgeable poster no longer with us, who I learned so much from as to how to handle this type of psychology. For example:
    "My broker is supremely ethical and will never screw me."
    In emulation, the proper response:
    "Well, she's (and I triple-checked not 'he') hot, so the opposite would be a good thing. It's a win-win situation."

    "Then I will finally be happy and self-approving and can become sociable."
    In emulation, the proper response:
    "What idiot could put 'happy' and 'sociable' go in the same sentence? That's the worst hell invaginable !!!!"