This Trader Just Committed Suicide

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by bat1, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. bat1


    found this.......

    If you find yourself trading too emotionally, too highly leveraged, or too clueless, please slow down or you can really hurt yourself.

    Slow down. Seek help, and stop for awhile if you need to. Trading, ultimately, may not be for you. Even though I believe my approach is the best for most people, it may still not be for you. Maybe you just weren't meant to trade stocks, period.

    Here's a cautionary tale from another trading blog, written by a trader whose trader friend just took his own life.

    Yesterday, December 18, 2010, I received news that was both personally devastating to me and filled me with rage at the same time. A friend of mine, a trader, took his own life. Rather than let this experience go to waste, I thought I would share it with the Slope community as it is also a cautionary tale.

    I have known my friend for a number of years. He comes from a semi-wealthy background and is Canadian of Lebanese extraction living in the United States. A good man. A kind and caring man but a very proud and head strong man now aged 50.

    He came to trading actively in 2007. He was a normal newbie trader, greed driven with some success at first. He chose to predominately trade gold ETFs and the SPY. Predominately options in both. He would often take $25,000 single directional positions be instantly rewarded with up to $250,000 and then with increased size, feed it all back plus more. His account equity swings were, at times, horrendous. When he traded gold, he ONLY traded in one direction which was long. He was constantly looking for input as to the next directional move in SPY. Constantly seeking to detect bottoms and tops.

    My friend and I had constant discussions about the need to use methodology, risk control, trade management and discipline. I begged and urged him to back off, get his head and game plan together before proceeding further. It always fell on deaf ears. A year or so ago, I thought I detected some progress. I stayed in touch on a regular basis. Around a month ago something changed. I knew that because he was evasive as to how his trading was going. I did not press him to what is now my regret.

    He had traded away $900,000 in cash. Account down to almost the cost to wire out what was left. His mansion was in foreclosure and he was reduced to selling anything of value to put food on the table daily. He had lost his wife's money as well as his wife's daughter's money in addition to the $900,000. Driven past the edge of despair, this proud but kind, gentle and open hearted man, woke up early Thursday morning, pistol in hand while the household was still asleep, walked up to the top of the hill overlooking his mansion, put pistol to head and pulled the trigger. In the suicide letter he stated that he was "just too old and too tired to start over again."

    My friend was not really a trader. He was a gambler with no edge whatsoever. Therein lies the cautionary tale. IF you can see yourself in ANY of this, do yourself, your family and friends a favor. Stop clicking the mouse. Wire out the money and STOP "trading." "Trading" for you is a poison. Reach out to those around you for help. You will find your not alone.

    As to my anger and rage. IF I should ever catch up to my friend, I will plant my 11R boot so far up the backside of his lap that he will be spitting out my boot laces.

    In conclusion. NEVER measure your value or self worth by the money you have, the house you have and the other possessions you may also have. We all come into this world with nothing and we shall all leave this world with nothing. We are merely caretakers of any earthly wealth and possessions in between birth and death. Rather, it seems to me, we should measure our TRUE wealth and value by what is in our hearts and minds. Also by family and friends. Life continually throws up obstacles to us. We can choose to be defeated by those or view them as opportunities to rise to even greater heights in self awareness and self fulfillment. Life is short and fleeting. Take every opportunity to increase TRUE wealth. Never put off gaining both the experiences and the knowledge that you desire. Never lose an opportunity to tell those you love that indeed, you do love them.

    I wish you all the very best of holidays. Peace. Now go out and DO the right thing.:D
  2. BCE


    Thanks for sharing that.
  3. wrbtrader


    Usually a story about a trader killing himself is in the news.

    Is there a website link?

  4. emg


    that is one of many reasons why i begin this thread

    97% of the people DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE RISK INVOLVED TRADING IN THE FUTURES MARKET. Does anybody knows what this means:

    CFTC Disclaimer:

    Anyone buying or selling futures contracts should clearly understand that the Risks of any given transaction may result in a Futures Trading loss. The loss may exceed not only the amount of the initial margin but also the entire amount deposited in the account or more. Moreover, while there are a number of steps which can be taken in an effort to limit the size of possible losses, there can be no guarantees that these steps will prove effective. Well-informed futures traders should, nonetheless, be familiar with available risk management possibilities.

    Futures trading is not for everybody and only RISK CAPITAL should be used.


    Thank you for posting that. It is a timely reminder for me.
  6. Slapshott


    While the story is a good one, I betcha that it's pure fiction.

    Killing yourself over 900k but you have a mansion? Come on something very suspicious.
  7. Link so we can see the source?
  8. wrbtrader


    I've seen more stories the past 2 years since the financial collapse of 2008 involving people in the markets to have committed suicide (e.g. Bernie Madoff's son) as traders, fund managers, investment bankers, financial advisors or some other profession in the financial markets.

    There's been stories of people committing suicide whom lost their life savings in funds, stocks that went belly up because of being poorly managed.

    Recently, a friend told me his neighbor (high school teacher) was diagnose with severe depression after losing 80% of his retirement money in investments on top of learning the government pension plan (where his other money is located) had severe losses. Next, he missed a mortgage payment for the first time in about 15 years and he only has a year left before he owns the house outright.

    The guy started having suicidal thoughts. :(

    I think things are going to get worst the next few years if the economy doesn't improve significantly.

    P.S. There are other professions that have a higher suicide rate than those involved in the financial markets (e.g. medical professions).

  9. wrbtrader


    I was asking about online news link...not a link to the exact same story at a blog.

    #10     Dec 30, 2010