Traders: How are we different from the rest?

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by chessman, Jun 7, 2003.

  1. chessman

    chessman Guest

    I would like to explore the psychological characterizes of what is it that attracts us to trading, what makes us stay in this business even after some years of famine. I believe most of us have made great personal and professional scarifies along the way to pursue our dream of 'making' it.

    All of us have been told by friends/family at one time or another that what we do is very risky, when are we going to get a 'real' job?

    For me I think its that eternal dream of making it, making what ever millions I think it takes to make it. I feel that trading is one profession where I can fully express my talents and creativity, be my own boss so to speak.

    There are many other trades where I could be my own boss, for example a business owner, but then I would also be at the mercy of customers, of economic cycles etc. Here its just me, I am not dependent upon anyone for my success.

    But I think there in also lies our challenge, what price are we willing to pay for this autonomy? I believe for me the price is internal self discipline, exercising self control in this sea of endless unlimited choices. Its not easy.

    I like others to share, what attracts you to this business of trading and what price are you willing to pay to achieve your goals?

    Thanks, I look forward to your responses.
  2. I love the freedom.

    I also like the fact that it's something that I do entirely on my own. I do not have to depend on anyone. It's just me and the market.

    I realize that there are many things that go into the making of "me" and the "market". But, all in all, it's just me and the market.

    Hmmmmmm. Then again, I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing??????
  3. chessman

    chessman Guest

    Good point, I believe this freedom is both a blessing but also a curse.

    In the Art of War, Sun Tzu said, "Know yourself and know your enemy even better"

    I believe for us traders the enemy lies within.
  4. Atlantic


    if i still had a normal - or "real" job here in austria i would get paid x amount of money/month - 14 times a year - would have 5 weeks paid holiday a year.

    as a trader i don't get paid when i am on holiday or when i'm sick or whatever - i have to care about health insurance, retirement funds, etc.

    i want to be free - nothing's out there that's more important for me.

    i'd rather die than ever being in a "real" job once more.

    that's all i can say about it. nobody knows what the future(s) will bring.

    :) :confused:

    (maybe it's just because i've already met toooo many asses in former years)

    (or am i the ass ??)
  5. I think you will find that most of us who undertake the trading endeavor are fiercely independent creatures. And most likely hate authority, and like being free to make own choices.

    I worked at Merrill for 12 years in capacities such as technology and equity research. (Felt like an actor).

    Largely hated every minute of it. Sundays are now one of my favorite days..that's pretty telling right there.

    Also, the challenge in trading is huge, so is the effort to master, which is also part of the allure.

    I think most people in life prefer the security a steady paycheck provides, but secretly loathe the lives they live.

    I quit that life in 1998 a year after my father died, as I realized life is too short for bullshit.

    And except for some bad months in 2002; I haven't questioned my decision.

  6. well said..but a steady paycheck means a lot to a lot of people..
    I never take money out of my account because I don't know when I might get hit by a big drawdown, which also means I seldom spend the money I make in the markets..
    trading change the way you think about money and my case, I didn't like that change..

    In terms of sharpe ratio, nothing beats a steady and consistent source of income, and people are really to give up high returns to achieve that stability in their life..

    One of the reason to make money is that you don't have to think about money anymore, but trading is different, the more money you make, the more you think about it...about losing it, about the 30% drawdown, about how much money you lost it just me? I certainly wouldn't call that freedom at all..
  7. Atlantic


    well, talking about ABSOLUTE freedom - i think it's only realized by not having to work at all.

    but - 'steady and consistent source of income' - one can lose his job almost every day - a trader can start a drawdown period every day - what's the difference?

    one has to find a new job - a trader probably has to rethink his strategy to turn profitable again.

    somehow it's the same - but the markets will always be there - but will there always be a proper new job?
  8. bobcathy1

    bobcathy1 Guest

    We like to control our own destiny. Both of us have always been in our own businesses. I will say this is the most frustrating business I have ever been in though, computers are obnoxious business partners.:mad:

    We are looking for the freedom to travel in our boat all year long. With service businesses we were stuck in the same place and at the beck and call of our customers. Hopefully now we will be able to travel and trade at the same time.

    Also too, as we aged, physical jobs got much less appealing. Bob has had too many operations and with me, new technology put me out of my job, I became a dinosaur. 4 years ago I bought my first computer and started trading on line.

  9. I am one of those highly independent people who cannot stand having my life dictated by a boss and who cannot bear the thought of living out the rest of my life in the BS corporate bureaucracy where everything I do is mandated by an SOP and/or a supervisor who makes much more than me and does far less work. I've been there, done that. To return to that kind of hell is unfathomable to me.

    In the trading business, you are only limited by your own talent and resourcefulness. Unlike most other businesses, your overhead is low: no employees (unless perhaps you are running a hedge fund or a commodity pool), no office space lease (assuming you work from home), no business trip expenses (unless you attend a lot of seminars/workshops outside your area), no physical inventory, and so on. All you need is good computer equipment, a trading stake, data and software, an edge, good money management, and most importantly, the discipline to take advantage of your edge.

    Bottom line: It's all about freedom, independence, and the possibility of nearly limitless success.

    P L J
  10. In a regular job, if you work really hard, break your back, and make the company a ton of money, then you get an "attaboy," a pat on the back, maybe a bonus, maybe a raise. So you make the company $1 mln that year, and you get a 10k-15k bonus if you're lucky, more likely a 2-4% raise that year, 5% if you threaten to quit.

    In trading, you are always paid EXACTLY according to your performance. Bad performance, bad pay.. good performance good pay. There is no middleman (the boss, owner, etc) you have to negotiate with to get the fruits of *your* labor. Well, unless you work for a prop firm hehe..
    #10     Jun 7, 2003