Monday, March 01, 2010

Why I Am A Trader

Trading offers lessons in life; it is a microcosm of life.

In trading we learn to master ourselves, even as we hone skills.

Trading teaches us to identify and pursue opportunity in the face of uncertainty.

Trading requires us to understand and respect risk, but not become paralyzed by it.

Trading pushes us to seek situations that offer more reward than loss, to stick with what is rewarding and exit what is not.

Trading requires that we be prepared and disciplined, that we continually learn and relearn.

Trading teaches us that there are times to be aggressive, to go after our convictions with confidence; it also teaches us the value of prudence and protecting what we have;

Trading calls on us to be patient--and to be decisive; to believe in ourselves--and to be ever aware of our vulnerabilities;

Trading prods us to be more than who we are by being more of who we are when we're at our best.



jaime said...

Dr. Breet. Precisaly today is one of those days...when you ask why. You just made my day. Regards

positiontrader said...

Great read Dr.

If I might take the liberty of adding a few points from my own perspective.

I love the challenge of taking part in an activity(I wish I could call it profession!) that offers new challenges everyday. Each and every day is different. No doubt experience helps but no amount of experience could have prepared one for 2007-08. Each and every tick is different.Each day you gotta be ready to face the unexpected.

I love the fact that I am trying to succeed and do well at something in which over 90% of the people fail.

I have learned to love (emphasis on have learned) the fact that market is always right. No matter how convinced I am of being right, I have learned to bow to the markets. Trading teaches us to be humble.

I know that the slightest mistake can bring me down. And the chances of these mistakes occurring are most when we are overconfident. Trading teaches us never to get complacent and how to keep ourselves grounded when we feel on top of the world.

And lastly, trading teaches us so much about ourselves. In my over one and a half years of experience in short term trading, I have learned not only about my risk appetite, but also about how I react to different life situations.

Sorry for the long comment but I just couldn't help it once I got started :).

Take care and Good Luck!

Radek Dobias said...

I just wrote to a good friend last night:

"Ultimately, it's not about money but about being faithful to what one is to the best of one's ability. It's a CALLING for me."

Michele said...

Reading this makes me feel like the Karate Kid to your Pat Morita. "Wax on, wax off!"

Many valuable lessons here.

Soberba Insônia said...

Trading has really turned my life upside down. As I´ve mentioned before, I come from creation area, and my life has been always unruled.

So I can say my life has really changed.

Plus, trading has dug deep into several psychologicals aspects of my early life that reflects everyday when I´m about to make a decision in life as well.

And I have a lot to brush up.

As absurd as it may sound, I no longer trade regarding money ( I mean, of course it´s about money, because mistakes cost you money and vice-versa).

But I mean the dream of becoming a millionaire or make good fortune. It´s not my thing.

But It´s my legimitic discovery that Trading has become my own Martial Art School For Life, where I am The Director, The Teacher and The Student.

And I feel fine.

nqtraderjay said...

Everything I do is a personal challenge. Trading is one of those ultimate kinds of challenges, like marathon training. It quantifies my functionality for me. And so, I can't fudge on my progress, like all the other thing's I've done.

If I need to make a change to enhance my trading ability, I have to do it right and completely and not the way I've done stuff in the past.

It basically is a no nonsense judge that won't take any of my usual bs, so this challenge is the one that gets me to really change.

Like you said, in Psych of Trading, it is easy to initiate a change, but sustaining it is the challenge. I can try to do what I need to do once. Creating a new habit is hard. Growing up for me is hard.
Accepting my responsibilities in life is hard. Doing homework and falling asleep over studying books on trading is hard. Making lists of what I need to do is easy, placing checkmarks on those lists bc i completed it is hard. Staying up late at night because I am actually absorbing what I am studying, knowing that I will not be able to trade tomorrow, and then doing what I need to do that next day and not trading bc I know that I am not in the correct state of mind is hard. But the end of the day when I see I didn't abuse my account is a good reward, because many times I wished that I had made that decision to stick to my rule. I could go on. I had to unscrew my head for 18 months and rescrew it back on right, and your work helped me do mine. - J

Bryan said...

A really interesting read, thanks. It's intriging that such a potentially toxic pursuit like trading can also provide great benefits. There is no doubt that my trading/ investing endevours have spilled over into the rest of my life and I think on the whole in a positive way. Focus, mental disposition and patience are all greatly improved. I do notice, though, that I drive a car very slowly these days (that is unless I see an empty piece of motorway which looks like a good risk reward situation).

Curtis said...

There is only one reason to be a trade, ask yourself this question:

Are you exceptionally good at predicting or profiting from market moves?

Given the overwhelming evidence that trading profitably is difficult then nothing else makes sense.

I am not a trader --yet-- but I am very good at predicting market.

The basis must be made on your empirical record and not any dreams or fantasies. The only reason to trade is to make a profit.