Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Why I Am Proud To Be A Trader

I recently received the above note from a young, enterprising trader.  It's the opportunity to have positive impacts on people's lives that keeps me working long hours.  When we believe in what we're doing, work doesn't feel like work.  It feels like a privilege.

For years, I've heard all the cliches:  Traders are money-hungry and selfish; traders rape the public; traders are egotistical a**holes; traders take advantage of the public; etc. etc. etc.

For years, I've let it pass.  How do you respond to people who don't know what they don't know?

They don't see the young people I work with who are learning skills from the ground up, working every single day to master complexity, to master themselves.

They don't see that two-thirds of the investors in the hedge funds where I work are pension funds, dedicated to preserving and growing the life savings of hard working Americans.

They don't see the teamwork that goes into success; they don't see the hours spent staying up at night wrestling with ideas and positions; they don't see the daily mentoring, the daily preparation, the daily dedication to improvement.

And if portfolio managers and traders combine their talents, skills, and efforts to become successful, they are labeled by certain politicians as "looters", as part of the "one percent" that preys upon the public.

For years I've let it pass, but now it has to be said:  

The successful people I work with have earned every penny of their success.  I work with them, I see their efforts, and I see the dedication they bring to trading and investing the capital of those who trust them.

I am proud to be a trader.

I am proud to work with traders.

Ayn Rand said it best:

The symbol of all relationships among [rational] men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he ask to be loved for his flaws.

As this post explains, success in financial markets requires that we become our best selves.  Trading pushes us to evolve.  When we make the most of ourselves, we have more to bring to the world.  

There will always be envy.  There will always be resentment and negativity.  Illegitimi Non Carborundum.  Don't let the bastards grind you down.  Be all you can be as a trader and you will have made a great investment in life, one that rewards you and others for years to come.