Why I love trading

By: ispeculatornew
Date posted: 11.10.2010 (4:00 am) | Write a Comment  (2 Comments)

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Most of us have passions, things that make us tick and that make us look forward to the next day when we wake up. It can be family, sports, movies, games and hopefully you have a few like I do. One of those that I enjoy most is finance and I have to say that I am lucky. Why am I lucky? Because one of my biggest passions is a domain where you can get good jobs that pay decent money and that provide reasonable life conditions. Don’t get me wrong, there are no inferior passions. That being said, life is not as “easy” for those that have a passion for painting or sculpture or a multitude of others. Not that you can’t have a good life as there are many examples of successful individuals in all of these domains. But I think it’s fair to say that the average painter has a more difficult time making monthly payments than the average finance worker. Is it write? No, not necessarily. Life is not always fair. I don’t think many jobs are more important than a teacher, especially when kids are starting off. But these teachers often have to live with more modest incomes.

Not all financial graduates end up having a lifestyle similar to what you hear about in movies (such as Wall Street) or newspapers. But on average, we can’t complain too much.

Why do I love the markets so much?

There are many reasons of course but the main ones for me are:

Numbers: Some are good with names, facial recognition, remembering what they read, etc. Personally, one of my big strengths is dealing with numbers. I have a passion for them that is quite difficult to explain really. Ever since I was very little, I’ve enjoyed doing mental calculations, looking at any kind of stats (sports, demographics, finance, etc).

No end to the learning experience: Many professions could say the same but there is no end to what I could learn. I could try learning about the markets in general, or a specific one (equities), a sector or even a company. I could learn about financial models, derivatives, balance sheets, financial statements, etc. There really is no end and in general, I think the more you work or spend time doing it, the better idea you get of what you like, what you’re good at, etc. I’m not fully convinced but over the past 5 years I’ve learned an incredible number of things.

Most dynamic environment known to man: No offense and I guess it would be easy to debate on this but I can’t think of another environment that is as dynamic as the financial markets. Almost every single event that occurs in the world has some kind of impact on financial markets and the relationships between these events and the markets evolve and have been doing so for over a century. Very few individuals are able to consistently predict how the markets or even individual assets will react.

Adrenaline: Trading provides high’s and low’s that has helped to find out my strengths and weaknesses. As much as you know what must be done, it becomes much more difficult when you have a losing position that is losing value. In the same way, selling winners is a big test to greed. At what point can I be “happy” with a trade? Over time, this has resulted in using trading rules (such as my limit loss & limit profits). Each of us react differently when trading which makes the experience that much more beneficial. Even the best of the best have difficult times at some point so you can imagine how much mortals like me can learn through trading.

Is it perfect?

No it’s not of course. Like everything else, there are some less glamorous sides to trading:

Difficult to unhook: Unless you close out your positions, it’s difficult to completely ignore what is happening in the markets and that is certainly a problem. There are no easy solutions except maybe having a quick access through your phone or ipad so that you can check on things easily without spending too much time or energy. Also, I tend to reduce positions before going on vacations.

Can be frustrating: No one involved with the financial markets doesn’t go through periods of serious doubts where the market reacts in ways that are contrary to our models, our philosophy, etc.

Conclusion

As you can imagine, there are no perfect jobs or hobbies but I consider trading to be close to perfect for me. I can think of maybe one other job that could easily compete but more in that at some point in the future:) What are your thoughts on trading? How much do you enjoy it? And why?

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2 Comments

  1. Comment by Chuck Clark — November 2, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

    I love it for two reasons.

    First of all, it’s a never ending challenge. There has never, and will never be a point in time when I think I have the markets figured out. I’m always learning and adapting based upon what I’ve learned. However, no matter how much I think I know, the markets will eventually prove me wrong.

    Secondly, it affords me the ability to live the life I want. I am able to make a great living, and I’m not chained to a desk or at the mercy of an employer who may cut my pay or downsize me out of a job without any notice. As a trader, I literally control my own destiny!

  2. Comment by IS — November 3, 2012 @ 4:20 am

    @Chuck Clark – Very well said Chuck:)

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