The fate of a trader

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Market Wizard

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But what gamma doesn't mention is that some of us want and strive to be the best because we do nothing by halfs. We want mastery in everything we undertake to achieve. And to those of you, I ask the original question: What lengths would you go too to get where you want to be?

It doesn't necessarily need an answer it's just something to think about.

There are many traders on here that have been going for years, it would be interesting to hear your experiences on your journey.
 
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new_trader

Legendary member
6,197 1,261
I'm still in the demo trading phase, though I'll put my 2 cents on this topic:
Personally I don't care about being the best trader ever. As long as I make big money, who cares a crap if others make bigger money? :whistling
Who would care "as long as they are making big money" :rolleyes:

And the fact this so-called "game" (actually, a business) requires to put some time and effort on it doesn't mean you have to neglect your life or leave your wife, becoming a pathetic emotionless shell. That's utter nonsense and cheap tragicomic melodrama based on empty prejudices.
Bookmark this thread and see how your opinion changes when you go live. :rolleyes:
 

gamma

Experienced member
1,231 331
Unfortunately the true cost is not realized until the end
Last night I went out and spent the evening reflecting on the original post and the questions posed by dante. When I got into this business it overtook me completely I was obsessed with it neglected my partner, my other healthy very profitable business and all contact with friends and relatives, I hated weekends and could not wait for the opening of the market.(I am sure a lot of traders hate weekends)

Due to the fact that the losses are in most cases very gradual it is not felt and there is always the hope and wish that one day all will be recovered.
It is only after being in this for years that one tallies up and takes count of what one has given up to achieve if you have achieved that is.
One realizes the true cost of this endeavor
 

blackburns

Newbie
8 1
Making money trading.

It is a sad point to make but I believe that the best traders have given up a lot to get where they are - much more so than many people realise.

In 1870, William Worthington Fowler wrote:

When once a man has fairly committed himself to speculation, his imagination soon grows to lend a hideous fascination to the objects of his pursuit. An evil genius seems to hold possession of him. He takes no note of time, save as an interval between his gains and losses; the thrill of the one and the pain of the other, grow duller as the years wear away, until at length he becomes the optimum eater of finance, living in a world peopled by phantoms which haunt his waking hours, and flit through his dreams. The unsubstantial pageant vanishes as the alarm bell of his ruin peals out, and he awakens to the desolation of reality.

The story of the whole shifting tribe of operators is little else than a dreary catalogue of losses - losses, not of money alone, but of health, character, heart and life.


When I read this passage I think of the bankrupt Livermore who ended up, after being unable to scare up a stake to make his lost fortune back, losing the will to go on and taking his own life.

Of Michael Marcus, who turned a $30,000 stake into an $80 million dollar fortune but as Thomas Bass noted in his book, "The Predictors": "His wife left him, but Marcus was too busy to notice."

I don't remember the name of the particular trader - but one from the Market Wizards trilogy that said his one wish in life was that he had spent more time with his children rather than isolating himself from then when they were in their formative years - being that untouchable father that never had any time for his children because of his obsession with the markets.

That's what it is for many of us and that is why I am writing this. When I am losing with big positions in the markets (I have been long indices for several days) I can think of nothing but where the market might open. When I am winning, I can think of nothing but the future. So I am never in the present.

And the life of a trader at times seems to be a life with a whole series of regrets: We regret what we lost. More often, we regret what we might have made but did not.

If we remove ourselves from our emotions than we are nothing more than a shell.

And yet still this is what we strive to do.

But when I do that, does it help or does the problem just manifest itself in other ways? With no fear and no greed, I am a money making machine but I am that because I work in isolation - studying charts all day, refusing to talk with or listen to others opinions - watching the markets in the dead of night when everyone is asleep and all I have to keep me company is a flashing price on a screen. And when loved ones talk to me it seems like my mind is never with them but always with the market.

I started my initial thread "Making Money Trading" to help people along the path faster and taught it on the TFS (Weekly, daily) that will ultimately give you that freedom to devote to the more important things in life.

But nothing is ever black and white and the spirit of the game can take you away from what is important in life.

I just wanted to write this because it is what I am feeling but also because I am sure that whether they reply to this post or not, there are others that do or have felt the same.

Tom[/
Very true,pointing this out to these type of people won't change what they do.
 
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Paul71

Senior member
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I never stop thinking about the markets, i go to bed thinking about them, i wake up thinking about them. I have numbers floating through my mind at all times, i think about orders around the numbers, i do things wrong because i'm not thinking about what i am doing, i'm thinking about market plays and action. I think about comments in books, chat forums and the like. I have conversations with myself, whilst driving, making a cup of tea or whatever. It's as if nothing else matters....and i'm sure this isn't right.....or is it?
 

anandsancheti

Junior member
25 0
well what a brilliant thread and some amazing posts.
but i have a little different problem, my trading is a sort of business and i dont day trade. i only spend 3 hours a day on analysis of charts for my trading, and if i have to take a position on something i will know the previous day and only the next day do i have to stay there to know should i be trading, apart from that all i try to do is that get 5times leverage and 3% return, thats it.

So with a $10000 account i get a leveraged position of something like $50000 and 3% of that is something like $1500 dollars every month, 3 is an average i am considering, apart from that i do get pyramidding opportunities and that can lead to an overall skewing of the total that i am getting and 2 good moves can easily bring more than 300% return on my original capital.


Now i have $25000, so in a way i will get leverage of $125000 and 3% return means $4000 dollars a month, now i need more......., but the issue is that i dont have a lot of capital, plus i need more than that. which i can get if i dont have to spend this money that i am getting here, because at that pace i will have $75000 next year to trade and that gives me $400000 of leverage, then 3% on it means $12000 per month.

So trading wont eat my time, as i dont need more than 3 hours, but now the issue is till i dont get to that $12k scale i dont know what to do with the rest of my time.
Friends wont finish there work in 3hrs like me, so they can be free and can only be free as much as they can.

So i thought doing something else, but that seems to be time consuming and i must be able to trade even if i do something else. but $4k a month isint good enough either and if i am unable to grow my corpus then earnings wont grow either. i am in a dilemma of sorts.

I treat trading as business and nothing else, though i love to analyse and talk about the markets.
 

rags2riches

Well-known member
399 134
This is the real question Paul71 and the I one I am interested in.

It is not about whether genius is inherent or the difference between competence and mastery and it is not about what Danarm or Phil or whoever else is doing. It is about what prices they have paid or would be willing to pay to get the to the top. Some people will have no interest in getting to be the best (however subjective a term this is) - they just want a living as gamma says and in this case I wonder what they gave up to learn the skills. Every person who gets good in this game pays the price of lost time. But for some, the time they have lost in their life will affect them more than the same lost time will affect others. This will depend on complex themes like age, personal relationships etc.

(Maybe the affect of time on the trader is something akin to the relation of time in option pricing theory against that in futures trading...)

But what gamma doesn't mention is that some of us want and strive to be the best because we do nothing by halfs. We want mastery in everything we undertake to achieve. And to those of you, I ask the original question: What lengths would you go too to get where you want to be?
Well I have given up a "respectable" career to embark on the journey of learning to trade. I have become hooked on the challenge of the game and have devoted days, nights and weekends trying to figure it out. I would rather pursue something that I find genuinely interesting than continue leading a life of quiet desparation in an unstimulating job. I have given up a lot of time that could have been spent with the people that I value. Some of that time is irrecoverable. There have been days when I have wanted to give up or have wondered WTF I was doing - but I know that giving up is what MOST people do.

I have been told that I am a loser, a dreamer, that gambling is sinful and a disease, that I will go bankrupt by people who don't understand trading or feel threatened by the potential that it offers. All this has done is simply fuelled my obsession and sped up my development.

If I compare my approach to trading a year ago to my approach now, the difference is significant (thank-you T2W members). But the market continues to humble me and I continue to have a long way to go on my journey.

What lengths would you go to to get where you want to be?
Learning to trade is one of the most challenging things I have ever attempted. I have given up a lot just to reach my current stage of development. I am prepared to risk a lot to find out if I can trade. My mentality has always been to do things to the best of my abilities otherwise not to bother. When it comes to trading that may be insufficient - I will find out in due course. I am not prepared to let anyone (that includes myself) or anything get in my way.
 

Paul71

Senior member
2,056 412
Well I have given up a "respectable" career to embark on the journey of learning to trade. I have become hooked on the challenge of the game and have devoted days, nights and weekends trying to figure it out. I would rather pursue something that I find genuinely interesting than continue leading a life of quiet desparation in an unstimulating job. I have given up a lot of time that could have been spent with the people that I value. Some of that time is irrecoverable. There have been days when I have wanted to give up or have wondered WTF I was doing - but I know that giving up is what MOST people do.

I have been told that I am a loser, a dreamer, that gambling is sinful and a disease, that I will go bankrupt by people who don't understand trading or feel threatened by the potential that it offers. All this has done is simply fuelled my obsession and sped up my development.

If I compare my approach to trading a year ago to my approach now, the difference is significant (thank-you T2W members). But the market continues to humble me and I continue to have a long way to go on my journey.

What lengths would you go to to get where you want to be?
Learning to trade is one of the most challenging things I have ever attempted. I have given up a lot just to reach my current stage of development. I am prepared to risk a lot to find out if I can trade. My mentality has always been to do things to the best of my abilities otherwise not to bother. When it comes to trading that may be insufficient - I will find out in due course. I am not prepared to let anyone (that includes myself) or anything get in my way.

I look at market understanding as a horizontal line, a cycle. When i look back, i look at my understanding below the line, as incorrect. I had to break the line to the upside in order to profit.

One thing that bothers me is progression. How do i know for a fact that what i am thinking is correct....could i be wrong? I've been wrong before, so how do i know i'm absoluetly right now?

Is there a point that you can not go beyond in terms of knowledge and understanding....is this the realm of which psychology actually means more than ability?
 

Paul71

Senior member
2,056 412
I also used to think that an indepth knowledge of L2, T&S and market depth was an absolute must. It is from a certain perspective, but it's not the be all and end all of profitability.

90%, probably more, of what i know is not needed to trade profitably. Maybe in hindsight i sacrficed too much....but i would never know otherwise.
 

rols

Experienced member
1,621 335
I also used to think that an indepth knowledge of L2, T&S and market depth was an absolute must. It is from a certain perspective, but it's not the be all and end all of profitability.

90%, probably more, of what i know is not needed to trade profitably. Maybe in hindsight i sacrficed too much....but i would never know otherwise.
This fits with the metaphor of Wittgenstein's ladder and is part of any journey to attaining true understanding.

My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them -- as steps -- to climb up beyond them. (He must,so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.) He must transcend these propositions, and then he will see the world aright.
 

1Pipped

Well-known member
273 35
90%, probably more, of what i know is not needed to trade profitably. Maybe in hindsight i sacrficed too much....but i would never know otherwise.
That reminds me of a TS Elliot quote I was thinking about with regard to trading only the ohter day.

TS Elliot said:
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
And also the Zen....... thing.... Something like "If the road went straight from A to B how would you know where it didnt go?" marvellous.
 
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fibonelli

Experienced member
1,338 288
I chose this craft because I find it absolutely fascinating. A bit like playing 6 dimensional chess! It's a nice mix of numbers, repetitive patterns (ie trader psychology) and economics.

I've also put in a huge amount of study time to learn this huge subject thoroughly, discarded quite a lot of cr4p, looked at and taken screenprints of an insane number of charts. I never do anything by half.

I've also had to think very very carefully how to maintain life balance, keep energy levels high and minimise stress. It's incredibly addictive to sit and stare at the screen all day.

Here are my thoughts about keeping things in balance:
i) mix timeframes between intraday, swing and position trading;
ii) take a few intraday setups only during the most active time periods of the European session;
iii) let the limit entry, stop loss, trailing profit take care of all open positions and walk away from the screen;
iv) do lots of background reading and ongoing learning while waiting for audible alerts of potential setups; and
v) continue with non-trading interests.

In other words, I'm also trying to find a way of doing less, better.

*******************************************************************************************************************
"...................Why do I trade ....?
Because I am ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that this is the best "business" in the world.

There are:
1. No rent of offices,
2. No staff,
3. No inventory or stock to buy. No shrinkage (theft of stock) and no "slow moving" items. No massive amount of funds tied up in inventory
4. You can "borrow" as much as you want (by increasing your leverage), WHENEVER you want.
5. If the business becomes a hassle for whatever reason, you can shut it down (that is, close all positions) instantly...and re-open (initiate new positions) whenever YOU want to re-open your "business."
6. You can "scale" your business to whatever size YOU want simply by increasing/decreasing your positions.
7. Absolutely minimal paperwork. Simply send your 12 month summary Profit and Loss Statement to your Financial Accountant for tax payment purposes.
8. You can trade from anywhere in the world.

I could keep telling you more of the benefits of this business, but suffice to say...this is the best "business" in the world. I run a multi-multimillion dollar business from my laptop.

And did I mention that it was exciting and fun????.............................."

Jacko's Forex House of Pleasure and Pain

********************************************************************************************************************
 

gamma

Experienced member
1,231 331
Brilliantly summed up
Because I am ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that this is the best "business" in the world.

There are:
1. No rent of offices,
2. No staff,
3. No inventory or stock to buy. No shrinkage (theft of stock) and no "slow moving" items. No massive amount of funds tied up in inventory
4. You can "borrow" as much as you want (by increasing your leverage), WHENEVER you want.
5. If the business becomes a hassle for whatever reason, you can shut it down (that is, close all positions) instantly...and re-open (initiate new positions) whenever YOU want to re-open your "business."
6. You can "scale" your business to whatever size YOU want simply by increasing/decreasing your positions.
7. Absolutely minimal paperwork. Simply send your 12 month summary Profit and Loss Statement to your Financial Accountant for tax payment purposes.
8. You can trade from anywhere in the world.

I could keep telling you more of the benefits of this business, but suffice to say...this is the best "business" in the world. I run a multi-multimillion dollar business from my laptop.
 

Paul71

Senior member
2,056 412
That reminds me of a TS Elliot quote I was thinking about with regard to trading only the ohter day.



And also the Zen....... thing.... Something like "If the road went straight from A to B how would you know where it didnt go?" marvellous.

"we will arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time."


That really hits home. When i first started i made money, doing what i do now.....but i didn't quite know why.

There was just some fine tunning to be done.

Anyway....

I proceeded to not fine tune, i stripped the engine, i added parts that would not be needed, i took away parts that i needed,.....the bottom line was a real mess.

My natural instincts were correct, but because i did not understand them i had to go on a journey.....crazy.

Thanks for your post.
 
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Paul71

Senior member
2,056 412
"...................Why do I trade ....?
Because I am ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that this is the best "business" in the world.



I know some smart asre could come on here with some kind of business model that suits all of mankind.....


But i'm with you on this one, mate.
 
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