prof7The New York Stock Exchange had a little bit of pop this morning. I didn’t get a chance to look at the news because I was late getting up. I’m sure it’s the same ol’ thing again; Middle East troubles, shootings in Chicago, some famous celebrity acted sexually improper back in the mid 90’s, you know – regular shit.

I didn’t trade any assets this morning because there was just nothing I deemed ok enough to plop down money for. When we finally got to the cash open, I was ready and made good money on a little over a handful of round trips. Big moves and small costs, that’s what I’m looking for. After closing up my laptop, it was time for my customary iced coffee and I got out of the Starbucks thankful for their internet connection.

For my last paragraph, I’m going to take a comment I made on my friend Trin’s website. I figure I need more substantial content here because I don’t know how long I can possibly keep blogging up. Anyway, here it is.

hey Trin,

sorry I haven’t gotten to commenting. this post really hit hard for me and I wanted to leave a worthwhile set of thoughts:

it’s good that through your self-reflection, you can still be ok with yourself. I have found that in this stupid business, being able to be kind to yourself and forgiving to yourself is essential. it gives you the emotional space to operate and the mental longevity to get to the “promised land” so to speak.

since you and I have been trading for roughly the same amount of time, i’m sure we have parallel lessons that point to the same general direction. for me, trading – as you know – is a shitty business. but money is a shitty necessity in this world. my take is that you have this life to try and make as much of it as you possibly can for when you’re in a spot where your body can’t exert the amount of influence it used to. we’re all getting old and the only thing that can counter that gradual move to chaos is if we have a force to incentivize other people around us to not be dicks.

money, is the root of all incentives; with it you get material possessions, love/sex, insulation, etc.

it’s no surprise that people go to whatever lengths they can to secure it. but as I am on the tail end of my career and will probably retire from this business in less than a decade, I see it for what it is: trading is gambling. it took me so long to mentally accept that and when I did, there was the load of rationality lifted off my shoulders. trading is a business in where you can be the best person you can be, practice the best practices and even work tirelessly – but it does not guarantee any type of liveable results. there are many people that deserve my spot, but because fortune chose me, I am where I am. Fortune has to choose someone, or else trading would not have the allure that it does. But it doesn’t mean I’m rich. I’m comfortable but I have not achieved the dreams that got me into this dumb career in the first place.

For the kind of risks I take, I feel like my salary is half or even 3/4 less of what it really is when you factor in the mental costs of getting it. The only thing that reminds me that my “number” is real is the fact that I’ve got a roof over my head and two vehicles and a wife. Can I go to Santorini on a luxurious vacation? No. Can I stay at The Palace in New York City for more than a week on a whim? No. I can enjoy relative luxuries, not the ones that I wanted to get when I was young and signed up for this job; a yacht, a penthouse in LA, Lambos & Ferraris, dating Playboy girls. That unicorn fantasy ship has long since sailed and my main concern outside of budgeting money is my wife’s happiness and to make sure I remember to take the trash bin out to the driveway every Wednesday morning so the garbage truck can pick it up.

I wanted a much different life. I think we all do – why do we look for ways to have money?

The point of this comment is not to bash my life. I am grateful for it, actually. The point is to bash trading for the expectation versus the reality. This business is just a step above running small cocaine packets in Baltimore for meager pay. In fact, at least those guys actually “do stuff” instead of sit around looking at charts up the butt. If I could go back in time and pick a different career, I would do it in a heartbeat. I regret very few things in life, but this career choice – I really regret it. Trading has been a great eye opener for me, but the fruit of its knowledge is one of the most bitter that you’ll ever taste.

Kudos to you that you keep going. If this is the life we are given, the best thing to do is make the best out of it and regardless of whether you succeed or not, try to be a good and respectable person. That’s how to unlock the real riches of life. Not this f*cking crap.

That being said, I still hope you get to that promised land. Enjoy the rest of the summer, buddy.

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