So I wanted to start a conversation to get folks opinions on the bigger picture of trading. The basic question is…Why become a Trader? I’ve had to and continue to wrestle with this over and over again as I, for example, tried to explain to my wife what is keeping me up so late at night. So a typical conversation I would have with myself would go something like:
Obviously, the basic on-the-surface answer is “to make money!”
But then I continue the war in my head, “But you’re making money already. You have a job. Why can’t you just be satisfied with that? And if you want to make more money on your job, work harder. Stop being lazy. Acquire more skills. Climb the ladder. What wrong with that?”
Then I answer, “Yes, I could, but I’m not happy on my job. I don’t want to climb the ladder. I want to do something more fulfilling.”
And the retort comes, “And trading is more fullfilling? You’ve read the articles…daytrading is a fools game. In the end you lose money. It is self-serving short-term gambling, there is no virtue in it. Is that what you want to be about? What is the service you are providing? Most jobs have a mission. Firefighters, police, teachers, all better society and provide a needed service. Even working in a business, that business has a mission and provides a service. What service are you providing by trading?”
But I shoot back, " Yes, you lose money if you don’t know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. But people are making money! And what is the difference between me and them? Besides, you don’t think people in those jobs are in it for the money? How many firefighters, teachers, etc would work for free? It’s all a means to an end. You go to work…to get paid. So if you view trading in that respect, its no different. The goal is to be off to work (at home on my computer) to do a job to make money, just like those in other occupations. Maybe the difference is that those in other occupations fulfill the job’s mission, but they are time-trapped. They have to do it because that is the only way to make money. But I’m trying to be time-free and make money. That way, I can choose the mission that I want to fulfill within society, that’s important to me, and not something that I’m forced to do deep down because I really need the money."
So I ask you fellow traders…why are you doing it? Why be a Trader? Is it just for the money? Is trading, like anything else, a means to an end? What purpose does it serve? Is trading simply capitalizing on price fluctuations in the market, just like real estate investors capitalize on run-down houses, and ambulance-chasing lawyers capitalize on people getting hurt or sick? (no offense if you’re either of those)
I do think that you have to find something that is bigger than yourself outside of trading. And I think that that could actually help give one a more balanced perspective in trading. That is why I also have mad respect for this website and DM, who had the big vision with Apex and “traders helping traders” and also encourages one in trading not to over-trade but always encourages to take a break, make your profit and go do something else. That is my intention once I become a full-time trader. To make my money and then go “Heal The World” (Michael Jackson)
What is yours?