I Trade, Therefore I.....?


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?


I truly enjoyed reading this stsmith927. I have a vision to start something great to inspire others to build a healthier, prosperous, and peaceful world around them, especially families. I may not change the whole world, I know. But even if I’m able to reach .001% of the world, then hey, I’d be glad to even have touched the lives of that many.

My answer to this question: Why can’t you be satifisfied with your job and climb up the ladder? I’m not happy with my job either. I feel like there is something more inside me that can reach a higher level of success. I feel my higher consciousness so high up there that I feel I can significantly become more successful than climbing a ladder. I don’t want climb ladders, I want to climb mountains and aim for the stars. I feel working a job is an immense barrier to a path of true fulfillment in my life and I can feel deep down inside that there is something much more phenomenal than that. That is why I’m never satisfied with my job and previous jobs. Besides wanting to provide my spouse and children a great life and future, I also want to be able to GIVE to those in need, because I know exactly how it feels to have nothing. Don’t get me wrong I am grateful for the life I have now, grateful my family have a roof to live under and food to put on the table. Grateful I have a loving spouse and respectful children. However, I know that I’m capable of something even greater that provides even more enrichment to life.


Amazing post and thought provoking. My wife (my biggest supporter) and I speak on subjects of substance nightly when I wrap up my day of trading. We actually had a similar conversation of why we chose not to participate in the rat race of corporate driven careers/jobs. This was way before I met her also. I always knew my answer but listening to hers was anything short of amazing and you touch on it. She said we all have a birth date and we have a death date, but most people forget that “dash” right in the middle, they just exist. Those that choose to make something of that dash will not make a living but make a life and legacy. She went on to explain that it is never about money. Money is just a tool for options/choices. Those that are driven by the divine inner voice with the assistance of perseverance will be provided in abundance.

I have known since I was a child that I wasnt cut out for the corporate world, my dad was in construction and my mom was a nurse. I love them dearly and appreciate the opportunities and comforts they granted me but I couldnt grasp the concept of working for someone else for 40-50 years. That was my inner voice. Many choose to ignore it for reasons of fear and lack of “security” from a job. I chose to embrace it.

15 years ago started a life and legacy of me traveling the world with a yo-yo and has really solidified my thought process. This chapter of my life in the financial markets is 6 years old. I trade because I understand I am the master of my fate. The choices I make now are in direct reflection to the end game of options I can have later. No limitations sounds good to me. Happy trading.


Awesome! Thanks for the feedback. Glad you liked the post and that I’m not the only one who thinks deeply about such things. Thinking about such things gives me clarity and helps me be intentional with my life. As both of you indicated, not just letting life happen to you, but being one of those rare breeds who break out of the ‘matrix’ and focuses on controlling the things that I can to create the outcome that I want- as sirrick put it- being the master of my fate!

I also think that it helps put trading in its proper place- so that you won’t get greedy, or overconfident, and can withstand the ups and downs of the market and all the practicing and learning from your mistakes that you have to do to become proficient at this.

So I ask again…why trading? We all agree that jobs are for the birds. Cool. So then why trading and not real estate, or starting an online business, or mlm, or other ways to make money? Here are 3 things that come to mind for me:

Leverage- the potential to make a good deal of money in a short amount of time. (not to sound get-rich-quickish because we know its NOT) but being about to compress the time it takes to generate income is certainly appealing

The only person you can blame is you- meaning you don’t have to rely on buyers, or customers- its you against yourself (which really can be detrimental for people but something I think is a good challenge; self-control; self-discipline; patience; sticking to your rules no matter what)

Capital- one of the things that drew me to Nadex and then here to Apex was the low(er) capital requirement. I started with stocks, then options, and there was just no way I could make anything due to me being able to buy like 1 or 2 shares and then the fees would eat me up! Forget covered anything.

My ultimate plan is to use trading for liquidity and then take that liquidity and purchase other assets (ie. real estate, currency, etc)

Btw, congrats on being a trader for 6 years sirrick! Would love to hear how that is working out for you and your previous travels.


I remember my wife being so excited when she received like a 2k or 3% annual merit increase on her job. Immediately I thought " ok… you worked 12 months for two thousand dollars? I think when we calculated it all out estimating taxes, it was like a $50-60 pay increase. I could only shake my head. To work all year for a measly 60 bucks!? Then I thought about how long I had until ‘retirement’ (and I was just starting my ‘career’) I really think that was a defining moment where I knew…there has to be a better way…


Ironically, from the time I was 18 years old. I tried it all, Real Estate Investing, MLM, network marketing, Insurance, etc. I was a seminar junkie. That common denominator there is sales. It was not one of my strengths though I tried to force it in me. Some of the best motivation and training I have ever had for life skills has been in MLM trainings I participated in. But ultimately I didnt become proficient in face to face sales and negotiations at the time. Id much rather the consumer find me. I look back and find that weird because I became a motivational speaker in my 20s and still love doing that from time to time. I love to be in front of people and tell them personal stories of perseverance and triumph and being the best you can be, in essence I was selling a better self to them self. Ive since learned the art of negotiations when it comes to real estate. I own a few rental properties for its tax advantages , but I didnt like being a landlord. Fortunately there are management companies for that. But before hand, I found trading (or it found me) in the fx market about 8 years ago. I was at a seminar and they were pitching a fx product. Because I was a veteren of those types of seminars, I knew not to buy the product but research it. And so glad I did, the product itself Im sure was subpar but the information in the financial markets I found was a brand new world to me and that proverbial light went off. Made money, lost money, blew up a few accounts on the way, found mentors, found snakeoil salesmen. But the bottom line was, I found a another way to create a life that made sense. Thats kind of my standard of living, if it makes sense to me Ill do it. If it doesnt, I dont. I became very versed in scalping the markets and when I stumbled upon binary options and saw what they were, they actually fit right into my ideology of trading, they made sense. Looked for a mentor, he was a snakeoil salesmen, kept looking and came across Apex. Darrell’s philosophy makes sense so I am here. This is where I am at on my journey. I may have very well stumbled upon something else with the passion I have for the markets if I didnt go to that seminar. What would it be? Who knows, doesnt matter though. I am exactly where I am suppose to be in life.


I think this part here captures my motivation. I want more time back. I don’t want to spend 12 hours a day to make the money I am making. I want to spend 3 hours a day and have the rest of it to play with my kids, take my wife out, volunteer, teach martial arts, travel, read, visit friends and family. I suppose you could argue this is a selfish pursuit in some context. But isn’t being your own master inherently selfish? Being my own master to turn around and love on others, is that selfish? I suppose I don’t really care what people think. I just want to pursue what I want to pursue but I don’t want to hurt anyone in the process. If anything, part of my motivation is to have more time to give back to my community. I also want to thumb my nose at the established ways of retirement and financial security. I want to be able to say I secured my future and my families future just by sitting in front of a computer for 3 hours a day and having sound money management and financial principals. I get a kick out of being able to say I just made more on my options trading in 3 days by percentage than my 401K made in 12 months!

Fun discussion.


Couldn’t agree more with you brother! Its amazing to me to think that even being profitable 20 to 50 dollars a week is a huge pay increase for some of us. if you can do that consistently on 1 contract per trade, 5% risk, there is no difference in execution with 5, 10, 25, 50 contracts in one trade. Oh the possibilities!


Why do I want to trade? It has been said before, but I will say it again. I WANT MY TIME BACK. Do you remember when you were a kid, and you had as much time as you wanted? I remember having time. I don’t have time anymore. It isn’t that I don’t have money, it is that going after the money I need to pay the bills takes time from my kids, my wife. Yes I think that is a selfish statement, but my kids and wife need me too, it’s not just that I need them. My intention in life was to be a good husband, and father. I can’t do that if I am not there. I want to trade so that I can be there, it is that simple. My wife and kids deserve to be able to get my full attention, and I deserve to be able to give that to them. Thank you for the opportunity to say that. I think I needed it.


I love reading everyone’s response. KEEP IT COMIN!


One (and now two main reasons)…

To master the skill and pass it to my kids giving them the opportunity to do what they are called to do without money being a factor…

This sums it up (My daughters first futures trading session at 2 years old)

But most people i have met have not wanted to make more money just to have more money. They wanted the money for a reason…I wanted to make more money to have more time as everyone does. I wanted to make more money to have more time as everyone does. (though i seem to work more now with Apex and trading combined but I love it my wife loves it my kids love it - my wife stays at home - my kids can do more - and we get to spend afternoons, mornings, random vacations etc… that would not have been possible if I worked for someone.

I wanted as well to know I would be rewarded for doing a good job. Not have a “ignorant” boss. Not be subject to “office hours”. Not have to suit up for the day. Love coming up stairs to my man cave each day in shorts and a tshirt. To have the ability to not be subject to layoffs (the company i quite working for (making a 6 figure salary) to be a full time trader within a few years laid over 70% of their staff off. Working harder would not have mattered. I had nearly maxed out my pay increases without being promoted a few more times. I was no passionate about it. Was not doing or learning anything to pass onto my kids.

I did not want to have to “sell” something. As you have noticed I am not super “sales” oriented and give away a ton free (well over 60k spend on the scanner, and over 6 figures on the toolkit. I’m here to help people if I do that then people will come and as they come I put it back into more programmers more tools etc… to keep us all growing together.

Felicity is the main reason i started Apex as a means to catalog what I had and continue as a sort of journal to pass on for generations. It has grown into helping at last count well over 6,000 other traders and I have grown a ton as a trader as a result of it. So part of my bigger purpose is helping empower others to fulfill theirs by trading and helping others trade with the goal of building a community of traders helping traders.

Great question…Love the responses… what drives you to get up and make it happen to come back and beat it out of the markets each day :slight_smile:


That is awesome, DM! Thanks for responding. Great video! I love Felicity’s ‘compounding’ response. Classic! And also congrats on reason #2! My daughter is also a motivation. She is going into kindergarten and the ms. is bent on putting her in a private school. Aside from those financial anxieties, I want to teach her different lessons on money than I was taught (and continue to try to unlearn). We play a game called Cashflow for Kids by Robert Kiyosaki. So the reds and greens in our household are assets and liabilities! Its amazing how fast kids learn :slight_smile:


We have that game also. Yes Felicity is in private school she actually goes where I went to school in High School. It is a world of difference what they learn there versus public schools. They have their own ipads for book test, and for quizzes that challenge them at their level and push them in weaknesses plus take them as far as they can go individually, along with a very dynamic classroom environment. Trading allows us to do a lot more for our kids. Keep it up! I look forward to helping you in any way I can.