Is Trading Your Dream Job?

Today we’re going to do something a little different. Today we’re going to talk about Trading in the context of your curriculum vitae and human capital. Reason being: in 2020 many people’s livelihoods were destroyed by government lockdowns and there was a massive shift to online trading as my contacts at Oanda and Pepperstone verified.

Faced with the prospect of prolonged unemployment, many people started to trade using their government stimulus checks. Brokerage accounts surged.

The question is: what is the usefulness, if at all, of learning how to trade and becoming a trader? What kind of skillset does it require? Does it increase your marketability? Does it make you more valuable?

Reality may be somewhat surprising.

Afraid of Being Fired? Become the Best at What You Do

In 2020, government lockdowns caused massive layoffs. And for 2021, many people that survived the first round of downsizing fear they will be next.

It seems like the most common “Plan B” is to become a trader, based on what happened last year: many people started to trade using their government stimulus checks and brokerage accounts surged.

What I’d like to give you are some inputs that I wish I had received back in the day before I left my job to trade full time. Many people that have come to me for coaching ultimately had little respect for their day jobs, not realising how much peace of mind and stability a regular paycheck can offer.

Instead, driven by their ego and with a total lack of gratitude for what life had given them, they were ready to throw it all to the wind in order to trade full time (without even knowing what the job of trading required or entailed).

Trading is an entrepreneurial job that takes years to master IF you receive the right information. And even with the right information, it will still take time to build up your consistency. The markets have no mercy: you cannot be a mediocre trader. You are either making money or you aren’t. Your capacity to make money depends on your own skills. A bad day in the markets can wipe out months of gains if you don’t have the discipline to sit on your hands and wait for setups; or if your position size is off. And then there’s the occasional black swan, where even your stop loss can’t protect you (think about the SNB event).

So there is no guarantee you’ll get paid at the end of the month…and that shouldn’t even be your goal. Your goal should be to grow your account to a size that is meaningful. Or , even better, create a track record and then approach a funding partner (get in touch if you have a track record already and you are looking for funding).

Going back to my advice regarding your day job, know this: the bottom 10% of people will get fired, even during the good times. There is no room for underperformers or people that don’t take responsibility for their results. Start being invaluable to your employer.

Network with colleagues, work later, be consistent, strive to be the best.

Your career is how you transform your human capital into cold hard cash. And you will want to save as much of that cold hard cash as possible if you want to become financially independent or at least have a decent quality of life during the retirement years.

Leaving my Job to Become a Trader

As you may have read in the pages of my book, when I was young and a bit too arrogant, I left my job to become a trader. So trust me when I tell you it’s almost impossible to trade your way out of a hole, if you are under pressure to perform. I learned this the hard way. As I say to my coaching students: learn from me, because I’ve most likely made every mistake in the book.

When I set out to trade:

· I had experience in the sector, having been a sales trader and technical analyst;

· I had issued proprietary intraday trading signals for clients;