Trading For A Living | The Final Frontier
Trading for a Living may well be the final frontier for men and women with a pioneer spirit. The modern day digital equivalent of a homesteader, may very well be you - the Emini Futures Trader. The last bastion of freedom and wide open spaces, where you're your own boss and make your own rules. Where the sky's the limit and you play every hand for keeps.
We've all heard the pitch -
- Work from home (or anywhere)
- No employees
- No inventory
- Less than $5k in start up costs
- Set you own hours
- Women find you more attractive
Ok, I added the last one just to make sure you're paying attention. Part of the Trader's Code is we don't actually reveal that secrect until you've lost at least $100k in one day. In fact, many old timers say you aren't even worthy to be called a Trader, until you've reached the 100k benchmark.
"Does making $100k in a day qualify?"
No, any stumblebum can do that. To be a Trader, you must be able to shoulder a catastrophic loss and still show up for work the next day. That takes a special breed of cat, or so the legend goes...
Let's get real. The days of the Old School Pit Warriors are history. It's a new day and a new game. I mean no disrespect to those who paved the way, but we have to build our business today, on the foundation of what it means to "Trade for a Living in 2013".
The days of the Hot-Tip are Toast!
If you're a hold-over from the equities days, congrat's. Most people don't make it this far. I'll never forget the last hot tip I traded. I was a "new believer" @ 37, I had just learned about a new music genre - Contemporary Christian - I was head over heels in stupid, and a publicly trade company "TBA" had just signed Jaci Velasquez. I loaded the boat! You have to understand, the world didn't know she had been signed, only myself and a few other very select individuals were "in the know".
I was pumped. Not ony was the Jaci news being released, the CEO himself was ringing the opening bell. I couldn't sleep. Up before dawn, shaved.. showered.. I headed to the office. As I was pacing, it dawned on me I could put a vacumm cleaner in my hand and convert nervous energy into a cleaner world. When the press release hit.. there was silence. The world literally stood still. So did the stock. I began to laugh. Silly rabbits, JV was just signed by a public company and all these people were sure going to be sorry when this stock starts to .... drop?
What? Must be a bad tick. Right? I mean come on, it's JV and TBA and JC is on the throne. Are these people stupid? Then it started to move, backwards. God I wish I had eaten so I could throw up. My belly button was chewing on my backbone and doing flip flops for good measure. It's 6:45AM PDT and here I stand in a basement with a vacumm in one hand and my dreams in the other. This was 1999 and stocks could only go up. Remember?
I became a man that day.. at 37 something. (39?)
I could hear my 50 employees coming down the stairs as my $45k became $40, then $30, then $10. Way off in the distance I could hear hear their laughter and hope over the roaring in my ears which kept getting louder and louder and louder... Were they stupid? I just lost more in 15 minutes than they would make in the next year.. maybe two, but they kept coming, getting closer. I turned determined to not let them see me, but instead.. I saw them. Perhaps for the first time, I really saw them. Most of them would never own a stock or know my pain, but they were my IPO in the flesh. My home run, my out of the park, my life will never be the same again conviction and I wept.. and they saw me and I didn't care, but they did. They didn't know why and they couldn't possibly understand, but it didn't matter because I had taught them what Jesus taught me... love wins.
They put their arms around me and we laughed and we cried and we prayed and my life was forever changed that day on more levels than I can comprehend. I was down $35k but I was up an eternity times 50. I didn't swear off trading just the hot-tips.. and when Jaci comes on the radio these days it's still a little bitter-sweet. Am I a better man for what happened that morning, on the business end of a vacumm and the wrong end of a tip?
You tell me... It's more than a decade later and here we are.
I no longer deal in hot-tips or even news events.. just the facts.
What are the facts you ask? Go look at a chart.
Forget the newsboy, the newspaper, the taxi driver..
Reality is printed minute by minute, tick for tick.
I understand reality. It's a mortgage due on the 10th, college tuition 7 years from now followed by college tuition 12 years from now. It's new tires at $80 a pop (before they pop), it's sales tax and proerty tax and income tax.. and God forbid it all kills me because then there'll be a death tax.
I'm not complaining though, every fiber of my being is alive.
“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle... when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.”
I run from hate, I run from prejudice, I run from pessimists,
but I run too late. I run my life or is it running me...
So we run.. from the first to the last. To the factory, to the office, to the store, to the charts.
At the factory we stand, at the office they shape our politics, at the store we're abused by the public we serve, but at the charts.. we rule. Master of our own domain. A precious thing, a perilous thing. No easy answer, no one to blame, just a flow of opportunity.. no beginning or end.
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