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My family says trading isn't work.

  #39 (permalink)

Legendary Market Wizard
Chicago Illinois USA
 
Trading Experience: Advanced
Broker/Data: IB, ToS
Favorite Futures: /ES, US Equities/Options
 
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Posts: 2,896 since Aug 2011
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I respect...

@mzelixon for not being defensive towards encouragement that comes across a little harsh. That is a good sign for you.

All I wanted to do when I was young was make my dad and my grandpa proud of me. They both died when I was 27. I started in finance as a retail bond salesman 4 years prior. I was hired through the back door and it was very clear that nobody cared...I could leave out that back door anytime I wanted. On my first day I sat in the front seat of the front train car for the trip home because I did not want people to see my crying. I left a job like the one your grandpa wants you to get.

I could have decided that I made a mistake. I could have given up on my dream. I chose, in that hour long commute, that I would never surrender. One error that decision was predicated on was the notion that my dad and my grandpa would be impressed when I made it "big"... at that time the goal was a five digit after tax pay check.

I did like my dad taught me. I was the first guy in, the last guy to leave...every damn day. I identified people who had what I wanted and I tried to learn everything I could from them. The crying was not limited, in fact, oft repeated as I adjusted to 100% commission, zero benefits and zero clients. Duct tape inside my shoes kept the water out. My grandpa told me one day, that since I started flipping his CD's to bonds that he was making 4 times his last "employment" income. He had no idea what or if I was making any money. The thing he could not stop talking about was that I had figured out something that the bank couldn't and that I was helping people like him gain piece of mind. He'd call my mother everyday to say how proud he was and what a good job her and my dad did raising me. Thing is, duct tape was still holding together more than my shoes.

A short time later it was discovered that my dad had cancer. When I'd show up to visit the first thing he'd say is, "Are all of your responsibilities taken care of...shouldn't you be at the office?" Payday came on a Thursday. Checks got issued at 5pm. I was on the 5:17 train to visit him in the hospital with a net paycheck of $11,528. I wanted to thank him...and show him. His room was at the end of the hall. From the elevator I saw that it was dark. Dad had died at about the time that check was placed in my hand.

I stayed swallowed up in my work for 16 years, till my son was born. I overcame attribute to become an achiever. 9/11 through August month end my hit to net liquidation was staggering. It took a few years to regain "walking away" money...but I'm still in the game. The stakes are way lower now, but vocationally I still identify as "trader"

The point: sometimes it takes a while with me...is this. I'd give you every cent in my account and I'd give you every dollar I ever made, ever...to sit at a table with my father and my grandfather for fifteen damn minutes and the chance to tell them how great they were, and how much I love them.

The pursuit of money is a game of fools. When you understand that it is only money and you can always get more of it you will be prepared to take risk. Be open and learn. Expose yourself to everything you can. Retain what is valuable and be prepared to work in earnest to learn and gain extreme discipline. Discard what you cant use and avoid emotional snags that are not specifically productive. Yeah, it's work. The hardest most unglamorous shit you can imagine at times...but with extraordinary effort and some luck, you can master it.

Win the day, even the days where you did not make money...there lay the valuable lessons.

Today, sit with your grandpa, because you can. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Dan

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