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Support from wife/kids/loved ones in your trading
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Support from wife/kids/loved ones in your trading

  #1 (permalink)
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Support from wife/kids/loved ones in your trading

I'd like to talk about the psychology of having/not having support from your wife (and kids) in your trading business.

First, notice I used the word business. Trading is a business! If you run it any other way, it's just gambling.

From students and friends that I've talked to, it seems many times "the wife and kids" have no appreciation for what you are doing. They don't support it or respect it. Examples would be constant interruptions throughout the day or nagging remarks in the bedroom, etc.

Why do you think this happens?

I think that unless you are a trader yourself, it is about impossible to fully respect the emotional roller-coaster trader's experience, the psychological impact, the stress, the preparation required, the concentration, all of it.

So you cannot completely fault an outsider, even your wife or kids, for not being able to fully appreciate it. They can't, not until they are no longer an outsider!

Needless to say, trying to succeed in trading is hard enough without problems of lack of support from your loved ones.

I think there are a few angles to approach this from. One, if your family is not in a financially stable situation and you are "home all day playing on the computer" instead of out in the "real world looking for a job", then you can expect this is not a good situation and you have to understand that you are risking a lot for your own personal happiness.

But two/second, if you are in a somewhat stable situation, then it is possible your loved ones still do not appreciate or possibly even condone trading because they feel it is just a toy/hobby or even gambling, a "no win" situation, etc.

Assuming the second situation, one possible way to overcome this barrier is to involve your loved ones more. In fact, doing so will almost certainly dramatically improve your trading since most trading mistakes are due to psychological missteps, by thinking things through more carefully so you don't make mistakes when explaining them to others and look like a fool, you'll find that you're actually a much better trader for it.

The first two to three years of your trading business is probably a losing proposition in terms of your bank statement. That's true of any business of any nature. It's also true most businesses fail within two years, just as most traders do. Your wife and kids need to understand that this is a business, and just like if you opened a restaurant, or a fitness club, a computer/electronics storefront, any of these things --- they are all risks and require support as well as "leaps of faith" in order to be successful.

Just like you could hopefully turn to your wife and kids to support you in your new business venture of starting a "fitness club", and get them involved and make them feel like they are contributing, you can also do the same thing with trading!

Most families and outsiders think trading is pure gambling and frown on it. They think you are a degenerate for trading and spending your life savings or not looking out for your family. I think there are two extremes here -- one, it is possible to treat trading like a gambling addiction in which case you don't know when to stop. But it's also possible to treat trading like any normal business. If you started a coffee shop and invested 50k of your own money, and 3 years later it failed, most likely your wife and parents and friends would not disown you. However, in trading, they just might. It's a stigma.

Unless you are willing or capable of doing this on your own, the best way to combat this stigma is by involvement. Not just involvement for the sake of understanding of the complexities of trading by your loved ones, but involvement for the sake them better understanding the pleasure and joy it brings to your life. Most men would do anything for their wife and kids if they knew it would bring them joy and happiness, even at great financial cost. The same is true in reverse, your wife and kids need to give you some freedom and room to experience these things even at great financial cost.

So what are some of the better ways to involve your wife and kids? Well, I hope to hear from you guys! But here are some of my suggestions (although I'm not currently married, and have no kids!)

- Don't just make them watch. Give them something to do.
- What they do needs to have meaning. It needs to have an impact and even consequences.
- Make it consistent. If it is not consistent they cannot appreciate both up's and down's.
- Let them control some of their own trades. Sim at first, but move them to a small cash account. For kids, you can make it tangible (more for teenagers). Rewards for certain percentage gains like clothes, ipod, movies, xbox games, etc. For wife it can be stuff a bit more extravagant, like hit 'xx%' gain and we'll add that new deck in the backyard you wanted, or a weekend get-a-way trip for family, etc etc.

What do you guys think?

Mike

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  #3 (permalink)
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Mike,

Congrats man! It takes a great man to run this show and you're doing a great job, as always!

Wonderful topic! So, so important and highly present, and yet so hidden and not exposed.
I myself have struggled throughout my whole trading path with those things you're mentioning, and I believe you're putting the dot above the i, in a very complete way!

And yes it is very true. How come our loved ones never come to understand us, and our eternal struggle out there on the greatest battlefield ever created?

Well, I guess trading involves a lot of mysticism. Maybe we can understand this approach better by trying to become aware of our forgotten perspective on trading. Do you remember how you thought of trading before you became involved in it?

I myself saw it as some kind of alchemy. It looked very fascinating and, if I may confess, very easy to do as well. I mean, all you have to do is to buy low and sell high. And if you were unhappy enough to get acquainted to trading at the end of a great bull market, as most people do (there's actually a logic reason for that, but we can talk about that some other time). Then the game becomes even more difficult for you, because you've proven to yourself, that it is about buying low and selling high (that's the pattern of a bull market, everybody is making money in a great bull market).

Your loved ones, are actually there for you and with you for that matter. Even if they're not involved in the game, they're sitting on the bench watching the game as your greatest public applauding you.

Unfortunately, that's where the first bad brick is set. And what do I mean by that?
Well, they start to hope and pray for more of this wonderful alchemy happening in front of their eyes. The only problem here is the development of the traders future. We all know that, it definetelly gets worse before it gets better, and that the trader has to dive into his own darkest abbys before he/she starts to get back to the surface again.

That's when we start to lose our loved ones! And it's not because they don't love us. It's simply because we go on misleading them constantly.

Our greatest need here in life is the need for security. One of the ways to get that is through consistency. That's what a normal day job is offering us. Consistency that stands against our fears, pretty much based on lack. It's all about the money right?!
(if you're red my previous posts, then you'll know what I mean).

Unfortunately we delude our loved ones during this very dark period of our trading path, and believe me, it's highly involuntary. But we keep on asking them to believe in us, and to keep on supporting us.

That by itself, is a very, very difficult demand from someone that keeps watching failure after failure. Can we blame them? Well, you decide for yourself!

If we fail from a business, or if we fail by getting fired from a job, or whatever, then it is cemented into what's collectively accepted, and it is automatically accepted by everyone, because it is what it is. In other words it is possible, and that's the name of the game.

When we speak about trading, we do have to accept its mysticism and we have to recognize that it's is not like anything out there. Maybe that's what it takes, in order to survive through this game, and keep it all. Maybe it takes an extraordinary life partner.

But after all, what it takes is C O N S I S T E N C Y! That ought to be making everybody happy, including the trader him/herself.

And by the way, I love Mike's ideas, especially those about the kidds. If we as traders are recognizing a certain inclination in our kidds, that lends towards trading. My Goodness, just imagine yourself having someone taking your hand, and get you through that abbys, by keep on holding your hand. I mean we could create little trading Einstein's.

We all struggle to make tomorrow look like yesterday!
Get rid of your past and let the future unfold from the now.
Past performance is not indicative of future results.
/George
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  #4 (permalink)
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Thanks George. I've seen several remarks/comments on the forum about traders teaching their kids to trade, and I think it's a good idea for a lot of reasons.

But there are many traders here on futures.io (formerly BMT), some who are now reading this thread hopefully, that need help. Their loved ones are not supporting them. They are still moving forward with trading, but they are now at an even bigger disadvantage than "normal".

What can these traders do in this situation? I know there has to be traders out there that have successfully involved their kids, their wife/spouse, etc in their trading and have some comments and tips on what worked well and what didn't. I'm also looking to learn how it changed your relationship and how it impacted your trading career and business.

I think some people are perhaps afraid to participate in the discussion. It is not logical, if I can summon Mr. Spock for a minute. You need to participate in order to learn and expand your own awareness and knowledge. If you know this to be a problem area in your relationship with your wife, kids, or other friends/loved ones, then you should proactively take steps to improve it. Unless of course you plan to just give up. And if you plan to give up then feel free to not post or reply, because giving up doesn't help anyone.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

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  #5 (permalink)
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I think you have raised a very very important point here Mike, and delighted to see George put input into it; His section of the site is my most visited.

I don’t have any amazing story to say, just what I did. Firstly I am blessed that Sarah (my partner) is in no way material, all she wants is a happy home, doesn’t care how big the house or car is. I have one son from a previous relationship who stays every weekend.

When I started in this business, I like others I’m sure went in all guns blazing, placed a trade and it won and my attitude towards this craft was appalling if im honest. Anyway I blew an account needless to say, wasn’t massive but blew it anyway. I took some time out and reflected, I decided I wanted one more crack at it, it is what I wanted to do for a living, but this time do it right and listen to people. I spoke to Sarah and explained that it could take about 2 years to get into decent profit. I showed her things to do with trading , asked her to at least read a couple of books and not throw it out the window shall we say. Sarah agreed to emotionally support me, but on condition that if I blew this account I had to accept it was not for me and move on. That was the key to me that I had her emotional support and patience. How can you relax with the markets, get in the zone if the environment in which you live is not happy. When I was learning candles, I made flash cards and Sarah would test me, When I was learning harmonic numbers I again made flash cards and Sarah would test me, when I was running a sim account (I did this before I funded a second account) Sarah and me would go threw my trades in my journal and talk about how to improve. It was like she was learning with me. Now when she walks into my office she can see patterns better than me, i.e. this week she came in and pointed out a gartley setting up which I had missed! I have included Sarah in as much of my trading as she wants, we talk about it, talk about money management etc, but she understands the psychology importance of it. On the other hand I am very supportive of her career, and help and encourage in anyway I can. To get support it has to work both ways, you can’t just take and be selfish. What is important to your partner has to be important to you also.

Regarding my son, he also has a mini account and on weekends we spend an hour going over the weekly and daily charts for the £$ and Euro$, and on Monday I place his trade. We have games whilst doing the charts, and make it fun. I don’t think it is what he wants to do when he grows up, but he enjoys it for now, it is quality time for the two of us, and we make it fun, and throw in rewards. On the phone during the week he brings up the markets, he has a pc in his mums and has a platform on there which he looks at, I never bring up the markets in our conversations, he brings it up because it is fun to him, and he gets to buy things from his profit, but he is learning about money management at an early age, he knows about risking a percentage of his account per trade, and building his account. Its his part time job if I could call it that.

I wish I had a better story for you, but I am very lucky and have a very supporting family. I never had to fight to get it, it was there, I just had to explain, show and compromise

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  #6 (permalink)
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Hey Mike,

Good post / question.

I too am lucky enough to have a supportive wife. Kids are too young to get involved. I have not involved the wife with details, but she has a basic understanding of the psychological battle that takes place every day with trading. I have told her of good days, and of bad days (not as easy of course). We have laughed at a large number of days in which I told her if I would have just followed my rules, then blah blah blah...

I remind her and others that this is one of the only jobs which you can work hard all day, and not only not get paid, but actually pay to work.

There are some days I would hear my wife saying "follow your rules then", when considering a trade or managing one, and it would remind me to ask myself if I am following my plan as I should. And, surprise, there were times in which I was no where near my setup, was being impatient, etc.

I have to say, trading is pressure enough when putting real money on the line every day, and for me it is a great relief to have a supportive family.

I think a big part of it for me was the trust my wife had for me. When I told her how badly I wanted to trade as a career, and how I know I can do it consistently/profitably, even when having bad days; she still backed me up. She trusted me enough to know I would not put our family at risk simply because of my own selfishness. We would also discuss the pros/cons of trading, and how just like going to school or starting a business, and like you said, it will take time and money to "learn" what you need to be able to trade consistently.

Does your spouse trust you?

Do you trust yourself to be able to make the right decision not only for you, but for your family?

People with a day job who want to trade, take advantage while you have a consistent income, and be thankful for the income while you learn. I started trading futures while I still had a day job, lost my job unexpectedly, and that is when the pressure increased for obvious reasons, which made it much more difficult to follow my plan.

Anyway, I am getting off topic a bit..

In my opinion, if your spouse trusts you, and you can trust yourself to make the right decisions for your family, then you shouldn't be having issues. Be realistic with your expectations of yourself and your family, and step back once in a while and make sure you are on track as you imagined you would be when you started. Don't be afraid to go back to the day job until you can work out the issues. If you really want to trade, then you can see the long term picture, and realize there are many hurdles along the way.


Gary

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  #7 (permalink)
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When I first started in this business , it was my husband 's idea , he suggested I learn trading ( being a fast learner myself ) and then I will teach him later , I started with a 10K account , it was some savings that my husband put aside for a down payment , he was busy with his day job and I got busy trading , I started live trading only a week after being on this , the guy who taught me claimed that it was best to do it live then to do it on paper , I got lucky and made 2K the first week , no strategy just shorting the resistance and buying the support , no stop loss , no money management and the worst of all , averaging down on a loosing position , I blew up the account and stopped for a few months , I had to do some research trying to understand what was the best way to recover the money , in the meantime , my husband was getting impatient because the money did not come as fast as he thought , I felt guilty after what happened that I find it really hard pulling the trigger and getting back on the business , all the support that I had when I first started disappeared , I suffered alot psychologically because I felt like I gambled with the family's savings , I re-opened a small account again last september but my emotions where taking the lead , my husband lost all interest in this busy with his job and career , I am still struggling to find a way to show him that I can do it , my ego is hurt but I find my strength everyday in myself because I really believe that I can make it one day , I am sure that some of you can relate to my story , being a woman in this business is even harder because I have the responsibility of my kids , my house etc ...
I am working on it and I strongly believe that I will find a way ..

"Risk more than others think safe.
Dream more than others think practical.
Expect more than others think possible.
Care more than others think wise"
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  #8 (permalink)
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Its hard for me - the wife thinks I 'play' computer while she teaches my two (2) sons.
Stay in Malaysia +GMT 8 - didn't help either.. . I made the family knows that trading is a SERIOUS business. There occasions that the potential profits went in smoke when everybody 'yelling' right behind me- I trade near a living room. I dont want to explains much to them, I dont expect they understand now. Online trading is not a big 'culture' here....

To motivate them, I just say that the next new car depends on my TRADING profit. I made a white lie that I already profitable with about USD 500 yesterday ....and I barely have 6 months exp trading....

I had to convince myself that I will succeed in this business. A positive PnL certainly helps

I will change location to a special room for trading for a better environment and hope that Allah (the force) helps me in trading.

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  #9 (permalink)
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Great post Mike,

since Trading is my passion and all i do is talking about trading reading about trading sometime even dreaming about trading (LOL) , i got my wife involved in trading.

two years ago i teaches my wife how to swing trade stock and today my wife in the R&D in our business.

she in charge on all daily chart for out Options and stock play and i am in charge on all our futures/day trading.

having your partner understanding and involving in what you do is very helpful , stress about how your family react when you have a down day is out of the equation

you have your best friend(your wife) brainstorming with you about what will to do next
and has you know woman have more disciplined approach so this help too.

what i am trying to say is having a family business make it easier for me

Ben

Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow -- perhaps it all will.

-- Albert Einstein
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  #10 (permalink)
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re:
I'd like to talk about the psychology of having/not having support from your wife (and kids) in your trading business.

First, notice I used the word business. Trading is a business! If you run it any other way, it's just gambling.

From students and friends that I've talked to, it seems many times "the wife and kids" have no appreciation for what you are doing. They don't support it or respect it. Examples would be constant interruptions throughout the day or nagging remarks in the bedroom, etc.

Why do you think this happens?

I think that unless you are a trader yourself, it is about impossible to fully respect the emotional roller-coaster trader's experience, the psychological impact, the stress, the preparation required, the concentration, all of it.

So you cannot completely fault an outsider, even your wife or kids, for not being able to fully appreciate it. They can't, not until they are no longer an outsider!


I don't want to take this off track...but the business aspect of this to me is crucial. Everyone is at a different stage of this process. 1st - are you personally emotionally and financially ready to have your own business? Have you ever worked on commission before? Where is your spouse or partner in this process? What is their security level like when you are paid for performance vs a salary? What level of success do you envision your business obtaining. Are you going to have a weekend lemonade stand or a full time career (pay the bills) type of business. If you chose the 2nd option...have you approached the process as you would any serious career. Trading is similar to other professions in many aspects. If you want the upper levels of success you will have to put in comparable effort/resources/planning. I think the lack of respect given by spouses or the stigma associated with "day trading" is when you don't start out respecting the craft yourself and treat it as a lottery ticket or a weekend lemonade stand and say "well let's see how this works out...."

You can make more money trading than any doctors in the world... do you think that someone can just say I think I want to be a doctor..."let's see how that works out... I'll learn it from the internet." What would your spouse think of this idea...would they respect it? Would they want you to put what they see as the family nest egg at risk for it?
Now let's say you don't have much capital or education but you look your spouse in the eye and say - My life's dream is to be a doctor. I know this will take a lot of sacrifice from both of us and I am willing to do this but I need your help. We will have hard times but quit isn't in me. When we come out the other side...and we will...we will be in a wonderful place economically and emotionally. Here is the plan I have worked out...Will you work with me to make this happen?

little different, huh? I feel like Dr Phil


You need -
a plan and a path involving education, capital, and consistent plan execution. If you treat your business seriously then your spouse will also. Be realistic. Trading has to be your baby and the way you personally trade will most likely have to be something you come up with on your own. If you were able to buy a "trading franchise" what would it cost? What would your risk be? How long until you would be profitable? Does your partner understand this concept or are you just shutting yourself up in a room with a large computer and your 401k money and telling your spouse don't worry about it...you are going to "make it". uh-huh. That stressed me out just typing that.

Here is what a McDonald's franchise takes to get started...
Purchasing Your Franchise - About McDonald's
An initial down payment is required when you purchase a new restaurant (40% of the total cost) or an existing restaurant (25% of the total cost). The down payment must come from non-borrowed personal resources, which include cash on hand; securities, bonds, and debentures; vested profit sharing (net of taxes); and business or real estate equity, exclusive of your personal residence.
Since the total cost varies from restaurant to restaurant, the minimum amount for a down payment will vary. Generally, we require a minimum of $500,000 of non-borrowed personal resources to consider you for a franchise.


and the whole thing might just go flop bad location or whatever...sorry about your luck...thanks for playing. Are you ready for that?

Maybe your wife doesn't want a part of this but you might be surprised. Try a bring your spouse to work day and have them sit with you as you trade... It is an interesting experience trading places. They will build confidence watching you...think it's easy, etc. "So I just buy on green sell on red, huh? That's what you've been doing in here all this time....?" but when you let them do it on their own on a small cash account all of a sudden all the emotional aspects that they had no idea about will come into play. This is where it gets fun. You will learn all kinds of stuff by watching someone else trade. I have never traded around someone else and get a real kick out of this.

Imagine having a business of some sort and then having someone you know and trust but that doesn't know the business come in and try to run it. Most likely you will reaffirm why you do things the way you do them... but if you are clever you just might pick up a different way of looking at things. Fresh eyes on the problem. This really works. I guarantee someone who doesn't know indicators (and doesn't care to) will quickly get rid of the useless ones you have been hanging on to for sentimental reasons. It goes like this - "what does this squiggly thing at the bottom do" Well honey that's the stochastic indicator and it tells you if the price is too high or too low...we in the business call it overbought and oversold. "neat - does it work all the time?" well no. "can you take it off the chart" um yeah ok alright....

sooooo. after all the business talk.
you got teenagers? They play xbox? whadda you think ninjatrader is? It's just a big video game. Give'em a sim account and see if they beat you at the game. If they do... then ride'em all the way to the bank....J/K sort of.

tired of typing
great post idea Mike
nice post Gary

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” - Dr. Seuss
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