Independent Trading: Pros & Cons

In fact, there’s probably no better time than the present to talk briefly about the pros and cons of being an “independent trader.”

As someone who has worked independently for most of my professional career, you can say I place a tremendous value on “doing my own thing.” As I’ve often said, at least for me it has been a combination of personal choice (what I want in both life and career) and also necessity (as I don’t play well with others). Indeed, there are some tremendous positives for trading independently. After all, I wouldn’t be doing this if there were not some significant advantages from doing so!

Here are a few things that first come to mind:

  • As an independent trader, I set my goals and I’m in charge of my own destiny. I don’t rely on any other person for how much money I make or how I make it. Other people’s opinions of me are irrelevant to my own destiny. At the end of the day, bottom line trading results (not office politics) are all that matters.

  • Most people in “normal jobs” don’t have the opportunity to set out on their own and do something they really want and love to do and also make plenty of money doing it.

  • I spend most of my time every day doing things I really like to do (trading, reading, researching, running screens & mentoring others). These are things I would do even if I were not paid to do them because it is what I like to do the most! Every day I plan my work on things I want to work on, not what others want me to work on. That level of professional autonomy is rare.

  • The sense of accomplishment when you achieve success in the markets independently is unparalleled. There’s nothing like finding and taking a good trade that produces lots of upside gain. This is especially true when that trade is unpopular and unforeseen by the herd.

  • Through my research I’ve been able to learn about many things, many industries, many countries, and many people. At this point, I can have a conversation with just about anyone no matter what they do for a living or where they live because I know something we can probably talk about based on what I’ve learned and know about others.

  • It is always interesting and I’m NEVER bored. It is so true there is no better drama on Earth than following and being a participant in the markets daily.

  • Trading independently offers level of personal freedom that isn’t present in most jobs. If I want a day off to play golf, help a friend, visit with family, I do it. I don’t have to ask anyone for permission! However, offering a paid members-only website places some severe limitations on that freedom!

  • So, now I’ve talked about the positives, what are the downsides to trading independently?

    While many people think I have a dream job and, in many ways I do, there’s no career choice that doesn’t also have its own set of unique negatives. Frankly, if most of you actually had to do what I do every day to reach your financial and career goals, I think quite a few of you would begin to question whether “trading for a living” is really the right way to go.

    There are many misconceptions about trading out there primarily due to shady marketing practices by those who sell investment services and trading products. Many in this business unfortunately propagate to their own benefit the view that trading for a living is an easy way to get rich without any time or effort. The truth is that it can often be, and has been, a challenging career choice and one frankly that is less than ideal for many people I encounter.

    As for the downsides, here are a few you should be familiar with if trading for a living is a career you seek:

  • You’ve got to bring your A game to the table each and every day. There is no sitting in a cubicle playing solitaire, visiting with facebook friends, talking with others in the break room about fantasy football, etc. that is going to get the job done for you. Your efforts, whatever they may be, will be directly related to your bottom line returns!

  • Past success means absolutely nothing. You are only as good as your next trade, your next week, your next quarter, etc. In addition, what you do next always has the potential to unravel whatever success you’ve acquired previously. Few careers offer you the potential for self-destruction so quickly the way trading for a living provides.

  • The pressure to perform will create unbelievable amounts of negative stress and energy you’ll have to deal with daily. Most people don’t have to worry or fear that being wrong will cost them their paycheck. After all, just look at economists, bankers, and politicians!

  • There will be little to no respect or understanding for what you do for a living. People will assume you’re a “day trading gambler.” Or, in my view, which is even worse, many idiots will express the view that they could also “trade for a living” if they decided to. This is true even in by those who’ve shown no consistent success in the markets on a “part-time basis.”

  • By :Charles E. Kirk

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