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.”
Working in isolation you’ll often miss close human interaction and the lack of a competitive “team” like atmosphere. Also, building and holding outside friendships, especially for men later on in life, are often very difficult for those who don’t meet a lot of people through their jobs.
Sitting 12 hours a day every day at the computer will wreak havoc on your overall health and fitness. Many traders are overweight, have back issues, eyesight problems, etc.
Like many highly skilled professions it requires constant education & learning. In many, but not all careers, once you’ve acquired a certain amount of skills and knowledge, little more is expected of you. In trading, you’ve got to always be in learning mode. In addition, what you think you know right now and what is working for you, will not someday in the future. That’s the way of constant evolutionary state of the marketplace.
You’ve got to be a jack of all trades. I’ve often said that if trading was the only thing I had to do, my life would be a whole lot easier. Instead, independent traders must spend time serving as their very own tax accountant and tech support guru. In my view, there’s nothing worse than a hardware or software issue that takes you away from concentrating on the markets. (more…)