What Trading Means To Me

I created this WealthCampus website and made my very first blog post here on October 13, 2017. The post talked about the tuition that we all have to pay to gain mastery in the market. It asked the question how high is the cost of trading?

Trading means so many things to me that I am not sure that I can accurately put into words just how I feel about the endeavor; but I will try. Trading is a personal battle. If you think that trading is more a competition with others you will quickly learn that it is more about competing with yourself. It is a high stakes struggle with the emotions of fear and greed as well as ego. It is the attempt to hone self-control and to foster organization in every facet of your life. Trading is about grit and determination and perseverance. The ability to pick yourself up off the ground and get right back up and into the fight is something that you’re going to have to learn to do a lot. You will have moments where you have to stop and look at your own reflection in the mirror and ask yourself some serious questions. There will be some periods where you will not want to go on. Trading means that you must surrender yourself to the paradigm of being a life-long learner. It involves constant study, dedication of time and energy, and a lot of reading and self-reflection. It is the realization that you will make many mistakes but the goal then is to learn from those mistakes. It is not a lotto ticket nor a trip to the casino nor is it a guarantee of success. It can be lonely. You may find yourself surrounded by strangers who don’t understand what you do, how difficult it is or they may scoff at what you do. It is a tremendous time commitment. It can be heartbreaking, disappointing, surprising, and exhilarating all rolled into one.

Trading has provided me with freedoms that I never thought I would be able to experience or enjoy in my life-time. Financial freedom. Today I find myself a millionaire. I am debt free. The reward for a job well done has been the ability over the past couple of years to completely pay off my house, home equity loan and all credit cards. Furthermore, it has allowed me the privilege of being able to completely pay for 100% of my children’s college tuition. My daughter is a physician’s assistant at the University of Michigan and my son is an account manager for Coke. It has allowed me to pay cash for my vehicles and granted me the freedom of being able to travel around the world with my wife and family. Money does not buy happiness but what it does do is take away financial stress and allows you to own whatever you’d like and to help and provide for others. In other words; freedom. If you so desire it can give you what might be the most valuable commodity that exists in the world today: time.

Trading is all about self-empowerment. This week I retire from a full time job which I have had for 29 years. I have been a high school teacher since 1993 and I am retiring early this week at the age of 56 and becoming a full time trader. What has been my passion for years will now become a full time profession. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I come from a low middle class family where I was the very first person in generations to attend college. I worked 80 hours a week to put myself through school and I had to make my own car payments, insurance payments, as well as purchase the clothes on my back but I did so because I realized the importance of getting a college education. Teachers do not make much money so I always had to have a second job while we were raising our children and I would work odd jobs in the summer months. In the background; throughout all of this. I would trade. I have been lucky to have had some very good mentors and have been very well traveled. I would not have the home that I live in or really much of anything if it were not for trading. To say that I am thankful and that I feel blessed is an understatement.

Trading has allowed me to build relationships with strangers into lasting friendships that are still strong today. It has allowed me to teach and mentor others so they are not doomed to repeat the same mistakes that I did. It has provided me with the ultimate privilege of making a difference in the lives of others and being the instrument for change in their own lives. I may not be teaching human anatomy & physiology in a classroom any longer but make no mistake I am still teaching.

Trading has taught me that the market will always be here and this process is a marathon and not a sprint. It is constantly changing and evolving and we as traders need to change and be flexible as well. We have seen over the years the world-wide collapse of interest rates, mind-boggling technological advancements, commission free rates, the creation of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and now the metaverse. Trading is a revolution of the mind. We often do not trade stocks but trade people. There is always somebody on the other side of the trade. Trading is the constant search for those willing to give up their merchandise to you too inexpensively and those willing to buy your merchandise too expensively. Trading is the necessary need to understand market cap and fundamentals and the CONTEXT behind each trade as well. Trading is the never ending search for the next true market leader.

To quote the Red Hot Chili Peppers “space may be the final frontier but it’s made in a hollywood basement” I view the stock market still as the last great frontier where an individual through hard work and determination can quite literally change their life. I told you in the beginning that trading means so very many different things to me and I hope that you’re getting a better understanding now of what I meant. One door may be closing on a career I’ve had for 29 years but another door is now fully opening. I am excited to trade full time and it is my plan to plant seeds of wisdom into traders’ minds which will germinate over time and provide them with a basis to change their own lives as it has changed mine.