I love being a day trader! I love the thrill of the hunt in trying to find tradable stocks. I love the cat and mouse games with the market makers. And I like being my own boss and having the ability to determine how much I get paid on a given day by the decisions I make. As a result, I look forward to getting up in the morning on trading days. On those days when the market is closed, I often miss it. There’s simply no other way I’d like to make a living.
If you’ve been trading for any period of time and you don’t feel this way, then this is not the career for you. And that’s okay. We certainly couldn’t have a country of people just day trading. We need doctors, accountants school teachers, policemen, waitresses, etc.
And while I’m not sure that anyone should spend 8-10 hours a day doing something they hate for a paycheck, this is certainly the case for day traders because, after all, there is no paycheck; at least, not a guaranteed paycheck. There are many days when I work all day with nothing to show for my efforts. In fact, being a day trader is one of the few professions in which you can work hard all day and actually come home with less money than when you started the day. Doing this job just for the money is a sure fire recipe for disappointment on all counts.
After all, you probably won’t make much of a day trader unless you love it anyway. This is the case with any profession. The most successful people are those who have a passion for it. You need a passion to get up when many people are sleeping and search the market for potential stocks to trade. You need a passion to follow several different stocks at a time. You need a passion to bounce back after a losing day.
And even if you are that rare breed of person who can excel at doing something you hate, I have to ask, “Why?” And no, “the money” isn’t an acceptable answer. For one, this is America. There are countless ways to make money in this country. Why choose a way that makes you (and likely, everyone around you) miserable? Second, it’s only money.
Yes, you read that correctly. It’s only money. Now, I know that you wouldn’t expect to read that phrase from someone who makes his living in the market, but it’s true. Sure, I like money. I think it’s a good thing. It’s necessary for many of the necessities of life – a home, a car, food, utilities, you name it. Yet, money pales in comparison to some of the really important things in life. I wouldn’t trade my wife for any amount of money. The same is true for my children, my parents and my close friends. And certainly, the same is true for you.
There are some things that money can’t buy in your life. If that’s true, then you certainly don’t want to sell your actual life for money. You don’t want to spend the vast majority of your waking hours doing something that you don’t love just for the money. As I see it, when it quits being fun, you should quit.
Now, of course, even if you absolutely love day trading, you run the risk of burning out from time to time. This is why it’s so important to take time off. Take a vacation with your family, go hiking in the mountains or just spend some time with a good book in your living room. The important thing is to get away from your computer for a while. These hiatuses from trading will not only prevent burnout but they will make you more profitable in the long run.
Fausto Pugliese is the founder and president of Cyber Trading University, a world leader in online education and training for traders and investors in the markets. You can reach Fausto at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter and Facebook
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