I recently visited the University of Central Florida to discuss what makes a successful trader. After my lecture, a crowd of students stayed behind, gathered and peppered me with questions. A philosophical non-traditional student, who had traded and then just quit one day wondering what the point to trading was asked, “Why do you enjoy trading?” I was a bit surprised by the question as here I was giving a lecture about trading to college students, who were after all a part of a college trading club…..didn’t they all love trading? And so I gave an answer.
Driving back to our family condo in Clearwater Beach from Orlando, while on vacation and being introduced to Florida night-time construction and its brain-teasing toll systems, I couldn’t help but think- I could have given that young man a better answer.
So after some research and some thought on my own 18 years of trading here is that better answer of why traders love to trade:
1. Money….there I said it. (NY Times)
2. The ability to leverage money into more money more so than other investments. (OptionsRules)
3. It’s addicting. (Investment News)
4. The drama of whether your trade will work or not in a $TSLA, $NFLX, $SPY, $AAPL, $FB or $TWTR. (Motley Fool)
5. Receiving instant feedback about your trade decision. (The Nest)
6. The ability to learn more. (Swing Trade Stocks)
7. Freedom. (The Trading Academy)
8. Trading is a meritocracy. I remember using this reason during my interview for a trading position. (Vestatrader)
9. Unlimited upside. (Bill Gross)
10. Everyday is new! (Stress Free Trader)
11. You can trade from anywhere. (Robinhood)
12. You are your own boss. (CBS News)
13. It’s my passion. Here is a quiz to help you determine if it is your passion. (SMBU Blog)
14. Chicks dig traders. (more of an anecdotal citation here)
15. Satisfaction of being right. (Dash of Insight)
16. To learn how to become an elite performer. (Dr. Steenbarger)
17. “You can be better tomorrow than you are today.” (The PlayBook)
Now that would have been a much better answer.
*no relevant positions
It really boils down to being better tomorrow than I am today…for me. I have been involved is some very interesting challenges in my life from working with the Discovery Channel shooting wildlife in Mongolia to building award winning custom homes in the Colorado rockies to exploring for oil reserves in the Niobrara basin of Nebraska. None have been as challenging, or for that matter, as rewarding, as trading. I have learned more about myself is the last couple of years than ever before. Much thanks to the team at SMBU and in particular the DNA program that gave me some life lessons that make me a better trader today. No matter what you pursue in your life you have to like it, and if you like it you will find the passion to become good at it, and then all the items listed above will be yours. They are really a byproduct of hard work, a result, if you will. Anything worth obtaining will take effort, and if you don’t like it you won’t put in the necessary hours to be great! I would rather trade than eat, sleep, drink…or really anything else.